Looking for some routes in the area?
Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists has an excellent collection:
Need road routes? Read on!
The Loop is fantastic for easy spins. The more secluded parts to the east and south are good for tempo work as well.
Just doing the central part around Tucson is about 60 miles. Taking the spur to Catalina State Park (about 50 miles depending on where you start). Almost every ride has some portion on the Loop.
A rolling ride through the east side:
Mt. Lemmon- pavement is in pretty good condition, but the newly sealed cracks can be jarring. No water until mile 19.5 at the Bigelow trailhead. You can get water at McDonald Park off Harrison Road (not shown on this route, but it’s a short detour):
Tuesday Morning Loop
Tuesday Loop- this is a super popular group ride on Tuesday morning. It can be a bit intimidating solo- Kinney Road doesn’t have bike lanes and the pavement is pretty rough.
Note: just riding Gates Pass (the major climb on the Tuesday route) is a great ride itself, there aren’t any bike lanes, but the new pavement makes it worth it. The views at the top of the Avra Valley are stellar. You can also add on a trip up A Mountain on the way back into town by continuing on Anklham to Silverbell and following the signs.
Foothills- if you like punchy climbs in (mostly) quiet neighborhoods. The pavement can be a bit rough in some areas. There are tons of options in the foothills, just exploring up there is a great ride.
Vistoso, Saddlebrooke, Dove Mountain- these are three similar-ish routes in the Oro Valley/Marana area.
This heads south through the San Xavier Mission District and is the Saturday group ride route. It’s fun in a big group, but we have more interesting options if you are riding solo.
Note: the route now proceeds left at Nogales and Sahuarita Rd (Helmet Peak) to Mission and back down Mission road into town.
Finally, the Mercado San Agustin is a must:
Best coffee in town at Presta and the best empanadas, doughnuts, and other treats at La Estrella. It’s all to-go right now, but it is the spot post-ride.
From campus: head west on University, right on Main, left on St. Mary’s, head south on the Loop, and right on Congress.