So much to love about Tucson, if you’re a cyclist. It’s got terrific cycling infrastructure: wide painted bike lanes on most arterial roads; two very cool residential bikeways that bisect the city north-south and east-west; some separated bike lanes in key parts of the city; and a beautiful paved trail system that loops around the city.
But more important than the infrastructure, Tucson has a cycling culture. Bikes are common as dirt and not just tolerated but appreciated, respected as a legitimate transportation option and a normal part of regular people’s lives. Bikes are embraced and celebrated as part of the culture of the city, part of its identity. I love how this particular E.T. inspired, lizardy-tandem-bicycle sculpture rises above the Rillito bike trail at Campbell Avenue. Most bikes ride below on the trail, but the elevated art work, visible from the avenue, captures the proud and ascendant spirit of Tucson’s cool cycling vibe.