Arizona Road Cyclist News

May 4, 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.

If it seems that it has been longer than two weeks since the last edition was published, it is. My personal life sometimes interferes with my getting the newsletter out on schedule.

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In this issue:
     Arizona Road Cyclist News Subscriptions hit 400
     ABC Member Bob King Remembered
     Watts Up Sports Looking for a Few Good Racers
     Prescott’s Bike Month is Underway
     Is Germany Becoming a Nation of Cyclists?
     Underground Criteriums – Every Tuesday Evening
     GABA’s Mount Lemon Hill Climb – May 6
     South Mountain Time Trial – May 7
     Avondale Criterium #2 – May 8
     Bike Safety Awareness Day – May 14
     GABA’s Salt River Canyon Tour – May 14 & 15
     Ride of Silence – May 18
     Not Your Mom Mormon Lake Tour – May 20 to 22
     Arizona City Cotton Classic #1 – May 22
     GABA’s Luna Lake Tour – May 28 to 30
     Thunder Road Time Trial – June 5
     Single Track Omnium – June 11 & 12
     Bike the Bluff Omnium and Arizona Track Series
     ABC Granada Park May Breakfast Ride Schedule
     Feedback – The Velodrome, etc.
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Arizona Road Cyclist News Subscriptions Hit 400

Last week the 400th person signed up to receive an E-mail notification when the latest edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News has been uploaded to the newsletter’s Web site. When I E-mailed the first edition in October 2008, the newsletter went out to about a dozen subscribers. Since then, subscriptions have grown almost every week to reach the present number. I suppose I should make the 400th subscriber’s identity public and award the lucky person a new Specialized Tarmac S-works SL3 bike with electronic shifting or perhaps a free trip to Europe, but since the newsletter is still a money loser, the prize budget is a bit limited. So, the person will remain anonymous, and I'll blow through the money on my own upcoming European trip instead.

ABC Member Bob King Remembered

About a month ago, I sent out a special E-mail bulletin reporting that 65-year-old Robert King of Prescott had been fatally struck by a pick-up truck while riding on the shoulder of a road in Florida. The driver of the pick-up was apparently distracted by his cell phone.

What I did not write at the time is that Bob King was a member of the Arizona Bicycle Club who sometimes rode with the Granada Park Chapter Sunday and Friday rides. Bob was buried in Phoenix on April 11. He will be sorely missed.

The Arizona Bicycle Club has posted a “ghost bike” page in his memory on its Website. You can view the page by clicking here.

Watts Up Sports Looking for a Few Good Racers

The Watts Up bicycle racing team is looking for category 1, 2, and 3 racers to join the club. The team would like to add two riders immediately and more riders at the end of the year for the 2012 racing season. The team has no dues and says it offers generous clothing and bicycle discounts and free race-day massages at selective events. The team has a sharp-looking jersey, which you can view by clicking here. If you’re interested in racing for Watts Up, contact information and more information about their search for new riders can be viewed by clicking here.

Prescott’s Bike Month is Underway

The following is a press release from Prescott Alternative Transportation:

Prescott’s Bike Month is Underway

As will be officially proclaimed by Mayor Kuykendall, Prescott’s 2011 Bike Month will run from Tuesday April 19th through Friday May 20th , which is National Ride to Work Day, and the date of Prescott’s “Ride To Work with the Mayor” event.

Prescott Alternative Transportation (PAT), who produces the annual Bike Month calendar, did not wait until the official start to begin listing events, and several things are listed the week before, including the PMBA pint night on April 13th at the Raven Café.

In all, over 20 sponsors came together to print over 7,000 calendars and have them distributed in the April Pop Rocket newspaper. The month’s activities include the world famous “Whiskey Off Road” endurance mountain bike ride where close to 1,500 participants are expected, including pro riders who will be competing for a $20,000 purse.

Throughout the rest of the month there are a variety of activities ranging from rides, maintenance clinics, movie nights, trail work days, bike lane symbol painting, skills training, and bike polo. Time constraints of the printing schedule meant the calendar was going to press even as events were still being added, so additions and updates will be posted on PAT’s website which is www.prescottbikeped.org New this year, everyone is encouraged to “friend” Prescott Bike Month on Facebook for more news and updates.

Prescott Alternative Transportation is a non-profit 501c-3 corporation that has been “working for a bicycle and pedestrian friendly central Yavapai community” since 1997.

Is Germany Becoming a Nation of Cyclists?

The trim-looking Fräulein pictured above may not be ready to ride in a pack or challenge you to a sprint to the city limit sign, but she is typical of a growing number of Germans who are leaving their cars at home and taking to bikes to save money, to improve their health, and for a cause that is much more important in Germany than in the USA: to make a smaller negative impact on the environment. On a trip to Germany a few years ago, I was shown Germany’s largest bicycle parking garage, a multi-story structure across from the main railway station in the city of Münster with room for 3,300 bikes. The garage wouldn’t have surprised me if I had stumbled upon it in Amsterdam, but to see a multi-story former shopping center filled with thousands of parked bikes in a German city was astonishing.

A ticket for a year’s parking in the garage costs 70 euros, the equivalent of $103 on the day this was written (by the time you read this, the dollar will probably have lost a few more cents in value). Germans are willing to pay the fee to park their bikes out of the rain in a relatively safe spot. For 3.50 euros (about $5.20) they can also have their bikes washed at the parking garage, and bike repair is also available. You don’t have a bike. No problem. There are also 250 bikes for rent.

Since I was last in Münster, two more parking garages have been built. In the newest garage, parking is automated. When a customer leaves a bike, a machine hoists it to an upper-level parking spot. Now a fourth bike parking garage is in the works.

Germany has a population of 81.9 million people of whom an estimated four million ride their bikes to work every day. It is estimated that about 10 percent of trips in Germany are made by bike (compared with 18% in Denmark and 27% in the Netherlands. In Münster, however, 38% of trips are made by bicycle compared to 26% by car. The rest of the trips are made using public transportation. (I wonder what percentage of trips are made by bike in Arizona is. I'll bet it is below 1%.)

In addition to standard bicycles, there is a boom in the use of the so-called E-bikes or Pedelecs, a bicycle with an electric motor. 200,000 E-bikes were sold in Germany in 2010, and 300,000 are expected to be sold in 2011.

Being green is Germany is “cool”. Although it may be hard for some of us in Arizona to imagine, riding a bike or an E-bike in Germany is a status symbol, because it shows that you care about the environment and global warming. If you can afford to drive a car but ride your bike instead, you are looked up to.

Underground Criteriums – Every Tuesday Evening

Now that the Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club’s Midweek Criteriums series is over, a group of cyclists has organized (?) an informal Tuesday night criterium series on this year’s state championship criterium course near Seventh Street and Deer Valley Road. Here is the description of the event by racer Timothy Fleming:

Tuesday May 3rd at 7 p.m. will be the second time we are running our new "underground crit" at night under the stars. The location is 7th street and Deer Valley, the southeast corner, the same course where the State Crit Championships were recently held. Course is closed, no cars, super wide, super safe, brand new pavement. The course is also lit all the way around so you don't have to worry about riding in in complete darkness and not seeing something. Front lights are optional since you can see while riding, rear lights mandatory so you don't run into anyone out there.

We ask that you don't wear your current race jersey since this is a fun, practice crit and not a sanctioned race. We start at 7 p.m. sharp with 2 neutral laps, then 45 minutes hard, then we will call 5 to go. There will be primes (fun primes) as well. Bring a friend. If you get dropped, you can wait for the group to come around and then jump back in. All levels welcome. This course has a hill and will make you very strong if you keep doing it week after week.

There have also been 5 or 6 female cyclists coming out a bit earlier (at 5:30 p.m.) and doing some laps. Just an fyi ladies if you don't want to mix it up at 7 p.m. or want to ride with other female cyclists.

Bring the family and a couple chairs! Everyone is welcome!

See you out there!

Timothy

GABA’s Mount Lemon Hill Climb – May 6

The Greater Arizona Bicycle Club (GABA) has organized the group's annual Mount Lemon Hill Climb, which will take place on Friday May 6 this year. Check-in time is from 5:45 to 6 a.m. at McDonald District Park on Harrison Road, which is north of the Catalina Highway. Most of the ride is a long, uphill slog with an average grade of 4.5 percent. There will be four sag stops on the way up the mountain to reduce the need to carry food and water on the bike. The cost is a very reasonable $15 with an unspecified discount for GABA members only. Riders who were registered by April 25th, making the cost of the ride an even better deal. To view the ride’s Web page, click here.

South Mountain Time Trial – May 7

The annual South Mountain Time Trial takes place this coming Saturday. Riders will start at 30-second intervals beginning at 7 a.m. and race 5.5 miles against the clock from the turn-off to San Juan to the parking lot at the top of the mountain popularly known as “The Towers,” because it is directly across from the radio and television towers. The elevation gain is roughly 1,000 feet.

The entry fee started at $20, but beginning April 14th it jumped to $30. Sign-in is from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the park administration building, roughly two miles from the start line. Registration is online. The race brochure does not specify the cut-off date for registering, but it does state that there will be no day-of-race registration. To view the race’s Web page, click here.

Avondale Criterium #2 – May 8

This year’s second Avondale criterium will be held this Sunday in Avondale near the intersection of South Avondale and West Coldwater Springs Boulevards. Registration is $5 for juniors, $25 for most adult women’s categories, $30 for most men’s categories, and $35 for category 1 and 2 men. The race brochure specifies a $10 late fee but neither it nor the online registration site specifies the date when the late fee goes into effect. There is also a $5 fee added to registration for unattached riders, meaning those who are not affiliated with a racing team. The registration cut-off date is May 6 at 8:45 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. To view the race brochure in PDF format, click here.

Bike Safety Awareness Day – May 14

The Helmet Your Head Bike Safety Awareness Day will be held at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix on Saturday May 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parking will be available at the Heritage Square Garage at Fifth Street and Monroe. Activities include instructions of how to safely navigate your bike on the street, free kids’ bike helmets and fitting (if accompanied by an adult, while supplies last), prizes, family activities and live musical performance. This looks like a great event to which to take the kids. To view a brochure about the event in PDF format, click here.

GABA’s Salt River Canyon Tour – May 14 & 15

The Greater Arizona Bicycle Association’s Salt River Canyon Tour is an annual event. This year it takes place on the weekend of May 14 and 15. Riders have a choice of riding 85 miles (plus another five miles for those who stay at the ride’s campground) or a shorter 65 miles with fewer hills. The shorter ride is made possible by a shuttle that carries riders over a hilly section of the route. Those doing the 65-mile option should have pre-registered by April 15 to reserve one of the limited seats in the shuttle.

Riders should show up on Saturday between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. at the Gila Country Courthouse at 1400 East Ash Street in Globe to drop off their duffle bags for the baggage vehicle and check in. Riders are requested to hit the road no later than 7:00 a.m. There will be three sag stops en route each day with lunch at the second stop.

The pre-registration fee is $90 for GABA and ABC members and $105 for others. The fee includes camping at Fool’s Hollow State Park in Show Low, lunch both days, sag stops, and the baggage shuttle. Day-of-event registration is possible for an extra $15.

To view the ride’s Web page, click here.

Ride of Silence – May 18

The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event to commemorate those cyclists who have been killed by motor vehicles. The ride is always held on the third Wednesday of May in the Northern Hemisphere and on the following Saturday in many countries in the Southern Hemisphere. The rides are short, conducted at a slow pace, and usually conducted in the evening. In Arizona, rides are planned for Phoenix, Tucson, and Green Valley. In addition to a helmet, riders should have lights on their bikes and leave their portable music players at home.

The Phoenix ride is ten miles and starts at Moon Valley Park at Seventh Avenue and Coral Gables at 7 p.m. Riders are asked to show up between 6 and 6:30 pm. to sign in and prepare to roll.

The eight-mile Tucson ride starts at 6 p.m. (registration at 5:30) from Ramada 22 on the west side of Reid Park.

The Green Valley ride is seven miles and starts at the Green Valley Recreation East Social Center at 6 p.m. with registration at 5:30 p.m.

To view the Arizona page on the Ride of Silence Website, click here.

Not Your Mom Mormon Lake Tour – May 20 to 22

Not Your Mom (NYM) is a chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC) and gets its name from the fact that it specializes in self-contained bicycle tours in which each rider is responsible for her or his own arrangements. In other words, the tour organizer is “not your mom.” The cycling part of the tours is usually short, and most of the trip is spent at the destination, which is usually a campground.

The next NYM tour is from Flagstaff to Mormon Lake and is a short 54 miles round trip. The route, which I have ridden several times, is scenic, and traffic is usually light, and there are wide shoulders to ride on for most of the route. Mormon Lake is a beautiful spot for camping.

If you are interested in this tour, you can view its Webpage on the ABC Website by clicking here.

Arizona City Cotton Classic #1 – May 22

Saguaro Velo will promote the Arizona City Cotton Classic #1 on May 22. As this was written, there was no link to the race brochure on Saguaro Velo’s Web site. When a link is posted, you should be able to view it by clicking here.

GABA’s Luna Lake Tour – May 28 to 30

The Greater Arizona Bicycling Association (GABA) is putting on its 30th annual Luna Lake Tour over the Memorial Day weekend, May 28 through 30. The tour takes place in the White Mountain region of Eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico. The ride starts in Springerville, AZ on May 28 with a 48-mile jaunt to Quemado, NM. Day two is a longer 62-mile ride from Quemado to Village of Reserve, NM, and the final day is a 56-mile ride from Quemado back to Springerville. Overnight, riders have a choice of camping out or staying in a motel.

The cost of the tour is $66.50 for GABA members and $77.00 for others who register by May 25. On May 26, the price jumps to $110 for GABA members and $125 for the rest of us. The ride’s Webpage can be viewed by clicking here.

Thunder Road Time Trial – June 5

The Thunder Road Individual Time Trial is on the Arizona racing calendar for Sunday June 5. At this writing, I could find no detailed information about this race on the Web.

Single Track Omnium – June 11 & 12

The words “single track” make one think of a mountain bike race, but the Flagstaff Single Track Omnium is actually a series of three road events that take their collective name from the sponsoring Single Track Bike Shop. The omnium consists of three events: the Wupatki/Sunset Crater Road Race on Saturday, and the Snowbowl Hill Climb and Foxboro Ranch Circuit Race on Sunday. Registration is online until noon of June 10 and costs $35 to ride a single event or between $75 and $90, depending on the rider’s category, to ride the entire omnium. Day-of-the-race in-person registration is possible for an extra $20. The prize list totals $1,100 in cash. To view the race brochure in PDF format, click here.

Bike the Bluff Omnium and Arizona Track Series

Finishing the June racing calendar are the Bike the Bluff Omnium on June 18 and 19 and the Arizona Track Series, presumably on the velodrome in Balboa Park in San Diego, on June 25 and 26. As this was written, detailed information about these events had not yet been posted online.

ABC Granada Park May Breakfast Ride Schedule

Here are the breakfast ride destinations for the Granada Park Chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club for the remainder of the month of May. Please note that the ride starting time is 6:30 a.m. The ride starts from Granada Park at 20th Street and Maryland. Guests may ride with the group once. Then, for insurance purposes, they are requested to join the club.

     May 8 – (Mothers’ Day) Mel’s Diner, 1747 NW Grand Avenue
     May 15 – 5 & Diner, 9069 East Indian Bend Road
     May 22 – First Watch Downtown, 1 North First Street, Phoenix
     May 29 – New York Bagels and Bialys, 10320 North Scottsdale Road
     May 30 – (Memorial Day), Luci’s, 1590 East Bethany Home Road

To view the ABC Granada Park chapter Web page, click here.

Feedback – The Velodrome, etc.

Jack,

Until I read your story, I hadn't heard the first word from anyone about building a velodrome in AZ.  So that's a total scoop.

A couple of years ago I spotted the ideal location for a velodrome in the Phoenix area.  Well, okay, I haven't measured the lot and it might be an interesting fit, but velodromes come in various sizes and I think a small one would be fine, including parking.  Unfortunately, I don't have the money or the entrepreneurial connections to money to make it happen.  If I had $25 million to blow, though, we'd be holding track-standing classes on it by now.

The physical barriers are pretty much the weather and the cost of abating it.  That $25 million is low, if it takes an enclosed building to keep the heat manageable enough to have it open during daytime hours to draw enough customers to pay the operating costs, which will be relatively high because of the enhanced need for air conditioning.  A velodrome in this climate is an expensive thing, a bigger risk than putting it in a place like San Diego or Boulder. Risk keeps the investors away.

Putting it on out a reservation seems a bit physically remote; but then, putting it anywhere makes it remote to everywhere else, so that's just my bias towards my ideal site talking.

I'm not keen on the gambling angle.  Yes, gambling on bike races is popular in Japan.  It also looks like a dismal life for a rider, and it looks like an optimal situation for manipulation.  In fact, I've seen interviews with keirin riders where they talk about deliberately mixing up the podium because having the strongest rider win all the time makes it boring for the fans.  It's an infinitesimal step from riders colluding to improve attendance to riders being coerced or bribed to throw races. Especially in a culture where the organized criminals, the Yakuza, are treated like local bureaucrats and not like thugs.  I might go once or twice to see the races, but I doubt I'd trust them and keep going.

So the attraction, for me, would be riding on it, or seeing famous riders in medal events, not gambling.

However, it turns out, though, it's going to be a big improvement on the current zero-velodrome situation in the area.

Blair Houghton

[An update: I am told that the negotiations with one of the Phoenix-area tribes regarding building a velodrome on an Indian reservation are still in progress. However, I am also told that the talks are at a delicate stage and that no specific plans have been made, so I have been asked not to reveal more details. I will only say that the Velodrome’s construction is by no means a sure thing.

Even if a velodrome is constructed on an Indian reservation, there would still be a place for one or more municipal velodromes in Phoenix or one of its larger suburbs and for another in the Tucson area. However, this possibility is still a dream. I am not aware of any interest by any of the municipal governments in Arizona concerning a velodrome. – Jack Quinn]

_______________________

Jack,

I just.wanted to say thanks for doing this.  I read this every month and marvel at the quality of the writing and the info.  I am a recreational/fitness rider living in Fountain Hills.  The info provided is very helpful.

Thanks for doing this.

Toni Vallee

_______________________

Jack:  We did a pilot safety awareness campaign in the Verde Valley. Wal-Mart was one of the targets

http://verdenews.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=28547&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=1.

 Even created a "warning sticker" for bikes

 http://www.azbikeped.org/images/edu_WarningSticker_Bleed.pdf.

Plus, Randy has distributed hundreds of Street Smarts in the area.  Hard to gauge effectiveness but it had to have helped.  Materials developed for the campaign at

http://www.azbikeped.org/education.html#campaigneducation

Summary report at

http://www.azbikeped.org/images/2009%209%2030%20GOHS_ADOT_Summary%20Report.pdf

Thanks,

Michael Sanders -- ADOT

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