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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.
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
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
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…”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Respectfully submitted and awaiting your response.
View my latest Activity on the Plus3Network
Southwest Bicycles Cycling Club
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Arizona Road Cyclist News
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