Arizona Road Cyclist News

Arizona Road Cyclist New is sent out every second Wednesday by E-mail to its subscribers. On Fridays, generally, it is posted to the Web site as a back issue. To get your own copy of Arizona Road Cyclist News in a timely manner. click on the "Subscribe to Arizona Road Cyclist News" link at the left.

As always, you can communicate with the editor, Jack Quinn, by replying to this E-mail. Feedback is welcome.

In this issue:
                Ahwatukee Foothills Cyclist Dies in Tragic Accident
                Driver Charged in Tour de Tucson Hit-and-Run Accident
                Tribe Multisport Offers Women’s Cycling Clinic
                Phoenix Area Holiday Rides
                Flame Perfume – (I swear I’m not making this up!)

Ahwatukee Foothills Cyclist Dies in Tragic Accident:

Fifty-year-old Gerald Hickman of Ahwatukee Foothills died this past Saturday morning when he rode his bicycle into a parked utility truck. Mr. Hickman was riding with two friends, who safely rode around the parked truck on Fifth Avenue north of Chandler Boulevard. Mr. Hickman apparently did not see the truck, although the its lights were reportedly flashing. Mr. Hickman was a well-known Phoenix attorney and an avid cyclist.

A few months ago, two cyclists on a Geezers’ ride were seriously injured when they rode into some signs marking roadwork that had been placed into the bicycle lane. In this incident, a large group of cyclists safely road around the signs. The riders at the front of the group pointed out the obstacles, but apparently the word did not reach the back of the pack, and one cyclist struck a sign, and another cyclist struck him. Both cyclists are still recovering from their injuries, months later. One suffered a punctured lung and the other a broken collarbone.

These two incidents drove home to me how important it is to point out and call out parked cars and other obstacles in the road in an exaggerated manner on group rides, even when it seems to the riders at the front of the group that the obstacles are obvious.

Driver Charged in Tour de Tucson Hit-and-Run Accident:

The Pima County Attorney’s Office has indicted 91-year-old William Arthur Wilson in the hit-and-run accident that occurred during the Tour de Tucson on November 22. He has been charged with a single felony count of leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury. As we reported in previous editions of Arizona Road Cyclists News, witnesses report that Mr. Wilson turned left in front of about 60 riders causing 10 of them to crash. After getting out of his car and surveying the accident, Mr. Wilson is alleged to have gotten back into his car and to have left the scene. He turned himself in two days later through his attorney.

Now that charges have been filed, details have begun to come out that may explain why it took authorities so long to file felony charges. According to a story in the Arizona Daily Star, which you can read by clicking here, investigation of the accident reveals that traffic may have blocked Mr. Wilson’s view. Therefore, there is no proof that Mr. Wilson recklessly turned in front of the cyclists. He may not have seen them. Mr. Wilson may have left the scene, because he feared from his safety.

Press reports say the pack of about 60 cyclists was traveling at about 35 miles per hour when Mr. Wilson turned in front of them, although one of the comments posted online by one of cyclists in the pack said that they were traveling at 25 miles per hour. Whatever the speed was, two or three of the cyclists collided with Mr. Wilson’s car, and several others crashed while attempting to avoid a collision. In all, 10 cyclists went down, five of whom required medical attention. One of them is still in serious condition in a Phoenix hospital.

An off-duty Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy was controlling the intersection and reports that she was talking to another motorist when Mr. Wilson turned. She also reports she yelled at Mr. Wilson to stop, but he did not do so until he had pulled in front of the cyclists. The deputy ordered Mr. Wilson to park his car and wait until more deputies and an ambulance arrived. Witnesses say that Mr. Wilson did park his car and get out, and that bystanders began yelling obscenities at him. By the time additional deputies arrived on the scene, Mr. Wilson was gone.

The most seriously injured of the cyclists was 41-year-old Gary Stuebe, who turned 42 years old in a Phoenix hospital last week. Mr. Stuebe has been hospitalized since the accident with a serious brain injury. He has spent most of the past month in a medically induced coma, and has undergone three brain surgeries to relieve pressure caused by the swelling of his brain. The hospital has recently upgraded Mr. Stuebe’s condition from critical to serious, and one of his friends reports in an E-mail that is circulation in the Internet that Mr. Stuebe opened his eyes last Thursday and was able to signal yes by blinking his eyes in response to a question.

Mr. Stuebe’s friends report that even though he has medical insurance, the loss of his salary has caused his family to face financial difficulties. A fund has been set up to help out. Checks made out to the “Gary Stuebe Medical Fund” can be deposited at or mailed to any Bank of America branch to help out. Even a $10 check, multiplied by many donors, would be a big help.

Although press attention has concentrated on the hit-and-run incident, the Tour de Tucson was plagued by accidents and injuries, several of which involved motor vehicles. Scottsdale Attorney Clark Watkins reports on his Website that his firm is representing another rider who was the victim of a left-turn accident. The cyclists is reported to have been riding in the bike lane when the car turned left in front of him, causing him to crash into the car’s right side. The cyclist suffered two broken legs and underwent surgery at the U-of-A Medical Center. The Website also states that another cyclist was struck in the back by a brick thrown from a passing vehicle. There were also numerous crashes that did not involve motor vehicles.

Tribe Multisport Offers Women’s Cycling Clinic:

Tribe Multisport is offering a clinic for women cyclists on the weekend of January 10 and 11, 2009. Although the clinic appears to be aimed at women racers, from the description, it would be of benefit to all women cyclists who participate in or who want to participate in fast group rides. The clinic is divided into two tracks, a track for beginners and a track for intermediate and advanced riders. Cyclists may participate the entire weekend or attend the clinic on one of the days.

According to Tribe’s publicity, the subjects include cornering, paceline riding, stretching, bike mechanics, nutrition, core strength, and a bio-impedance analysis (BIA), which the organizers claim assesses the rider’s rate of aging, nutrient status, toxicity status, and muscle and fat mass. (The BIA sounds like new-age hocus pocus to me, but what do I know?) The training will take place both in a classroom and on the bike, so participants are requested to bring either a road bike or a triathlon/time-trial bike. No mountain bikes are allowed.

The seminar will be held under the auspices of USA Cycling, the organization that governs bicycle racing in the United States. The cost of the clinic is $35 for the weekend or $20 for one day, which includes lunch both days and breakfast on the second day. Participants must have a USA Cycling license, but for those who are not licensed and don’t want to buy a yearly license, a one-day license is available for $5 each day. For an extra fee, riders may also have a massage and an individual pedal stroke analysis.

For more details on the clinic or to register, click here. Participants must register in advance no later than January 9 at noon, Arizona time. The number of participants is limited, so the clinic could fill up before that date. Arizona Road Cyclists News is reporting this event as a service to its readers and has no connection with the clinic, its organizers, or its promoters and does not vouch for the quality of the event.

Incidentally, anyone who is planning to race during 2009 can buy a yearly license now at the USA Cycling Website, www.usacycling.org. USA Cycling issues licenses for road, track, mountain bike, cyclocross, and BMX racing.

Phoenix Area Holiday Rides:

The Wheezers and Geezers will be riding both Christmas and New Year’s Day, starting at 8:30 a.m. from the traffic circle at Invergordon and Northern in Paradise Valley and riding toward Hidden Hills with a coffee stop on the return ride. The pace on these two days is likely to be moderate, meaning 20 miles an hour or so. Although new riders are welcome, the Geezers request that anyone joining the ride be experienced and comfortable when riding in tight packs. This is a pickup ride, so you ride at your own risk.

Normally the Wheezers and Geezers ride at 7:30 a.m. in winter and 6:30 a.m. in summer from the same starting point on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings. They group has a Website and a mailing list, www.mlr.biz/geezers.

The Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC) is holding a New Year’s ride to Tortilla Flat. The group will meet at 9 a.m. New Year’s Day on the northwest corner of West Apache Trail (called Main Street in Mesa) and North Apache Trail, also known has Highway 88. The ride is sagged and is open to anyone who can ride 34 miles roundtrip on a very hilly but beautiful route. The only disadvantage to this ride is that the route has also become the ride of choice for motorcycle clubs on New Year’s Day. Although the motorcyclists are generally careful when passing bicyclists, traffic is usually very heavy, and the noise from the long lines of passing choppers can be deafening. For more information, telephone Richard Utterback at (602) 400-2296.

Flame Perfume — (I swear that I’m not making this up):

Burger King recently announced a spray-on perfume for men called Flame with the scent of a flame-cooked hamburger. A small flask of the perfume costs $3.99 if you can find it. It is supposedly available online, but all sources that I checked reported that they were sold out. Burger King’s online advertisement for the perfume calls it “the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat.”

Being unable to purchase a can of Flame, I tried the next-best thing. I rubbed myself down with a take-out WHOPPER before I put on my cycling clothes. Not only did the odor not attract any females as promised, the women on the peloton actually gave me a wide berth. However, I did received a few hungry looks from some of the males in the pack. This makes me think that Burger King is marketing its perfume to the wrong sex. The guys are the ones who are attracted by the smell of grilled meat.

The scent did have a positive effect on the group’s training, however. We rode past a park where several dogs were running around off their leashes, and the next thing we knew, we were sprinting full out attempting to outrun a pack of hungry hounds. Flame may not improve your sex life, but it may improve your interval training and your popularity among the neighborhood dogs and cats.

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