Arizona Road Cyclist News

September 7, 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 your E-mail subscription, your information will be completely deleted.

To contact me, Jack Quinn, editor, 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:
    Hidden Hills Controversy Approaches the Boiling Point
    Scottsdale’s Secrest Attempts Another World Record
    State Individual TT Championships – September 11
    Skull Valley Loop Challenge – September 11
    Kitt Peak Hill Climb Time Trial – September 18
    Criterium at DC Ranch – September 24
    Arizona Hill Climb Championships – September 25
    Critical Mass Phoenix -- September 30
    Tour de Scottsdale – October 2
    Heart of Arizona Century – November 5
    Granada Chapter Arizona Bike Club – Ride Destinations
    Feedback – Our Readers Respond
    About Arizona Road Cyclist News

Hidden Hills Controversy Approaches the Boiling Point

After stewing on the back burner during the summer doldrums, the Hidden Hills hullabaloo is about to reach a full boil. Several people who have been involved in the controversy, including your editor, received a memo about two upcoming meetings concerning the easement for cyclists through the gated community. One of the meetings is for public comment and the second to take some action.

The residents of Hidden Hills have spent big bucks, some it taxpayer money channeled to the Hidden Hills Homeowners’ Association by bureaucrats who work for the City of Scottsdale, in an attempt to overturn an agreement that each homeowner accepted when purchasing a house in the community. The agreement creates an easement for cyclists through the community as part of a planned cyclist route to Fountain Hills. The Homeowners are well spoken and well represented, and their opinions are seconded by some “cycling advocates,” almost none of whom have firsthand knowledge of the situation and almost all of whom fawningly take the Hidden Hills Homeowners’ Association’s arguments at face value.

We need some well-spoken cyclists who ride to Hidden Hills and know the situation to speak at the meetings to counter the well-funded Hidden Hills publicity machine and their “cycling advocate” quislings. You silver-tongued attorneys and others with good public-speaking skills, here is your chance to do something for your fellow cyclists.

Notice that the memo talks of temporary suspension of the easement. As mentioned above, the easement was designed to be part of a cycling link to Fountain Hills. Under the temporary-suspension plan, the easement would be reopened to cyclists if and when the connection to Fountain Hills is completed. However, logic says that if the connection is ever built, cycling traffic on the route will increase dramatically, and the residents’ ire will increase proportionally. On the other hand, the argument can be made that if the easement is temporarily closed and then reopened if and when the cycling route is completed to Fountain Hills, the route will be an official “transportation corridor,” and the Hidden Hills residents will have a harder time persuading the City of Scottsdale to close it.

Those of you who are unfamiliar with the controversy can call up past articles on the subject by going to www.azroadcyclist.com and typing “Hidden Hills” into the search box at the top of the page.

Here is the memo from Scottsdale Transportation Planner Susan Conklu:

Hi Jack,

A public open house has been scheduled to discuss temporarily suspending the use of the public bicycle and non-motorized easement to bicyclists on 145th Way, a private street in Hidden Hills, until a connection in Fountain Hills is built. 

The open house is scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 at Via Linda Senior Center, 10440 E. Via Linda. 

This request is being considered to address concerns related to the use of a public easement located in a private, gated community.  This action would have no impact on the Sunrise Trailhead or the trail in the wash to the east of 145th Way.  It would not impact pedestrian access on the sidewalk along 145th Way.

Feedback gathered from this open house will be compiled and presented at the next Trails Subcommittee meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, October 6 at the Public Safety Building (Arizona Room) at 8401 E Indian School Road.

The contacts for this project are Reed Kempton, Principal Transportation Planner, via email to rkempton@scottsdaleaz.gov or 480-312-7630 and Susan Conklu, Transportation Planner, at sconklu@scottsdaleaz.gov or at 480-312-2308.

Thank you,

Susan Conklu, Transportation Planner
City of Scottsdale
Transportation Planning
480-312-2308
sconklu@scottsdaleaz.gov

Scottsdale's Secrest Attempts Another World's Records

Reader Alan Johnson sent in the following information about Scottsdale's Michael Secrest, a rider who refuses to grow old and continues to surprise with his feats on the bike.

Dear Jack,

Some of your masters age readers may be interested in learning that 58-year-old Michael Secrest of Scottsdale will be attempting to shatter the world indoor hour record for men 55-59 on September 27th at the Home Depot Center Velodrome in Carson, California. The current record, set in 2002 by Stephen Lehman of the USA, is 44.5488 Km.  He will follow that record attempt with an attempt to break the world 100 mile indoor record (all ages) at the same facility on October 15th and 16th.  

Michael currently holds several world endurance cycling records, including the 24 hour, 12 hour, 200 mile, and the Trancontinental. But he is best remembered as a veteran of seven Races Across AMerica  (he won in 1987).

He is being sponsored by my Phoenix company; SpaWorks. I will be there at both attempts and will send you a report and pictures.

Your readers can read about Michael at www.theguyonthebike.com or www.adventurecorps.com.

Thank you very much.
Alan Johnson

I thank you for the information, Alan. I and many of the readers look forward to your coverage of Michael's attempts and the accompanying photos.

State Individual TT Championships -- September 11

The Arizona Individual Time Trial Championships will be held this year on the old Frontage Road course heading south from Picacho on the left side of I-10 on the morning of September 11. To get to the starting area, take I-10 exit 219 and head north a few hundred feed on the Frontage Road on the east side if the freeway to a large parking lot. The first rider starts at 7 a.m., so get there early to have time to warm up.

Registration is online only on BikeReg and closes on 8 a.m. on September 9. The cost of registration is $10 for juniors and $35 for the rest of us. Riders must be licensed by USA Cycling. Unlicensed riders can purchase a day license online for an additional $10, but under USA Cycling rules, riders with a day license are neither eligible for medals nor for a championship jersey, nor are out-of-state riders whose home district has an individual time trial championship race.

Junior riders, those 18 years of age and under, compete in two-year categories, and masters 30 years old and above compete in five-year age categories. Senior riders ride 40 kilometers, and juniors ride 20 kilometers. Most master's age groups have a choice of racing either 20 or 40 kilometers.

The winner in each race category will receive an Arizona State Championship jersey, and the fastest male and female riders to complete the 40-kilometer course will receive a $200 cash prize plus a trophy. There will also be a $100 cash prize to any rider who breaks a State Championship record. There will also be a trophy for the fastest male and fastest female junior and master to ride the 20-kilometer course.

For more information and to register online, click here.

Skull Valley Loop Challenge – September 11

The following is a press release put out by the organizers of Prescott's Skull Valley Loop Challenge. Those of you who have ridden or raced the Skull Valley Loop know that it is one of the greatest medium-length rides that Arizona has to offer.

All area cyclists are invited to participate in Prescott’s “home
grown road ride” on Sunday September 11th. The first “Jerry Doss
Memorial Skull Valley Loop Challenge” was held in 2007. Last year over
200
bicyclists registered for the event, which attracted participants
from all over Arizona, and neighboring states.

The ride is a 54 mile “loop” that starts and ends at City Hall in
Prescott. The circuit takes in Skull Valley, Kirkland, and Wilhoit
before returning on White Spar Rd., and it includes some 3,850 feet of
elevation change. Start time is 7:30 AM sharp. There will be two
support stations along the route, as well as “sag wagons” staffed by
local bike shops. The event is billed as a “fun ride” and is not a
race, but time will be kept so riders can challenge their personal
best.

Jerry Doss was the main instigator of the first event, but he died
before it happened, and the Prescott Cycling Club (PCC) held the first
ride in his memory. Now, PCC is also a memory, and the ride is
organized
by Prescott Alternative Transportation, a non-profit
organization working towards a bicycle and pedestrian friendly central
Yavapai community. Registration fees are $35.00 before August 19th and
$45.00 after. More ride details and online registration information is
available at www.PrescottCycling.net.

For more information, please contact the ride committee at loopride@prescottbikeped.org.

Kitt Peak Hill Climb Time Trial -- September 18

The annual Kitt Peak Hill Climb will be held on September 18. This race is a time trial with the first rider starting at 7:30 a.m. and subsequent riders starting at 30-second intervals.

Registration is on-site only from 6 to 7 a.m. (Bring a flashlight; it will be dark at 6 a.m.) Tucson riders can register the night before the race at Lerua's Mexican Restaurant, 2005 East Broadway Boulevard in Tucson and presumably thereby obtain better starting positions (due to the heat, earlier is better).

Registration is a modest $20 for adult riders and $3 for juniors. For those not holding a USA Cycling license, they will be available at registration for an additional $10. Riders who purchase a new annual license for $60 race for free. The winners of each category will receive a handshake and a pat on the back upon request. The only other prizes for the race are bragging rights, although there are prizes for the top riders in the entire Sedona Gateway Series of races.

For more information on the Kitt Peak Hill Climb, click here.

Criterium at DC Ranch -- September 24

The second annual Criterium at DC Ranch will be held on September 24 this year with a $5,000 prize list. The race is part of a run-up to the Tour de Scottsdale. The race will be held on a closed course at Canyon Village near the intersection of Thompson Peak Parkway and Legacy Boulevard in North Scottsdale. Racing starts at 8:15 a.m. with the juniors' races and ends around 6 p.m. with the final sprint of the Senior Men categories 1 and 2 and professional race.

Entry fees vary from $10 for juniors to $30 for most adult categories and $35 for the Senior Women category 1, 2, and 3 and professional race and $40 for the top category men's race. All racers must be licensed by USA Cycling.

This should be an exciting day of racing for those spectators who are willing to make the drive out there. It is for good reason that criteriums are the preferred form of racing for spectators in the USA: The riders come by every few minutes, so spectators are able to follow the development of the race, especially if the organizers employ a knowledgeable race announcer who can explain the tactics.

For more information of the Criterium at DC Ranch, click here.

Arizona Hill Climb Championships -- September 25

As has happened every year for the past 32 years, the Arizona State Hill Climb Championship races will take place up Mount Graham in Southern Arizona again this year. The race will be held on Sunday, September 25.

Although the members of each USA Cycling category and age group race against each other for the championship medals, by tradition this is a mass-start race. That means that everyone starts together in one big pack.

The entry fee is $10 for juniors and $40 for all other categories until September 11. After that date, add another $5 to the entry fee.

Racers will ride either 10 or 20 miles up the mountain. Juniors10 through 16 years of age ride 10 miles, and 17 and 18 year olds can chose either 10 or 20 miles. Men through 59 years of age and women through 49 years of age ride 20 miles. Above those ages, riders have a choice of which distance to ride. The winner in each category will win and Arizona State Hill Climbing Championship jersey. Only Arizona registered riders who hold a yearly USA Cycling license are eligible jerseys and medals.

For more information about the race, click here.

Critical Mass Phoenix -- September 30

The first, and still the most famous, of the Critical Mass rides started in San Francisco in 1992. Now, hundreds of cyclists ride periodically in San Francisco to draw attention to cycling as a means of transportation. The Critical Mass movement has since spread to hundreds of cities throughout the world, but until this year, attempts to hold a regular Critical Mass ride in Phoenix have proved unsuccessful.

The first attempt that I am aware of to start a Critical Mass ride in Phoenix was in 2003, but the ride, which left from Park Central Mall, sputtered out from lack of participation. However, for the past year, the Critical Mass ride once again rolls through the streets of Phoenix on the final Friday of every month.

The Phoenix Critical Mass ride leaves Steele Indian School Park at 300 East Indian School Road at 6:30 p.m. on the final Friday of every month. The Phoenix ride is still much smaller than the one in San Francisco with an estimated average attendance of 50 riders, but most Phoenix-area cyclists are still unaware of the ride. As the word gets around, perhaps the ride will grow and really will reach critical mass.

Anyone who can ride a bike is invited to show up and pedal with the group. Of course, with no formal organization and an open-ride policy, the ride does not always make the best impression on motorists. There have been reports of riders running red lights and of the group spreading out across more than one lane in the street. The Phoenix Police seem to be taking a tolerant attitude toward the ride. According to a recent article in the Arizona Republic, which you can read by clicking here, the police have issued several warnings for traffic violations but no tickets.

As I understand it, the purposes of the ride are to raise the awareness of cycling as a legitimate means of transportation, to draw attention to the need for better cycling routes in Phoenix, and to draw attention to lawlessness on the part of motorists when they encounter a cyclist on the street. I will not claim that I never roll through a stop sign on my bike early in the morning when there are no cars present, but it seems to me that a ride that hopes to raise the awareness of cycling among the general public should scrupulously adhere to traffic regulations. Traffic law violations on large rides only serve to create a negative image of cyclists among the motoring public.

There is a tendency for cyclists to show less respect traffic laws when riding in groups than when riding alone. That is exactly the wrong attitude. Motorists become impatient with large groups of riders much more easily than with individual cyclists, especially if the group of cyclists impedes traffic because some of its participants do not obey traffic laws.

If you would like to participate in Phoenix’s Critical Mass ride, show up September 30 or the last Friday of any month at Steele Indian School Park with your bike. Perhaps I will see you there.

Tour de Scottsdale -- October 2

Frequent readers of this newsletter know that I am not a fan of the "Tour de..." pseudo races, because I consider them dangerous. Because these events are timed, they encourage novice riders, who are not skilled at riding in a pack, to treat the ride as a race and thereby risk not only their own safety but the safety of the riders around them. Almost every year, these events are the scenes of multiple crashes that leave several riders seriously injured, sometimes with injuries that are so serious that they have lifelong consequences. Last year's worst (but not only) crash occurred at high speed descending Nine-Mile Hill, as cyclists refer to the road leading from Scottsdale to Rio Verde, when someone swerved in a pack of riders and took down several cyclists.

Now that I have finished my sermon, if you are still determined to ride this event, and many of you are, here's some information.

The Tour de Scottsdale takes place on October 2 this year. There are two rides, both of which are billed as "citizens' rides," which means that anyone with a pulse who can balance a bike may enter. The short version is 20 miles, and the longer version is 70 miles. Riders will carry chips for timing purposes.

This ride is not cheap! The entry fee was $85 until August 28. For those not yet registered, the fee has jumped to $100 and will jump to $125 on September 29. In exchange, you get your ride timed and a T-shirt.

I hope that sensible riders who value the integrity of their bones will give this event a pass, but those of you who enjoy riding on the edge can get more information in PDF format by clicking here.

Heart of Arizona Century -- November 5

OK, it may be a bit early to talk about a ride that's still almost two months away, so I'll keep this brief. The Bull Shifters' Heart of Arizona Century Ride (about 100 miles) and brevet (extend it to 120 miles) is one of the toughest one-day rides in Arizona and takes place in the hilly country generally north of Wickenburg. If you'd like to finish off the season with a tough one-dayer, this is the ride. I highly recommend it.

I’ll have a description of this ride in a future edition. In the meantime, you macho types can get a peak at the ride's information on the Web by clicking here.

Granada Chapter Arizona Bike Club – Ride Destinations

The following are the ride destinations for the Arizona Bicycle Club’s Granada Chapter’s breakfast rides for the remainder of this month. The rides leave Granada Park, 20th Street and Maryland in Phoenix, every Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. and stops for breakfast. The club rides in several groups based on speed and ability. For insurance purposes, non-members may ride with the group once before joining.

  • September 11 - US Egg - 402 E. Greenway
  • September 18 - Mel's Diner - 1747 Grand Avenue
  • September 25 - 5 & Diner - 7541 West Bell Road

Feedback -- Our Readers Respond

Mr. Quinn, I believe you must be the Mr. Quinn that had a Schwinn Paramount road bike back around 1969, that I borrowed for the Mt. Lemmon Hill Climb race that year?  Tom Hayes

Hi, Tom. It's been a long time. I remember you well, and I know some of the readers remember you, too (Richard Fisher, Bruce Braley, Alan Johnson) from the days when we used to all ride together back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As I mentioned in the E-mail I sent you, one of my memories is riding southbound on the Beeline Highway when you happened by in your pickup truck. You pulled in front of me and motor paced me all the way south to Fountain Hills.

Jack--Glad you will be returning to the area, I have certainly missed your insightful acerbic commentary of the cycling scene. However the temp is nearing 115 today so take that into account for your return!!! We have all missed the biweekly newsletters. I hope your injury will heal soon or maybe you will need to actually see a doctor, however do not jump into surgery as this has a uncertain track record for many issues similar. RR GRACE MD

Thanks for the feedback. I'm writing this part of the newsletter while I'm still in Luxembourg, but I hope my sciatica will be cleared up by the time I get back to Phoenix and complete this newsletter. [Later from Phoenix: It’s not cleared up, but it’s much better.] Thanks for saving some of the heat for me! -- Jack Quinn

PS/ Acerbic? Moi?

About Arizona Road Cyclist News

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