Arizona Road Cyclist News
J
ack Quinn, Editor

 © April 15 2009

Welcome to Arizona Road Cyclist News This newsletter is sent out every other Wednesday by E-mail and is posted to the Back Issues page of www.azroadcyclist.com several days later. This newsletter attempts to address issues of interest to people who cycle the roads and streets of Arizona, be they commuters, club riders, recreational riders, tourists, or racers. This newsletter is sent out free of charge. Feel free to forward it to your cycling friends. If someone has forwarded this E.mail to you, you may sign up for your own subscription at www.azroadcyclist.com.

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In this issue:
     Little Hope for Cyclists in the Arizona Legislature
     Midweek Criterium Series to go out with a Bang!
     Criterium State Championship Races
     La Vuelta de Bisbee
     Other Upcoming Races -- Looking Forward
     Bicycle Racing on Versus
     The Answer to the Challenge
     ABC's Desert Classic Century
     Gaba Tucson Rides
     Bicycle Race Announcer Will Work for Beer
    

Little Hope for Cyclists in the Arizona Legislature

Although several bills have been introduced in the Arizona Legislature this session that would benefit cyclists, there is little hope that any of them will pass. The Legislature is paralyzed by politics surrounding the budget deliberations. Although President Barack Obama has said that he can concentrate on more than one thing at a time, the Arizona Legislature apparently cannot. Senate president Robert Burns has stopped work in the upper chamber on all matters that do not relate to the budget. Because most senators are not not heavily involved in budget negotiations, Senator Burns' decision has left many senators sitting idly around looking for something to do, and with the Senate at a standstill, it makes little sense for the House to work on bills that are going nowhere. One can only hope that Senate President Burns will realize that his attitude is wasting the taxpayers' money and will allow the Arizona Legislature to get back to work. Cyclists could benefit if two bills stalled in the Legislature were to pass and be signed into law.

Midweek Criterium Series to go out with a Bang!

There are only two nights of racing left in the Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club's Midweek Criterium Series in the parking lot of Phoenix Municipal Stadium. There is no race tonight, as tonight's scheduled race had to be moved to Tuesday due to scheduling conflicts at the Stadium. If all goes according to plan, the penultimate race will be held next Wednesday April 22 and the grand finale will be held on Wednesday April 20.

As it did last year, Bicyclehaüs is donating $500 in prize money to make the final Wednesday of racing more exciting. This prize money will be added to the Phoenix Consumer Cycle Club's normal prizes plus merchandise prizes that are expected to be donated. Some racers may find themselves sprinting for primes larger than those of the big criteriums held in downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Racing begins at 5 p.m., and the main event starts at 6 p.m. On April 29, the main event will be followed by a fixed-gear race. Admission is free for spectators, and the entry fee is modest for riders, $5 or $10 per race, depending on the event. Spectators can park beside the course and are welcome to bring lawn chairs and snacks and make themselves comfortable. Enter the parking lot from the south side of Van Buren just east of Priest Drive, which is also known as Galvin Parkway.

Criterium State Championship Races

The race to decide the Arizona State Criterium champions will be held all day in downtown Phoenix on Sunday, April 19, thanks to the efforts of the RideClean cycling team. The course is a figure 8 with a jog up and down a side street that requires riders to negotiate eight 90-degree turns and one 180-degree turn on every lap. The course should put a premium on good bike handling and give an advantage to those riders who are fit enough to sprint out of a corner every few seconds during the entire race. This should be an exciting event for racers and spectators alike. The course is also big enough that spectators who value their hearing should be able to watch the race out of earshot of the ear-splitting rock music that usually accompanies these events.

Racing begins at 6:30 a.m. and continues into the late afternoon. Category 1 and 2 race begins at 1:30 p.m. followed the by the category 1 and 2 men's race at 2:45 p.m. To view the race flyer, click here. Scroll down to the second page to view a map of the race course.

La Vuelta de Bisbee

Arizona's premier stage race, La Vuelta de Bisbee, will be held from Friday April 24 through Sunday April 26 in the former copper-mining town of Bisbee, Arizona. This race is worth the drive to Arizona's southern border. There will actually be two races, which will be held simultaneously, an A event for Senior men who are at least category 3 and a B event for masters men over 35 years of age who are at least category 4. The organizers have committed almost $5,000 in prize money for the event, which features a prolog time trial followed by three stages.

The stage race starts on Friday April 24 at 4:10 p.m. with a prolog time trial up the leg-breaking Mule Pass, which features 837 feet of vertical climbing in 2.8 miles. Stage 1, the Sulphur Springs road race, begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday. The A event will race 82.5 miles with 3,269 feet of climbing while the B group will suffer through a 65.6-mile race with 3,143 feet of climbing. There will be no rest for the racers, however, because the 7.4-mile time trial with its 327 feet of climbing begins at 3 p.m. Sunday brings the killer stage, the aptly-named Tombstone Road Race in which the A group will race 85.5 miles and climb 5,624 vertical feet while the B group will race 61.9 miles and climb 4,535 feet. By the end of the stage race, the A group will have ridden 177.1 miles and climbed 10,056 feet and the B group will have ridden 137.7 miles and climbed 8,842 feet.

Hotel space is limited in Bisbee, although there are some recommendations on the race's Website, which can be viewed by clicking here. Some cyclists have been known to stay in Tombstone and cycle over to Bisbee each day to see the races. Many years ago, when the national championships were held in Bisbee, I managed to find an out-of-the way place to curl up in my sleeping bag under the stars.

Other Upcoming Races -- Looking Forward

May brings the State Capitol Criterium on Man 2, the Scottsdale GP on May 3rd, the South Mountain Time Trial on May 9, the Sonita-Patagonia Time Trial on May 17, the Flapjack Time Trial #2 on May 23, and the Thunder Road Time Trail on May 31. Details of most of these races are not yet available and will be covered in more detail in our next issue. Tuesday May 19 also brings the first in the Tuesday Tortilla series. This series of road is held on most (but not all) Tuesday evenings through the summer and runs from Apache Junction out the Apache Trail through Tortilla Flat to the end of the pavement and then back to Apache Junction. I also expect to have more information on this race series in the next issue.

Bicycle Racing on Versus

Races coming up on the satellite and cable channel Versus include two short half-hour programs of race highlights on April 26. Liege-Bastogne starts at 1 p.m. Arizona time immediately followed by Fleche-Wallone at 1:30 p.m. The Tour de Romandie will be broadcast on May 3 beginning at 1 p.m. After that, all is quiet on the Versus cycling front until the Dauphine Libere on June 7 and 14, beginning at 2 p.m. both days. This information is subject to change, so please check the schedule of you cable or satellite provider for updated broadcast times and dates.

The Answer to the Challenge

As mentioned in the last edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News, the Arizona Challenge bike ride has long been defunct, but the Answer to the Challenge lives on and takes place from Friday April 24 to Sunday April 16. This is a tough ride with 22,000 feet of climbing over its 325-mile distance. For those few hardy (foolhardy?) people who are up to it, more information is available by clicking here. Early registration with its $10 discount ends April 18th.

ABC's Desert Classic Century

The Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC) traditionally holds two century runs each year, the Desert Classic on the West Side in the spring and the McDowell Mountain Century on the East Side in the fall. This year's Desert Classic takes place on May 2. Registration is $35 for members of ABC, GABA, and the Bullshifters and $40 for others. (By "GABA", I assume that the ABC is referring to the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club, which was once a part of GABA but no longer is.) After today, there is a $5 late fee. The first 130 riders who register will receive a pair of cycling socks.

The ride is co-hosted by Oggi's Pizza and Brewery, which will be feeding riders after the event. Registration opens at 5 a.m. in the parking lot of Oggi's just south of the Loop 101 on the east side of 67th Avenue. The century ride starts at 7 a.m., the metric century starts at 7:30 a.m., and the 34-mile half metric century ride starts at 8 a.m. There is also a 46-mile half century ride, whose starting time is not specified in the information provided by ABC. You can view the map, course profile and route description of the half century by clicking here, of the full century by clicking here, of the half metric century by clicking here, and of the full metric century by clicking here. Please note that is possible to zoom in on the map for a more detailed view.

You can register for the ride online by clicking here. For more information than that provided online, e-mail DesertClsssic@azbikeclub.org.

Gaba Tucson Rides

GABA Tucson presents the Triangle L. Ranch Overnight ride on April 25 and 26. The ride offers 58, 42, and 15 mile options on the ride to Triangle L. Ranch in the Catalina Mountains. Overnight accommodations are in shared guest cottages, or riders can camp out. The price is a bit steep at $105 for GABA members and $115 for non-members including overnight lodging or $65 for members and $75 for non-members for those camping out. There is no mention of a discount for members of other cycling clubs. To reach the ride's Web page and online registration, click here.

GABA's annual Salt River Canyon Tour takes place on May 2 and May 3, starting in Globe. This ride offers some spectacular scenery and is an Arizona classic event. It features 85-mile and 65-mile variations. The ride cost is $105. GABA members with a user name and password for GABA's Web site receive an undisclosed discount. Again, there is no mention of a discount for members of other clubs to reciprocate for the discount that other clubs offer GABA members. For more information about the ride or to register for it, click here.

Bicycle Race Announcer Will Work for Beer

I am interested in getting back into the business of announcing bicycle races again and am available to work cheap or even free to get started. I am a former Phoenix radio disk jockey who worked at about 1/3 of the Phoenix-area radio stations in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a bicycle racer and a former professional bicycle race announcer. Races that I have announced include La Vuelta de Bisbee (twice), the former Phoenix Criterium (multiple times), the former Turkey Day Race (multiple times), the Midweek Criteriums Series in Phoenix (two years running), the Los Alamos Stage Race in New Mexico (twice), and numerous other races throughout Arizona. I can do bilingual race announcing in Spanish and English, and I also speak fluent German and conversational French. You supply the sound system, and I'll supply the voice. All that I ask is that you don't blast me off the stage with overly loud music and that you pay my expenses if the race is held outside the Phoenix area. You can contact me by writing editor@azroadcyclist.com or by telephoning (602) 748-4270. If you want to hear what I sound like, attend one of the two remaining Midweek Criterium races where I will be describing the action. To read my biography, click here.


 

Arizona Road Cyclist News,  http://www.azroadcyclist.com
Jack Quinn, Editor