Tour de Tucson: Unit 27 Cyclists Pass the Torch

Kurt, Cheryl, and Dave McMillen at the 2023 Tour de Tucson

Sue Case

Many athletic residents live in Unit 27; however, those who ride bicycles, and particularly those elite athletes who ride in the annual Tour de Tucson (El Tour), are part of a special group. Kay Erb and her husband Tom had been avid cyclists in Michigan before they moved to SaddleBrooke in 2002. They joined the SaddleBrooke Cyclemasters, which in 2005 began encouraging its members to train and ride in El Tour. With Tom’s encouragement, Kay rode the 109-mile route, weaving through a sea of cyclists and earning a silver medal. She had the opportunity to ride El Tour again in 2018 and 2019, this time representing Friends of Pima Animal Care Center. In 2018 she rode the 50-mile route and in 2019 the 30-mile route, earning gold medals as well as fundraising for the animals. Although she has now retired from competition, she recalls those rides as thrilling experiences.

Kay Erb at the 2018 Tour de Tucson

Unit 27 resident Kurt McMillen began riding seriously while in college at UC Davis in the mid-1970s. At that time, the university and the town of Davis were considered the “Bicycle Capital of California.” He twice rode in the one-day, 200-mile Davis Double Century. He continued riding while serving in the military and after and recalls a particular ride, The Hotter ‘N’ Hell Hundred ride in Wichita Falls, Texas, which he rode 10 times, in very high temperatures and very strong winds. Kurt has lived in the Tucson area since the late 1990s and has ridden in El Tour many times. He has only lived in SaddleBrooke for the past couple of years; however, he has gotten into the SaddleBrooke Cyclemasters and plans to ride El Tour for as long as he is able. He set a goal to ride 10,000 miles in 2023, which he will meet by riding El Tour. One of his biggest motivations is being able to ride with his brother and best friend Dave who comes in from Kentucky every year to ride El Tour. This year Kurt, Dave, and Kurt’s wife Cheryl, also quite an athlete but graciously allowing Kurt to take the spotlight, all rode El Tour.

Many kudos to all our Unit 27 residents who strive to stay fit and exemplify the “active adult” description of our community.