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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
Is Germany Becoming a Nation
Underground Criteriums – Every
GABA’s Mount Lemon Hill Climb
– May 6
South Mountain Time Trial –
Avondale Criterium #2 – May 8
Bike Safety Awareness Day –
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
Thunder Road Time Trial – June
Single Track Omnium – June 11
Bike the Bluff Omnium and
Arizona Track Series
ABC Granada Park May Breakfast
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
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
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.
Month is Underway
The following is a press release from Prescott Alternative
Bike Month is Underway
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.
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.
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.
Alternative Transportation is a non-profit 501c-3 corporation that has
been “working for a bicycle and pedestrian friendly central Yavapai
community” since 1997.
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
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.
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
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
Bring the family and a
couple chairs! Everyone is welcome!
See you out there!
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.
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.
#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.
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,
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
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 –
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
To view the Arizona page on the Ride of Silence Website,
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.
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.
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.
– The Velodrome, etc.
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.
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.
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
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
it turns out, though, it's going to be a big
improvement on the current zero-velodrome situation in the area.
[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
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.
for doing this.
We did a pilot safety awareness campaign
in the Verde Valley. Wal-Mart was one of the targets
created a "warning sticker" for bikes
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
Sanders -- ADOT
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