Can the power of celebrity get more people out on their bikes? Bicycling Magazine, pro cyclist Tom Danielson, actor Patrick Dempsey of Grey’s Anatomy fame and local advocates think it can and have organized Ride On Tucson — an event scheduled for Jan. 20 in Downtown.
The ride is billed as an opportunity to promote good health through bicycling.
Richard DeBernardis, the president of Perimeter and member of the committee tasked with putting the ride together, stressed that it is not a Perimeter Bicycling event but rather a community event being put together by volunteers from around the city.
The challenge now is funding. DeBernardis said they need about $22,000 to put on the event. They currently have $7,000 and he is confident they will raise the rest.
“There is no calling this off,” he said. “We have to find the money.”
The editor of Bicycling Magazine
and his family will also come to Tucson for the event and prominently feature the city and the ride in an upcoming issue of the publication.
If successful, Ride On Tucson could be used as a model for other rides throughout the nation.
Dempsey and Danielson run a cycling camp called Twenty Twenty in Malibu, Calif. On the camps’ site, details have emerged about the Tucson ride including the route, which starts at Armory Park and winds through various downtown neighborhoods.
The route will be closed to traffic like Cyclovia and organizers are encouraging people of all experience levels to come out and ride with the racer and actor.
Here’s what the site has to say about the ride:
Join pro cyclist Tom Danielson and actor Patrick Dempsey in downtown Tucson on January 20th to celebrate Tucson’s growing cycling community. The event is FREE and all ages & abilities are welcome!
The Ride on Tucson is on a 2.5 mile fun circuit through Tucson city streets and is completely closed to traffic. Cyclists will be able to choose how many laps they do and the pace they want to ride at. New cyclists will have a chance to experience cycling in a safe environment while experienced cyclists can enjoy the fun of a closed city circuit!
Danielson, who rides for the Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda Team, in spending the winter in Tucson training for his upcoming racing season.
Dempsey filmed the movie Can’t Buy Me Love in Tucson.
People interested in helping fund the ride can contact Perimeter Bicycling Association of America. All funds contributed will go to the Ride On Tucson event. Anything left at the end of the ride will be donated to a local charity.