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the following text, words and phrases that are both in boldface and
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Being pressed for time, I have
not added any new events to this issue except for the Great Arizona
Bicycle Festival near the bottom of the page. There are also a few
news items at the beginning of the issue.
Cyclist Steven Langager Succumbs to Injuries
Hidden Hills Easement is
McDowell Mountain Road Bike
Lane Closure – March 11
Tucson Bicycle Class Stage
Race – March 2 to 4
South Mountain Bike & Run Classic –
Mining Country Challenge –
Focus Grand Prix Criterium –
Old Pueblo Grand Prix – March
Tumacacori Circuit Race –
Tucson – March 18
Hungry Dog Criterium – March
Tour de Cure – March 24
Sonoita-Bisbee Spring Bike
Tour – March 24 & 25
Cotton Classic Individual Time
Trial – March 25
San Tan Criterium – March 31
The Great Arizona Bicycle
About Arizona Road Cyclist News
Cyclist Steven Langager Succumbs
Since the last issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News, I have learned
that 64-year-old cyclist Steven Douglas Langager
passed away on January 26 at Hospice of the Valley in Scottsdale. As
reported in the February 1
issue of this newsletter, he was struck by a Chevrolet SUV near
Via de Ventura and Pima Road in Scottsdale on January 13. At the time I wrote the article, I did not know his name or
that he had passed away. The motorist who struck him was reportedly under
the influence of alcohol.
Hidden Hills Easement is Closed
Hidden Hills easement has been closed to cyclists who do not live in the
community. As shown in the photo below, the sign at the entrance that
used to picture the bike route through the community's gates has been
replaced by one stating that bicycle use beyond that point could result
in a fine of up to $250 under Scottsdale City ordinance 17-86. That
ordinace reads: "No person shall ride a bicycle, skateboard, roller
skates or any other nonself-propelled [sic] vehicle or device, except
wheelchairs, in or upon any area having posted signs expressly
prohibiting said self-propelled vehicles or devices."
The plan is to reopen the easement to cyclists when a
bicycle route through Hidden Hills to Fountain Hills is completed. When
that will happen is uncertain. The City of Scottsdale already
owns an easement in Fountain Hills to complete the route, but that
easement will probably have to be modified to better
fit the development plans of MCO, the company that develops the residential
neighborhoods in Fountain Hills. Optimists believe that the route could
be completed this year, whereas pessimists see the route’s completion
several years in the future.
McDowell Mountain Road Bike Lane Closure – March 11
The eastbound bike lane on McDowell Mountain Road from
Fountain Hills to McDowell Mountain Park will be closed on Sunday March
11 from 8 to 11 a.m. due to a running race. The eastbound lane is the one
leaving Fountain Hills and heading toward Rio Verde.
Although it is legal for cyclists to ride out in the lane
with automobile traffic when a bike lane is closed, traffic on this road
can be heavy and fast on weekends, and not all of the motorists who use the road
are friendly to cyclists. Cyclists are advised to avoid McDowell Mountain
Road altogether on Sunday, March 11, especially
since the race Web site advertises 120 cases of beer.
Questions about the bike lane closure on McDowell Mountain Road can be
directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on the race, click here.
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 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.
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 and a 5%
climb that steepens to 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.
For more information, click here.
South Mountain Bike & Run Classic – March 10
I have no information on the run, but there are two short
bike races, both held the same day: a circuit race and a mass-start hill
climb up South Mountain. The hill climb takes place early in the morning,
and the circuit race take place later in the day
with different categories on the circuit at different times.
The hill climb is 6.7 miles, and the circuit races are
timed events that last from 20 minutes for juniors to 70 minutes for male
pros, category 1 and category 2 senior men.
This is a fund-raising event and is therefore a bit more
costly to enter than the normal bike race. Each race costs $40 plus a $5.25 additional charge for the mandatory
online registration. Add that up, and two short races
will set you back $85.25. However, $10 from each race entry
fee will be donated to the Phoenix Parks Foundation.
South Mountain Park will be closed to motor vehicles
during the races. There will be a shuttle from the parking lot for
circuit-race spectators, and I assume that bike racers can ride their
bikes from the parking lot to the start of their races.
races should be exciting spectator events.
To view the race’s brochure in PDF format, click here.
To register online on the BikeReg.com Website and pay by credit card,
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 have 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 climb Ray Mine Hill in addition to End of the
The 96-mile route starts in Superior, climbs over Top of the
World, descends into Miami
and Globe, passes over El Capitán to Winkleman, and then climbs Ray Mine Hill and End of
the World before descending back to the starting point in Superior.
If you’re macho enough to do the
ride, you can get more information by clicking
Focus Grand Prix Criterium – March 11
The Focus Grand Prix Criterium will be held in Chandler at
2200 South Stearman Drive, which is just
southeast of the intersections of Gilbert and Germann
Roads. Racing starts at 8 a.m. and ends just after 5 p.m. with races for
all senior categories, master men through 60+, and juniors starting at
ten years old. There is a $1,200 prize list.
Registration is $10 for juniors through 18 years of age.
Others pay $30 until February 28 and $35 from February 28 through March
8. The day-of-race entry fee is $15 for juniors and $40 for others.
To view the race’s
Webpage and for online registration, click here.
Old Pueblo Grand Prix – March 17
As its name implies, the Old Pueblo Grand Prix (OPGP)
takes place in Tucson. This is a chance to combine the Saint
Patrick’s Day celebration with a major bike race that is the second in
the series of major criteriums held across the country as part of the USA
Crits Championship Series. The
race is part of a weekend of cycling events that includes Cyclovia Tucson the following day (see below).
This criterium has some major sponsorship backing and
should have a juicy prize list. The course, which is
located near East Broadway Boulevard and South Sixth Avenue in Tucson,
has its start/finish line in front of the Cathedral of Saint Augustine.
Registration is online through BikeReg.com. Early
registration closes on March 6, after which there will be a $5
late-registration fee added. Day-of-race registration is available with a
To view the race’s Website, click here.
Tumacacori Circuit Race – March 18
The Tumacacoria Road Race is a
circuit race on a six-mile loop and will take place the day after Saint
Patrick’s Day in Tumacacori, near Río Rico, which is 68 miles south of
Tucson or not too far north of Nogales.
The circuit course is reported to have sharp corners,
climbs, descents and rollers with 460 feet of
vertical climbing per lap. The distance to be raced varies from 72 miles
for professional, category 1, and category 2 men to 12 miles (two
circuits) for 15-to-16-year-old juniors.
Juniors race for free. Most other
racers pay an entry fee of $30, and the top men’s
and women’s categories pay $35. There is a $5 late-registration fee after
You can view the race’s Web page by clicking here and the race
brochure in PDF format by clicking here.
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 all ages.” Cyclovia
Tucson is the second event in a weekend of cycling fun that commences
with March 17's Old Pueblo Grand Prix (see above).
Cyclovia takes place on
March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., starting in downtown Tucson, and makes 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.
For more information about this free event, including a
route map and the opportunity to purchase a Cyclovia
Tucson T-shirt, click here.
Hungry Dog Criterium – March 24
The Hungry Dog Criterium takes place on March 24. Not much
information is available on this race yet. There was a flyer online on the
honeywellcycling.org Website, but when I tried to view it again on
February 28, I was unable to connect.
the flyer, the race will take place (assuming it does take place) on a closed course south of the
Loop 202 between Val Vista Drive and Greenfield Road in Mesa.
Registration is $30 for the first race and $10 for an additional race.
Juniors pay no entry fee but will have to pay the $2 USA Cycling
insurance fee. Registration will apparently be onsite.
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.
Sonoita-Bisbee 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 historic 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. After Tombstone comes the long
climb up Mule Pass before welcome descent into Bisbee.
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).
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.
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.
Cotton Classic Individual Time Trial – March 25
The Cotton Classic is a 20-kilometer out-and-back
individual time trial that starts and ends in Arizona City. Registration
will be at the Mesquite Grove Assisted Living Building, 16286 South
Sunland Gin Road in Arizona City. This course is frequently used for the Arizona
State Time Trial Championship races, so it is a good way to both learn
the course and judge the competition.
There will be categories for all racers including juniors
by age and masters in five-year increments. There will also be a
fixed-gear category, a mountain bike category, and a recumbent category.
Registration, which can be performed onsite or the evening before that
race in Tucson, is $20 for adults and $3 for juniors.
Information on the 2012 race was not yet available as this
was written, but as soon as it is, there should be a link on Team Saguaro
Velo’s Website, which you can view by clicking
San Tan Criterium – March 31
The annual San Tan Criterium will take place this year on March
31 in Mesa just south of Falcon Field south of East McKellips
Street and west of North Highley Road. There
will be races for men from juniors through age 60+ and for women from
juniors through age 50+. Registration is $30 online until March 28 and onsite
the day of the race with a $5.00 late-registration adder.
To view the race’s Webpage, click here.
The Great Arizona Bicycle Festival – April 14
Mark your calendar now for a day of bicycle-centric fun. The
Great Arizona Bicycle Festival takes place in Mesa, Arizona on Saturday,
April 14 and includes a plethora of bicycle-related events including the 70-mile El Tour de
Mesa, which starts and finishes at Center and First Streets. For those
who are not up to a 70-mile ride, there is a shorter, 28-mile version an a four-mile fun ride that might be suitable for
riding with the younger children.
Other events include a Ciclovia,
in which the main streets in downtown Mesa will be closed to those pesky motorized vehicles and open to bikes. A cyclist’s
swap meet featuring vintage bike parts and accessories will be held from
6 a.m. (cyclists tend to be early risers) to 3 p.m. The Kids’ Fun Zone
will include bounce houses, face painting, games, and free make-and-take
crafts. Kids will also have the opportunity to participate in a Bicycle
Safety Rodeo in which they will practice bike handling and bike safety
while riding through an obstacle course. MACFest
is billed as an arts-themed festival with artists’ creations, music, and
other fun events.
Some of Arizona’s top bike shops will be on hand to sell
cycle-related merchandise, do giveaways, and repair bikes. What event
would be complete without a touchy-feely Holistic Healing and Natural
Fitness Festival? Finally, there will be a self-guided bike tour through
the neighborhood north of Main Street with ten stops.
To view the event’s Website, click here.
About Arizona Road
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