Arizona Road Cyclist News

January 18, 2012

News for those who bicycle Arizona's streets and roads
Editor, Jack Quinn

Arizona Road Cyclist News is supposedly published every other Wednesday (although the schedule is rarely kept) 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 here. All E-mail addresses are kept on a secure server and are not shared with anyone. Should you later cancel that E-mail subscription, your information will be completely deleted.

It has been a month since the last issue of this newsletter. The delay was partly due to the yearend holidays and partly due to the fact that my plumbing decided to start the new year by springing two leaks. Luckily, both leaks were outside and underground. I discovered that I still had a lot of rusted old galvanized piping buried in the yard, so I spent a lot of time digging it up and replacing it with copper. A plumber could probably have done the entire job in a day and a half, but it took me more than a week.

I cannot possibly cover all of the cycling events that are scheduled to take place in Arizona, but I attempt to cover events promoted by the cycling clubs as well as races put on by the Arizona Bicycle Racing Association (ABRA). If you would like your road cycling event covered, send me the details by replying to the E-mail sent to subscribers whenever a new edition appears online. (I do not put that E-mail address on the Webpage to reduce spam.)

In this issue:
     Hidden Hills Update
     P4 Press Release on Shared-Lane Markers
     University of Arizona Criterium -- January 21
     Avondale Criterium #1 -- January 22
     A Race Against Time -- January 29
     McDowell Mountain Park Circuit Race -- February 4
     Flapjack Flats Time Trial -- February 5
     Valley of the Sun Stage Race, February 10, 11 & 12
     Picacho Century -- February 12
     Cyclovia Tucson -- March 18
     ABC Granada Park Chapter Breakfast Ride Destinations
    About Arizona Road Cyclist News


Hidden Hills Update

Hardly a day goes by without a cyclist's asking me when the gate at Hidden Hills is going to be closed. The honest answer is that I have no idea. For a dishonest answer, keep reading.

As you may remember, the City of Scottsdale Transportation Committee voted at its November meeting to permit the Hidden Hills Homeowners' Association to close cycling access to the Hidden Hills development in Northeast Scottsdale contingent upon the HOA's writing a letter promising to actively support the easement's reopening at any time the Commission might decide to give cyclists access again. Although I am not certain, I have reason to believe that the City of Scottsdale has not yet received the promised letter.

In the meantime, the good news is that talks seem to have been progressing to complete the cycling corridor from Scottsdale to Fountain Hills by way of the Hidden Hills easement. This is just speculation, but it may be that the HOA decided not to close the easement yet, because it is possible that it would be required to reopen it later this year.

I was under the impression that the Hidden Hills easement was to be on the agenda at this month's meeting of the Transportation Commission, which takes place at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday January 19, at Kiva City Hall in Scottsdale. However, I just accessed the Commission’s meeting agenda on the Web, and the Hidden hills easement is not listed among the topics to be discussed.

Here is the link to the Transportation Commission’s Webpage with links to the agenda (under 2012 agendas).:


P4 Press Release on Shared-Lane Markers

Phoenix Political Pedal Power strongly appreciates that the City of Phoenix has begun to use Shared Lane Markers (SLM, aka Sharrows) for increasing cycling safety when street configurations warrant them. The first use is on 48th St approaching Guadalupe Rd. where the right-most traffic lane is too narrow to be shared by a cyclist and motorist at the same time.

The presence of a Sharrow has meaning to motorist and cyclist alike. To the motorists, it means that cyclists may be using the whole lane in compliance with State Law, ARS 28-815.A.4. To the cyclist, it indicates the safest position relative to the configuration of the road and is a discouragement to motorists trying to squeak by when there is insufficient room to pass safely.

We hope motorists and cyclists alike will continue to Share the Road in this new configuration. In this case, Arizona law provides for the cyclist to use the whole lane when it “is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.” Sharrows have been used in other Cities and States for a few years and the results have been better for all users of the roads.

See P4 on FaceBook at P4 functions as the political action arm of Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC), a 501(C)4 organization advocating save and effective cycling, and organizes many rides for all abilities and skill levels. ABC is a member of the League of American Bicyclists which provides education by certified instructors in cycling safety and ratings of the cycling friendliness of communities, States and businesses.

For information, call Gene Holmerud, LCI #1193 at 602.243.6136 or 602.390.5344

University of Arizona Criterium -- January 21

The Arizona racing season kicks off this weekend with two criteriums. The first is the U of A Criterium on Saturday, January 21 followed by the Avondale Criterium on January 22.

The U of A Criterium takes place on a closed course near East First Street and North Warren Avenue in Tucson. Racing gets underway at 7:30 a.m. with the start of the men's 50+ and 60+ categories and ends at 5:30 p.m. with the finish of the race for male professional and category 1 and 2 riders.

For those who register online by Thursday, the entry fee is $30 for the first race and $10 for each additional race. Juniors who preregister race for free, and collegiate racers pay $20. Day-of-race registration will be conducted onsite with an extra charge of $5.

To view the race's Website, click here.

Avondale Criterium #1-- January 22

The first in a series of Avondale Criteriums will be held on a closed course near West Coldwater Springs Boulevard and South Avondale Boulevard in Avondale on January 22. Registration is online and is $3 for juniors, $25 for master women and category 5 riders, $35 for category 1 and 2 riders, and $30 for others. Onsite registration will be available at the race for a $10 surcharge. There is also a $5 fee for unattached riders, which means those racers who are not members of a USACycling-registered racing team.

Judging from the course map, the course has three 90-degree right-hand turns and one long, sweeping 180-degree horseshoe turn.

To view the race’s brochure in PDF format, click here.


A Race Against Time – January 29

A Race Against Time is a 20-kilometer individual and tandem time trial held on the I-10 Frontage Road starting just south of the Picacho Peak Travel Center and Dairy Queen (I-10 exit 219). There will be individual scoring for all categories and age groups except that scoring for category 1 & 2 riders will be combined. The entry fee is $20 for adult riders, $10 for juniors, and $39 per tandem pair. First rider will start at 9 a.m., and subsequent riders will start at 30-second intervals. The course is familiar to frequent time-trial racers, because it has been used for many events including the Arizona State Time Trial Championships.

This race will be held in honor of Colleen Whealdon-Haught, a category 2 road racer who died in 2009 as the result of breast cancer.

Registration is online only and closes on January 28. Packets can be picked up onsite the morning of the race or from 2 to 5 p.m. the day before at Fair Wheel Bicycles in Tucson.

To go to the race’s registration page, click here. To view the race brochure in PDF format, click here.

McDowell Mountain Park Circuit Race – February 4

The 11th Annual McDowell Mountain Regional Park Circuit Race takes place on February 4th. As the race’s name implies, it will take place in McDowell Mountain Park. The race is promoted by the team that I am racing for this year, Team RPM* Powered by Green Choice Solar.

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 clicking here.

Incidentally, if you register on, 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 Pass Masters.)

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. 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.

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.

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 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.

Cyclovia 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 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.

ABC Granada Park Chapter Breakfast Ride Destinations

Here are the ride destinations for the Granada Park Chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club for the remainder of January. The ride meets at 7:30 a.m. at Granada Park 20th Street and Maryland in Phoenix. There are four groups that ride at different speeds, from the near-race speed of the Pacers Ones to the leisurely pedaling of the Cruisers. For insurance purposes, riders who are not members of ABC may ride with the group once before joining the club.

·         January 22 -- Mels Diner, 1747 Grand Avenue

·         January 29 -- Moon Valley Cafe, 502 East Thunderbird

About Arizona Road Cyclist News

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