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Dr. Bailey has a ‘passion’ for cycling; one of the spearheads for PISA in El Tour

Dr. Christopher Bailey has been an on-again, off-again cyclist through the years. Now, he’s on again, thankfully after a few years.

He admits he’s no pro, but he’s also no novice, either. He’s more of a mountain bike cyclist than anything. But, he rides for pleasure all the while helping the pain … well, the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona. He’ll be riding for them in the 40th El Tour. After all, he’s an employee who is hoping others will join in on the fun/exercise, just as they did last year.

For now, he’s trying to convince his son, Grant, to return to the ride with him. The more the merrier, right? Grant rode with him last year.

“He’s kind of a lazy teenager,” Bailey said, jokingly. “If he rides, we’ll do the same thing (32-miler) but if not, I’ll look to the 62-miler. Maybe. I’m a bit out of shape.”

He’s being modest, but thankfully he has time to get ready, given we’re a little over three months away from 40th El Tour where more than 8,000 cyclists are expected for the event.

Grant (left) and Christopher on a recent bike ride.

“It’s been so hot to ride, but we do have a few people out there riding,” he said. “I hope we’ll have another PISA team out there riding (in the event).”

Pima Institute Southern Arizona is a big part of El Tour given it is the Water Sponsor. They’ve been a great sponsor the last few years.

He knows the importance of the ride, given he grew up in Tucson riding bikes on the far eastside. The family left for Phoenix when he was in high school before he returned to attend the University of Arizona. He got his degree but eventually moved around for a few years before returning to Tucson, this time as a doctor.

When he was first dating his now-wife, Christine, she rode in the event. He didn’t.

“She actually competed in the main race, and she enjoyed it,” he said. “It was back when it went through the northwest. She had a great time. She found it exhausting but it was a blast. I had always been super intimidated by it. I knew it was a big deal, nationally recognized. I’m amazed that it’s been recognized as the top ride in the country. That’s well deserved. It’s a blast because it’s amazing to see all the support it gets from everyone.”

Years later, he’s more a cyclist than she is.

“It’s become kind of my passion,” he said of cycling.