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The Ride for Refugees - Ride El Tour for IRC Tucson!

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The Ride for Refugees


A fundraising cycling ride for cyclists of all ages and abilities for personal achievement and community.
November 18, 2023, Saturday
Tucson, Arizona

About the ride

This annual destination cycling event is organized by a nonprofit for benefit of other nonprofits as fundraisers and to promote better health and community.  El Tour de Tucson (“El Tour”) is Perimeter Bicycling Association of America’s flagship event and one of the largest bicycling events in America. Held annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving, El Tour attracts over 6,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities from around the United States and across the globe. El Tour’s finish line/annual Downtown Fiesta, brings together cyclists and members of the greater Tucson community for a celebration of charities, community, health and fitness. 

El Tour cyclists choose from several distances to ride.  Some raced it, most rode for camaraderie and personal achievement.  In 2023, distances will be close to:  

  • 102 miles
  • 62 miles
  • 32 miles
  • Fun Ride:  10, 5 or 1 miles. 

Roads are not closed for El Tour, but intersections are controlled by police, who for the most part, give cyclists the right of way during the event.  Every finishing cyclist receives a medallion based on their distance and finish time.  While many “race” El Tour, it is meant as a ride where cyclists challenge themselves to go as fast as they can, or to simply finish by the cut off time. 

                        USA Today:  Best Road Cycling Event, 2023
                        10 best road cycling events in the United States

What the cyclists get from El Tour

  • Medallion to all finishers
  • Personalized Ride Bib Number (through October 1st)
  • Free admission to the El Tour Expo & Fiesta
  • Fruit, snacks and water at aid stations every 7-12 miles
  • SAG support
  • Opportunity to earn special Awards
  • Traffic control on route
  • First Aid support
  • Electronically timed finish
  • Results published on El Tour website

How it works:  RIDE FOR FREE!

  1. Each cyclist raises a minimum of $500. 
    Pay this yourself or have your friends, family, colleagues, clubs, or anyone can make contributions on your behalf.  IRC is a 501c3 nonprofit so a donation is tax deductible as allowed by the I.R.S.     
  2. El Tour requires a registration fee which will come out of the first $500 raised. 
  3. As soon as you reach the $500 minimum, you’ll receive a link to officially register with El Tour.
    Deadline:  October 15, 2023
  4. You are responsible for all your transportation, lodging and food before, after and during the event. 
  5. There will be no refunds of any fees or contributions. 
  6. As a participant, you will be invited to join our El Tour Facebook group to share your story with others and will receive updates about the team.

How to create your fundraising campaign

Fundraising is easy. Create a Personal Campaign in just a few steps:

  • Create a page.
  • Set a goal and customize your campaign page.
  • Spread the word and invite people to donate!

Need a bike?  We can help!

A great nonprofit called Uphill Into the Wind can loan you a bike from training through the ride! or contact

El Tour Fun Facts

El Tour started in 1983 with 197 cyclists raising $4000, to date thousands of cyclists have raised collectively over $100 million.

Cyclists from all over the world ride El Tour, from Japan, France, UK, Germany, Mexico, Australia

USA Today declared El Tour the #1 cycling event in the United States

Famous El Tour participants

Bill Walton – Basketball sportscaster, former NBA great,

Nelson Vails – only African American to earn an Olympic medal in cycling (1984)

Robbie Ventura – former member of USPS cycling team, Le Tour de France broadcaster

Rahsaan Bahati – African American, 2008 National Criterium Champion

John Howard – fastest man on a bike 1985 (152.2 mph)

Denise Korenek – fastest woman on a bike 2017 (147.7 mph); fastest PERSON on a bike 2018 (183.93 mph)

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly – former Congress person (Gabby), current AZ Senator (Mark)


El Tour’s website:



Please contact Barbara Franklin at for any questions!

I’m IN!  Sign me up!