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When I wrote the first issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News, it went out by E-mail to about a
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In this issue:
Cyclist Stop Sign Bill Progresses Through
Cyclists Make the TV News
Bicycle Safety Classes
Valley of the Sun Stage Race –
February 11 to 13
PCCC’s Weekly Crits – February, March, and April
Tucson Weekly Crits – February 23 through March 9
Two Criteriums This Weekend –
GABA’s Picacho Century Ride –
Vulture Mine Time Trial –
ASU & UofA
Not Your Mom Tucson Tour –
February 18 to 21
ABC’s Wickenburg Overnight –
February 26 & 27
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
Challenge – June 11
ABC Granada Chapter February
About Arizona Road Cyclist News
Cyclist Stop Sign Bill
Progresses Through Legislature
HB2130, the bill that would permit cyclists to treat stop signs
as if they were yield signs, has undergone its first two readings in the
House and has been assigned to the following
House committees for further action: Transportation, Maps, and Rules. You
may remember that last year a similar bill did not make it past the
committee stage when Republican legislators voted unanimously to kill it.
To follow the bill's progress through the Arizona Legislature, click here.
Cyclists Make the TV News
Arizona cyclists were featured at
least twice in newscasts in recent weeks. When cyclists returned to the
United Blood Services' parking lot on East Oak Street in Phoenix after
riding the Tour de Hero, a news team from KPHO Channel 5 was there to
interview them in time to make the Saturday early evening newscast. I
searched for a link to the coverage on Channel 5's
Website without success, but I may have missed it.
In Tucson, Sheila Foraker, a cyclist, an employee of the
Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, a cycling instructor, and a
member of the board of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists, was recently interviewed on Tucson's KGUN-TV. You can
view the interview during the next few weeks by clicking here.
Bicycle Safety Classes
Do you or does someone you know feel insecure cycling in
traffic? Do you know what do do if you get a flat tire? Can you do the basic
maintenance necessary to keep your bike on the road? Perhaps you are a
confident cyclist but your significant other refuses to ride with you,
because he or she feels insecure riding in traffic. Maybe you have a
colleague in the office who would cycle to work
except that he or she thinks that it is too dangerous. Well, there is a
solution. Classes offered in both the Phoenix and Tucson areas can impart
the necessary traffic and bicycle-maintenance skills to turn the most
bike-skittish into confident cyclists, and the best part is that the
theoretical part of the course can be completed
Step 1 is to go to the Traffic Skills 101 Website at www.bikeed.org,
register, and complete the theoretical part of the League of American
Bicyclists (LAB) course, which can be done in
four sessions designed to last approximately one hour each. The second
step is to attend a local seminar for on-the-bike training. In the
Phoenix area, seminars are conducted by the Coalition
of Arizona Bicyclists. The next seminar is
scheduled for February 12 at Global Bikes, 835 North Gilbert Road
#111, in Gilbert, Arizona. The seminar starts at noon, or attendees can
arrive at 11 a.m. to join the group for a pre-seminar lunch. The cost of
the seminar is $25, but those who complete it receive a $25 gift
certificate from REI. Here is a link to the Coalition of Arizona
Bicyclists Website: http://www.cazbike.org/BikeEd.htm.
Pima County calls its version of the seminars Trasportation Skills 101, and it
also offers some more advanced seminars including one specifically
on bicycle commuting. The seminars are sponsored by both Pima County and
the City of Tucson and do not cost a cent. In fact, those who
successfully complete the seminar receive free bicycle-safety products,
which are usually items such as lights and reflective tape. Here is the
link to the Website: http://bikeped.pima.gov/allsafetyclasses.html.
Valley of the Sun Stage Race – February 11 to 13
The nineteenth annual John Earley
Memorial Valley of the Sun Stage Race, known to most local bike racers
simply as VOS, will be held the weekend of
February 11 through February 13 at various locations in the Phoenix area.
This is one of the premier events on the Arizona racing calendar, with a
prize list of $10,000 in cash. Because it is held
at a time when the weather is miserable in much of the United States,
this race draws riders from all over the country and even from abroad.
As the race’s name implies, the race honors the late John Earley, who joined the White Mountain Road Club soon
after it was formed and raced as a veteran in Arizona.
John passed away from natural causes, and as he was a friend of mine who was often my main competition in races but with whom I
drank beer after almost every race was finished, I am glad that
there is a race in his honor.
There are three stages to this race. On Friday the 11th,
the race kicks off with a 14.2-mile time trial in Buckeye starting at 7
a.m. Saturday’s event is a road race held on a 16.43-mile loop south of
Phoenix near exit 185 of Interstate 10. The race finishes on Sunday with
a criterium on a closed one-mile course at the State Capitol just west of
downtown Phoenix. The criterium is a must-see spectator event.
Entry fees for the three-stage race vary from $50 for
juniors to $90 for most masters’ classes and lower category senior riders
to $100 for professionals, category 1 and category 2 riders. Riders not
yet registered will be charged a $20 late fee.
Registration closes this Sunday!
To view the race’s Website, click here.
PCCC's Weekly Crits –
February, March, and April
The Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club (PCCC), the oldest
bicycle racing team in the USA, initiated its Midweek Criterium Series
yesterday evening. Despite the chilly and blustery weather, large fields
of cyclists showed up to compete. The series continues every week during
the months of February, March, and April. 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. 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 races are held on Tuesday
evening except for a few dates in March, when they had to be moved to a
different day of the week due to conflicts with other users of the race
site. There are four races: a 15-minute D race for
juniors and beginning racers including category 4 women and category 5
men, which begins at 5:00 p.m., a 20-minute C race for category 4 and 5
racers, which begins at 5:20, a 30-minute B race for racers of category 3
and below, which begins at 5:45 p.m., and a 45- to 50-minute A race for
category 1 through 4 racers, which begins at 6:15 p.m. In case
there are not enough riders to make up competitive fields in the A and B
races, these two events will be combined into
one race that will start at 6 p.m.
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. As previously stated, spectators
are admitted free and are advised to bring a
lawn chair in order to more comfortably view the race. Some have even
brought along their outdoor barbeque equipment and made a picnic out of
Because entry fees are modest, so are the prize lists. There
is no prize for the winner of the D race, and prize money for the other
races will be based on a percentage of the entry
fees. In addition, we will be giving away the much coveted "cookie
primes", where racers sprint for a bag of cookies on a lap during
the race. We also expect to give away prizes donated by spectators and
To view and/or download the race brochure in PDF format,
Crits – February 23 through March 9
Tucson also holds weekly criterium series in the early
part of the year. The races take place on Wednesday evenings starting at
6:00 p.m. and are held on a closed course with
13 turns, which should certainly give riders a lot of practice at bike
handling. There are 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.
Criteriums This Weekend – Phoenix Area
There will be two criteriums in the Phoenix area this
weekend: The McDowell Mountain Regional Park Circuit Race on Saturday and
the Bike Haus Criterium on Sunday. As its name
implies, the McDowell Mountain race will be held
in McDowell Mountain Park about four miles north of Fountain Hills on
Saturday. Although there is no charge to watch the race, there is a fee
to enter the park for both spectators and racers.
Registration for the race is online or by mail and costs
$30 for the first race and $10 for each additional race. However, racers
who are not yet registered must now add, a $10 late registration. Juniors race free. A portion of the entry fees will be donated to two dog-rescue organizations:
Amazing Aussies and Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue. Both organizations will
have booths at the race.
To see a race brochure in PDF format, click here.
The second criterium to be held
this weekend is the Bicycle Haus Criterium at
Firebird Lake at 2000 South Maricopa Road south of Phoenix. Racing starts
with the Masters 50+ and 60+ races at 7:30 a.m. and continues through the
day until the Open Field Circuit Race concludes at 5 p.m. The latter race
should prove interesting, because it is open to licensed racers of all
categories, so we will get to see if the category 1 and 2 racers really
are better than the category 3, 4, and 5 riders.
The entry fee is $40 for most races, $20 for the race for
collegiate men and women, and $10 for juniors. For more information,
Century Ride – February 6
For those who like a flat course, the Picacho Century ride
is for you. There are three options, a 100-mile full century starting at
8 a.m., a 71-mile ride starting at 8:30 a.m., a 35-mile starting at 9
a.m., and a 15-mile ride, which also starts at 9 a.m. The ride starts at Cortaro and Silverbell in
Tucson, which is one mile west of I-10 exit 246, and heads north through Avra Valley and Marana. The 100-mile ride goes as far
north as Picacho Peak before turning back to Tucson. The ride fee is $25
for members of GABA and ABC members and $40 for other riders registered
in advance. A $10 late feel will be added for
registrations submitted the day of the ride, so register online now to
save a sawbuck. To access the ride's Web page, 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
Although details are not yet available, the February
racing calendar includes two criteriums promoted by the racing teams of
the two largest state universities. The Sun Devil Criterium, promoted by
ASU’s racing team, will be held on Sunday
February 20. The expected location is in Tempe. The Wildcats get into the
act on Saturday February 28, with a criterium in the Tucson area promoted
by the U of A bicycle racing team. As this was written,
details of these two races were not yet available online.
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, so you can ride your racing bike and leave your
touring bike with panniers at home. However, riders are
expected to take turns driving the SAG wagon and to chip in for
The first day's ride on Friday is a 66-mile jaunt from
Scottsdale to Florence. Day two is a 64-mile ride from Florence to Tucson which includes a 37-mile-long gentle climb of
2300 feet. On Sunday riders will peddle 56 miles
of gentle downhill from Tucson to Casa Grande, and on Monday the ride
concludes with a 55-mile ride from Casa Grande to Scottsdale.
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.
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.
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 and features 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
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.
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.
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, except that 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, which can require some cyclists to get off
their bikes and push and causes even those cyclists who stay on their
bikes to cry out in pain. This is a ride for real masochists,
which makes it the the perfect ride for many of
As stated, both the metric and full centuries start in
Superior. The century climbs up the mountain through Queen Creek Tunnel
and tops out at the little settlement called Top of the World before
descending into Miami. The section from Superior to Miami is the only
touchy part of the ride, because sections of the highway are narrow with
From Miami it's generally uphill
to the nearby city of Globe. After Globe, the route continues uphill at
about eight percent for mile after mile to the top of El Capitan. From El
Capitan, it's a thrilling and welcome downhill
into Winkleman, where the rest stop serves
After Winkelman, the route climbs
Ray Mine Hill. The climb seems awful, but it's
just a warm-up for what's to come. If there's a SAG stop at the top of
this hill, stop, drink, and fill your water bottles, even if you feel
strong enough to proceed, because you're about to face the ride's ultimate
challenge. Soon you will see the road ahead seem to shoot up into the sky
at an impossible angle. The usual reaction when a cyclist first sees what
lies ahead is to exclaim: "Oh, my
God!" The climb is just under two miles,
but it averages 11 percent with sections that are even steeper. If you
have a triple chainring, this is where you'll use the granny gear. Racers many years ago
appropriately nicknamed this climb "End of the World."
When you reach the top of End of the World, you can relax
and enjoy the rest of the ride, which is generally downhill back to
Superior, where you will be forgiven if you
collapse at the side of the road.
The metric century is an out-and-back from Superior to Winkelman. By cutting about 40 miles off the full
century, riders avoid Top of the World and El Capitan, but riders still
must climb Ray Mine Hill, and they get to do End of the World twice, once
in each direction. This may be the shorter version of the ride, but it
still ain't for
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 strip off as the day
warms up, bag the clothing, and transport it to the finish line where
riders can collect the bags after the ride.
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.
In addition to being supported
during the ride, cyclists are also taken care of when they are off the
bike. A large tent will be provided for those
who wish to sleep out Friday and Saturday nights. Riders must provide
their own sleeping bags. Showers are also available all day Saturday and
Sunday, and for those who raise at least $1,500 in contributions, there
will be a special VIP tent, and there will be individual team tents for
teams that raise $10,000 or more. All participants must raise at least
$250 in contributions to participate in the ride.
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
To access the ride’s Website, click here.
Chapter February Ride Destinations
Here are the breakfast ride destinations for the Granada
Park Chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club for the month of February:
February 6 – Paradise Bakery, 8777 North Scottsdale Road
February 13 – IHOP, 225 Apache Boulevard in Tempe
February 20 – First Watch #2, Mountain View and I-17
February 27 – Moon Valley Café, 502 East Thunderbird, Suite B.
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