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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Family honors cyclist who won’t make it to El Tour de Tucson’s finish line this year

    Courtesy+of+Perimeter+Bicycling

    Courtesy of Perimeter Bicycling

    El Tour de Tucson commences this weekend, an annual event traditionally held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

    Bright and early at 7 a.m., with over 9,000 cyclists participating from various skill levels in the U.S. and worldwide, it is sure to be a display of endurance and athleticism.

    There are varying distances that appeal to different kinds of cyclists, as Tucson is a nationally-ranked biking town; most recently, it was ranked No. 1 by The Atlantic for overall city with the “Most Bikeable Neighborhoods” in 2013.

    Armory Park, across the street from the Children’s Museum Tucson on south Sixth Avenue and 13th Street, marks the start and finish line for the 104-mile ride — and all other rides. It takes the cyclist through views of Tucson’s beautiful mountain ranges, saguaro cacti and the Sonoran Desert.

    People can bike anywhere from 5 to 104 miles. There is also a short Fun Ride for families that wish to participate with their children. The alternative Indoor El Tour is a stationary event where the cyclists stay inside on an exercise bike for the duration of the tour.

    This year at the finish line, the family of Scott Eisenfeld will present the medals to the victors. Scott Eisenfeld, at 52, passed away last year while training for the event due to a sudden heart attack during a 40-mile bike ride at Star Pass.

    His wife, Christine, daughter, Caitlin and son, Tyler, a UA junior, will encourage participants to register as organ and tissue donors in honor of their husband and father who saved so many lives.

    “He now has a legacy that lives on through others,” Christine Eisenfeld said.

    Put together by Perimeter Cycling, El Tour raises money for both national and international organizations, including the Donor Network of Arizona, the Eisenfeld family’s selected charity.

    Last year, the event raised over $2 million for charity and hopes to raise more this year.

    “Our motto is bicycling in pursuit of wellness, as well as charity,” said Marilyn Hall, the event coordinator of El Tour de Tucson.
    In addition to the various sponsors and fundraisers, Perimeter Bicycling will also provide education and outreach for spreading bicycle safety awareness.

    After the event, El Tour Downtown Fiesta allows the accomplished cyclers, their friends and their family, to enjoy nonstop music, the Beer Garden, food vendors, El Tour Perimeter Store merchandise, kids activities and the Grand Cycling Awards Ceremony.

    El Tour de Tucson will showcase the resilience and spirit of many individuals coming together — not only to prove the hard work they’ve physically trained for but also the kindness of altruism.

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    Follow Alexandra Paletta on Twitter.

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