Arizona Road Cyclist News

February 16, 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 to anyone who wishes to read it free of charge. To sign up for an E-mail notifying you when each edition is available to read online 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.

There is not a lot of new information in this newsletter, although more details have been added about several races including the ASU Sun Devil Criterium, the U of A Criterium, the Tumacacori Road Race, and Another Dam Race. Then, of course, there is the news that Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has been absolved of doping charges.

In this issue:
     Contador Absolved!
     Cyclist Stop Sign Bill Makes no Further Progress
     PCCC’s Weekly Crits Drawing Large Fields
     ASU Sun Devil Criterium – February 20
     Tucson Weekly Crits – February 23 through March 9
     Vulture Mine Time Trial – February 27
     Not Your Mom Tucson Tour – February 18 to 21
     U of A Criterium – February 26
     ABC’s Wickenburg Overnight – February 26 & 27
     Tumacacori Road Race – March 6
     Another Dam Race – March 12 & 13
     Tour de Cure – March 12
     GABA’s Sierra Vista Bicycle Classic – March 13
     PMBC’s Mining Country Challenge – March 19
     Bike MS Arizona – March 26 & 27
     Alta Alpina Challenge – June 11
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Contador Absolved!

In case you haven’t heard the news, yesterday evening in Spain, late morning here in Arizona, the Spanish cycling federation, the Comité Nacional de Competición y Disciplina Deportiva de la Real Federación Española de Ciclismo  or REFC for short, cleared cycling pro Alberto Contador of doping charges stemming from a blood test in 2010 that found 50 picograms of the drug clembuterol in the blood sample. By the time you read this, Contador should be competing in the Volta ao Algarve race in Southern Portugal.

Now the Spanish federation is defending itself from charges that it made its decision under pressure. Commentators have accused Spanish prime minister José Luís Zapatero of applying pressure, a charge the prime minister denies despite having been quoted as saying that there was no legal reason to sanction Contador.

The case may not yet be closed. The international governing body of racing, the Union cycliste internationale or UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) could still appeal the decision to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, which Bjarne Riis, the director of Contador’s Saxobank team, says he fears will happen. Grounds for the appeal could be that cycling has a zero-tolerance policy for clenbuterol. Contador maintains that the tiny amount of the drug got into his system from eating contaminated meat and that he did not dope.

Cyclist Stop Sign Bill Makes no Further Progress

HB2130, the bill that would permit cyclists to treat stop signs as if they were yield signs, has not made any further progress in the Arizona State Legislature since the last issue of Arizona Road Cyclists News. As we reported then, the bill has been assigned to three committees: transportation, maps and rules. The bill has two sponsors, Daniel Patterson Tucson, who is a cyclist, and Katie Hobbs of Phoenix, both Democrats. To follow the bill’s progress through the legislature, click here.

PCCC's Weekly Crits Drawing Large Fields

The Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club’s (PCCC) Midweek Criterium Series has been drawing large fields of cyclists considering that they are held at a time when many cyclists are just leaving work. It is heartening to see so many new racers to show up to participate in the D race, and watching the top riders in the A race smoothly merge into a single line when entering a corner is a thing of beauty.

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 from five to seven p.m. with three exceptions during the month of March. The March 1 race is rescheduled to Thursday, March 3. The March 8 race is rescheduled to Wednesday March 9, and the March 15 race is rescheduled to Wednesday, March 16.

To enter the parking lot, use the entrance on the south side of Van Buren just east of Priest. Riders 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. Spectators are admitted for free.

The cost of the race is $5 for the D race and $10 for the other races. For 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 are admitted free 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.

ASU Sun Devil Criterium – February 20

The ASU Cycling and Triathlon Club presents the ASU Sun Devil Criterium on a closed course just south of Eliot Road and just west of I-10 on February 20. Registration is online and closes the day before the race at 8 a.m. Racing starts at 8:00 a.m. with the women’s 30+ race and the final race begins at 4:55 p.m. with the 39-minute fixed-gear event. The main events are scheduled for mid-afternoon: The women’s professional, category 1, and category 2 race begins at 3:00 p.m. and the men’s race for these categories begins at 3:50 p.m.

The registration fees are $10 for juniors, $20 for collegiate races, and $35 for adult USA Cycling categories. For those entering more than one race, the second race costs $15. For more information, click here.

Tucson Weekly Crits – February 23 through March 9

Tucson will also hold weekly criterium series beginning next week. The races take place on Wednesday evenings starting at 6:00 p.m. and are held on a closed course with 13 turns. There will be five races each week: a 20-minute race for juniors and women, a 20-minute race for masters 40 years old or older, a 20-minute category 5 race, a 30-minute category 3 and 4 race, and a 30-minute category 1 and 2 race. The entry fee is $15 for all races for riders who register online in advance or $20 the day of the race. Juniors race free and are not required to preregister. As is the case in all Arizona Bicycle Association races, riders must be licensed by USA Cycling. Licenses will be available to purchase at the race. The race location is 11800 South Harrison Road in Tucson, which is near the Rita exit (#273) of Interstate 10.

For visit the Website of the sponsoring race team, Tolero Velo, for more information, click here.

Vulture Mine Time Trial – February 27

This Vulture Mine Time Trial starts at the Wickenburg High School, 1090 South Vulture Mine Road in Wickenburg, Arizona on February 27 with the first rider off at 10:00 a.m. The course is described as rolling with a gradual climb for three miles followed by a fast downhill for nine miles to the turn-around point. Riders can choose to ride either 20 or 40 kilometers. Registration is $23 for all riders except juniors who ride for $5. Registration is online in advance, although riders may also register at the event for an additional charge. The winner of each category with five or more riders will receive $25 except for category five men and juniors. For additional information, click here.

Not Your Mom Tucson Tour – February 18 to 21

The 2011 edition of Not Your Mom’s (NYM) annual tour from Scottsdale to Tucson takes place over four days from February 18 through February 21, which is President’s Day weekend. The tour will be sagged, and each rider is permitted to put one piece of luggage in the SAG wagon.

NYM is a chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC), and its participants are expected to join ABC to take advantage of the club insurance. For more information on the Scottsdale-Tucson four-day ride, click here.

U of A Criterium – February 26

The University of Arizona Criterium will take place on February 26 on a closed course on city streets just south of Speedway and west of Campbell Avenue. From the map, the course seems to favor good bike handling with five left-hand turns and one right-hand turn, all 90 degrees. Racing begins at 7:30 a.m. when the master men 50+ and 60+ fields clip in and ends with the 60-minute men’s professional and category 1 and 2 race starting at 3:50 p.m. In addition to the USA Cycling racing, there will be a 10-minute cruiser ride around the course from 11:50 a.m. until 12 noon, a 30-minute collegiate women’s race at 1:35 p.m. and a 30-minute collegiate men’s race at 2:15 p.m.

As this was written, the race’s Website was still under construction and there was not yet a link to the race bible, so I do not know the entry fees, registration details, or prize list. However, you should soon be able to find updated information by clicking here.

ABC's Wickenburg Overnight – February 26 & 27

The Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC) is holding its annual roundtrip ride to Wickenburg on the weekend of February 25 and 27. The ride starts in the Albertson's parking lot on the Carefree Highway just east of I-17 at 10 a.m. Motor vehicles will carry luggage, so riders will be able to pedal the easy 45 miles to Wickenburg unencumbered by pannier bags. The cost of the ride is $25 for members of ABC and other area bicycle clubs and $30 for others. Riders are also expected to book and pay for their own motel accommodations.

The ride is limited to 30 riders, so it may pay to register early. To view the ride's Webpage, click here.

Tumacacori Road Race – March 6

The Tumacacori Road Race takes place in Southern Arizona on a six-mile loop with 460 feet of vertical climbing per lap about 58 miles south of Tucson. Racing gets underway at 7:00 a.m. with the category 4 men’s race. The men’s professional and category 1 and 2 race starts at 10:00 a.m., and the women’s category 1, 2, and 3 race starts at 10:09 a.m. Entry fees are $30 for most categories, $35 for men professionals and category 1, and 2 rider, $35 for women category 1, 2, and 3 riders and free for juniors until February 25. After that date, add a $5 late fee. Registration is online or by US Mail. Online registration closes on March 1. To view the race brochure in PDF format, click here.

Another Dam Race – March 12 & 13

This is a two-day stage race held on a 13.5-mile circuit in Lake Havasu City with 1,250 feet of climbing per lap. As this was written, the information in the race brochure was sketchy, but apparently riders will race the same course for the same number of laps on both Saturday and Sunday. The entry fee is $80 for adult racers, $15 for juniors ages 10 through 12, $20 for ages 13 and 14, and $25 for ages 15 through 18. All adult riders compete for cash prizes, whereas the top three finishers in each junior category will receive medals. To connect to the race’s Webpage, click here.

Tour de Cure – March 12

The Tour de Cure is a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association. The starting point for the ride is the Reach 11 Sports Complex at 2425 East Deer Valley Road in Phoenix. There are three ride choices, a 62-mile metric century, a 35-mile ride, and an 8-mile fun ride. In order to participate, each rider must raise at least $150 in donations.

The ride will be well supported. SAG wagons will rove the course looking for problems, and mechanics will be available to take care of any breakdowns. Communications will be handled by amateur radio operators in each SAG wagon and at rest stops. The ride organizers also have medical volunteers lined up to man all rest stops and will have a first aid tent at the start/finish area.

If you are interested in this ride, you can get more information from the Tour de Cure Website by clicking here.

GABA's Sierra Vista Bicycle Classic – March 13

GABA presents the Sierra Vista Bicycle Classic on March 13 with three ride options: a century, a metric century, and a half-metric century. As the ride's name implies, the ride starts and finishes in Sierra Vista, specifically in the parking lot of Buena Vista High School. The full century goes south all the way to the traffic circle in Bisbee and includes the climb up to Mule Pass plus a ride through the historic town of Tombstone for a total of 103 miles. The metric route cuts off the loop through Bisbee. This is a beautiful route, so Phoenix-area cyclists should consider making the drive south to participate. The half-metric century appears to be an out-and-back route.

The registration fee is $25 for GABA and ABC members and $40 for others with a $10 adder for those who register the day of the event. You can view the ride's Web page by clicking here.

PMBC's Mining Country Challenge – March 19

This ride, promoted by the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club, follows the route of the now-defunct Mining Country race, which the Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club used to promote every spring with one exception: The starting point has been moved from Miami to Superior. The long version of this ride competes with the Bullshifters' Heart of Arizona Century for the infamy of being the most difficult one-day century ride in Arizona, and even the short version involves two ascents of the infamous "End of the World" climb.

The ride costs $35 for PMBC, ABC, and GABA members and $40 for non-members until March 16. For day-of-the-event registration, add $10 to that fee. To access the ride’s Website, click here.

Bike MS Arizona – March 26 & 27

The 25th annual Bike MS Arizona Round-Up Ride will start in Florence, Arizona on March 26 and 27. This is a fund-raising event to fight Multiple Sclerosis. The ride starts at Heritage Park at 600 North Main Street in Florence. Promoters expect that 1,500 cyclists will take part. Riders get to choose from 35-, 75-, and 100-mile rides on the 26th and 30-, 50-. and 75-mile routes on the 27th with SAG stops every 10 to 15 miles. In addition to food and drink, the SAG stops will collect excess clothing that riders shed as the day warms up.

The routes are figure-8 and are so designed so that cyclists can cut the ride short if they overestimate their abilities. All routes are on flat terrain in the farming area near Florence, Coolidge, and Casa Grande.

To access the ride’s Website, click here. Those who do not wish to ride but who would like to contribute money can do so by clicking on the “Donate/Pledge” tab at the left side of the Webpage.

Alta Alpina Challenge – June 11

This ride is still months away, but it is the type of ride that you want to plan for well in advance, both because it is out of state and because it is very challenging.

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.

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