Arizona Road Cyclist News
J
ack Quinn, Editor

 © November 3, 2010

After straining a calf muscle while cycling over a week ago, made worse by my insisting on maintaining my regular riding schedule despite the pain, I finally decided to give the leg a rest, and I've had ample time sitting at home for almost a week to get this issue out on time and also catch up on some reading. I hope to be back to some easy rides by the weekend, but unfortunately, the injury means that I will not be riding the Heart of Arizona Century this year. I am jealous of those of you who will be.

In this issue:
     Changes Coming to the Newsletter Delivery
     The Stenholm Ride was a Great Success
     Cyclists First to Cross Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
     Not your Mom Tours
     Heart of Arizona Century -- November 6
     Silverbell Century -- November 7
     McDowell Mountain Century -- November 13
     November Third-Friday Ride -- November 19
     Link the Lake Ride -- December 4
     Casa Grande Century -- January 9
     ABC, Granada Park Chapter, Ride Destinations
     Feedback -- Our Readers Respond
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Changes Coming to the Newsletter Delivery

Until now, I have been sending out Arizona Road Cyclist News by E-mail, sometimes including graphics, which can make the newsletter's file size quite large. While this is not a problem for the majority of subscribers who receive their E-mail on a computer over a broadband connection, an increasing number receive E-mail on their cell phones, and some of those pay for each megabyte downloaded. Also, not all of cell phones display graphics and formatted text, as strange as that may seem in the closing months of 2010. For those reasons, beginning soon (I would guess with the November 17 edition) I will post the complete newsletter with any graphics on the azroadcyclist.com Website under a new tab labeled "Current Issue". This issue can be viewed there now.  I will still send out an E-mail with the article headlines and a link to the issue on the Website. (The link will always be www.azroadcyclist.com/CurrentIssue/Current_Issue.html.) The issue will simultaneously be archived on the Back Issues section of the Website.

The new delivery method will have an additional advantage. The owners of several other Websites have asked me to provide a permanent link to the current issue of the newsletter, and the link above should comply with that request.

The Stenholm Ride was a Great Success

My thanks to all of you who participated in the 100 Ride for Jim Stenholm and thereby helped raise money for the 100 Club of Arizona, whose motto is "Supporting those behind the badge and their families for more than 40 years" and which helps the families of deceased and seriously injured police officers and fire fighters. According to one of the organizers, approximately 400 riders took part, and the ride raised about $10,000. It was quite a sight to see the peloton stretched out along the streets. I rode near the back of the pack from where the lead riders seemed to be way off in the distance. As far as I know, there were no crashes, although at least two riders did fall over at low speed: one while going through a turn at walking speed and another on a cattle guard just after riding through another low-speed turn. Both riders were embarrassed but uninjured and remounted their bikes to continue the ride.

The Wheezers and Geezers riding group enjoy lunch after the Stenholm ride. (Your editor is the guy in the center who is staring at the camera with a silly grin on his face.)

Cyclists First to Cross Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge

The first members of the public to cross the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge between Nevada and Arizona were not motorists but the cyclists who participated in the Viva Bike Vegas bike ride a few days before the bridge's dedication. To read an article on the Las Vegas Channel 8 Website and view a video of TV news report on the ride, click here. The video is near the upper right corner of the Webpage. To watch it, you will first have to sit through a short commercial or public-service announcement.

Not Your Mom Tours

Not Your Mom is group of cyclists that started with an annual unsupported ride from Phoenix to Tucson. There was no SAG wagon and no support of any kind, no fees, no ride insurance, etc. Riders were expected to carry their own gear in panniers on their touring bikes and to be responsible for their own motel reservations, camping gear, etc. The ride organizer was Not Your Mom and was therefore not about to hold anyone's hand.

Not Your Mom has since evolved. In 2009 it became a chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club in order to take advantage of club insurance. Also, for the last several years, the annual ride to Tucson has been SAG'ed, and riders have been expected to contribute to gas for the SAG wagon and to take turns driving. However, many of the group's rides are still self-supported, and on most of the rides, cyclists spend the night in a campground instead of in a motel. In many ways, the group reminds me of the type of rides that GABA once organized when it was first founded many years ago in Tempe.

The upcoming rides, according to the MAM Website, are as follows:

* November 5 to 7 -- Cave Creek Park -- 25 miles a day -- self supported
* December 3 to 5 -- Lake Pleasant -- 45 miles a day --  SAG wagon
* January 15 to 17 -- McDowell Mountain Park -- 21 miles a day -- self-supported

For a more extensive list and additional information, please click here.

Heart of Arizona Century -- November 6

The Heart of Arizona Century takes place this Saturday. The ride features two distance options: a 104-mile century ride and a 125-mile (200-kilometer) Brevet ride. Both rides start and end in Congress, Arizona near the foot of the infamous Yarnell Hill. Both rides follow the same basic route, but the longer Brevet adds two out-and-back side trips to make up the extra distance. This is a tough ride. The century features almost 7,000 feet of vertical climbing, and the Brevet adds even more climbing.

The cost of the ride is $40 for members of the usual cycling clubs (ABC, PMBC, GABA) and $45 for others, but riders who have not yet registered should add a $10 late fee. In exchange for the fee, riders get great SAG stops, roaming support, and a meal at the conclusion of the ride.

To view the ride's Website and to pre-register, click here.

Silverbell Century -- November 7

Tucson's Greater Arizona Bicycling Association (GABA) hosts the Silverbell Century this Sunday beginning in the Walgreens parking lot on the northeast corner of River and Craycroft in Tucson. There are four distance options: 100 miles, 83 miles, 67 miles, and 30 miles. The pre-event registration fee is $25 for GABA members with a $15 add-on charge for the rest of us. Those who register the day of the event will be charged an additional $10. As is frequently the case with GABA rides, there is no mention on the Website of a reduced registration fee for members of other Arizona bicycling clubs to reciprocate the lower fees that these clubs charge GABA members. To access the ride Web page, click here.

McDowell Mountain Century -- November 13

TThe Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC) presents its annual McDowell Mountain Century Ride on November 13. The ride starts at Serano Park at 56th Street and Sweetwater with 100-, 62-, and 30-mile options. Registration opens at 6:30 a.m. with the riders off at 7:30 a.m. (Hint: Smart riders avoid the silly mass start and sneak off early to avoid the risk of accidents in the mob.) Although there is supposedly a map of the route on the Website, none of the Web browsers that I tried would show it.

The cost of the ride is $35 for members of ABC, PMBC and GABA until this Friday November 5 (better hurry to register). Riders who register after that date should add a $5 late-registration fee. In exchange for the fee, riders will have SAG stops en route and a feed at the conclusion of the ride. For more information, click here.

November Third-Friday Ride -- November 19

This is an evening ride, so dig your lights out of the closet and mount them on your bike. The ride starts at Tempe Beach Park near downtown Tempe at 7:30 p.m. I have no idea where the ride is heading, but the promoter writes "We'll be out in search of Pumpkin Ales and other harvest refreshments."

Link the Lake Ride -- December 4

The Link the Lake ride is promoted by Not One More, an organization dedicated to ending cyclist-vehicle accidents. The Link the Lake event is a fundraiser to benefit the family of Jay Fretz, who as reported in an earlier edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News, was killed on May 17 in an accident with a motor vehicle while commuting on his bike in Tempe. The ride takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and will feature rides from various points around the Valley to Tempe Town Lake, which, I am told, has some water in it again. As this is being written, I am unable to ascertain where the various rides will start or just how the fundraising part of the ride will work. Perhaps more information will soon be posted to the Not One More Website, which you can view by clicking here.

Casa Grande Century -- January 9

The Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club (PMBC) will put on its annual Casa Grande Century ride on January 9. There are three distance options available: a full 100-mile (actually 102 miles, I believe) century ride, a 100-kilometer (62-mile) metric century, and a 34-mile ride. This is a flat century that passes through the desert and farm lands between Chandler and Casa Grande.

The rides start at the Safeway store at 4970 South Alma School Road in Chandler with check-in from 8 to 9 a.m. There is no mass start (very sensible), so riders may depart as soon as they check in, although riders doing the full century are requested to depart by 8:30 a.m.

The ride fee for the full and metric centuries is a very reasonable $20 for members of PMBC, GABA and ABC until January 1. Non-members should add another $10. The 34-mile ride costs $15 until January 1 with a $5 adder for non-members of the three cycling clubs. After January 1 everyone should add a $10 late fee. Tandems should add $15. All riders get SAG support, and early registrants also receive a Polar water bottle. In addition, participants of the two longer rides get lunch in Casa Grande.

To access the ride's Web page for more information, click here.

ABC, Granada Park Chapter Ride Destinations

Here are the Sunday Breakfast Ride destinations for the Granada Park Chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club for the month of November. The ride leaves Granada Park at 20th Street and Maryland each Sunday morning, and there will also be a ride on Thanksgiving Day. The winter starting time is 7:30 a.m. For insurance purposes, riders who are not members of the club are asked to join after riding with the group once. The rides themselves are free, but riders are required to sign a waver and must wear a helmet. Riders divide into five groups according to speed and ability, from near-race speed to leisurely cruisers.

Nov 7 -- Luci's, 1590 East Bethany Home Road
Nov 14 -- 1st Watch Downtown, First Street and Washington
Nov 21 -- Aunt Chilada's, 7330 North Dreamy Draw
Nov 25 Thanksgiving Ride -- Mimi's, 10214 North Metro Parkway West
Nov. 28 -- 5 & Diner, 9069 East Indian Bend Road

Feedback -- Our Readers Respond

Here are a few of the E-mails that I have received since the last edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News.

Another great newsletter, Jack,

Enjoyed it more than usual.  Loved that you photoed the buzzing motorist, and enjoyed the post about using mirrors.  You know, us “old guys” still have a great sense of humor, don’t we? Hah!

Clark W. Watkin, Jr.
THE WATKIN LAW OFFICE, P.C.


Jack,

Excellent article on bicycle mirrors. Very informative.

Scott Steele


Jack,

You are absolutely correct about the mirrors. They are fantastic for left turns in traffic.

I use a wire glasses mount version. I can see everything. I couldn't care less what it looks like.

About three of us ride with mirrors up here in Prescott, but nearly everybody else doesn't, and I suspect it's all about style. Plus they have us to yell "Clear left turning!".

One other advantage that I'm going to be indulging in the future, I think, is that I'm often at the front or a bit ahead, and we get buzzed all the time on our roads. I can see what's going on using the mirror and set up a camera session for the buzzer. I've been practicing, but not quite fast enough yet.

Anyway, your newsletter is very much appreciated.

Best,
Russell Carter


Hi Jack:

Thanks as always for a very informative newsletter about the happenings cycle-wise in our state. I think that your idea of photographing offending drivers is most excellent, and I would suggest that when a cyclist is doing that, it would be good to get a picture of the motorist in the act along with the license plate. That way there is no excuse to be offered by the driver, and the police have evidence that 28-735 was actually violated. This however would only work in a group ride, or when more than one rider is able to "get the goods" on the driver. Would be hard to prove by a side view as the vehicle passes and one is trying to avoid it.  Just a thought.  Keep up the good work!

Thanks,
Bob Jenson.

About Arizona Road Cyclist News

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