Bring your bike to the Roy Schoonover Trailhead dedication on Friday, Nov. 22, and ride about eight scenic miles of The Loop along the Julian Wash (about 16 miles round trip), including the latest addition through Augie Acuña Los Niños Neighborhood Park.
The dedication will be at 10 a.m. at the trailhead along the Julian Wash Greenway, on the east side of Kolb Road and north of Interstate 10. Refreshments and two celebratory bike rides will take place after the dedication.
Cyclists will be able to head east on the Julian Wash Greenway for 2.9 miles, past the University of Arizona Tech Park’s Solar Zone, until they reach Rita Road, where construction is under way.
Cyclists will also be able to head west about 5 miles on the Julian Wash Greenway from the trailhead to Augie Acuña Los Niños Neighborhood Park, almost to Alvernon Way. Pima County recently completed installation of separated hard and soft paths from Catalina Avenue (just east of Drexel Road and Interstate10) to Alvernon Way.
Additional right of way was purchased from Sunnyside School District to allow for a future connection to Alvernon Way. The last off-road connection between Catalina Avenue and the Drexel underpass is under review by the Arizona Department of Transportation as this path would need to use a portion of the ADOT right of way.
Construction of three other Julian Wash Greenway projects, continuing west to connect to the Tucson Diversion Channel, is expected to begin in the spring of 2014. They will be constructed with funding from the Community Healthcare Benefit Foundation of Pima County, which includes Tucson Medical Center and Carondelet Health Network, and are a community group effort to improve health and fitness outcomes in the region.
Roy Schoonover, 84, who retired from IBM in 1986, has represented bicyclists on numerous committees and at countless meetings with the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Regional Transportation Authority, Pima Association of Governments, and Pima County Bond Advisory Committee.
Larry Robinson, former head of the Facilities Subcommittee of the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee, called Schoonover “one of bicycling’s best advocates” in the request that the trailhead be named for him.
Schoonover was “instrumental in bringing The Loop to fruition,” Robinson wrote.
“In part because of his involvement and persistent vigilance, the project has gone from 35% in 2006 to a projected 85% completion in 2013.”
When completed, The Loop will total 131 miles and connect the Rillito, Santa Cruz, and Pantano River Parks with the Julian Wash and Harrison Greenways.
For more information and the latest maps and news about The Loop, go to www.pima.gov/TheLoop.