Arizona Road Cyclist News

April 1, 2011

News for those who ride Arizona's streets and roads
Editor, Jack Quinn

Arizona Road Cyclist News is normally published every other Wednesday and is available online free of charge to anyone who wishes to read it. To sign up for an E-mail notification of when each edition is available or to modify or cancel your current subscription, click here. All E-mail addresses are kept on a secure server and are not shared with anyone. Should you later cancel that E-mail subscription, your information will be completely deleted.

This issue is a bit late. I was too busy riding my own bikes to sit down at the computer and write the newsletter. My apologies.

To contact me, reply to the notification E-mail. I do not put my E-mail address of the Website to minimize spam.

In this issue:
     Why are There no Velodromes in Arizona
     Wrap-up of the Phoenix Bike Summit
     Steephill.tv – Bike Race Coverage on the Web
     PCCC’s Midweek Crits Continue Through End of April
     April is Valley Bike Month
     Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Novice Courses in April
     Colossal Cave Stage Race – This Weekend
     Arizona State Criterium Championships – April 9 & 10
     Superior Road Race – April 16
     GABA’s Spring Bike Swap – April 17
     Bicycle to Work & School Day – April 20
     Focus Criterium – April 23
     SanTan Wheelie Jam – April 23
     Phoenix Bicycle Initiatives Subcommittee – April 28
     ABC’s Desert Classic Century Ride – April 30
     Answer to the Challenge – April 20 through May 1
     Three Bears Time Trial – May 1
     Alta Alpina Challenge – June 11
     ABC Granada Park April Breakfast Ride Schedule
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Why are There no Velodromes in Arizona?

Phoenix does not rank high on any of the lists of bicycle-friendly cities that I have seen. Bicycling magazine’s list ranks Phoenix/Tempe as number 15 among its top 50, but one has to wonder if that ranking does not have more to do with Tempe than with Phoenix. Scottsdale ranks #20 on Bicycling’s list. The League of American Bicyclists ranks Arizona as a “bronze” state, number 9 on its list. Within Arizona, Tucson and East Pima Country are ranked gold, Flagstaff, Scottsdale, and Tempe are ranked silver, and Gilbert and Mesa are ranked bronze. Unsurprisingly, Phoenix is not mentioned.

When attention is given to cycling in Arizona, it is usually as a means of transportation, mainly for getting to work or school and back. Although they are largely ignored by the state and local governments, most cyclists that I see on the road seem to not be commuters but fitness-orientated recreational riders. Cruise around North Scottsdale on Saturday or Sunday morning, and you will see many large groups of cyclists and numerous individual riders out riding for fun or for training for races. The needs of these riders overlap with but are not necessarily the same as riders who use their bikes mainly for transportation or for a ride around the neighborhood.

One of the facilities that best promotes high-intensity riding for health is a bicycle track, known inside the sport as a velodrome. A velodrome enables experienced riders to work on sprints, time trialing, and bike handling, and it is one of the best ways available to get kids of both genders interested in cycling as a sport.

Considering its large population, the USA ranks low on the list of modern countries in the number of velodromes it supports. The Website fixedgearfever.com maintains a database of velodromes throughout the world. The USA has 27 compared to 45 in Argentina, 23 in China, 125 in France, 52 in Germany, 55 in Italy, 77 in Japan,  26 in tiny New Zealand, 72 in Spain and 31 in the UK. Even Mexico, with a population of about 1/3 that of the USA, comes close to us in the number of velodromes with 20.

The cities in the USA that have velodromes have learned that they are not just playgrounds for elite cyclists. They are a boon to the local economy, attracting out-of-town competitors and spectators with their tourist dollars. If amenities are added, velodromes can be self-supporting and not depend on tax dollars for their operation. The Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, PA has several concession stands and a bike-rental business and attracts international cycling events. It seats 2000 spectators, some of whom pay $70 a year for season tickets and consider it a bargain. It has an extensive training program for beginning bicycle racers and a very large program for kids. It hosted the 2010 USA Cycling Junior National Championships and the 2010 World Series of Bicycling with its international group of competitors.

A metropolitan area the size of Phoenix can support at least three velodromes. Tucson could support at least one and cities such as Yuma and Flagstaff could also support a track. At present, Arizona riders travel to San Diego for track events including the state championships, helping San Diego’s economy but not ours, and riders from Yuma sometimes cross the border to train at the velodrome in Mexicali, Mexico.

At present, there is at least one person in talks with various Indian tribes in the Phoenix area. The tribes see a velodrome as a potential profit-making enterprise. With Central Arizona’s good cycling weather in the fall, winter, and spring, the velodrome would likely attract professional racers from throughout the world who could train on both the road and the track in the off-season, and there is little doubt that it would attract US-based cyclists to spend their time and their money in Arizona to train. A velodrome could also motivate the reservation kids and give them something to become physically active, greatly improving health on the reservation and lowering medical costs.

However, the biggest draw would be something that off-reservation velodromes could not offer. I mentioned that Japan has 77 velodromes, more than almost every other country except France. What makes track cycling so popular in Japan is gambling. The Japanese bet on bike races the way Arizonans used to bet on horse and dog races. Some reservation officials are asking themselves if they could make that happen here, and they are seeing dollar signs.

To my knowledge, there have been two efforts to build a velodrome in Phoenix in the past. Many years ago, a velodrome was supposed to be constructed in South Mountain Park. A later initiative would have put the velodrome in Phoenix’s Papago Park just south of Oak Street on the east side of the buttes. A committee was set up to build the velodrome, and money was raised. Why the initiative faltered and what happened to the money that was raised are two questions that I cannot answer.

I hope that someone who reads this article will get the velodrome bug and take up the initiative to get one built. It will be all well and good if a velodrome is built on a reservation, but we also need one in town where urban cyclists including kids can go evenings to train. A velodrome could be self-supporting and could add to Arizona’s economy.

Wrap-up of the Phoenix Bike Summit

On Saturday, March 19, the City of Phoenix held its first-ever “bicycle summit” at the Burton Barr Library, 1221 North Central Avenue. As might be expected from an event hosted by a municipal government and organized by a bicycle coordinator who is also a traffic engineer, the emphasis was almost exclusively on bicycle commuting.

First, I would like to thank Neil Thompson and Richard Utterback of the Arizona Bicycle Club, who I understood used personal funds to pay for lunch. That was beyond the call of duty. I felt guilty at sponging off them until I tasted the delicious food, at which point my pangs of conscience disappeared.

The first presenter was Tony  Ehrler of the Phoenix Police Department who began by asking us to guess how much training in bicycle enforcement the average police officer receives. One of the attendees guessed 30 minutes, but Officer  Ehrler acknowledged that that guess was on the high side. The true figure, he said, is closer to zero, which confirmed the suspicions of many of us.

Phoenix does have a group of about 400 officers who are trained to patrol on mountain bikes. Most of them only ride bikes at special events such as parades, although, there are a few officers who regularly patrol the Downtown Phoenix area on bikes.

Officer  Ehrler said that officers certified for bike patrol are required to take a 40-hour training course, which I took to mean that these officers are knowledgeable about traffic law as it pertains to cyclists. However, in a later breakout session, Radar Matt of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists told me that those 40 hours of training consist largely of how to ride a bike, physical fitness, etc. and only go into cycling traffic law superficially if at all.

As readers of this newsletter know, one of my interests is the enforcement of the three-foot law, which requires motor vehicles to give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing. It has been my contention that tickets are only written for violation of this law when a cyclists is actually struck by the motor vehicle or, in the case of a Flagstaff cyclist, where a video posted to U-tube resulted in E-mails sent to the city attorney demanding enforcement. Officer  Ehrler said that I was not entirely correct. He acknowledged great ignorance of the three-foot law among law-enforcement officials but said that he had personally written a number of tickets for violation of the three-foot statute. He added that one of his goals in officer training is to make more police officers aware of the law. I also was told by another attendee that some tickets for violation of the three-foot law have been written in Tucson.

One of the problem we cyclists encounter is the inability to trigger traffic lights. At many intersections, the green light for the secondary street at an intersection is only triggered when a large electrically-conductive object, such as a car, stops above a sensing loop buried in the pavement. These loops are seldom sensitive enough to be triggered by a bicycle. In an informal discussion at lunch, I was told that the City of Phoenix is planning to begin to install loops at intersections that will sense the presence of a bicycle and trigger the traffic light.

At the lunch break, Jeff Spellman of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department had a variety of adaptive bikes on display outside the building. By adaptive bikes, I mean three-wheeled recumbent and hand-powered cycles for those with mobility limitations. Jeff said that on Silent Sunday, which is held once a month at South Mountain Park, these bikes are available for loan. Also available for loan are tandems for people with visual limitations and mountain bikes for anyone.

In his afternoon presentation, Jeff also talked about some of the Park and Recreation Department’s summer programs, which include cycling and mountain bike events on the Mogollon Rim plus a cycling camp that involves youths from the city. These programs are part of Camp Colley, whose Website can be viewed by clicking here.

Another topic that came up was the City’s Bike Boulevard project. This would be a cycling route from Christown on the west to Gateway Community College on the east that would use mostly existing infrastructure to provide a safe cycling route across town. As I understand it, the Bike Boulevard is still not funded. To read a discussion about the plan, click here.

There are local bicycle routes throughout Phoenix, but many are not connected to each other to form a complete network. For example, there are few bicycle-friendly routes across the Salt River. A rider wanting to cycle from East Phoenix to South Mountain will find several stretches that can be uncomfortable to ride during periods of heavy traffic.

Central Avenue between Camelback and Bethany Home Roads is scheduled to go on a “road diet”. A road diet removes auto lanes to slow down traffic and lower the street’s capacity to carry motor vehicles to make them more cycle and pedestrian friendly. The former traffic lanes can then be converted to bike lanes. Of course, the traffic that is scheduled to be removed from Central Avenue will have to find another route, so those of you who drive or (I shudder to think) cycle Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue during rush hour should be prepared for even more excitement during your commutes.

Another initiative presented at the summit is the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, which affects schools attended by about 57,000 students.

Those of us who try to determine just how safe it is to cycle in the City of Phoenix depend on the “Annual Collision Summary.” Unfortunately, the last one published covers the year 2007. We were promised that the summaries for the years 2008 through 2010 will be available by the end of this year.

Other projects underway are the publication this fall of a graphic novel (I think that’s a fancy name for comic book) entitled Doctor Sprocket, which will promote cycling safety awareness among teenagers and young adults, and the publication of a “Share the Road” brochure, which is to include a discussion of the three-foot law. I have no idea how this brochure will be distributed or how motorists can be motivated to read it.

All of these projects are to be part of a comprehensive bike plan, which is to be included in the City’s General Plan.

At the end of the day, John Allen, who writes on cycling issues from the commuter’s and casual rider’s point of view and who has recently located to Phoenix from Boston, gave his views on Phoenix as a city to get around on by bicycle. On the downside, destinations in Phoenix are often too far apart for most people to consider reaching them by bicycle. The light rail system helps to alleviate that problem, because cyclists can take a bike onboard. On the plus side, Phoenix does have many half-mile streets that are bicycle friendly and there are canals with bike paths (multi-use paths actually) that sometimes have tunnels at cross streets.

If you are interested in John’s Bicycling Street Smarts publication, you can read it online by clicking here.

For an extensive opinion piece on what it would take to turn Phoenix into a bicycle-friendly city for commuters, click here.

Steephill.tv – Bike Race Coverage on the Web

Reader Jack Sorahan sent me this link to Steephill.tv:

http://www.steephill.tv/

The Website has links to a large number of Webcasts of European professional bicycle races plus links to news and photos of the races. Most of the links are to sites that Webcast in English, but there are also links to Webcasts with commentary in French, Spanish, Dutch, etc. It takes a bit of work to find the coverage you want to see, but it is a way to view races that we cannot see on TV in the USA. There are links to video of the upcoming European classics: the Tour of Flanders on April 3, Paris-Roubaix on April 10, Amstel Gold on April 17, Fleche Wallonne on April 20, and Liège-Bastogne on April 24.

PCCC's Midweek Crits Continue Through End of April

The Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club’s (PCCC) Midweek Criterium Series will continue to be held on Tuesday evenings through the last Tuesday of April, barring unforeseen scheduling conflicts for the venue. The first race for beginners starts at 5 p.m. and the last race for top-notch category 1 and 2 racers starts at about 6:45 p.m. and ends at approximately 7 p.m. I am the race announcer.

The crits are held in the parking lot of Phoenix Municipal Stadium on the southwest corner of Priest (also known as Galvin Parkway) and Van Buren. To enter the parking lot, use the entrance on the south side of Van Buren just east of Priest. Racers must be licensed by USA Cycling to participate, but day licenses will be available at registration for $10, and we also hope to sell the $60 annual licenses.

The cost to race is $5 for the D race and $10 for the other races. For adult riders participating in more than one race, the cost is $10 for the first race and $5 for the second. Juniors can choose to race in a second event at no additional charge. Spectators pay no admission charge and are advised to bring a lawn chair and perhaps some tailgate food to more comfortably view the race.

To view and/or download the race brochure in PDF format, click here.

April is Valley Bike Month

Valley Metro has declared the month of April Valley Bike Month and published a calendar of events in the Phoenix metropolitan area as part of the festivities. Here is a list of Valley Metro-recognized events (no races are on the list, I see). Some (but not all) of these events are also described below in the newsletter.

April 2
     20th Annual Tour de Mesa
     Chandler Family Bike Ride
     Peoria Pioneer Days Family Bike Ride
     REI Used Bike Drive
April 3 -- 6th Annual Scottsdale Cycle the Arts
April 5 -- REI Bike Commuting Class
April 10 -- Glendale Family Bike Ride
April 16 -- Ciclovia Mesa 2011
April 17 -- Valley Metro Great Bike Chase & Game
April 20 -- Valley Bike to Work & School Day
April 23 -- SanTan Wheelie Jam
April 30 -- Arizona Bicycle Club Desert Classic

To view the Valley Metro Web page that contains links to the Web pages of the events listed above, click here.

Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Novice Courses in April

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists offers courses for beginning cyclists. Do you have a friend or spouse who doesn’t know how to fix a flat, is insecure about riding in traffic, or cannot handle the minor mechanical problems that can occur during a ride? If so, one of the following courses may be the answer.

The Traffic Skills 101 course, by and for women, was held on Saturday March 26 at Global Bikes, 835 North Gilbert Road #111 in Gilbert, Arizona from noon to 5 p.m. The course covered such topics as basic bike-handling skills, crash avoidance, traffic laws as they pertain to cyclists, plus a history of the bicycle.

The non-gender-specific version of Traffic Skills 101 course for all cyclists will be held at the same location from noon to 5 p.m. on April 9. It covers most of the same topics as the women’s course described above.

In addition to the classroom segment, both courses have an online segment, which must be completed in advance of the classroom and riding sessions. The online portion of the course is free, but the in-person session costs $25. In return, participants receive a $25 gift certificate from Global Bikes.

For more information, click here.

Colossal Cave Stage Race – This Weekend

The Colossal Cave Race was once a road race held on a single day, but in recent years, it has metamorphosed into three-stage race held over two days.

Stage 1 is the Rocket-Stav Time Trial held on April 2. The out-and-back course is 6.6 miles long and is described as mostly flat with a 104-foot elevation gain. The first rider starts at 7:00 a.m., and the last rider is expected to finish at approximately 9:25 a.m. Riders will start at 30-second intervals.

The second stage will be the Musselman Honda Criterium held on the K1 Kart Circuit near the time trial location. The first group of racers will start at 11:00 a.m., although the circuit will be opened for warm-up at 10 a.m. The course is described as very technical but not dangerous with 13 turns and 17 feet of elevation change per 0.8-mile lap. This is the same course that was used for the spring Tucson Wednesday night criterium series.

The final stage is a road race on the traditional Colossal Cave nine-mile circuit with rollers, climbs, and descents. Riders will do from 1 to 9 laps around the circuit, depending on which category they are racing.

There will be cash prizes for the top finishers in general classification as well as the top finishers in each stage. The total cash prize list totals $6,118. The general classification results will be calculated by totaling points awarded for the finish order of each stage rather than by the fastest cumulative time, as is the case in most stage races. Points will be awarded for the order of finish in each stage, and there will also be points awarded for sprints in the criterium. All finishers will receive at least one point per stage.

Registration is online at bikereg.com where the entry fee varies from $15 for juniors to $80 for men professional, category 1, and category 2 riders. A $5 to $10 late fee will be charged to riders did not register by March 23.

To access the race’s extensive Web site for more information, click here.

Arizona State Criterium Championships – April 9 & 10

This year, the organization of the Arizona State Criterium Championship races looks first class. For one thing, instead of cramming the races for all age groups and categories into a single day, the races will be spread over Saturday and Sunday. The age-graded categories, masters and juniors, will race on Saturday. The categorized men’s and women’s races, categories 1 through 5 for men and 1 through 4 for women, will be held on Saturday, billed on the race’s Website as “Elite Women and Men.” (When did novice category 5 racers become elite?)

The races will be held on a course located just south of the intersection of Deer Valley Road and Seventh Street in Phoenix. Racing goes on from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The registration fee is $35 for adult racers and $10 for juniors. Juniors and masters who race in their age group on Saturday may also register to race in their category on Sunday for $25.

I have been told that the course will be on new streets with a first-class surface in a new industrial park. This should be a great event for both riders and spectators. To connect to the race Website, click here.

Superior Road Race – April 16

The 2011 OMYA/Superior Road Race takes place on Sunday April 16 and starts in the town of Superior. The race will be held on an out-and-back course to Winkelman, 62 miles round trip. The race’s Website mentions that the course is very hilly, but in my opinion, that is quite an understatement. Riders will have to pass over the infamous End of the World hill in both directions, and on the return leg, that will be after they have already pedaled up Ray Mine Hill. Juniors and Masters Women 35+ ride a shorter 33-mile course.

There are categories for almost all age groups as well as for the senior categories. The registration fee in advance is $15 for collegiate and junior racers and $35 for the adult categories.

To view the race’s Web page, click here.

GABA’s Spring Bike Swap – April 17

The Greater Bicycle Association’s spring swap meet takes place in Tucson on 4th Avenue between 6th Street and 9th Street on April 17 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., just before the Old Pueblo Grand Prix criterium. It’s a good place find a great deal on those bicycle parts you need and unload the jun… er… give someone else an opportunity to purchase the heirloom bicycle components that you no longer need. GABA also needs volunteers to help with the event. For more information, click here.

Old Pueblo Grand Prix – April 17

the Old Pueblo is another name for Tucson and refers to the fact that Tucson was already a settlement during the Spanish colonial days. The term “grand prix” conjures up images of a long, arduous race with killer stages spread over several days, perhaps a mini Tour de France, but this grand prix is actually a criterium to be held in downtown Tucson on April 17. The race has a long list of sponsors headed by the Jim Click Automotive Team, and the sponsors must be generous, because the race has a humongous $20,000 prize list including a $9,950 package of prizes for the first 20 finishers in the men’s professional, category 1, and category 2 combined race and a $5,000 total prize list for the women’s combined professional, category 1, 2, and 3 field. With that sort of money up for grabs, one would expect the entry fee to be an arm and a leg, but the cost to race is only $30 for most categories, $35 for the elite women’s race, and $40 for the elite men’s race.

Registration is online at bikereg.com and closes at 9 p.m. on April 10. There will be no day-of-race registration. Racing takes place from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. and follows the GABA 4th Avenue Bike Swap. To view the race Website, click here.

Bicycle to Work & School Day – April 20

Wednesday April 20 is Valley Metro’s Bike to Work and School Day, and a number of cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area are sponsoring events to encourage people to use their bikes as transportation. For example, Gilbert, Glendale, Phoenix, and Tempe are offering free breakfast and snacks to riders who attend a morning event and then ride their bikes to work. Other suburbs are offering events minus the free chow, although food may be available for purchase. For information on Bike to Work and School Day events in your part of the Phoenix metro area, click here.

Focus Criterium – April 23

The Focus Criterium will be held at 2200 South Stearman Drive in Chandler on April 23. There are races for most categories and age-based races for juniors and veteran men, in the later case in 10-year increments up to 60+. The entry fee is $10 for juniors and $35 for adults until April 21, after which a late fee of $5 for juniors and $10 for others will be added. Those who pre-register online will have personalized racing numbers with their names.

There will also be kids “drag” races during the lunch break from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. The entry fee for these races is $5.

To view the race Website for more information, click here.

SanTan Wheelie Jam – April 23

The SanTan Wheelie Jam is a bike and beer festival that takes place at the Phoenix Steele Indian School Park on April 23. There will be bicycling events and beer for sale, supplied by SanTan Brewing with proceeds from the beer sales going to local cycling organizations. The Tempe Bicycle Action Group is behind the event. If you would like to attend, you can register on the event’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Phoenix Bicycle Initiatives Subcommittee – April 28

The Bicycle Initiatives Subcommittee of the City of Phoenix is tentatively scheduled to meet on Thursday April 28 at Phoenix City Hall, 200 West Washington, at 4:30 p.m. Cyclists and cycling advocates are invited to attend but should notify Phoenix’s bicycle coordinator, Joseph Perez, in advance. Contact him by E-mailing joseph.perez@phoenix.gov or call him at (602) 534-9529.

ABC’s Desert Classic Century Ride – April 30

The Arizona Bicycle Club’s annual Desert Classic takes place on April 30. There are three routes available: a full century of 100 miles, a 62-mile metric century, and a 34-mile ride for newer and younger riders. The ride starts at Oggi’s Pizza & Brewery, which is located south of Loop 101 on the east side of 67th Avenue. Registration opens at 6 a.m., the century ride starts at 7, the metric starts at 7:30, and the 34-mile ride starts at 8. The cost is $25 for pre-registered members of ABC, GABA, and the Bullshifters until March 18. Others pay $35. After March 18, add a $5 late fee. For more information, click here.

Answer to the Challenge – April 29 thru May 1

The Answer to the Challenge is a 325-mile bike ride spread over some of the toughest roads in Arizona. The ride includes 22,000 feet of climbing. Day one is Scottsdale to Strawberry on the Mogollon Rim. Day two brings riders down off the Rim, across Verde Valley, and up over Mingus Mountain to Prescott. On the final day, riders alternately pedal and freewheel from Prescott, through the White Spars, down Yarnell Hill, through Congress and Wickenburg, and then back across the sweltering desert to Scottsdale.

The ride is sponsored by the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club (PMBC) with lots of help from Landis Cyclery, whose crew will transport bags, provide SAG stops with snacks and water, and possibly help you resolve mechanical problems. They will also pick you up if you are foolish enough to register for this ride without being in super physical condition.

The cost of the ride is a very reasonable $60 from members of PMBC, ABC, GABA, and USA Cycling licensed riders. Others add $5 to the fee. After April 23 there will be an additional $10 late fee. Riders are also responsible for booking and paying for their own lodging in Strawberry (hurry, there are limited rooms there) and Prescott.

For more information, click here.

Three Bears Time Trial – May 1

The following is a press release about the Three Bears Time Trial:

The 3 Bears 3 Choices

 

May 1, 2011

 

Promoted by Summit Velo and held under USAC Permit #2011-886

 

3 CHOICES for this race day! Pick 10K, 20K, or 30k. Great opportunity for novice racers to get experience in the shorter distances. For novice racers only in the 10K distance we will pick up the cost of your one-day license!!

 

We will score all categories and age groups for each distance. And we will be awarding series prizes to the winners in each category and age group for the 20k and 30K distances to the riders with the lowest combined time in this race and our July 10 race.

 

A unique TT course: an out-and-back on Park Link Dr, which connects the I-10 Frontage Rd near Red Rock to US-79. GOOD Pavement, LOW traffic, and a little elevation gain on the outbound leg to make it interesting. Start time will be 8:00 a.m. We will first run the 10K race then the 20K and then the 30K.

 

There will be online, preregistration (Sportsbaseonline.com.) Packet pickup and registration at Fair Wheels Bikes (1110 E. 6th St.), from 2-4 PM on April 30. Packet pickup only on race day from 7:00 to 7:45. NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION. Race fee is $20 (no extra online registration fees), Juniors can register for $5.

 

Traffic should be light, and race volunteers will be directing traffic at the start/finish and turnaround, but keep in mind that the course IS OPEN so stay as far to the right as is safe and reasonable at all times. There will be porta-johns and an EMT on-site. Don’t have all that fancy aero gear, or want to time trial in the old style?? This race will keep the Merckx Open category for the new-comers, old-schoolers and purists! CATEGORIES:Womens: 1/2, 3, 4, 35+,40+, 45+, 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+ and Merckx Open. Mens: 1/2, 3, 4, 5, 35+, 40+, 45+,50+, 55+, 65+, 70+, 75+ and Merckx Open. Juniors 10-14 and 15-18 (all) and Tandems (all) PRIZES?: Bragging rights for this race but prizes for lowest combined time for today and July 10 in the 20 K and 30 K distances. For prizes riders must race both races at the same distance and a minimum of number of racers for each distance and category/age will be required.

 

Directions to Park Link Dr: From I-10, exit at Red Rock and drive northwest on the east frontage road for a mile and a half, to Park Link. Start/finish area will be 5 miles east of I-10, please park as far off the road as you can. Alternate access from AZ-79. Here is a link to the start/finish:

 

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/26733974

 

Check the AZ Cycling Forum, or http://www.summitvelo.org for more information. Race Promoter: Barb Frohling @ barb@frohling.org or Gary Sax @ gary_jill@msn.com

 

Alta Alpina Challenge – June 11

The Alta Alpina Challenge: Riding the Wild Sierra is promoted by the Alta Alpina Cycling Club, a road and mountain-bike club based in the Carson City, Garnerville, and Lake Tahoe areas of California. It takes place on June 11, 2011. This is a ride for macho cyclists who love to climb hills and who want to enjoy a challenging cycling event in the cool High Sierras at the time of year when temperatures in the Arizona Desert can be over 110 degrees. 

There are four versions of the ride, or cyclists can design their own challenge depending on just how willing they are to suffer. The Wild Sierra Metric is 64 miles long and features 5,000 feet of climbing. For those who want to double the pain, the Wild Serra Century is 110 miles long with 11,000 feet of climbing. Sill not enough? Try the 134-mile long 5-Pass Challenge with 16,000 feet of climbing. The real masochists will chose the 8-Pass Challenge with 20,300 feet of climbing, which is claimed to be the “World’s Toughest Double Century.” 100 miles of the route is at elevations above 7,000 feet.

The registration fee is $100 for the 8-Pass Challenge, $90 for the 5-Pass Challenge, and $60 for the other two rides until May 1. After that date, add a late-registration fee of $20 for the 8-Pass Challenge, $15 for the 5-Pass Challenge, and $10 for the other two rides. An optional ride jersey is available for $69, and those who finish the 8-Pass Double Century may purchase the 8-Pass Finisher jersey for the same price.

To access the ride’s Website, click here.

ABC Granada Park April Breakfast Ride Schedule

Here are the breakfast ride destinations for the Granada Park Chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club during the month of April. Please note that the ride starting time moves up to 6:30 a.m.

     April 3 -- Deer Valley Airport Restaurant, 702 West Deer Valley Road, Phoenix.
     April 10 – Wagon Yard Restaurant, 2625 East Bell Road, Phoenix.
     April 17 – Eye Opener, 524 West Hatcher, Phoenix
     April 24 (Easter) – Mimi’s at Metro Center

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