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the following text, words and phrases that are both in boldface and
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Cyclist Stop Signs as Yield
Cyclist Killed in Traffic,
Another Seriously Injured
McDowell Mountain Park Circuit
Race – February 4
Flapjack Flats Time Trial –
Valley of the Sun Stage Race –
February 10, 11, & 12
Century – February 12
NYM Phoenix à Tucson Tour – February 17 to 20
Sun Devil Criterium – February
South Mountain Silent Sunday –
Avondale Criterium #2 –
Tucson Bicycle Classic Stage
Race – March 2 to 4
Mining Country Challenge – March
Tucson – March 18
Tour de Cure – March 24
Spring Bike Tour – March 24 & 25
ABC Granada Park Chapter
Breakfast Ride Destinations
Feedback – Our Readers Respond
About Arizona Road Cyclist News
Cyclist Stop Signs as Yield Signs Redux
As happens every year, a bill to permit Arizona cyclists
to treat stop signs as yield signs has been introduced in the House of
Representatives of the Arizona State Legislature. The past two years, the
bill was defeated in its first committee hearing on a straight party-line
vote, with all Democrats voting in favor of the bill and all Republicans
voting to kill it. This year the bill got a more-promising start. On
January 26 it passed the Transportation
Committee with a 6-to-2 vote.
House Bill (HB)
2211 would amend Section C of Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-855
to read as follows. The text if blue would be added to the statute, and
the text in red would be deleted.
The driver of a
vehicle approaching a yield sign and
any person who is at least sixteen years of age and who is riding a
bicycle approaching a yield sign or a stop sign shall slow
down in obedience to the sign to a speed reasonable for the existing
conditions and shall yield the right‑of‑way to any vehicle in
the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to
constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver or bicycle rider is moving across or
within the intersection. If after driving or riding past a yield sign or stop sign without
stopping the driver or bicycle
rider is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection, the
collision is prima facie evidence of the driver's or bicycle rider's failure to yield the
The bill is still a long way from becoming law. It must
still pass through two more committees (the Military and Public Safety or
MAPS Committee, which meets today although this bill is not on the
agenda, and the Rules Committee, which met January 30 without considering
this bill. Assuming it makes it through the committee process, it must be
approved by the full House and then go over to the Senate, where the
process starts all over. If it then makes it through the senate
unaltered, the governor must sign it before it becomes law. I would say
that given the lack of knowledge about cycling among our politicians, the
chances of the bill's making it through this torturous process are slim,
but the fact that it has made it through one committee and the fact that
it received some Republican votes in that committee gives me hope.
The Rules Committee is supposed to review all bills to
ensure their language is constitutional and then pass them on to the full
House. Unfortunately, the chair of the Rules Committee can sit on a bill
and through inaction stop it from progressing. The chair is Republican
Representative Jerry Weiers of Glendale, who is
also one of the two representatives who voted against the bill in the
Transportation Committee. That is not a good omen for the bill’s success.
Politics aside, the argument for allowing cyclists to
treat stop signs as if they were yield signs is that it improves safety.
Most cyclists are clipped into their pedals, and most cyclists are not
able to come to a complete stop without unclipping one foot and putting
it on the ground. When it's the cyclist's turn
to go through the intersection, the cyclist must put that foot back on
the pedal, clip in, and accelerate through the intersection. It takes a
cyclist much longer than a motor vehicle to accelerate from a dead stop
and clear the intersection. A cyclist who is permitted to maintain some
momentum can clear that intersection much more quickly than a cyclist who
comes to a dead stop.
There are three arguments against this proposal. The first
comes from people who do not understand and who often do not want
cyclists to be on the road. They view this bill as a request for special
privileges from a group of elitists in Spandex who they believe should be
riding on the sidewalks or sitting at home watching TV.
The second two arguments come from a minority of cyclists
who either believe that cyclists and motorists should obey the same rules
under all circumstances or who think that the law would increase motorist
anger against cyclists.
Let's first consider
the argument that motorists and cyclists should obey the same rules of
the road under all circumstances. This argument was popularized by John
Forester, the author of a book entitled Effective
Cycling, a book that I recommend, to novice cyclists and to
anyone interested in bicycle touring. While generally true, this argument
can be carried to extremes. Motor vehicles are much more powerful,
heavier, and faster than bicycles, and there are circumstances under
which it is better for the two to obey different rules. For example,
generally speaking, when a bicycle is traveling more slowly than the
speed of traffic, the cyclist is required to ride as far to the right as
practicable (there are exceptions). Cyclists are not permitted to use the
HOV lanes of freeways. I also contend that because motor vehicles are
able to accelerate much more quickly from a dead stop, a law that would
permit cyclists to retain some momentum when entering an intersection
after making sure that the coast is clear would make sense.
The second group of cyclists opposes allowing cyclists to
treat stop signs as yield signs contending that it will just give
motorists another excuse to be angry at us and
put us in danger. Fortunately, we don't have to
speculate on the effects of the law. For decades, Idaho has not only
permitted cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, it has also
permitted them to treat red lights as stop signs. In other words, in Iowa
a cyclist is permitted to ride through a red traffic light after coming
to a complete stop and ascertaining that there is no traffic approaching
on the cross street. Is the relationship between cyclists and motorists
perfect in Idaho? Of course it isn’t. However,
there is no evidence that these special rules for cyclists have made the
relationship any worse, and studies have shown that the exceptions have no
negative effect on cyclist safety.
House Bill (HB) 2211 has its own Web page on the Arizona
Legislature's Website. If you would like to follow the bill's progress
through the legislative process, you can do so by clicking here.
Cyclist Killed in Traffic. Another Seriously Injured
A car hit and killed a cyclist on the evening of January
21 near Alma School and Guadalupe roads in Mesa. Daniel Everlov, 32, was struck by a 1991 Nissan Pathfinder
while attempting to ride his bike across Alma School Road, reportedly
against a red light. Mr. Everlove was
pronounced dead at the scene.
Another cyclist was struck by an automobile and seriously
injured on the afternoon of January 13 near Via de Ventura and Pima Road
in Scottsdale. The cyclists was reported to be crossing Via de Ventura
southbound at approximately 3 p.m. when he was struck by a Chevrolet SUV,
which left the scene but then returned whereupon the driver was retained
by Scottsdale police who reported that alcohol may have been a factor in
McDowell Mountain Park Circuit Race – February 4
The 11th Annual McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Circuit Race takes place this Saturday. As the race’s name implies, it
will take place in McDowell Mountain Park. The race is organized by the
team that I am racing for this year, Team Green Choice/Team RPM/Airpark
Bikes. I have been informed by race promoter, Larry McCormick, that I
WILL race or else, and having heard stories of Larry’s temper, I have
decided not to find out what “or else” means. I plan to be out on the
course mixing it up with the other racers in the 70+ age group.
A circuit race takes place on a closed course that is
longer than a criterium course, in this case a 1.6-mile oval with two
sharp right turns and several “rollers,” a term bike racers use for a
series of very short climbs and descents. The rollers should help break-away groups to form and make for an exciting
race for riders and spectators. Because the riders pass by frequently,
this should be a great race to watch.
The entry fee for all adult riders is $30 for the first
race and $10 for each additional race. Juniors race for
free. Riders may register online by clicking here
(then click the green “Register Now” button at the upper right of the
screen) or by mailing a standard USA Cycling release form with the entry
fee to Team RPM, PO Box 2215, Scottsdale, AZ 85252-2215. Riders and
spectators will also have to pay the park entry fee.
The race’s brochure in PDF format can be viewed by
Incidentally, if you register on active.com, pay no
attention to the map on that site. The true location of the race is about
four miles north of Fountain Hills on McDowell Mountain Road. The
racecourse is at the north end of the park about five miles from the
entrance. You can find the course on Google Maps.
(*The RPM in Team RPM stands for Reata
Flapjack Flats Time Trial – February 5
The Flapjack Flats Time Trial will be held on a
30-kilometer out-and-back course on Park Link Drive, which connects the
I-10 Frontage Road near exit 226 to US-79. Riders will depart in the
order they register for the event with the first rider starting at 9 a.m.
(I have already registered.)
Organizers promise smooth pavement and low traffic volume
on a course with a slight elevation gain on the outbound leg, which
should make for high speeds on the return ride.
There are categories for all age groups plus a tandem and
"Merckx" open category for riders who
what to ride traditional road bikes with no aero equipment. The
registration fee is $20 for adult riders, $5 for juniors, and $30 for
tandems. Riders can register online or in person at Miles Ahead Cyclery in Tucson. There are no prizes other than
bragging rights for doing well in this race, but riders will be fed
flapjacks after the race. (Does that explain why I want to participate?)
For more information, click here or to
register online, click here.
Valley of the Sun Stage Race – February 10, 11, & 12
The annual Valley of the Sun Stage Race, known simply as
VOS to its aficionados, is one of Arizona's major bicycle-racing events,
which attracts riders from all over the Southwest and even riders from
the chilly Northeast who jump at a chance to race in the sun this early
in the year.
This year VOS takes place on the weekend of February 10
through 12 with three stages at three different locations in the Phoenix
area. The race is held in honor of the late John Earley,
a friend of mine and a fellow bike racer in the years
when we used to compete against each other in the 35+ age category and
then drink beer together after the race. John was a good friend,
and I miss him.
Racing action begins on February 10 with a time trial
starting at Sun Valley Parkway near exit 109 of
I-10, about 50 miles west of Phoenix. The road race takes place on
February 11 with the start about 50 miles south of Tempe near exit 185 of I-10. The race finishes on February 12 with a
criterium in downtown Phoenix near Third Avenue and Washington.
The criterium course looks especially interesting. To see
it mapped, click here.
The course is laid out on wide streets in downtown Phoenix and has ten
90-degree turns. One of the turns may be the best place to watch the
race, especially if you object to the deafening music that is usually
played at the start-finish line at Arizona Criteriums. (Why is music
volume at bicycle races inversely proportional to the music’s quality?)
Entry fees are $50 for juniors and from $90 to $100 for
adult categories. For more information about VOS and for links to both
the race brochure and online registration, click here.
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
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 Marana.
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.
NYM Phoenix à
Tucson Tour – February 17 to 20
Not Your Mom (NYM) is a chapter of the Arizona Bicycle
Club that organizes cycling tours throughout the year. Most of the tours
are self-contained and involve camping out. Riders are expected to be
self-reliant, and hence the group’s name: The tour organizers are “not
The group does an annual tour from Phoenix to Tucson and
return over four days. Originally, this tour was also self-contained, but
it has evolved into a SAGed ride with an easy
(for cyclists not carrying their gear on their bikes) 60 miles a day.
Riders are expected to take turns driving the SAG wagon. Riders are
responsible for their own eating and sleeping arrangements, which for
most riders will involve making motel reservations in advance.
This year the ride’s first day takes cyclists from
Scottsdale to Casa Grande, and the second day’s ride parallels I-10 to
Tucson. The third day takes riders along highway 79 from Tucson to
Florence, and on the final day riders will pedal
along a zig-zag route from Florence back to
If you think you’re up to this
type of riding, connect to the ride’s Website by clicking here.
Sun Devil Criterium – February 19
As this was written, I could not yet find any information
on this race on the Web. However, this criterium is put on every year by
the Arizona State University cycling club and takes place in Tempe near
ASU. Let’s hope that details about the race are
available when the next edition of Arizona
Road Cycling News is published in two weeks.
South Mountain Silent Sunday – February 26
On the fourth Sunday of every month, the City of Phoenix
closes the main section of South Mountain Park to motorized traffic from
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and turns the park over to non-motorized users such as
cyclists, skaters, strollers, and runners. The program has been extended
to North Mountain Park, where Silent Sunday takes place on the second
Sunday of each month.
Silent Sundays have become popular among those cyclists
who might not want to compete with motorized traffic while pedaling to
the summit of South Mountain. Serious cyclists are advised to ride the
mountain early, as some of the cyclists and skateboarders who descend the
mountain later in the day don’t always stay on
their side of the road, especially when rounding blind corners.
To connect to the Silent Sunday Website for more
information, click here.
Avondale Criterium #2 – February 26
This is the second in a series of criteriums put on in
Avondale by the Carlos Obrien’s/Tribe racing team. The first one was held
in January. Although I could not find a Web site specific to the second
race, the brochure from the first race is still online in PDF format and
can be viewed by clicking here.
I assume that most of the information is unchanged. I also assume that
updated information about the second race will be available soon.
Registration is already available on Bikereg.com. Despite that fact that racing goes on from 7:30 a.m. until
about 4:30 p.m., the number of categories to be raced is limited.
(It’s difficult to work in a race for everyone
at a criterium.)
To register for the race, click here.
Registration is $3 for juniors, $25 for most adult categories, $30 for
category 2 through 5 men and for masters men in
the 30+ and 40+ age groups, and $35 for category 1 and 2 men.
Tucson Bicycle Classic Stage Race – March 2 to 4
The Tucson Bicycle Classic is a three-event, three-day
stage race held in and around Tucson. TriSports,
the promoter, bills the race as “Southern Arizona’s premier three-day USA
Cycling stage race.” The folks who put on la Vuelta
de Bisbee might dispute that, but I will go along with the Tucson people.
For one thing, the Tucson race includes a large number of categories for
both men and women, from 10-year-old juniors to a 65+ age group for women
and a 75+ age group for men. There are few stage races
that offer categories other than time trials for us older folks,
and I tip my hat to TriSports for including us.
The first stage is the Old Tucson/McCain Loop Time Trial
on March 2. The course is a short 3.2 miles but includes rollers, a 5%
climb, and a 6% climb to the finish.
The second stage is the Garrett Lemire
Memorial Road Race on March 3. This stage is on a 20-mile loop that the
race bible says has about 1,000 feet of climbing plus rollers and one
rapid descent. The start and finish lines are near exit 63 of I-19 south of Tucson. Most racers will do two
laps. Women’s categories 1 through 3 and pros will do three laps as will
most men’s categories under 55 years of age.
Men’s pro, category 1, and category 2 riders will do 4 laps, and juniors
in the 10- to 12-year-old group will do six tenths of a lap. There are
time bonuses for the first 3 finishers in each race.
The race finishes on March 4 with a circuit race on a
5.6-mile loop in Tucson. Different categories will ride different numbers
of circuits around the loop from 2 laps for the 10 to 12 year olds to 9
laps for the men’s pro and category 1 race.
Entry fees vary from $30 for the 10-to-12-year-old juniors
to $85 for the men’s pro and category 1 race. Riders are required to
pre-register. A late fee of $10 for juniors and $15 for others will be
added for entries postmarked after February 17.
For more information (and there is a lot of it available),
Mining Country Challenge – March 10
The Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club’s annual Mining Country
Challenge vies with the Bullshifter’s Heart of
Arizona for the title of Arizona’s most-challenging century ride. It is
modeled on the now-defunct Mining Country bicycle race, except instead of having a bit over four hours to
complete the route, as the racers did, Challenge riders most of the day
to complete the event.
There are two options: 66 miles and 96 miles. Both start
and end in Superior. (the Mining Country race
used to start and end in Miami.) Neither route is for wussies!
The 66-mile route takes riders from Superior over the
God-awful hill that cyclists have dubbed “End of the World” and down into
the turnaround point in Winkleman. On the
return route, cyclists will struggle up Ray Mine Hill before seeing the
west side of End of the World soaring up into the sky ahead of them. It
looks impossible to get over, and some cyclists will indeed get off their
bikes and walk over it. Luckily, from the top of the climb it’s a downhill coast back to Superior.
The 96-mile route is a loop. The good news is that riders
on this route only have to cross End of the World once. The bad news is that
there are two other tough climbs, Top of the World (misnamed “Top of the
Hill” on PMBC’s Website) and El Capitán. Riders
begin climbing right from the start, up through Queen Creek tunnel and
then over Top of the World. This is the hairiest part of the ride,
because in places the road is narrow with no
shoulder, and many of the drivers on this route consider it a challenge
to take the curves at top speed.
From Top of the World, there is a rolling descent into
Miami and a ride through urban traffic to the adjoining city of Globe.
Then the route turns right and ascends El Capitán.
From the top of this climb, it’s a pleasant
descent into the town of Winkleman and lunch.
After leaving Winkleman, riders will, of course, have to climb the End of the World
before descending back into Superior.
On the plus side, this challenging ride will give anyone
who completes it a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. On the downside,
many cyclists who do the long route find the high-speed and dense weekend
traffic on the narrow sections of road on the climb from Superior to
Miami to be nerve-wracking. In addition, this area of Arizona has a
reputation of being redneck country where cyclists are not always looked
upon kindly. Be prepared for a few pickup trucks buzzing by as close as
possible at high speed.
If after reading this write-up, if you’re
still macho enough to do the ride, you can get more information by
Tucson – March 18
According to the Cyclovia
Website, “Cyclovia Tucson is an annual car-free
event that opens selected streets to people so that they can walk, skate,
run, bicycle, and socialize with their
neighbors. It’s a free event, open to the public, and fun for people of
Cyclovia takes place on
March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting in downtown Tucson and making a
five-mile loop to the south. In honor of the event, the Pima County Board
of Supervisors has proclaimed the week of March 21 to March 27 to be Cyclovia Tucson Week.
Of course, a
five-mile bike ride may be very short for most of the readers of this
newsletter, but this could be a great opportunity to get the younger kids
out on their bikes on a route closed to traffic, and if you think the
route is too short to bike, how about strapping on some skates to do the
route or why not walk it?
For more information about this free event, including a
route map and the opportunity to purchase a Cyclovia
Tucson T-shirt, click here.
Tour de Cure – March 24
The Tour de Cure is an annual ride to raise funds to fight
diabetes. The ride is held in cities throughout the USA. Riders are
expected to raise money through donations and pledges.
This year’s Phoenix-area event offers rides of four
different lengths: 80 miles, a 62-mile metric century, a 34-mile scenic
route, and an 8-mile family fun ride. All routes are to be fully SAGed, and a party with lunch and entertainment is
promised after the ride. It sounds like great fun.
To view the ride’s Website, click here.
Spring Bike Tour – March 24 & 25
The Tucson-based Greater Arizona Bicycling Association’s
(GABA) annual Sonoita-Bisbee bicycling tour is
one of the most delightful bike trips in Arizona, passing through the
rolling high-desert country of Southern Arizona with a stop in the
trap town of Tombstone thrown in for good
measure. Of course, what is a delightful ride to a conditioned cyclist
can be pure torture to someone who is out of shape. Be aware that this
tour involves significant climbing.
Cycling starts on the morning of March 24 in the town of Sonoita. Camping is available the night before in the
Sonoita Fairgrounds. In a departure from
previous years, there will be no arranged camping Saturday night in
Bisbee, so make your hotel reservations early. The limited number of
hotel rooms book up quickly on the weekend of this tour.
On day one, riders will pedal through the town of
Tombstone, which is always worth a stop. One of the things to see is the
historic OK Corral, the supposed site of a famous gunfight involving Doc
Holiday and Wyatt Earp among others. The gunfight actually took place in
the street and not in the corral, but when visiting Tombstone, it pays to
suspend belief and go along with the spiel.
Another not-to-be missed attraction is the Boot Hill Cemetery with the
whimsical inscriptions on the grave markers. The
inscriptions are not original and were written for the benefit of
tourists, but again, it spoils the fun if one insists on
authenticity. Don’t let me spoil the fun.
After Tombstone, be prepared, because the long climb up
Mule Pass awaits you before the descent into Bisbee. Near the top of the
climb, riders have the choice of cutting the climb short by riding
through the tunnel and into town on the main highway or going over the
top of the pass and descending along the curvy street through Tombstone
Canyon. For those who are up to it, I recommend the later, or as a
compromise, you can take the first exit after passing through the tunnel
and still cycle down most of Tombstone Canyon.
The second day
starts with a descent past the Lavender Pit Copper Mine to the lower
section of Bisbee and a right turn at the traffic circle to head towards Palominas and Miracle Valley (also
known as Hereford), where many years ago an alcoholic and womanizing
radio evangelist named A A.
Allen reportedly performed many miracles before drinking
himself to death (he actually died in San Francisco of liver failure, but
his body was returned to Miracle Valley for burial) and where racial
tensions between a group of black parishioners and white residents
resulted in the shooting death of three blacks and the injury of several
sheriff’s deputies in 1982 in a confrontation that occurred after blacks
complained of racist harassment by the Sherriff’s Department and white
residents. (When A. A. Allen was alive, I worked as an announcer for
a Phoenix radio station that carried his radio program.)
From Miracle Valley the ride
continues through Sierra Vista, and Mustang Corners back to Sonoita. In previous years, the ride has passed
through Fort Huachuca, but there is no mention of a ride through the
military reservation on the Website for this year’s ride.
As you can see, this ride is not only very scenic, it also passes through an area of Arizona that
is steeped in history. I highly recommend this ride to cyclists who are
fit enough to ride 60+ miles a day with a significant climb at the end of
the first day.
The cost of the ride for those who register in advance is
$70 for GABA and Arizona Bike Club members and $80 for others. Add
another $10 if you register on the day of the ride. You are responsible
for your own lodgings in Bisbee.
To view the ride’s Web page, click here.
ABC Granada Park Chapter Breakfast Ride Destinations
Here are the ride destinations for the Granada Park
Chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club for the month of February. The ride
meets Sunday mornings at Granada Park, 20th Street and
Maryland in Phoenix. The current ride start time is 7:30 a.m. For
insurance purposes, non-members may ride with the group once without
5 - Comedor Guadalara
- 1830 South Central Avenue
12 - Deer Valley Airport - 702 West Deer Valley Road
19 - Wildflower Bread Co. - 4290 E. Indian School Road
26 - Eye Opener - 524 W. Hatcher Road
Feedback – Our Readers Respond
Thank you for the
very nice write-up regarding Cyclovia Tucson
event ... very well written. I
particularly liked the paragraph urging all of us
"longer-distance" riders to consider strapping on skates ...
your message really conveyed the sense of fun that is the core of Cyclovia. Again,
Of similar note, I
participated in a three day bike advocacy seminar sponsored by Living
Streets Alliance (www.livingstreetsalliance.org)
and conducted by the Alliance for Biking and Walking (http://www.peoplepoweredmovement.org/site/). In addition to meeting two of your amigos
(Gene and Radar), there was a younger (aren't they all these days?) guy
from Phx who's goal is to get a Phx Cyclovia event started. Gene and/or Radar probably have his
name/contact info. They can also give you
more info about the seminar if you are interested.
Again, thank you
for including the info on Cyclovia Tucson ...
hope you can make it down to enjoy the day. Keep
up the good work.
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