Commuting isn’t much of a challenge for David O’Brien, who will be riding the Furnace Creek 508 next week.

The ride is an ultramarathon cycling event that covers 508 miles, gains 35,000 feet in elevation through Death Valley and has to be completed in 48 hours.

He has a road bike for events like the Furnace Creek, but it is the commuter bike he rode to the farmers market on Sunday that got him around the 80-mile El Tour de Tucson and prompted him to think about doing longer events.

He restored the Specialized mountain bike after a friend left it outside throughout an entire monsoon season.

Since then, he has biked to get almost everywhere he goes. He says he prefers riding his bike because he’s always happier riding than driving.

For the most part he says Tucson is a good place to ride a bike. He says you can get pretty much anywhere in the city via a fairly safe bicycle route.

Since eliminating cars probably isn’t an option, if he could improve anything for cyclists in the city, he would make more streets like Mountain Avenue. He’d put them every mile or two in both north/south and east/west directions.

He’s comfortable riding most anywhere, but said there are a lot of people out there who would ride if more streets were like Mountain with really defined bike lanes.

As part of the Furnace Creek ride, O’Brien is raising money for World Bicycle Relief. If you are interested in helping him reach his $2,000 goal, donate here.


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