Paul Emmert

Paul Emmert plans to ride his ElliptiGo hybrid bike in the El Tour de Tucson this weekend. The bike works like an elliptical machine, giving the comfort of smooth running and riding a bike without the back pain.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Paul Emmert’s training journal reflects his dedication to his cause – training for El Tour de Tucson.

“Still training hard, covered another 48 miles yesterday.” And from another email about his schedule: “Got home late yesterday and logged another 20 miles or so, but today was even better, nearly 70.”

Emmert is competing in this weekend’s El Tour de Tucson for a number of reasons. His health, for one.

Emmert used to be 40 pounds heavier. The professional airline pilot found an eating program that worked for him. He regained his health, became a certified professional health coach, and a co-owner of Alive Fitness and Training Center in Oro Valley. This go-getter has since completed marathons and recently climbed the 14,410-foot Mount Rainier in Washington State.

Driven by his desire to lead a well-rounded, healthy life, he took on another challenge – riding a hybrid bike called an ElliptiGo. It’s a two-wheeled bike that looks like an elliptical machine and is capable of moving at 30 mph or more.

Emmert’s goal is to ride the entire 111-mile course on his ElliptoGo. He will be one of only a handful of cyclists to compete using the unique machine.

El Tour also allows Emmert to help local children in need.

“Casa de Los Niños of Tucson is my family’s favorite charity/nonprofit organization. They do a terrific job providing shelter to abused and abandoned kids — children who don’t have a choice, and are in difficult circumstances,” Emmert said.

As of Nov. 14, Emmert has raised $1,330 of his $2,000 goal.

To follow Emmert’s progress, visit his website at

El Tour & Traffic

The 29th El Tour de Tucson will take over roadways in a ring around Tucson this Saturday once it begins at 7 a.m. from Church and Pennington streets, north of the Tucson Convention Center.

Motorists in the Northwest area should expect delays if they’re traveling near or along the race route, with only one road closure expected in Oro Valley and none expected in Marana.

“In Marana, drivers may have to stop and wait for cyclists to pass by but there will be no road closures,” said Rodney Campbell, the town’s public information officer. “We want to maintain some flow to the traffic.”

He asked drivers to be patient if they have to travel along the race route.

In Oro Valley, drivers should avoid the intersection of Oracle Road and North Rancho Vistoso Boulevard, said Misti Nowak, Oro Valley’s communications administrator, since the site at nearby 2090 E. Innovation Park Drive will be the staging area for the Sanofi Aventis-Lantus El Tour 42-mile race event.

To accommodate that leg of the race, which starts at 12:30 p.m., East Innovation Park Drive will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. between Tangerine and North Rancho Vistoso roads, Nowak said.

Racers will enter Northwest Tucson by traveling west along Skyline Boulevard onto Ina Road, and then heading north on Oracle Road past Catalina State Park. Riders will then take North Rancho Vistoso Boulevard around to Moore Drive, where they’ll head west to Thornydale Road, and then south.

Racers will then travel west on Tangerine Road past Interstate 10, where they’ll wind south to Avra Valley Road, with a quick jog onto Airline Road to Lambert, on their way south on Silverbell Road past Ina Road, and back into Tucson.

For more information, including a course map, visit:!ETT/ETThome.html.


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