Two Wheels, Many Connections
Barbara B. has always enjoyed cycling. It’s something she can do 12 months a year here, with her choice of safe paths throughout the community.
But she hadn’t envisioned riding in El Tour de Tucson, one of the city’s signature sporting events. Its 104-mile course makes it the longest perimeter bicycling event in America and attracts more than 9,000 cyclists from across the globe.
A colleague injured herself at the last moment, and asked Barbara if she’d fill in.
“I was hooked,” she said, of that first experience in 2016. She’s participated each year since.
She was surprised by how encouraging the other participants were. “You could tell I had never done it before,” she recalled. “I had no special jersey and just wore my TEP volunteer shirt, so it was pretty evident I was a first-timer. People I didn’t even know would say encouraging things. It’s just a great group of people.”
About 30 employees ride as part of our commitment to encourage healthy lifestyles. Depending on how it’s organized, company donations may cover registration fees while the riders raise money for nonprofits. TEP encourages employees to participate to support the community as well as their personal well-being. As their schedules allow, employees sometimes get together to train before the event.
“It’s really reinforced friendships for me across the company. It’s been a nice opportunity to meet people across the company I normally wouldn’t work with.”
Steven E., TEP’s Manager of Government Relations, also rides in the event regularly.
“El Tour de Tucson makes Tucson unique and exemplifies what Tucson is about,” he said. “Being a part of an event like El Tour demonstrates TEP’s commitment to the community.”