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  • PJ Brown
  • Sat July 25 2020
  • Posted Aug 2

Twenty-five years ago, TJ Juskiewicz could never have imagined he’d end up running large cycling events for a living. His only exposure to bicycles was riding one to class in college.

Then came a job running an amateur sports organization in Florida that included a multi-day bike race. He was hooked.

“I started getting into it and thought it was cool,” Juskiewicz said.

This led to running The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, a position Juskiewicz held for 16 years. He then started a rival race, Iowa’s Ride, which was scheduled to debut in July before it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, Juskiewicz is El Tour de Tucson’s new executive director. He takes over from Charlene Grabowksi, who was hired to lead a turnaround. She will stay on as a consultant.

There was no hesitation when Juskiewicz was offered the role. He thought it was “a great place to come.”

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While Juskiewicz will try to build on what Grabowksi started, he’ll also rely on a philosophy he’s gained through years of running events. The Iowa race, known as RAGBRAI, bills itself “the oldest, largest and longest multi-day recreational bicycle touring event in the world.”

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Juskiewicz doesn’t think it will take long to get Tucson’s ride “back to its glory” as one of the top cycling events in the country.

“El Tour has a great reputation for 38 years,” he said. “To have the climate, scenery and love of cycling and the infrastructure is incredible. The community is serious about cycling. The attitude of the people in Pima County is second to none.

“I’m so excited. Everyone I’ve met is so great. It’s a great event, a great tradition.”


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