I finally decided to travel with a small Dahon (folding bike) instead of renting because I wanted to bike in more areas then just Tuscon. And it turned out that I have used it also in Sierra Vista.
I am completely puzzled by two things in Tucson.
So if someone wants to educate me, it would be so welcomed.
I am co-author of a Montreal blog http://opusurbanista.blogspot.com/
on urban biking, and would like to write a note about my experience in Tucson.
First question. When I saw the bike path maps of Tucson, I just couldn't believe my eyes. The network of paths, lanes, etc. is so extensive, in relation to the actual grid of city streets, I was in total awe of such a network. And, consequently, I expected to see LOTS of people biking all over Tucson. On those two sunny but windy days biking around the city (various parts), I saw less then 10 bikers, including 3 guys way out on the outskirt of town. So, not being someone to go about first impressions, I am trying to understand what I saw.
Is it the weather ? Is 50F, by Tucson standards, too cold ? I come from a city where people ride in snow and ice, and minus 15C (not bragging here, just stating facts), so I don't know if this weather might feel inclement to riding ? Is it the windy weather ?
My other question. Are people really happy with those lanes that are actually between the far right lane (buses, cars turning right) and the middle lane. That was a hell of a scary experience for me. I didn't like the feeling of riding BETWEEN two lanes of vehicules in motion. lol
I do realize that that is mainly Broadway street (if I'm correct), but has that proven to be safe ?
Another question. With all the bike trails around Tucson (and the rest of Arizona), I understand that if one has to own a bike, owning a mountain bike would be the choice. But do you guys here in Tucson see a rise in usage of bikes that call for the upright position (city bikes, commuter's bikes, and other models) for what we refer to as 'slow biking' ?
And finally, my last question. I was looking for a book, and so found my way to Barnes & Nobles and Borders, and in both cases, no bike racks. I didn't quite know how to see this. That is so safe to leave your bike unlocked that bike racks are not needed ? That sure would be heaven. lol
Or that businesses don't cater to the needs of customers coming their way by means of bike ?
(Same thing in Sierra Vista and in Benson, the two only other places I've been so far on this trip. No bike racks to lock your bike. And not much else often times to lock your bike... It sure doesn't encourage one to go by bike do errands.)
My puzzling questions put aside : this is heaven!!!!!!! The blue sky, so blue it hurts my eyes, the no humidity, and the fabulous weather (all things being relative), the view of the mountains, the wide city streets, the architecture, and the people. I absolutely love it here. And just can't get enough of what I have seen so far in and around Tucson.