Arizona Road Cyclist News
ack Quinn, Editor

 © October 15, 2009

This issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News is going out late in the day due to your editor's spending too much time reading and riding his bike and not enough time at the computer. I feel that I have to get in lots of miles and lots of climbing if I am to survive the Heart of Arizona Century Ride next month. I will also be on the memorial Ride for Jim Stenholm in just over a week, and I hope to see some of you there..

Luckily, no bad news has been brought to my attention this week, so this week's edition of the newsletter is basically a list of rides.

In this issue:
     The Rod Guardian
     A Ride for Jim Stenholm, October 24
     Cave Creek (New Mexico) Bike Tour, October 17-18
     Memorial Ride for Safety, October 24
     Tour de Tempe, October 25
     The Heart of Arizona Century, November 7
     ABC's McDowell Mountain Century, November 14
     Cave Creek Bicycle Festival, November 13-14
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

The Road Guardian

As was recently pointed out to me, Arizona has no central database for tracking cyclist deaths, let alone injuries. Now Joe Mizereck, the same cyclist who sells the "3 feet please" jersey that we reviewed a few issues ago, has started a new Website to track cyclists' accidents, close calls, and trouble spots throughout the USA and Canada. In short, Joe's goal is to track and map any and all cycling hazards in North America, but in order to do so, he needs your support. The site is called the Road Guardian and is located at

A Ride for Jim Stenholm, October 24

As its name implies, this ride will be held in memory of Jim Stenholm, an avid cyclists, a great husband and dad, and a Phoenix police officer who died unexpectedly on October 24, 2008. Jim loved riding his bike, and there is no better way to remember him than to go out and ride our bikes on the anniversary of his death.

In an age when most supported rides are fund raisers with entry fees between $40 and $100, it's nice to find a ride that's free and even includes free food and free swag and whose only requirement is that you sign a release form. Well, to be honest, there is an optional $25 donation to the 100 Club if you feel the ride was worth it. The 100 Club is a not-for-profit organization that helps police officers fire fighters, other first responders and their families when they are in need. If you make this optional donation, this ride will still be cheaper a bargain.

Bring the entire family, as there is probably a ride option that will suit everyone: a 100-kilometer ride that I suspect will suit many readers of this newsletter, a short 8-mile ride that should be ideal for many families, and a mini course for riders 10 years old and younger. All rides leave from the Desert Horizon Precinct at 56th Street and Paradise Lane (16030 North 56th Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85254).

Riders need to arrive at least one half hour in advance of their start times in order to fill out and sign a waver. As an incentive to sign up on time, the first 150 riders will receive a free ball cap.

The start times, which have been calculated so that we can all arrive back at the starting point at more or less the same time and have lunch together, are as follows:

     8:00 a.m. 100 kilometer/62 mile ride. (To be honest, the route is actually about 92 kilometers or 57 miles.) This ride will have a motorcycle escort.

     10:30 a.m. Short course (about 8 miles) This ride will have a ride leader.

     11:30 a.m. The Little 100 Mini Course for cyclists 10 years old and younger. 

     12:00 noon. Free chow and good companionship.

Maps will be provided at the start, but to get a look at the route (there may be minor changes by ride time), go to this URL:  (You may have to copy the URL and paste it into your browser's address bar to get to the correct map.) 

If you are on Facebook and would like to become a fan of the 100, click here.

Cave Creek (New Mexico) Bike Tour, October 17-18

GABA (Tucson) will put on the Cave Creek Bike Tour this weekend October 17 and 18. No, this isn't the Cave Creek north of Phoenix; this Cave Creek is near the New Mexico-Arizona border. The ride is 42 miles each day with an option for extra miles for the ambitious. The ride starts the Desert West Motel in Road Forks, New Mexico and proceeds to the eastern slopes of the Chiricahua Mountains and Cave Creek Canyon where there are eats and overnight lodging. The ride includes several meals, snacks, lodging, and much more. The cost is $120 for members of GABA, PMBC and ABC and $135 for others. For more information, click here.

Memorial Ride for Safety, October 24

The Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club and the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists are jointly sponsoring the Memorial Ride for Safety on Saturday, October 24 with 60- and 35-mile options. The ride starts at AJ's at Pima and Pinnacle Peak Roads. Registration opens at 7 a.m.. The 60-mile ride starts at 7:30 a.m., and the 35-mile ride starts at 8 a.m. The cost was $25 for members of PMBC, GABA, ABC, and CAzB and $30 for others. However, riders who are not yet registered should now add a $5 late fee.  For more information, click here.

Tour de Tempe, October 25

The annual Tour de Tempe community bike ride starts and ends in Kiwanas Park on October 25 at 9 a.m. Unlike other "Tour de" rides, which cost an arm and a leg to enter, this ride is free! The ride is a short 12 to 14 miles. All participants will be entered in a raffle for free giveaways, and there will be entertainment after the ride in the form of BMX stunt riders. The event also includes a helmet giveaway and a bike rodeo for teaching safe riding. For more information, click here.

The Heart of Arizona Century, November 7

It's time to register for the Heart of Arizona Century Ride on November 7. Forget the Tour de Tucson! If you're really a macho cyclist, this is where you can prove it! The 100-mile version of this ride vies with Mining Country for the title of the roughest century ride in Arizona, and for those who need more, the Heart features a 120-mile extended version.

The Bullshifters sponsor this challenging ride each year and do an excellent job of support. The ride starts in Congress, near Wickenburg, heads out Highway 93, then loops east on SR-97. Be sure to load up on liquids at SAG stop #2 at the corners of SR-97 and SR-96, because from there it's a 16-mile ride to the next SAG in Hillside, and this stretch is almost all uphill. The climb starts out innocently enough, but it goes on and on and on. Each time that you think you've reached the top, you'll round a corner or top a rise and see the next section of the climb ahead of you.

For those who survive the climb, there are rollers from Hillside to Kirkland Junction that hide the fact that the ride is still mostly uphill, and then a final climb to Yarnell that would be a piece of cake for a fresh rider but is torture to legs already screaming in pain from thousands of feet of climbing.

However, then comes the exhilarating nine-mile descent of Yarnell Hill. By the time you finish freewheeling through mile after mile of switchbacks with no need to turn a pedal, you'll arrive at the bottom of the hill refreshed. From there, it's just a short, flat pedal to the finish line where hamburgers, chips and soft drinks will be waiting.

During the climb to Hillside, you'll curse yourself for signing up for this ride, but as you munch your hamburger at the finish line and exchange lies with the other riders, you'll already be planning your strategy for next year's ride. Oh, and I described the 100-mile version. If you plan to ride the 120-mile version, add in two more climbs.

The cost of the ride is $40 for members of the Bullshifters, ABC and GABA and $45 for others. Add a $10 late fee for entries mailed after October 31. To access the ride's Website, check out the map and profile, and print out a registration form and release form, click here.  

ABC's McDowell Mountain Century, November 14

The Arizona Bicycle Club's annual McDowell Century takes place this year on November 14 in Scottsdale, Rio Verde, and Fountain Hills and 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, and non-members pay $45. Tandems are $45 for members per bike and $60 for non-members. After November 1, there is a $5 late fee for individual riders and a $15 late fee for tandems. (When I checked it, the ride's Website confusingly gave the late fee dates of April 15 and August 10, both of which must be incorrect. I reported that to the ABC, and hopefully the error will be fixed by the time you read this.) 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 here

Cave Creek Bicycle Festival, November 13-15

The Cave Creek Bicycle Festival takes place on 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. This ride is not cheap!

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 even organizers are also looking for volunteers. For more information, click here.

About Arizona Road Cyclist News

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Arizona Road Cyclist News,
Jack Quinn, Editor