Arizona Road Cyclist News
J
ack Quinn, Editor

 © August 5, 2009

The Tour de France is over, and with it, the newsletter's vacation has also come to an end. For you new readers, here's the customary boilerplate: Arizona Road Cyclist News is sent out free of charge every second Wednesday by E-mail. Several days later, the newsletter is posted to the Back Issues page of the Website www.azroadcyclist.com.

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In this issue:
     Update on the Bike Nashbar Credit Card Hack
     Jim Stenholm Memorial Ride October 24
     Guest Article by Sue Fassett about PMBC Saturday Ride
     Upcoming Tourist Rides in Arizona
     Upcoming Road Races in Arizona

Update on the Bike Nashbar Credit Card Hack

As we reported in a bulletin last week, Bike Nashbar's Web server was hacked in December of last year, and the credit and debit card numbers of its customers were stolen. Bike Nashbar is an online and mail-order store run by Performance Bicycle.

Performance Bicycle, like many other companies, contracted Nashbar's Web servers to an independent provider. Performance said that it first began receiving complaints from some of its Nashbar customers that their credit card numbers had been stolen in February of this year. The company further said that its third-party Webhost provider assured it that there had been no security breach. However, the calls from customers continued to come in.

In the meantime, Performance began moving its Nashbar site to a new Internet platform, a move that it says was unrelated to suspicions that its servers had been hacked. To address its customers' concerns, Performance hired an independent security consultant to examine the Nashbar site for security flaws. Performance said that the security company reported back on May 18 that its Nashbar site had indeed been hacked. Performance says that it then reported "this incident to Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and the federal law enforcement authorities...." However, the company did not at that time notify its 150,000 Nashbar customers that their financial and personal information was in the hands of bad people. Instead, it did what any company would do that is more concerned about its liability than about its customers' welfare. It hired a firm of lawyers.

Although Performance claims that it began calling some of its Nashbar customers in June (no one that I have talked to acknowledges receiving a call), it did not publically come clean about the problem until two Portland, Oregon publications broke the story in mid-July. By that time, untold numbers of fraudulent transactions had been made using the stolen credit and debit card numbers of Performance's Nashbar customers including three credit cards belonging to your newsletter editor.

The letter that I finally received from Nashbar/Performance informing me that my financial information had been stolen is dated July 24, 2009, more than eight months after the break-in occurred, six months after Performance began to suspect that its customers' credit information had been stolen, and more than two months after Performance knew this for certain. Several readers have E-mailed me to tell me that they have still received no notification and had no idea how fraudsters had obtained their credit and card numbers until they read the bulletin I sent out last week.

Needless to say, anyone who has ever purchased anything from Bike Nashbar should review all credit card and bank statements for fraudulent charges. Additionally, customers should contact the provider of any credit or debit card that was ever used for a Nashbar purchase and request a new card with a new number. All Nashbar customers should also log onto www.nashbar.com and change their account passwords, as these were also stolen. You should assume that any information that you have ever supplied to Nasbar is now in the hands of evil people including your postal address, E-mail address, name, and telephone number.

As to the future, Performance Bicycle claims that both its Performance and Bike Nashbar sites are on new platforms, which are now secure. Even if that means that personal information will not be stolen again, it does not necessarily mean that your credit or debit card numbers are safe with Performance and Nashbar. The companies themselves misuse them. For example, if you buy a $25 loyalty card from Performance, Performance will automatically bill the last credit card that it has on file for you each year to renew the card unless you call up to opt out.

Bike Nashbar often offers a 10% discount to customers who have a coupon code. However, the company is known to bill its customers' credit cards to recoup the discount without authorization. That has happened to me on two occasions. In one case, my card was billed to recoup the discount after the order had shipped. In another case, Bike Nashbar acknowledged the discounted price and pre-authorized it with my credit card company. However, when it was time to ship the item, Bank Nasbar attempted to bill my credit card at the higher, non-discounted price. Fortunately, I was able to block the overcharge, whereupon Nashbar refused to ship the item at the agreed-upon price. When I called up, the customer service representative admitted that "the computer" was attempting to overcharge me but said she had no control over its actions. My advice, don't ever give Performance or Nashbar your credit or debit card number or your checking account number.

Nashbar does sometimes have extremely good deals. The question is how to protect yourself from Nashbar's overbilling, unauthorized charges, and security risks or for that matter how to protect yourself from abuse by any company that stores its customers credit card numbers for future use. For the limited number of companies that accept it, one method is to use PayPal, which is free to the buyer. Another method is to use temporary, virtual credit card numbers.

Bank of America offers a service to its credit card customers called SafeShop, which you can learn about by clicking here. Basically, the service allows customers to create a one-time temporary credit card number with specified dollar and time limits for one-time purchases. For example, if you place a $45.23 order with Amazon.com, you can create a temporary credit card number with that spending limit and an expiration date two months in the future. Once Amazon bills the credit card number, that number cannot be used again by any other company, and it cannot be used again by Amazon unless you extend the credit limit and/or expiration date.

For recurring payments to Internet service providers, cellular providers and the like, the user can create a credit card number with a monthly spending limit. The customer can delete any of these temporary credit card numbers at any time. It was a SafeShop number that prevented Nashbar from overbilling me the second time the company tried to abuse my credit card.

Jim Stenholm Memorial Ride October 24

Details haven't been worked out yet, but here's an advance heads-up about a ride that will take place on October 24, the anniversary of the death of Phoenix cyclist and police officer Jim Stenholm. Once details are worked out, I will send out more information in Arizona Road Cyclist News. The following information has been provided by Tim Risley of the Phoenix Consumer Cycle Club.

Jim Stenholm was an avid cyclist, a great husband and dad, and a Phoenix police officer who died unexpectedly on October 24, 2008. Jim loved nothing more than a great day on his bike, an adventure with his friends, and kicking back with his favorite people.
The 100 honors Jim and the everyday heroes who do it all – at home, at work and in the community – just the way Jim would have wanted it, with miles and miles of time in the saddle. Whether you are up for the full 100K (62 road miles, a nod to Jim’s badge number 6206) circuit, a shorter haul, or just want to kick back and have some fun, mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009.
Get your road bikes ready!! More on The 100 coming soon ...
Questions? Email Tim Risley at timothy.risley@homevestors.com

Guest Article by Sue Fassett about PMBC Saturday Ride

Every Saturday morning of the year, a river of road cyclists flows out of Kiwanis Park in Tempe for a romp around the southeast valley.  The group's casual name is Saturday Cycling, now under the banner of Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club (PMBC), but the ride has been gathering each week for 20 years or so.  In the early 90s the group was hosted by a small local club, the Arizona Bicycle Bunch (ABB).  That association stalled out, with Saturday Cycling then being picked up by the Phoenix division of GABA.  When GABA evolved into PMBC in the 1998, Saturday Cycling came along for the ride.  The weekly adventure draws 80 to 100 cyclists, from all backgrounds and ability levels.  Route options usually range from 25 miles to 40 miles, with an optional breakfast stop towards the end of the adventure.

There's always room for a few more.  Come ride with us.

Sue Fassett

www.pmbcaz.org

Upcoming Tourist Rides in Arizona

The Arizona Bicycle Club's annual Grand Canyon Overnight takes place on the weekend of August 21 to 23. The cost is $30 for ABC and GABA members and $40 for others until August 10 and an addition $5 afterwards. Cyclists will camp out at Mathers Campground and ride the 49-mile roundtrip to Desert View on Saturday and the short 19-mile roundtrip to Hermit's rest on Sunday. The trip cost includes insurance, sag support, and a Saturday-night chili dinner. For more information, click here.

The Willcox Chamber of Commerce presents the Magic Circle Ride on September 5 in Willcox, Arizona. Riders can chose from two distances: 33 miles or 66 miles. Both rides are out and back. The cost of the ride is $25, of which $10 is a contribution to the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture. For more information including a map of the ride, 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 ride starts on Saturday September 3 in Clifton. 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 Web site says that there are 6800 feet of elevation gain, but I wonder if that isn't a misprint. After a rolling climb to Mogollon Rim, there is a screaming downhill that goes on for mile after mile. Don't forget to pull of the road in Morenci at the overlook of the open pit copper mine. (Those who want to do a hard country music preparation for Morenci with Clifton "in the valley below" may want to search for a copy of the George Jones song "Open Pit Mine.") 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 on the ride (but not on the song), click here.

Upcoming Road Races in Arizona

The August road racing calendar is sparse in Arizona, but there are a number of events planned for this month. The last two races in the Tortilla Tuesdays series will be held on the evenings of August 11 and August 18. Tortilla Tuesday is an out-and-back race along the Apache Trail from Apache Junction to the end of the pavement past Tortilla Flats. The races start at 5:15 p.m. For more information, click here.

The second in the Picacho Peak Time Trial Series takes place on August 16 with the third race to follow on September 6. The course is on the freeway frontage road heading south from Picacho. Riders have a choice of riding either 20 or 40 kilometers, and riders compete in five-year age increments. Registration is a reasonable $15 for most riders and only $2 for juniors. Because this is the same course that will be used for the Arizona State Individual Time Trial Championships on September 13, this is a good race to hone your time trial technique for the big event. For more information, click here.

The Skull Valley Road Race takes place on August 23, and as the name implies, the race starts in Skull Valley south of Prescott. The course is out and back with rolling hills. Junior race 25 miles, and other categories race 55 miles. The race entry fee is $15 for juniors, $30 for all other USA Cycling categories, and $25 for the citizens' "fun ride." For details, click here.

The month ends with the Arizona Team Time Trial Championship races on August 30. This race also uses the freeway frontage road course that begins at Picacho. Teams consist of four riders, and there will also be a tandem category. For teams, the finishing time is take when the third rider crosses the line. The teams may consist of four men, four women, or two men and two women. There are also some interesting age categories, for example, a women's category with no team member under 50 and a men's category with no member under 60. There are also open categories with no age limits. Entry fees are $80 per adult team, $40 per junior team, $40 per tandem with adult riders, and $20 per tandem with junior riders.
 

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