12 Sep Arizona’s Best Cycling Starts in Scenic Oro Valley
Sub kicker – Oro Valley/Northwest Tucson now world’s top retirement destination for cyclists
ORO VALLEY, Arizona – This small, cycling crazed community of Oro Valley is the epicenter of the safest and most scenic road and mountain biking in Northwest Tucson. With the splendid Catalina Mountains in the backdrop, 90 miles of newer, clean roads with wide bike lanes, cyclists from all over the world make Oro Valley and Northwest Tucson their winter cycling destination.
130 mile car-free bike path starts in Oro Valley
More than just great scenery for road cyclists, Oro Valley is home of The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop 130 mile car-free, paved loop bike path. Heralded as a top biking trail system in the world by the likes of Trip Advisor, Bicycling Magazine, Chicago Tribune and many media outlets, bikers from all over migrate to the Oro Valley to enjoy safe cycling.
Starting at the Oro Valley extension of The Loop, cyclists can enjoy the breath taking beauty of Catalina State Park, historic Steam Pump Ranch, lush golf courses, horse property and views of the Tucson Mountains and much more.
Chicago Tribune called the Oro Valley Tucson Loop, the “most well thoughtout, usable, cycling systems in the world”.
Cyclists who frequent Tucson share the same excitement.
CSeasonal resident and avid road cyclist Mike Hogan says he uses the Oro Valley/Tucson Loop as his starting point for most rides.
“Most cyclists start their Loop experience on the Oro Valley side, then wander over to Catalina State Park then venture off to either Marana or head to Downtown Tucson or head over to the Rillito. Other times, I bike to Marana and then get off the Loop, head up Twin Peaks to Tangerine and head back to Oro Valley. You can create numerous Loop strategies, mixing and adding safe street road biking opportunities with wide bike lanes.”
Added Hogan, “The Loop is the starting point for planing your Tucson biking vacation.”
Start your cycling vacation in beautiful Oro Valley, Arizona.
Oro Valley: Great hiking and road biking
Looking for fun things to do for your family in Oro Valley? There are many. People of all ages come to Oro Valley for great hiking and biking opportunities. Catalina State Park, whose entry way integrates with the Oro Valley/Tucson Loop Bike Path, offers world class hiking opportunities. HoneyBee Canyon offers hiking and mountain biking specific trails (Big Wash Trail is the mountain bike trail of HoneyBee). Oro Valley is an adventure paradise for those who love the outdoors.
“HoneyBee Canyon Trail is the most scenic trail system in Arizona,” says seasonal resident Doctor James Lunney. “This trail was my Arizona mountain biking highlight.”
Retiring Cyclists Flock to Northwest Tucson/Oro Valley
And thousands more have chosen this beautiful Southern Arizona road, mountain, gravel cycling destination as their retirement destination. In fact, Oro Valley has become the default retirement destination for cycling enthusiasts as well as casual bikers.
Retirement communities such as Sun City Vistoso and Saddlebrooke are some of the “go to” safe cycling areas for the novice to the advanced. Saddlebrook, just 14 miles north of Oro Valley, is a large, modern retirement community with over 26 miles of well-maintained, paved roads. Most of their roads have shoulders. Many of the retiree residents commute by bike or golf carts. More known as a golfing retirement community, Saddlebrook, Arizona enjoys a rabid cycling and mountain biking community. Seasoned Tucson cyclists make the sprawling, sleepy retirement community a “go to” ride for safe riding, enjoying the up and down terrain.
For a less strenuous ride, Saddlebrooke has a second community just north known as Saddlebrooke West. This is another cool community for leisure biking and wide streets with almost no traffic. Unlike the Saddlebrooke development, this community’s terrain is almost flat as a pancake.
Great Tucson road bike climbing: Oro Valley has cycling gems – Oro Valley to Oracle
The Town of Oro Valley, sits around 2600 feet elevation. Saddlebrook is at 3200. Oracle, Arizona stands at 4500 feet. Start your cycling venture with some great gourmet coffee at Savaya Coffee and head up Oracle/Highway 77. Oracle is a busy road, but it features a wide shoulder that offers you clear sailing to Saddlebrook. The adventurous then ride past Saddlebrooke West and go north to the quaint cooler, small town of Oracle. If you feel too warm, Oracle will generally save you 6 degrees. The road from Saddlebrook north to Oracle is narrow, so be safe.
Oro Valley is now the most America’s top cyclist retirement zone.
Oro Valley/Northwest Climbing Gem: Putting on the Ritz
Pro’s Tip: Start at Savaya Coffee by The Oro Valley Market Place
This is an ultra-scenic, beautiful and fun hill climb ride. Bike the wide shoulder on Tangerine and go straight west to Twin Peaks road, then head right, going north to the Ritz Carlton. You will enjoy one of the ten most scenic, spectacular rides in Arizona. The Ritz Carlton stands at 2854 feet. You will gain about 200 feet. This is an ideal ride to do early AM or after rush hour as you will encounter a lot less traffic.
Hidden Oro Valley Gem Ride: La Cholla Airpark
Located close to La Canada and Moore Roads, The La Cholla Airpark is a community spread out over 1000 acres with spacious, clean paved roads navigating past horse property and residential homes – with very little traffic. The La Cholla Airpark is a frequent stop for cyclists and casual bikers. Admire some cool aviation, historic old hacienda style ranch homes and wide open horse property. Locals love this little bicycling nook for its peacefulness.
“La Cholla Airpark is really cool airpark where you can bike past some unusual airplanes and even a house that is partly merged with a 747,” says Jon Westmore, lead mechanic for Tucson Bike Rentals. “Tourists and locals enjoy taking a leisurely ride in this air park as there is little to no traffic.”
Oro Valley has much to offer cyclists and bikers of all levels. And biking in this idyllic community will continue to grow.