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it seems that it has been a while since the last edition was published,
it has been. Due to other activities, I did not get the issue out that
should have been published two weeks ago. The weather was so nice that I
spent a lot of time out on the bike, and when I got home, I was so
relaxed that I only had energy to sit on the coach and sip a few malted
as I write this issue, I occasionally peer over the top of my computer
monitor and out the window at the water dripping from the eves of my
house during yet another drizzling rain. It’s
good weather to stay inside and write.
Two Cyclists Killed in Phoenix
Hidden Hills Easement to Close
Improving Your Cycling by
NAMI Bikes Arizona Tour –
Toys for Tots Ride – December 11
Arizona Bicycle Racing
Association Meeting – December 12?
Casa Grande Century – January
Tour de Hero – January 28
Feedback – Our Readers Respond
About Arizona Road Cyclist News
Two Cyclists Killed in Phoenix Traffic
This fall, at least two cyclists have died in Phoenix
traffic accidents. A 79-year-old man on a bicycle was killed on November
19 around 3:30 p.m. on Seventh Street, just south of East Cloud Road,
which is a desert area about one mile north of the Carefree Highway.
According to press reports, the cyclist was crossing
Seventh Street from east to west at about mid-block on his bike when he
was struck by a southbound 2001 Honda station wagon driven by a
27-year-old man. I have not been able to find the identities of either
person involved in the accident.
The other cyclist death occurred on October 25th
on 59th Avenue and Latham Street south of I-10 when a cyclist
was struck by a semi-truck, which left the scene of the accident. The
truck was described as a tan Peterbilt with
dark fenders that was towing a white trailer. It is not known if the
truck driver knew that he struck the cyclist, who was described as a
Hidden Hills Easement to Close
As mentioned in a bulletin that I sent out to subscribers
in November, the City of Scottsdale Transportation Committee voted at its
November meeting to “temporarily” suspend the
cyclist easement in the community of Hidden Hills in North Scottsdale. The
word “temporary” refers to the fact that it is the Committee’s intention
that the easement be reopened when it becomes part of a cyclist
connection between Scottsdale and the Town of Fountain Hills. As this was
written, the cyclist easement had not yet been closed, but scuttlebutt
has it that the closure will take place by the end of the year.
It is also unclear when the easement will reopen, but
realistically, if it is ever reopened to cyclists, it will probably not
be anytime soon. The City of Scottsdale, the Town of Fountain Hills, and
MCO (the real-estate developer that owns the land in Fountain Hills) must
coordinate. The connection could be built within a year; it could take
five years; or it might never happen. The danger is that now that the Hidden
Hills Homeowners’ Association is no longer pestering the Transportation
Commission, the question of building the connection to Fountain Hills
will no longer be a priority.
The existing easement in Fountain Hills does not quite
align with the streets planned for the development. According to City of
Scottsdale staff, MCO would prefer that the easement be redone so that it
aligns with a planned street and avoids an existing power line (the power
line is slated to be buried when the land is
MCO’s hopes to develop its land in three to five years, a
plan that could change depending upon market conditions. It is my hope
(perhaps an unrealistic hope) that a cyclist connection to Fountain Hills
can be built much sooner Some of the Commission members, notably Chairman
Josh Weiss, also expressed the hope that the connection be completed as
expeditiously as possible. On the other hand, Commissioner Steven Olmsted
seemed to feel that the City could better use its resources on other
projects and that the cycling connection might not be such a high
Incidentally, the motion passed by the Transportation
Committee to temporarily suspend the easement was made contingent upon an
agreement in writing by the Hidden Hills Homeowners’ Association’s to
actively support reopening the easement when the Transportation
Commission decides to do so. The Homeowners’
Association is supposed to also place a sign outside the community’s
gates notifying prospective home buyers that the cyclist easement exists
and is expected to reopen at some future date so that future homeowners
would not be able to claim that they had no idea when they bought their
homes that they would someday have to share their main street with
The subject of completing the connection is scheduled to be discussed again at the meeting of
the Transportation Committee at 5 p.m. in Kiva
City Hall on the third Thursday in January. At that time City staff is
expected to report back with further information, and Chairman Josh
Weiss, acknowledging that the staff has other duties and therefore
limited time to devote to this issue, expressed the expectation that
cyclists work with City staff to come up with some creative ideas to get
the connection to completed.
As I have in the past, I would like to thank cyclists
James Winebrenner of Bicyle Haus
Racing, Phil Wilson of the Phoenix Consumer Cycling Club, and Preston
Miller of Tri Scottsdale for their work on this issue. It
was James who discovered that the City of Scottsdale already owns
an easement in Fountain Hills that could be used to complete the bicycle
connection, and Phil wrote an extensive argument in opposition to closing
the easement. Both plan to continue working with the City of Scottsdale
to get the easement reopened as soon as possible.
Until the easement
is closed, James, Phil, Preston and I request that all cyclists who use
it show respect for the homeowners by not exceeding the 20-mile-per-hour
speed limit, by not tailgating motor vehicles, by not riding on the
sidewalks, and by not entering any street other than 145th
Way, which is the street that leads to the top of the hill.
Incidentally, for those with nothing better to do, you can
view and listen to the audio-video recording of the last meeting on the City
of Scottsdale’s Website if you have Microsoft’s Silverlight installed on
your computer. To view the video, click here.
For those who prefer a short read, the Arizona Republic’s
article on the meeting can be viewed on the
Website by clicking here.
Improving Your Cycling by Doing LSD
Before you start licking postage stamps or sucking on
sugar cubes or chewing blotting paper that has been spiked with some sort
of funny chemical, I should tell you that when it comes to cycling, LSD
does not stand for lysergic acid but rather for “long, slow distance” and
refers to a cycling technique to improve conditioning. It should be more
accurately termed “long medium distance,” but I suppose LMD doesn’t quite have the same cachet.
Bicycle racers have long known that after a layoff, the
first step in getting back in shape involves going out on the bike every
day and riding about 60 miles at a moderate pace. This is known as base
conditioning. After a month or so of these long rides, the racer begins adding interval training and speed work
to the ride. During the winter lay-off, racers have also traditionally
done lots of LSD to maintain and even improve aerobic conditioning.
An article in the December 2011 issue of VeloNews
(p. 68f) updated what many cyclists already knew about base conditioning.
The article divides improving the body’s VO2 max (its ability
to process oxygen) into two components: central conditioning and
peripheral conditioning. Central conditioning determines the heart’s
ability to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles, and peripheral
conditioning determines “the muscle cells’ ability to take up and use
that oxygen.” The article states that central conditioning “accounts for
up to 80 percent of the improvements in a trained cyclist’s VO2
further divides central conditioning into two
components: stroke volume and maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate is,
of course, the fastest that a person’s heart can beat. Stroke volume is
the amount of blood that the heart can pump with each beat and is
determined by the size and strength of the left ventricle, both of which
can be increased by training.
Although the article states that there
is not much a cyclist can do to increase maximum heart rate, some
medical professionals maintain that it can be improved. On the Website
combat-aging.com, Gabe Mirkin, M.D. writes that
leg muscles squeeze their blood vessels to pump blood from the leg veins
toward the heart. The more developed a person’s leg muscles are, the more
they take over some of the work of pumping blood, permitting the
more-lightly-loaded heart to pump faster. If this is true, it suggests
that cyclists CAN raise their maximum heart rate as cycling builds up
their leg muscles. (The article can be read by clicking here.)
article does not discuss how to determine maximum heart rate, so I will.
There is a popular misconception that maximum heart rate can be
calculated, and the most-cited formula for doing so is maximum heart rate
= 222 – the person’s age. This
formula is phony! It was popularized when it was included in the
instruction books that accompany the Polar line of heart-rate monitors.
Maximum heart rate does tend to decrease with age, although not usually
as quickly as this formula would indicate, but every individual is
different. Your maximum heart rate is probably very different than that of a given fellow rider of your age. Just as
people of the same age have different heights, weights, strengths,
intelligence, etc, they also have different maximum heart rates. (To read
an interesting New York Times
article on the subject of maximum heart rate, click here.)
Medical experts recommend that, for safety’s sake, maximum
heart rate be determined by having a cardiologist perform a stress test.
In theory, a cyclist could determine maximum heart rate by wearing a
heart-rate monitor and exercising at maximum effort after a suitable
warm-up, but some doctors warn that the athlete may have a heart
irregularity that only shows up when the heart is stressed and which
could prove dangerous or even fatal if the test is not medically
supervised. Any cyclist who has been racing has probably already pushed
his or her heat rate to the maximum many times, so I believe that this
concern should be directed mainly to the person who is out of shape and
beginning an exercise program.
Once the cyclist's maximum heart rate has been determined,
the VeloNews article says that the cyclist
should spend about 80% of riding time with the heart beating at about 65
to 70 percent of maximum. Even new riders should get in several
three-hour or longer rides a week under these conditions. For most
people, who work for a living, that means doing
long rides on Saturday and Sunday with a rest day on Monday to recover.
The article also says that core conditioning takes up to ten years to
peak, so if you are not in the shape you would
like to be in during your first year of hard cycling, don't get
discouraged. You may get much better even as you age.
NAMI Bikes Arizona Tour -- December 10
This ride is a
fund-raiser for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that
starts and ends at Veterans’ Park in Sierra Vista with 35-, 67-, and
100-mile options. Riders pay a registration fee of $35 and are also expected to raise donations. The longer
routes include such historic Southern Arizona towns as Tombstone, Benson,
and Bisbee. The century ride starts at 7:30 a.m., the 67-mile ride at 9
a.m. and the 35-mile ride at 10:00 a.m.
To connect to the
homepage of the ride’s Website, click here.
Toys for Tots Ride -- December 11
Lush Burger is going to host a Breakfast Ride on Sunday,
December 11th to benefit Toys For Tots. We are inviting all of the local
clubs in an effort to collect a great number of toys for kids in need
this season. I would like your help in getting the word out to your members.
It is open to all comers.
LUSH BURGER, 18251 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, 85255 (Pima and
Sunday Dec 11th
Wheels Down at 7:30
Route TBD figure 35-45 miles out and back so people can
choose their distance, and still make it back for breakfast (7 Springs??)
BREAKFAST...Lush will provide a breakfast buffet with
eggs, bacon, pancakes, fruit and more. We will also have complementary
mimosas and bloody marys for those interested
(if you made it to the first one you know that chef Chuck is not messing
PLEASE BRING 1 new, unwrapped toy
for us to donate to TOYS FOR TOTS...The Club with the most toys wins a
meeting hosted by LUSH with free apps and beers!
Please RSVP so that we know how many rides/eaters we will
This could be really a really special
ride, and obviously it will be really special for the kids that we help
out so come on out and represent your club!
Please contact me with any questions. I am working on some
other things to make the ride an exceptional experience, so if you have
any ideas please feel free to let me know.
Village Health Clubs
480-502-8844 ext 257
Arizona Bicycle Racing Association Meeting – December 12?
The annual meeting of the Arizona Bicycle Racing
Association (ABRA) is scheduled to take place next Monday December 12 at
noon at the Holiday Inn, 777 North Pinal Avenue in Casa Grande. (The
reason I have a question mark after the date above is because this
meeting generally takes place on a weekend, and I wonder if the Monday
date is an error.) All racing clubs are expected to send a representative
to discuss the 2012 racing schedule and junior incentive checks.
Many races are already on the 2012 tentative calendar,
which has not yet been published. The University of Arizona Criterium is
scheduled for January 21 (the second one is on the calendar for February
26), and the first of two Avondale Criteriums is scheduled for January
22. The McDowell Mountain Park Circuit Race is to take place on February
4 with the Valley of the Sun Stage Race to follow in February 10, 11, and
12. The State Road Race Championship Races are not yet on the calendar
(there are two competing offers from clubs to put on this race), but the
State Criterium Championships are to take place on the weekend of April
28 and 29. The State Track Championships will take place on July 14 and
15 (presumably on the track in Balboa Park in San Diego). The Team and
Tandem Time Trial Championships will take place on September 9, followed
by the Individual Time Trial Championships on September 23.
Casa Grande Century -- January 8
The Phoenix Metro
Bicycle Club is already gearing up for the Casa Grande Century ride, an event
that it promotes every year. There will be a 100-mile full century, a
62-mile (100-kilometer) metric century, and a 34-mile option. All three
options 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
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 fee.
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.
However, you may
want to read the release carefully before signing it. It seems to have
been written many years ago by a lawyer gone berserk. It goes far beyond
releasing the ride organizers from responsibility it you are injured on
the ride. You also release anyone associated with the ride from any
responsibility for almost anything they might do
to you at any time in the future. You even forfeit all claims against the
“League of American Wheelmen.” (How many years has it been since that organization’s name was changed to the League of
I suspect that the
PMBC release was copied verbatim from an old League of American Bicyclist
document, and I respectfully suggest that PMBC should consider writing
its own release with more reasonable and understandable language for
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.
Feedback -- Our Readers Respond
I apologize if I've gone through
this with you before. Regarding wrong-way cyclists in the city (as
opposed to rural), I think it's very enlightening to look at the Phoenix
Bike Collision Summary, which I have tabularized here:
There are few wrong-way-in-the-road crashes (looks like
only 10% of total). However, there are a huge
number of wrong-way on the sidewalk, i.e. at driveways, or crosswalks,
i.e. they had been riding on the sidewalk just prior to the collision
(it's a little more than HALF of all collisions!)
Here's the rub: it is NOT illegal to ride either direction (in
Phoenix) on the sidewalk, or through the crosswalk. (maybe
it should be; I don't know. I'm somewhat conflicted).
By contrast, as you may know, it is expressly illegal to ride the wrong
way on sidewalks in Tempe.
By encouraging or insisting that police must "crack
down" on "wrong-way" cyclists, you end up having police
issuing bogus tickets to sidewalk cyclists (usually ones involved in
collisions) -- apparently, if you can believe it, the cops ticket
bicyclists for violation of 28-815A
in this situation. And even more incredibly, motorists
involved in these collisions generally do not get faulted or ticketed
despite their having just rolled out at a stop sign or right-on-red
(that's the predominant mode of collision, motorists at stop signs or
driveways or red lighst don't bother to look
both ways; they only look towards the direction that traffic is expected
to come from).
There is a certain group of cyclists that is very happy to
ride on the sidewalk, veeery slowly, and
therefore are probably reasonably safe -- that's why I say I'm conflicted
about, say, simply outlawing it.... it would give motorists yet another
reason to not look both ways, and get away with it (although they
generally usually do now).
Your comments are
always interesting, Ed.
My wish is for
police to crack down on cyclists riding the wrong way on the roadway,
because they are a danger to other cyclists and their dangerous behavior
is clearly illegal. I was told that on the Thanksgiving Day ride to South
Mountain, several cyclists crashed and two were injured (I have the story
second hand, so I'm not sure of the details) when they swerved to avoid a
cyclists coming at them head-on on the wrong side of the street. The
police were called but didn’t show up.
I once crashed
head-on into a wrong-way cyclist just after making a right turn from one
residential street to another. (The other rider was
hugging the curb and was obscured to my view by a large oleander bush.)
Fortunately, neither of us had injuries any more serious than a few
scrapes and bruises, although I believe I did enrich the other cyclist’s
It is very true
that many casual bicycle riders are not aware of how dangerous it can be
to ride on the sidewalk, especially on the left side of the street, where
every driveway and intersection offers a potential for a collision with a
motor vehicle. However, those riders are mainly a danger to themselves
and not to others, unlike bicyclists who ride against traffic on the
I sometimes ride
on the sidewalk against traffic for a short distance and slowly when
someone behind me in the cycling group has a mechanical and I want to
double back to help. However, I am aware of the danger and come to a
complete stop and wait if I approach an intersection where a car is about
to pull out. -- Jack Q.
This has been a long time in coming, but I just wanted to
"thank you" for getting the word out in your newsletter about
"The 100- A ride for Jim Stenholm". I
believe EVERYONE (minus the police escort who "crashed" early
on) had a great time! It was a good turnout,
good ride and I attribute that to you and AZ. Road Cyclist.
Just like you and apparently MANY others, I knew nothing
about the McDowell Mountain Century either. If you get any further
information about why the ride was "cancelled" this year, could
you mention it in a future newsletter? Another "mystery" is
whatever happened to the annual "Laveen
Country Challenge" normally held in February? I don't
believe it happened this year. Might you know why?
If I could ask another favor: Even though it's still a few
months away, the 3rd. annual "Tour de Hero" will be taking
place in Scottsdale on January 28th., 2012. I have attached to this email
the "flyer" for the ride. If you could mention this in an
upcoming newsletter, I would greatly appreciate it! I'm
a BIG supporter of this event just like I am for "The 100-A ride for
Jim Stenholm". "Incentives" (reduced registration, etc.)
are offered for those who "donate/recruit" blood donors from
November 1st. - January 14th..
"Donating" is NOT a requirement however. For more information
or questions, the marketing/P.R. director at United Blood Services is a lady by the name of Sue Thew.
She's a nice lady. She can be contacted by
telephone at (480) 675-5454 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyway, it's time to go. My wife
(who's also a "cyclist") & I are planning
on riding from here to Tucson next week to attend but not participate in
the "El Tour de Tucson". A few of the people we normally ride
with ARE participating in the event, so we're
going down there just to offer our "support".
Have a great night, and
"thank you" again! We LOVE the newsletter! Keep up the GREAT
Thanks for the
feedback, Dave, and I hope that you and your wife had an enjoyable time
on your ride to Tucson. The Tour de Hero information is included in this
issue above. As to the McDowell Mountain Century, it is my understanding
that the organizers started planning too late to get everything done. I don’t know what happened to the Laveen
Country Challenge. Perhaps a reader will write in with an explanation.
A ride that I miss
is the Palo Verde Century, which took place the West Valley on mainly
rural roads. Perhaps someone will take the hint and put it on this
spring. –Jack Q
About Arizona Road
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