Arizona Road Cyclist News
J
ack Quinn, Editor

 © February 3, 2010

Published every other Wednesday and sent out by E-mail free of charge. To modify or cancel your subscription, click here.

In this issue:
     The Wheezers and Geezers to Become TV Stars
     Bicycle Rental Needed at Grand Canyon Village
     Phoenix Midweek Criterium Series Underway
     Tucson Midweek Criterium Series Starts Soon
     Flapjack Flats 20k Time Trial -- February 6
     Picacho Century -- February 7
     McDowell Mountain Park Circuit Race -- February 7
     Meeting to Discuss Sabino Canyon & Kolbe Roads -- February 10
     Valley of the Sun (VOS) Stage Race -- February 12 to 14
     Sun Devil Criterium -- February 20?
     Avondale Criterium -- February 21
     Yuma's North End Classic -- February 27 and 28
     Sierra Vista Bicycle Classic -- March 14
     Mining Country Challenge -- March 20
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

The Wheezers and Geezers to Become TV Stars

OK. Our headline writer may have overdone it somewhat. "TV Stars" is a bit of a stretch, but if all goes according to plan, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) will have a TV crew in Paradise Valley and North Scottsdale this Saturday to record the Wheezers' and Geezers' Bicycle Ride. The video is intended to be part of a program that will be distributed nationwide and shown in Arizona on public access cable channels and possibly on Arizona's Public Television channels to promote tourism to the Valley of the Sun. The idea is to show a group of cyclists out enjoying themselves in the February sunshine while the unfortunate huddled masses in the Northeast are shivering and burning their furniture in a vain attempt to keep warm.

The Wheezers and Geezers currently ride from the traffic circle at Northern and Invergordon at 7:30 Saturday morning and head out to incur the wrath of the bicycle-hating residents Hidden Hills. To access the ride's Website, click here. (Just in case you're wondering what your newsletter editor looks like, my picture can be viewed on the site by clicking here.)

Bicycle Rental Needed at Grand Canyon Village

The Grand Canyon National Park is looking for someone to go into the bicycle rental business at Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim and is currently seeking bids from interested parties. The plan is to grant a one-year permit to rent bikes at the Canyon View Information Plaza near the Visitors' Center with the option of renewing the permit for up to an additional year. Tourists who rent the bikes will be permitted to ride them on paved roads and on some of the park's greenway trails.

The National Park Services hopes to eventually have a permanent bicycle rental facility at the Grand Canyon as part of a program to reduce automobile traffic. The pilot program is designed to provide information on how the permanent facility should be designed and managed. The permanent bicycle rental facility will become part of the Park Service's overall transportation plan for the South Rim.

Applications are due by February 22. Anyone interested in applying for the permit, known as a "Commercial Use Authorization" or CUA in government-speak, can access the Park Service's information site by clicking here. Scroll to the bottom for the telephone numbers to call for more information and to download the application and instructions for filling it out in PDF format.

Phoenix Midweek Criterium Series Underway

The popular Phoenix Consumer Cycle Club's midweek criterium series began last evening with a large crowd of racers. The series and will be held on Tuesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. through the end of April in the parking lot of the Phoenix Municipal Stadium on the southwest corner of Priest (also known as Galvin Parkway) and Van Buren. As usual, we expect that some of the races will have to be rescheduled due to conflicting events, but the only exceptions we know about so far is that the February 23 race will have to be cancelled and the March 9 race will have to be rescheduled for Thursday evening, March 11. Other changes, if they occur, will be posted to the Arizona Cycling forum event update page at www.azcycling.com/forum.

This series is designed as a practice and fun race event for everyone with a desire to race criteriums, from beginners to experienced racers. There are for events each evening, a 15-minute D race at 5 p.m., a 20-minute C race at 5:20 p.m., a 30-minute B race at 5:45 p.m., and a 45 to 50 minute A race beginning at 6:15 p.m.

The D race is designed for beginners and juniors and includes category 5 men, inexperienced category 4 men, and category 4 women. The entry fee for this race is only $5, and although there is no prize for wining, we usually arrange a sprint or two during the race, called a prime, for a bag of cookies or donated prize.

The C race is for more experienced category 4 and 5 riders, the B race is for categories 3, 4, and 5, and the A race is for category 1, 2, 3, and 4 riders. These races usually have prizes for the first three finishers as well as sprint primes during the race. If there are not enough riders to make the A race exciting, the A and B races may be combined and started at 5:55. The entry fee for these races is $10 for adults and $5 for juniors. Adult riders who register for one of these races may enter additional races for $5 each. Juniors get to ride their second race for free.

All racers must have a valid USCF license, but licenses will be available for sale at registration. A one-day license costs $10, and a yearly license $60.

This is an exciting event, not only for the racers, but for the spectators. Because the race is held on a closed circuit with good visibility, spectators can follow the race all around the course, and the racers pass before the spectators every few minutes. Some spectators have even been known to set up their barbeque equipment and feast while watching the races. For those spectators who are not familiar with the very tactical nature of criterium racing, I will be there as race announcer to call the action. Admission to watch the race is free.

To view the race series brochure in PDF format, click here.

Tucson Midweek Criterium Series Starts Soon

Tucson will also hold a midweek criterium series on Wednesday evenings from February 17 through March 24, promoted by Team Tolero. There will be three races nightly, a 20-minute C race for category 4 and 5 riders at 5:45 p.m., a 30-minute B race for category 3, 4, and 5 riders at 6:20 p.m., and a 45-minute A race for category 1, 2, and 3 riders at 7:05 p.m. Riders must preregister online at BikeReg.com at a cost of $10 for the first race and $5 for the second race. Registration closes two days prior to each race. The race will be held on a go-cart course with lots of turns. To go to the race's Web page, first click here, and then click on "EVENTS."

Flapjack Flats 20k Time Trial -- February 6

Tucson racing team Summit Velo presents the Flapjack 20-kilometer time trial this Saturday February 6 on Park Link Drive, between I-10 and AZ 79. The start and finish line will be approximately five miles east of I-10. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. with the first rider off at 9 a.m. Preregistration will be held on February 5 in Tucson at a location yet to be announced. Riders can also mail in a registration form in advance in order to get an earlier start time.

Women and men will be scored according to category, with category 1 and 2 riders scored together. There will also be age-based scoring for both men and women in five year increments from 35+ to 60+ (why no 65+ and 70+ categories?). Juniors will be scored by gender in two-year age groups from 10 through 18 years of age. There will also be a tandem class and a Merckz open category for those who race on ordinary road bicycles with no fancy aero bars, no disk wheels, etc. To access the race's brochure in PDF format, click here.

Picacho Century -- February 7

The Greater Arizona Bicycle Association (GABA) will promote the Picacho Century this Sunday February 7. This is a mostly flat century that starts at Cortaro and Silverbell in Tucson and heads north through Avra Valley to Marana and Picacho. There are four distance options, a 100-mile century, a 65-mile metric plus century, a 35-mile ride and a 15 miler. The cost of the ride is $40 with a $15 discount to GABA and Arizona Bicycle Club members for applications postmarked no later than today (Wednesday). Add $10 for day-of-the-event registration. The entry fee includes sag stops and apparently chow, as there is a box on the entry form to check off for a vegetarian meal. To access the ride's Website, click here.

McDowell Mountain Park Circuit Race -- February 7

Team RPM will promote the McDowell Mountain Regional Park Circuit Race on February 7 in McDowell Mountain Regional Park on a 1.6-mile closed loop, described as an oval course with two hard turns and rolling terrain. The race has a total prize list of $4,000 and includes age-based categories in 10-year increments for men beginning at 30+ through 70+. There are no age-based categories for masters women, junior women and junior men.

Juniors race for free. All other categories pay $30 for the first race and $10 for each additional race. There is also a $5 late fee after January 31, and unattached riders, meaning those who are not members of a racing club, pay an extra $5. There is also a fee for entering the park. For more information, click here.

Meeting to Discuss Sabino Canyon & Kolbe Roads -- February 10

The City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) requests the participation of cyclists in a public meeting on February 10 in the Van Horne Elementary School Cafeteria at 7550 East Pima Street in Tucson. The meeting will be held to discuss details of TDOT's plan to construct a four-lane street with bicycle lanes to extend "Sabino Canyon Road south from its intersection with Tanque Verde Road to connect with Kolbe Road approximately one-quarter mile north of Speedway Boulevard." Tucson-area cyclists who are interested in attending can view the meeting notice in PDF format by clicking here.

Valley of the Sun Stage Race -- February 12 to 14

The Valley of the Sun Stage Race is put on each year by the White Mountain Road Club and held in memory of my late friend and fellow racer John Early. This is one of Arizona's premier bicycle races and attracts riders from throughout the Southwest and from Mexico.

There are three stages to this race: a time trial held in the West Valley at Sun Valley Parkway near I-10 exit 109 on Friday, February 12, a circuit race held south of Phoenix near I-10 exit 185 on Saturday, February 13, and a criterium held at the State Capitol Complex in West Phoenix on Sunday February 14. The prize list includes $10,000 in cash plus primes.

The entry fee is $40 for junior riders who will be 18 years old or younger at the end of 2010, $80 for category 4 and 5 riders and masters 35 years of age and older, $85 for category 3 riders, and $90 for professional and category 1 and 2 riders. The fee structure applies to both men and women. There will also be a kids' bike rodeo put on in conjunction with the Phoenix Police Department. As of this writing, I was unable to find any information on how long the various races for each category of riders will be except that the time trial is 14.2 miles.

To access the event's Website, click here. You can also read a short biography of John Early by clicking here.

Sun Devil Criterium -- February 20?

The Arizona State University Bicycle Club will supposedly promote the Sun Devil Criterium on February 20, presumably somewhere in Tempe. As of yesterday, I was unable to find any information about this race online. Let's hope that the race takes place.

Avondale Criterium -- February 21

The second of Team Procon's two Avendale Criteriums will take place on February 21. (The first race was held on January 24.) The race will be held on a course in the area near the junction of South Avondale Boulevard and Coldwater Springs Boulevard in Avondale. The course is clockwise with three turns and one long semicircular loop. Entry fees vary from $25 to $35 for adults and $3 for juniors. There is a $10 late fee. There is also a $5 unattached fee for riders who are not members of a USA Cycling registered racing team.

To view the race's Web page, click here and to view the event flyer in PDF format, click here. The online registration site is located here.

Yuma's North End Classic -- February 27 & 28

The Yuma Bike Club presents the Doug Flynn Memorial Classic on February 27 and 28 in and near Yuma. Readers of Arizona Road Cyclist News may remember that Doug Flynn was a Yuma cyclist and president of the Yuma Bike Club who was killed in a head-on collision with a passenger car south of Yuma last September.

Saturday's race is a criterium in downtown Yuma, and Sunday's race is a circuit race on a 2.5-mile course across the Colorado River in California. This year's prize list includes $4,500 in cash and primes. New this year is a race for category 4 and 5 masters in the 30+ age group. There is also a raffle of a gift certificate for $500 in VeloVie products, with the proceeds of the raffle to benefit Doug Flynn's family. You can browse the race's Website by clicking here.

Sierra Vista Bicycle Classic -- March 14

The Greater Arizona Bicycle Association (GABA) is putting on the Sierra Vista Bicycle Classic on March 14 with 40-, 71-, 90-, and 100-mile options. The 71-mile and longer options go through the historic copper-mining town of Bisbee just north of the Mexican border. After the event, riders are invited to partake of a barbeque lunch compliments of Mike's Cowboy Barbeque. This sounds like an event that might make it worthwhile for Phoenix-area cyclists to gas up the old buggy and make the drive south.

The weather should be cool for this ride, as much of it takes place at higher altitudes above 4,700 feet. To access the ride's Website, click here.

Mining Country Challenge -- March 20

It's not too early to start getting into shape for the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club's Annual Mining Country Challenge. There are two versions of this ride, a 96-mile full (almost) century ride and a 66-mile metric century. Both rides start in Superior, Arizona. The official start of the century is 8:00 a.m. with the metric century starting a half-hour later. Registration and check-in open in Superior at 7:00 a.m.

Both of these rides are very tough and rank among the most challenging organized rides in Arizona. The metric century goes from Superior to Winkleman and back and crosses twice over "End of the World", the leg-breaking 11% climb that toes on and on. As a prelude to End of the World, the return ride from Winkelman also includes Ray Mine Hill.

The full century is a loop starting in Superior and heading uphill over Top of the World to Miami and Globe. From Globe, the ride turns to the right and passes over the El Capitan climb. From there it's mostly an exhilarating downhill ride to Winkleman and lunch, but then the ride climbs Ray Mine Hill and the incredibly tough climb over End of the World before descending back to Superior.

Online pre-registration is now open. The cost of the ride is $30 for members of PMBC, ABC, and GABA and $35 for others until March 16. After that, the price jumps to $40 for members of these three clubs and $40 for non-members.

To view the Mining Country Challenge Website, click here.

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