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Arizona Road Cyclist News

March 2, 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 to anyone who wishes to read it free of charge. To sign up for an E-mail notifying you 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.

In this issue:
     Cyclist Run Down on Purpose?
     Cyclist Stop-Sign Bill Probably Dead
     “Thee Feet Please” Goes International
     PCCC’s Weekly Crit March Schedule Changes
     Tucson Weekly Crits Continue Through March 9
     Colleen Wheldon-Haught Memorial Time Trial – March 5
     Tumacacori Road Race – March 6
     Another Dam Race – March 12 & 13
     Tour de Cure – March 12
     GABA’s Sierra Vista Bicycle Classic – March 13
     Tucson Bicycle Classic – March 18 to 20
     PMBC’s Mining Country Challenge – March 19
     San Tan Criterium – March 26
     Bike MS Arizona – March 26 & 27
     Hungry Dog Criterium – March 27
     Alta Apina Challenge – June 11
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Cyclist Run Down on Purpose?

According to a news story published by Phoenix television station channel 15, cyclist Scott Walters was struck by a silver Kia near 29th Place and Oak in Phoenix after the Kia’s driver apparently purposely targeted him. Mr. Walters is quoted as saying that the car was traveling in the opposite direction and suddenly crossed the street in order to run into him. Mr. Walters said he bounced of the car’s hood and was not seriously injured.

To read Channel 15’s story and see a video, click here.

Cyclist Stop-Sign Bill Probably Dead

HB2130, the bill introduced in the House of the Arizona Legislature in January, which would have permitted cyclists to treat stop signs as if they were yield signs, is probably dead for this session according to one of the bill’s sponsors. The bill was referred to three committees, none of which took a vote on it. In an E-mail that Representative Katie Hobbs sent to me and to several others, she wrote that the deadline for hearing new bills in the House passed without the bill’s having reached the House floor.

Many cyclists hope that a similar bill will be re-introduced in the next legislative session, but without considerable support from the cycling community, the chance of the Arizona Legislature’s passing such a bill seems slim. As I have editorialized in this newsletter previously, pro-bicyclist legislation is stymied in this state by the lack of a lobbying group that speaks for more than a small niche of the state’s cyclists. Despite great interest among cyclists in seeing this bill become law, I am unaware of any cycling organization that actively lobbied for its passage.

As part of my belated and inadequate effort to drum up support for this legislation, I communicated with the heads of two cycling organizations, both of whom are readers of this newsletter and both of whom aspire to represent the interests of the state’s cyclists. One of them initially claimed to be uninformed about the bill but later acknowledged that some of his colleagues were in favor of it. The other claimed to still be on the fence about the bill but felt that he could probably not support it.

Although I am not aware of any official statistics, if we discount casual bicycle riders who have a bicycle in the garage and ride it occasionally, I suspect that the largest group of serious cyclists in Arizona is made of people who regard cycling as an athletic endeavor: triathletes, racers, club riders who strive to beat their fellow cyclists on climbs and sprints, etc. To my knowledge, no one speaks for these mainstream cyclists on a statewide level, although there are voices in the wilderness such as the blog of the Erik Ryberg, the Tucson bike lawyer and Ed Beighe’s Arizona Bike Law Blog.

Well, to use a hackneyed simile, organizing cycling athletes is probably like herding cats. The cyclist who is out on the road doing intervals, climbing hills at maximum effort and riding the Hour of Power at 5:30 a.m. in the dark and cold of winter would like more respect on the road but may not be interested in joining a cycling-advocacy group. The disinterest may be mutual, because no advocacy group seems concerned about the viewpoints of athletic cyclists.

“Three Feet Please” Goes International

The cycling advocacy group Three Feet Please, which is trying to get legislation similar to Arizona’s three feet law across the nation, has now gone international with its One Metre Please campaign. Arizona’s law, which to my knowledge has only once been enforced when a cyclist was not actually struck by a car or truck, requires motor vehicles to give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing.

As part of the organization’s campaign, the organization still sells its original bright yellow jerseys with the words “3 FEET PLEASE” on the back with double arrows indicating that this is the safe passing distance. For those states that have a three-feet passing law, the jersey sports the words “IT’S THE LAW” on the front of the jersey. The slogan is now also available on backpacks and bright yellow T-shirts.

As the campaign goes international, the merchandise is now also available in a “1 Metre Please” version for countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In the USA, the organization has targeted California for special interest as ripe for the passage of a three feet law.

As a personal testimony, I own one of the 3 Feet Please jerseys. It is made by Voler and is very comfortable as well as being an attention getter. Its three rear pockets are easy to access while riding. It is far superior to other three feet jerseys that I have evaluated. My only criticism, and I’ll admit that it is nitpicking, is that the jersey uses Voler’s flimsy hidden zipper, which has a habit of sticking, instead of the company’s much sturdier full-length zipper, which can be adjusted with one hand while riding. However, unless you are one of us finicky riders who constantly fiddle with zippers to adjust ventilation while on the bike, you can probably live with this.

You can view and order the organization’s merchandise on its Website, www.3feetplease.com.

PCCC's Weekly Crits March Schedule Changes

The Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club’s (PCCC) Midweek Criterium Series, usually held on Tuesday evenings from, has had to be rescheduled to a different day of the week during each of the first three weeks of March due to conflicts with other users of the cycling venue. This week’s race is rescheduled from Tuesday March 1 to tomorrow evening March 3. Next week and the following week, the race will be held on Wednesday evening (March 4 and March 16). On March 22, the race should return to its normal Tuesday evening schedule. No matter which day the races are held, the time remains the same with the first race starting at 5 p.m. and the last race ending 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.

Tucson Weekly Crits Continue Through March 9

Tucson’s weekly criteriums continue through March 9. The races take place on Wednesday evenings starting at 6:00 p.m. and are held on a closed course with 13 turns. 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 for 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.

Colleen Wheldon-Haught Memorial Time Trial – March 5

This race is part of the Three Bears Time Trial Series promoted by the Summit Velo racing team and is held in memory of Colleen Whealdon-Haught, a category 2 road racer who died of breast cancer on October 4, 2009.

The course is out and back on Park Link Drive between the I-10 Frontage Road and AZ-79. The start/finish line will be about five miles east of I-10. There are separate categories for all age groups from juniors to veterans from 10 years of age to 75+. There will also be tandem class and a Merckx open category for those who want to race in the traditional time-trial style, which means no time trial bikes, no areo equipment, no deep rim or disk wheels, and no skin suits.

The entry fee is $20 for adult riders, $5 for juniors, and $30 per tandem. The distance is 30 kilometers for all categories. Registration is online only at bikereg.com and closes two days before the event.

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

Tumacacori Road Race – March 6

The Tumacacori Road Race takes place in Southern Arizona on a six-mile loop about 58 miles south of Tucson with 460 feet of vertical climbing per lap. Racing gets underway at 7:00 a.m. with the category 4 men’s race; the men’s professional and category 1 and 2 race starts at 10:00 a.m.; and the women’s category 1, 2, and 3 race starts at 10:09 a.m. Entry fees are $30 for most categories, $35 for men professionals and category 1, and 2 riders, $35 for women category 1, 2, and 3 riders and free for juniors until February 25. After that date, add a $5 late fee. Registration is online or by US Mail. Online registration closes on March 1. To view the race brochure in PDF format, click here.

Another Dam Race – March 12 & 13

This is a two-day stage race held on a 13.5-mile circuit in Lake Havasu City with 1,250 feet of climbing per lap. The information in the race brochure and on the race’s Website is sketchy, but apparently riders will race the same course for the same number of laps on both Saturday and Sunday. The entry fee is $80 for adult racers, $15 for juniors ages 10 through 12, $20 for ages 13 and 14, and $25 for ages 15 through 18. All adult riders compete for a total of $10,000 in cash prizes, whereas the top three finishers in each junior category will receive medals. To connect to the race’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. There are three ride choices: a 62-mile metric century, a 35-mile ride, and an 8-mile fun ride. 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 here.

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 off the loop through Bisbee. The half-metric century appears to be an out-and-back route.

The registration fee is a quite reasonable $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.

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. Registrations can be mailed in or done online. Mailed registrations must be postmarked no later than March 8, and online registration closes at 11 p.m. on March 14. There will be no day-of-race registration. All registrations after March 4 will incur a late fee of $10 for juniors and $15 for others.

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 until March 16. For day-of-the-event registration, add $10 to that fee. To access the ride’s Website, 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.

Hungry Dog Criterium – March 27

The Hungry Dog Criterium will be held on March 27. However, as this was written, details of the race were not available. Look for them in the next edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News.

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.

About Arizona Road Cyclist News

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