Pima County Government Logo
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Print
  • RSS
  • Bicycling advocate Roy Schoonover praised at dedication of trailhead on The Loop

    Nov 22, 2013 | Read More News
    Share this page
    Friends, family and fans of Roy Schoonover gathered under a tent in the chilly rain Friday to dedicate a trailhead on the Julian Wash segment of The Loop to the longtime bicycling advocate.   

    “Leaders like Roy don’t come along too often,” said Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll, District 4, who praised Schoonover, 84, for the decades he spent working for bicycle and pedestrian paths that improve our community’s health and access to nature.   Roy Schoonover Slideshow  

    “Ten minutes in nature can lower your blood pressure,” Carroll said. “It’s important for us to have that access. It’s important to have volunteers who support that access.”

    Schoonover, who retired from IBM in 1986, 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. He worked to secure $8.4 million in RTA bicycle and pedestrian funds that helped make The Loop a reality.

    Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry recalled Schoonover coming to his office with diagrams showing where bicycle and pedestrian paths could go.

    “I can think of no advocate who deserves this more than him,” said Huckelberry, who has since become a champion of The Loop and put 6,000 miles on his own bike.

    David Bachman-Williams of the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee called Schoonover “the best citizen advocate example anywhere.”

    Schoonover showed “how to get these county and city officials and elected officials to do the things that need to be done,” Bachman-Williams said.

    Bill Adamson, co-chair of the Santa Cruz Bicycle Advocacy Committee, said Schoonover’s work reached beyond Pima County.

    “Roy always worked for the whole region,” Adamson said. As a result, “this whole area is a bicycling paradise.”

    Family, friends from as far away as Denver and neighbors from the Voyager RV Resort cheered as Huckelberry and Carroll gave Schoonover a plaque and unveiled a sign at the trailhead on the east side of Kolb Road north of Interstate 10.

    Schoonover, clearly touched by the tributes, thanked those who worked with him to bring about the recreational improvements.

    “I’m not the most suave and debonair guy,” he said. But “I’m persistent.”

    Pima County is developing The Loop around metro Tucson with links to Marana, Oro Valley, and South Tucson for residents and visitors on foot, bikes, skates, and horses.

    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. The Loop connects to parks, trails, bus and bike routes, workplaces, schools, libraries, restaurants, hotels and motels, shopping areas, and sports and entertainment venues.

    Visit The Loop online for more information and the latest maps and news about The Loop.