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to the upcoming holiday season, this issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News is is early, and the next issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News will be delayed until after the New
Year. As usual, I will send out an E-mail bulletin to E-mail subscribers
if there is any very important cycling news to communicate in the meantime.
Federal Guidelines on Rumble
Tentative ABRA Race Calendar
Casa Grand Century – January 8
Tour de Hero – January 28
Picacho Century – February 12
Feedback – Our Readers Respond
About Arizona Road Cyclist News
Federal Guidelines on Rumble Strips Revised
New federal guidelines state: “safe accommodation of all
road users should be considered when designing and applying rumble
strips.” The term “all users” includes cyclists.
Several times in this publication, I have expressed the
opinion that rumble strips, the roughed-up sections of pavement on the
shoulders of many highways, while a safety measure for motorists, are a
safety hazard for cyclists. The purpose of the rumble strips is to alert
the drowsy motorist to the fact that the vehicle is drifting off the
road. Rumble strips have been credited with saving many motorist lives.
Nevertheless, at least two of my cycling friends have been
in crashes involving rumble strips. One of those friends, a member of the
Arizona Bicycle Club, was riding the Casa Grande Century several years
ago when his bike hit a rumble strip, and his bike went out of control
and swerved in front of a speeding pickup truck. He was killed instantly.
However, the rumble strip may not have been the primary cause of the
accident; it is possible that he suffered a seizure that caused him to
drift into the rumble strip.
The second accident happened a few years later during the
Arizona State Championship road race. The rider was in the pack and did
not see the rumble strip before he hit it. The rumble strip caused him to
crash into the guardrail. He was seriously injured.
The new guidelines for rumble strips make them safer for
cyclists in four ways: wide shoulders, bicycle gaps, edge-line rumble
strips, and adjusted rumble dimensions.
Wide shoulders: The guidelines
suggest that rumble strips not be installed where bicyclists use the
shoulder unless there are at least four feet of pavement between the
rumble strip and the edge of the paved shoulder.
Bicycle gaps: On any road that
has a shoulder where cyclists are permitted to ride, there should be a
10- to 12-foot gap in the rumble strip every 40 to 60 feet to allow
cyclists to cross.
strips: Where practicable, rumble strips should be installed at
the edge of the traffic lane rather than on the shoulder to give cyclists
more shoulder area to ride to the right of the rumble strip.
dimensions: This has to do with reducing the size of certain
characteristics of the rumble strips to make them less dangerous to
cyclists although at the cost of making them somewhat less likely to
alert a motorist whose vehicle is drifting out of the traffic lane.
Examples include reducing the width of the rumble strip and reducing the
depth of the cut into the pavement.
The entire document is more extensive than the summary
presented above. You can view the document on the Web by clicking here.
Additional information concerning the US Department of Transportation’s
recommendations for making roadways more pedestrian and cyclist friendly
can be read by clicking here.
Tentative ABRA Race Calendar for 2012
latest version of the Arizona Bicycle Racing Association race schedule
for 2012 has been distributed to Arizona’s racing clubs. As this was
written, the schedule was not yet available on ABRA’s Website, although I
have made the tentative schedule available on mine (see below).
is a la Niña year, which means that the frequent rains that we have been
experiencing lately could continue into March. Some of these early races
may be conducted in the rain.
scheduled for January and February are as follows:
Winter Criterium Series, January 7, 8, and 15
Avondale Criterium Series, January 22 and February 26
Bicycle Haus Criterium, January 28
Race Against Time Time Trial, January 29
McDowell Mountain Park Circuit Race, February 4
Flapjack Time Trial, February 5
Valley of the Sun Stage Race, February 10, 11, and 12
Sun Devil Criterium, February 19
the important races scheduled for later in the year are:
Bicycle Classic Stage Race, March 2, 3, and 4
State Road Championships, April 21
State Criterium Championships, April 28 & 29
State Track Championships, July 14 & 15
State Team & Tandem Time Trial Championships, September 9
State Individual Time Trial Championships, September 16
about the early races should soon be available on ABRA’s Website. In
the meantime, you can view or download the tentative calendar in PDF
format by clicking here.
the Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club does not plan to put on its Midweek
Criterium spring training series in 2012. In recent years, this series of
weekly evening criteriums had been a fixture in the February through
April racing calendar, and I will miss my weekly (unpaid)
Have you ever tried to explain to your non-cycling friends
why you paid more for your bike than the price of a good used car? Do
they think you’re completely crazy for riding in
traffic, wearing weird-looking clothing, and tucking into an aerodynamic
position for death-defying, high-speed descents of mountain roads? Have
you ever stopped for coffee after completing a century ride and had
someone ask you: “How far do you ride? 15
Maybe this animated video will give you a few pointers
about how to explain our sport to your friends. Warning!
It does contain some crude language, so you may not want to play it on
the office computer with the speaker volume cranked up to full-blast. Also, those of you who race may find that this video
hits a bit too close to home for comfort. The video's duration is just
over seven minutes.
To watch the video, click here.
Casa Grande Century
-- January 8
The Phoenix Metro
Bicycle Club's annual Casa Grande Century ride includes a 100-mile full
century, a 62-mile (100-kilometer) metric century, and a 34-mile option.
All three courses are mainly flat.
All three rides
start and finish at the Safeway store at 4970 South Alma School Road in
Chandler. Registration is from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Riders may leave as soon as
they check in. Sensibly, there is no mass start.
The ride fee is a
quite-reasonable $20 for the century and metric century for members of
the Phoenix Metro Bike Club, the Greater Arizona Bicycle Association, and
the Arizona Bike Club who pre-register by New Year’s Day. Non-members
will pay an extra $10. The fee includes SAG support and lunch in Casa
Grande. Those registering after New Year’s Day should add another $10 to
The 34-mile ride,
which does not include lunch, costs $15 for members of the three bike
clubs and $20 for non-members until January 1. After that date, the fee
goes up by $10 for both groups.
registration (with a possible extra fee) is available, or you can
download and print out a mail-in registration and release form in PDF
format by clicking the appropriate link on the ride’s Website. You can
view that Website by clicking here.
In the last
edition of Arizona Road Cyclist
News, I raised some questions about the ride’s liability waiver. For
rather long analysis of that waiver, scroll down to the final E-mail in
the feedback section.
Tour de Hero – January 28
The Tour de Hero is an annual ride whose purpose is to
raise awareness of the Arizona blood donor program. Riders are encouraged
to recruit people to donate blood at a United Blood Services center
between November 1 and January 14.
The ride starts and ends at the United Blood Services
Headquarters at 6220 East Oak Street in Scottsdale. There are two ride
options: a 62-mile metric century and a 31-mile half metric century. The
first ride starts at 8:30 a.m. and the second starts at 10 a.m. There
will be a complementary lunch after the rides from 1 to 3 p.m. courtesy
of Papa John’s.
Online registration is available until January 14. The
cost of the ride depends on the number of blood donors that the rider
recruited. The base cost is $50 but drops to $40 for those who recruit
from one to three blood donors, $25 fro those recruiting from four to
seven donors. Riders who recruit eight or more donors ride for free, and early registrants who recruit 15 or more
donors receive the free United Blood Services T-shirt.
To connect to the Tour de Hero page on the United Blood
Services Website, click here.
Picacho Century – February 12
The Tucson-based Greater Arizona Bicycle Club.(GABA) has come up with a new course for its Picacho
Century ride, which also includes 63- and 40-mile options. GABA promises
that this year’s route will be a delight to cycle.
The 100-mile ride will begin at the Fry’s parking lot at
Cortaro and Silverbell in Tucson, whereas the two shorter rides will
start at Ora Mae Harn Park at the Marana Municipal Center in the town of
The cost of the ride, which includes SAG stops and a SAG
lunch, is very inexpensive at $15 for GABA and Arizona Bike Club members
who pre-register. Others pay $25. For day-of-ride registrations, add $10
to those fees. At these prices, many Phoenix riders may want to drive (or
cycle?) to Tucson for the ride.
To visit the ride’s Website, which has a link to online
registration, click here.
Online registration is $25 except for GABA members, who can log on to
receive their discount. ABC members who want the member discount or
others who do not want to register online can print download and print a
registration form and release in PDF format. To avoid the $10 late fee,
mail-in registrations must be postmarked by February 8, which is also the
deadline for online registration.
Feedback -- Our Readers Respond
Laveen Country Challenge.
The Laveen Lions
web site is still frozen on info for their last ride in Feb. 2010. Back
in January, I sent emails to several addresses I found on the site,
trying to find out the status of a 2011 ride. None were
answered. Then about 6 months ago, I found a contact in a Lions Club
regional magazine, and through that person, I did finally get a statement
from the Laveen Lions. I can't find the email...
I believe it said simply that the event is gone and it's
not coming back. No specific problem was stated that I recall, just that
they simply decided not to do it anymore.
how groups can and do change their minds, I plan to keep an eye out
for it in future years. I told them that although I only rode it once,
that it was inexpensive, well-organized, with
plenty of volunteers, with a nice community BBQ lunch afterwards. I also
asked them to PLEASE update their site which is
now almost 2 years out of date. There was no further response from them,
and the web site remains untouched.
Boil this down for
distribution, as you see fit…
Scott Barvian in Mesa.
Thanks for the update on this ride, Scott. If you ever
notice that the ride resurrects, drop me a line so I can include it in ARCN -- JQ
I always love
reading the latest from Arizona Road Cyclist News. Clearly, it is a labor of love and I think a great service to
the cycling community.
mention why ARC News is a tad
late. It never bothers me when an issue is late (it is free, after all), and
maybe you will want to adopt this unapologetic motto somewhere on the
Cyclist News: Sometimes late, but
(Ok, maybe some
people will see that as too "self-promotional" but, hey, it's the truth!).
I'll keep recommending
it to my friends, and you keep doing the great work.
All my best,
I got a chuckle from your proposed motto, George, and as
much as I am tempted to appropriate it and include it for the Website, as
you write, that would be self-promotion. I think I’ll
leave the judgment about the quality of Arizona Road Cyclist News to its readers. – JQ
As President of
the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club, the organizer behind the Casa Grande
Century, I felt the need to respond to your comments posted in the Arizona Road
While we applaud
your efforts to inform cyclists about events in and around our state,
your “editorial” on the Casa Grande ride waiver completely misses the
mark. The waiver and its wording were approved by the League of American
Bicyclists approximately three years ago. It was developed by our
attorney who worked closely with the League in developing the waiver.
live in a rather litigious society and our Board acted in the best
interests of our club and its members. We do not expect an apology for
your editorial, as we understand the rationale behind your intent.
However, we feel an honest clarification would be in order, now that you
have the facts.
Ron Waller, President
Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club
Before I respond to Ron Walter’s E-mail, I want to clearly
state that I appreciate his work and the volunteer work of all of the
board members of the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club (PMBC). Without these
selfless volunteers, our sport would be much poorer. I am also grateful
to all of the officers and volunteers of all the touring and racing
cycling clubs in our state who give their time freely for the benefit of
In the last issue of Arizona
Road Cyclist News I wrote the waiver appears
to have been written "by a lawyer gone bezerk." That was
flippant language, and I do apologize for it. Instead of making a
flippant remark, I should have written why I believe the waiver is
defective. I will do so now.
I believe that Ron Walters wrote in good faith that he
believed the waiver was co-developed with the League of American
Bicyclists (LAB) and that the LAB also approved
the waiver's wording. I also understand the necessity of having riders
sign a waiver given our "rather litigious society." However, I
believe that PMBC's ride waiver, by pretending that the signer is waiving
rights that the courts have ruled cannot be waived, could be dismissed in
its entirety in the case of litigation.
The League of American Bicyclists neither develops nor
approves club waivers. The League provides to its affiliate clubs a
waiver that was developed by its insurer, American Specialty, and it
provides that waiver to affiliated clubs with the suggestion that an attorney
modify the waiver to conform with local legal
standards. The waiver that American Specialty wrote approximately five
years ago for the League of American Bicyclists can be read on American
Specialty’s Website in PDF format by clicking here.
The PMBC waiver does include language from the American
Specialty waiver, but language added to LAB's standard waiver causes me
to doubt that PMBC’s version could be used as a defense in case of a
lawsuit. The PMBC Waiver can be read by clicking here.
Before I go any further, I warn the reader that the
discussion is about to get long, esoteric, and boring, so anyone who is
not interested in the nuances of ride waivers may want to point the Web
browser at a more interesting site. Secondly, my legal training is
limited to one undergraduate and one postgraduate course in business law
at ASU, so I have enough legal knowledge to read legal documents and ask questions
but not nearly enough to answer those questions. Cycling seems to attract
an inordinate number of attorneys, so perhaps a more-qualified person
will weigh in on the discussion (non-billable hours, of course).
In the following paragraphs, each instance of bold-faced
and underlined text is a hyperlink to a supporting document.
Sections of PMBC’s waiver that I find troubling are the
In paragraph three PMBC implies that the signer of the
document releases PMBC from any harm caused by “gross negligence.” Gross
negligence is “So high a degree [of] negligence that it shows a reckless
disregard for one’s legal duty, the safety of others’ life, limb,
property, or a conscious indifference to the rights of others.” (BusinessDictionary.com)
A signed waiver can serve as a defense against
ordinary (minor) negligence, but I am under the opinion that courts
generally hold that the right to sue in the case of gross negligence
cannot be waived and that a waiver that attempts to protect the promoter
from responsibility for gross negligence may be dismissed entirely. (“The
waiver/release should never attempt to disclaim responsibility for ‘gross
negligence’ or other outrageous conduct. It should disclaim
responsibility for ‘negligence’.” – sadlersports.com).
Paragraph 7 purportedly makes the agreement “applicable to
any and all Club activity from this date forward.” I question whether a
waiver that purports to cover all unforeseen future activities unrelated
to the specific cycling event has legal merit.
In paragraph 8, the signer of the waiver purportedly
releases the promoter from “any protection of Article 18, Section 5, of
the Arizona Constitution.” Article 18 of the Arizona State Constitution
is entitled “Labor” and deals with workplace issues, although Section 5
has been ruled to also apply to non-workplace
Article 18, Section 5, rather than being a “constitutional
right,” is an instruction to trial courts that cannot be waived. It is
entitled “Contributory negligence and assumption of risk” and reads: “The defense of contributory negligence or of
assumption of risk shall, in all
cases whatsoever, be a question of fact and shall, at all times, be left to the jury.”
[boldface mine] The words “in all cases whatsoever” are very clear, a
fact that was affirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court in 2005 when it wrote
““… we … reaffirm today that Article 18, Section 5 means what it says:
the validity of an express contractual assumption of risk is a question
of fact for a jury….” (Phelps v. Firebird Raceway, Inc.)
In summary, the PMBC ride waiver appears to ask the rider
to waive rights that cannot be waived. Doing so calls into question the
validity of the entire waiver. I humbly suggest that PMBC's president and
board will take a close look at what appear to be some
"poison-pill" passages in this document and consider adopting
the waiver supplied by the LAB.
About Arizona Road
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