Arizona Road Cyclist News
J
ack Quinn, Editor

 © August 19 2009

Arizona Road Cycling News is sent out free of charge by E-mail every other Wednesday and is aimed at those who bicycle the streets and roads of Arizona, be they racers, commuters, tourists, or casual riders. This publication is copyrighted by Jack Quinn. You may forward the entire newsletter by E-mail to anyone you chose. You may also forward individual articles as long as you mention its source as Arizona Road Cyclist News.

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In this issue
     Cash for Clunkers Nabs Suspect in Cyclist's Death
     The Safest Valley Community for Cycling? Surprise!
     3 Feet Please -- On a Great Jersey
     UniversalSports.com to Webcast the Vuelta a España
     The Tour of Ireland on Versus this Weekend
     Upcoming Tourist Rides in Arizona
     Silent Sunday at South Mountain
     Upcoming Road Races in Arizona

Cash for Clunkers Nabs Suspect in Cyclist's Death

As reported in a special bulletin that we sent out last week, a 52-year-old Phoenix cyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Cave Creek Road just after midnight on Saturday morning, August 8.  The cyclist was later identified as 52-year old Charles (Chuck) Waldrop, who was commuting home from work and riding legally in the bike lane with a headlight and a flashing taillight when he was struck by a BMW that witnesses reported had been swerving erratically and travelling at an estimated 80 miles per hour. On the following Sunday, Phoenix police received an anonymous call that led to the arrest of 23-year old Timothy Kissada and accused him of being the driver after Kissada  had attempted to get his 1992 BMW repaired at a body shop and had then traded it in at Power Chevrolet in Peoria as part of the federal government's Cash for Clunkers program. Kissida told the dealer that damage to the passenger's side of his car were the result of a collision with a javelina. However, Police matched car parts left at the site of the collision with missing parts from Kissada's car. Phoenix Police booked Ksissida into Maricopa County Jail under charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and tampering with evidence.

The Safest Valley Community for Cycling? Surprise!

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) recently released statistics that show that Surprise is one of the safest places in Maricopa Country to ride a bicycle. According to the study, Surprise had an annual average of 5.08 cyclist injuries and fatalities per 100,000 residents from 2003 through 2007. Other Valley cities with a low rate of bicyclist injuries are Buckeye, Youngtown, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, and Queen Creek.

Peoria came of a bit worse than some of its neighbors with 16.43 cyclist injuries and fatalities per 100,000 residents. Glendale came off much worse with a figure of 26.68. The Valley's most dangerous city for riding a bike? Tempe by far with a rate of cyclist injuries and fatalities of 93.57. In all fairness, Tempe's figures are probably inflated by the large number of university students who weave along with no idea of how to ride safely in traffic, but anyone who has ridden the bike lane on Mill Avenue during heavy traffic with car doors opening on the right and city buses invading the bike lane from the left knows how hairy it can be.

3 Feet Please -- On a Great Jersey

Many cyclists and most motorists do not know that in Arizona and fourteen other states, motor vehicles are required by law to give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing. This is a law that police officers have been reluctant to enforce, unless the motor vehicle actually strikes the cyclist.

Now there is a high-quality, comfortable, and reasonably priced jersey that gets the message across in letters big enough to be read by drivers of passing vehicles. The jersey is marketed by www.3feetplease.com, an organization that is attempting to get the three-foot law passed in all states. I purchased one of the jerseys for evaluation. The jersey is manufactured by Voler, the same company that makes jerseys for several Arizona bicycle clubs and racing teams. The Voler line of jerseys is one of the most-comfortable available and features three full-width rear pockets. This jersey is bright yellow for good visibility in traffic. My only criticism of the jersey, and this is probably a personal opinion not shared by others, is that it uses Voler's "hidden zipper," a zipper much loved by jersey designers, because it minimally interferes with the graphics on the front of the jersey. I personally find that this zipper tends to stick a bit after a few passes through the washing machine and becomes more difficult to adjust while riding. I much prefer Voler's sturdier full-length zipper.

The jersey is available in either a long-sleeved or a short-sleeved version for $60 plus one cent shipping by U.S. priority mail. That's not a misprint; the total price comes to $60.01 for either short or long sleeves. The organization also has a T-shirt available with "3 FEET PLEASE" in large, bright yellow letters on the back. The T-shirt costs $15 including shipping.

UniversalSports.com to Webcast the Vuelta a España

The 64th edition of the Vuelta de España begins in Holland on the 29th of August and ends in Madrid on the 20th of September. UniversalSports.com will Webcast the race live, and if it sticks with its past practice, also cache the Webcasts for later viewing by those of us who cannot be at the computer at 4:30 or 7 a.m. Arizona time. For those who cannot get enough of professional cycling during this time, UniversalSports.com will also Webcast the Tour of Missouri on September 7.

Versus also plans to broadcast a summary of the Vuelta on October 11.

The Tour of Ireland on Versus this Weekend

Versus will condense the three stages of the Tour of Ireland into three hours of broadcasting this weekend. Broadcast times (MST) are 3-4 p.m. on Friday August 21, 2-3 p.m. on Saturday August 22, and 1-2 p.m. on Sunday August 23.

Upcoming Tourist Rides in Arizona

The Arizona Bicycle Club's annual Grand Canyon Overnight takes place this coming weekend, August 21 to 23. Unfortunately, for those who haven't registered yet, the ride is full.

The Wilcox Magic Circle Ride takes place on September 5 in Wilcox. There are 33-mile and 66-mile ride options. Both options are out-and-back rides with different turn-around points. The ride costs $25. For more information on the ride, click here.

Beginning on September 13, GABA will begin a series of Sunday training rides in Tucson to prepare its members for the Tour de Tucson. Rides will start from two locations, Udall Park on Tanque Verde for the East Side riders and from Arthur Pack Regional Park for the Westside people. There will be long, short, and novice versions of the ride to help cyclists train for the 65, 80, and 109-mile versions of the Tour. For more information, click here.

GABA Tucson will present its annual Blue Loop Tour on the weekend of September 5 through 7. This is a great rural route with sections where hours can go by without a car passing. The three-day ride starts on Saturday September 3 in Clifton and features lots and lots of climbing. The first day's ride is only 62 miles, but it includes 4800 feet of elevation gain. Prepaid riders will be fed at the end of the ride. The second day is 58 miles with 5346 feet of climbing. Breakfast will be served buffet style five miles into the ride. The final day is Alpine to Clifton.  The cost of the ride is $105 with an unspecified discount for GABA, PMBC, and ABC members. (PMBC and ABC members must mail in an application to receive the discount; GABA members can receive the discount online.) For more information, click here.    

Silent Sunday at South Mountain

This Sunday is the monthly Silent Sunday at South Mountain Park in Phoenix. The park will be closed to motor vehicles but open to cyclists. Just be careful if you ride up the mountain. Not all of the cyclists and skate boarders coming downhill bother to stay on their own side of the road. In my experience, the earlier in the morning you ride the mountain, the less likely you are to encounter dangerous cyclists, runners and skaters.

Upcoming Road Races in Arizona

The annual Skull Valley Road Race takes place on August 23 starting in Skull Valley, Arizona. The entry fee for advanced registration was $30 for adults and $15 for juniors, but since August 19 a $10 late fee has been in effect. The race course is out and back with a 55-mile distance for the adult categories and a 25-mile race for juniors. For more information on the race, click here.

The Arizona Team Time Trial State Championship races take place on Sunday August 30 on the freeway frontage road starting at Picacho (I-10 exit 219). Registration fees are $80 per four-person adult team and $40 for junior teams. There will also be tandem categories with a registration fee of $40 per adult tandem team and $20 per junior team. For more information, click here.

The third and final race in the Picacho individual Time Trial series takes place on the same course on September 6. Registration is a reasonable $15 per adult rider and a bargain $2 for juniors. To view the event's race information, click here.

September 13 brings the Arizona State Individual Time Trial Championships, on the same course as the Picacho series starting near I-10 exit 219 in Picacho. Registration is $35 for those riding in an adult category and $10 for those riding in a junior category. Winners in each category will receive an Arizona State Champion jersey. Check out the race brochure by clicking here.  

 

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