Ten years ago, Tucsonans Eric and Ginger Cross hopped off their bikes midway through the 2000 Tour of the Tucson Mountains, got married at Saguaro National Park West, and finished the ride as newlyweds.
The event's "first couple," now celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary, are being honored at a special dedication dinner Thursday, April 22 at McMahon's Prime Steakhouse, three days before the 2010 Tour of the Tucson Mountains on Sunday, April 25.
The Town of Marana is the tour's presenting sponsor. This year's race begins and ends at the Marana Town Hall on West Civic Center Drive.
Main-event cyclists ride 70 miles clockwise around the perimeter of the scenic Tucson Mountains, beginning at 6:30 a.m. The 27-mile cyclists begin at 8:30 a.m., and kids and their families ride four miles or one-quarter mile in the Pizza Hut Fun Ride beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Proceeds from the event go to The University of Arizona Alumni Association, UPH Children's Center at Kino Campus, Pima Community College Foundation, TMC Children's Miracle Network, Community Food Bank and other Perimeter Bicycling charities.
There are typically 1,250 cyclists and more than 400 volunteers. Over the past 23 years, Tour of the Tucson Mountains has seen nearly 20,000 cyclists who have raised $294,000 for local beneficiaries.
Richard DeBernardis, founder and executive director of the Tour of the Tucson Mountains, said Holualoa Companies remains the event's title sponsor for the fifth year in a row as part of a second three-year commitment. It is a real estate investment and development company headquartered in Tucson.
Applications can be found in Tail Winds, at local bicycle and running shops or online. Packet pick-up and last-minute registration will be held at the Tucson Convention Center on Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pizza Hut Fun Riders can register on event day. For more information, call 745-2033.