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Meet TJ Juskiewicz, El Tour de Tucson’s new Executive Director. He comes in from Iowa after years with cycling event Ragbrai. He was on KVOI’s Eye on the Ball radio show on Friday.
It was great to hear his voice and you can hear it hear on the link. His interview starts about 11 minutes into the show as he talks all things El Tour and where it stacks up against other rides in the country.
Spoiler alert: “It’s one of the top events in the entire country,” he said.
El Tour is scheduled for Nov. 21, 2020. El Tour officials continue to follow all CDC guidelines as well as state and national protocols. In fact, it has its own advisory board helping make decisions for what is ahead.
To listen to the entire show visit here. Again, his interview starts 11 minutes in.
Here is part of the interview from his time on the show.
Q: How are you TJ? welcome to Tucson.
“It’s already been an interesting trip, I already experienced driving through a monsoon. We caught it about Texas Canyon on I-10. I said, ‘wait, it looked like a Midwest storm but in the desert. Why does it look like Oklahoma? It blew us around a bit. And the day we moved in it seemed like 118 (degrees), but next week it will be 121. Whatever it takes (to be here).
You have to just avoid the snakes and javalinas:
“I’ve already seen javalinas in our backyard, scorpions. you name it.”
You’ve also probably seen a number of cyclists around town?
“It’s obviously a great cycling community. The people who put this together obviously didn’t have anything to do with putting great mountains and scenery, but the bike infrastructure is second to none. I’ve been to a lot of places and thought this is a really cool bike mecca, but I’ll stack this place up against any place.”
You’ve come from Iowa and a ride called. Ragbrai, a fun ride?
“It’s a different type of ride (compared to El Tour). It’s a social ride where El tour is you put your head down and go and try to do your personal best and you’re really stretching your limits, putting out maximum effort. Where Ragbrai is an event where you try to slow down to smell the roses. You visit with people, eat a piece of pie, or have a corn on the cob or pork chop. The only thing similar is that it’s on two wheels. And they’re both fun.”
In coming to Tucson and enjoying a new role, you must see a nice future in El Tour?
“For sure, it’s not just another event. There aren’t a lot of events that have gone on for 38 years. A lot of them have fallen on the wayside. … To have this event still going on … 38 years later it’s one of the top events in the entire country.”
Listen to the entire interview here. And remember, El Tour is Nov. 21. Sign up at Eltourdetucson.org.