Arizona Road Cyclist News
J
ack Quinn, Editor

 © May 5, 2010

Published every other Wednesday and sent out by E-mail free of charge. To modify or cancel your subscription, click here.

Once again, this issue is coming out a bit late, and the proofreading may not be as good as it should be. It's been a busy two weeks, and I didn't have as much time to devote to this newsletter as I would have liked. The next issue may be quite slim, due to the Giro d'Italia. What does the Giro have to do with this newsletter? I'll be watching the Giro almost daily for three weeks on universalsports.com instead of gather information on cycling to send to you. Retirement has its perks.

In this issue:
     John Hook's Cycling Comments on KTAR Radio
     Arizona Ninth-Deadliest State for Cyclists
     The Giro d'Italia on Universalsports.com
     The Tortilla Flat Tuesdays Road Race Series
     South Mountain Time Trial -- May 8
     PMBC's Tour de Payson -- May 8
     Arizona Road Race Championships -- May 16
     Mount Lemon Time Trial -- May 23
     Thunder Road Time Trial -- May 30
     Time to Plan for Amtrak?
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

John Hook's Cycling Comments on KTAR Radio

I personally do not know who John Hook is, but I am told he is a newsreader on the local Fox TV station in Phoenix, and he is apparently well known among connoisseurs of Fox's manner of presenting the news.

On April 25, Mr. Hook was the guest host on a call-in talk show on KTAR radio where he did a puzzling segment on cycling. I say puzzling, because Mr. Hook alluded several times during the segment to his lack of knowledge about the subject. (When I worked in broadcasting, we would research a subject before discussing it on the air, but apparently in today's A.M. talk radio, that is no longer done.)

Mr. Hook's segment on cycling provoked an E-mail response from Teresa Filleman of the Southwest Bicycles Cycling Club and a reader of this newsletter. She copied several members of cyclist organizations when she sent the E-mail, and her remarks went viral within hours, circulating among Arizona cyclists, many of whom also E-mailed KTAR.

KTAR, as is its practice, put a recording of the broadcast on its Website, but for some reason, it quickly pulled it from the site again, but not before the cycling segment was archived on other Internet sites. You can listen to it by clicking here (it may take a few minutes to download) and then form your own opinion about its quality and appropriateness.

Teresa has kindly given me permission to publish her E-mail to KTAR Radio, which follows. In the last communication that I had from Teresa, she wrote that she had not received a reply from KTAR, but some other cyclists had received responses in which the station stood by its decision to allow John Hook to air the topic.

I am the co-founder and president of one of Peoria’s newest casual cycling clubs. Our membership of nearly 100 people is comprised of just about every level of rider from novice riders to those that prefer to “hammer”. On any given Saturday or Sunday ride, 20 – 30 cyclists join us for the rides.

I listened to John Hook on KTAR today between 10 AM and 10:12 AM when John was demonstrating his lack of knowledge of the AZ State highway laws as they pertain to cyclists while at the same time, “bashing” (my word) cyclists for sharing the roadways “that were built for cars…with 4000 lb vehicles….and wearing lycra” (his words). He even had the audacity to share a story from one of his friends that complained about cyclists (in another state) taking up the right lane of a two-lane roadway and his friend stated that “when it comes to hitting the bicyclist or being involved in a head-on collision, his friend would take out the cyclist.” Without regard to how his friend feels, John’s sharing this story on air is irresponsible journalism and gives credence to those motorists who do not understand the Arizona State Statutes pertaining to cyclists.

He also mentioned many times during this segment that “those people” in “lycra” – and “What are they thinking?”  the “Roads were built for cars.” “I suppose that they can’t ride on the sidewalks because of pedestrians…”

1. I’m appalled that John would use the airwaves to bash a group of people and lump everyone in the same category and by doing so encourage others to disrespect cyclists. I’m personally offended by his profiling of those of us that choose the sport for pleasure or transportation and follow the Arizona State Statutes while cycling.

2. John admitted to one caller that he was not a cyclist nor had ever ridden a motorcycle. If John doesn’t know the laws pertaining to which he speaks, then entering into an educational discourse would have been much more beneficial and productive than making false assumptions and sharing inaccurate information with your multitude of listeners.

3. The Spandex to which John referred as “lycra” serves a purpose much like a soccer uniform, football pads/uniform, hockey pads/uniform, etc.  The sport of cycling utilizes specialized fabrics engineered to wick moisture, provide storage for supplies for the trip and provide pads to protect the body, just like any other sport. The obnoxious colors are designed to catch the sight of motor vehicle drivers who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. John’s distaste and assumptions about the “uniform” of the sport further demonstrates his ignorance.

4. I encourage your station to publicize the FREE resource from ADOT: “Arizona Bicycling Street Smarts”.  In a world of mis-understanding about the traffic laws and how they pertain to cycling and driving, this resource provides one of the best explanations I’ve read. The information provided is invaluable to motor vehicle drivers as well as cyclists. It’s available via ADOT by calling 602 712-8141, or On-line at http://www.azbikeped.org. You may also be interested in contacting the Arizona Bicycling Coalition http://www.cazbike.org/ ) and invite one of their leaders to enter into a knowledgeable on-air discourse. Or, contact the League of American Bicyclists http://www.bikeleague.org to invite one of their Arizona certified instructors to participate in an on-air segment to educate your listeners.

5. I’m requesting that KTAR require John Hook to re-visit his segment on bicycles and sharing the road with motor vehicles to provide an ACCURATE picture of the State of Arizona Traffic Laws and utilize the airwaves to educate your listening audience rather than further fuel the fire between cyclists and motorists. At the very least, KTAR and John Hook need to issue a sincere apology to cyclists for promoting the rage and misunderstandings that cyclists often encounter by ignorant drivers.

The Southwest Bicycles Cycling Club will be endorsing the Ride of Silence on May 19th  ( www.rideofsilence.org ). I would like to invite John Hook to contact me to find out the details of the ride and jump on a bike and join us for our very slow-paced 10 mile, SILENT ride to remember and honor all cyclists who have been injured or killed on our roadways. (no Spandex required)  My guess is that he would learn a lot and meet some very responsible people whose lives have been directly impacted by collisions with motor vehicles. By participating, John would be better qualified to speak to sharing our roads and demonstrate responsible journalism as opposed to today’s segment where he encouraged intolerance toward the cycling community.

Respectfully submitted and awaiting your response.

Teresa Filleman
View my latest Activity on the Plus3Network
Southwest Bicycles Cycling Club
www.swbcc.org
iinfo@swbcc.org

Arizona Ninth-Deadliest State for Cyclists

In the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration's figures for 2008, the latest year for which figures have been compiled, Arizona ranked as the ninth-deadliest state in the U.S. for cyclists with 19 total cyclist fatalities or 2.92 per million of population. Florida was the deadliest state to pedal in with 6.82 cycling fatalities per million inhabitants. Here is a list of the ten deadliest states.

 Total Fatalities Fatalities per Million Inhabitants

1. Florida, 125.

2. California, 109.

3. Texas, 53.

4. New York, 42.

5. North Carolina, 32.

6. Illinois, 27.

7. Michigan, 25.

8. (tie) Georgia, 20.

(tie) New Jersey, 20.

10. Arizona, 19.

1. Delaware, 6.87.

2. Florida, 6.82.

3. New Mexico, 3.53.

4. North Carolina, 3.47.

5. South Carolina, 3.13.

6. Montana, 3.10.

7. Maine, 3.04.

8. California, 2.97.

9. Arizona, 2.92.

10. Indiana, 2.82.

 

To see the figures for all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in PDF format, click here.

The Giro d'Italia on Universalsports.com

Universalsports.com/cycling will Webcast the Giro d'Italia stages daily from May 8 through May 30 with the exception of May11 and 24, which are a rest days. The quality isn't as good as TV, but it is acceptable, and the Webcast is the only way that I know that Phoenix residents can watch the second-most-important bike race in the world, after the Tour de France, without paying money. The Webcasts are archived on site and can be viewed at your leisure, even several days after the stage has finished. To see the full race schedule, click here.

The Tortilla Flat Tuesdays Road Race Series

Now that our Midweek Criterium Series has ended, it is time for the Tortilla Flat Tuesdays to start, promoted by the White Mountain Road Club. This is an 11-race series that takes place most Tuesday evenings beginning May 18 and lasting though August 17. The race starts at the Mining Camp restaurant and goes out the Apache Trail to the end of the pavement and then returns. The course is only 39 miles long, but it involves lots of climbing and lots of high-speed corners on the descents. The race brochure claims 3700 feet of climbing.

There are two races, and A race for the stronger riders and a B race for the rest of us. The entry fee is $10 per race or $95 for the series of 11 races. $5 of each entry fee will go toward cash prizes for the top finishers in each race. To view the race series brochure in PDF format, click here.

South Mountain Time Trial -- May 8

The annual South Mountain Time Trial will be held on May 8 in South Mountain Park in Phoenix. Riders not yet registered will have to pay $30 to participate. (Late fees were imposed unusually early for this event: The fee was $20 until March 15 and $25 from March 16 through April 15.) The race starts at the San Juan turnoff and ends at the towers with riders starting at 30-second intervals with the first rider off at 7:00 a.m.

To view the race's Webpage, click here.

PMBC's Tour de Payson -- May 8

The Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club is organizing the Tour de Payson for the first time since 2005. The best part is, instead of costing an arm and a leg, as most organized rides and races do these days, registration for the ride is only $15 for members of PMBC, GABA, and ABC and only $20 for others. Riders are requested to register by May 1, and the first 50 riders to register will receive PMBC-logoed Polar Water Bottles. Add a $5 late fee for registrations postmarked after May 1.

TThe ride starts and ends in front of Macky's Grill on the southwest corner of the Beeline Highway and Main Street in Payson at 8:30 a.m. with check-in and last-minute registration from 8:00 to 8:30. PMBC promises an exciting ride with hills, two shallow water crossings, and a 1/4-mile dirt and cobbled section of road that must be ridden twice. The Route options vary from 5 to 50 plus miles. The scenery is supposed to be outstanding.

Two access the ride's Webpage with a link to the registration form, click here.

Arizona Road Race Championships -- May 16

The Arizona Road Race Championship races, promoted by the Procon Cycling racing team, take place on May 16 and start in Globe, Arizona. The route is out-and-back on Highway 188. The distance varies by category and age group from 18 miles for the 10 through 12 year olds, 35 miles for riders who are 13 through 18 years of age, 35 miles for masters men over 60 years old and masters women over 50 years old, 59 miles for other riders except for the category 1 and 2 men's race, which is 87 miles long. As is usually the case in championship road races, the course involves substantial climbing.

The entry fee is free for junior riders 18 years of age and younger and a quite reasonable $25 for the rest of us. Registration is online only through May 14 or in person with a $10 late fee the day of the race. Riders must have an annual license from USA Cycling to participate. For more information, click here.

Mount Lemon Time Trial -- May 23

Saguaro Velo promotes the Mount Lemon Time Trial on May 23. This is a 12.5-mile hill climb with riders starting at 30-second intervals. Registration is on-site from 5 to 6 a.m. with the first rider off at 6:30 a.m. The entry fee is $20 for adults and $3 for junior riders. For those without a license who want to compete, one-day licenses will be available for $10, or you can buy an annual USA Cycling license at registration for $60 and race for free. To access the event's Web page, click here.

Thunder Road Time Trial -- May 30

The Thunder Road Time Trial is on the Arizona racing calendar for May 30, but as this was written, there was not yet any information about this race posted online.

Time to Plan for Amtrak?

The Amtrak Century Ride takes place in California, but it is the favorite rides of a great many Arizona cyclists. The ride is on September 11, and that is a long time off. Registration doesn't open until June 20 at 7 a.m., but if you plan to ride, it's time to mark your calendar for June 20, because the ride fills up within minutes the time that online registration opens.

The ride is from Irvine through Camp Pendleton to San Diego. Then most riders return to the starting point on a specially chartered Amtrak train while their bicycles are wrapped in blankets and trucked back to the start. Although I have never done the ride myself, I'm told that the 100-mile ride (much less for those who know the shortcuts) is a necessary prelude to the real fun, which consist of the many impromptu beer parties that take place on the train during the return trip.

The ride is limited to 800 riders who take the return train plus another 400 who will have to find their own way back to the start. I am not kidding when I say that those 1200 places fill up within minutes after registration opens. The cost of the ride itself is $42 plus a $6.00 fee for those of us who are not members of the Orange County Wheelmen (and how many of us in Arizona are?). Fees for the ride plus train total $78.00. Add a T-shirt for another $14 or a jersey for $60.

The Website for the ride is at www.ocw.org/Amtrak. If you're planning on riding, bookmark the site and then be at your computer at 7 a.m. prompt on June 20 to register. You may not be able to connect at first try due to the barrage of people trying to register all at once, so keep clicking the reload button of your Web browser until the Web server lets you in.

About Arizona Road Cyclist News

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