Arizona Road Cyclist News

 February 4, 2009

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Because I have been having problems with my computer, this issue is mercifully short and basically a list of upcoming cycling events.

Arizona Road Cyclist News is a bi-weekly publication that attempts to cover topics of interest to cyclists who ride the streets and roads of Arizona, be they racers, club riders, or commuters.

In this issue:
              Cycling on Versus. 
              Laveen's 17th Annual Country Challenge Bike Ride 
              Ride on President's Day
              For Those Cyclists Who Dream of Selling Everything and.....

              Upcoming Races in Arizona
              The PCCC Midweek Criterium Series
              Upcoming Tourist Rides in Arizona

Cycling on Versus:

Those of you who have access to the Versus sports channel on cable or satellite can watch portions of each stage of the Tour of California live this month. The starting times of each broadcast, Arizona time, are listed below. I have also added the ending times for the first four days, which were the only complete schedules that I was able to find.

     February 14 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
     February 15 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
     February 16 10:30 a.m.. - 1:30 p.m..
     February 17 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
     February 18 2 p.m.
     February 19 2 p.m.
     February 20 2 p.m.
     February 21 3 p.m.

The times above are subject to change. For updated broadcast starting times from the Versus Website click here or check the Website of your cable or satellite provider. Subtract two hours from the time shown on the Versus Website to convert Eastern Time to Arizona Time.

In addition to the Tour of California live coverage, Versus is presenting a block of cycling programs on February 7. A recap of the Tour Down Under will be broadcast from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. followed by "Lance: The Return from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. and a preview of the Tour of California from 3 to 4 p.m.

Laveen's 17th Annual Country Challenge Bike Ride:

Those of you in the Phoenix area might want to take part in Laveen's 17th Annual Country Challenge Bike Ride this coming Sunday. Riders have a choice of 15, 30, and 62.5 miles, and the best part, according to people who have participated in the ride in past years, is the barbecue that follows the ride. To go to Laveen's Web page, click here. Links on the Laveen page will take you to more information on the event including registration. The ride costs $20, the ride with the barbecue costs $27, and the ride, barbecue and a T-shirt cost $35. The last price sounds like a bargain to me.

Ride on Presidents' Day:

For those of you in the Phoenix area who have Presidents' Day off work, you may be interested in the Arizona Bicycle Club breakfast ride. The ride is free and starts at 7:30 a.m. from Granada Park, 20th Street and Maryland. The Club rides in five different speed groups that vary from near race speed to easy cruising. There is an optional breakfast at Randy's at 7904 E. Chaparral in Scottsdale. You do not have to be a club member to participate in the ride. The ABC also conducts similar rides every Sunday from the same location and also at 7:30 a.m.

For Those Cyclists Who Dream of Selling Everything and...:

On March 21, the Arizona Bicycle Club presents a lecture by Tim and Cindie Travis, a couple who left home and friends in 2002 in order to tour the world on their bicycles. They have been underway on their bikes for almost seven years, and they say they have no plans to stop. They have cycled through North, Central and South American, China and Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The couple will also have copies of their book available as well as some pointers on how the rest of us can follow their example.

Admission is $5 for non-members of ABC and a can of food for the hungry for ABC members. More information is available by clicking here.

Upcoming Races in Arizona

Saturday February 7 brings the Flapjack Flats time trial in Florence (Website here) followed by the McDowell Mountain Circuit Race on Sunday, February 8 (Website here).

The following weekend features the three-day John Early Memorial Valley of the Sun Stage race with a time trial in Buckeye on Friday, February 13, a road race in Casa Grande on Saturday February 14, and a criterium in Buckeye on February 15. This race generally attracts top out-of-state racers, and the criterium can be exciting to watch. The race’s Website can be accessed by clicking here.

February 21 brings the Vulture Mine time trial in Wickenburg, whose Website can be accessed by clicking here. The race takes its name from the fact that it is held on Vulture Mine Road. The Sun Devil Criterium, presented by ASU's bicycle racing team, takes place in Tempe on February 22nd on a D-shaped 1/2-mile course. The race's Website can be viewed by clicking here.  Finishing off the month is the Yuma Bike Club's North End Classic stage race on February 28 and March 1. The February 28 stage is a criterium, and the March 1 stage is a road race. The main Web site for the race can be viewed by clicking here.

The PCCC Midweek Criterium Series

The Phoenix Consumer Cycle Club (PCCC) presents its Midweek Evening Criterium Series at 5 p.m. on Wednesday evenings from now through the end of April. The second race in the series will be held this evening, and another race will be held each Wednesday evening, with the exception of the first week of March, when the race is rescheduled from Wednesday March 4 to Tuesday March 3.

The races are held in the Phoenix Municipal Stadium parking lot on the southwest corner of Priest and Van Buren beginning at 5 p.m. and usually ending shortly after 7 p.m. The best entrance to the parking lot is generally the on on the south side of Van Buren just west of Priest. There are four races based on ability with the race for newer riders beginning first. Registration is held on site up until 10 minutes before the start of each race. One-day or annual racing licenses can be purchased at the race. The races feature a low entry fee and are an excellent way for riders to practice their criterium skills. Spectators are welcome. These are good races to watch because of the informal atmosphere and the fact that spectators can see the entire course.You may want to bring a lawn chair and a cold drink. The best place to park and sit up your lawn chair is across from the announcer's and judges' stand. Don't worry if you arrive late, because the last of the four races is usually the most exciting to watch. For more information, click here.

Upcoming Tourist Rides in Arizona:

GABA’s Tucson chapter is sponsoring the almost-flat Picacho Peak Century on Sunday, February 8 with options for 100, 65, 35, and 15 miles. The ride starts in Tucson and gets its name from the fact that the turnaround point is near Picacho Peak. The ride costs $20 for GABA members and $35 for non-members The ride’s Website can be accessed here.

The Arizona Bicycle Club is holding the Wickenburg Overnight on the weekend of February 21 and 22. Registration is $20 for ABC and GABA members and $25 for others. More information and online registration are available here.

The Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club presents the strenuous Mining Country Century on Saturday, March 14. This challenging ride features lots of climbing. The standard century is 96 miles and follows the route of the former Mining Country Bicycle Race starting in Superior, climbing over the Top of the World to Miami/Globe passing over El Capitan with its 8-percent climb, descending into Winkelman, and returning to Superior by climbing Ray Mine Hill and then the leg-breaking End of the World, a 1.5-mile climb with a grade of 11 percent. From there it is a downhill cruise into Superior. The shorter 66-mile metric century heads from Superior to Winkelman and then returns by the same route. In exchange for a shorter ride, the metric century passes over the dreaded End of the World twice! The ride’s Website can be accessed here.

The Tour de Cure will take place on Saturday, March 14. Route maps and directions are posted on the Bullshifter’s Web site, which you can access by clicking here.

If we miss listing your club’s ride, send details by replying to this E-mail or by writing to




Arizona Road Cyclist News,