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Citations Issued in Death of Doug Flynn.
You may remember that in September of last year, Yuma
cyclist Doug Flynn was struck head-on and killed by an automobile
coming from the opposite direction. The driver had pulled
out to pass a tractor towing a farm machine despite the fact
that the sun was in her eyes and she did not
have a clear view of oncoming traffic. The accident happened
in the small farming town of Somerton, just south of Yuma.
The Somerton Police subsequently referred the matter to the
Yuma County Prosecutor for possible criminal action. The
prosecutor declined to file criminal charges against the
driver. (I am told that in the State of Arizona it is almost
impossible to obtain a criminal conviction against someone who whose negligent driving
results in the death of another person unless the driver is
impaired or leaves the scene of the accident.) That left
open, however, the possibility of issuing a civil traffic
citation, which was up to the discretion of the Somerton
Almost a year passed after the accident, and the Somerton
Police Department had not yet issued a ticket and was
evasive in answering inquiries about the case. In August, Ed
Beighe, who runs the site
azbikelaw.org/blog, notified me
that if the ticket were not written by September 23, the
one-year anniversary of Doug's death, the statute of
limitations would make a citation impossible. Ed also
informed me that he had been pressuring the Somerton Police
to take action in the case but had not met with success.
I posted Ed's concerns to the Arizona Road Cyclist News
Website and to the Arizona Bicycle Racing Association forum
along with the E-mail address of the Somerton police chief.
I have no way of knowing whether the subsequent E-mails sent
to the police chief spurred him to action or not, but two
citations against the driver were issued on September 1:
"SPEED GREATER THAN REASONABLE AND PRUDENT" and "FAIL TO
PASS SAFELY ON LEFT."
Doug Flynn was a licensed racer and the founder and
president of the
Yuma Bike Club. He is sorely missed.
My thanks to Ed Beighe and to all those who E-mailed the
Somerton Police Department for keeping this matter alive. I
believe that if it were not for the outside interest, the
statute of limitations would have been allowed to quietly
Cyclists: Dupes of UN New World Order?
If you think that politics in Arizona are bizarre, just be
thankful that you don't live in the nearby state of
Colorado where Dan Maes
won a primary election to become the Republican nominee for
mayor of Denver by running in part on the idea that cycling
is "converting Denver into a United Nations community" and
that cycling "could threaten our personal freedoms." Mr. Maes
is particularly irked by Denver's membership in the
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
(ICLEI) and by Denver's bike-sharing program, which has
placed about 400 rental bikes at stations around the city.
Denver Post printed Maes's explanation of his opposition
to commuting by bicycle: "At first I thought, 'Gosh, public
transpiration, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people
parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's
wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do
your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of
a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a
United Nations treaty.'"
In all fairness I should add that despite his primary
victory, mainstream Republicans have denounced Mr. Maes's
tactics, and analysts say that he is unlikely to be elected in November.
This contrasts with Arizona where several crazies seem destined to be
elected or re-elected
by comfortable majorities.
Just remember, dear readers, the next time you liberal,
left-wing pinkos ride your bikes, you are playing right into
the hands of the United Nations and its plan for world
domination. You are probably also promoting illegal
immigration. (What's the relationship between cycling and
illegal immigration? I have no idea, but I wouldn't be
surprised if one of our fine Arizona politicians doesn't
make that connection.)
Lightless Mesa Cyclist Goes to Pot
A few weeks ago, a Mesa police officer noticed a man
riding a bike at night with no headlight and drew the matter to the
cyclist's attention. When the cyclist continued to ride in
the dark with no light, the officer pulled the him over. In the ensuing conversation, the officer asked the
cyclist if he were carrying anything illegal. The cyclist
reportedly invited the officer to search him, and the search resulted in the
discovery of a small plastic bag of marijuana.
There is some sort of lesson to be drawn from this story,
but I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps it is that one should
not cycle after sunset with no lights while performing an
illegal activity. Or could the lesson be that it's a bad
idea to invite a police officer to search you while you are
carrying a banned substance? Or could it be that if a police
officer decides to search you against your will, it will
later turn out that you volunteered to submit to the search?
My thanks to reader Gordon Goodnow for drawing my attention
to this story.
Peak Time Trial -- This
The annual Kit Peak Time Trial takes place this Sunday,
September 19. As the event's name implies, the race is a
time trial from the bottom to the summit of Kitt Peak, a
distance of 11.6 miles with an elevation gain of 3400 feet.
Registration will be conducted onsite from 6 to 7 a.m. the
day of the race with riders to start up the mountain at
30-second intervals beginning at 7:30 a.m. Tucson riders can
pre-register the evening before the race at Lerua's Mexican
Restaurant, 2005 E. Broadway in Tucson. Registration for USA
licensed riders is $20 for adults and $3 for juniors. For
more information, click
Arizona Hill Climb Championships -- September 26
As has happened every year for 31 years, on Sunday September
26, Arizona racers will race up Mount Graham in Southern
Arizona in a fierce competition to be crowned the Arizona
Hill Climb Champion. Well, actually, there will be a number
of champions crowned, one for each racing group.
There are two distances. Juniors under 17 race 10 miles.
Adult men under 60 and Adult women under 30 race 20 miles.
Other age groups get to chose whether to participate in the
20-mile or the 10-mile race. The top finishers will win
championship medals, and the winner of each racing category
will receive a free Arizona State Championship Hill Climb
polka dot jersey. Riders must hold a yearly racing license
in order to be eligible for a prize.
The entry fee was $10 for all junior categories and $40 for
all other categories until September 12. Riders who are not
yet registered must now add a $5 late fee, which doubles to
$10 for riders who register on race day.
For more information on the Arizona State Hill Climb
Criterium at DC Ranch -- October 2
The Criterium at DC Ranch is part of the Scottsdale Cycling
Festival, which also includes the annual Tour de Scottsdale.
The criterium will be held at Canyon Village, 18501 North
Thompson Peak Parkway in Scottsdale. The first race,
for junior men age 10 through 14, starts at 8:15 a.m. and
races proceed throughout the day for various categories and
age groups culminating in the race for profession and
category 1 through 3 women at 4:15 p.m. and the race for
professional and category 1 and 2 men at 5:15 p.m. There is
also a free kids' race at 3 p.m. and a free family ride at
3:30 p.m. The prize list for licensed racers totals $5,000.
To see the race brochure in PDF format, click
de Scottsdale -- October 3
The other important event of the Scottsdale Cycling Festival
is the Tour de Scottsdale, a 70-mile ride billed as a race,
which starts at 7 a.m. on Market Street in DC Ranch. Rather
than being run like a USA Cycling race, this event has the
mass appeal of a running event with all riders being timed
with the aide of a semiconductor chip that each rider will
carry. In addition to a bag of goodies, each rider who
finishes also receives a medal.
The entry fee is not cheap. Registration cost $85 through
August 29 but has now jumped to $100. On September 30, the
registration fee takes another jump to $120.
To view the Tour de Scottsdale's homepage, click
Mountain Bike Movie at MadCap -- October 7
Although this is a newsletter for road bikies, we realize
that some of our readers are occasionally tempted by the
dark side of cycling and slip into the depravity of mountain biking.
For those of you who would like to experience extreme
mountain biking while sitting in a comfortable seat and
munching expensive popcorn, the MadCap theater in Tempe
presents the file "Ride the Divide" on Thursday, October 7.
The movies is about what is purported to be the world's
toughest mountain bike race, "which traverses over 2700
miles [from Canada to Mexico] along the Continental Divide
in the Rocky Mountains." The MadCap Theater is located at
730 S. Mill Avenue in Tempe. To access the theater's
Breast Cancer Awareness Ride -- October 9
Trek Dealers across the United States and Canada will host
family bike rides on October 9 to raise awareness of breast
cancer research. Riders and their
families will have a choice of pedaling from 5 to 25 miles.
The Phoenix-area ride is sponsored by Southwest Bicycles in
Peoria and starts on October 9 at 10 a.m. at the shop, 8155
W. Bell Road #116. The fee is a quite reasonable $25, which will go toward
fighting breast cancer. Riders are requested to arrive
between 9 and 9:30 a.m. For more information or to register,
de Fat -- October 9
This year's Tour de Fat will take place on October 9 in the
Tempe Town Park. All proceeds benefit local cycling advocacy
groups. The event includes a parade, a chance to buy a few
beers, a show, and an area for for families with children
with kids' bike checks, helmet decorations, melon-drop
helmet demonstrations, and bike-powered blenders. For a
rather sketchy description of the event, click
Creek Bike Tour -- October 16 & 17
This is not the Cave Creek near Phoenix! This Cave Creek is
in New Mexico. GABA Tucson presents the Cave Creek Bike Tour
on October 16 and 17 with a 42-mile ride each day. This is
reported to be a very scenic ride near the Arizona-New
Mexico border close to I-10 that is suitable for riders who
prefer a somewhat leisurely pace. The night of the 16th,
riders will stay at the Southwestern Research Station in the
Coronado National Forest in dormitory-style cabins. The cost
of the ride is $125 for GABA and ABC members and $140 for
others. In return, riders get a SAG stop each day, a light
lunch on Saturday afternoon and dinner in the evening,
Sunday breakfast, and lodging with bedding, towels, and warm
showers. To visit the ride's Website, click
Memorial Ride for Safety XIII -- October 23
The Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club and the Coalition of Arizona
Bicyclists will jointly promote the 13th annual Memorial
Ride for Safety on October 23. There will be three ride
distances, 100 kilometers, 35 miles, and an intermediate
ride, which is yet to be announced. The ride starts and ends
at AJ's at Pima and Pinnacle Peak Roads at 7:30 a.m. for the
100-kilometer ride and 8:00 a.m. for the other two routes.
Registration opens at 7:00 a.m. The cost of the ride is $25
for members of PMBC, GABA, ABC, and CAzB and $30 for others
who pre-register by October 11th. Tandems are $35. After
October 11, a late fee will be charged.
In exchange for their entry fees, riders will receive a
route map. two to three SAG stops, and a barbeque meal at
the ride's finish. To visit the ride's Webpage, click
Tumacacori Century -- October 24
For those of you who have never heard of Tumacacori, it is
the site of one of the many missions that the Italian priest
Padre Eusebio Kino founded in the late 1600s in the Spanish
territory that today includes Southern Arizona and the
northern part of the Mexican State of Sonora. His best-known
missions are San Xavier de Bac just south of Tucson and the
mission at Magdalena de Kino about an hour's drive south of
Nogales in Mexico where Father Kino died and where his
skeleton is still on display. Tumacacori is located north Nogales,
Arizona and is one of the better-preserved missions.
GABA's Tumacacori Century takes place on October 24 and
starts at the Sahuarita Town Hall. Riders have the choice of
24 miles, a 64-mile metric century or a full 100-mile
century ride. The long ride takes riders south to the
Tumacacori National Monument from which the ride derives its
For those who register by October 20, the fee is $25 for
members of GABA or ABC and $40 for others. After than date,
the fee jumps to $40 for members and $50 for others. The fee
covers three SAG stops, and food at the finish line. For
more information, click
de Tempe -- October 24
The 15th annual Tour de Tempe bike event will take place on
October 24 from 7 to 11 a.m. in Kiwanis Park, 6111 S.
All-American Way, Tempe. The event features a free, short
bike ride on the new multi-use path along the Western Canal.
The ride is free, and riders will be provided with a free
breakfast and free snacks donated by the event's sponsors.
The first 800 registrants will also receive a free T-shirt.
To connect to the event's Website, click
Heart of Arizona Century -- November 6
It's not too early to begin thinking about one of the
toughest one-day cycling events in Arizona, the Heart of
Arizona Century, which 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 on two
out-and-back side trips to make up the extra distance. The
century features almost 7,000 feet of vertical climbing, and
the Brevet adds even more climbing to the ride.
From Congress, riders head west for six miles on Arizona
State Route 71 and then turn right on Highway 93. This is
the only touchy portion of the ride, because sections of
this highway are narrow with high-speed traffic heading for
Las Vegas, and the shoulder is often narrow and separated
from the traffic lane by a particularly nasty rumble strip.
I find it very helpful to wear a glasses-mounted mirror on
this 11-mile stretch so that I can ride in the traffic lane
when the coast is clear and jump the rumble strip to the
narrow shoulder when traffic approaches from behind. After
this stretch, the rest of the route is a dream -- if you are
a masochist, that is.
At 33 miles into the ride, the route turns right onto state
route 97, and traffic is never again a problem. The real fun
begins at 45 miles into the ride, as the riders approach the
dreaded 10-mile climb on state route 96 to Hillside,
Arizona. I have seen riders get off their bikes and push on
this stretch. It's not outlandishly steep, but at ten miles
in length, it doesn't have to be. The climb also has
multiple false summits. Just when you think you've reached
the top of the climb, the road turns and continues upward.
After Hillside and its welcome SAG stop, there is a
refreshing downhill, which is punctuated by jarring bumps in
the road. From there, the terrain appears to be rolling, but
the up-and-down road disguises the fact, that there is more
up than down. Riders are once again climbing.
At SAG stop #4 in Kirkland Junction, the ride
seems to be almost over with a little bit of a climb to
Yarnell. However, appearances are deceptive. The stretch
from Kirkland Junction is what those announcers on the Tour
de France keep calling a "false flat". In other words, it's
a long climb that doesn't look like a long climb. Even
through the town of Yarnell itself, the road heads
Finally, at almost 95 miles into the ride, the descent
comes. The descent of Yarnell Hill is thrilling and is a
suitable reward for hours spent in the saddle pedaling uphill.
Take it easy on the sharp turns and switchbacks, however.
You don't want to crash now that the ride is almost over.
From the bottom of Yarnell Hill, it's a short and easy ride
back to the finish line where the Bull Shifters will be
cooking up hamburgers and hot dogs and serving ice-cold cans
of soft drinks. As you pedaled up the final climb through
the town of Yarnell, you probably vowed never to do this
ride again, but as you sit around and exchange lies about
your exploits with the other riders at the finish line, you
will probably already be making plans to do next year's
If you like an easy pedal though the country, this ride is
not for you. However, if you want to spend a good part of a
day testing your meddle against some of the worst climbs
that the area northwest of Wickenburg has to offer, this
ride is a must.
A word of caution about driving the Wickenburg bypass on the
way home from the ride: Wickenburg is an infamous
traffic-ticket trap as I unfortunately learned while driving
back to Phoenixs from last year's ride. The favorite trick
of the Wickenburg police is to circle the first roundabout
in an unmarked tan SUV and speed up to drivers who merge
into traffic in the roundabout and claim that they failed to
yield. My advice is that you come to a dead stop and let any
traffic in the roundabout proceed and keep an eye peeled for
the brown SUV. The other advice is to reduce your speed
before you pass any speed limit signs. Driving legally
doesn't guarantee that you won't get a ticket, but the
tactic is to make yourself less of an inviting target than
the other motorists around you.
To view the ride's Website and to pre-register, click
McDowell Mountain Century -- November 13
The 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.) The route was still being refined as
this was written, but the 60- and 100-mile versions
usually include a ride down Nine-Mile Hill to Rio Verde,
which reportedly now sports new bike lanes and should
therefore be much safer than it used to be.
The cost of the ride is $35 for members of ABC, PMBC and
GABA until November 5. After that date, registrants 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
Arizona Road Cyclist News
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