Arizona Road Cyclist News
Jack Quinn, Editor

 © May 27, 2009

Welcome to Arizona Road Cyclist News, which is sent out by E-mail every other Wednesday and is posted to the "Back Issues" page of 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 Cyclist News is free of charge. Feel free to forward it to your friends. If someone has E-mailed this newsletter to you, you may sign up for your own free subscription at www.azroadcyclist.com.

This newsletter is copyrighted. You may send individual articles to others if you identify Arizona Road Cyclist News as the source. However, it's much easier to forward the entire newsletter, in which case the copyright information is already included.

In this issue:

     Live Giro Video on the Web
     Arizona State Road Race Championship
     Other Upcoming Races in Arizona
     Wednesday Ride: Paradise Valley to Hidden Hills
     Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Seeks Photo
     GABA's Escape to the High Country
     The Race Across America (Including Arizona)

Live Giro Video on the Web

In the last issue, I wrote that there was no free coverage of the Giro in the USA. That turns out not to be true. Universalsports.com is carrying live video feeds of the Giro d'Italia daily, and for those of us who cannot be at the computer during the race, the videos are archived online and can be viewed later on demand. There is also race commentary in English by a knowledgeable announcer, although his delivery is a bit halting. The best part is that the race coverage is free! Other online sites are charging a fortune to view the Giro.

Arizona State Road Race Championship

The Arizona State Road Race Championship will be held in the Globe area on Sunday June 7. There are separate races for men and women in five-year age increments for those over 18 and in two-year increments for the youngsters from 10 to 18 years old. The course is an out-and-back route with a distance is 18 miles for juniors 14 years old and younger (the race brochure lists the distance for women in these age categories as 35 miles, but that has got to be a misprint), 35 miles for men over 60 and women over 50 years old, and 87 miles for the other categories. The races for the various categories start between 7 and 7:40 a.m. The entry fee is $25 for adults and free for riders 18 years old and younger. Competitors must hold an annual license from USA Cycling, the governing body for bicycle racing in the USA, in order to be eligible to win a championship medal. In addition to the medals, the winner of each category with 10 or more riders will receive an Arizona State Championship jerset. To view the event's brochure in PDF format, click here.

Other Upcoming Races in Arizona

The bicycle road racing season is front loaded in Arizona these days. Most of the races are held in the spring, and by the end of May, most of them are over. Most of the races that do occur in summer and fall are time trials. Gone are the big, high-country summer road races of yesteryear such as Waputki, the Flagstaff Stage Race, Mining Country, Springerville, Skull Valley, etc. and the big season-ending Turkey Day Criterium in the Phoenix area, which attracted top riders from all over the United States. Well, Skull Valley is actually still on the calendar and takes place at the end of August, but the others are now a memory. Old timers still remember when Eric Heiden, fresh from winning five gold metals in speed skating in the Winter Olympics, crashed a borrowed bike in the 1980 Turkey Day Criterium when he hit a pedal rounding the corner by the Memorial Union at ASU. (Incidentally, that day he was riding in a Phoenix Consumer Cycle Club jersey, thanks to the fact that he worked for Schwinn Bicycles, which was then the club's main sponsor.) Arizona no longer has races important enough to attract large numbers of international-caliber riders.

But, to business:

The White Mountain Road Club's informal Tortilla Tuesday road race series takes place most Tuesday evenings until the end of August from Apache Junction out the Apache Trail and then returning via the same route. The start time is 5:30 p.m. through July and 5:15 p.m. in August. There are two races: an A race for advanced riders and a B race for less experienced races. If enough women show up to race, there is also a separate women's race. The entry fee is a reasonable $10 per race or $95 for the series of 11 races. For more information, click here.

May ends with the Thunder Road Time Trial on May 31 in the Tucson area. The race starts and finishes at Sahuarita Road and Alvernon Way, 2.5 miles east of Old Nogales Highway with the first rider off at 7 a.m. The total distance is 16 miles with an uphill ride on the way out and a fast downhill on the way back. Registration is $15 for adult riders and $2 for juniors. For more information, click here.

The Arizona Track Series takes place on the weekend of June 13 and 14 at the velodrome in Balboa Park in San Diego. (When are we going to finally get a velodrome in Phoenix?) For more information on the track series, click here.

Saturday, June 20 brings the second in the 3 Bears time trial series, which takes place on Park Link Drive, which connects I-10 to to US79 near Red Rock, which is in turn near Picacho Peak. The course length is 20 kilometers, and the registration fee is $20. For more information, click here.

Finally, the end of June brings us the 12.5-mile Mount Lemon Time Trial, which goes straight up Tucson's Mount Lemon to Bear Canyon, a vertical gain of roughly 3000 feet. Registration is on-site from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. with the first rider off at 7 a.m. Registration is $15 for adults and $2 for juniors. For more information, click here.

Wednesday Ride: Paradise Valley to Hidden Hills

Weekday rider opportunities in the Phoenix area for those not working are limited. Most of the weekday rides are short and held either before or after work hours such as the Hour of Power (5:30 a.m. all year starting at Exeter Boulevard and 64th Street), the Gainey Ranch Ride (starts at Scottsdale and Double Tree Ranch Roads, currently at 5:30 a.m.), and Tribe (Thursday evenings at 7:10 p.m. starting at the Tribe Multisport ship on Scottsdale Road at Palm Lane).

For those whose schedules allow them to ride later in the mornings, a ride leaves the traffic circle at Northern and Invergordon in Paradise Valley every Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m., proceeds out to Hidden Hills, and then returns to Paradise Valley. On the return route, the group stops for coffee at A.J's at Vila Linda and Mountain View. The ride is informal and open to anyone who can safely ride a paceline at 20+ mph. For safety reasons, helmets are encouraged, and aero-bars are discouraged. This is not an organized ride, and all riders participate at their own risk.

Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Seeks Photo

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists is looking for a new photo for the home page of its Web site, and it is holding a contest to encourage everyone to submit suggestions. For more information on the contest, click here.

GABA's Escape to the High Country

On the weekend of June 13 and 14, GABA Tucson is sponsoring what it calls the 2nd Annual Escape to the High Country. The ride starts on Saturday at the Happy Jack Lodge near Clint's Well and offers 100, 60, and 45-mile ride options. The Saturday ride progresses past the Happy Jack Ranger Station and Lake Mary into Flagstaff, where riders will spend the night camping out or optionally at a motel. Sunday's ride retraces the same route. A shuttle takes riders on the 45-mile ride over a segment of the course. The cost of the ride is $85 for those of us who are not members of GABA. GABA members with a user name and password can log onto a special section of the Website and receive an unspecified discount. For more information and to register, click here(As I have mentioned before, other bicycle clubs in Arizona give GABA Tucson members the normal member discount on their events, and I find it a bit tactless of GABA Tucson to seldom reciprocate.)

The Race Across America (including Arizona)

The world's most famous marathon cycling event, the Race Across America starts from Oceanside, California on June 17 and faces some serious heat and some serious climbing in Arizona. Riders, who come from all over the world to participate in the event, will cross into Arizona from sweltering Blythe, California and then pass through the Arizona cities and towns of Salome, Congress, Prescott, Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Tuba City, and Keyenta before crossing the state line into Utah. The climbs in Arizona include Yarnell Hill, Mingus Mountain, and the Mogollan Rim. Solo riders, the real heroes of this event, pedal day and night with occasional short stops for a few hours sleep. The race clock runs 24 hours a day, so time spent sleeping is time lost from racing. This race is so tough that riders often hallucinate from the strain on their bodies and the lack of sleep. Riders can also participate in teams of various sizes, which gives them the chance to trade off stints on the road. To access the RAAM Website for information on how you can follow the race, click here.

The Bullshifters Bicycle Club runs a time station for the event at Congress. To see a photo of the swanky digs where these lucky dogs work in luxurious comfort, click here.

 

Arizona Road Cyclist News,  http://www.azroadcyclist.com
Jack Quinn, Editor