Welcome to Arizona Road Cyclist News, which is sent out
by E-mail every other Wednesday and is posted to the "Back Issues"
www.azroadcyclist.com several days later. This newsletter
attempts to address issues of interest to people who cycle the
roads and streets of Arizona, be they commuters, club riders,
recreational riders, tourists, or racers. Arizona Road
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In this issue:
Plea Deal for Driver in Tour de Tucson Crash
Alejandro Valverde Banned from Racing in Italy
UCI to Make Time Trial Bikes Obsolete?
Arizona Ranks 7th in Bike-Friendly States
National Bike Month, Week, and Day
The New Shimano Ultegra Groupset
Double Standard on Doping?
No Giro d'Italia Coverage in the USA
Upcoming Races on Versus
Upcoming Races in Arizona
Upcoming Club Rides in Arizona
Deal for Driver in Tour de Tucson Crash
Attorneys representing the 91-year-old
driver accused of hit
and run in the Tour de Tucson crash that seriously injured
Phoenix-area cyclist Gary Stuebe have worked out a plea
agreement under which William Wilson will either receive
probation or up to two years in prison. Otherwise, Wilson
could have been sentenced to up to 12.5 years behind bars.
Mr. Wilson is to be sentenced in Pima County Superior Court
on June 22.
According to press reports, Gary Stuebe is progressing on
the slow road to recovery from the serious injuries
sustained when he and other cyclists in the Tour de Tucson
struck Mr. Wilson's car after Mr. Wilson made a left turn in
front of them. Following the
accident, Gary Stuebe's serious head injury kept him in a
coma for nearly three months.
For those not familiar with the details of the accident can
read earlier posts on this story on the
Website. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the first
article, and read about subsequent developments in order by
scrolling up the page from there.
Valverde Banned from Racing in Italy
On Monday, it was announced that the Italian Olympic
Committee had banned Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde, who
rides for the professional team Caisse d'Epargne, from
competing in Italy for two years. If this ban holds on
appeal, it will make his participation in the Tour de France
unlikely, because stage 16 passes through the Italian Val
d'Aosta region on July 21. The Italian decision is based on
a determination that DNA evidence showed that one of the
bags of blood found in the possession of the infamous
Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes in Operación Puerto
in 2006 belongs to Valverde. This ruling comes despite the
fact that a Spanish court had previously ruled that criminal
evidence obtained in Spain could not be used against Valverde in Italy.
to Make Time Trial Bikes Obsolete?
According to an article in the New York Times, the
Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world
governing body of bicycle racing, is contemplating a
crackdown on time trial bikes. No one knows exactly what the
new UCI standards for time trial bikes will look like, but
the organization, which does not have a reputation for
commonsense rules, has published some unclear guidlines. The
UCI apparently believes that aerodynamic features designed
into modern time trial bikes place too much emphasis on
technology and not enough on the rider's physical ability.
The UCI made its intentions known in a letter sent out to
professional teams in January, and the new standards are
expected to be enforced beginning on July 1, just before the
start of the Tour de France. Most professional teams have a
huge inventory of racing bikes, often supplied by bicycle
manufacturing sponsors such as Specialized, Trek, Cevelo,
etc. Some of these bikes may soon be obsolete.
Of course, most people who buy bicycles, including time
trial bikes, do not race them under UCI rules. The biggest
market for time trial bikes is probably to riders who
compete in triathlons. Many triathletes and casual riders buy the bikes because they
believe that the aerodynamic position shows that they are
serious cyclists. Serious non-racing cyclists often buy the bicycles that the pro racers ride,
and if the pros stop riding time-trail bikes, they may, too.
The new rules may be justified, but enforcing them in
mid-season with only a few months' notice is not a
reasonable way to initiate change. Providing clear standards
at least a year in advance, perhaps two years would be more
reasonable and would have given bicycle manufacturers and
racing teams time to adopt.
Will your time trial bike become obsolete? If you
participate in races sanctioned by USA Cycling, perhaps it
will. Even amateur racing follows UCI rules, and
both professional and amateur riders compete in many races
in the USA.
To read the New York Times article, click
Ranks 7th in Bike-Friendly States
According to the League
of American Bicyclists, Arizona is the
seventh-most-bicycle-friendly state in the USA, down from
the third-most-friendly in 2008. Arizona is ranked behind
Washington, Wisconsin, Maine, Oregon, Minnesota and Iowa in
that order. Dead last in 50th place is Alabama. Our fellow
southwestern state New Mexico is near the bottom in 46th
position. Colorado is in 13th position followed by
California in 14th position.
The League of American Bicyclists says that the criteria
used in ranking states include legislation, policies,
programs, creation of places to ride, education of motorists
(Arizona needs some work on that one) and the encouragement
of people to ride for recreation and transportation. To view
the entire list of states in PDF format, click
Month, Week, and Day
We were almost a week
into May before I realized that someone had declared this
month National Bicycle Month. The League of American
Bicyclists is using the opportunity to promote this week as
national Bike-to-Work week. If you have not been commuting
to work by bicycle this week, it is not too late to start.
This Friday, May 15, is national Bike-to-Work Day. Are you
afraid of arriving at work sweaty after riding in
the desert heat? It helps if you have previously dropped off
a change of clothes at work. If there is no shower available
where you work, a wiping down of certain body parts (face,
chest, armpits) in the men's or ladies' room with a wet
towel followed by some deodorant does wonders. And if you
arrive home stinking after work? Well, if you are a cyclist,
your spouse has probably smelled worse after your Saturday
New Shimano Ultegra Groupset
For months, the talk in
the cycling press has been about Shimano's new 7900 Dura
and its electronic version, the Di2 7970 gruppo. Shimano
probably did not want to steal the fire from its flagship
Dura Ace group by publicizing the fact that a new Ultegra
groupset will also soon be available. Dubbed the 6700
series, the new gruppo reportedly shaves 151 grams off the
weight of the previous 6600 line.
As was the case in the previous version, the new Ultegra
crankset will be available in three versions: double (53-39
or 52-39T), triple (52-39-30T) and compact (50-34T). Cranks
will be available in four lengths: 165, 170, 172.5 and 175
millimeters. The outer chainring features what Shimano calls
its Hollowglide technology; the new chainring is
hollow to save weight, and Shimano claims that this
technology also adds to its stiffness. With 170-millimeter cranks, Shimano
specs the 53-39T version
at 785 grams including the
integrated bottom bracket.
The control levers, like the new Dura Ace, will feature
carbon shift blades, under-the-handlebar-tape cable routing
and a reach adjustment to accommodate different-sized hands
and different handlebar bends. The levers weigh 445 grams
The RD-6700 rear derailleur will come in two versions: a
short-cage version for double cranksets and a medium-cage
version for triples. The short cage will have a capacity of
33 teeth including a difference of 16 teeth in the
chainrings and a maximum rear cog of 26 teeth (the new Dura
Ace derailleur will take up to a 28-tooth cog in the rear).
There will also be a choice of two front derailleurs:
one for double chanrings and the other for triples.
Double Standard on Doping?
The baseball world was rocked last week when Los Angeles
Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games,
which translates to several months, after testing positive
for the banned drug human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a
female fertility drug that steroid users take to regulate
their testosterone levels. The drug has been banned by the
International Olympic Committee since 1987, but major league
baseball only got around to banning it last year.
Mr. Ramirez's comparatively short suspension seems very severe
to many baseball fans, but had he been a professional
cyclist, he would have received a two-year ban from the
sport for the first offense and a lifelong ban for the
Now, I'm not saying that cycling's attitude is too harsh. On
the contrary, I think that the attitude in baseball and
other non-cycling sports if far too meek. I remember that a
year ago, the two main German television networks both
dropped coverage of the Tour de France over doping scandals,
but no one has suggested that German TV stop televising
soccer because of the doping that takes place in the
Bundesliga, and as far as I know, German extensively
covers the Olympic Games despite all of the Olympic
swimmers, runners, etc. who have been exposed as dopers.
Mention professional cycling to almost any German national,
and he or she will immediately respond that the sport is
plagued by doping scandals. Mention soccer, and you do not
get the same reaction.
Cycling has done a lot more than any other sport that I am
aware of to try to clean up its doping problems. Perhaps
cycling should get some credit for taking the problem
seriously and baseball, soccer, track and field, swimming,
etc. should be encouraged to do more.
Giro d'Italia Coverage in the USA
The world's second biggest bike race, the Giro d'Ialia, is
in progress, but from the US media, you wouldn't know it.
The premium cable and satellite channel Versus has carried a
short summary of this race in the past, but not this year.
Versus claims that the Giro organizers wanted too much money
for the U.S. broadcast rights. The Website Cycling TV (www.cycling.tv)
has apparently obtained the rights and is streaming the race
video over the Internet, but at a price. A year's
subscription to the service is $99.99. Versus will broadcast
live coverage of the Tour de France, but will the Vuelta a
España be available? Both Versus and Cycling TV are
apparently still negotiating with the organizers, although
Versus usually broadcasts only a short summary of the Vuelta
after it is over. Last year I was able to watch many of the
Vuelta stages live,
thanks to my satellite package, which includes TV Española,
but of course, the commentary was in Spanish.
Upcoming Races on Versus
The next race to broadcast on Versus will be the Critérium
du Dauphiné Libéré
on June 7 and June 14, the days of the first and last
stages, beginning at 2 p.m. Arizona time both days. This "critérium"
is not a criterium in the American sense of the word but a
tough weeklong stage race through the French Alps that ends
in Grenoble, a city dear to my heart, because I attended
university there for a year and was therefore once able to
witness the end of the final stage in person. Live daily coverage is
available on www.cycling.tv
for a fee.
The Tour de Suisse will be available on Versus on June 14
and June 21 beginning at 2 p.m. Arizona time. Then, live
coverage of the Tour de France begins on the Fourth of July.
Upcoming Races in Arizona
The Sonoita-Patagonia Time Trial will be held in Southern
Arizona on May 17. The first rider leaves Sonoita at 9:30 a.m.
The course is 11.7 miles long with a drop in elevation of 700
feet. Average speeds are expected to exceed 30 miles per hour.
The event's Website can be accessed
The first race in the Three Bears Time Trial series takes
place on May 23 on Park Link Drive, which connects the I-10
frontage road to US-79. The races will be 30 kilometers long.
The remaining races in the series will be held on June 20 and
July 18. To view a PDF file with more information, click
The final time trial of May is the Thunder Road Time Trial on
May 31. The course is 16 miles long and is located in the Tucson
area. The event flyer in PDF format can be viewed
Finally, the weekly Tortilla Tuesdays series of road races
begins on May 19 at 5:30 p.m. in Apache Junction. The race goes
along the Apache Trail to the end of the pavement beyond
Tortilla Flat and then returns via the same route. There are two
races each evening, an A race for the more advanced riders and a
B race for the rest of us with a separate women's race if three
or more women show up. The Website for the series can be
accessed by clicking
Upcoming Club Rides in Arizona
Although the various bicycle clubs in the state are
maintaining their regular weekly ride schedules, there are few big
events to report at present. However, there are some events worth mentioning.
The Ride of Silence takes place on May 20 in Tucson and in
Green Valley to pay tribute to the many cyclists who have
been injured or killed throughout the nation. The Tucson
ride, which will be escorted by police, leaves at 6 p.m.
from the North Side Ramada #31 at Hi Corbett filed and
proceeds about 9-1/2 miles. This ride's brochure can be
viewed in PDF format by clicking
The Green Valley ride also leaves at 6 p.m. but from Green
Valley Recreation East Social Center parking lot. Riders
seven miles under the escort of the Pima County Sheriff's
Department.. Riders are invited to show up at 5:30 p.m. for
refreshments before the ride. The ride's brochure in PDF
format can be viewed by clicking
The Ride of Silence is promoted nationally through the Ride
of Silence Website at
GABA's Luna Lake Bike Tour takes place on Memorial Day
weekend of May 23. through May 25. On the first day, riders
will pedal 48 miles from Springerville to Quemada, New
Mexico. The second day's ride is 55 miles from Quemada to
Reserve, New Mexico, and on Monday riders will cover 63
miles from Reserve back to Springerville. GABA and ABC
members pay $90 and others $105 if they preregister. Day of
the event registration jumps to $105 for GABA and ABC
members and $120 for others. The fee covers SAG stops,
luggage transport, camping and showers. For more