to the first edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News of the
new year and technically the first issue of the new decade (although it
is popularly believed that the decade began last January 1). I hope all
of our readers had a chance to put in some miles on the bicycle over the
holiday season despite the bitter cold.
advance notice about this year’s plans for the newsletter: I plan to be
in Europe (France, Germany, and Spain) during the months of July,
August, and September. Although I could write the newsletter from there,
thanks to the great communication that the Internet provides, I most likely be too busy hiking and BSing with the locals to find the time.
Therefore, the newsletter will almost certainly be on vacation during
the entire Arizona monsoon season.
I tell one of my fellow cyclists about the trip, the first question is
always, “Are you taking a bike with you?” Sadly, I am not. Although I
would love to take a touring bike and spend the entire three months
cycling from youth hostel to youth hostel, the cost of taking a bike on
any of the airlines that accept my air miles is prohibitive. However, I
do plan to do lots and lots of hiking. I hope to spend over a month doing
the pilgrimage on foot from Southern France to Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain, not for
religious purposes, but for the adventure.
Cyclist News is normally
published every other Wednesday and sent out by E-mail free of charge.
To modify or cancel your subscription, click here.
In this issue:
Prison Sentence for Driving in Bike Lane
A Message from the Arizona Bicycle Club
Arizona 2011 Racing Calendar Online (sort
Casa Grande Century -- January 9
Not Your Mom Usery Park Tour -- January 21 to 23
Eurand CF Cycle for Life -- January 22
Tour de Hero -- January 29
GABA's Picacho Century -- February 6
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 & 27
Alta Alpina Challenge -- June 11
ABC Granada park Sunday Breakfast Ride Destinations
About Arizona Road Cyclist News
Prison Sentence for Driving
in Bike Lane
OK. I'll admit that
the article title is more than a little bit of a stretch, but it is
technically true. At
1:43 a.m. on January 3, the Mesa Police Department arrested a man who
was pulled over for driving in a bike lane, but that wasn't the offence
that has him headed for the slammer. The driver turned out to be an escaped convict.
happened on Monday morning. A Mesa police officer pulled over a car that had been
traveling in a bike lane near Main Street and Extension Road. After the
car turned into a parking lot and stopped, the driver fled on foot into
an apartment complex. More officers arrived, and the driver, 38-year-old
John A. Fajardo was arrested for fleeing a traffic stop. When police
checked the man's record, they found that he was wanted for escaping from prison in Florence and had a history of arrests for such offences as
drug violations, criminal trespass, armed robbery, and aggravated
assault. Nice guy!
See? Some of those people who do not respect bike lanes really are bad
people. Kudos to the Mesa Police for enforcing a law designed to protect
cyclists. Now, if we could just convince police departments to enforce
the three-foot law. Although I have absolutely no facts to back up this
supposition, it may be that more of those people who
drive with no regard for human life may have criminal backgrounds.
A Message From The Arizona Bicycle Club
The Arizona Bicycle Club sent out this message by E-mail yesterday
regarding the possible elimination of a proposed cyclist and pedestrian
overpass over 19th Avenue near Greenway. I am not familiar with the
proposed structure, so I reprint the message here without comment. The
E-mail also did not mention who the author is, so I cannot give that
The bicycling community needs your help! Please attend an
important meeting this week to show your support for an important
bicycle/pedestrian overpass which is on the chopping block. A plan
to build a bridge over 19th Avenue, just south of Greenway Road is in
jepordy. The City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department is
scheduled to present options for the proposed 19th Avenue
Bikeway/Pedestrian Bridge and Multiuse Path project at 10:00 AM Thursday
January 6, 2011, to the Transportation, Sustainability, and
Infrastructure (TS&I) Subcommittee for their consideration and possible
action. This public hearing will be held in the Assembly Rooms in City
Hall., 200 W. Washington Street. There is a potential of a change in
meeting location, please check the following link for additional
information on this item and potential changes in location. The link can
be found at
http://phoenix.gov/PUBMEETC/indxhtml.html, scroll down and click on
1/6/2011, 10:00 AM "TRANSPORTATION, INFRASTRUCTURE AND SUSTAINABILITY
The Cave Creek Wash Trail (CCWT) should be viewed as a supplement to
(and not as an alternate for) safe on-street provisions for bicyclists
and pedestrians. The mix of on- and off-street accomodations for
bicyclists and pedestrians are a network, and all the parts of the
network need to work together. The CCWT is not merely a
recreational feature. Reducing our dependence on automobiles by
promoting cycling and walking is one of our most cost-effective means of
improving health, reducing pollution and traffic congestion.
Several studies have shown significant increases in property values
attributed to such features. The CCWT can, and should, be a key
component of the multi-modal transportation network in the area.
The regional planning process has recognized this need for many years.
We are now a mere few thousand feet from making it a reality.
Don't let this opportunity slip away.
The Cave Creek Wash Trail (CCWT) currently runs from Union Hills Drive,
south for 7 miles. At its south end at Dunlap Avenue, the CCWT
meets the Arizona Canal multi-use path, in the Metrocenter area.
The Arizona Canal path which is part of the nearly 70 mile Sun Circle
Trail, established in the 1960's, should probably be considered the
crown jewel among the area's multi-use trails. With it's
miles of paved surface and dozens of underpasses beneath busy roads, the
Arizona Canal path is one of the most popular trails in the area.
The CCWT also intersects the Greenway Parkway multi-use path. The
Greenway Parkway trail provides a connection to the Phoenix Sonoran
Bikeway's 50 miles which run from South Mountain Park to the Phoenix
Sonoran Preserve just south of Carefree Highway. At the north end
of the CCWT, Union Hills Drive features 6 miles of designated bike lane
to the west, all the way to the Arrowhead area, and 6 miles to the east,
to Tatum Boulevard.
Unfortunately, today, the Cave Creek Wash Trail is not continuous.
Even though it sits at a crux in the middle of the Metropolitian Phoenix
area, two gaps, totaling a mere few thousand feet, stand in the way of
connecting literally hundreds of miles of bike paths and bike lanes into
a functional network. The CCWT provides access to the Rose Mofford
Sports Complex but not for the thousands who live north of Greeway Road.
Without completing the CCWT, the substantial investment we have made in
our Multi-modal transportation network falls well short of its
potential. Anyone who doesn't see the critical importance of this
bridge simply isn't looking at the big picture.
Arizona 2011 Racing Calendar
Online (sort of)
preliminary 2011 racing calendar of the Arizona Bicycle Racing
Association (ABRA) has been posted
to the Web and may be viewed by clicking here.
Racing starts on January 23 with the first Avondale Criterium (apparently
there will be at least one more later
in the year). January finishes with the U of A Criterium on
January 29 and the Flapjack Time Trial on January 30. In addition, the
Tribe bicycle shop in Scottsdale is holding a women’s clinic on January
this was written, there were no
links on the ABRA Website to any of the individual race Websites.
Also, our discussion forum has been undergoing frequent redesigns, and
with each redesign, the logon credentials of all registered users
vanish. The result is that many potential posters have grown tired of
constantly reregistering, which discourages the dissemination of
information among the Arizona road racing community.
Casa Grande Century -- January 9
Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club (PMBC) will put on its annual Casa
Grande Century ride this weekend on January 9. There are three distance options
available: a full 100-mile (actually 102 miles, I believe) century ride,
a 100-kilometer (62-mile) metric century, and a 34-mile ride. This is a flat century that passes
through the desert and farmlands between Chandler and Casa Grande.
rides start at the Safeway store at 4970 South Alma School Road in
Chandler with check-in from 8 to 9 a.m. There is no mass start, so riders
may depart as soon as they check in, although riders doing the
full century are requested to
depart by 8:30 a.m.
ride fee for the full and metric centuries was a quite reasonable $20 for
members of PMBC, GABA, and ABC until January 1. However, for those not yet
registered, an additional $10 late fee has kicked in. The 34-mile ride
now costs $25 until with a $5 adder for non-members of the three cycling
All riders get SAG support, and early registrants also receive a Polar water
bottle. In addition, participants of the two longer rides get
lunch in Casa Grande.
access the ride's Web page for more information, click here.
Not Your Mom Usery Park Tour -- January 21 to 23
This a self-supported tour, meaning that you should ride you touring
bike, carry everything you need in panniers or a touring trailer, and be
prepared to camp out. The ride is a short 28 miles each way, and
cyclists will spend the weekend at a developed campsite in the park. If
you plan on taking par in this ride, a tent would be a good idea, and a very
warm sleeping bag is a must if you are planning on sleeping out, as January is the coldest month of the year
in the Phoenix area.
For links to this and other NYM tours,
Eurand CF Cycle for Life -- January 22
letters "CF" in this ride's name stand for Cystic
Fibrosis, which the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation would like to change to
"cure found." This ride is a fund-raiser to fight this dread
disease. The ride starts on January 22 from the Ed Hooper Rodeo Grounds
in Casa Grande, Arizona and takes place in the farmlands and
desert that surround the city. There are 15-. 35-,
and 65-mile routes with SAG stops every 10 to 12 miles.
After the ride, there will be a beer garden and lunch at the finish line.
Communication among SAG wagons and SAG
stops will be carried out by amateur radio operators.
ride's organizers point out that cystic fibrosis is the leading
life-threatening genetic disease among children and young adults in the
USA. The average lifespan of those living with cystic fibrosis is
only 37 years, so finding a cure is very important.
those not yet registered, the registration fee is $35 through January 21
and $45 on the day of the event. Riders are also
expected to raise at least $200 in contributions by ride
day. Those who raise significant contributions
will be rewarded by some very desirable prizes.
more information on the Eurand CF
Cycle for Life ride, click here.
Tour de Hero -- January 29
United Blood Services and the Los Freeloaders cycling group present
their annual bike ride on January 29 to support National Volunteer Blood Donor Month
with advanced, intermediate and beginner routes. The ride begins
at the United Blood Services headquarters at 6220 East Oak Street in
Scottsdale. The advanced ride starts at 8:30 a.m. and has a length of 62
miles, a metric century. The intermediate ride starts at 10:30 a.m.
and is a metric half century of 31 miles. For beginners, a five-mile fun
ride will start at 11:00 a.m. The routes will be on lesser-traveled city
streets in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tempe. Riders are
requested to check in at least a half hour before their
cost of the two longer rides is $20 until January 22 and $25 thereafter.
Cut those prices in half for the fun ride. However, the object of the
ride is to recruit blood donors. Riders are encouraged, but not required,
to sign up three blood donors. Those who sign up donors by January
22 will be entered in a raffle
with a chance to win what Blood Services promises are “great prizes.”
Those who want to donate blood but do not wish to ride may donate in the name of a rider by signing up at www.bloodhero.com. For
more information on the event, click here.
GABA's Picacho Century -- February 6
For those who like
a flat course, the Picacho Century is for you. There are three ride
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
To access the
ride's Web page, click
Not Your Mom Tucson Tour
-- February 18 to 21
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 gas.
first days 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.
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.
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
The ride is limited
to 30 riders, so it may pay to register early. To view the ride's
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 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
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 of the loop through Bisbee. 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
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, 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, so it's
the perfect ride for many of my readers.
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 are narrow with no shoulder.
From Miami it's
generally uphill to the nearby city of Globe. After Globe, the route
climbs 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 lunch. This descent holds memories
for me, because while zooming down off the mountain at high speed
several decades ago, a bee flew into one of the vents of my helmet.
While holding onto the bars with one hand, I used the other hand to
unbuckle and rip
off my helmet, but too late. The bee stung me right on the top of my
the road starts climbing up 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 a real challenge.
Soon you will see the road ahead seem to climb at an impossible angle
right up into the sky. 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
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.
I don't know what the ride fee is, but I assume the fee and a link to a registration form will
soon be posted to the ride's Web page, which you can view by clicking
Bike MS Arizona – March 26 & 27
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, and 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 (don’t take off too much, please), bag the clothing, and
transport it to the finish line where riders can collect the bags after
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.
addition to supporting 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 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
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.
Challenge – June 11
ride is still five 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
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 and 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.
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 (I know you’re
out there) 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. OK, the course is only 198
miles long, but purists can circle the parking lot a few times at the
finish to make up the extra two miles. Compared to this, our Mining
Country Century is just a ride in the park.
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
access the ride’s Website, click here.
Park Sunday Breakfast Ride Destinations
are the desitnations for the Granada Park
chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club’s Sunday morning breakfast ride
during the remainder of the month of January. The ride starts at Granada
Park, 20th Street and Maryland in Phoenix at 7:30 a.m. For insurance
purposes, non-members are asked to join the club
after riding with us once.
January 9 – Stan’s Metro Deli, 414 South
Mill Avenue, Tempe (new destination)
January 16 – Mel’s Diner, 1747
Northwest Grand Avenue, Phoenix (new destination
January 23 – Scramble, 9832 North
Seventh Avenue, Phoenix (lousy coffee & annoying, repetitive trance
music on the PA system)
January 30 – Aunt Chilada’s 7330 North Dreamy Draw,
Phoenix (Plan to spend the morning. Painfully slow service. However, big plates of gringo-style “Mexican” food.
A good place to spend the morning while loading up on a day’s worth of
calories in one meal.)
About Arizona Road Cyclist News
Road Cyclist News is published
every two weeks. The newsletter is free of charge. Arizona Road Cyclist
News is copyrighted. You may
forward the entire copy by E-mail to anyone you wish. You may also copy
and send individual articles as long as you cite Arizona Road
Cyclist News as the source. However, the best way to share the newsletter
with your friends is to E-mail them the following link:
can subscribe to an E-mail notification that the current issue of Arizona
Road Cyclist News is online. We ask for your Zip code in order to get an
idea of our subscriber distribution and not for any other purpose.
If you subscribe to E-mail notification, you can unsubscribe at any time,
and your name and E-mail address will be erased
from our servers. We do not share E-mail addresses with anyone, so
signing up for E-mail notification will not get you spammed.