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About 700 cyclists have signed up for the inaugural Tour de Zona ride in Southern Arizona. Every single rider is valued and appreciated, but none more than VeloVets Sierra Vista.
The group will have 14 VeloVets participants in the three-day event based in Sierra Vista that will meander around historic towns Tombstone and Bisbee and then back to Sierra Vista.
Each day rides will be led by VeloVets Sierra Vista CEO & President Stu Carter.
Carter said he’s “excited to lead each day’s rides.”
He’s perfect for the task given he knows the routes like the back of his hand in as much as he developed the routes that will be used for the event.
“I have ridden these routes thousands upon thousands of miles throughout Cochise County and Sothern Arizona,” he said. “The out-of-local-area riders will be amazed by our mountains. We call them Sky Islands, as there are mountainous outcrops throughout the hundreds of miles around Sierra Vista and throughout Cochise County – surrounded by sand deserts. Each of these Sky Islands have their own mini ecosystems, because of the isolation caused by the miles upon miles of surrounding desert.”
Cyclists, from more than 30 states and Canada, will enjoy the weather and the routes and the surroundings.
They will be led by Carter and will see big presence of VeloVets for the three days. Dozens of volunteers will be manning the VeloVets Sierra Vista table at Sierra Vista’s Veterans Park.
“The 55 members (of VeloVets) are excited, humbled and energized by the influx of cyclists and friends from Across America,” Carter said.
VeloVets Sierra Vista is the proud beneficiary of the inaugural El Tour de Zona next March.
A motto of VeloVets Sierra Vista is: Riding and being together to improve Veteran’s health and well-being!
“The event participants will understand who we are, who we serve, and to see that we are real people too,” Carter said. “We now have nearly 30 disabled veterans … yes, we grew during COVID. Nineteen Veterans are rated 100% disabled per the Veterans Administration.”
There will be another 20 or so volunteer support riders.
VeloVets Sierra Vista members will lead the Friday rides throughout Sierra Vista up Ramsey Canyon and Apache Point, starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, and again at 1 p.m. on Friday. These little climbs will wake up some rider’s legs as they prepare for the bigger climbs on Saturday to Bisbee.