The Hub Archive - 2001
Brian's 2001 California Coast Bicycle Tour
Added June 30, 2001
written by Brian Buckmaster
On April 11th, I lost my job. All at once I became one of those statistics you read about in the Business section of the newspaper - a casualty of the downturn in the Economy, or so I was told. All I know was that I went to work as usual that morning and three hours later I was back home, unemployed. So what do you do when all of a sudden you find yourself without a job? Well, you plan a solo bicycle tour down the California coast, of course!
Come along on Brian's 2001 California Coast Bicycle Tour.
Ride Around the Bear
Added June 30, 2001
written by Brian Buckmaster
Last year, while scanning the web for challenging bike rides in California and Arizona, I came across the Orange County Wheelmen's website and a link to a page describing the "Ride Around the Bear". This is a century that takes you up the San Bernardino Mountains from Redlands to Big Bear Lake (hence the name) at 6750 feet, and beyond to Onynx Summit at 8443 feet, then back down to Redlands. In 1987 Cyclist Magazine rated the Bear ride as "One of the top ten most difficult centuries in the country", and after having just completed it, I have no doubt that it has not lost its standing.
Join in on Brian's experience of the Ride Around the Bear.
July 29 Spin-Cycle Report
Added July 29, 2001
written by John Arle
The weather dealt the Spin Cycle a reprieve from the heat that was predicted for the weekend. Cloud cover cut the baking sun and allowed the group to spin around South Mountain as planned. Rest assured, the back-up ride that was mapped and ready will be placed on a future Sunday. (Far be it for me to waste a perfectly good ride map!)
The group pedaled out to our first regroup in very orderly fashion with no one showing any indication of burning up the roads just yet. After the right on Riggs, the heavy-duty cycle kicked in and the lead group screamed westward at reported speeds that are illegal in 12 states. Meanwhile, the regular cycle pushed along with the "red lantern" to pick up those that fell off. During this phase of the ride, Paul, a new rider with our GABA groups, was swept up by a passing racing team. Fearing cardiovascular collapse, he fell off wondering what the heck got into the nice recreational riders he started with. After being caught, we explained that none of us wear body suits and have 2% body fat. This makes it easy to distinguish us from the racers.
After the second regroup at the 51st Ave. Texaco Mini Mart, the group continued the ascent up the South Mtn. foothills. Little did anyone realize the treachery that lay ahead. The lead riders apparently "Let the Dogs Out", the second group set the table, and poor Kevin appeared to be the main course. The value and power of fear generated adrenaline is a marvelous thing. Kevin probably startled his Bianchi with that canine induced sprint interval.
Ultimately, all made it to regroup three at the Dobbins and Central Circle K. The short spin to The Raven rewarded everyone a great breakfast as we were well treated by the staff that had our tables ready for our group. Bottom line, I love The Raven. Tom was absolutely correct, great cup of coffee!
The group began to scatter after breakfast with only 6 survivors returning to the park. No problemo! With such a robust group that "rides to the ride", this is to be expected.
20 riders made the fourth Spin Cycle the best yet. People make a successful group ride. Any of us can, and do, ride the roads alone. These group rides, however, provide us the opportunity to share, and grow, from each other. I value your participation and welcome any feedback on how to make the Spin Cycle a better Sunday event.
Next week, the Spin Cycle rolls to the south, once again, but spins eastward on Riggs. I suppose we could call it the Eus ed Ruot. No, this isn't latin, its the Tour de Sue backwards. We'll go a little further to the east and end up dining back at the Chandler and Rural Bruegger's. I hope to see you all, once again, at next Sunday's Spin Cycle.
July 15 Spin-Cycle Report
Added July 15, 2001
written by John Arle
Chandler, AZ - The Spin-Cycle successfully launched its second ride with fifteen riders. With summer vacations taking their toll on personal riding schedules, there were just four returning veterans from last weeks' inaugural ride, but eleven "new" riders filled in the peloton. (Hey Jeff, even though you have wet roots in Seattle, its OK to ride with us on days its not raining! :-) I'd like to add a personal "thank you" to Sue Fassett and Matt Bolan for joining the group on their Sunday off from the Landis racing group. I also want to thank Tom Culp for the work he has done to secure the bike lane on Chandler Blvd. We took it for the two miles between Price and Rural and are REALLY thankful that his perseverance paid off. (Hey Tom, take it easy on the supplements, we want you in the group but you need a heart rate a bit less than a gerbil to enjoy these things. Temperance, my friend!)
The group spun to the southeast weaving through a couple of neighborhood passes to Germann, then east to Higley, before making our way back on Queen Creek, Lindsey, and Hunt Highway. This was one of those mornings when the wind seemed to shift just in time to remain a headwind, or considerable cross-wind, for most of the ride. I believe everyone was thankful for a group to hide behind. Asphalt snakes were out and about and biting some tires as the group had two flats along the way.
The "heavy-duty" cyclers faked going west on Queen Creek (mapped out for an additional 8 miles around to Maricopa Rd. and back to Chandler Blvd.) in favor of shortcoming back to the north on Price. The "regular" cyclers took the Pennington Pass to the north from Queen Creek. I was VERY impressed when I saw the "heavy-duty" riders already at Brueggers when we regulars got there. Little did I know, they took the short-cut but that started the stories of, "we went all the way around the mountain to get here, ... and, we waited for two hours at the regroup, ... and, we actually kept going east to nearly the state line but decided we'd turn around because we were getting hungry." Sure, and I've got some swamp land in New Jersey for sale, as well.
Breakfast at Brueggers was well attended with ten of the original group. While there, we were treated to an "act of nature" as Rob's bike was quickly claimed by a spider as a piece of his, or her, personal territory. In a matter of minutes, the spider had extended its web from the building to include Rob's rear tire all the up to his bullet pack. Fearing that either he, or his bike, might end up a significant part of the ecosystem, Rob gently removed his vehicle from the master web, leaving the cyclo-arachnid to await another Cannondale.
Kathleen E. and Roy K. step forward next Sunday as I'm on the White Mountain Tour. (I'll finalize the map by midweek and get in touch with you both.) The route ventures to the north and east through ASU and out Rio Salado Parkway. Hoosier's Cafe is the breakfast treat. You have something to look forward to, if you've not been there before. Those of us on the tour will be climbing up to Sunrise Ski Resort just about the time you're enjoying your breakfast; hard to tell which is better. I'm back in two weeks, July 29th, with a scheduled ride around South Mtn. We'll wait and see on that one. The temperature will have a lot to say on which way we go. The Raven Restaurant on Baseline is a favorite, so we'll definitely commit to breakfast there. The question is, how far (or short) do we ride to get to it??? You'll have to show up to find out.
The Spin-Cycle Report
Added July 8, 2001
written by John Arle
16 riders braved an apparently rainy Sunday morning to be the charter members of the Sunday Spin-Cycle. Bob, Kathleen, Terry, Kevin, and Jan, followed Keith on a 29 mile scenic journey through the Ahwatukee Foothills. John, Jeff, Owen, Connie, Tom, Bob, Rob, Murray, Roy, and I followed each other through the Foothills and then a fast lap around on Queen Creek. Most ended up at the Coffee Plantation and, by most reports, had a good ride. Fierce allogations were flying that some of the macho guys were trying to kill off Connie at intersections, but it was pointed out that most drivers won't run over women. Bob, what was the reason for that? I'm sure not putting that into print!! :-)
We were definately blessed with temperatures that never left the eighties and everyone was heading home around 10:00.
This was a tremendous start to what I hope becomes a wonderful Sunday ride option. Next week, the Spin-Cycle heads to the Southeast with a spin out Germann to Higley with our return on Queen Creek and Hunt Highway. The "regular" cycle will be 33 miles and the "heavy-duty" cycle will add a quick lap westbound on Queen Creek and back in on 56th to make a 43 mile circuit. This one's flat, so Rob and the gang will be able to do some serious hammering. I may run with the casual crowd, since I'm trying to put in another thousand for the month, "volume over velocity." Breakfast will be at Bruegger's Bagels on Chandler and Rural immediately following our spin.
I hope to see everyone again, and bring a friend along!
August 26 Spin Cycle Report
Added August 26, 2001
written by John Arle
Riders Survive Leader's Lack of Focus.
Chandler, AZ - Since I tend to search for events each Sunday to expand and exaggerate, you would think I would really make every effort to avoid being the focus of my own scrutiny. WRONG! After working 2 1/2 hours on a computer generated map (see attached document), I grabbed last week's file and showed up for the ride with the wrong map and only one blank sign in sheet. Everyone was very understanding and politely smiled and said "that's ok." Since I was so proud of my work and inflicted my wife with it last night, I should have been better prepared when I re-entered my house to "did you forget something this morning?" I left it sitting on the kitchen counter, in plain sight, for her to find.
26 riders headed north and all arrived at the first regroup in great shape. After a brief description how we were going to continue east on Curry, I immediately missed the turn (right out of the regroup parking lot) leading everybody north on College which was actually our return route. Is it possible for me to screw up more? Sure! The lead group compensated and turned east on Oak heading for Pima. Leading from the rear is one of my strong points so I proceeded to move the Lanterne Rouge right past Oak to Thomas when I realized I had made my third mistake in less than an hour. Fortunately, the lead group was following a slightly less direct route so we reached the Pima/Thomas intersection ahead of them. Ok, now we're on track, and fortunately, my final mistake of the day was over.
Sue (Magellan) Fassett was now up for the wandering award. She "zoned" in on the REALLY nice stretch up Pima and blasted right past the left turn on Indian Bend. After seeing the Via Linda sign and doing a quick mental check of local geography, she deduced that she had just led a sub-group a few pedal strokes closer to Fountain Hills. Matt (sprint man) Bolan did the seek and rescue work and herded the lost lambs back to the flock.
Meanwhile, back in the Lanterne Rouge, Kathleen was discovering why you don't want to make significant changes in your bike geometry and immediately ride 75 miles in a single weekend. This is, indeed, a wonderful way to discover and explore muscles you didn't realize were being used while you ride a bike. In fact, this discovery and exploration will undoubtedly be enjoyed for the next few days, as well. Kathleen, we've all been there; way to hang in even when your lower back is screaming!
Finally, order was restored at the second re-group, back at Papago Park, once again, and the group threaded its way through ASU and south on College to flood The Wildflower Bread Company where the Cinnamon Raison Nut French Toast was a HUGE hit.
I'm not certain, but I believe Glen was new to the group today (at least new to this list). I welcome you, hope you enjoyed the camaraderie and riding, and plan to be a regular with the Spin Cycle.
Next week, Tremendous Tom Culp steps up to lead the group to the northeast as the Tour Series continues with Tour de Lehi. The route threads around clockwise with the breakfast stop at one of our favorites, Neighbor's Cafe. We'll reserve the banquet room and guarantee they'll treat us well. Glenn, Owen, and I are off to do GABA Tucson's Blue Loop ride. Sunday morning we'll be starting in Alpine and ending 90 miles later back in Morenci. Something about that just sounds like "riding downhill", both literally and metaphorically.
I'm having a great time with the Spin-Cycle, and I hope you are too. I'll see you all in a couple of weeks. Have a great week, and remember, it is you that makes the Spin-Cycle.
August 19 Spin Cycle Report
Added August 21, 2001
written by John Arle
Chandler Group Swarms Mesa
Desert Breeze Pk., Chandler, AZ - Sixteen riders hit the road this morning as the Spin Cycle moved to the east and north on the Tour de Mesa loop. After the 5 second first regroup, a very well ordered paceline sliced through the gentle headwind coming out of the east as all sixteen riders braved the "Heavy-duty cycle" route going east to Higley. The group picked up a rogue rider, Peter, along the way who rode with us for about 15 miles and another rider coming out of ASU who rode along for a mile or two.
The truly amazing event in this ride was all sixteen riders going for the "heavy-duty" cycle and doing all 47 miles despite the rather warm morning. What a tough group. Not only that, but the lead group was reportedly grabbing some 26 mph! Of course I was riding the "Lanterne rouge" so I only heard about Connie dropping back down the paceline as Gary kicked the pace from 23 up to 26 causing her to go anaerobic while trying to catch back on after over shooting the last rider. Don't ya just hate it when that happens!
Walt accused Dave of an assassination attempt when his tire blew out. After checking for blood, Walt was relieved that the damage was purely vulcanized and no flesh was involved in the event. Dave's handy stick-on "boots" repaired the damaged tire and we were back on the road in no time at all.
Gary won the polka dot socks (we're low budget, can't afford jerseys) for his sprint to the top of mighty Le'Alpe deLakeshore just south of Baseline. Gary and Ron sprinted it out to the Guadalupe light but the winner was just too close to call. (Being a quarter mile back didn't help our perspective much, either.)
We also suffered our first Spin-Cycle "rider down." Tom's front wheel got clipped as riders scattered a bit due to broken glass. No damage was done and he was quick to say that his wife would NEVER find out he went down or he'd be on a short ride leash for a while. Geez, I hope she doesn't read his email, sorry about that, Tom.
Only six stayed through breakfast but several learned the joys of the Siberian citrus at the Coffee Plantation (line was too long at The Good Egg).
This Sunday is Le Tour de Scottsdale. A spin north along old Pima Rd. This is a flat one, but a real nice little run.
I committed to doing the Labor Day weekend Blue Loop ride put on by GABA Tucson. Consequently, I need a volunteer or two to lead Sunday Sept. 2nd. The ride route will be a clockwise loop out and through Lehi with a return back on Guadalupe. I'll build the map, we just need someone to hand them out and lead the hungry masses back to Neighbor's. We'll get back to Ray using the "Carriage Ln. / Bullmoose" passage. PLEASE, someone step forward for us!
As always, its you that makes the Desert Breeze Spin-Cycle. See you, again, this Sunday.
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August 5 Spin Cycle Report
Added August 5, 2001
written by John Arle
Chandler, AZ - Another edition of the Desert Breeze Spin Cycle has come and gone with yet another attendance record of 23 riders. There were many familiar faces in the group but we had several first timers for the Spin Cycle and one pure rookie to the GABA groups. Ken, we welcome you and look forward to having you as a regular member of our weekend groups. Paul now elevates to a second week veteran but still didn't seem to earn any more respect. You know, it just isn't fair!
The Sun Lakes Milk Run went south to Riggs along 56th and Maricopa then east through Sun Lakes. Rest stop one was at the Akimal Smoke Shop on Riggs just in case anyone felt the need to take up smoking. I understand Dave thought about it but decided to stay with the performance enhancing drugs that cost him that professional race career.
The heavy-duty cycle braved the canine warnings and fought the dog wars eastbound on Chandler Heights from Gilbert. This group has a very noble motto in these situations, "the slow one gets bit." Mary took the a new approach and wedged Mike and a couple of other riders between her and and approaching set of teeth. Good strategy; let's face it, what dog is going after Jeff? I mean really ... look at the size of the guy! The dogs had no stomach for it and opted to watch everyone move on down the road.
The sprinkler system signalled not only the end of our second regroup but also incurred the wrath of ... I believe Craig. The sprinkler popped up right beneath his bike leaving behind an unsightly clean spot possibly forcing him to clean the rest of it. Life's just not fair, sometimes.
We spun through the Pennington Neighborhood Pass on our way back to Bruegger's where we filled half the restaurant and munched on our 10% group discounted breakfast. All said and done, it was a pretty good morning.
Next week I'm out of town on business, but the Spin Cycle has the fortune to be guided by The Master, Bob Prochaska. He'll map a course to the north up and around Mummy Mountain. Pete's 19th Tee is the inevitable breakfast stop when venturing this way. I know you'll all have a great time while I'm sweltering in 90 degree and 90% humidity in east/central Florida (I'll take pictures if there's any string bikinis and we'll do a slide show the following week!)
As always, it is you that makes the Spin Cycle. Have a great week!
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September 30 Spin Cycle Report
Added September 30, 2001
written by John Arle
Lost Maps, Crash, Flats, Broken Spokes, and Wind:
This Is What Cyclists Do For Fun!
Twenty-six riders braved the hazzards of this last day in September. Little did they know the challenges that lay ahead. Everybody has had one of those days when just everything seems to turn the wrong way. Collectively, the Spin Cycle had one of those days. I started out by never finding the folder with all the maps and sign-in sheets. I managed to scrounge one sheet up and was saved by a few veteran Spin Cyclers that brought the map I sent out last week. Next, the restrooms were being cleaned (sorry Valerie). This set up an impromptu stop that Dave mistook for the first regroup. This is only a problem when you make a left turn through a series of other riders that are continuing on a straight line. Bottom-line, Dave should have the soreness gone by mid week.
We want to welcome Woody to the group. He profited from Owen's mechanical expertise and was rigged up to finish the ride despite some spoke problems. Hope you had some fun and become one of the "regulars."
After the regroup, Sue volunteered to Lieutenant the Rio Salado Parkway troups while I assumed my lead from behind position with the Heavy Duty Cyclists. After shooting my mouth off about aspiring to achieve anaerobia, Ron, Gary, Randy, and Jim were most accommodating by running the pace up to 26 while climbing out toward Papago Park. I decided the trailing Heavy Duty Spinners needed my support so I dropped back (its just the kind of caring leader I am ... not to mention I hate gagging in public). Tim soon joined us back on the Lanterne Rouge. We soon split into two groups due to Bill's flat tire. We, unfortunately, never saw Judy, Paul, and one other rider again, may Randy?. We missed you three at breakfast, but rest assured, we did talk about you in your absence. Both the regular and heavy duty cycle routes had the extra challenge of a stiff wind from the north east. Just that little extra bonus to make the morning more memorable (as if it needed help).
Cracker's was most accommodating and 16 of the starters seemed to enjoy the food, conversation, and relaxation. Splintering into the wind, we made our way home with Gary ultimately making a successful breakaway aided by the light at Riggs. He is so lucky that light changed or Craig, Vito, Dave, and I would have eaten him up like cracked crab legs! (... well, maybe Craig, Vito, and Dave ... maybe).
Next week the group takes a spin through nature as we ride northeast on the Tour de Love Birds. Introduction of exotic species are not the best of ecosystem events, but in this case, they are pretty and very interesting to see. The final destination is the McKellips/Alta Mesa area with breakfast at the Painted Mountain Golf Club. The Iowa Cafe is right there, as well, so you might count noses and take a vote on whether the group could fit in. Maureen and Bryan will lead this safari. The map is attached, so you might want to print and bring a copy since I've been a bit shakey as of late. I'll be down in Douglas riding the 92 mile "baby" Cochise Classic, so y'all have a great time. I'd like someone to volunteer and send me some ride info that I can exaggerate for the Spin Cycle Report. I just need a little, and I can make a big deal out of it with no trouble at all!
From Dave Woof, we have some free stuff if anyone can use it: "I have a pair of hardly used Specialized road cycling shoes - size 37 (probably womens size 5?) to give away. Drilled for SPD pedals, maybe can get adaptors for other cleat types, don't know." Contact Dave at email@example.com
Have a great week, and remember, it is you that makes the Spin Cycle.
Spin Cycle Officers:
Lackey: John Arle
Lt. Kathleen Emmett
Lt. Tom Culp
Lt. Roy Kopel
Lt. Bob Prochaska
Lt. Sue Fassett
Lt. Bryan Bagwell
Lt. Maureen Hall
Lt. Randy Hansen
Lt. Lance James
Lt. Janet James
My personal thanks to all of you that help lead these rides and support recreational riding for everyone. - J.A.
September 23 Spin Cycle Report
Added September 23, 2001
written by John Arle
photos by G. Trotter
Riding + Free Food = 48
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - Combine a cool fall morning, free food, and cycling, and you'll get a new attedance record for the Spin Cycle. Forty-eight riders took to the south and west following the "Ohcotukee Loop" that passed through the communities of both Ocotillo and Ahwatukee. Following a weaving warmup to the southeast, the peleton broke into several groups. To find out who was serious, the lead group accelerated to 28 mph heading westward out Queen Creek Rd. Motivated by the first sprint bonus points, Rob broke out from the pack as they closed on the first freeway overpass. He quickly realized he had forgotten his invisible clothes and all he had done is push the pace up a couple miles an hour, pull several riders with him, and go anaerobic in the process. The sprint dogs took it from there. Dave, Carter, Gary, Mike, Glenn, Randy and a cast of thousands, left a "con trail" as they smoked over the first climb. Mike successfully defended the polka dot socks for yet another week.
Streaking into the distance, the group continued their high speed ways. Rob, Glen, Owen, and several others, exercised their better judgment and established a trailing group at a much more reasonable high speed. Meanwhile, the conversational peleton continued on their way solving many of the world's problems as only cyclists can do while pedaling along and enjoying the morning sunshine.
None of today's riders need worry about personal weed outcroppings. All of us were treated to a free crop dusting as we rode westbound on Queen Creek. Does anyone know what "Agent Orange" really smells like?
The foothills produced its usual array of routes. Some took Desert Foothills (like the map showed, I might add), some went to the end, some took 32nd Street back to the north, while others stayed on Chandler all the way back to 48th St. Just another day in Ahwatukee.
Eventually everyone made their way back to the Country Harvest Buffet for our club breakfast and meeting. Rob McClure did a wonderful job leading the session. Reports from Pat Ware, Bob Bean, and Mike Litecki were all very well done. Clearly, as a cycling club, we're doing great.
For those of you that may not have joined, as yet. Here's a link to the membership application. For $15 you get a lot of cool riding information and discounts on all the upcoming major event rides. This is as close to a free deal as you can get! Be sure to check off Phoenix Metro.
It's time to turn our eyes to the plethora of fall events and make certain we're in shape to take our pick. Next weekend the Spin Cycle rides to the north and east on the McKellupe Loop (McKellips + Guadalupe, get it?). Breakfast is at Crackers & Company Cafe in Mesa. We'll have the back room to ourselves. I was going to pick up the check for everyone but they said they could do individual checks. Who am I to argue, so I agreed to let them. The ride map is, once again, attached. Sorry racers, no sprint points on this one, so you'll just have to find your own battles. The route cuts through Tempe and east across the reservation into Mesa. Hey, pretty good place for a sprint!
Thanks to everyone for the huge turnout today. It is YOU that makes the Spin Cycle. See you next weekend.
(just to prove I type my own reports, and yes, those are stuffed animals on my monitor)
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September 16 Spin Cycle Report
Added September 18, 2001
written by John Arle
32 Riders Head to South Mountain.
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - The Spin Cycle set a new attendance record today, when 32 riders made their way toward
South Mountain from Desert Breeze Park. Suffering a bit from "large group syndrome" the group moved toward its final destination employing a number of routes. Ultimately, 29 of the group arrived at the "stone house" to begin either the trek out San Juan or the ascent to the towers. New to this list, and I believe to the group, were Carter, Rick, Dennis and Jim. I'd like to officially welcome you. I hope you had a good ride with us and will be back in the coming weeks.
On our way, Paul came uncomfortably close to a rather aggressive van. Paul accurately identified the driver as a male and decided to identify, by name, one particular part of his reproductive anatomy. Even though I was quite nearby, I was unclear whether Paul was making a functional statement to the gentleman, or possibly referring to size, or the lack thereof. Regardless, the driver moved on seemingly unperturbed by the cycling swarm around him.
The brief meeting at the stone house served notice that Marty and Ryan are desperately needed on these rides to quell some of Connie's more aggressive tendencies. So as to maintain the reputation as equal opportunity abusers, the boys decided to include Connie in the degrading banter and take the appropriate beating in response. Conversation, however, was clearly impaired on the ascent as Connie pointed out, "how .... .... can .... .... you .... .... talk .... .... while .... .... climbing .... .... this .... .... mountain?" Good point. I decided to drop back forty yards so I could dry heave in private.
Craig was busy struggling in his big gear in an exercise he later labeled as questionable, and subsequently dropped to the small chain ring. Clearly, the mountain was offended by the mere suggestion he'd try this act, so it (the mountain) kept his sunglasses upon his departure, and then flatted his tire when he returned to reclaim them. Heck, the darn thing filleted his finger somewhere in the process so his tire looked like like a crime scene by the time he was done changing it. Craig, I am sorry you ended up riding back alone, but in our defense, sudden outbursts of colorful language are neither that uncommon, nor that descriptive. :-) Seriously, however, we should speak up in these situations and someone will go back with us.
Dave helped cheer the climbers by ingraining the "I'm coming out" tune recently made common by the singing navels commercial. Being catchy, none of us could get it out of our heads the whole darn time up the mountain. I'm still humming the obnoxious little ditty.
Rumor has it, Queen of the Hill honors went to Maureen. She attributed her success to her aerodynamic form and the little flapping bows on her cycling shorts. She added, "I have a matching top, but it shows just too much flesh." Never missing a shot at the obvious, Ron pointed out that there's no such thing as showing too much flesh! Alrighty then!!
Glen won the Towers Lanterne Rouge award as he crested and wrung about two quarts of water out of his helmet. I never knew those little pads could hold that much sweat!
The Raven was the usual wonderful host. Good food and company was had by all. Speaking of food, don't forget next week's ride, the Ohcotukee Loop (see attached map), travels south toward Ocotillo, west toward Ahwatukee, and ultimately to the Country Harvest Buffet for the quarterly club breakfast. Club member's breakfasts are covered by the club, but everyone is welcome. This is the PERFECT time to pay those steep $15 dollar a year dues and immediately recover about half of it on breakfast. You'll get three more free feedings in the year to come, enjoy discounts on the GABA and ABC ride events, and get a really cool newsletter that has my name and email address in it several times! It just can't get any better than all that!!
If you're not a member, here's a link to the membership page. We're not just a another good looking group on bicycles, we're actually an eating group with a cycling disorder!
I hope to see you all next weekend, and remember, its you that makes the Spin Cycle.
September 9 Spin Cycle Report
Added September 9, 2001
written by John Arle
Twenty-seven riders took to the southeast in, what seemed to be, the first actually COOL air of the fall. Let's hope we've seen the end of the sweltering temperatures. We want to welcome Cori, a new rider to the family. We hope to see you had a good time and become a regular. Speaking of regulars, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, JEFF!
Our only flat (tire) of the day happened in the parking lot placing the eyes of twenty-seven riders on Rob as he demonstrated how quickly a tire can be changed when under pressure. Following the warmup, the lead group hammered east on Germann with their eyes on those sprint bonus points to be earned by the first rider to reach Higley. Randy served as the setup man pacing the group toward the final sprint. The three man breakaway was ultimately won by Ron as he rounded the corner to the cheering crowds lining the streets. (Ok, fact is I cut off 3 miles earlier and never even made it out to Higley, but I'm certain that this athletic exhibition should have had ESPN2 coverage.) Nice job Ron!
The peloton stayed in good shape to Queen Creek but then started fragmenting. Bill and Paul became lone riders (sorry guys) feeling their way around the SE valley. Paul made his way to the Ocotillo regroup just as Glen and I were doubling back on a search and rescue mission. Bill found an alternate route and beat everyone back to the Bruegger's. My apologies to both you guys. When the five of us shortcut on Lindsey, I figured the lead group would whip past us. I should have stayed trailing the pack to pick up riders that drop off. My sorry!
The long-riders headed west on Queen Creek with another sprint trial to the freeway overpass "summit." Ron was determined to score back to back victories. Randy again paced the group out. Terry was poised for the quick break away but was unfortunately trapped back in the line. Mike, however, found himself in perfect position to slingshot out from the line and win the three man spring to the top of the hill. Clearly, a tie breaker had to be found so the group sprinted again on the 56th/Maricopa overpass. Mike, again, crested first scoring back to back "King of the Overpass" victories. He dons the polka dot socks held the past two weeks by Gary. See what happens when you don't show up to defend, Gary! Of course, the yellow jersey goes to Bill who had the street smarts to beat everyone back to Bruegger's. Way to show up the hammer gang, Bill! (Pure milage is over-rated!)
I mentioned our one flat TIRE on the day. Paul was riding on three hours sleep so he wins the flat RIDER of the day. I kept having to nudge him awake as we pedaled in to Brueggers. Paul now carries the Lanterne Rouge as Janet and Lance rode away in the distance. (They brought it up at breakfast) As we pedaled through the "Pennington Neighborhood Pass", Glen came across a family on bikes and dropped off to join them. He said it was his wife and kids, but Paul and I had our doubts. Well, ... Paul was so tired he was struggling for balance and didn't notice, and I'm just generally skeptical about everything!
Next week, the climbers hammer it out for the real "King of the Mountain," as the Spin Cycle makes its first assault on South Mountain. The rest of us will spin up at 4 mph or take the option of riding out San Juan to the vista of downtown Phoenix. Breakfast after is at The Raven. Haven't been there? OH MAN, you gotta show for this one, The Raven is AWESOME, baby! If the weather stays like this, we'll eat out on the patio and you just can't beat that with a stick!
Remember, its you that makes the Spin Cycle. See you next week.
September 2 Spin Cycle Report
Added September 2, 2001
written by John Arle
Sprints, Stop Lights, and White Flies, OH MY!
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - The Spin Cycle entered its third month with 25 riders completing the "Tour" series of rides with a quick 35 mile spin down to the historic community of Lehi. This is a great city ride but it is somewhat plagued with stop lights that seem to be timed to stop cyclists at every intersection. The group held together through the warm-up run through the Bullmoose/Carriage neighborhood pass and then spread out a bit on the run through Lehi and return run south on Horne.
Feeling the pressure to defend the polka dot socks, Gary tore up the 100 yard climb on Horne, only to realize there was a false top followed by another short hill. Naturally, there is only one thing to do when faced with going anaerobic in these situations; go into oxygen debt and hope the "dark twinklies" and "tunnel vision" doesn't blind you completely before you reach the top of the hill. Gary was successful in defending the hill climbing honors and will, for another weekend, wear the coveted polka dot socks.
Terry suffered the only flat on the tour and was a shining example of quick road repair. You know, those darn European bikes just seem to suffer more than those of us that ride American.
For the second straight day, the white flies were out in force supplying a whole new protein resource. The swarms often made one wonder how many white flies you could aspirate before they became problematic. Inquiring minds want to know!
Neighbor's Cafe was its usual wonderful host. We had group seating in their back room with 15 of us stopping AND being joined by Glen's family. His kids were a welcome addition since I had heard rumblings of a food fight and fortunately the presence of innocent children seemed to be an effective deterrent.
Glen, feeling the juice, started a sprint for the finish. I closed but was immediately passed by Marty who was immediately cut off by van turning left in front of him. After Marty provided a brief (one word) review of anatomical body openings, the three rider break away faded only to be passed by hard charging ... come on, guess, ... Gary, once again sprinting to his first Sunday Spin Cycle stage victory! This was impressive enough to leave everyone laughing at the tail end of the ride.
The breakfast group voted to support Spin Cycle rides on days when PMBC/GABA are having their fall event rides. Palo Verde Nuclear Century is October 21st and the Heart of Arizona is October 28th. I plan to ride both of these events so I will need some volunteer help to lead the Spin Cycle on those days. I'll prepare the ride maps, we'll just need someone to handle the sign-up and make certain everyone gets through. I appreciate Tom stepping up for today's ride (even though I bailed on the Blue Loop and showed up anyway). We'll need more help in October. Let me know if you're willing and able by email.
If you haven't joined PMBC/GABA, you really should. Our club breakfast is only three weeks away. For $15 you get free breakfast (a $7.00 value!) four times a year! You can't beat that with a stick! You also save some entry money on the event rides, and there's a bunch of them throughout the fall and winter. Here's a link to the membership form. Our chapter is Phoenix Metro.
Next week we spin back to the southeast for the wide open roads of Germann, Lindsay, and Hunt Hwy. Gary, you better rest up. This route can be fast and I've heard talk of some challenges for the "yellow water bottle." For me, I ride assured that the Lanterne Rouge hangs from the back of my bike!
I hope most of you are riding again on the Labor Day Special Edition of Saturday Cycling. The group departs from Kiwanas Park at 7:00 AM for the counter-clockwise route around South Mtn. See you there.
It is you that makes the Spin Cycle.
Added October 22, 2001
written by John Arle
Many riders opt for Palo Verde Nuclear Century
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ. - With most of the Sunday faithful riding the Palo Verde Nuclear Century, ten riders took to the roads with the Spin Cycle. With such an elite group, eight opted to donate their skills to the Tempe family ride with only Ron and Jeff holding to the Tour de Queen Creek. Naturally, the beauty here is that I get to reschedule the Queen Creek ride, everybody will enjoy a new route, and I don't have to generate a new map! Ron did his usually hard push with Jeff hanging on for dear life. Meanwhile, down in Tempe, the rest of the gang ran to the front of the pack pushing the pace just to see who was really serious. Vito's field report includes "Roger." Has our migrant brother returned from his summer haven? I understand that Dave may need to give Tom some track stand lessons. You see, Tom, the idea is to stay upright when you come to a complete stop. My personal thanks to Jeff and Tom for leading this lean, mean, group. Once I finish my tour de weekend events, the yellow leaders cap is going to circulate about quite a bit.
The rest of us "regulars" (or irregulars, as the case may be), enjoyed the beautiful day out at the PV Nuclear. Sue and Matt got a bit of a late start when Matt's seat post bracket had some problems. All was ultimately fixed without him having to remove the saddle and stand for the entire hundred miles (I hate it when guys show off like that). Connie, Marti, Gary, Team Pierce, and lots more, accelerated up to 23 mph, or so, and blew past the first rest stop. Having flashbacks of my experiences down at Cochise, I called (cried) out to Glen who VERY willingly pulled out with Dave, and returned to the SAG for some great cookies and brownies. Paul joined the feast and we established a new subgroup dedicated to eating and keeping the speed safely below that of sound. Our little group gained John Blake along the way. He was a very welcome addition and we finished the route as a group ... well ... until he flatted 3 miles from the end and we watched Paul and Glen sprint into the distance. John, even though you live way up north, you are welcome to join our little band of pedalers any Sunday.
I have to mention Lance, Janet, and Kathleen's Tour de SW Valley. They rode a hundred miles and, from what I could tell, some of that was even on the route. Somewhere along the way they took a side trip to the Desert Rose Bar and Grill. I wasn't clear who actually won the pool tournament, but I was aware of several motorcycle gang members upset with Lance suspecting he was a grifting shark. And personally, I doubt you all walked out on that bar tab regardless of what police investigators may find. Just remember, the florescent orange circles with the arrows painted on the blacktop are route suggestions that you turn.
This was a notable day for many. It was the first century ride for Glen and Tom, and the first in five years for Paul. It was the first this fall that I didn't develop the 80 mile rabies and finish with foam around my mouth and going eight mph.
This Sunday's ride is the Germannalupe Loop. I'm concerned with road construction on Germann, so I'm holding off the route map until I have confirmed what roads minimize the orange cones, flags, and flashers. Lance and Janet lead the excursion. I'm in Texas for the weekend (no, Lance hasn't asked me for personal coaching). Breakfast is planned at Sweet Tomatoes on Baseline and Extension. This will be a great ride for those of you not using your heart on The Heart.
Its you that keeps the Spin Cycle great. Have a super week.
Added October 20, 2001
written by John Arle
Harrah's Ride Wins With 21
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - Twenty-one riders took to the Southwest on the Harrah's Turnaround route. First, my thanks to Randy Hansen for volunteering to lead the ride. He earns the yellow cap for his leadership. Without volunteers, these rides just don't work.
Reporters from the field indicated a wide range of routes and techniques employed on this day. Tom used the broken bike method to grossly abbreviate his day. Randy, being the dedicated leader, stopped to help a rider with a flat which placed him irreparably behind the pack. Reportedly, Rob and a few others took the right hand turn at Riggs and chased the racers around the mountain. That's ok, Rob, even though I teach biology, I'm willing to give tutoring in map reading and following directions. :-) Again, field reports indicated that Gary won the sprint dog award for getting to Harrah's first. I am certain that this young man has a fine cycling career ahead of him, with the Spin Cycle, and will spend considerable time with the green and polka dot hats. Vito, Glen, Chad, and Ed formed the chase group finishing mere minutes behind the lead pack. Gary, Owen, Chad, and Vito opted out of breakfast and hammered back chasing Gary's blistering pace. Vito poised himself strategically for the overpass hill climb sprint, but was passed by a sprinting Gary in the final feet of the ascent. OLN would have been proud to air this classic dual.
This weekend (Oct. 21st), the Spin Cycle wheels to the southeast, once again, on the Tour de Queen Creek. For those of you not doing the Palo Verde Nuclear Century, this will be a flat 47 mile tour climaxing with breakfast at The Hanger Restaurant in Chandler Municipal Airport. There's construction-o-plenty out this direction, but we figured out a route that avoids most of it (a couple of dirt patches on Riggs were unavoidable). Tom and Jeff stepped up for the yellow cap this week and will lead the faithful. (Tom, get Bill's email address to me and I'll add him to the distribution list!)
For those riding the PV Nuclear Century, Glen and I should arrive around 7:00 and will look for anyone willing to bunch up against what usually is a breezy ride back into town. I know Gary, Connie, Marty, Mary, Leo, Ron, Dave, and a cast of thousands, will be out there.
I want to take a moment to recognize the efforts of a new friend, Richard Henderson, of Riverside, California. Last weekend at the People Powered Ride, sponsored by the Goleta Valley Cycling Club of Santa Barbara, I linked up with Rich at about 30 miles and finished the ride with him. Even though Rich is a competitive racer, and could have left me in a heartbeat, he chose to ride with me for seventy long, vertical, miles. For about 60 of our miles, I comfortably paced along behind Rich. On the first ascent, he did attack the hill but actually rode back to me to insure I made it. The final 10 miles of the event are becoming all too familiar for me. My strength dropped to zero and I actually had to push my bike up the final ascent due to cramping. As much as I hate to admit it, this ride joins the Santa Fe Century as rides that own me. Even though I was bonking (I'll rank this one at 7 out of 10; I kept my sense of humor and wasn't quite foaming at the mouth), Rich stayed right with me and encouraged me up the hills. This young man met me only hours before but was hanging with a dying old guy. To me, riding these events, and meeting people like Rich, are what cycling is all about. Racing adds another dimension to cycling that I will never know, but for now, the Rich's of the cycling world make this a great form of recreation. Thanks, my friend.
I promise, sooner or later I'll actually ride the Spin Cycle again myself. Meanwhile, it is you that makes the Spin Cycle great! Have a great weekend!
Added October 9, 2001
by Robert Yates
Dear fellow cyclist:
On Columbus Day October 8, 2001 four members of the Yates family from Sacramento, California embarked on a bicycle ride from Santa Monica California. Their goal is to arrive at ground "Zero" in New York on Veterans Day. The mission of the "Columbus to Veterans Freedom Ride" is to create awareness and raise money for the Twin Towers Orphan Fund. Like so many of us the Yates family was struck by the devastation created during the attacks and by the horrendous number of children who were orphaned or lost a parent. Searching for a way to help, the Yates family decided they could best contribute by raising awareness and generating funds for these children's long term needs. Frank Yates, an avid cyclist and member of the Sacramento Wheelman and his three children Jenny, Scott, and David will be riding in your area on October 14, 2001.
Please join them for all or part of their ride while they are in your area. They are still in need of resources such as: fuel, food, lodging and supplies along the way.
If you are interested in following their journey you can follow along at: http://www.freedomrideusa.org
If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause please do so at:
"Twin Towers Orphan Fund Ride"
c/o 2495 Natomas Park Drive Suite 650
Sacramento, CA 95833.
[The Arizona portion of their itinerary from their web site is as follows
Oct. 11 Blythe, CA to Wickenburg, AZ
Oct. 12 Wickenburg, AZ to Cottonwood, AZ
Oct. 13 Cottonwood, AZ to Winslow, AZ
Oct. 14 Winslow, AZ to Gallup, NM]
More information on the Twin Towers Orphan Fund, the Yates Family, their itinerary, daily journals and more is available from the Freedom Ride USA web site.
Added October 8, 2001
written by John Arle
Love Birds Draws Crowd
Twenty to twenty-five riders made their way to Mesa to view a classic proliferation of exotic species, the peach face love birds of Mesa. Owen brought the maps to this aviary scavenger hunt. Vito stepped up to coordinate and lead the more technical parts of the route. Once the group threaded their way to Guadalupe, our visitors from ABC, Mark and Emily, hammered east on their tandem leading the heavy-duty cyclists on a 28 mph rampage. Undoubtedly, they scored the sprint bonus for first to reach Higley. I haven't heard if the remainder of the paceline is off the oxygen as yet.
Vito circulated to the regular cycle accompanied by Terrie and Judi. Along the route, Rob led the group in search of critical facilities. Not being totally successful, Rob opted to remain within the nature theme of the ride and utilize a local tree. I expect a thank-you note from Mesa public services for the arboreal support efforts.
Owen was appropriately attired in his love bird mimicking jersey and shorts. Slap the red face on him from chasing Mark and Emily and you really couldn't tell him from our specimen. This picture of Owen with his new helmet looks just like one of the birds, don't you think?
Next week, Randy Hansen leads the group on the Harrah's Turnaround. This is a great, wide open, run down to the Ak-Chin Casino/Hotel. Breakfast will be at the hotel restaurant. A number of us ate their this past summer and were treated VERY nicely. As you'll see from the attached map, the Heavy Duty riders have two sprint bonus points and one hill climb ... well, ok, its really a freeway overpass. I'm gone again for a century ride in Santa Barbara, CA. Its a nasty job but somebody has to do it!
This weekend I picked up some fun awards for the group. We now have yellow, green, and polkadot cycling hats. Being in charge has its privileges, so each week I will determine who best exemplifies the spirit of each hat. Those riders get to wear the hats for the following week. Being aware of safe hat hygiene (and who would know more about headwear than me?), I'll recollect the hats each week and launder them. The Spin Cycle practices "safe sombreros."
Again, my sincere thanks to Owen and Vito for their work today. I still need volunteer(s) for the Oct. 21st Spin Cycle. I will be riding the Palo Verde Nuclear Century. Remember, the group decided to keep riding on major event days so I'd REALLY appreciate a couple volunteers to step forward. We need anyone that isn't going to do the event and is planning to do the Spin Cycle that day. Don't worry, I'll supply the maps and sign-in sheets. The ride is Tour de Queen Creek. I promise to keep the route simple. I think the group will be smaller so we should be able to eat at The Hanger Cafe in the Chandler Municipal Airport.
Have a great week everybody, and remember, it is YOU that makes the Spin Cycle.
Added November 25, 2001
written by John Arle
10 Soldiers Report For Rain and Wind.
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - With 350 near perfect days a year to ride, ten Spin Cyclers reported in for this morning's rain and wind. What a hearty group we are! Roger was grounded once by a downpour on his commute in from the east and we all were treated to a parking lot spritzing with a nice little breeze from the west. What little determination the group had, faded completely when Roger announced he was loading his bike in Tom's truck for the return ride back to Mesa. YIKES! I'm pretty certain that's our version of the ground hog seeing its shadow. In this case, we knew more rain was coming.
Regardless, seven of us (including Tom and Roger) braved the elements and charged forward determined to enjoy breakfast at Bruegger's. Hey, three of us actually rode our bikes the mile over to the restaurant! We enjoyed hot coffee, bagels, and swapped cycling stories. Rain days are few, here in the valley, so why not kick back, enjoy them, and wait for tomorrow.
Tracy and her friend (oh no, I didn't get his name!! - I'm sorry!!!) joined us for the first time and we hope to see them both out with the Spin Cycle again. Maybe the next time we might even ride! They certainly learned some of the group character with the conversation at Bruegger's. This was Tracy's first day with the clipless pedals so all of us were very understanding of the obligatory journey to the parking lot surface when she couldn't get clipped out. Everyone revised that moment when we did the exact same thing.
Dave, I can't even clean your story up enough to make print. There just must be more jerks in the midwest; do ya think?
Next week is our Around the Mountain classic (South Mountain, that is, Mummy Mtn. is two weeks away). Its the first weekend in December so you can sleep in an extra half hour. The ride heads out at 8:00. We'll have three regroups on the route and will break into at least two pace groups. Paul, remember from last time, the racing teams ride this same route on Sundays so you might want to stay with us rather than ramping it up to 30 mph behind 24 year olds in body suits with 2% body fat! We're going to give The Farm a try for breakfast. I'll give them a call and see what kind of deal they might swing us. My current route map is one of my original hand drawn collectors items so I can't attach it for pre-distribution. Given a little time, I might re-draw it with the computer.
Have a great week. It is still you that makes the Spin Cycle.
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - Nine hardy men reported for duty this beautiful Sunday morning in the shadow and aftermath of El Tour de Tucson. Lacking any femine influence whatsoever, the decorum decayed rapidly and common sense was clearly missing. Dave forgot his Camelbak right out of the parking lot and, of course, it took us three miles to notice he wasn't with the group. Terry and I doubled back a mile in a vain search. Little did we know, Dave had gotten his pack, shortcut the route, and was waiting ahead for us. Lesson learned, never look back for someone that is in front of you.
Bernie was a new face in the group and rode a VERY interesting machine, complete with three foot handle bar elevator and a head set damper. The group remained as a unit through the Papago Park regroup and all the way to Pima road northbound. Once there, the race was on. Bob C., Tom, Terry, F.R., Roger, and Dave broke into a couple of groups on the outter loop to Indian Bend. Bernie and I took and Chapparal cut off and beat everybody back to Papago Park.
Five of us remained to enjoy the Wildflower's coffee and french toast. What a treat. Tom and I conspired for a final sprint that petered out at the DB parking lot. What the heck, I figured without Gary, Vito, Rocket, Ron, ... the list goes on, the sprint championship was up for grabs. I've got to learn to not laugh when doing those things. Bottom line, this is a great route and a good time was had by all.
Coming up is the PMBC four day Thanksgiving Holiday stage event. Sue Fassett hosts Thursday/Friday/Saturday from Kiwanas Park. Next Sunday, November 25th, the Spin Cycle, from Desert Breeze, hosts the fourth leg of this Thanksgiving classic. We're calling Sunday's finale, the Giro de Turkey; a quick spin to the farmlands of the Southeast and back to Bruegger's Bagel Shoppe on Chandler (see attached map). All four rides go off at 7:30.
We're just a few weeks away from the quarterly club meeting on Dec. 8th. If you're not a PMBC member, stick a crowbar in that checkbook and pry a whopping $15 out ($20 for an entire family, even if you're the Brady Bunch). You can't beat it. You'll get breakfast on the club, savings on the event ride entries, AND a monthly newsletter. All that for an entire year! That is absolutely better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Membership Form
I'm looking forward to seeing some of the regulars (or irregulars as the case may be) next week. Several of you have earned the yellow leaders cap. The polkadot climbers and green sprinters caps have yet to be awarded for the first time. They have been earned by several of you over the past weeks, so get there early to see who gets the honors for the day.
No doubt, it is you that makes the Spin Cycle. Have a great week.
Added November 17, 2001
written by John Arle
The Spin Cycle Report Late Late Edition.
Will the trials and tribulations of life ever end? Yes, but I'll take the trials and tribulations over that option! Yet another time annihilating week has come to a close and I'm just now getting to last week's Spin Cycle Report.
Nineteen riders took it to town last weekend to meet up with BOTH riders from the west valley. We need a little membership work out where the sun sets, me thinks! After waiting for tardy Glenn to fix his flat, the troop began its sojourn into the preverbal gut of Phoenix. Trackstand Dave kept his rubber to the road, this time, on his left turn onto Guadalupe from Kyrene. That's always a good omen. Following the leader tradition, Sue had to make an unscheduled stop to buy water since hers was of little use to her sitting on the kitchen table where she had left it.
The group merged nicely with the running of the Phoenix 10K. Judy's "moves" on a traffic cop probably helped keep the group out of trouble even though she almost ran a barrier while she was checking out those Phoenix PD uniforms ... well ... at least the half the uniform.
Following breakfast at the FirstWatch, the group looped back home on Oak. The freeway overpass didn't shrink away from its urban reputation providing an adequate volume of glass to even remind Paul of his NY City roots. I hope Owen felt equally at home. Isn't asphalt the New York state gem? Sorry, I digress.
This week's ride (tomorrow, Sunday the 18th), threads to the north and east to Scottsdale. The map is a hand drawn classic collector's item so you'll have to show up for your copy. We head out at 7:30 AM. Get there early for the awarding of the caps. The yellow leaders cap will definitely be awarded. The green and polka dot may be awarded, as well, if any of the potential winners are in attendance.
Have a great rest of the weekend. Those of you not in Tucson, I hope to see with us tomorrow because it is ALL of you that make the Spin Cycle.
Added November 4, 2001
written by John Arle
Through Mesa to the Raven? Why Not?
The MS150 and the Fountain Hills rides must have had great turnouts leaving eleven riders opting for The Spin Cycle this morning. We may have been small, but we were social. After threading a route along Bullmoose, Carriage, and Extension, the band of pedalers finally made their way to Rio Salado Parkway where Randy, Vito, and Tim broke away behind Jim. The crew hammered out at 26-28 mph in a rather spirited westbound run down the parkway. Meanwhile, the regular cycle spun along at 18-19 mph talking over everything from the unseasonably warm weather to Hillary Clinton's politics. Needless to say, if our world leaders would hold bike conferences, many problems would be quickly and efficiently solved! Vito was awarded the yellow cap for his work leading The Spin Cycle and sending field reports over the past month when I've been out of town. Congratulations and thanks for the all the help, Vito.
The Raven was its usual wonderful host to the eight of us that dined on french toast, pancakes, english muffins, and of course, breakfast burritos. We welcome Marie and Mike on their tandem to the group and hope you become regular Spin Cyclists. Val was particularly sharp with her editorial ideas for a new club journal, The Cottontail Porch (I hope I got that right), a down and dirty publication about the unspoken side of cycling. Keep working it Val, somebody needs to finally expose the darker side of our sport. Everything from restroom reviews to laundering tips. There just might be a market here.
Next week The Spin Cycle cuts its way into the viscera of Phoenix. This city ride promises to be unique, to say the least. The breakfast stop will be at The First Watch restaurant on Thomas Rd., where we'll meet our brethren from the West Valley. I'll be in NY city consoling those poor Yankee fans (I hope), so Sue Fassett steps to the plate to lead the group. A longer training option either Saturday or Sunday is being discussed, departing from the east valley riding out to Tortilla Flat. Which day, exact starting time, and location will be sent out in a SCR late edition along with the route map for next weekend. With Monday being Veteran's Day, I might suggest that as a possibility, as well.
One final note. I received an email expressing some concern about common courtesy. Last week, a strong rider, new to the group, pedaled alongside one of our lead group riders and simply asked what we were doing the next week. He was having fun with the pace and was simply expressing an interest in the group for the next ride. The answer was a clipped, "we're riding." The Spin Cycle is a recreational ride for intermediate to strong riders. This is a Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club event, so all of us, at times, must be ambassadors of our sport. Please be courteous to each other and particularly to new people joining the group. We enjoy the company of other riders, that's why we do these weekend club rides. Treat everyone in a fashion that is supportive, welcoming, and conveys a positive club image.
Enjoy tonight's ball game. Go Diamondbacks! Remember, it is you that makes the Spin Cycle. Have a great week.
Added November 1, 2001
written by John Arle
20 Against, 32 With: Gone With the Schwinn!
With only sketchy field reports, the Germannalupe Loop apparently ended with a flare. After a casual, and deceiving warmup, the "big dogs" took off against a breeze from the east pacing at 20 mph. I'm absent any report from the lanterne rouge, but I'm certain better discretion was exercised by this division of the SC. After the two left turns, onto Higley and onto Guadalupe, the crew had the wind to their backs and away went the greyhounds. Ron, Gary, Mike, and a racing Glen, were clocked by Mesa PD at speeds over 30 mph. Remember gang, we don't have a bail fund for excessive speed! Sounds like the lead group had a pretty spirited run. Again, with no report from the conversationals, I'll have to assume a good time was had by all.
This week, I'm exercising my leader prerogative and using a hand drawn route map from earlier this summer. We'll take a VERY round about way to the Raven Restaurant and enjoy some wide open roads along the way. We'll warm up threading through the Bullmoose/Carriage neighborhood pass to Guadalupe then north on Extention. The Heavy Duty Cyclers thread through to Horne before returning back to the west on Brown and Rio Salado Parkway. Everyone continues west eventually making our way to Baseline via 48th Street. Some nice neighborhoods, good open road along Rio Salado Parkway, and some great coffee and breakfast burritos at the end. Its almost as good as a 2-1 lead in the World Series. ... And yes, I am riding in my own ride this weekend; what a concept!
Join me this Saturday as I pinch hit for Sue (that's baseball lingo and has nothing to do with fingers and anything else) at Saturday Cycling. I have the maps right over there on my coffee table and I'm certain the route is really good and we'll have a lot of fun and eat at somewhere nummy! (How's that for lazy @ 10:35 PM).
Just another reminder of our PMBC November special with Roy Kopel on Sun Nov 4, 8:30 AM at the Fountain Hills Safeway, Fountain Hills Blvd & Palisades Blvd. You'll will ride to Carefree and back, with lunch at the Bakery Café. Approximate distance is 75 miles with about 3500 feet of total climb. Nice tuneup for El Tour!
Have a great rest of your week, and remember, its you that makes the Spin Cycle.
Added November 1, 2001
written by Tom Adams
Tim, Rick and me did the 64 mile route of the Frances Chubinski Memorial Heart of Arizona ride. It is a joint ride sponsored by ABC, GABA and Bullshifters to raise money for children's bike helmets.
Start/Finish at Congress, AZ, about 17 miles N of Wickenburg. Route choices are a very hilly 107 mile ride, a so called "flat" 64 mile ride, and a 27 mile ride.
The ride officially started at 8am, but there was a long line for the porta potty, so we didn't roll until 8:20. The 64 mile ride went from Congress S and downhill 16 mi to Wickenburg, then W 24 mi on US 60 towards Aguila (about 10 miles of uphill), and at the junction of SR 71 we turned for 25 miles uphill back to Congress. There were 4 well-stocked and well-placed rest stops along the route, and grilled hot dogs with all the fixin's and plenty of snacks at the finish line. We finished right at 1pm, with a ride speed average right at 16mph, pretty good considering the 35mi of uphill.
The weather was mild, the air was clean and clear, the desert scenery was outstanding, the road surfaces were good, there wasn't much traffic, and the sag support was outstanding. I'll be back next year for this ride, it is much better than the Nuke. Not only that, instead of yet another T-shirt, they give away Heart of AZ socks! What a great idea! A highly recommended ride.
December 30 Spin Cycle Report
Added December 30, 2001
written by John Arle
Phantom Dogs and Flats?
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - Fifteen Spin Cyclists took to the southeast for a ride that offered an inordinate amount of fuel for this journalist's fire. First, we welcome back Owen and Chad who managed to rouse themselves from their cozy little beddy beds this morning to join us. Glen, Paul, and Ron, however, stayed in warm snugglyland rather than getting their exercise with us. Far be it from me to point this out in a public forum. There were other unaccounted for, as well. You know who you are and you know we're score. Perhaps they had heard Connie's vicious dog warnings.
The group warmed up nicely and even stayed together for quite a while out Germann. Marty made the first move on a failed renal breakaway. (Check the link from "renal" if you're not certain what it is!) This was clearly a failed renal breakaway in that the entire group poured past Marty as he was attempting to secure privacy on a wide open road through uncultivated farmland. Nice try! Perhaps Marty wanted the pack to ride ahead and tire the vicious dog that Connie had warned us about.
Our PMBC group was joined briefly by Peter and Wayne from the Red Mountain group. Wayne jumped to the front of the line and pumped the pace up to 24 or more. Its difficult to gauge when you're falling off the back like I was. Peter and Wayne had heard Connie's caution about the vicious dog on the road ahead, so they broke to the north on Higley.
The leaders had already formed a breakaway group. The Wrath of Chad exerted itself as Mr. Martin edged his front wheel onto Higley just ahead of Rocket Rob. Nice going, big guy, you got the green cap!
Sue, concerned about Connie's vicious dog warning, shortcut to the south on Lindsey. Planning ahead, she flatted prior to closing in on the vicious dog zone.
Frank and John formed the Lanterne Rouge, following a private renal break (hang with the masters, Marty), but rejoined the peleton on Lindsey. This was a concerted effort to use the schooling fish hypothesis with Connie's words hanging pregnant in the air of the vicious dog looming on the roadway ahead. (The previous sentence is a metaphor entirely intended to paint a visual picture. It is, in no way, suggestive of any physiological condition of any participant on this ride. This is not to say that I am privilege to this type of information about Spin Cyclers, but if I were, I wouldn't say so, but not because I couldn't, or because I knew anything about it, because I don't. In fact, I wasn't even in town that weekend!)
Back to the story. With all fifteen riders jockeying for position so as to not be boxed with the eminent dog assault, I reminded a few newer riders that the trick is not to outrun the dog; its to out pedal just one rider! Cyclodarwinism.
The group passed the first farmhouses without incident. This left just one remaining group of houses. As we pedaled by, there was an excited labrador mix that danced in the yard and one donkey that generally fit Connie's color description of the dog. Ok, both had four legs and big ears and I'm certain that donkey did, in fact, make a serious run at Connie and Mary last friday. (Yeah, sure it did.)
Progressing far too quickly through the route, Rob pointed out a major pothole using his front wheel and pulled Gary's back wheel in, as well. Both flatted, but Gary won the tire changing competition. Rob complained bitterly that his tire didn't flat right away and Gary had a head start. Bob politely pointed out that HIS was a front tire. How tactful.
Eastbound on Hunt Highway, Rob pointed out Chad's back tire was flat and the group, once again, ground to a halt. Upon examination, however, Chad pointed out that 120 lb. in a tire doesn't fit the definition of "flat." He also pointed out some weight physics related to posterior anatomy size resulting in the underside of his back tire is ALWAYS flat.
Everyone decided to beeline for the Bruegger's. Phil did a great job hanging with the group. You see, my friend, practice makes perfect. You are not doomed to a weekly "dropping." Tom got a little time off work and was in the pack, as well.
I had my mile of fame streaking north on Price, but Carter, Randy, and Roger were right there to slam me back to rear of the line. No problem, I know my place.
Bruegger's was wonderful to us, as always. Talk was spirited planning future rides to some tranquil pond settings complete with floating quacking ducks and paddling beavers. That's right, beavers! This offers far too much potential to be ignored, so, Tour de Beaver is a definite possibility this spring.
Remember, next Sunday, January 6th, is the Casa Grande Century. The Spin Cycle defers to the club ride for the day. We'll be back on January 13th for our winter climb to the towers (or San Juan point, if you prefer).
Today was particularly fun. We had some great laughs along the way and at breakfast. Thanks for making Desert Breeze Park the place to be on Sunday mornings. It is you that makes the Spin Cycle. Have a great week and a happy, and safe, new year.
December 23 Spin Cycle Report
Added December 23, 2001
written by John Arle
The Ride Before Christmas
'Twas the ride before Christmas, and out on the road
The Spin Cycle went with the twelve that had showed.
The arm warmers worn with the greatest of care,
In hopes that the sun would soon warm the air.
Glen, Owen, and Chad stayed snug in their beds,
The rest of us cursed them, not just in our heads.
With Sue in her elf suit, and Bill in my cap,
We just pedaled away without a mishap.
When out on the street a turning pickup did sit,
Just leave it to Paul to call him a ... (son of a gun).
But into the corner a jeep did a appear,
He cut us off as the group drew ever so near.
The rising sun it did shine on our spandex so bright
Paul's words cut through the air like an arrow in flight.
We rounded that corner like a big flock of birds,
Just missing that truck and jeep driven by turds.
We sped on ahead so steady and quick,
Leaving behind a dummy and a ... (bigger dummy).
More rapid than racers our cycles did that,
Then Sue cried out, "oh poop, I've a flat."
As we patiently waited a doggie came by.
Leashed to her owner that waived and said "hi."
Its this kind of pooch we all like in our sight,
Not barking and chasing a rider to bite.
"Now, Ron! now, Garry! now, Kathleen and Rick!
On, Treks or Lemonds, (no Raleighs, they're sick!)
Carriage Park we went, led by this gnome,
But I had to leave for Christmas at home.
But the group carried on, showing no fear,
Spinning through Lehi with Neighbor's drawing near.
They finished the ride with Gary sprinting out of sight.
I wish you all "Happy Holidays" and to all a Good-Night.
ps. My thanks to Paul for riding back with our visitor, and to Bill for, once again, earning the yellow leader's cap. Gary, you're the overpass stud, once again. And, of course, it is all of you that make the Spin Cycle. Have a joyous week.
December 16 Spin Cycle Report
Added December 16, 2001
written by John Arle
Three Records Set on Today's Ride!
This morning's Spin Cycle was yet another banner day for this fledgling PMBC weekly ride. The most fundamental record was the temperature. This was the coldest morning of the winter, thus far. With various temperature reports and ice sightings, we had to be right around the freezing mark at the start of the ride. Let me add to this feat, Roger rode the 90 minutes from his Mesa residence so he was REALLY hunkered down against the cold.
With the cold in mind, the next record is perhaps even more phenomenal. Of the four weekend group rides (Kokopedalis, Sun Lakes, Saturday Cycling, and the Spin Cycle), this morning's 20 riders was the largest turnout for this weekend. Yes, this was even larger than Saturday Cycling! Naner, naner, neener, neener. Ok, it may never happen again, BUT IT HAPPENED TODAY! I heard reports that my whining yesterday about attendance may have influenced a few folks to show up out of mercy. The bottom-line certainly is, 20 riders on a cold morning is incredible. You people are AWESOME, BABY!
Next record is courtesy of our Canadian guests. The Spin Cycle now turns international with Sandi and Chris joining us on their visit from Guelph, Ontario. They didn't bring their gloves with them, which, they admit, was a mistake because it felt like a pretty brisk morning to them, as well. Sandi didn't exactly have her cycling legs under her so Sue, Glenn T., and me stayed with them on an abbreviated route. Hey Sandi, asking "how much further" every 10 minutes doesn't make the destination any closer! :-) I really hope you enjoyed the ride and the company at The Good Egg.
The rest of the crew hammered east on Germann. Gary requested, and earns, the "Good Citizenship" cap by not jacking the speed up beyond 20 mph. He even managed to show restraint on the return route when the wind was to his back! Nice work, Gary, you're such a stud!
I'm certain Jim and Carter were hammering right along. Phil, I hope these guys treated you ok out there. You could have stayed back with the "Lanterne Rouge". I was a bit concerned when I didn't see you at breakfast. Consider yourself a regular with this group and, rest assured, you'll find your pace niche in no time.
Flats for the day were Gary and Connie. Connie seemed to really enjoy everybody standing around in front of the restaurant watching her change the thing. Her glare at me when I asked if she couldn't work a little faster seemed to indicate the answer was "no."
Breakfast seemed to be a HUGE hit. Chad and Dave must be pregnant with triplets because they ate for a small army. The tab might have been a tad bit on the pricy side, but Chad's description of "that was The Bomb," seemed to indicate that the quality justified the cost. Not to mention, we had a great table on the back patio under the warmers that was just perfect. Sue, you should have hung in there with us, it was great.
Other noteworthy conversations revolved around Hooters Restaurants being nearly everywhere. Interest in this topic seemed divided along gender lines. Personally I like their food and the service is always "outstanding." We also added a new event catagory, "The Wrath of Chad." I'm not certain if this rivals Khan, but he's big enough that I don't want to find out.
Also, my thanks to Randy for riding back in the early part of the ride.
Next weekend, Roy Kopel hosts the monthly "long ride" to Bartlett Lake. Sunday, December 23rd, at Fountain Hills Safeway, Palasade & Ftn. Hills Blvd, 8:30 AM. Total distance 100 mi., 6500 ft climbing, water along the way and a small store at the lake but no support.
Of course, Saturday Cycling rolls out of Kiwanas Park on Saturday (duh!), and the Spin Cycle heads to the northeast on Tour de Lehi (route map attached in Word.doc format). We're stopping at Neighbor's for breakfast, so you gotta be there for this one! With a little luck, we can set a new low temperature and start in the twenties!
Each weekend is a new treat for me. Sandi and Chris made today a lot of fun. Each of you that make up the rest of the pack bring a unique personality and quality to this club. Indeed, it is you that makes the Spin Cycle. Have a great week and see you next weekend.
The Art of Safe Riding
Added December 9, 2001
written by John Arle
Several club members have expressed concerns to me regarding safety on our group rides, well, actually the occasional lack thereof. Since these issues have been brought to my attention on more than one occasion, I felt they deserved some attention.
Pacelines are the issue. First, how much of the roadway we should take? With a bike lane, we should be able to ride in double formation and still remain within the lane. If the the far right of the lane has debris, and riding double results in the left line outside the bike lane, then the group should have the collective wisdom to single out. Moving the line to the left of the bike lane is a mistake that will promote disfavor from our four wheeled friends with whom we share the road. There is enough unreasonable, unknowing, and unaware behaviors exhibited toward cyclists. Our riding habits should make every effort to minimize aggravation, not stimulate it. How should we ride when there is no bike lane? Common sense should dictate singling out. Some of our routes (Dobson north of Queen Creek for example) are relatively narrow. Many of these roads are not heavily driven by cars, but none-the-less, riding double consumes the entire lane. When sharing a single lane, this simply isn't wise; we should, once again, single out.
I am certain I am guilty of these violations myself. Our social nature compels us to ride side-by-side so we can talk and enjoy each other's company. This, however, will be of little consolation if, or when, an accident occurs. We have all seen close calls. This is one of the reasons I now limit the number of "race" zones on the Spin Cycle rides. The competition was compromising safety.
A secondary issue is the consistency of our pacelines. Both the Spin Cycle and Saturday Cycling break into speed groups. These pacelines need to work together to establish a consistent speed. Frequently, the lines fluctuate as much as three or four miles per hour. Often, a strong rider evolves to the front and bumps the pace up five mph only to be followed by a weaker rider that drops the pace right back down. This is brutal at the back of the line, creating "yo-yo-ing" that causes wheels to overlap and riders to go down. The answer is simple, find a good pace, for everyone in the paceline, and hold it. Don't pick up the speed when its your turn at the pull unless "the team" can do it. If you have been in the line working at your maximum and you tire, just break off the back and wait for the trailing group to catch you. Nine times out of ten, someone else is tiring too and will break off with you.
A spinoff of the pace problem is what commonly happens at stoplights. Try to keep in formation. Slower riders shouldn't slide up past faster riders. This just causes them to have pass as soon as the light changes. Again, this is courtesy that is easily accomplished if we just pay attention.
Lastly, point out those road hazards. We've had several accidents as of late, that were directly caused by hazards that were not pointed out. This is the initial responsibility of the lead rider. Then, each following rider must pass the signal back. The lead rider must give the hazard a generous berth and start to move away from it early and gradually. Obviously, the leaders eyes must be down the road. The safety of everyone behind you depends upon it.
We all know these cycling truths to be self evident. And yet, on any given weekend, we can find examples of them being broken. What do we do? What should we do? Do we sound like jerks if we say anything? An accident will retrospectively answer all of these question for us. We surely want to avoid that. Each of us need to take the initiative to keep the group, and the individuals within it, as safe as possible. Speak up. Say what needs to be said, but do it in a courteous and caring way. We'll all be safer for it.
December 9 Spin Cycle Report
Added December 9, 2001
written by John Arle
25 Riders Mummified!
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - Twenty-five riders braved some pretty crisp temperatures this morning as we headed north for the circa-de-Mummy Mountain. This doesn't exactly count for one of the Perimeter cycling events, but it could! My thanks and gratitude to Bill Jacobson for taking the tour guide responsibilities around Mummy. I couldn't have done it, and your knowledge was indispensible. Bill was in the yellow leader's cap today. (By the way, Bill, if you could give that baby a quick wash and bring it with you next week I'd really appreciate it!)
I want to welcome Phil, a first-timer, with the group. Phil, rest assured, this was one of our longest and more stenuous routes. I hope you had a good time and come back out next week when we do Tour de Mesa. Its flat, not as long, and not as complicated a route.
After the Spin Cycle's traditional threading through the neighborhood warmup and groping through some east Phoenix streets searching for the correct route to the mountain, we finally reached our destination. Of course, there were the obligatory "pit stops" for those that had over caffeinated. Once the group started the mountain circuit, they quickly split into climbing ability groups with the heavy-duty cyclers flying up the short rollers that define Mummy Mountain. Owen and a few others were the first pack fatalities as they dropped off the pace. Not a problem except Owen didn't know to take the right turn on Mohave and turned, instead, on Mummy Mtn. Rd (Way to go Magellan!). A logical, yet incorrect move that resulted in a rather extended journey up to an ultimate dead end. A few extra miles never hurt anybody (but don't tell that to Phil, Marie, or Mike). The rest of us patiently made our way along the route, led by Bill's expertise. Ultimately, everybody made it all the way around to the church regroup point.
Away we went for Pete's 19th Tee for breakfast. This part of the ride did have some gradual uphill that bogged that tandem down something terrible. Unfortunately, I had no idea they were left in the dust. Bill doubled back on a search and rescue mission that came up successful. I am sorry, we didn't mean to drop you, so your noble effort on the tandem around Mummy and the ride back past Camelback earns you two the Spin Cycle polka-dot cap your next time out.
Fifteen of us finally enjoyed breakfast at Pete's. I have to be blamed for taking Dave, Marie, and Mike the long way to get there, but it just made the chow that much tastier. We had a slight delay leaving as Ron was buying some Pete's homemade salsa. He said he had the bottle in his pack but I saw him walk out of the restaurant with only his water bottle that he gingerly slid back in the cage. My advice is, nobody borrow a water bottle from Ron unless you are REALLY desperate!
Next week's Tour de Mesa should be a nice Sunday spin. That map is another one of my hand drawn collector item classics so I can't attach it unless I get it scanned sometime this week. I'm going to try to get The Good Egg to reserve some of the outside tables for us. Failing that, and if there's a big line, there's always the Coffee Plantation and they have some tasty treats too.
As always, today's ride was a lot of fun for me. My weekly closing statement becomes more and more sincere each week. It is you that makes the Spin Cycle. Have a great week everybody and see you next weekend.
December 2 Spin Cycle Report
Added December 2, 2001
written by John Arle
Sniper Dogs and Lassos?
Desert Breeze Park, Chandler, AZ - Twenty-three riders departed from the Park this fine morning as the Spin Cycle enters its sixth month. By the time we reached our second regroup, we had recruited a rider dropped by the racer group. We welcome Raynette into the Spin Cycle and hope she joins us regularly for our GABA weekend rides. Dave (welcome-wagon) Grant did a fine job transitioning Raynette from the sonic speeds of the racers to our more humane tempo.
The three regroups along the route kept everybody within artillery range of each other. The heavy-duty cyclists aired it out with some 25 mph (still were passed by the racers) with the regular cycle moving along at a much more leisurely 18-19 mph, or so. While waiting at the Texaco Mini-mart regroup, a cowboy opted to exercise his cuttin' pony along 51st Ave and took off, lasso swinging in the air, after a line of cyclists. I hope that Domenic's rider ultimately got his arm and both legs untied once the wrangler stood and raised both arms. (10.84 seconds was good, but didn't break the cyclo-roping recording.)
The lead group was further treated to a sniper dog hiding in the ditch along Estrella Rd. Riding along comfortably, suddenly the shepard mix emerged from nowhere to make a run at Glen's leg (it passed on Ron, not enough meat). With his demon red eyes gleaming, he closed in on his mid-morning lunch. Suddenly, a primal roar ripped through the air, turning the predator's resolve to retreat. It was Glen screaming. Ain't adrenalin fun! Roger later described the mutt as over weight and under motivated. That was clearly the case since it didn't even make a run at those of us trailing. He was probably back in the ditch wondering why he made a move for something in spandex in the first place.
After a quick regroup and kidney dialysis at Circle K, the group was off for Bagel Nosh. A dozen of us munched and told stories. The executive decision for Bagel Nosh over The Farm was an overwhelming favorite.
Next weekend is a big one. Saturday, December 8th is the club meeting and breakfast. Sue Fassett leads the ride out of Kiwanas Park at 8:00 AM. That is the perfect time to join Phoenix Metro Bike Club. Its the best $15 you can spend. Get breakfast on the club (w/ three more over the next year), and save entry fees on the many upcoming event rides. The Casa Grande Century is January 6th. Between breakfast and savings on that ride alone will get your dues back. Join the club, you know you want to!
Sunday, December 9th, the Spin Cycle moves to the north with a spin around scenic Mummy Mountain. This is a bit hilly, but always proves to be a fun ride. I'm hoping Bill Jacobson will ride point on this one. I've got a map, but who wants to follow someone checking a map every hundred yards? Bill, this earns you the yellow leaders cap! We'll give Pete's 19th Tee a try for breakfast even though the Saturday group had some technical difficulties with them just yesterday.
Hey, Rob ... Dave ... how 'bout running those caps through a quick wash and bringing them along next weekend for the next recipient. I promise to not turn you in for cap larceny.
Have a great week everybody. Always remember, and never forget, it is YOU that makes the Spin Cycle.