Arizona Road Cyclist News

August 24, 2011

News for those who ride Arizona's streets and roads
Editor, Jack Quinn

Arizona Road Cyclist News is normally published every other Wednesday, although the schedule tends to be somewhat irregular. It is available online free of charge to anyone who wishes to read it. To sign up for an E-mail notification of when each edition is available or to modify or cancel your current subscription, click here. All E-mail addresses are kept on a secure server and are not shared with anyone. Should you later cancel that E-mail subscription, your information will be completely deleted.

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In this issue (only two in this "starter edition." Look for much more in two weeks.):
     ARCNews to Resume Publication
     Mexico City Commentator Says "Crush Cyclists"
     Skull Valley Loop Challenge -- September 11

ARCNews to Resume Publication

Arizona Road Cyclist News is starting back with a modest first issue. I will be back in Phoenix on August 30, a month ahead of my planned return. (I cut my trip short due to a sciatic nerve enjury.) I plan to get out a full issue a week after my return. I'm sitting in Luxembourg City at the moment using a free WiFi connection, so I thought I'd get out a limited edition to try to get back into the grove. Send me your news about upcoming cycling events or news of interest to cyclists by replying to the E-mail address from which the notification of publication was sent.

Mexico City Commentator Says "Crush Cyclists"

I travel abroad and reada few overseas news sources even when I'm in Phoenix. Sometimes I think that the USA is the only country with rabble-rousing radio and TV commentators who appeal to the worst instincts of people of limited intelligence, but then my faith in the universal presence of scumbag commentators is restored when I encounter hate-mongering equivalents of Rush Limbaugh in countries such as Germany.  My latest contact with a commentator who appeals to the baser instincts of the intellectually challenged comes indirectly through the August 23 online edition of the Mexican newspaper El Universal.

The newspaper reports that a Mexico City radio commentator named Angel Verdugo (perhaps it is not a coincidence that his last name means "executioner" or "hangman") has appealed to his listeners to use their motor vehicles to "crush" cyclists. Mr. Verdrugo is a commentator for the Mexico City radio station Reporte 98.5. The following translations of his remarks from Spanish to English are mine.

Mexico City has been trying to encourage cycling as one means of reducing the number of automobiles choking its streets including a program called Ecobici that enables persons to cheaply rent a bike at one location and leave it at another. The program is similar to those operated in many European cities.

Mr. Verdugo, far from approving of the city's Ecobici program, has called its users "the new plague that is on the verge of causing  severe damage in the Federal District" because many of them don't respect traffic laws. (Never mind the fact that almost no driver in Mexico City respects the traffic laws.) He adds that in the week he made his comments, "I was twice on the point of slamming into cyclists with my modest vehicle."

He continued, "I order you, when you see this cloud of locusts, aim your vehicle at them immediately, don't give them a second chance, crush them so that they learn their lesson."

"It seems that because they are using this 'instrument' [a bicycle] that belongs to Mexico City, these gentleman feel free to do anything they want."

Skull Valley Loop Challenge – September 11

The following is a press release put out by the organizers of Prescott's Skull Valley Loop Challenge. Those of you who have ridden or raced the Skull Valley Loop know that it is one of the greatest rides that Arizona has to offer.

All area cyclists are invited to participate in Prescott’s “home
grown road ride” on Sunday September 11th. The first “Jerry Doss
Memorial Skull Valley Loop Challenge” was held in 2007. Last year over
200 bicyclists registered for the event, which attracted participants
from all over Arizona, and neighboring states.

The ride is a 54 mile “loop” that starts and ends at City Hall in
Prescott. The circuit takes in Skull Valley, Kirkland, and Wilhoit
before returning on White Spar Rd., and it includes some 3,850 feet of
elevation change. Start time is 7:30 AM sharp. There will be two
support stations along the route, as well as “sag wagons” staffed by
local bike shops. The event is billed as a “fun ride” and it is not a
race, but time will be kept so riders can challenge their personal
best.

Jerry Doss was the main instigator of the first event, but he died
before it happened, and the Prescott Cycling Club (PCC) held the first
ride in his memory. Now, PCC is also a memory, and the ride is
organized by Prescott Alternative Transportation, a non-profit
organization working towards a bicycle and pedestrian friendly central
Yavapai community. Registration fees are $35.00 before August 19th and
$45.00 after. More ride details and online registration information is
available at http://www.PrescottCycling.net.

For more information, please contact the ride committee at
loopride@prescottbikeped.org

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