Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, left, and his chief of staff Andrew Greenhill ride their bikes to work.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild was joined by 20 cyclists to kick off the 2012 Bike to Work Week.

He led the ride from Old Main on the University of Arizona campus to City Hall in downtown Tucson.

The ride was the mayor’s first-ever bicycle commute as mayor, but it’s something he said he’d like to do more often.

Tucson Bicycle Advisory Committee Chair Ian Johnson, who helped organize the ride, vowed he wouldn’t let the mayor be a one-and-done bicycle commuter.

Rothschild told local media covering the event that Bike to Work Week was more than just his ride to City Hall.

“It is a great week of events,” he said. “The idea is really just get people out biking.”

When asked about how events like this relate to the League of American Bicyclists’ platinum rating, Rothschild said Tucson needs more bike commuters on the city streets.

“My understanding of it is that what we are really lacking are people biking to and from work, biking to and from shopping,” Rothschild said. “We have plenty of recreational bikers, plenty of athletic bikers, so it is this kind of event that will hopefully encourage people to bike to work or to bike around with their families.”

Rothschild said he enjoyed the ride, but encountered a few of the things that can make bicycle commuting unpleasant.

“It was a blast, he said. “Great turnout, great weather and not a whole lot of traffic. I didn’t like getting behind that SunTran bus, but other than that it was great.”

In addition, the road conditions on some of the streets caught the mayor’s attention.

“We worry about potholes and we should, but a lot of our roads are just beat up in general and when you are on a bike you feel every bump,” Rothschild said. “It just confirmed my belief that we need to not just fix potholes, but go out and grade our roads and start over in a lot of cases. It is going to cost some money, but I don’t think we have much of a choice.”

He said riding a bike to work offers a different perspective of the city.

“You get a whole lot different view of the world when you are on your bike,” he said. “It’s just a better pace in terms of seeing the world.”



2 thoughts on “Mayor kicks off Bike to Work Week with first bicycle commute of his administration”
  1. I love that a decision maker is literally hitting the streets and getting insight on the community. I hope that Bike Week events can really show Tucsonans that a little construction downtown is not the end of the world, and that there is a huge opportunity to get more environmentally friendly and healthy by ridding and walking more downtown. It’s a real chance to show local businesses we care.

  2. I liked how the mayor finished the ride. He stayed around to chat for a few minutes, and then announced that it was time to go inside and get to work.

    Jonathan Rothschild is certainly not the glad-handling schmoozer that
    his predecessor, Bob Walkup, was. And I think that’s a good thing. This
    city needs a mayor who takes the “get to work” part of his job

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