Arizona Road Cyclist News August 29, 2012
News for those who bicycle Arizona's streets and roads
Editor, Jack Quinn


Arizona Road Cyclist News is normally published every other Wednesday and is available free of charge to anyone who wishes to read it. To sign up for an E-mail notifying you when the latest edition has been uploaded to the Website or to modify or cancel your current subscription, click on the "Subscribe to Arizona Road Cyclist News" link in the navigation pane to the left on the Website or to the link at the end of every email. All email addresses are kept on a secure server and are not shared with anyone. Should you later cancel your email subscription, you information will be completely deleted from our server.

In the newsletter text, words and phrases in underlined blue text are hyperlinks that you can click for more information on other Websites.

The last issue was light on upcoming events. In this issue, I've included as many of them as I had time to research.

However, due to the fact that I am not only riding every morning but also watching both the Vuelta a España and US Pro Challenge, I skimped on proofreading. Please drop me a line if you spot an error so that I can correct it.

In this issue:
     The Biltmore Hotel's Welcome to Cyclists
     A Biltmore Resident Replies
     The 100 Ride for Jim Stenholm -- October 6
     GABA's Trail of the Mountain Spirits -- September 1, 2 &3
     Tolero Criterium #2 -- September 8
     AT Team & Tandem TT Championships -- September 9
     LAB Instructor Course -- September 7, 8 & 9
     State Individual TT Championships -- September 16
     GABA's Cave Creek Bike Tour -- October 6 & 7
     Kitt Peak Individual TT -- September 23
     Domenic Memorial Ride -- October 7
     Sonoita-Patagonia ITT -- October 7
     Tour de Scottsdale -- October 14
     Mt. Graham Hill Climb Championships -- September 30
     Tour de Paradise -- October 20
     Tour de New River -- October 20
     Heart of Arizona Century/Brevet -- November 3
     GABA's Silverbell Century -- November 4
     El Tour de Tucson -- November 17
     ABC Granada Chapter Breakfast Ride Destinations
     Feedback -- Our Readers Reply
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

The Biltmore Hotel's Welcoming Message to Cyclists

Following is an email that I received from the public relations manager of the Biltmore Hotel -- JQ:

Dear Mr. Quinn,

Thank you for your recent email. I have looked into the information you sent regarding cyclists on the Biltmore property.

The resort welcomes cyclists, walkers & joggers on its property. We maintain the Thunderbird Trail from 24th Street up to the hotel and the Arizona Canal path.

While we do maintain a great working relationship with the Phoenix Police Dept., we are not aware of who may be working with them or paying them to monitor the surrounding residential area.

We hope that locals and residents continue to enjoy their leisure activities along the Biltmore pathways.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Thank you! Becky

Becky Blaine, Public Relations & Marketing Manager, Resort Historian
Arizona Biltmore ¤ A Waldorf Astoria Resort

A Biltmore Resident Replies.

The following is an exchange of comments between Biltmore resident Ina Manaster and me regarding the article I wrote about walkers, runners, and cyclists being stopped by Phoenix police officers in the Biltmore. Ina Manaster is one of the small group of wealthy residents of the Biltmore who hired the off-duty police officers, ostensibly in response to a rash of burglaries. However, at least one of the police officers went beyond burglary prevention and harassed walkers, cyclist, and runners, some of whom are Biltmore residents, but who do not belong to Ms. Manaster's small group.

From reading Ms. Manaster's comments, I theorize that the officer forgot that he not only had a duty to the people who hired him but also to other Biltmore residents and to the public at large. I see some of the officer's comments, made when he pulled over a group of cyclists with whom I was riding, reflected in those of Ms. Manaster.

In my last  communication to Ms Manaster, I asked her for details concerning her contention that two cyclists were arrested in the Biltmore for attempted burglary. I received no reply, and I have found no evidence of these alleged arrests. I dispute her assertions that cyclists are somehow a danger to Biltmore Estates residents.

 It is true that the streets of the Biltmore are private property, but they are private property to which the public is granted access by the Biltmore community as a whole. Ms. Manaster and her group represent less than two percent (probably less than on percent) of that community.

I suspect that Ms. Manaster believes that her version of the facts is true, but it isn't. Nevertheless, I am giving her the opportunity to express her views in this newsletter, just as she expressed them on the Wheezers' and Geezers' Blog.

Ina Manaster said...

Are you willing to post a comment from a Biltmore Estates resident or are you only going to present your "take" on the situation?

August 14, 2012 1:01 PM


Jack Quinn said...

Any respectful comments are welcome. That's why the comments section is here.

By the way, some of the people who were harassed are Biltmore Estates residents, some of whom were cycling with friends and one of whom was doing nothing worse that walking his dog in his own neighborhood.

August 14, 2012 1:41 PM

Ina Manaster said...

Part 1

In response to your blog of July 10, there are a few statements that I wish to address and correct.

First, Biltmore Estates is private property and is marked as such at each entrance –at Colter and 24th Streets. The entry behind the Hotel is also private. The loop road and Thunderbird Trail are owned by the Biltmore Estates residents; an easement has been given to the hotel for access to the hotel, and for use by their guests. Legally, hotel guests have the right to use the loop road which is granted by the residents of the loop road. Access to Thunderbird Trail is granted to the three gated communities with guard gates on that road. The Phoenix Police Dept, the City of Phoenix and the AZ Biltmore Hotel all recognize that this is private property, and have the right to restrict use by anyone other than its residents and hotel guests – no different than Finestierre or Clearwater Hills, which happen to have a guard to keep non-residents out. The AZ Biltmore Hotel has been most supportive, as the safety of our residents also ensures safety of their guests.

Essentially, any non-resident of Biltmore Estates, whether walking, jogging, cycling or driving is trespassing.

In the past, Biltmore Estates allowed non-residents access. However, with the significant increase in burglaries and home invasions, it was decided by residents to hire off duty police to provide security and restrict access. With 1700 households within the Biltmore community, it is impossible for any single individual to know who belongs here without asking. Thus, there was a concerted and legal effort to let those in the area know that the property was no longer open to non-residents. Many were surprised and some were angry when off-duty police did exactly what we requested. All stops were legal and were consensual. We were stopped and detained aganst our will. The stop was not "consensual." -- JQ] No one likes being told something they don’t want to hear. It was ironic to hear the sense of entitlement that many non-residents had relating to use of our private property.

As you probably know, there continues [sic] to be walkers, joggers and cyclists who use the grounds. As long as they obey the law and present no danger to residents or themselves, they are currently being allowed to do so. However, on many, many occasions, cyclists continue to ride across the entire width of the road, endangering themselves, obstructing traffic and endangering others. They have been stopped, at our request letting them know that this is not acceptable. It is not harassment. It is our rules. Cyclists have been informed that if they do not ride in a lawful and safe manner, they will not be allowed to use the property. This is not a matter of police discretion or policy. It is the law of the city, and the fact that cyclists, only with Biltmore Estates residents’ permission, may only use our property if they observe the terms that we have set forth.

August 15, 2012 5:47 PM

Part 2

In the case of Officer Carro, he has been a true asset to the safety of our community. He has prevented at least two actual burglaries; he is proactive and helpful and is considered to be one of the finest officers that we currently employ. He has been lauded by other cycling groups as well as he has ensured their safety and avoided potential accidents as well. [I am unable to identify these cycling groups. -- JQ]

In the case you refer to on July 1, I happen to live approximately 50 yards from where the incident occurred. Initially, the officer, in the course of his duties, was attempting to get past the riders that were blocking the street. It was essentially impossible, as no one made any effort to give him space. When a consensual stop was ultimately made, riders from the rear joined the group and virtually surrounded the officer.

While there may have been more than one Biltmore resident, no one was able to indicate which community in which they lived. [That is absolutely false! -- JQ] Further, merely being a Biltmore resident does not give them the right to obstruct traffic, or endanger the residents of Biltmore Estates. [No one was endangering anyone -- JQ]

In addition to speaking to representatives at the Mountain View Precinct, you also spoke to a spokesman for our association, Mr. Scott Schirmer, who clarified our position and validated the fact that we have hired these officers to do exactly what they are doing. He was clear, and based upon my detailed conversation with him, you appeared to be fully aware of the fact that you are on private property for your own personal recreation and are allowed to do so at our discretion.

To me, the greatest issue is that you believe that you have the right to use Private Property at all. I cannot imagine you or your group attempting to ride the grounds at Phoenician Hotel or any gated community in the Valley. Why, therefore, despite signs clearly saying “No Trespassing”, “Private Property” and “Not a Through Street”, do you and your group wish to intrude? [What the signs really say can be read in the photograph to the right. I do not see the words "no trespassing. In fact, the words "you are entering private property" seem to indicate that one is permitted to enter. -- JQ]

No one is your enemy. No one is attempting to harass you and no one, including the police is treating you as a lesser person. Simply stated, you are on our property.

Jack Quinn said...

Ina Manaster's comments are a mixture of fact and fiction.

It is a valid point that some groups of cyclists inconsiderately take up the whole street, and it is probably true that the group I was in that Officer Carro stopped and harangued was also taking up the whole street (I was riding in front of the group and did not see.) The remainder of the description of Officer Carro's stop is fiction. It didn't happen that way at all. It's not true that the cyclists surrounded Officer Carro. It's not true that the specific place of resident of the Biltmore residents could not be determined; all Officer Carro would have had to do was ask.

The Biltmore Hotel, the Phoencian Hotel, the Camelback Inn etc. all welcome cyclists and other recreational users on their property and on the street and path that the Biltmore controls. The Biltmore has issued a statement to that effect as a result of this incident, which is can be read in the preceding article.

Ina Manaster also gives the false impression that the only people who have been harassed have been cyclists in ill-behaved groups. Lone cyclists, joggers, and walkers have all been stopped. One of the Biltmore residents told me that his neighbor was stopped while out walking.

As I wrote above, the comments have some validity, especially the point about some groups of cyclist riding in an inconsiderate manner, but the argument as a whole is weakened by including fictional versions of events.

As a side note, if break-ins are the concern, having cyclists, walkers, and joggers passing through the neighborhood can be a deterrent. The more eyes and ears on the street, the more likely it is that someone will notice illegal activity and call the police.

If the author would like to redo the comments with something that is completely factual, it would make a much stronger argument, and I would be glad to remove the fictional comments and replace them with a truthful version. I do not believe that the present version does credit to its author. -- Jack Quinn

August 15, 2012 6:32 PM

Ina Manaster said...

I have no intention of getting into a war of words, nor do I intend to split hairs with you in this matter. The Hotel has indicated that you are welcome as long as you do nothing to obstruct the streets or endanger the residents. The Hotel has an easement on Thunderbird Trail - not the loop road. At the end of the day, you and the cyclists are on private property and the rules are determined by the residents.

August 15, 2012 7:36 PM

Ina Manaster said...

As I suspected, you didn't post the last response.  As an FYI, the two arrests for attempted burglary were cyclists; and the Phoenician and Camelback Hotels are not residential communities. I would suggest you continue your rides in those locations.

Jack Quinn said...

I received your comment this morning along with the second one. I published them both as soon as I received them.

Not everyone riding a bicycle is a cyclist. Perhaps one of the problems is that you are confusing groups of cyclists with loners riding bikes who are up to no good.

I would like information of the two people on bicycles arrested for attempted burglary. I can find no reference to those incidents. -- Jack Quinn

August 16, 2012 10:23 AM

The 100 Ride for Jim Stenholm -- October 6

As regular readers know, every year in October the 100 Ride for Jim Stenholm remembers a deceased bike racer, a former Phoenix police officer, a member of the Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club, a husband, and the father of two small children. It also provides Phoenix-area cyclists the chance to enjoy a great ride at a reasonable price and to support the families of deceased and injured fire fighters and police officers. This is the way Jim would have enjoyed spending a Saturday morning.

This ride is also a chance for cyclists to improve relations with the Phoenix Police Department, as many of the motorcycle officers enjoy chatting with the cyclists at the rest stops and over lunch following the ride, and quite a few officers in police cycling jerseys pedal their bicycles with us.

 Because the ride has an escort of Phoenix police officers on motorcycles who stop traffic to allow us to pass, we get to ride right through red lights while motorists sit immobile in their cars and watch us pedal by.

There are two SAG stops en route with cold drinks, fruit, and homemade cookies, and lunch in the park is included at the end of the ride. Each rider will also receive a small gift, which is rumored to be a pair of the coveted Jim Stenholm cycling socks this year.

The 100 is so named for two reasons. For one, it raises money for the 100 Club, and for another, 100 kilometers is 62 miles, which evokes Jim's  police badge number, 6205. OK, the ride is a few miles short of its advertised distance, but who's counting?

The  ride starts and ends at Desert Horizon Park at 16030 North 56th Street (at Paradise Lane, which is between Bell and Greenway roads) at 8 a.m. Registration opens at 6:30 a.m. Riders are asked to sign a release and make a $30 donation, which is very modest compared the the registration fees of most charity rides. (If you register for the Tour de Scottsdale 70-mile ride today, the entry fee will set you back $85, and the fee jumps to $100 on Saturday and to $120 on October 12. I have been told that only a portion of that money goes to charity.)

How can the organizers charge such a modest fee than other rides and still donate almost every penny raised to the 100 Club? Because the large crew working the event consists of volunteers, and and the food and other items needed to put on the ride are donated. Even those of us who ride at the front and the back of the group to control the pace and watch for problems make our $30 donation. The ride's expenses will have already been covered before the first rider registers, so all entry fees will go to a .good cause.

You can view the ride's brochure in PDF format by clicking here, and the route map can be viewed by clicking here. The ride also has a Facebook page.

Above, Stenholm riders chow down at one of the SAG stops. 


Above left, a group of riders leads the pack out of one of the SAG stops. I am the second rider to the right of the picture wearing the cycling cap under my helmet peering from behind the rider wearing a baseball cap under his helmet. Right, the late Jim Stenholm with his mountain bike.

GABA's Trail of the Mountain Spirits -- September 1, 2 & 3

The full name of this ride was too long to include in the article headline: "Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway." Let's just call it the "Mountain Sprits Ride."

The Mountain Spirits Ride takes place over Labor Day weekend from September 1 through September 3 and features a leisurely 105-mile loop tour covered over the three days. The ride starts in Silver City, New Mexico.

The first day's ride is a short 31.5 miles, which should give cyclists plenty of time for off-bike sightseeing. Better yet, if the Map My Ride Website has it right, the first day's ride is mostly downhill. The day's ride ends at the City of Rock State Park, which is reported to have some remarkable geological features to explore and, more importantly, hot showers.

The second day is a 36-mile jaunt up the Membres Valley and over the Continental Divide. Lodging at night is dormitory style, but once again, there will be hot showers.

The final day is a longer 40-mile ride that includes a 3.5-mile climb and ends with an eight-mile descent back to Silver City.

The ride includes camping on Saturday night at City of Rocks State Park, dormitory lodging or camping Sunday night at Camp Thunderbird, plus supper on Saturday and Sunday, breakfast on Sunday and Monday morning, and Monday lunch. Baggage transport and SAG support will also be provided.

Cost of the three-day ride is $125. There is a discount (I don't know how much) for GABA members.

To view the ride's Web page, click here.

Tolero Criterium #2 -- September 8

The Tolero Criterium on September 8 is the second race in a two-race series (the first race took place on April 7). The race takes place on a closed course in Oro Valley. The race has a cash prize list totaling thousands of dollars (first place in the men's category 1 and 2 race pays $400) and has races for most USA Cycling categories. In addition to cash prizes for the first three to five finishers in some of the race categories, there will be primes or prizes awarded to the winner of intermediate sprints during the race.

You can view the race's Web page by clicking here.

AZ Team & Tandem TT Championships -- September 9

The Arizona State Team Time Trial and Tandem Time Trial Championship races take place on September 9 on an out-and-back course that starts in at the Mesquite Grove Assisted Living Center at 16286 South Sunland Gin Road in Arizona City. The individual TT championships will take place on the same course a week later (see below).

Teams consist of four riders each and pay an entry fee of $80 ($40 for juniors). Teams will depart in two-minute intervals and ride either 20 or 40 kilometers, depending on the riders' age group. There are a variety of options for forming a team. There can be mixed teams (men and women), and there are various possibilities for forming a team based on the riders' age up to Men 250+ (no member under 60) and women's 210+ (no member under 50).

Tandems pay $40 per bike ($20 per bike for juniors), and again there are several possibilities for entering in different age groups.

State championship medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category (gold, silver, and bronze) and ribbons will be issued to the fourth and fifth place riders. (I have a fifth-place ribbon from two years ago, and it looks more attractive above my fireplace than the silver and bronze medals I won in previous years.) Trophies will also be awarded to the top male and female teams in both the adult and junior categories.

Registration is online through BikeReg before 8 pm on September 6.

To connect to the race Webpage, click here.

LAB Instructor Course -- September 7, 8 & 9

Reader Gene Holmerud sends word that an instructor's course for those who would like to teach the League of American Bicyclists' cycling courses will be held in Flagstaff at the Joe Montoya Community and Senior Center, 245 North Thrope Road, Flagstaff 86001 on September 7, 8 and 9. For more information, contact Martin Mince by email at

State Individual TT Championships -- September 16

The Arizona State Individual TT Championship races will be held on the same course as the team time trial championships (see above). There are races for both men and women in all age classes in two-year increments for juniors and in five-year increments for us old folks. The race is an out-and back course of either 20 kilometers or 40 kilometers depending on the rider's age. The entry fee is $10 for juniors riding in a junior category and $35 for all others. Registration is online until 8 a.m. on September 14.

The winner of each category will receive an Arizona State Championship jersey, and the first three places will receive medals. Fourth and fifth place will receive ribbons. There will also be trophies for the speediest rider in both the six categories: fastest male 40 kilometers, fastest female 40 kilometers, fastest master male 20 kilometers, fastest master female 20 kilometers, fastest junior male 20 kilometers, and fastest female junior 20 kilometers. The fastest male and fastest female overall will receive a trophy and a $100 cash prize.

The race's Webpage can be viewed by clicking here.

GABA's Cave Creek Bike Tour -- October 6 & 7

GABA's Cave Creek Bike Tour (Cave Creek, New Mexico, not the one north of Phoenix in Arizona) is a 42-mile-a-day ride that starts in Roadforks, New Mexico and goes to the eastern side of the Chiricahua Mountains and Cave Creek Canyon. Those who would like to tack on a few more miles can add a loop through Cotton City and Animas.

The ride ends at the Southwestern Research Station in the Coronado National Forest, which is operated by the American Museum of National History and has dormitory-style cabins.

Price of the ride is $110 for members of GABA and the Arizona Bicycle Club. Others pay $125.

To connect to the ride's Web page, click here.

Kitt Peak Individual TT -- September 23

The Kitt Peak Individual TT will take place on September 23. As this was written, details were not yet available, but normally riders start at the bottom of the mountain at 30-second intervals and are timed to the top of the mountain. The ride up the mountain at casual touring speeds is a delight, but at race speeds it is brutal, even in the lesser heat of late September. However, the temperature at the top of the mountain is cool, and there is a drinking fountain at the observatory with great-tasting cold water. The ride back down the mountain is a blast, despite the increasing temperature as the riders descend.

There should be more information in the next edition of Arizona Road Cycling News.

Domenic Memorial Ride -- October 7

The Domenic Memorial Ride will be held in memory of Domenic Malvestuto, the founder of Domenic's Cyclery in Tempe and also started the Strada racing team. Domenic passed away from cancer on October 6, 2011.

Ride details are not yet available. In the meantime, to read a short biography of Domenic Malvestuto on the Strada Racing Club Website, click here.

Sonoita-Patagonia ITT -- October 7

The Sonoita-Patagonia individual time trial will likely be the last race of the year sanctioned by the Arizona Bicycle Racing Association. Details are not yet available.

Tour de Scottsdale -- October 14

The Tour de Scottsdale is one ride that does not need a long write-up, because everyone has heard of it. "El Tour" takes place on October 14 this year, and registration has been open for some time. There three categories this year with a choice of two distances, making for six options in all. Riders can chose to ride either 30 or 70 miles (a little birdie told me the long course is actually two miles shorter than advertised) as individuals, on a tandem with a partner, or as part of a team with a minimum of six cyclists. There is also an expo associated with the ride and an walk, run, and roll family event.

To connect to the Tour de Scottsdale Website, click here. Be prepared to shell out beaucoup bucks as your registration fee.

Mt. Graham Hill Climb Championships -- September 30

The State Hill Climb Championships start in Safford, Arizona. Riders climb either 10 or 20 miles up the mountain. The rough average time up the mountain is an hour for the 10-mile ride and two hours for the 20-mile ride. Winners in each category will receive an Arizona State Hill Climb Championship polka dot jersey. The first three finishers in each category will also receive state championship jerseys. This is a mass-start race and not a time trial.

Entry fees are $10 for juniors and $40 for others until September 11. After that date, there will be an additional $5 late fee.

To view the ride's Website, click here.

Tour de Paradise -- October 20

The Tour de Paradise is a fund-raising ride for a non-profit organization called Duet, which provides assistance to older adults and their families to cope with the challenges related to aging. There are three distances available: a 62-mile metric century, a 30-mile ride, and an eight-mile family fun ride. The rides start at Moon Valley Park at Seventh Avenue and Coral Gables Drive in Phoenix at  7 a.m. There is also a pre-ride packet pickup party scheduled the evening before from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Duck and Decanter at 1651 East Camelback Road in Phoenix.

The registration fee is a reasonable $25 until September 15, $35 from September 16 to October 1, and $40 from October 2 to 20. However, all riders 17 years of age and older are also required to raise a minimum of $100 in donations. There is also has a 10th Anniversary Jersey for sale at $59.

The ride's Web site can be viewed by clicking here.

Tour de New River -- October 20

The Tour de New River is also a fund-raising ride. This ride is to raise money to end the cycle of poverty in Africa. There are four ride of different lengths: a 40-mile road ride, a 72-mile road ride, a 14-mile bike ride, and a ride that the organizers are calling a "Schizophrenic Duathilon." The latter ride consists of 4 miles on the mountain bike, 35 miles on the road bike, and finally another 4 miles on the mountain bike.

The rides start and end at the Desert View Bible Church at 105 West Carefree Highway in Phoenix. Check-in starts at 6:30. The long bike ride starts at 7:00 and the duathilon will start at about 7:10. The other two rides start at 8:30.

Registration is $80 per rider for all of the rides, which means that a tandem team pays a total of $160. Riders are also expected to raise donations. Riders who register online by August 31 will receive a $15 discount if they enter the coupon code TNR12AUG15.

Those who raise $300 or more in donations receive a free ride jersey. All riders will receive a raffle ticket for prizes, and those who raise large donations will receive an extra raffle ticket for every $250 above the $300 level.

View the Ride's Website by clicking here.

Heart of Arizona Century/Brevet -- November 3

The Heart of Arizona Century is one of my favorite rides, although it has been a few years since I have participated. The "Heart" vies with Mining Country for the honor of being the toughest one-day century ride in Arizona, as both rides feature lots and lots of climbing.

In addition to the 104-mile century, the ride has a 200-kilometer or 125-mile brevet sanctioned by Randonneurs USA (RUSA). The century and brevet follow the same course except that the brevet tacks on two out -and-back side trips along the route to make up the extra miles. This year a third distance has been added, a 44-mile "Heart Intro Ride" for those who are not sure that they are up to 6,000 feet or more of climbing. The new 44-mile route has a wimpy 3,100 feet of climbing. Piece a' cake!

As a reward for all the climbing, riders are treated near the end of all three rides to the thrilling descent down Yarnell Hill where they can coast for seven miles with no more exertion than occasionally tapping the brakes when going into the frequent sharp turns.

The ride starts and ends in the little hamlet of Congress, which is about 17 miles past the corrupt town of Wickenburg where Officer Unfriendly will be awaiting you in an unmarked patrol car, ready to write legitimate or bogus traffic tickets to city slickers and thereby undoing all of the work that the town Chamber of Commerce has put into promoting tourism.

From Congress, the 100- and 125-mile riders proceed along peaceful state route 89 out to highway 93. This latter road is the only hairy part of the ride. Parts of it are four lane, which gives cars lots of space to pass cyclists, but parts are two lanes wide and narrow, and motorists heading from Phoenix to Las Vegas often clip along at 70 miles per hour or more. There is a shoulder on the two-lane sections, but it is often narrow and separated from the traffic lane by a particularly nasty rumble strip. My recommendation is that cyclists use a helmet- or glasses-mounted mirror on this section so they can ride in the traffic lane when the coast is clear and cross the rumble strip to the shoulder when they see cars approaching from the rear.

After the first SAG stop on highway 93, the rest of the ride is a delight, assuming that you are one of us who think that slogging uphill for mile after mile with sweat pouring off you is a delightful experience. Well, that's not quite fair. The climbs are interspaced with some pretty enjoyable descents.

The 16 miles between the first and second SAGs are rolling and really are a delight to ride. After the second SAG while the 125-mile riders make a detour up to the town of Bagdad and back, the 100-milers will enjoy a six-mile descent to the Santa Maria River. Enjoy it, because the ride is about to become pure hell. Therefore, make sure to fill at least two water bottles at the SAG, because you're going to need all of the liquid you can drink before you hit the next stop.

After the Santa Maria River, there is a 10-mile climb to the town of Hillside and the third SAG. The climb goes on for mile after mile. The most disheartening parts are the false summits. Time after time, it looks as if you are approaching the top of the climb, but then you round a curve and see the road soaring farther into the sky. Have I made it sound miserable enough? I know all of you masochists out there are just like me and feel that the rides with lots of suffering are those that we remember for the rest of our lives. Oh, I should add that the two times I have done the ride, there has been a Bull Shifter stopped along the road about halfway up the climb handing up bottled water. This extra help is a godsend, then this is a three-water-bottle climb. [The 2012 State Road Race championship included this climb, and many of the racers did not finish because of dehydration.]

From the third SAG in Hillside, which is, by the way, also a lunch stop, the road becomes rolling with short climbs followed by short, fast descents until the hamlet at Kirkland Junction and the last SAG stop. The two times I have done the ride, the section of road between and Hillside and Kirkland Junction has been a bit rough, and I've been happy to be riding on 25-mm tires with a bit lower air pressure than I normally ride on my racing bike. However, a racing bike with high-pressure tires is fine, as long as you don't mind being jolted a bit by the bumps.

At Kirkland Junction, brevet riders detour to the left to the settlement of Wilhoit and then return to Kirkland Junction. The 100-milers proceed directly through Peeple's Valley to the town of Yarnell.

The section from Peeple's Valley to Yarnell is very deceptive. You know that you're climbing, but the climb doesn't appear to be that steep. Why are you riding so slowly? To add to the misery, there is usually a stiff headwind along this section. The climb continues right through the town of Yarnell, but then comes the thrilling finale of the ride, the seven-mile descent through the curves and switchbacks of Yarnell Hill.

From the bottom of Yarnell Hill, it's a short and easy pedal back to the start-finish line, where the Bull Shifters will be cooking up hamburgers and hot dogs. As you ease your aching body off your bike, you will probably promise yourself not to ever again put yourself through such hellish torture, but then as you sit munching on your food and swapping lies about the ride with the other cyclists, you will probably already be making plans to come back next year, this time in better shape.

Oh, yes, the 44-mile ride. It is an out and back route along the final miles of the 100-mile loop. In other words, from Congress, riders pedal up Yarnell Hill, which is not as difficult as it sounds. The uphill side of the road is wide, has two uphill traffic lanes, and has a broad shoulder. As a bonus, this is one of the few hills in the world that looks steeper than it actually is.

From the top of Yarnell, the 44-milers descend to Peeple's Valley and then climb to the SAG stop at Kirkland Junction for lunch. After lunch, they turn around and retrace the route back to Congress, where even more food will be waiting for them.

I've made this ride sound like a miserable experience, but believe me, it is one of the best rides in Arizona for those who are in physical condition to do it, and it is a ride that I highly recommend.

The cost of the ride is $40 for members of the Bull Shifters, the Arizona Bicycle Club, the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club, and RUSA until October 27. Non-members should add an additional $5. After October 27, add a $10 late-registration fee.

To view the ride's Web site with links to the entry and release forms as well as route maps and descriptions, click here.

GABA's Silverbell Century -- November 4

The real macho rider will pedal through the Heart of Arizona Century on November 3 and then head down to Tucson on Sunday to do the Silverbell Century as a cool-down ride. Well, you don't have to ride the full 100 miles. There will also be 82.5-, 67-, and 30-mile options. The ride should be well supported, as GABA plans three aid stations fully stocked with fruit, water, snacks, and sandwich makings.

The ride starts in the Walgreen's parking lot on the northeast corner of River and Craycroft Roads in Tucson. The listed start time is 7 a.m., but there will be no mass start. Riders may depart after signing in.

Registration is $15 for GABA members and $25 for others until October 31. Riders may also register on-site the day of the event by paying an additional $10.

To connect to the ride Website, click here.

El Tour de Tucson -- November 17

Almost all Arizona cyclists and indeed many cyclists worldwide are familiar with the Tour de Tucson, which takes place every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and attracts thousands of riders. 9,000 are expected this year. Registration will be limited to 10,000 cyclists.

The Tour de Tucson features rides for cyclists of almost all abilities. Riders may chose among 111-, 85-, 60-, and 42-mile routes or to ride with the kids on one of the shorter fun rides with distances of 5, 3, and 1/4 miles.

Be prepared to get off the bike. The 111-mile route includes two dry (hopefully) river crossings, and the 85-mile ride includes one of those crossings. If there's a big rainstorm the night before the ride, be prepared to swim across with your bike in tow.

All rides include aid stations with water and snacks spaced between seven and ten miles of each other, and the rides have police support. All finishers will receive a medal (everyone is a winner). and there will be a fiesta after the ride. Riders may also purchase a ride jersey for $79 or chose from a variety of event clothing such as cycling gloves, baseball caps, event shirts, and arm warmers to mention a few.

The ride is not cheap, and some mathematical skill is required to calculate the total registration fee. Part of the total cost of the ride is a processing fee, which is currently $25 and which rises in steps to $55 by November 10. In addition there is an $80 ride fee and a minimum $15 contribution for the longer rides. The ride fee for the fun ride is $15 per individual rider or $10 for riders who register as part of a group of four or more.

If you think the ride is worth the cost, and thousands do, and if you are not too mathematically challenged to calculate the total entry fee, start the registration process on the ride's Website by clicking here.

ABC Granada Chapter Breakfast Ride Destinations

The following are the destinations for the Granada Chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club's Sunday morning breakfast rides. The ride meets at 6:30 a.m. at Granada Park, 20th Street and Maryland in Phoenix. For insurance reasons, non-members may ride with the group only once without joining.

Feedback -- Our Readers Reply

Firstly, I want to tell you that I am going to miss your newsletter. I always look forward to reading every issue.

Secondly, I want to thank you for once again giving the Bullshifters' Heart of AZ a terrific write-up. On behalf of our club, we truly appreciate everything you do for cyclists.

John Watt, KE7RKT

The fact that you ride a bicycle does not make you a cyclist. Click the link below for an explanation.

It's a great ride, John, and you're quite welcome.

Jack, W7KEI


Dear Jack,

Thank you for the work you have invested for so long in your well-done regular newsletter. I also produce an e-newsletter, mostly for women recreational cyclists called Women and Wheels so I know how much work it is and how time-consuming it can be.

You will be missed. Enjoy your free time!

Sheryl Keeme
Founder, Girls Gone Riding
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Executive Director


Jack, sorry to hear you are moving on from the newsletter but it is completely understandable. I thought you might like to see the notice that was on the TriScottsdale Facebook page about the latest update. It seems some progress is being made.

Here's the link:

Toni Vallee

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