Arizona Road Cyclist News
J
ack Quinn, Editor

 © September 16, 2009

Once again, this will be a short newsletter, partially due to the summer doldroms in cycling activity more mostly due to the fact that you editor is still spending hours each day watching the Vuelta a España on Spanish TV via satellite.

Arizona Road Cycling News is sent out free of charge by E-mail every other Wednesday and is aimed at those who bicycle the streets and roads of Arizona, be they racers, commuters, tourists, or casual riders. This publication is copyrighted by Jack Quinn. You may forward the entire newsletter by E-mail to anyone you chose. You may also forward individual articles as long as you mention its source as Arizona Road Cyclist News.

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In this issue:
     Hidden Hills Installs Speed Bumps
     Cave Creek Bicycle Festival, November 13-15
     Trekwomen Breast Cancer Awareness Ride
     Two Events Left in AZ 2009 Road-Race Calendar
     Pro Racing on TV and on the Web
     Tour de Scottsdale, October 4

Hidden Hills Installs Speed Bumps

Hidden Hills, the gated community at the end of East Via Linda Road in North Scottsdale, after losing its battle with the City of Scottsdale to ban cyclists has carried through on its promise to install traffic calming devices to slow cyclists descending its steep main street. The street now sports several new speed bumps.

As many readers know, when the Hidden Hills developer requested permission from the City of Scottsdale to place a gate at the community's entrance, the City of Scottsdale retained an easement permitting cyclists, walkers, and hikers to enter the community and cycle or hike to the top of the hill. The residents of Hidden Hills inherited the obligation of continuing this access.

Last year the Hidden Hills Homeowners Association petitioned the City of Scottsdale for permission to ban cyclists, claiming that too many cyclists were descending the community's main street at high speed, violating the community's non-enforceable 20-mile-per-hour speed limit. The City of Scottsdale denied the residents' request but did suggest the installation of traffic-calming devices.

The traffic-calming devices are now in place and likely to be effective. These speed bumps are not the normal asphalt bumps that most of us are used to riding over at 20 mile an hour or so. They are made of plastic and extend all the way across the road from gutter to gutter. The edges of the bumps facing up- and downhill are not flush with the pavement. There is a definite sharp edge high enough to be an annoyance to cyclists riding up the hill and possibly cause a pinch flat if any cyclist hits the edge at speed on the descent. On my ride up the hill yesterday morning, I noticed several cyclists swerving into the gutter to avoid the bumps, but the gutter is so narrow that this maneuver is best carried out at a modest speed.

I know that many cyclists are capable of jumping the speed bumps without slowing, but I hope that most cyclists will respect the residents' wishes and slow down for the bumps.   

Cave Creek Bicycle Festival, November 13-15

Ann Patsy wrote to let us know about the upcoming Cave Creek Bicycle Festival, which is scheduled for November 13, 14, and 15. A number of events are planned including 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. Registrants can download a registration form or register online for an additional processing fee. After October 31, there is an additional $15 late fee. If you want to attend the festival but not part with so much money, the organizers are also looking for volunteers. To access the festival's Website, click here.

Trekwomen Breast Cancer Awareness Ride, October 10

The trekwomen Breast Cancer Awareness Ride will be held in Peoria on October 10. There are two distances: 10 miles and 25 miles. The event fee is a modest $25, and registration closes October 9. To view the ride's Website, click here.

Two Events Left in AZ 2009 Road-Race Calendar

This Sunday, the annual Kitt Peak hill climb takes place. The race is a time trial with riders departing at 30-second intervals. The course is 11.6 miles with an elevation gain of roughly 3400 feet. Registration is $2 for juniors and $15 for others from 6 to 7 a.m. at the race site. Winners of the event may (or may not) receive a friendly pat on the back, and the winning riders of the combined Kitt Peak and Mount Lemon races will receive a T-shirt. Preregistration will take place the evening before the race at Lerua's Mexican Restaurant in Tucson. The first rider starts at 7:30. To access the race Website, click here.

To wrap up the 2009 road-racing season, the Arizona Hill Climb Championship race will be held up Mount Graham on next Sunday September 27. This is a mass start race, meaning that all riders in all categories start together. The race distance is 10 or 20 miles depending on the racer's category. The winner of each category will receive an Arizona State Hill Climb Championship jersey. Registration can be mailed in, done online, or taken care of in person at the race site. Registration is $10 for juniors and $40 for others with a $5 late fee after September 13. To access the race Website, click here.

As you may know, the Arizona Individual Time Trail Championships were held last Sunday. If you are interested in seeing the results in PDF format, click here.

Pro Racing on TV & the Web

The Vuelta ciclista a España is underway through this Sunday, when the three-week stage race winds up in Madrid. As of yesterday, Alejandro Valverde was in the lead, but several riders were close to him on time, so the final two mountain stages on Thursday and Friday could decide the overall winner. At the end of yesterday's stage, Dutchman Robert Gesink of Rabobank trailed Valverde by only 31 seconds. The best American rider was Tom Danielson of Garmin in ninth place, 8:28 behind the leader.

Universalsports.com is streaming live video and audio coverage of each stage over the Internet and also archives the Webcasts for later viewing. Anyone with an international Spanish-language programming package that includes TV Española Internacional (TVEI) can watch the final two hours of each stage on TV, with Spanish commentary. The broadcast generally runs from 7 to 9 a.m. Arizona time, but longer broadcasts of planned of some stages.

For those of you who still have access to the premium TV channel Versus, Versus will broadcast condensed coverage of the Paris-Tours race on October 11 at 3 p.m. Arizona time.
 

Tour de Scottsdale, October 4

First, let me make my prejudices clear by saying that I am not in favor of these large group rides billed as "races". There is no control over the skill of the riders who enter, except for the new elite racer division, with the result that many of the riders tucked into the large pack have no idea how to pedal safely in such close quarters. Consequently, these rides are always marred by numerous crashes, some of which result in serious injury. Nonetheless, if you want to take the risk, there is still time to register for the Tour de Scottsdale, which takes place on Sunday, October 4. If you haven't yet registered, riding this event will cost you $100 or $120 if you wait until October 3 or 4 to sign up.

This year, category 1 and 2 racers with a USA Cycling license get their own race starting on Thompson Peak Parkway. The crash-prone 70-mile mass event for everyone else starts on the Market Street Bridge at DC ranch. There is also a free family fun ride. For more information, click here.

 

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