November 11, 2009
Published ever other Wednesday and sent out free of charge
In this issue:
New Bike Route in Ahwatukee & Around S. Mountain
Tour du Faso on Versus - November 15
Heart of Arizona Wrap-up & Editorial Whining about
Wickenburg Ticket Trap
ABC's McDowell Mountain Century this Saturday
GABA Tucson Bicycle Swap Meet this Saturday
Cave Creek Bicycle Festival Saturday & Sunday
El Tour de Tucson November 21
Silent Sunday at South Mountain Park
The Wheezers and ABC Thanksgiving Rides
GABA's Toys for Tots Ride December 5
Tour de Cookie -- Phoenix & Tucson
About Arizona Road Cyclist News
Bike Route in Ahwatukee & Around S. Mountain
The Arizona Bike Law
Blog reports that those riding in Ahwatukee or around South Mountain through
Ahwatukee now have a simpler route. The
Blog also details some concerns for cyclists with the intersection of
40th Street and Pecos. To read the blog entries, click
du Faso on Versus - November 15
Mon Dieux ! Encore une course dans un pays
francophone ! The Tour du Faso is one of
Africa's leading professional cycling stage races and was held in
early November. This year's winner was.... wait!.... perhaps
you would rather not know who won, because Versus will
transmit a one-hour summary of the race this Sunday,
November 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. Arizona time. Versus is
available as a premium channel on Cox and the Dish Network
but is unfortunately no longer available on Direct TV. If
your pay TV subscription includes Versus, set your video
recorder now so that you don't miss the race. The next
Versus transmission of professional bike racing will be
Australia's Tour Down Under in January.
You don't know where Faso is? Faso or
more properly Burkina Faso is a landlocked North African
country and former French colony formerly known as Upper
Heart of Arizona Wrap-up
& Editorial Whining about Wickenburg Ticket Trap
The 100-mile Heart of Arizona and its longer 120-mile brevet
version was held on Sunday November 8, starting and ending
in Congress, Arizona and traversing such Arizona hotspots as
Hillside, Kirkland, Kirkland Junction and Yarnell. The
brevet riders also got to visit the swinging hamlets of
Bagdad and Wilhoit. Incidentally, "brevet" is a French word
that means "certificate," and I assume the ride carries this
name, because the riders must have their certificate or
brevet signed at various checkpoints to prove that they
completed the ride. A filled-out brevet can qualify a rider
to participate in some of the ultra-marathon rides that are
held around the world such as Paris-Brest-Paris.
As usual, riders faced a strong headwind
on the final climb from Kirkland Junction to Yarnell before
whizzing down Yarnell Hill and then pedaling the final few
miles to the finish. The hamburgers, hot dogs and homemade
Chili served at the finish line capped off a very difficult
but also very satisfying ride.
If there is any slight criticism to level against the ride,
other than the inevitable hills and wind, it is that the
ride took place later in the season this year, and the
cooler weather left some riders feeling a bit chilly at the
highest altitudes as the wind whipped across sweat-soaked
jerseys. However, the cooler weather was welcome on the long
climbs, and luckily the temperatures were above average for
that time of year.
If you are in good enough shape to ride 100 miles with a lot
of long climbs, I suggest that you watch for this ride next
The Wickenburg Speed/Traffic-Circle Trap on the
Unfortunately for me, I discovered on the drive back to
Phoenix that in addition to Wickenburg's reputation as
a speed trap, the town has added a traffic-circle trap to
its repertoire of methods of fleecing out-of-town drivers.
There are two new traffic circles at either end of a
new Wickenburg bypass, and Wickenburg Police are using them
to clean up on tourists by writing phony traffic violations
and then jawboning the victims into paying a stiff fee to
attend traffic school and get the ticket dismissed instead
of driving back out to Wickenburg at a later date to
challenge the ticket in court.
I merged into traffic (safely, I believed) at the first traffic-circle on the
way back to Phoenix, only to have an unmarked police
accelerate toward me and turn on its flashing lights. The first words
out of the officer's mouth were to ask me if I were eligible to attend
traffic school and have the ticket dismissed. When I made
the mistake of saying that I was, he wrote me a ticket
citing a statute that does not apply traffic
circles and suggested that I attend the school to avoid
getting points on my driver's license.
The ticket was for failure to yield at an uncontrolled
intersection, although that intersection is controlled and
that statute therefore does not apply.
Although the ticket is
phony to anyone who examines it closely, the officer
seemed to assume that I would not persue the issue and would
happily pay more than $200 to enroll in traffic school and
thereby contribute to the Town of Wickenburg's municipal
I drove away, then doubled back to take some pictures of the
intersection to bolster my case in court only to discover
the cop pulling the same dishonest trick on another driver.
At three to four drivers an hour at $200 a whack, that
traffic circle must be contributing thousands of dollars a
day to the Wickenburg coffers.
No, I'm not going to traffic school. I've already
applied for a hearing date to argue my case in court, and I
hope that anyone else who received a phony ticket in
Wickenburg will do the same.
McDowell Mountain Century this Saturday
The Arizona Bicycle Club's annual McDowell Century takes place this
14 in Scottsdale, Rio Verde, and Fountain Hills. The ride starts
at Serano Park, 56th Street and Sweetwater in Scottsdale. There
are three versions of the ride: a 100-mile century, a 62-mile
metric century, and a 30-mile half-metric century.
Members of ABC, GABA, and Bullshifters pay $35 for the event.
Non-members pay $45. Tandems are $45 for members per bike and
$60 for non-members. However, if you haven't registered yet, you
need to add a $5 late
fee for individual riders and a $15 late fee for tandems. The entry fee includes sag stops with lots of munchies
and insurance. The first 130 riders will also receive ABC logo
insulated Polar water bottles.
Check-in and late registration open onsite at 6:30 a.m. The
century ride leaves at 7:30, and the metric and half-metric
century rides leave at 8:00. (Cautious riders will sneak off a
bit early and avoid the dangerous mass starts.)
To access the ride's Website and/or to register online, click
Tucson Bicycle Swap Meet his Saturday.
GABA Tucson is holding a swap meet for bicycle-related items
on Saturday, November 14 on 4th Avenue between 6th Street
and 9th Street in Tucson. The event is free for all. If you need more
information, E-mail Greg Yares at
or call him at (520) 323-9020. Otherwise, just show up.
Creek Bicycle Festival Saturday & Sunday
The Cave Creek Bicycle Festival takes place
November 13, 14, and 15. As part of the festival, there will be
road and mountain bike rides, music, free food for registrants,
a beer garden, and a vendor fair. The mountain bike and road
rides individually have an entry fee of $50 or you can register
for both for $80 until October 31.
Anyone who is interested in participating can
download a registration form or register online for an
additional processing fee. After October 31, add a $15 late fee.
The event organizers are also looking for volunteers. For more
Tour de Tucson November 21
The Tour de Tucson, often simply referred to as "The Tour,"
is an annual happening that attracts thousands of cyclists and
whose fame has grown to almost mythical proportions. The ride
is famous for its competitive nature and infamous for its
frequent crashes and subsequent lawsuits. (Just because you
sign a waver saying that you ride at your own risk does not
necessarily mean that you can't sue someone if you crash.)
The route features 102- 80- 67- and 35-mile variations for
adults and a 4-mile and 1/4-mile fun ride for kids and their
This ride is not cheap. The entry fee for adults and teens
is $70 plus a $15 contribution and a registration
processing fee of $45 for entries received after November 1.
In other words, if you haven't yet registered, be ready to
pony up 130 bucks in order to ride. For that fee,
riders receive an event T-shirt, SAG stops, police support
for the ride, first aid support for those riders who
suffer accidents, and the right to brag all year long about
completing "The Tour".
To visit the Tour's Web site, click
Silent Sunday at South Mountain Park
There are two Silent Sundays remaining at Phoenix's South
Mountain Park in 2009. On Silent Sunday, the park is closed
to motor traffic, leaving the roads open to hikers, skaters,
and, of course, cyclists. The next Silent Sunday is November
22 and the final Silent Sunday of the year falls on December
Wheezers and ABC Thanksgiving Rides
If you looking for a ride on Thanksgiving morning, both the Wheezers
and Geezers and the Granada Park Chapter of the Arizona
Bicycle Club will be riding. The Wheezers and Geezers is for
cyclists who are able to rider at a moderate to fast pace
and who are comfortable riding in a peloton and pace line.
The group meets at 7:30 a.m. at the traffic circle at the
intersection of Northern and Invergordon in Paradise Valley.
The group also rides from the same location every Saturday
morning at the same time with an optional start at the
Camelback Inn at 7:15 a.m. The ride goes out to Hidden Hills
in North Scottsdale and normally includes a stop for coffee
and B.S. on the way back. This is a pick-up ride. There is no ride
leader, no registration, and no fee. No one is in charge, so
you ride on your own initiative and at your own risk. To
access the Wheezers and Geezers Website, click
The Arizona Bicycle Club's Granada Park Chapter has a ride
for everyone. The cyclists ride in five different speed
groups. The club will meet at 7:30 a.m. at Granada Park,
20th Street and Maryland in Phoenix, on Thanksgiving
morning. Thanksgiving's ride is to the Scrambles restaurant
at 9832 N. 7th Street. The group also has a regular Sunday
morning breakfast ride from the same place at the same time.
If you are not an ABC member, you are invited to ride with
the club once before joining. To access ABC's Website, click
GABA's Toys for Tots Ride December 5
The Greater Arizona Bicycling Associations Toys for Tots
Ride takes place on December 5. As GABA explains it, "Two
groups of cyclists begin the ride from different parks,
leave at different times, and ride at different paces. Both
groups meet at the same place, at nearly the same time, and
share in the excitement generated by the reason for the
ride...to bring toys to the Reid Park Zoo. The toys are then
donated by the Marine's Toys for Tots program, to children
right here in Tucson, who might not otherwise get a
Christmas gift. This year, due to the current economic
conditions, there will likely be many program shortfalls,
and an even larger number of children in need."
In addition to being for a good cause, the ride sounds like
loads of fun. To read more about the ride, click
and scroll about halfway down the page.
de Cookie -- Phoenix & Tucson
This is a national fund-raising event for casual riders that
takes place in many cities across the country including
Phoenix on December 6 and Tucson on January 10. The Phoenix
version will have a choice of a 26-mile and a 6-mile ride.
Be prepared to consume more calories than you expend,
however, because the ride includes 10 cookie stands hosted
by local organizations. Riders are encouraged to purchase
and eat as many cookies as possible. Every participant will
receive a T-shirt and a medal, and prizes will be awarded to
the top 3 male and female finishes based no only on their
time but also on the number of cookies eaten.
Organizations can sponsor a cookie stand by baking 500 to
600 cookies to sell to the riders. As to the riders
themselves, the entry fee is free for kids 12 and under and $40
for the rest of us. Riders can save a few bucks per
person by registering teams of from 2 to 5. There is
an additional processing fee if you register online, and, of
course, you'll want to bring along a few buck to purchase
cookies en route.
For more information, go to the event's main Web site by
clicking here and
then by clicking on the name of the city where you wish to
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