A group of 12 motorcycle officers from various agencies around the region conducted training on The Loop last week.

The video above was shot by a Tucson Velo reader who encountered the motorcycles on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Ryan Roher a Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy and liaison to the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee wrote via email that the group was part of training program.

We participate in a regional motor academy which includes Oro Valley, Marana, and the Sheriff’s Department, Roher wrote. “Each day of the road portion of the academy includes road courses and some off the road courses to familiarize officer’s with areas that they might not have been on previously. The loop and other river trails are helpful to learn about as motors can quickly access these areas in the event of a search for suspects and missing persons.

The reader, who goes by the name Straw in the comment section, said he’s seen smaller groups of officers on the Loop before.

Tucson Police Department Sergeant David Fernandez said TPD officers were not participating this particular ride, but have conducted training on the path before.

“The purpose is to educate the officers where the paths lead and how the motorcycle performs in different  areas,” Fernandez wrote. “TPD conducts this training with due regard to the safety of pedestrians and cyclist.”

Roher said the officers are instructed to slow down and make sure path users are aware of their presence.

“There have been several chases where they have come in handy,” he wrote “We can’t fit our patrol cars on the path and the motors can get to these areas quickly.”


19 thoughts on “Motorcycle officers conduct training on Loop”
  1. Riding where motorized vehicles are not allowed. Why not? I bet they were on their cell phones while driving, too.

  2. It’s great that the officer’s were there and quite frankly it would be smart if they posted a couple bike cops on the River Trail half or full-time.  In Indianapolis, the Monon Trail had seen some terrible crime and they stepped up patrols and cameras to keep all users much more safe.  It can happen here too.
    It’s always better to prevent these things from happening before they do and then simply react.  Maybe there has been some patrols on the Loop but frankly I haven’t seen them.

  3. @Gern 
    Exactly.  It’s a shame TPD wasn’t notified about what TPD was doing.  Maybe they could’ve gotten another 40+ thousand dollar grant to ticket themselves for illegal behavior — they could’ve made a killing!

  4. I don’t think any motorized vehicles should be on the path at any time during any circumstance. I work at a bike shop and to a vast majority of experienced and inexperienced cyclist , this path is a sanctuary for the cycling community. It’s a place to get out on the bike and not worry about any motor dangers.
    People come to Tucson, bring their business, from out of state and country because we’re a high ranking bicycle friendly city. Let’s not ruin that.
    Ending my rant I have to opiniate that cyclist and pedestrian safety takes greater priority over adding another number to the prison system.

  5. Wouldn’t bicycles be more appropriate? A little light exercise never hurt anyone. From the county’s website: “If it doesn’t have a motor, it’s good to go on The Loop.”

  6. So there have been “several” motorcycle chases on The Loop, according to Rohrer. Interesting.

  7. While I agree that the Loop is for bikes it makes sense that law enforcement may need to follow a dangerous suspect onto it. It would also be best if the officers were aware of the Loops layout and potential pitfalls (for their and regular user’s safety) and hiding areas.

  8. Motorized vehicles should not be where road rules are not established. This is bad, bad precedent. The BAC should call for an immediate halt. How does law enforcement justify the risk?

  9. What are they, helpless little girls on big motorcycles? If the best Deputy Ryan Roher of PCSO can do is rationalize this extreme public safety hazard on The Loop, perhaps he should do the right thing for public safety and exit his position at Tucson/Pima BAC. Or find another way to train the girls…

  10. Red Star  Right. Let them familiarize themselves with the loop using bicycles. Seems to me they go too fast to remember any fine points of the loop. This is a joy ride.

  11. According to the not so rough measurements that can be made from Google maps, that little straight-away is 455 feet long….they cover it in 7 seconds…..at around 40 mph.

  12. @BillR Saturday late morning west of Brandi Fenton I did see a uniformed sheriff’s deputy riding a bike on the path.  First time ever I’d seen that and I hadn’t been aware that the Sheriff had deputies on bikes.

  13. I don’t really buy the reasons for training on the Loop for traffic police who are a dozen or more miles outside their jurisdiction. When will they ever answer a call to patrol there? I dunno, anything is possible, I suppose. Yet the fact remains that without any sort of warning that multiple, lane wide (and then some), high speed vehicles may be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRIehJ-BOWM makes this flat out dangerous and irresponsible.
    I like the idea that they should ride bikes (or even walk) along the path, though. If the point *really* is to learn the path, then ride a bicycle on it. You’ll learn all the divots that give the term “ass hatchet” credence, and every underpass where cyclists need to learn to use their signals. 😉

  14. rynsa KyleVanRenterghem  
    This is the second time I have seen motorcycle police on the loop. I was using the loop to commute and was passed by a motorbike near River and Campbell several years ago and have to admit I was a bit chuffed. Further east there was an officer on foot who hailed me and politely asked if I had seen a person he described and gave me a direct number to call if they were spotted. The motorbike cop and a few deputies further on ended up catching the guy who had apparently fled from a stolen car. I have had both positive and negative interactions with TPD but in this case I thought the use of riding the bike on the trail was appropriate at the time. Of course, your results may vary but I’d rather run into a motorbike once every 5 years than a criminal.

  15. rynsa I’d agree that its unfortunate that most commenting systems are to PC to allow for both positive and negative feedback.

  16. StrawHousePig  Exactly, Straw. There are no rules here. You could have been going around some walkers and wham. You would not have been wrong. The only rule is ‘No Motorized Vehicles’. No lights, no siren…no reason to be there. Had you smacked into these guys, does the county think you or your surviving relatives would not have sued all the pants off county enforcement and not won?

  17. @zz  On location measurement results in the distance being 292½ feet which works out to be just under 30 mph.

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