Arizona Road Cyclist News

June 1, 2011

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

Arizona Road Cyclist News is normally published every other Wednesday, although the schedule tends to be somewhat irregular. It is available online free of charge to anyone who wishes to read it. To sign up for an E-mail notification of when each edition is available 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.

To contact me, reply to the notification E-mail. I do not put my E-mail address of the Website to minimize spam. Reader comments are welcome and may be published in the newsletter’s Feedback section.

In this issue:
     ARCNews on Vacation Until October
     Feedback on Hidden Hills
     Thunder Road Time Trial – June 5
     Single Track Omnium – June 11 and 12
     Race Across America, Arizona Section – June 15 to 19
     Bike the Bluff Omnium – June 18 and 19
     Amtrak Registration – June 19
     Arizona Trac Series – June 25/26 and July 16/17
     PMBC’s White Mountain Tour – July 9 and 10
     ABC Granada Park Chapter June Rides
     About Arizona Road Cyclist News

ARCNews on Vacation Until October

As I wrote in a previous edition, I will be spending July, August, and September in Europe, specifically in Germany and in France, but principally in Spain, where I plan to hike the Camino Francés from Saint Jean Pied-de-Port in Southern France to Santiago de Compostela in Northwestern Spain. The hike alone takes five weeks if one takes some time to enjoy the sights along the way. I also plan to see some sections of Spain that I last visited many years ago when Francisco Franco was still in power.

Although it is a month until my departure, I have things to get ready for such a long trip, and writing this newsletter takes a lot of time. Therefore, after this issue, the newsletter will be on vacation until sometime in October.

I plan to lug a laptop computer with me and check my E-mails every time I can find a free WiFi connection, so I will be in communication. I also plan to resurrect an old blog that I used to write when I was living and studying in France half a decade ago and have neglected for years. I’ll write a daily journal of the voyage, beginning on the plane flight to Frankfort, and I’ll upload it to the blog every time I can access the Internet. If anyone is interested in reading it, here’s the URL:

Of course, I don’t expect many people to read it, but a few friends and family members have told me that they’d like to keep track of what I’m doing, but anyone who wants to is invited to read the blog, post comments, or send me E-mail responses. There is no need to memorize the URL; it is the last link on the “Links to Other Cycling Websites” page on

I hope to hear from some of you during my trip. For those who don’t write, look for an E-mail sometime in October notifying you that a new edition of Arizona Road Cyclist News is on the Web.

Feedback on Hidden Hills

Not surprisingly, most of the feedback since the last issue came as a result of last week’s bulletin on the situation at Hidden Hills, which can still be read on the homepage of this Website. In the first communication, Preston Miller of Tri Scottsdale tells us what some cyclists are planning in an attempt to head off a possible closure of our access to the easement in Hidden Hills.

Jack, you have done a wonderful job of describing the problems and the history of the easement.  It is extremely important for Scottsdale to maintain the easement.  For that reason, even a temporary closure would set a terrible precedent, and make it unlikely to ever reopen.

At the meeting last Thursday of the Trails Subcommittee of the Scottsdale Transportation Commission, no immediate decision was made.  They agreed to have an open forum at the next meeting (in three months) to hear public comment on the issue.

We must convince the city that we, the "cycling community", can reasonably police ourselves to be good citizens.  At the Saturday meeting, five cycling groups were represented and all agreed to participate in the following manner.  We still need to include more groups.

1.  Begin educating our individual groups, as well as all others we can contact, to obey the traffic laws and be respectful of the private community we are being allowed to enter.

2.  Establish a "Courtesy Patrol" for peak hours during the week.  Ideally, each cycling group will volunteer to take a week at a time.

3.  Make contact with all levels of city government to insure the voice of the cycling community is being heard.

The City's plan and subsequent decisions have made this .7 mile the only way to connect to Fountain Hills and beyond.  While we don't know when the remaining .4 will open, we must not lose what the city has planned and paid for over the last 15 years.

Preston Miller

Note: I did not put Preston’s contact information online to protect him from spam. However, anyone who wants it can E-mail me by replying to the notification E-mail, and I’ll send it out by return message. – Jack Quinn

Dear Jack,

I am a cyclist and member of PMBC.  I support the local residents!!  We need to show consideration and respect for others if we expect them to show consideration and we respect for us.  Would we like people using our neighborhood as a bathroom??

Jan Petersen

The expression “using the neighborhood as a bathroom” conjures up images of cyclists urinating and defecating up and down the streets and in people’s front yards. I believe, however, that Ms Petersen is making an exaggerated reference to the allegations that some riders used to urinate behind a retaining wall bordering the cul-de-sac at the top of the street in Hidden Hills. I am told that those allegations were true. I am also told that that practice stopped long ago, and I hope that is also true. In any case, I believe that public urination is against the law, and I think (in the case that the reports that the behavior has ceased prove to be false) that the proper way to deal with such misbehavior is to castigate the guilty rather than stereotyping everyone who makes use of the easement. Perhaps the most sensible way stop this behavior (again, assuming that it is really going on) would be to install an unobtrusive sign on the retaining wall reading “This area under video surveillance.”  -- Editor

Hi Jack!

I know it's out of the way for most of your readers/riders, but come escape the heat and head to Prescott, AZ for your hill climbing.  I have an alternative to the Skull Valley loop:

There's a quiet, low-traffic, un-gated neighborhood off of 69 between the Costco shopping center and the Gateway Mall.

It's called the Ranch at Prescott.  Turn on to Lee Blvd, a four lane, divided main drag and meander up and down all the side streets. Backs up to the National Forest and at the top of the neighborhood are panoramic views of the Dells, San Francisco Peaks, Mingus Mountain, and surrounding towns. It's also one stoplight away from Lynx Lake, where you can drop off the family and significant others to hike the surrounding trails, go to the Highlands Center for Natural History (a great hike and picnic spot), or rent a little boat by the lake and grab lunch at the boathouse.

There are a many other subdivisions that provide hills, but this one is probably fastest and most convenient to reach when coming from the south. Again, wide streets, which are unusual in the hill 'hoods.

Theresa Jacobs

Perhaps some of the desert rats will take your suggestion, make the drive up to Prescott, and do that ride as things heat up down here in the suburbs of Hades. -- Editor

Dear Jack,

Great coverage of the Hidden Hills issue. Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Mike Walsh

Thanks, Mike. An occasional pat on the back is appreciated. -- Editor

Dear Jack,

As much as this will hurt all of us, there are enough renegade cyclists continuing to make it bad that I believe closing the access is the right statement. Sadly, we'll never get it back. Qualifier: Reed is a friend I've known for years. He's put a lot into getting things workable, but the renegades persist.

Gene Holmerud, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists

From my observation, the behavior of cyclists has greatly improved from the “bad old days.” As far as I can see, the only bad behavior that cyclists can be blamed for now is riding down the hill at the speed of traffic. The residents routinely break the unofficial speed limit in their motor vehicles, and the cyclists follow suit. Of course, it is their private road, so I suppose they have a right to take a “do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do” attitude toward outsiders.

However, a few employees of the City of Scottsdale and even some cyclists who haven’t ridden to Hidden Hills to observe the improvement in cyclist behavior for themselves seem to accept the residents’ assertions without question. I wish cyclists would not be so uncritical of claims that are partially false and partially exaggerated made by people who are pushing an agenda.

 When I spoke with Scottsdale traffic engineer Reed Kempton on the telephone, it was obvious that he also had not been to Hidden Hills lately to observe the improvement and has no interest in doing so. Whatever he may have done for cycling on other occasions, in this case he made up his mind long ago that he wants the cyclists out of Hidden Hills, and he does not want his opinion to be influenced by inconvenient facts.

The one thing that we can work on is the speeding issue. As tempting as it is to cycle down the hill at the speed of traffic, if all (or even almost all) cyclists would obey the unofficial 20 mile-per-hour speed limit, the residents’ last genuine argument against the cyclists would disappear. Then possibly the City of Scottsdale would recognize those vociferous Hidden Hills residents for what they are: selfish people who will use (or invent if necessary) any excuse to get out of their contractual obligations to their fellow citizens.

Thunder Road Time Trial – June 5

The Thunder Road Individual Time Trial is on the Arizona racing calendar for Sunday June 5 with the first rider off at 7 a.m. In most Arizona time trials, the reward for finishing first is a handshake and a verbal attaboy or attagirl. This race actually has an $800 cash prize list! There are cash prizes for the categorized women’s classes and for all adult men categories through 50+ (Other age groups still ride for the attaboy/girl prize.) The entry fee is $20 for adult riders and $3 for juniors to cover insurance. Considering the high entry fees for most races in Arizona, it is refreshing to see race charging a reasonable fee.

There is no on-line registration. Tucson riders can preregister on Saturday June 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sabino Cycles, 7045 E. Tanque Verde Road. Race day registration is from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. at the race site, at Sahuarita Road and Alvernon Road, 2.5 miles east of South Nogales Highway just east of Sahuarita Park in the Tucson area.

The course is out-and-back with a total distance of 16 miles. The eight-mile out leg is slightly uphill, which means the way back is a fast downhill run to the finish.

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

Single Track Omnium – June 11 and 12

The words “single track” make one think of a mountain bike race, but the Flagstaff Single Track Omnium is actually a series of two road events that take their collective name from the sponsoring Single Track Bike Shop. The omnium consists of the Wupatki/Sunset Crater Road Race on Saturday and the Foxboro Ranch Circuit Race on Sunday. (Originally there was to be a third event, the Snowbowl Hill Climb, but it had to be stricken from the event calendar due to pipeline construction.)

Registration is online until noon of June 10 and costs $35 to ride a single event or an eye-popping fee of between $75 and $90, depending on the rider’s category, to ride both. Day-of-the-race in-person registration carries an additional steep late fee of $20. Category 1 through 3 men and 1 and 2 women ride for cash prizes. Top finishers in the other races get “medals.” This is not a race for riders on a tight budget.

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

Race Across America, Arizona Section – June 15 to 19

The Race Across America (RAAM) starts in Oceanside, California in mid-June and ends 3,000 miles later in Annapolis, Maryland. As the riders progress across the continent from ocean to ocean, their times are recorded at time stations, most of which are spaced at roughly 40- to 70-mile intervals. The time stations in Arizona, in the order in which riders will encounter them, are Parker, Salome, Congress, Prescott, Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Tuba City, and Kayenta. If you know where these places are, you know that the Arizona section includes beaucoup climbing featuring Yarnell Hill, the White Spar, Mingus Mountain, and the Mogollon Rim.

Solo riders leave Oceanside on June 14, and teams start on June 18. The first riders are expected to enter Arizona around 5:30 a.m. on June 15 and to leave Arizona almost two days later.

As usual, the Bull Shifters plan to man the timing station at Congress, out in the middle of the desert northwest of Wickenburg, just a short ride from the start of the climb up Yarnell Hill. Because the riders will have pedaled 395 miles by the time they hit Congress, they’ll already be well spread out, The first cyclist is expected to reach the Congress timing station at about 5:30 p.m. on June 15, and the last individual rider is expected to reach the station at about 4 a.m. on June 16. It will be a long night, and there won’t be much time to catch up on sleep before the timers are back on duty for the team riders, who are expected to be spread out between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. when they pass through Congress on June 19.

For more information you can visit the RAAM Website by clicking here. Photos of the Bull Shifters luxury digs at the timing station in Congress can be viewed by clicking here and here.

Bike the Bluff Omnium – June 18 and 19

The Bike the Bluff Omnium takes place in the White Mountains on the weekend of June 18 and 19 with road races on Saturday (there are different courses for different categories) and a criterium in the Slow Low Bluff community on Sunday. Rounding out the weekend of racing are such events as a citizen’s race (for riders who do not hold a USA Cycling license), a pancake breakfast, and a Huffy toss!

There are races for all categories and most age groups from juniors through Men 65+ and women 30+. Entry fees for the entire Omnium are $25 for juniors and $65 for adults through June 1. Riders who are not registered by today should add a $5 late fee for juniors and a $15 late fee for adult licensed racers until June 15. Registration for the entire omnium is not available after June 16, but riders can still pay separate fees to individually enter the two events on site.

To view the race’s Website for more information, click here.

Amtrak Registration – June 19

Amtrak is a century ride from Irvine to San Diego in California, which is very popular with Arizona riders. It gets its name from the fact that riders return to the starting point on an Amtrak train, which, in the case of the Arizona riders (I am told), is usually the scene of a wild party with load music and plenty of beer.

Registration starts June 19 at 7:00 a.m. The ride is limited to 1200 riders, which sounds like a lot, but the ride always fills up within minutes of the time registration opens. If you want to participate, you need to be at your computer at 7:00 a.m. on June 19 and make as many attempts to connect as you can to get online and register. If you try at 7:20 a.m., registration may already be closed, and the best you can hope for is to get on a waiting list and pray for someone to break a leg or fall down a flight of stairs and have to cancel.

You may want to visit the registration site prior to June 19, because there are instructions on how to join the Big Brother Cycling net (BBCnet) and enter your information, so that when registration opens, you can use your BBCnet number to automatically fill out the registration form. Even if you do not join BBCnet, visiting the registration site will let you know the information you must have at hand on registration day. The URL for Amtrak registration is

Rider Lee Wilkening writes that this year the organizers will assign train cars according to bicycle club affiliation. He suggests that all Arizona riders register as Arizona Bicycle Club members, whether they really are or not, so that they all get assigned to the Arizona party car. On the other hand, if you prefer a quieter train ride, you may want to disregard this suggestion.

Arizona Track Series – June 25/26 and July 16/17

The Arizona Track Series, promoted by Tucson’s Saguaro Velo racing team, is held at the San Diego Velodrome, as Arizona still does not have a bicycle track. The events are open to all licensed racers including those from states other than Arizona. The entry fee is $20 per day, and non-licensed riders can purchase one-day or annual racing licenses at the event.

There is an open track for practice from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday with races beginning at 1 p.m. On Sunday, the track opens at 8 a.m., and racing starts at 10:00 a.m. The list of events is too long to include here, but you can visit the event’s Webpage by clicking here.

PMBC’s White Mountain Tour – July 9 and 10

The Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club (PMBC) is putting on its annual White Mountain Tour in the cool high country of Eastern Arizona on the weekend of July 9 and 10. Registration is $60 for members of PMBC, GABA, and ABC and $70 for others until July 1. After that, add a $20 late fee. Cyclists who plan to camp out on Saturday night should add an extra $5 camping fee, which is a lot cheaper than paying for a motel. The registration fee includes a meal Saturday evening in Springerville, luggage transport, and SAG stops.

The ride starts at the Hon-Dah Resort and Casino south of Pinetop-Lakeside on Saturday morning. Check-in is from 7 to 8 a.m., and riders can pedal off as soon as they are registered. The first day is a 63-mile jaunt from the casino to Springerville. Ambitious riders may up the millage to a century with an unsupported jog out and back to the New Mexico line. Day Two is a shorter 38-mile ride over the hill, past the Sunrise Sky resort, and downhill to the start.

The entire loop is just over 100 miles and passes through some beautiful scenery, as I can testify from the days when we used to ride the route as a race (in a bit under five hours instead of two days, however).

For more information, you can connect to the ride’s Webpage by clicking here.

ABC Granada Park Chapter June Rides

The Granada Park Chapter of the Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC) rides every Sunday morning from Granada Park at 20th Street and Maryland. The ride goes to a different restaurant every week. There are several speed groups from race-pace to leisurely cruising. Non-members may ride with the group once without joining the club.

Here are the breakfast ride destinations for June:

June 5 -- U.S. Egg, 3238 North Scottsdale Road
June 12 -- Wildflower Bread Company, 4290 E. Indian School Rd.
June 19 -- (Fathers Day) First Watch #5, 16455 N. Scottsdale Rd. (southeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard)
June 26 -- The Eye Opener, 5 24 West Hatcher.

About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Arizona Road Cyclist News is normally published every two weeks, although publication will be suspended after this issue until October, when I return from my three-month trip to Europe. The newsletter is free of charge.

Arizona Road Cyclist News is copyrighted. You may forward the entire newsletter by E-mail to anyone you wish. You may also copy and send individual articles as long as you cite Arizona Road Cyclist News as the source. However, the best way to share the newsletter with your friends is to E-mail them the following link:

You can subscribe to an E-mail notification that the current issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News is online. We ask for your Zip code in order to get an idea of our subscriber distribution and not for any other purpose. If you subscribe to the E-mail notification, you can unsubscribe at any time, and your name and E-mail address will be erased from our servers. We do not share E-mail addresses with anyone, so signing up for E-mail notification will not get you spammed.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to out E-mail notification of when a new issue is available, click here.