Arizona Road Cyclist News

March 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 online free of charge to anyone who wishes to read it. To sign up for an E-mail notification of when each edition is available 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.

This issue is unusually long. The cycling calendar is very busy in Arizona at this time of year, and of course, I was saddened by the tragic death of world-renowned Marathoner Sally Meyerhoff who was fatally struck while riding her bike in Maricopa.

Even with all of the cycling news and events in this issue, I had to leave some out to avoid burnout. As much as I admire the people who ride them, I decided not to write about the Brevet or ultra-marathon bike rides that are taking place, because I had to take a break from the computer and pedal a few miles to preserve sanity. And, of course, I long ago made the choice that I do not have the time to cover off-road events such as mountain biking and cyclocross. The various upcoming “Tour de…..” pseudo-races are also not covered despite the fact that they do more to draw the attention of the non-cycling public to our sport than anything else we do.

Since the last edition, I received some very harsh criticism. As the last article, in the feedback section, you can read the unflattering opinions of Bob Beane, president of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists, about this publication and of me. I’ve never met him, but he has obviously developed a strong dislike for me, and in the interest of balance, I decided to give him space to air his grievances.

To contact me, reply to the notification E-mail. I do not put my E-mail address of the Website to minimize spam.

In this issue:
     Marathoner Sally Meyerhoff Dies in Cycling Accident in Maricopa
     Phoenix Bike Summit This Saturday
     Congressional Bike Ride Held in Honor of Gabrielle Giffords
     Are Most Cyclists Democrats?
     Sky Harbor Mulls Safe Cyclist Access
     Tempe Bike Count – Your Help Needed
     Phoenix Midweek Crits Continue Through End of April
     Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Novice Courses
     Tucson Bicycle Classic – March 18 to 20
     PMBC’s Mining Country Challenge – March 19
     GABA’s Tucson Spokes Rides – March 19 thru 25
     Tucson’s Urban Assault Ride – March 20
     San Tan Criterium – March 26
     Bike MS Arizona – March 26 & 27
     GABA’s Sonoita-Bisbee Bike Tour – March 26 & 27
     Hungry Dog Criterium – March 27
     Cyclovia Tucson – March 27
     Colossal Cave Stage Race – April 2 & 3
     Arizona State Criterium Championships – April 9 & 10
     Superior Road Race – April 16
     GABA’s Spring Bike Swap – April 17
     Old Pueblo Grand Prix – April 17
     Focus Criterium – April 23
     ABC’s Desert Classic Century Ride – April 30
     Answer to the Challenge – April 29 thu May 1
     Alta-Alpina Challenge – June 11
     Feedback – CazB President Slams Newsletter Editor
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Marathoner Sally Meyerhoff Dies in Cycling Accident in Maricopa

Twenty-seven-year-old Sally Meyerhoff, an Arizona resident and one of the USA’s top marathoners, was killed on Tuesday of last week while on a training ride in the City of Maricopa. According to a press release sent to me by Maricopa’s public information officer LaTricia Woods, Ms Meyerhoff was riding southbound on White and Parker Road and was struck by an eastbound pickup truck when she attempted to cross the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway at 1:22 p.m. The police investigation indicated that she failed to yield at a stop sign.

Among her many running victories, Ms. Meyerhoff won the women’s division of the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon earlier this year and qualified as an amateur for last year’s Ironman World Championship. She graduated from Duke University in 2006 where she was all-American in three disciplines: cross country in 2004, 10 thousand meters outdoor in 2006, and 5 thousand meters indoor in 2007. She had also qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon trials. She was scheduled to run the New York City Half Marathon on March 20.

Phoenix Bike Summit This Saturday

This Saturday, March 19, the City of Phoenix will hold its first-ever “bicycle summit” at the Burton Barr Library, 1221 North Central Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although most of the attendees will probably be cycling advocates and planners, all cyclists are invited to attend. I plan to attend and cover the get-together for Arizona Road Cyclist News and hope to publish an article on the meeting in the next edition. Because I suspect that I will be the only person there representing the athlete cyclist, I hope to have the opportunity to mention that as far as I know, Phoenix is the only city of its size in the USA without at least one velodrome.

If you would like to attend this free event, you can reserve a seat by contacting Phoenix bicycle coordinator Joseph Perez by E-mail at joseph.perez@phoenix.gov or by phoning (602) 534-9529. If you would like to see the meeting’s agenda, you can read the event’s press release by clicking here.

An update: I just received an E-mail from Joe Perez (Wednesday morning) that says that over 100 attendees are registered so far. There will be a bike valet service for those who cycle to the event. Those who plan to cycle are requested to notify Joe Perez in advance at the E-mail address in the previous paragraph.)

Congressional Bike Ride Held in Honor of Gabrielle Giffords

The annual Congressional Bike Ride was held last Friday in Washington, D.C. in honor of Arizona Congressional representative Gabrielle Giffords and in memory of those killed in the Tucson shooting. As mentioned in a following article, Representative Giffords is a cyclist and a member of the Congressional Bike Congress. The nine-mile ride was held in conjunction with the 11th annual National Bicycle Summit and proceeded from Capitol Hill up Pennsylvania Avenue and past the White House before returning to the Capitol.

One of the goals of the Summit is to persuade Congress to improve cycling and walking safety by adding shoulders, bike lanes, crosswalks and sidewalks to roads and streets across the country.

Are Most Cyclists Democrats?

Although I have no statistics to back up my impression, it seems to me that there are more Democrats than Republicans among my cycling friends. When we stop to shoot the breeze over coffee, most of the riders express “progressive” views. Democrats certainly greatly outnumber Republicans in Congress and in the Arizona Legislature when it comes to voting for cycling issues.

As part of my research into the Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., I downloaded the membership roster of the bipartisan Congressional Bike Caucus, which is an official caucus in the House of Representatives. You can view the roster by clicking here.

Even I was not prepared by the extent to which Democratic members of the caucus outnumber Republicans. If I have counted correctly, the caucus has 163 members of whom 126 are Democrats and 35 are Republicans, In Arizona’s Congressional delegation, the numbers are even more lopsided. Arizona has eight representatives, of whom five are Republicans and three are Democrats. All three of Arizona’s Democratic representatives belong to the Congressional Bike Caucus, whereas Representative Trent Franks is the only Republican member.

How committed are these members to cycling? I would hope that they all represent cycling interests in Congress. Arizona’s Representative Gabrielle Giffords is reportedly a cyclist, and she certainly has a cyclist’s slim figure. I will suspend judgment on Representative Ed Pastor, but as much as I try to force myself to conjure up an image of portly Representative Raúl Grijalva doing a century ride, my powers of imagination do not stretch that far. I hope that he participated in the nine-mile Congressional Bike Ride.

By the way, there is also a Senate Bike Caucus, but I was unable to find its updated membership roster, so I do not know if Arizona’s two senators are members.

Sky Harbor Mulls Safe Cyclist Access

One of the cyclists, with whom I rode years ago, was required to make frequent business trips. He told me that he always rode his touring bike to Sky Harbor Airport and found a spot to lock it up in one of the parking garages. He said that when he returned from each trip, his bike was always undisturbed and exactly where he left it, ready for his ride home.

In the days when I used to fly frequently on business, I never had the courage to ride my bike to the airport. I would probably have been willing to brave the automobile traffic on the airport’s entrances, but I would not have been so willing to leave my bike in the open, even locked up, for the several days that a business trip would last.

Sky Harbor Airport is apparently not yet considering the possibility that airline passengers might ride their bikes to the airport, but it is aware that many airport workers are poorly paid, cannot afford to buy cars, and rely on bicycles as transportation to and from work. Some of these workers risk their lives competing with high-speed automobile traffic on East Sky Harbor Boulevard. The alternative is ride the city bus or airport shuttle and put the bike on the bus’s bike rack, assuming that the rack is not already full. There are bike racks at the 44th Street Transportation Center and on the north side of Terminal Four on level 2. There are also plans to install bike racks or perhaps even bike lockers at the new 44th Street Train Station. If you are at Terminal 2 or 3, I suppose you have to find a convenient drainpipe to lock your bike to.

Moreover, there are still no concrete proposals for providing safe bicycle access to Sky Harbor’s terminals and other installations.

Tempe Bike Count – Your Help Needed

The Tempe Bicycle Action Group (TBAG) in partnership with the City of Tempe Transportation will conduct the first bi-annual Tempe Bike Count on Tuesday March 29 through Thursday March 31. The data collected will be shared with other organizations and used to promote cycling interests.

TBAG needs volunteers to help with the count, which will be conducted during morning (7 to 9 a.m.) and afternoon (4 to 6 p.m.) rush hours. Volunteers are requested to attend one of two 30- to 45-minute training sessions: Wednesday March 23 at 7 p.m. or Saturday March 26 at 10 a.m. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, click here. Questions can be E-mailed to sam@biketempe.org.

PCCC's Midweek Crits Continue Through End of April

The Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club’s (PCCC) Midweek Criterium Series, usually held on Tuesday evenings, will be held this evening (Wednesday, March 16) this week. Next week the race will return to its normal Tuesday evening schedule and barring unforeseen scheduling conflicts for the venue, it should remain on Tuesday evenings through the end of April. The first race starts at 5 p.m. and the last race ends at approximately 7 p.m.

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. To enter the parking lot, use the entrance on the south side of Van Buren just east of Priest. Racers 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.

The cost to 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 pay no admission charge 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.

Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Novice Courses

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists offers courses for beginning cyclists. Do you have a friend or spouse who doesn’t know how to fix a flat, is insecure about riding in traffic, or cannot handle the minor mechanical problems that can occur during a ride? If so, one of the following courses may be the answer.

The Traffic Skills 101 course, by and for women, will be held on Saturday April 26 at Global Bikes, 835 North Gilbert Road #111 in Gilbert, Arizona from noon to 5 p.m. The course covers such topics as basic bike-handling skills, crash avoidance, traffic laws as they pertain to cyclists, plus a history of the bicycle.

The non-gender-specific version of Traffic Skills 101 course for cyclists will be held at the same location from noon to 5 p.m. on April 9. It covers most of the same topics as the women’s course described above.

In addition to the classroom segment, both courses have an online segment, which must be completed in advance of the classroom and riding sessions. The online portion of the course is free, but the in-person session costs $25. In return, participants receive a $25 gift certificate from Global Bikes.

For more information, click here.

Tucson Bicycle Classic – March 18 to 20

The Tucson Bicycle Classic is a three-day stage race consisting of a time trial on March 18, a road race on March 19, and a circuit race on March 20. All stages will be held in the Tucson area. Entry fees vary from $30 for junior ages 10 through 12 to $85 for professional and category 1 men. There are races for all age groups through 65+ for women and 75+ for men with age categories varying from three-year increments for juniors, 10-year increments for all veteran women and for veteran men under 55 years of age dropping to five-year increments for men 55 years of age and older. Unfortunately for those not yet registered to race, registration for this event is closed.

To view the race’s Web page with links to the race brochure, race bible, and online registration, click 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 registered no later than today (March 16). For day-of-the-event registration, add $10 to that fee. To access the ride’s Website, click here.

GABA’s Tucson Spokes Rides – March 19 thru 25

GABA’s Spokes Rides are a series of out-and-back rides, most of which are just over 60 miles in length, to places of interest in the Greater Tucson area. The series starts with a ride to Saguaro Park East on March 19. The rides on the following days are to Parks Links, Mount Lemon, Tubac and Tumacacori, Colossal Cave, San Xavier Mission and the Titan Missile Museum, and the Desert Museum. The cost is $20 per ride, and there is an additional cost of admission at some of the destinations. Riders who participate all seven days will have racked up more than 400 miles in a week.

To view the Webpage of the first day’s ride, click here. Then click the words “Next Repeat” on the page to go to the next ride’s information.

Tucson’s Urban Assault Ride – March 20

The New Belgium Brewing Company is sponsoring a series of whacky rides in various cities throughout the United States this spring and summer. The only one of these rides scheduled for Arizona will take place in Tucson on March 20. The New Belgium company describes the rides as a “funky bike scavenger hunt where teams hit checkpoints all over the city – completing crazy obstacles at each stop [how does on “complete” an obstacle?] A huge party follows with New Belgium beer, music [I’ll bet it’s not Mozart], and a legendary prize raffle!”

The entry fee is $30 to $60 per person, depending upon when one registers. In return, entrants not only get the ride and beer party, they also get a sack full of goodies including a T-shirt, a pouch, jerky(!), Cliff bars, and raffle tickets.

To view the Tucson ride’s Webpage and register, click here.

San Tan Criterium – March 26

The San Tan Criterium, promoted by the racing team of the same name, will take place in Mesa south of Falcon Field on March 26. Racing starts at 7 a.m. with the masters 45 category 4 and 5 race and ends just before 4 p.m. when the professional and category 1 and 2 riders cross the finish line. The entry fee is $30 for adults, free for juniors, and free for the unlicensed kids’ race, which takes place at noon. Registration will be online with onsite registration possible the day of the race with a $5 late fee. To view the race’s Webpage, 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 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.

GABA’s Sonoita-Bisbee Bike Tour – March 26 & 27

GABA’s Sonoita-Bisbee Bike Tour is always a blast. On day 1, riders will pedal from Sonoita through the Tombstone to Bisbee. There will be three SAG stops on the route including one just before riders begin the ascent of Mule Pass, which is the last and toughest hurdle before the thrilling descent down Tombstone Canyon to Bisbee. There are plenty of sights to see on the way including the Boot Hill cemetery with its fake but colorful grave markers above the supposed burial sites of Tombstone’s desperados.

On the second day riders will freewheel downhill past the Lavender Pit copper mine and head out to Palominas, Fort Huachuca, and Canelo en route back to Sonoita. Riders must have a picture legal identification card or document in order to ride through Fort Huachuca.

For those not capable of pedaling the entire distance, a shuttle will be available each day over the roughest part of the ride, but those needing the shuttle must notify the ride organizer in advance.

Camping will be available at the Sonoita Fairgrounds Friday night prior to the ride and in Bisbee on Saturday night. For those preferring to say in a hotel or motel, a list is provided on the ride’s Website, but book early, as the hotels tend to fill up well in advance of this ride.

Cost of the ride is $90 for members of GABA, ABC and PMBC whose entries are postmarked no later than March 23. Non-members pay $105. After that date, add a $15 late fee.

For more information, click here.

Hungry Dog Criterium – March 27

The Hungry Dog Criterium is scheduled to be held on March 27. However, as this was written, details of the race were not available. The race does have a Website, but there is zero information posted on it. If and when information about this race becomes available, assuming the race materializes, you should be able to access it by clicking here.

Cyclovia Tucson – March 27

Cyclovia Tucson is a car-free five-mile Trek through Tucson on foot, skates, or a bicycle. It happens on March 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., starts in downtown Tucson, and makes a five-mile loop to the south and back to the starting point. The event is free. For more information, click here.

Colossal Cave Stage Race – April 2 & 3

The Colossal Cave Race was once a road race held on a single day, but in recent years it has metamorphosed into three-stage race held over two days.

Stage 1 is the Rocket-Stav Time Trial held on April 2. The out-and-back course is 6.6 miles long and is described as mostly flat with a 104-foot elevation gain. The first rider starts at 7:00 a.m., and the last rider is expected to finish at approximately 9:25 a.m. Riders will start at 30-second intervals.

The second stage will be the Musselman Honda Criterium held on the K1 Kart Circuit near the time trial location. The first group of racers will start at 11:00 a.m., although the circuit will be opened for warm-up at 10 a.m. The course is described as very technical but not dangerous with 13 turns and 17 feet of elevation change per 0.8-mile lap. This is the same course that was used for the spring Tucson Wednesday night criterium series.

The final stage is a road race on the traditional Colossal Cave nine-mile circuit with rollers, climbs, and descents. Riders will do from 1 to 9 laps around the circuit, depending on which category they are racing.

There will be cash prizes for the top finishers in general classification as well as the top finishers in each stage. The total cash prize list totals $6,118. The general classification results will be calculated by totaling points awarded for the finish order of each stage rather than by the fastest cumulative time, as is the case in most stage races. Points will be awarded for the order of finish in each stage, and there will also be points awarded for sprints in the criterium. All finishers will receive at least one point per stage.

Registration is online at bikereg.com where the registration fee varies from $15 for juniors to $80 for men professional, category 1, and category 2 riders. A $5 to $10 late fee will be charged to riders who register after March 23.

To access the race’s extensive Web site for more information, click here.

Arizona State Criterium Championships – April 9 & 10

This year, the organization of the Arizona State Criterium Championship races looks first class. For one thing, instead of cramming the races for all age groups and categories into a single day, the races will be spread over Saturday and Sunday. The age-graded categories, masters and juniors, will race on Saturday. The categorized men’s and women’s races, categories 1 through 5 for men and 1 through 4 for women, will be held on Saturday, billed on the race’s Website as “Elite Women and Men.” (When did novice category 5 racers become elite?)

The races will be held on a course located just south of the intersection of Deer Valley Road and Seventh Street in Phoenix. Racing goes on from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The registration fee is $35 for adult racers and $10 for juniors. Juniors and masters who race in their age group on Saturday may also register to race in their category on Sunday for $25.

I have been told that the course will be on new streets with a first-class surface in a new industrial park. This should be a great event for both riders and spectators. To connect to the race Website, click here.

Superior Road Race – April 16

As this was written, information about the Superior Road Race was not yet available online. However, it’s a pretty safe bet that the race will start in or near Superior, Arizona. Watch for details in the next edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News.

GABA’s Spring Bike Swap – April 17

The Greater Bicycle Association’s spring swap meet takes place in Tucson on 4th Avenue between 6th Street and 9th Street on April 17 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., just before the Old Pueblo Grand Prix criterium. It’s a good place find a great deal on those bicycle parts you need and unload the jun… er… give someone else an opportunity to purchase the heirloom bicycle components that you no longer need. GABA also needs volunteers to help with the event. For more information, click here.

Old Pueblo Grand Prix – April 17

For ya’ll who ain’t from these here parts, the Old Pueblo is another name for Tucson. The term “grand prix” conjures up images of a long arduous race with killer stages spread over several days, perhaps a mini Tour de France, but this grand prix is actually a criterium to be held in downtown Tucson on April 17. The race has a long list of sponsors headed by the Jim Click Automotive Team, and the sponsors must be generous, because the race has a humongous $20,000 prize list including a $9,950 package of prizes for the first 20 finishers in the men’s professional, category 1, and category 2 combined race and a $5,000 total prize list for the women’s combined professional, category 1, 2, and 3 field. With that sort of money up for grabs, one would expect the entry fee to be an arm and a leg, but the cost to race is only $30 for most categories, $35 for the elite women’s race, and $40 for the elite men’s race. I have paid as much to enter a race where the only prize for wining was a handshake and a pat on the back. Registration is online at bikereg.com and closes at 9 p.m. on April 10. There will be no day-of-race registration.

Racing takes place from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. and follows the GABA 4th Avenue Bike Swap. To view the race Website, click here.

Focus Criterium – April 23

The last event on Arizona’s April racing calendar is the Focus Criterium on April 23. As this was written, I had no information on this race.

ABC’s Desert Classic Century Ride – April 30

The Arizona Bicycle Club’s annual Desert Classic takes place on April 30. There are three routes available: a full century of 100 miles, a 62-mile metric century, and a 34-mile ride for newer and younger riders. The ride starts at Oggi’s Pizza & Brewery, which is located south of Loop 101 on the east side of 67th Avenue. Registration opens at 6 a.m., the century ride starts at 7, the metric starts at 7:30, and the 34-mile ride starts at 8. The cost is $25 for pre-registered members of ABC, GABA, and the Bullshifters until March 18. Others pay $35. After March 18, add a $5 late fee. For more information, click here.

Answer to the Challenge – April 29 thru May 1

The Answer to the Challenge is a 325-mile bike ride spread over some of the toughest roads in Arizona. The ride includes 22,000 feet of climbing. Day one is Scottsdale to Strawberry on the Mogollon Rim. Day two brings riders down off the Rim, across Verde Valley, and up over Mingus Mountain to Prescott. On the final day, riders alternately pedal and freewheel from Prescott, through the White Spars, down Yarnell Hill, through Congress and Wickenburg, and then back across the sweltering desert to Scottsdale.

Wait! If this is the Answer to the Challenge, there must be a Challenge, right? Well there was. The original Arizona Challenge, put together by some biking buddies of mine decades ago, covered the same route in one long 24-hour day. Those were the days when men were men, and ……. But I’m getting off subject.

The ride is sponsored by the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club (PMBC) with lots of help from Landis Cyclery, whose crew will transport bags, provide SAG stops with snacks and water, and possibly help you resolve mechanical problems. They will also pick you up if you are foolish enough to register for this ride without being in super physical condition.

The cost of the ride is a very reasonable $60 from members of PMBC, ABC, GABA, and USA Cycling licensed riders. Others add $5 to the fee. After April 23 there will be an additional $10 late fee. Riders are also responsible for booking and paying for their own lodging in Strawberry (hurry, there are limited rooms there) and Prescott.

For more information, click here.

Alta Alpina Challenge – June 11

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.

Feedback – CAzB President Slams Newsletter Editor

Not everyone appreciates the long hours I put into researching, writing, and attempting to proofread Arizona Road Cyclist News nor the time that my teammates and I from the Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club put into the Midweek Criterium Series once a week. Bob Beane, the president of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists, is definitely not a fan. He views my efforts as inconsequential, even harmful.

In the previous edition, I mentioned that I had contacted the heads of two cycling organizations in an attempt to drum up support for the bill then before the Arizona State Legislature that would have permitted cyclists to legally ride through stop signs without coming to a complete stop if the coast were clear. I did not name the persons or organizations I contacted, but I did write these words: “One of them initially claimed to be uninformed about the bill but later acknowledged that some of his colleagues were in favor of it.”

Bob Beane correctly assumed that he was the person referred to in this sentence. I thought the sentence was innocuous, made even more so by the fact that I did not identify the person to whom I referred, but Mr. Beane felt that that sentence was an attack on him and the organization he fronts. He fired off an angry E-mail.

That led to an exchange of E-mails, and in every message he wrote, Mr. Beane seemed to become more incensed. I decided to print what I though would be his final E-mail as feedback

When I notified Mr. Beane that his feedback would appear in this issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News, he demanded that he be able to write a response (to his own E-mail?). I consented, and his own response to his first message is included below.

Here, word for word, are Mr. Bean’s two E-mails. It is probably immature of me, but I could not resist placing a “[sic]” after some of the grammar and spelling errors despite the fact that I am prone to such errors myself.

Jack,

 

I've got no need to be defensive, and I don't feel that we (CAzB) are going down that bike path. I'm very proud of what the CAzB has done. And, I am personally challenging your approach and perspective...both of which I consider to be unproductive and inaccurate.

 

Blog all you want. When you "grow up" and want to be constructive, call me and we'll meet, one-on-one, and hash things out.

 

You have not once given us any evidence that you have made a positive difference for cyclists. Until you do, sail on into the abyss. I can provide a long list of CAzB-supported improvements to the bicycling climate in AZ.

 

You haven't given me one concrete contribution that you have made.

 

Waiting...

 

I can handle constructive criticism (can you?), and the CAzB (as well as the entire cycling advocacy and non-cycling community) needs that. However, your destructive and fractioning approach isn't welcome in my world...where we try to discuss, debate and come to best solutions for the entire cycling community.

 

You may think that you are a smart, wise cycling "expert", but I all I see is a periodically whitty [sic], acerbic unconstructive loner. What the hell are you trying to accomplish? It certainly doesn't seem to be anything concrete that involves working with others (as most significant accomplishments require).

 

The bicycling community needs more constructive and consensus-building participants, not sharp-tongued, divisive critics. Your reply (or not) to this will tell me all I need to know about your true intentions.

 

Based on your self-description as solely a "blogger", and your unwillingness to give any evidence related to any improvement to the bicycling environment in AZ, I don't think we (bicycling community) need to consider your opinion to be of any weight or consequence. Too bad. I had really hoped that you could contribute something concrete to future efforts.

 

I've personally had it with your self-serving BS. I see no evidence that you want to engage...you are just a "my way or the highway" personality. As far as your "last attempt" with the CAzB, what positive are you possibly hoping to accomplish? [sic] Do you always enter a meeting by throwing a grenade in the conference room?

 

Prove me wrong by changing your approach, or just take me off your e-mail distribution list. We've got a lot of work to do...actually achieving real improvements rather than taking other cyclists and advocates off at the kneecaps.

 

Bob

 

P.s. I am working this week with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy on plans to increase the canal path network in Maricopa County...and possibly Tucson as well. What are you doing? Next week, we'll be at the first ever Phoenix Bicycle Summit. Will you be there? Next month, we are presenting two significant educational programs to the MAG Bike/Ped Committee for funding.

 

What are you doing? By the end of April, there should be an Article in LAB's American Bicyclist magazine (nationwide distribution) describing the advocacy efforts that resulted in the bike lanes on Hwy 179 (Sedona/VOC). I don't recall you being a part of that along with the CAzB and the Verde Valley Bicyclists Coaltion [sic]. We raised $80,000 last year and will have a paid Executive Director by April to work cycling issues in AZ. Did you contribute?

 

Get on board, get constructive or get off our backs!

 

______________________________

 

Jack,

 

I disagree. I think you should publish what I wrote about the bicycling community coming together to discuss issues and build consensus as our best chance to improve the environment. That's my serious concern, and it's one of the reasons why I am so frustrated with your insulting assaults on other cyclists and advocates.

 

But, I'm sure (as always) that you'll do as you please. My e-mails to you were to address your repeated approach of blasting other cyclists and advocates. Are you going to publish your e-mails, also, in the order they occurred? If so, then I think people would understand the context of my reply to you and I'll stand by it. Once you've done whatever you are going to do, will you be willing to publish my response? Or, is it just "Jack's way or the highway"?

 

My more important questions for you to ponder are:

 

·         What are you trying to accomplish? Is it positive or divisive/negative for the bicycling community in Arizona?

·         Have you made any effort at all to get "up to speed" on what the CAzB has been involved in and working on in the last two years, or are you just blasting the CAzB based on your past perceptions (accurate, or not) of what we are or are not doing? Did you even looked at [sic] my annual review from last September or the spring update on the web site? I know you've never asked me to make the case of what we're doing, so I don't have any evidence of a "journalistic" approach prior to your broadsides. You seem to just take the approach: "My mind is made up...don't confuse me with facts."

·         On a more serious note, I'll suggest that you make sure that you know what you are doing in anything you publish on line. If you aren't sure what I'm saying here, call me.

·         I've had a lot of favorable feedback from people who have previously dealt with you for calling you out on your personal attacks and uninformed criticism...and I've had a lot of people telling us to just ignore your criticisms and just keep doing what we're doing. Which is where I'm headed (unless you cross the line...in which case I will call you out in whatever forum is appropriate).

 

As I said, constructive criticism (minus the personal attacks) is welcome. Constructive contributions and ideas would be even better. Insulting CAzB current and past members is not. We've got alliances developing all over the state and the country with people who want to be constructive and actually accomplish real achievements in Arizona. I have never understood why you have approached other cyclists with so much venom and disrespect, and I can't possibly understand what you hope to accomplish.

 

Do whatever you wish...just know that I'm not planning to back down or go away because of anything you say or do. I did not sign on to my current role because of or in fear of "bloggers" like you. The bicycling community in Arizona needs much more constructive results than anything you have offered or ever achieved. That's our goal. I have no idea what yours is...

 

Bob

 

[As always, you too can express your opinion by replying to the E-mail notification that the most recent edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News has been uploaded to the Web. (My E-mail address is not published on the Website to reduce spam from Web crawlers.) – Jack Quinn]

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