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The Hub Archive - 2017



December 31 Saturday Cycling Report

Beating the Odds Again

Added January 4, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

We beat the odds again for the 3rd week in a row. This time 42 cyclists weaved their way between the rain clouds for a very pleasant, cool morning ride. We even got smacked with sunshine a couple of times, and were accompanied by a pace line of shadows as we rode westbound. Then when Richard led a pack up Hardy that caught perfectly timed green lights at THREE of the major intersections, I thought we really had something magical going. My flat rear tire soon brought me back to earth. All the nice people who waited for me to fix it learned that when you flat on an all-weather bike with tensioned belt drive and internal hub gearbox, it takes a lot longer to remove and replace the rear wheel.

Coming up...

Saturday, 01/07/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 7:33

Saturday, 01/14/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Research to Oak
The Research to Oak route takes us on a clockwise loop around town, with 31 miles and no hills, or 38 miles with some moderate climbing. Breakfast is at Panera Bread. Sunrise: 7:33

Saturday, 01/21/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. ...or Give me Hills
We will approach the Ahwatukee Foothills from the east on Chandler Blvd., then cut south to Pecos before hitting the hills. The 30-mile standard route loops back on Liberty Lane. The extended route adds a couple more hills before returning east on Chandler. Both routes head back to Tempe through Equestrian Trails. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:30

Tid Bits...

Happy New Year everyone!

Among the many other new year resolutions (like the one specifically about memory that I can't seem to recall now) we've cooked up a very tangible plan to improve Saturday Cycling in 2017. Beginning January 14th, our long-time friend Kathy Mills has volunteered to co-lead each week, with her focus being on beginners and newcomers. With Kathy riding sweep, we can now say that the standard route will be a no-drop ride on Saturdays. This should make us much more welcoming to beginners and prevent us from losing new people by dropping them as soon as we exit the park. She also brings training skills as a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor (LCI), that she will not be shy about using with beginners who join the fun. The board will be discussing the possibility of having Kathy teach some of the League's Smart Cycling curriculum to club members this year. It's the first step to becoming an LCI yourself.

One more fun fact to know about Kathy…she was PMBC's first woman president many years ago; Janet is now the second. Please help me to welcome Kathy back to Saturday mornings as we look forward to her new leadership role. And spread the word that Saturday Cycling is now truly the big weekly ride for EVERYONE.

Like any recurring volunteer, she will occasionally need a substitute. Please let us know if you would be willing to sweep the short route a couple of times a year. You do not need to be an LCI to qualify as a sub.

Looks like we will have GREAT weather this Sunday for the Casa Grande Century with a high of 73. Over 200 have already pre-registered. You won't want to miss out!! Please do register on-line by Thursday if you're going; it makes the Sunday sign-in process easier for everyone.

Volunteers Needed!!

CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER! On the Casa Grande Century

Events

  • Casa Grande Century – January 8

Have fun and ride safely.


December 23 Saturday Cycling Report

Through the Desert on the Morning of Christmas Eve Eve

Added December 28, 2017

written by Ken St. John

This year, Santa was pulled to the park by a reindeer to meet up with the 23 cyclists who rode over the freeway and through the desert on the morning of Christmas Eve Eve. I assume the rest of you were either vacationing or doing your last-minute shopping. I wonder if the number will be similar this week for another flat route to the east on the morning of New Year's Eve Eve.

Coming up...

Saturday, 12/30/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both towns with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:32

Saturday, 01/06/18 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 7:33

Saturday, 01/13/18 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 7:33, and heading downward.

Tid Bits...

PMBC members are entitled to member rates on GABA Tucson rides. Here are their first three supported events of the year; it looks like registration is live on all three:

February 18 (Sun) Mission Road Ramble
Starting and Finishing at Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson with 2 options: 70 mile Loop/Out & Back and 37 mile Out & Back. The route travels through the San Xavier Indian reservation to Green Valley and Sahaurita, up Helmet Peak and back to Casino Del Sol Resort.

March 17-18 (Sat-Sun) Sonoita-Bisbee Overnight Ride
With the Spring sun beckoning you to Bisbee and the wind at your back, travel East on Hwy 82, feast your eyes on the rolling grassland country with the lofty Hauchuca Mountains at the horizon. Join GABA Tucson for a weekend of camaraderie, fitness, and fun in Bisbee. Pedal along rolling hills and enjoy scenic vistas as you make your way to the quaint old mining town of Bisbee, now an art's colony, nestled in Southeast Arizona's Mule Mountain.

April 21-22 (Sat-Sun) Cave Creek Overnight Ride
Join GABA Tucson on their Cave Creek Overnight Ride. Nestled in the Chiricahua Mountains of Southeastern Arizona, is Cave Creek Canyon, a hidden gem, with spectacular cliffs, flowing streams and abundant wildlife. Many visitors have referred to Cave Creek as, "Arizona's Yosemite."

Events

  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14
    • 2018 Casa Grande Century
    • Casa Grande Century Needs Volunteers
  • GABA Tucson Mission Road Ramble – Sunday, February 18
  • GABA Tucson Sonoita-Bisbee Overnight Ride – Sat-Sun, March 17-18
  • GABA Tucson Cave Creek Overnight Ride – Sat-Sun, April 21-22

Have fun and ride safely.


December 16 Saturday Cycling Report

South Mountain on a Beautiful Day

Added December 24, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Forty-six cyclists made the trip to South Mountain on a beautiful day for climbing. It was apparently a great day for driving too, judging by the volume of traffic on Baseline Road. I blame the holiday shopping season. This Saturday we'll be going right by the Chandler Mall on the last real shopping day; we'll need to roll through that holiday jam with caution.

Even though I missed out, I'm told that there were better than fifty merry makers who joined Santa last night on the Holiday Lights and Cookies ride. With their festive lights, they must have looked like the parade version of a flash mob. Motorists were moved to give friendly encouragement, and they even caught the attention of at least one news helicopter. I also hear that Mrs. Claus' legendary cookies were a sell-out hit.

Coming up...

Saturday, 12/23/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Length of Lindsay
The Length of Lindsay takes us to the east, with route options of 29 miles or 39 miles, no climbing. Breakfast at Panera Bread on the SE corner of Guadalupe and McClintock. Sunrise: 7:30

Saturday, 12/30/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:32

Saturday, 01/06/18 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 7:30

Tid Bits...

You've probably heard tales or seen jerseys from the Wildflower Century, a big event put on by a club like ours in San Louis Obispo CA. This year it will be on Saturday April 7th, but the first important date is Wednesday, January 3, when registration will open at high noon (PST). As I recall, they cap the number of participants, and it tends to sell out. The early-bird price of $75 goes up on January 27.

Speaking of early bird pricing, the Casa Grande Century fees go up by $10 on 1/1/18.

Events

  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14
    • 2018 Casa Grande Century
    • Casa Grande Century Needs Volunteers

Have fun and ride safely.


December 9 Saturday Cycling Report

Plenty of Food and Fun for All

Added December 15, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Forty-three cyclists rode from Kiwanis Park to the PMBC quarterly membership meeting. Once again there was no penalty for being a slow rider on the long route; there was plenty of warm food for all. Later that evening, a similar number of people enjoyed Italian food and fun at the annual holiday party. It's always interesting to see your bike friends dressed up in real clothes. This year I learned how Denise really feels about Ken (the other Ken) when they included us in his birthday celebration. It was an all-around happy time.

A much larger number of cyclists participated in the Free Ride out in east Mesa the weekend before. Other than some on-again, off-again winds we had perfect cycling weather again. I liked the new start/finish location. It meant I got food much sooner after conquering Usery Pass, and the parking situation was improved.

See below for details on the Christmas Cookies and Lights ride, and remember to RSVP if you're coming.

Coming up...

Saturday, 12/16/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
It was suggested that we should do this route more often in the cool months, since we don't use it at all in the summer. This will be our second time climbing the mountain in the final quarter of this year. Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 7:26

Wednesday, 12/20/16 7:00 p.m. NE corner Ray and McClintock, Christmas Cookies & Lights
Spread the Holiday cheer, it is time to see the holiday lights. The trip is about the journey and seeing the neighborhood the old-fashioned way--BY BICYCLE! We'll meet in the parking lot of the former Zipps Sports Bar on the NE corner of Ray and McClintock. The ride distance will be in the 15-20 mile range and all flat. Santa says he'll be setting a slow, sightseeing pace, so be sure to dress warmly. Elves will be serving hot chocolate and cookies somewhere along the route. 
RSVP to Neal Thomas, and please specify if you are bringing any children along. Afterwards, you may want to chase down Zipps at its new location, one-mile North at Warner, for a no-host after party.

Saturday, 12/23/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Length of Lindsay
The Length of Lindsay takes us to the east, with route options of 29 miles or 39 miles, no climbing. Breakfast at Panera Bread on the SE corner of Guadalupe and McClintock. Sunrise: 5:34

Saturday, 12/30/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:59

Tid Bits...

The quarterly membership meeting started without me this time, but I did get there in time to participate in the officer election process, and to be recognized as a member of the nominating committee. We had three out of four officers agree to serve another term, and elected Jim Schlueter as our new Vice President. Welcome Jim, and thank you Steve Miller for your years of service in that role. Thanks as well to Armando Charvet, who is leaving the board as our Immediate Past President.

Neal encourages us all to decorate our bikes with battery powered Christmas lights for the Holiday Lights ride on the 20th. If you do, I suggest you try to keep the rear red, and the front white (or at least not-red). And if you don't do decorative lighting, you will still need to have proper lighting front and rear since we will be riding with traffic in the dark. And you might want to dress warmly; the darkness brings coldness.

There is now an Eventbrite sign-up available for Casa Grande Century Volunteers. Even if you already told someone you would help, please register it in Eventbrite so we don't rely too much on the memory of our well-meaning ride leaders. Here's a link that will get you there: Casa Grande Century Needs Volunteers

Events

  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14
    • 2018 Casa Grande Century
    • Casa Grande Century Needs Volunteers

Have fun and ride safely.


November 25 Saturday Cycling Report

Streak of Perfect Weather for Cycling Continues

Added November 29, 2017

written by Ken St. John

We had forty-five cyclists last weekend as the streak of perfect weather for cycling continues. It was also a great day to enjoy a late breakfast on the patio at AZ Bread. Our club did its part to keep the tables fully occupied.

THERE IS NO RIDE FROM KIWANIS PARK THIS SATURDAY, DEC 2!!
We hope to see you at the Free Ride in East Mesa at 8:30 instead.

Coming up...

Saturday, 12/02/16 8:30 a.m., Red Mountain Park, Mesa. Geno's Free Ride
Due to construction, the start/finish location has been moved this year to Red Mountain Park on Brown Rd in Mesa, 1/4 mile east of Power. Three route options: 25 miles, 40 miles, and 60 miles with plenty of hill climbing for those opting to ride the longer routes. Food and drinks will be provided along the way and a catered hot lunch will be at the end of the ride. Best of all, this fully-supported ride is FREE to PMBC members! Please pre-register at Eventbrite: https://genosfreeride.eventbrite.com. 
This will replace Saturday Cycling; there will be no ride from Kiwanis Park on Dec 2. Sunrise: 7:16

Saturday, 12/09/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
We're returning to the Hungry Monk for our 
Quarterly Membership Meeting, and a small change to this route will get us there. Breakfast is free for members; two free breakfasts are included in a family membership. The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at The Hungry Monk on the north side of Chandler Blvd, just east of Dobson. Sunrise: 7:21

Saturday, 12/16/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
It was suggested that we should do this route more often in the cool months, since we don't use it at all in the summer. This will be our second time climbing the mountain in the final quarter of this year. Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 7:26

Tid Bits...

The last I heard, we still need more volunteers for the Free Ride this Saturday; probably to work a rest stop. Please contact Glen directly if you can help; or reply to me and I'll let him know. The Casa Grande team will be looking for volunteers a month later. Please be thinking about how you can apply your volunteer hours to help keep this club rolling.

I put a new spin on riding sweep yesterday. I stuffed the business end of a push broom into my commuter bag along with a dust pan, strapped the broom handle to the top tube and rode out to the corner of Chandler Blvd. and Market Place Way West. It is believed that now 3 skilled club members have hit the ground on that corner this year, while making what should have been a routine right turn. What I found there was a patch of very fine gravel that appears to have been created from road wear, which would explain why it was virtually invisible. I scooped up 5 or 6 steel dust pan loads that felt around 5 pounds each. That exposed some very rough pavement underneath made up of larger stones that are still embedded. I don't know what else to do other than be very wary when taking corners on old, deteriorating pavement.

The city of Phoenix is looking to gather input on a draft of the Five-Year Bicycle Program – Shifting Gears. There will be a public meeting from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 4, in downtown Phoenix at Civic Space Park. Use this link for all the details: attend an open house meeting.

It's time to sign up for the PMBC Holiday Party! Follow the link below for all the details, or here's a shortcut to Eventbrite: Online registration. I tested it myself and was able to buy tickets for two; it was quick and easy.

Events

  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • PMBC Holiday Party – Saturday December 9
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.


November 18 Saturday Cycling Report

A Lot of People Out Having Fun

Added November 26, 2017

written by Ken St. John

I expect we lost a few people to El Tour on Saturday, and a few others were drawn to Global Bike's century ride that same day. Yet we still had 42 cyclists sign in at Kiwanis Park. Altogether there must have been a lot of people out having fun that morning. I know it was fun for me!

Coming up...

Thursday 11/23/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Lehi
LCI Kathy Mills has agreed to lead our annual Thanksgiving morning ride out to the quiet streets of Lehi. Route options of 27 miles or 35 miles, with no climbing. Breakfast at Einstein Bagels, NW corner of McClintock and Guadalupe (yes, they are open on Thanksgiving Day). Sunrise: 7:08

Friday 11/24/17 8:00 a.m., Einstein Bagel, 2560 W. Chandler Blvd, Black Friday Ride
The annual "Just Say No To Shopping" ride will start and end at the Einstein Bagel on the north side of Chandler Blvd just East of the 101. Route options of 26 and 36 miles explore some roads in the far SE corner of Phoenix Metro. Sunrise: 7:08

Saturday, 11/25/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:09

Saturday, 12/02/16 8:30 a.m., Red Mountain Park, Mesa. Geno's Free Ride
Due to construction, the start/finish location has been moved this year to Red Mountain Park on Brown Rd in Mesa, 1/4 mile east of Power. Three route options: 25 miles, 40 miles, and 60 miles with plenty of hill climbing for those opting to ride the longer routes. Food and drinks will be provided along the way and a catered hot lunch will be at the end of the ride. Best of all, this fully-supported ride is FREE to PMBC members! Please pre-register at Eventbrite: 
https://genosfreeride.eventbrite.comThis will replace Saturday Cycling; there will be no ride from Kiwanis Park on Dec 2. Sunrise: 7:16

Saturday, 12/09/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
We're returning to the Hungry Monk for our 
Quarterly Membership Meeting, and a small change to this route will get us there. Breakfast is free for members; two free breakfasts are included in a family membership. The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at The Hungry Monk on the north side of Chandler Blvd, just east of Dobson. Sunrise: 7:21

Tid Bits...

All that red font above means there are a bunch of special activities going on in the next 3 weeks. I hope you can make it out to one of the holiday rides, and you won't want to miss our membership meeting where we'll elect our 2018 club officers. Most of all I wish you a very pleasant Thanksgiving Day. I feel fortunate and thankful to have all y'all to ride with.

Registration for Geno's Free Ride is live at: https://genosfreeride.eventbrite.com. It's quick and easy, and Glen needs an accurate head count to be sure there is a accurate amount of food.

The Holiday Party on Dec 9 will be up on Eventbrite soon, I'm sure.

Events

  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • PMBC Holiday Party – Saturday December 9
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.


November 11 Saturday Cycling Report

Push-Button Relief

Added November 19, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Forty-three was our number for last Saturday's ride. It was a relief to find that northbound 40th St. now has a push-button to activate the light to get across temporary Pecos road. One day, when all that construction is done, temporary Pecos should morph into a permanent recreational trail.

Kathy reports that it was a perfect day for cycling the previous Saturday, with very little wind and high clouds. I'm told they had a moment of noise for Rob Dollar this morning, as opposed to a moment of silence, before SatCycling rolled out. Sue related that "Robbie was a loud, brash, exuberant, full of life kinda guy... the idea of us being quiet in his memory seemed silly. So we yelled his name, three times, the pack giving voice to the outrage and wrongness of what happened to him... calling out to him where ever he is, inviting him to ride with us."

Coming up...

Saturday, 11/18/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. MidSummer Ride
This route was designed to seek out maximum shade on summer mornings when the sun is farthest north and most brutal. In the winter, it's just another route, much like the others. It includes options of 28 miles with one short climb, or 38 miles with a couple of bonus climbs. Breakfast at Panera Bread at Guadalupe Rd and McClintock Dr.Sunrise: 7:03

Thursday 11/23/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Lehi
LCI Kathy Mills has agreed to lead our annual Thanksgiving Morning ride out to the quiet streets of Lehi. Route options of 27 miles or 35 miles, with no climbing. Breakfast at Einstein Bagels, NW corner of McClintock and Guadalupe (yes, they are open on Thanksgiving Day). Sunrise: 7:08

Friday 11/24/17 8:00 a.m., Einstein Bagel, 2560 W. Chandler Blvd.. Black Friday Ride
The annual "Just Say No To Shopping" ride will start and end at the Einstein Bagel on the north side of Chandler Blvd just East of the 101. Route options of 26 and 36 miles explore some roads in the far SE corner of Phoenix Metro. Sunrise: 7:08

Saturday, 11/25/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:09

Saturday, 12/02/16 8:30 a.m., Red Mountain Park, Mesa. Geno's Free Ride
Due to construction, the start/finish location has been moved this year to Red Mountain Park on Brown Rd in Mesa, 1/4 mile east of Power. Three route options: 25 miles, 40 miles, and 60 miles with plenty of hill climbing for those opting to ride the longer routes. Food and drinks will be provided along the way and a catered hot lunch will be at the end of the ride. Best of all, this fully-supported ride is FREE to PMBC members! There will be an EventBrite registrations page set up soon. 
This will replace Saturday Cycling; there will be no ride from Kiwanis Park on Dec 2. Sunrise: 7:16

Tid Bits...

Some group has organized a nationwide fund raiser for Make-A-Wish in the form of a winter 5k/15k running race with a hot coco theme. Scottsdale will be hosting the local version on Sunday December 3rd; Danielle, the volunteer coordinator from RamRacing, has reached out to PMBC in hope of recruiting Bike Marshals. She tells us: "All bike marshals receive a $50 donation, a volunteer Hoodie, and a taste of our chocolate treats for their volunteerism on race morning!" Use the following link to sign up: HC Scottsdale Bike Marshal Registration.

If you're going to be in Tucson next week, I hope you enjoy El Tour.

The Tempe Bicycle Action Group is having their annual membership meeting at Boulders On Broadway, Sunday November 19, 5pm. They would like you to respond to their Facebook eventif you plan to attend. Yes, there will be beer.

Events

  • El Tour de Tucson – Saturday, November 18
  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • PMBC Holiday Party – Saturday December 9
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.


October 28 Saturday Cycling Report

Cyclists Rolling Up and Down the Foothills

Added November 3, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Forty-five cyclists joined us as we all joined with countless other cyclists rolling up and down the foothills south of South Mountain on a beautiful autumn day. Then later many of us kept the fun times rolling at the annual PMBC Chili Cook-Off. It was very well attended and very much enjoyed, thanks largely to our gracious hosts, the Charvet family. I think all the chili entries were worthy of prizes, it was tough to narrow it down to 3 winners.

It's November! I suppose we'll need to dig out our jackets and dust off the long-fingered gloves soon. Our start time this coming Saturday moves to 8:00am. Kathy Mills will be back this week and covering the ride-leader role while Janet and I take a hike. Literally. Thanks Kathy!

Coming up...

Saturday, 11/04/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Mesa Rewound
Distance options of 32 miles with no climbing, or 44 miles with a gentle climb. Breakfast at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:50

Saturday, 11/11/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 6:56

Saturday, 11/18/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. MidSummer Ride
This route was designed to seek out maximum shade on summer mornings when the sun is farthest north and most brutal. In the winter, it's just another route, much like the others. It includes options of 28 miles with one short climb, or 38 miles with a couple of bonus climbs. Breakfast at Panera Bread at Guadalupe Rd and McClintock Dr. Sunrise: 7:03

Tid Bits...

Thank you Dave Lehnen for providing this notification:

Roy Kopel, one of the founding members of PMBC, succumbed to pancreatic cancer on 10/21. Roy was an enthusiastic rider and racer, and held some of the age-group hill climb records in AZ at various times. Roy also led a weekly Sunday ride from Chandler Hospital for many years.

Professionally, Roy was a brilliant engineer, one of the founders of Acoustic Imaging. The medical ultrasonic probes in use today were originally developed by Roy and his team.

Roy is survived by his wife Jemma. No memorial service is planned. He will certainly be missed.

This past Sunday morning another local cyclist and former PMBC member, Rob Dollar, was tragically killed by a motor vehicle while cycling in South Mountain Park. Some published details are available here.

A memorial ride for Rob is scheduled for 8am Sunday, November 5th. Details here.

Service & Celebration of Life for Rob Dollar as follows:
Saturday, November 11th (time was not given)
Arizona Community Church
9325 S. Rural Rd, Tempe, Arizona 85284

Go Fund Me page has been created to help Rob's family pay for funeral expenses and to raise awareness for cyclist's safety.

Events

  • Heart of Arizona – Saturday, November 4
  • Cycle For Life – Saturday, November 11
    • By the Scottsdale Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • El Tour de Tucson – Saturday, November 18
  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • PMBC Holiday Party – Saturday December 9
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.


October 21 Saturday Cycling Report

Calories per Unit of Fun

Added October 28, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Forty-eight cyclists signed in to trek eastward on the Marco Polo route. That's four full sign-in sheets; a very efficient use of paper. The ride went well too; a very efficient use of calories per unit of fun.

Yes, we will have our traditional Black Friday ride on Nov 24. The route will be modified due to the closure of that particular Panera Bread location. However, it looks like this is my year to host the family on Thanksgiving Day, which makes me unavailable to lead the Tour de Lehi holiday ride. Please let me know if you would like to lead it, or if you would like to lead a ride of your own choosing on Thanksgiving Day.

Coming up...

Saturday, 10/28/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
The extended-distance option includes a few extra loops with little climbs, and one big loop with steep hills, including northbound 8th street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 6:44

Saturday, 11/04/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Mesa Rewound
Distance options of 32 miles with no climbing, or 44 miles with a gentle climb. Breakfast at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:50

Saturday, 11/11/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 6:56

Tid Bits...

Don't forget the Chili Cook-off this Saturday.

The PMBC officer candidates for 2108 have been posted on the web site, as per the bylaws. The interesting thing this year is that we had two people willing to take on the VP role. It's being left up to the membership to decide who takes the reins from Steve, responsible for maintaining the membership database, and sending occasional email blasts among regular board duties.

Details of our Holiday party are firming up. It will be Saturday, December 9 @ 4pm, at Miele's Italian Restaurant, 2050 W. Guadalupe Rd. in Mesa. Cost $20 per person; watch for the Eventbrite link will go live soon.

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists needs more volunteer talent in leadership positions. They are seeking officer and board candidates for the coming year. This could be your big chance to make a difference for cyclists! Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists or on facebook.

ASU is holding a Commute by Bike event tomorrow, Friday Oct 27 which includes a ride from Tempe Beach Park to the Downtown Phoenix ASU campus. More information can be found here.

Events

  • Chili Cookoff / Halloween Party - Saturday, October 28
  • Tour de Tonopah – Saturday, October 28
  • Heart of Arizona – Saturday, November 4
  • Cycle For Life – Saturday, November 11
    • By the Scottsdale Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • El Tour de Tucson – Saturday, November 18
  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • PMBC Holiday Party – Saturday December 9
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.


October 14 Saturday Cycling Report

Great Conditions for Climbing South Mountain

Added October 22, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Forty-two cyclists signed in to go up South Mountain. All the conditions were great for climbing, except for my tired old legs. But we made it to San Juan and back in time to enjoy the patio breakfast at AZ bread.

Coming up...

Saturday, 10/21/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Panera Bread, McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:38

Saturday, 10/28/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
The extended-distance option includes a few extra loops with little climbs, and one big loop with steep hills, including northbound 8th street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 6:44

Saturday, 11/04/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Mesa Rewound
Distance options of 32 miles with no climbing, or 44 miles with a gentle climb. Breakfast at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:50

Tid Bits...

Evie Martinez called today. She's ready to find a new home for George's tandem. If you're like me you wondered when you ever saw George and Evie riding tandem? You haven't. George used it to enable a visually impaired cyclist to join in the fun. If you are in the 5'6" tall neighborhood, and would like to pilot a sleek blue Cannondale tandem for whatever reason, contact Evie, or tell me and I'll get you connected with her.

Come to think of it, if you're in the 5'10" height range and would like to experience being the captain of a tandem on a free trial basis, you should contact me about that too. Janet and I have a Trek T2000 that is seeking a new purpose in life.

Events

  • Chili Cookoff / Halloween Party - Saturday, October 28
  • Tour de Tonopah – Saturday, October 28
  • Heart of Arizona – Saturday, November 4
  • Cycle For Life – Saturday, November 11
    • By the Scottsdale Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • El Tour de Tucson – Saturday, November 18
  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.


October 7 Saturday Cycling Report

Mummy Mountain on a Beautiful Autumn Day

Added October 11, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Fifty-two cyclists conquered the Mummy Mountain route on a beautiful autumn day. I hear the Tour de Fat parade was a little later this year, so we didn't see as many costumed cyclists, though I did see a couple of tutus on my way up College.

I know Mummy Mountain is many peoples favorite Saturday Cycling route, and that it feels like we don't do it as often as we should. Here are the facts: this year we've ridden it on March 18, June 17, and October 7. We rotate through each of our 14 route maps about 4 times each per year. But I will try to cheat in this one and South Mountain more often while the weather is moderate. And for those who have a favorite breakfast stop, 7 routes lead to AZ Bread, and the other 7 favor Panera; that seems fair.

Coming up...

Saturday, 10/14/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 6:33

Saturday, 10/21/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Panera Bread, McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:38

Saturday, 10/28/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
The extended-distance option includes a few extra loops with little climbs, and one big loop with steep hills, including northbound 8th street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 6:44

Tid Bits...

Someone in our group was handed a little pink flyer about a breast cancer ride sponsored by Performance Bicycle. She handed it to me, and now I'm passing the info along to you. It's on Saturday, October 21. They are asking for a minimum $3 donation, which they will match up to a total of $5,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society. Go here if you're interested: Great Ride Series Chandler

I was also reminded this week of the 11th annual Heart Of Arizona ride on Saturday, November 4 in Congress AZ. They offer distance options of 44 and 98 miles.

My co-leader Kathy Mills will be away for the last two Saturdays in October. If you are interested in covering for her those days by ridding sweep on the short route, please let me know.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


September 30 Saturday Cycling Report

Four Tandem Teams and a Recumbent

Added October 5, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Fifty-one cyclists showed up for the last Saturday in September. Our start time moves to 7:30 for all of October. The mix this week included four tandem teams and one recumbent. I think five is the most tandems we've had on any Saturday ride; that was probably the time we declared it tandem day.

Coming up...

Saturday, 10/07/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread, McClintock and Guadalupe. Alternative breakfast stop at Ncounter in downtown Tempe to watch the Tour de Fat go by. Sunrise: 6:27

Saturday, 10/14/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 6:33

Saturday, 10/21/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Panera Bread, McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:38

Tid Bits...

Registration has gone live for the 2017 PMBC Chili Cook-off. There is no cost for this event. The Eventbrite registration is just how you RSVP, so please do.

As promised, I attended one of the Strada Racing coaches' three-hour safety and performance clinics in September. They covered a few fundamentals, and we rode round and round a 1/4 mile track practicing handling skills and competitive cornering techniques. Here are the points that struck me as interesting:

  • Cornering, swerving, and virtually all aspects of bike handling have almost nothing to do with steering the front wheel. Most of your control comes from body movement. A shift of the hips, or a flick of the knee are how it's really done. More steering happens through the saddle than the bars. We all do it, even if we don't notice.
  • When riding beside someone, there are two safe places to be. Elbow-to-elbow, with the handlebars adjacent is one. If your bars are just a little ahead or behind the other guy's bars, you risk hooking up in a bad way. The second is handlebar-to-hips. This way if things get too crowded, you can place a hand on the hip next to you to control the spacing.
  • A certain amount of touching within a pack can be a good thing. As mentioned above, you can control the space between you and the next bike. A gentle touch to the lower back is a silent way to let someone know you are there. And they recommended a method for looking behind while in a group; you place your right hand on the upper back of the rider next to you, keeping your left hand on your brake as you turn your head to the left and look back. Not only does this keep you in a straight line, you will feel it if there is slowing or movement happening that you didn't expect. It's like having eyes in the back of your head.

I suspect that some of us may be startled if a hand reached out and touched us while riding in a fast-paced group. But I think it could benefit us some if we do it carefully. It could increase communication without adding noise. You might want to test it out yourself. Being a mixed-gender social club, we should probably try to avoid touching the derrière, since that message could be misinterpreted.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


September 23 Saturday Cycling Report

Free Breakfast Motivated Riders to Go Fast

Added September 28, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Sixty-two cyclists signed in for the ride to free breakfast on Saturday. Those on the extended long-distance option must have been motivated to go fast; everyone arrived in time for the start of the meeting. We welcomed Roger back to the pack from his summer bike travel adventures, along with a few others who have been away riding various major events around the desert southwest.

I'm expecting good climbing weather in October. We'll start the month out with our only two routes that have 'Mountain' in the title.

Coming up...

Saturday, 09/30/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 6:22

Saturday, 10/07/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread, McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:27

Saturday, 10/14/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 6:33

Tid Bits...

Today is the last day to preregister for this weekend's Sonoita Tour.
2017 Sonoita Tour and Wine Tasting

The annual Tour de Fat is Saturday, October 7! The big beer bash starts at 3:00 and costs $25. The preparty parade is free and starts at noon; registration begins at 11:00. We'll be returning up Mill Ave from Mummy Mountain that morning. I recommend choosing a restaurant in downtown Tempe as an alternative breakfast spot from which you can watch the creatively costumed cyclists flowing toward the registration area. The patio at Ncounter is a great choice, but if it's too crowded there are others. You may even be motivated to roll on back to Tempe Beach Park to be a part of the happenings.

We had another Quarterly Membership Meeting last week. Here are the highlights as I remember them:

  • The meeting started out with a tribute to George Martinez. It was announced that PMBC donated $250 in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers, as the family requested. Also, that we are awarding a lifetime membership to George's wife Evie. Although she doesn't ride, she's been a great volunteer and we hope she keeps hanging with us forever.
  • The cost of membership is going up by $5 in 2018. As far as we know, this is the first rate increase ever for PMBC
  • The nominating committee has formed and is accepting nominations from the general membership in writing until Nov 15, as specified in the bylaws. Nominating yourself is one way to volunteer. This year our VP is not seeking reelection.
  • Numerous people volunteered to help assemble some new free-standing route signs. We especially need them for the Casa Grande Century in January.
  • The new venue, the Hungry Monk was a hit. The room very open and just the right size, the staff was very helpful, and they never ran out of food.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


September 16 Saturday Cycling Report

A Moment of Silence for George Martinez

Added September 23, 2017

written by Ken St. John

We had a healthy 52 cyclists for the 2nd week in a row. It looks like 10 or so people have returned from their summer getaways. We started the ride with a moment of silence for George Martinez, the friend we lost last week. Several people commented that the smaller groups that formed seemed to stick together a little more closely than usual this week.

You're welcome to join me on a controlled pace, 10.4-mile group ride to George Martinez's memorial service this Thursday evening (details below). To avoid a commotion at the church during the family's private time, we will gather in the parking lot of the Whole Foods shopping center which is directly across Ray from the site of the service. To help cope with rush hour, we will do a clockwise loop; there will be just one easy left turn. We should arrive 5-10 minutes before the start of the service. Evie and her family have agreed that we should wear our bright club colors.

Coming up...

Thursday, 09/21/17 5:00 p.m., Chandler Whole Foods. Ride to George's Memorial Service
Starting from the parking lot of the Whole Foods shopping center on Ray east of the 101 (near the seasonal Halloween store), we'll roll south past Orbital, the company George retired from, returning north on Price which takes us directly to Crossroads Nazarene Church. The center of their lovely campus has plenty of walls to lean the bikes against near the sanctuary, and one small bike rack. You may want to bring a lock since no one will be watching them. It will be dark by the time the service and reception end, so your bike should be lit for the short return across the street back to the start location.

Saturday, 09/23/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
We're trying a new venue for the Quarterly Membership Meeting, and a small change to this route will get us there. Breakfast is free for members; two free breakfasts are included in a family membership. The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at The Hungry Monk on the north side of Chandler Blvd, just east of Dobson. Sunrise: 6:17

Saturday, 09/30/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 6:22

Saturday, 10/07/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread, McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:27

Tid Bits...

George's family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in George's memory to Wounded Warrior Project. Here is a link for donating to the Wounded Warrior Project that was specifically created in memory of George.

If you haven't signed up for El Tour de Tucson yet, you may still be able to get the early-bird discount price. Contact Wayne for details.

Events

Please ride extra safely.


September 9 Saturday Cycling Report

Isolated Shower, Soggy Pavement and Road Grime

Added September 17, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Thirty-eight cyclists enjoyed a thick cloud cover that kept the temperature low all morning. At the breakfast, I heard that a small group got soaked in a very isolated shower. The rest of us just had to contend with soggy pavement for some of the route. We all got road grime on our pretty bikes, but one of us had his ride cut short when he slipped and fell on a wet corner. Fortunately, he lived nearby and was able to roll on home for some immediate rest and recuperation.

Coming up...

Saturday, 09/16/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. McKellips Loop
With distance options of 28, 37 or 45 miles, this route will take you north through Tempe and then east through Mesa on McKellips Road, returning to Panera Bread for breakfast. Sunrise: 6:13

Saturday, 09/23/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
We're trying a new venue for the 
Quarterly Membership Meeting, and a small change to this route will get us there. Breakfast is free for members; two free breakfasts are included in a family membership. The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at The Hungry Monk on the north side of Chandler Blvd, just east of Dobson. Sunrise: 6:17

Saturday, 09/30/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 6:22

Tragic Bits...

If you're hearing this for the first time, I'm sorry to bring you such sad news. Our good friend, longtime club member and perennial event volunteer George Martinez was involved in an accident with a bus on the last leg of a routine solo ride Tuesday, September 12th and died from his injuries that same day. This shock is going to be hard to process for many of us who knew George. His son, Marc, provided these details regarding the memorial service:

Memorial service from 6-7pm on Thursday, September 21 at Crossroad Church of the Nazarene2950 W Ray Rd, Chandler. Reception with open-mic will follow at the same location.

Burial Friday morning at The National Memorial Cemetery of AZ, 23029 Cave Creek Road, Phoenix at 9:30am. Enter the cemetery from Pinnacle Peak Road. Be early if you plan to attend; it starts on-time and does not last long.

The board is discussing ways to honor and remember George, as well as providing comfort to his dear wife Evie and the rest of his extensive family. I plan to lead a short memorial ride just before the memorial service on Thursday that will start and end near the church. Details will be provided early next week.

Events

Please ride extra safely.


September 2 Saturday Cycling Report

Biggest Crowd Since March

Added September 8, 2017

written by Ken St. John

I ran out of maps when 60 cyclists showed up for the St. Francis Loop. That's the biggest crowd we've had since March.

We kicked off our Labor Day weekend with high humidity, heavy traffic, and 5 flat tires. There seemed to be more police on patrol than usual too. One of them passed along a message to us: that day he was working on speeders, but next week he'll be watching for groups of cyclists running red lights after what he saw. There were a couple of 'T' intersections that we crossed on this route. Running them red is always tempting, but could be inviting a law enforcement crackdown.

I'd estimate around 30-35 people enjoyed the Labor Day ride. Neal led a mostly single-file line as we snaked around the area's off-road bikeways, weaving between joggers, dogs, and casual cyclists. I hadn't realized that a bikeway now connects Mesa to Tempe by going under the 101-202 interchange. Biking along the south side of Tempe Town Lake reminded me a little of Waterfront Park in Portland on the Willamette. Fun.

Coming up...

Saturday, 09/09/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 6:08

Saturday, 09/16/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. McKellips Loop
This 28- or 37-mile loop will take you north through Tempe and then east through Mesa on McKellips Road, returning to Panera Bread for breakfast. Sunrise: 6:13

Saturday, 09/23/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
We're trying a new venue for the 
Quarterly Membership Meeting, and a small change to this route will get us there. Breakfast is free for members; two free breakfasts for each family membership. The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at The Hungry Monk on the north side of Chandler Blvd, just east of Dobson. Sunrise: 6:17

Tid Bits...

Several people have been reminding me of this year's Tour de Bosa, at 6:30am on Sunday October 15th. Or maybe it was the same person several times. Either way, they had me at Bosa. This year will be a 53-mile route that hits seven donut shops. The registration deadline is 7am September 30 at https://www.bikereg.com/35534.

Here's another opportunity to advocate for East Valley cyclists. The Tempe City Council is meeting at 4 pm today (Thursday, September 7) to hear public input regarding the Bike lanes on McClintock Dr. It's not over yet.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


August 19 Saturday Cycling Report

Forty-Two Cyclists on Chandler/Gilbert Bronze

Added September 1, 2017

written by Ken St. John

We had forty-two cyclists last Saturday; the same number as the week before.

One of my favorite signs that the long hot summer is winding down, is when we begin shifting our start time later. That would be this week when we move to a 7:00 start for September!We'll increase it by 1/2 hour each month through December; don't be surprised.

Coming up...

Saturday, 09/02/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:03

Monday, 09/04/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Holiday Bike Path Ride
Come ride our area bike paths for an easy-going Labor Day ride. It will be similar to the Memorial Day ride with some slight variations. There have been a few changes to the Bike Path route. The ride is 35 miles and flat. The first 27 miles is bike path and the last 8 along good bike routes. Experience the new bike trail along the Rio Salado and a side extension along with the Consolidated and Western Canal Trails. Plan on a good easy-going route for a holiday ride. Add 2 miles and come to breakfast at Arizona Bread; they will be open till noon.

Saturday, 09/09/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 6:08

Tid Bits...

I've added a November fund raiser for Cystic Fibrosis in Scottsdale to the event list below. They are also seeking volunteers to help pull it off if you really want to support the cause.

I've signed myself up for the September 24th session of the Strada Safety and Performance clinic that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I'll see some of you there. There are three Sundays to choose from. The Aug 12 ride report on the Hub has the details.

Remember to register for our new Sonoita Tour and Wine Tasting event soon. You'll also need to book your hotel room, which is a separate step. Don't delay, there are a limited number of rooms available. And the early-bird event fee discount ends September 16.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


August 19 Saturday Cycling Report

Never a Good Omen

Added August 24, 2017

written by Ken St. John

It's never a good omen to hear a tire pop in the parking lot before the start of the ride. So, it shouldn't have surprised me when we encountered another flat tire, followed by a brake failure, and an annoying creaky-squeaky saddle noise along the way. All on different bikes. At least the weather was reasonably nice for the 42 cyclists in the pack.

Coming up...

Saturday, 08/26/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:59

Saturday, 09/02/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:03

Monday, 09/04/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Holiday Bike Path Ride
Come ride our area bike paths for an easy-going Labor Day ride. It will be similar to the Memorial Day ride with some slight variations. There have been a few changes to the Bike Path route. The ride is 35 miles and flat. The first 27 miles is bike path and the last 8 along good bike routes. Experience the new bike trail along the Rio Salado and a side extension along with the Consolidated and Western Canal Trails. Plan on a good easy-going route for a holiday ride. Add 2 miles and come to breakfast at Arizona Bread; they will be open till noon.

Tid Bits...

There were two local news items recently of interest to cyclists. One of them quotes our friend Bob Beane, president of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists, in an article that gives an overview of the bicycle friendliness of Phoenix and its burbs.
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2017/08/19/arizona-cities-bike-friendly-ranking/553071001/

The second big news item is from Gilbert, whose town council voted to reprogram their traffic lights to put the left-turn arrow first instead of the lagging left algorithm they have been using. Although both are considered equally safe, they're making the switch to be more consistent with the neighboring cities. I'm all for that. They expect to finish the transition by the end of October. Hooray!
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/gilbert/2017/08/21/gilbert-changing-leading-left-turn-lagging-left-turn-lights/577422001/

The Sonoita Tour registration is now live. Follow the link below and sign up soon!

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


August 12 Saturday Cycling Report

Avoiding Road Closures and Rain Clouds

Added August 18, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Most of the twenty-eight cyclists on last Saturday's ride did a modified version of the route to avoid road closures and rain clouds. The small group I was with took a detour to avoid the rain to the south, only to hit another detour from a second major road closure. I don't think anyone got seriously wet since the foreboding storm cell fizzled out as it passed over us.

Coming up...

Saturday, 08/19/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Research to Oak
The Research to Oak route takes us on a clockwise loop around town, with 31 miles and no hills, or 38 miles with some moderate climbing. Breakfast is at Panera Bread. Sunrise: 5:54

Saturday, 08/26/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:59

Saturday, 09/02/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:03

Monday, 09/04/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Holiday Bike Path Ride
Come ride our area bike paths for an easy-going Labor Day ride. It will be similar to the Memorial Day ride with some slight variations. There have been a few changes to the Bike Path route. The ride is 35 miles and flat. The first 27 miles is bike path and the last 8 along good bike routes. Experience the new bike trail along the Rio Salado and a side extension along with the Consolidated and Western Canal Trails. Plan on a good easy-going route for a holiday ride. Add 2 miles and come to breakfast at Arizona Bread; they will be open till noon.

Tid Bits...

With Kathy Mills on the Saturday Cycling team, we're always ready and able to help the novice learn the basic rules and skills for safe group cycling. But what do we do for the experienced newcomer who wants to mix in with the advanced or intermediate groups? How do we welcome new people into the paceline, while keeping us all safe and not making anyone angry? Do we have an agreed upon protocol or etiquette? Who decides?

The idea has been kicked around of having a professional cycling coach work with us to establish, document and practice a consistent high-speed paceline process. Maybe we'll even do it someday, but in the meantime the Strada Racing Club is offering a Speed & Safety Clinic ahead of the Tour de Scottsdale on three Sundays in September (you pick one). They will cover "pace line secrets" and "safe riding in a group" as well as other skills aimed at improving safety and performance. The clinics are 7am-10am on Sept 10, 17 and 24 at Westworld in North Scottsdale and cost $25. They provided this email address for information and registration: Strada Racing.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


August 5 Saturday Cycling Report

Relentless Heat on MidSummer Ride

Added August 10, 2017

written by Ken St. John

There was not a cloud to be seen last Saturday, and the bits of shade that our predominantly north-south route provided were not enough to save us from the relentless heat. All 35 of us got hot, but that doesn't stop us from cycling. The three remaining August rides will mostly keep to the flatlands.

Coming up...

Saturday, 08/12/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:49

Saturday, 08/19/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Research to Oak
The Research to Oak route takes us on a clockwise loop around town, with 31 miles and no hills, or 38 miles with some moderate climbing. Breakfast is at Panera Bread. Sunrise: 5:54

Saturday, 08/26/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:59

Tid Bits...

Neal has volunteered to lead our Labor Day ride with a revised version of his holiday bike-path route. That will be Monday September 4 at 7am from the usual Kiwanis Park location. Thanks Neal!

The past two weeks I conducted a test to see if a certain board member has been reading the ride report. Apparently, he hasn't. Since old-fashioned email didn't work, I'll try that new-fangled text message trick to see if we can get the Sonoita Tour to go live on Eventbrite.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


July 29 Saturday Cycling Report

A Favorable Monsoon Morning in the Desert for Cycling

Added August 6, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Last Saturday a rain shower passed through the Ahwatukee Foothills to settle the dust and cool the pavement ahead of the 47 cyclists who took to the hills. The only water trouble we had was a high-volume sprinkler leak flowing across Ray Road. Cloud cover stayed with us all the way to breakfast, and I even felt some sprinkles while laboring up one of the steeper ascents. Overall, it was a favorable monsoon morning in the desert for cycling..

At the route's westernmost point on Chandler Blvd, we saw a sign saying the new westward extension is now open. Coincident with that was Friday's permanent closure of Pecos road west of 17th Ave. Those who used to enjoy the out-and-back trip on Pecos to that cul-de-sac community to the west may want to try it on the new only-road-that-goes there.

Coming up...

Saturday, 08/05/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. MidSummer Ride
This route was designed to seek out maximum shade on summer mornings when the sun is farthest north and most brutal. In the winter, it's just another route, much like the others. It includes options of 28 miles with one short climb, or 38 miles with a couple of bonus climbs. Breakfast at Panera Bread at Guadalupe Rd and McClintock Dr. Sunrise: 5:44

Saturday, 08/12/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:49

Saturday, 08/19/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Research to Oak
The Research to Oak route takes us on a clockwise loop around town, with 31 miles and no hills, or 38 miles with some moderate climbing. Breakfast is at Panera Bread. Sunrise: 5:54

Tid Bits...

We know you have other choices available, and appreciate it when you chose PMBC's Saturday Cycling for your group riding enjoyment. Some of the most notable options are organized by local bike shops. As their offerings have grown, we've seen our Saturday numbers diminish from around 80/week in 2012, to the 40ish/week we have maintained over the past 2 years. But I don't consider it competition. Why would a bike shop want to be our adversary? We are a big part of their customer base; they love us like money itself. The hospitality they showed us on our previous two holiday rides is evidence of that affection for PMBC. As a cyclist, and conservationist, and environmentalist, I like anything that increases people-powered recreation.

I've been riding with PMBC for about 15 years now, and have grown very fond of our little community and the people in it. That's why I keep coming back. I also enjoy welcoming newcomers with the hope of making new friends. Some stick with us, some find another group that suits them better, and others remain independent and ride with us from time-to-time. It's all good. Here are links to two of the East Valley shops with Saturday rides for all levels, plus targeted rides for intermediates, beginners, and mountain bike offerings:
http://globalbikes.info/about/classes-clinics-rides-pg2479.htm
https://www.meetup.com/Performance-Saturday-Social-Group-Ride/

Details were added to the web site for the 2017 Sonoita Tour and Wine Tasting. The Eventbrite sign-up should go live very soon, now that we are approaching the 8-week prior window.

An error was included in last week's report. The Cochise County Classic is October 7, not the 14th.

Events

  • Skull Valley Loop – Sunday, September 17 in Prescott
  • Sonoita Tour and Wine Tasting – Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8
  • Cochise County Classic – Saturday, October 7
  • Tour de Tonopah – Saturday, Oct 28
  • El Tour de Tucson – Saturday, November 18
  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.

 


July 22 Saturday Cycling Report

Cycling the Flat, Hot, Humid Streets of the East Valley

Added July 30, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Thirty-seven cyclists confirmed that it was still July last Saturday as we cycled the flat, hot, humid streets of the East Valley. And it will still be July this Saturday with a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast. But after that it will be August, which will be way different. Except for the same summer 6:30 start time, and the same hot, humid weather.

We were inconvenienced by the closure of our parking lot last weekend, but it came with the promise of a repaving. I can hardly wait to ride on the new surface next time, even though the old one seemed okay to me.

Coming up...

Saturday, 07/29/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
The extended-distance option includes a few extra loops with little climbs, and one big loop with steep hills, including northbound 8th street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 5:39

Saturday, 08/05/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. MidSummer Ride
This route was designed to seek out maximum shade on summer mornings when the sun is farthest north and most brutal. In the winter, it's just another route, much like the others. It includes options of 28 miles with one short climb, or 38 miles with a couple of bonus climbs. Breakfast at Panera Bread at Guadalupe Rd and McClintock Dr. Sunrise: 5:44

Saturday, 08/12/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:49

Tid Bits...

We had a nice turn out on Saturday to view a time trial stage of the TdeF together. Even if you find time trials dull, the gathering together with friends was the fun part. Another great way to get social benefits with PMBC is to participate in one of our weekend cycling getaways. Like the recent Tour of Flagstaff, or the new upcoming Sonoita Tour, which will include two days of cycling and a Saturday happy hour. For an additional fee, there will also be a winery tour option. All the details will be posted on the web site soon, and the Eventbrite sign-up will go live sometime next week.

I've mentioned the charity We Cycle USA before. Now I've heard that they are going to open a non-profit community bicycle shop at 701 E. Main Street in Mesa. Even more exciting, they are looking for people from the local bicycling community to serve as board members for their new venture. If you're in or near Mesa and want to help bring low-cost bicycle services to the area, let me know and I'll connect you to the right people.

Events

  • Sonoita Tour and Wine Tasting – Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8
  • Cochise County Classic – Saturday, October 7
  • Tour de Tonopah – Saturday, Oct 28
  • El Tour de Tucson – Saturday, November 18
  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.


July 15 Saturday Cycling Report

Multi Week Roundup

Added July 21, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Thirty people were available and willing to cycle the East Valley in mid-summer. That's approximately the same number who spent the weekend riding in Flagstaff with Bob and Anna. I hope they enjoyed favorable weather.

Kathy reports that 42 signed in for the Tour de Sue and 38 for the Tour de Mesa. I hear that second ride was the hottest Saturday morning of the year so far. Gosh, I'm sorry I missed that. Then again, our intended ride in Quebec was rained out that same day; maybe I shouldn't feel too smug.

Coming up...

Saturday, 07/22/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Length of Lindsay
The Length of Lindsay takes us to the east, with route options of 29 miles or 39 miles, no climbing. Breakfast at Panera Bread on the SE corner of Guadalupe and McClintock. Sunrise: 5:34

Saturday, 07/29/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
The extended-distance option includes a few extra loops with little climbs, and one big loop with steep hills, including northbound 8th street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 5:39

Saturday, 08/05/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. MidSummer Ride
This route was designed to seek out maximum shade on summer mornings when the sun is farthest north and most brutal. In the winter, it's just another route, much like the others. It includes options of 28 miles with one short climb, or 38 miles with a couple of bonus climbs. Breakfast at Panera Bread at Guadalupe Rd and McClintock Dr. Sunrise: 5:44

Tid Bits...

The broadcast schedule for the Tour de France has not been favorable. We were unable to secure a sports bar for the times and days available. Fortunately for us, Neal and Lenore have volunteered to host a viewing party for the whole club at their home! It will be this Saturday, July 22 with a 1:00 p.m. start time for the showing of a prerecorded stage. PMBC will provide food and soft drinks. Feel free to bring your own favorite sports viewing beverage. Please RSVP to Tina Miller.

Events

  • Tour de France Viewing Party – 1:00 p.m. Saturday, July 22nd
  • Sonoita Tour and Wine Tasting – Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1.
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8
  • Tour de Tonopah – Saturday, Oct 28
  • Geno's Free Ride – Saturday December 2
  • 2018 Casa Grande Century – Sunday January 14

Have fun and ride safely.


June 24 Saturday Cycling Report

Forty-eight ride Marco Polo Route in Extreme Heat to Quarterly Meeting

Added June 28, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Forty-eight cyclists rode in the extreme heat from Kiwanis Park to the quarterly membership meeting. There were at least 3 different shortcuts ventured down; as far as I know they all made it to the destination without trouble.

Please note the correction to the start time for the July 4 ride. We will start rolling at 6:00 a.m. due to the extreme heat expected.

Kathy Mills will be your ride leader for the next two Saturdays. That also means I won't be writing another ride report until after the July 15 ride. Have fun riding safely while I'm gone.

Coming up...

Saturday, 07/01/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 5:22

Tuesday, 7/04/17 6:00 a.m., Performance Bicycle 4th of July BBQ Ride
Performance Bicycle will be hosting this year's Independence Day ride. Meet up at their shop on 
the SE corner of Ray Road and Kyrene in Chandler. Traditional holiday fare of hot dogs, watermelon, lemonade, and apple pie will be provided at the finish. They request that you register on-line so they have an accurate count for the food.

Saturday, 07/08/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Mesa Rewound
Distance options of 32 miles with no climbing, or 44 miles with a gentle climb. Breakfast at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 5:26

Saturday, 07/15/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 5:30

Tid Bits...

I can't speak firsthand about the membership meeting, because an untimely appliance delivery caused me to leave Fibber Magee's before the meeting started (but not before I got some eggs and bacon in me). From talking with President Janet, these impressed me as the highlights:

  • The new Sonoita Tour and Wine Tasting weekend event was announced for the weekend of September 30 in southern Arizona. Details and an Eventbrite link will be on the web site soon.
  • Other annual events are scheduled. See below.
  • There was an alert about the 6:00 a.m. start time for the 4th of July ride.
  • There's never enough food for hungry cyclists.
  • Neal was given an opportunity to share his passionately held feelings about group-riding etiquette and safety.
  • A couple of people volunteered to help make new roadside signs for our events.
  • No one was awarded a prize for having the newest bicycle because I wasn't there to claim it, and Janet didn't want to give it to herself.
  • A thank you should have gone out to Performance Bicycle for providing the prizes.

Secretary Denise will provide the official minutes.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


June 17 Saturday Cycling Report

More Flats on Mummy Mountain Route

Added June 22, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

We had forty-seven on board for Saturday's ride, the same number as last week. Also for the second week in a row: no Kathy and two more flat tires. One of them was my own; there was no escaping that. The other was the front wheel of Mike who just moved to town. His flat was early, so we were stuck with each other the rest of the ride, which turned out to be a fun opportunity to get to know the new guy.

The Excessive Heat Warning is still in effect through the weekend. Saturday is predicted to start at 87 degrees and eventually climb to 115. It will be 5 hot miles from Fibber Magee's back to the park after the membership meeting. One way to avoid that challenge would be to drive yourself to breakfast location by 6am, park there, and then pedal to the park in time for the 6:30 ride start. That way you don't have to worry about lingering over another cup of coffee after the meeting, because your ride will be complete.

Coming up...

Saturday, 06/24/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
It's time for another Quarterly Membership Meeting at Fibber Magees! The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Fibber Magees, 1989 W. Elliot Road in Chandler; just east of Dobson. Sign-in will begin at 8:15am, and the meeting should start around 9:00. Sunrise: 5:20 (going up)

Saturday, 07/01/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 5:22

Tuesday, 7/04/17 6:30 a.m., Performance Bicycle 4th of July BBQ Ride
Performance Bicycle will be hosting this year's Independence Day ride. Meet up at their shop on 
the SE corner of Ray Road and Kyrene in Chandler. Traditional holiday fare of hot dogs, watermelon, lemonade, and apple pie will be provided at the finish. They request that you register on-line so they have an accurate count for the food.

Saturday, 07/08/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Mesa Rewound
Distance options of 32 miles with no climbing, or 44 miles with a gentle climb. Breakfast at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 5:26

Tid Bits...

The next time we do the Length of Lindsay route (July 22nd) we should see that the disappearing bike lanes on Frye Road at Alma School and Dobson will have been extended all the way to the intersections! I'm told that this improvement at Alma School is already done and the one at Dobson should be by the end of June. In other good news for Chandler cyclists, plans are moving forward to fill in the missing links to the Kyrene and McClintock Road bike-lanes so that they will be contiguous for the full north-south extent of the city. Fixing Kyrene alone will improve the safety on two or three of our routes.

At the state level, it seems that the meddling federal government is pushing states to re-test motorists every eight years. That sounds like a potential traffic safety improvement to me. It would require tax dollars, since that department appears to be perpetually understaffed; so I'll believe it when I see it.

The third annual Tour de Tonopah is scheduled for Saturday October 28. This West Valley charity ride is put on by the Rotary clubs of Buckeye and Goodyear. Learn more at http://www.tourdetonopah.com/.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


June 10 Saturday Cycling Report

A Warm Ride in the Foothills

Added June 18, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Forty-seven cyclists signed up for a warm ride in the Foothills. It was Kathy appreciation day for me. She was out of town instead of being here to ride sweep for us as usual. Naturally that would be the day that 3 different people got flat tires before we even reached the regroup. It was enough to direct our tandem straight to breakfast after finally reaching the regroup.

Looks like we'll be getting lucky with the weather this week. The Excessive Heat Warning doesn't go into effect until 10am Saturday, right about the time we finish riding. And the Air Quality Alert ends at 10pm the night before. I take that to mean that while we're out pedaling up hills, the air will be comfortable and clean!

Coming up...

Saturday, 06/17/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 5:18

Saturday, 06/24/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
It's time for another Quarterly Membership Meeting at Fibber Magees! The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Fibber Magees, 1989 W. Elliot Road in Chandler; just east of Dobson. Sign-in will begin at 8:15am, and the meeting should start around 9:00. Sunrise: 5:20 (going up)

Saturday, 07/01/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 5:22

Tuesday, 7/04/17 6:30 a.m., Performance Bicycle 4th of July BBQ Ride
Performance Bicycle will be hosting this year's Independence Day ride. Meet up at their shop on 
the SE corner of Ray Road and Kyrene in Chandler. BBQ will be provided at the finish.

Tid Bits...

There seems to be a lot of talk lately about being less polarized in America, to view the other side as our neighbors, and not as the enemy. Yes, I'm referring to motorists and cyclists. There was even an article about it in the Monday newspaper.

It's not entirely clear to me which group she is chastising, but I think basic courtesy applies to everyone. She cautions us about how much bigger they are, but I try to look past that and remember that I'm dealing with another human being. My top two ways of avoiding motorist rage are to do what I can to stay out of their way, short of sacrificing my right to the road, and to not behave as though I have special privileges.

I also need to make a conscious effort to keep my own anger in check. For example, if a motorist makes a surprise turn across my path, instead of loudly accusing them of inappropriate relations with their mother, I prefer to shout out something like "please use your turn signal!". And to make a habit of smiling or waving, as though they are my neighbors. I've heard it said that one cyclist's antisocial behavior can reflect poorly on all cyclists. That would be especially true for other cyclists present at the time of a hostile interaction. We should all be on our best behavior in a group ride.

Events

  • Quarterly Membership Meeting at Fiber Magee's – Saturday, June 24
  • Performance Bicycle 4th of July Ride – Tuesday, July 4
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
    • Mention PMBC when you book your room at the Lodge.
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


June 3 Saturday Cycling Report

The Summer Switch is Turned On

Added June 11, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

It's June. Just like that, the early morning cool is gone and the summer switch is turned on. Forty-five cyclists managed the warmth of the 3rd on a ride with very little climbing. The next two weeks we hit the hills. This would be a good time to focus on your hydration habits and think about carrying more water or using more ice. And include other common-sense stuff like sun screen and don't make a mess at the convenience stores, and don't get heat exhaustion or have a stroke. Keep it fun.

Update from last week: 30 people rode the canal trails with Neal on Memorial Day Monday. I'm told it was delightful.

Coming up...

Saturday, 06/10/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:18

Saturday, 06/17/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 5:18

Saturday, 06/24/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
It's time for another Quarterly Membership Meeting at Fibber Magees! The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Fibber Magees, 1989 W. Elliot Road in Chandler; just east of Dobson. Sign-in will begin at 8:15am, and the meeting should start around 9:00. Sunrise: 5:20 (going up)

Tid Bits...

Another local bike shop would like to show their appreciation for PMBC by hosting the next Holiday ride! Performance Bicycle on Ray at Kyrene will provide us with a SAG supported Fourth of July ride, complete with BBQ at the finish for all participants. All this for the usual ride fee of zero dollars. More details will be provided as we get closer to the date.

In the olden days, I griped about the lack of wind data from the weather forecasts available on television, radio and newspaper. They seldom bothered to give wind speed and direction, let alone a forecast for how it would change as the day went on, because who cared? Maybe a dozen cyclists and as many private pilots in a given city? These days, drone owners can be added to the list, and there is no shortage of information available for anything even if there is no demand at all. My friend, the photography buff drone pilot, told me about this site: www.windy.com. I haven't figured it all out yet, but it looks pretty rich; like a Google Earth for wind. Maybe you'll find it useful before a long day in the saddle, or a hot-air balloon ride.

Events

  • Quarterly Membership Meeting at Fiber Magee's – Saturday, June 24
  • Performance Bicycle 4th of July Ride – Tuesday, July 4
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
    • Mention PMBC when you book your room at the Lodge.
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


May 27 Saturday Cycling Report

Chandler/Gilbert Bronze Started Memorial Day Weekend

Added June 4, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Fifty-eight cyclists started out their Memorial Day weekend with a Saturday Morning ride in the flatlands of Chandler and Gilbert. On the Monday holiday, I rode as a PMBC guest with the Global Bike crowd where they treated us to a variety of breakfast treats at the finish. There must have been over 70 on that ride, and plenty of climbing. They even showed me an un-gated hill climb hidden away in the foothills development that I didn't know about.

I understand that Memorial Day is a somber observance, and I respect that. But I can't help but want to celebrate any day that can magically eliminate the morning rush-hour traffic. Being prime vacation time between school's-out and summer activities begin probably helped too.

Coming up...

Saturday, 06/03/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. McKellips Loop
This 28- or 37-mile loop will take you north through Tempe and then east through Mesa on McKellips Road, returning to Panera Bread for breakfast. Sunrise: 5:19

Saturday, 06/10/17 6: 30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:18

Saturday, 06/17/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 5:18

Tid Bits...

Another advantage of this summertime lull between school and extracurricular summer stuff is that I got to be a stay-at-home grandpa all week, instead of a boring old retired guy. Sun-Tues we had the 8-year-old, then Tues-Friday the soon-to-be-five little lady. And that's my excuse for this late ride report. It's naptime now, so if I hurry I can still get it out before the next Saturday ride starts. It's tough to get anything else done when you're busy spoiling your grandchildren.

NOW the Flagstaff Tour registration is live.

The second quarterly membership meeting of 2017 is scheduled for Saturday, June 24 at the same location as the last two: Fibber Magee's.

Events

  • Quarterly Membership Meeting at Fiber Magee's – Saturday, June 24
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
    • Mention PMBC when you book your room at the Lodge.
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


May 20 Saturday Cycling Report

53 Cyclists Sign In for the St. Francis Loop

Added May 28, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

We had 53 cyclists sign in for the St. Francis Loop. Maybe it's because it's my favorite route, or maybe it's the new bike, but I seem to be having more and more fun on the rides lately. The moderate weather helps, but how long can that last? It'll be June soon. We welcomed back "Diesel" Mike fresh off the injured reserve (skiing is a dangerous sport to cross train with), and said farewell to Roger who is leaving for his annual transcontinental summer ride.

Ride Leader Neal is offering up another option on Memorial Day Monday that leaves from our familiar site in Kiwanis Park, Tempe. See below for details.

Coming up...

Saturday, 05/27/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:21

Monday, 05/29/17 6:30 a.m., Global Bikes, Chandler. Memorial Day Ride
Global Bikes at 2915 W Ray Rd in Chandler, is hosting the PMBC Memorial Day Ride this year. They've planned a nice, hilly Ahwatukee Foothills route for us. Global will be leading the ride, and we will be signing their waiver. You can do it ahead of time on line at 
https://www.meetup.com/Global-Bikes-Meetup/events/239658593/ where you'll also find long and short route maps and other information. Food at the finish is included in the zero-dollar ride fee. Sunrise: 5:20

Monday, 05/29/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Memorial Day Ride
Come ride our area bike paths for an easy going Memorial Day ride. The ride is 32 miles and flat. The first 25 of 27 miles is bike path and the last 7 or so is along good bike routes. Experience the new bike trail along the Rio Salado along with the Consolidated and Western Canal Trails. Plan on a good, easy going route for a holiday ride. Come be social and protected from automobiles!!! Add 2 miles and come to breakfast at AZ Bread; they'll be open to 11:30am. Sunrise: 5:20

Saturday, 06/03/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. McKellips Loop
This 28- or 37-mile loop will take you north through Tempe and then east through Mesa on McKellips Road, returning to Panera Bread for breakfast. Sunrise: 5:19

Tid Bits...

Although registration is not live yet for the 2017 Tour of Flagstaff on July 14-16, it's a good idea to book your room at the Mormon Lake Lodge as early as you can. Please remember to tell them you are with PMBC because we have reserved rooms and want to fill them up! Their phone number at the lodge is 928-354-2227. You can check them out on the web at www.mormonlakelodge.com. Many of their cabins are new and some of the older ones have been remodeled and fixed up. They are all nice and cozy with full amenities.

The city of Tempe's newest bicycle and pedestrian facility opens (or opened) this month. It's the Rio Salado Multi-use Underpass at Priest Drive which joins the more than 175 miles of bikeways in the city.

We're still working on the Tour de France party plans. The dates are not set yet, but we expect to have two Saturday gatherings and know they will be somewhere between July 1st and 23rd, since that's when the tour is.

Events

  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


May 13 Saturday Cycling Report

Lucky Streak of Good Cycling Weather Continued with Lucky-7 Route

Added May 21, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Forty-four cyclists showed up for the Lucky-7 route last Saturday while our lucky streak of good cycling weather continued.

We did run into some trouble with the freeway construction; the light on northbound 40th St. at Pecos failed to sense our presence, even with 6 or more bicycles on the sensor. The group I was with waited through three long cycles of the light before a car finally joined us and tripped the sensor. The traffic there was very heavy, it had no pedestrian buttons, and individuals were starting to be tempted by creative high-risk maneuvers. One person later complained to the freeway construction outreach coordinator who said they will fix it to always go green northbound each cycle without regard to the sensor, but only on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I suppose a partial solution is better than none at all.

Coming up...

Saturday, 05/20/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 5:24

Saturday, 05/27/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:21

Monday, 05/29/17 6:30 a.m., Global Bikes, Chandler. Memorial Day Ride
Global Bikes at 2915 W Ray Rd in Chandler, is hosting the PMBC Memorial Day Ride this year. They've planned a nice hilly Ahwatukee Foothills route for us. Global will be leading the ride, and we will be signing their waiver. You can do it ahead of time on line at 
https://www.meetup.com/Global-Bikes-Meetup/events/239658593/ where you'll also find long and short route maps and other information. Food at the finish is included in the zero-dollar ride fee. Sunrise: 5:20

Saturday, 06/03/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. McKellips Loop
This 28- or 37-mile loop will take you north through Tempe and then east through Mesa on McKellips Road, returning to Panera Bread for breakfast. Sunrise: 5:19

Tid Bits...

Normally, I avoid attaching anything to the weekly ride report, but this week's Tid Bit is visual. Every tool you see in this picture was found in the street while cycling in the East Valley. I started collecting road-kill tools in 1991 when I first moved into what was then the Ahwatukee Foothills giant home-construction zone. My only requirement is that it has to still retain at least some of its functionality, or I throw it away. I only recently put them all on display. It's a lot of tools, and is still growing. When you collect something that costs nothing, you can never have too many.

Roadkill Tools

Events

  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


May 6 Saturday Cycling Report

Great Spring Weather for MidSummer Ride

Added May 13, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

I wonder if eight months qualifies as short-term memory loss, or is there a medium-term? Either way, I think it's the memory limit for anyone who thought Saturday morning was hot. I'd say we're having great spring weather, even with the extra breeze. And I'm having a lot of fun riding with you all. We had 35 again this week; same as last.

I was taken by surprise when our friend Stacie said her goodbyes. She's moving out of state! I wish her well in her next adventure, and miss her already.

== time sensitive tidbits below ===

Coming up...

Saturday, 05/13/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:29

Saturday, 05/20/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 5:24

Saturday, 05/27/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:21

Monday, 05/29/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Memorial Day Ride
Global Bikes at Ray and the 101 in Chandler, is going to host the PMBC Memorial Day Ride this year. More details will be made available soon. I do believe complimentary breakfast will be one of those details.

Tid Bits...

Here is some information that is probably too late to be useful:

GABA Tucson has organized a group ride up Mountain Lemon for tomorrow, Friday May 12
http://www.bikegaba.org/content.aspx?page_id=87&club_id=307669&item_id=574056

Vitesse is holding the Highly Falkner Memorial South Mountain Time trial on Saturday May 13th. But I'm told registration is only open through today, Thursday May 11th. I suppose you can still go as a spectator to cheer for Ann at the finish.

Events

  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


April 29 Saturday Cycling Report

The Wind Giveth and the Wind Taketh Away

Added May 5, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

The wind giveth and the wind taketh away. The especially strong overnight wind gave us clean air and cool temperatures. However, it apparently took away half of the road arrows I had spent my Friday laying down. At least I want to believe it was the wind; I'd hate to think another human being would purposely thwart my efforts. The moderate morning winds gave us an enhanced workout; it seemed like all the climbing was into a headwind. The forecast for wind alone may have taken away some of our participants; we had a relatively light thirty-five cyclists on hand.

The new map is a bit of an eye chart, and it didn't help to have key road arrows missing. Even when they were there, I found them tough to spot. The extended distance loop after the regroup didn't seem to pose any issues. It was easy to follow, and took on some hills not on any of our other routes.

Besides forgetting to put any maps on my windshield for the latecomers on Saturday, I also neglected to announce this:

== Next week begins our 6:30am summer start time! It stays 6:30 May-Aug ===

Coming up...

Saturday, 05/06/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. MidSummer Ride
This route was designed to seek out maximum shade on summer mornings when the sun is farthest north and most brutal. In the winter, it's just another route, much like the others. It includes options of 28 miles with one short climb, or 38 miles with a couple of bonus climbs. Breakfast at Panera Bread at Guadalupe Rd and McClintock Dr. Sunrise: 5:35

Saturday, 05/13/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:29

Saturday, 05/20/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:16

Tid Bits...

A long-time friend of PMBC, Kevin Hartke, has announced that he is running for Mayor of Chandler! Some of you may remember Kevin riding with us on Saturday mornings in his pre-politics days where he earned the nickname The Faster Pastor. While this is not an endorsement of a candidate, and in no way jeopardizes our tax exempt status, I will say in general terms that I like having community leaders who have experience cycling on our community's roads. See http://kevinhartke.com/.

Events

  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


April 22 Saturday Cycling Report

Winter-Resident Members Migrating North

Added April 26, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Forty-three signed in for the Length of Lindsay ride. Janet and I ended up sweeping the long route, where the only problem we saw was a slow leaking tire that needed occasional pumping. Kathy reports there were no troubles at all on the standard route.

After breakfast, we said good-bye to four more of our winter-resident members who are returning north for the spring thaw. I wonder why the term snowbird used to have such a negative connotation? Maybe because 20 or 30 years ago they all seemed so old, but now they appear to be perfectly normal aged. Anyway, we enjoy riding with them and they will all be missed until the next big freeze sends them back to us.

Coming up...

Saturday, 04/29/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
This Ahwatukee Foothills route includes four optional loops before reaching the regroup; each includes a gentle climb. The extended distance option after the regroup includes two not-so-gentle climbs, including northbound 8th street which gives the route its name. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 5:42

Saturday, 05/06/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. MidSummer Ride
This route was designed to seek out maximum shade on summer mornings when the sun is farthest north and most brutal. In the winter, it's just another route, much like the others. It includes options of 28 miles with one short climb, or 38 miles with a couple of bonus climbs. Breakfast at Panera Bread at Guadalupe Rd and McClintock Dr. Sunrise: 5:35

Saturday, 05/13/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 5:29

Tid Bits...

The map for this Saturday's new route, 8th Street Ail is now posted on the web site. It's kind of busy with a lot of street names, but is not as complex as it looks.

The 27-mile standard route is the same as the Foothills Training Ride, except I changed these four transition points:

  1. Rocky Slope to get to Ray
  2. Thunderhill to get to Chandler Blvd
  3. Market Place and 12th Street to get to Liberty Ln
  4. Wild Horse Pass to cross I-10

I consider each of these to be incremental safety improvements.

Along the way to the regroup, there are these four optional loops:

  1. The familiar Kachina hill
  2. Warpaint, which many people were already doing off-map.
  3. Dry Creek from Ray
  4. Foxtail from Thunderhill.

Each is a mile or less long, includes some gentle climbing, and a lot of similar looking homes. On the map, those last two loops look overly complicated, but all you really need to do is go up when you can, flow downhill after there is no more up, and never go down any dead end (they're marked with yellow signs). If you enjoy gentle climbs, you could do all four of these loops, take the standard route back, and finish with a little over 30 miles. If you're in a hurry to get to the tough stuff, just pass on by those early loops; you'll still do close to 35 miles.

The extended option beyond the regroup looks a little like the Iberian Peninsula. It has you climbing up 8th Street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway. I think it's the steeper of the three approaches to the Telegraph Pass hiking trail. From there you will circumnavigate Spain and Portugal to climb the eastbound Chandler Blvd hill. It's a nice, neat loop that doesn't twist and turn back onto itself, in a lightly trafficked part of town. I hope you enjoy it. Your helpful feedback is always accepted, and usually appreciated.

Events

  • ABC's Desert Classic Century – Saturday, April 29
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


April 15 Saturday Cycling Report

Awesome Spring Day for Cycling South Mountain

Added April 20, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Fifty-three cyclists enjoyed another awesome spring day for cycling. The wildflower display in South Mountain Park was over and the desert has returned to its green and brown tones, other than the flaming red tips of the occasional ocotillo. No headwind on the eastbound return leg was a welcome change.

I had said we would be testing our new tandem's climbing ability, but a short-term ailment kept Janet from riding this time. I seriously considered doing it without her, but it seemed too silly to ride a stokerless tandem all the way up the mountain just because it's new. Even for me.

Coming up...

Saturday, 04/22/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Length of Lindsay
The Length of Lindsay takes us to the east, with route options of 29 miles or 39 miles, no climbing. Breakfast at Panera Bread on the SE corner of Guadalupe and McClintock. Sunrise: 5:49

Saturday, 04/29/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
This new Ahwatukee Foothills route will include a few extra loops with little climbs, and one big loop with steep hills for the extended-distance option. This will be the first Saturday Cycling map that takes us north up 8th street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway near the Telegraph Pass trailhead, which I consider one of the steepest ungated climbs in the foothills. You beer drinkers will notice the title's reference to a flagship product from one of our state's greatest, previously independent microbreweries. I plan to complete the map and have it posted a week prior to the ride. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 5:42

Saturday, 05/06/17 6:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. MidSummer Ride
This route was designed to seek out maximum shade on summer mornings when the sun is farthest north and most brutal. In the winter, it's just another route, much like the others. It includes options of 28 miles with one short climb, or 38 miles with a couple of bonus climbs. Breakfast at Panera Bread at Guadalupe Rd and McClintock Dr. Sunrise: 5:35

Tid Bits...

We learned this week that our friend Carol has sold the AZ Bread Co! The good news is she sold it to her manager Connie, another friend to PMBC members. Carol sent me this comforting note addressed to the whole club:

Just a note to thank all of you for so many years of friendship, laughter, and community! I have appreciated your continued business but most of all your friendships! 
I know that Connie will do her best to keep things going well and probably even better! 
Hugs to all of you! 
Carol

This guest editorial in today's paper endorsing Bike To Work Day (http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2017/04/17/bike-work-day/100495664/) reminded me of another thing I learned at the bike summit. Maricopa DOT is working on an Active Transportation Plan. It focuses on walking and bicycling as transportation modes and will replace the 1999 Bicycle Transportation System Plan. Their web site (http://www.mcdot.maricopa.gov/4355/Active-Transportation-Plan) includes an interactive map that allows you to tag areas that need improvement. That could take up a day. Judging by the 18 years of progress since the last plan, I'd say this effort will be worthwhile, likely bringing more benefits to come over the next couple of decades.

A helpful club member recently suggested that I add a tid bit about verbal alerts in the pack. Thinking I'd already done that one, I combed through The Hub section of our website and found it in the August 15, 2015 report. However, her specific concern was not included, so here is an addendum nearly 2 years later: Many cyclists on group rides like to shout out CLEAR when rolling up to a controlled intersection. That seems helpful, but it does not relieve the rest of the group from being responsible for their own safety; each of us needs to decide for ourselves that it is safe to cross by slowing to a safe speed and looking both ways. I'm not saying you're bad for yelling CLEAR; I'm just saying I'm going to ignore it if you do.

Events

  • ABC's Desert Classic Century – Saturday, April 29
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16
  • Tour de Scottsdale – Sunday, Oct 8

Have fun and ride safely.


April 8 Saturday Cycling Report

Forty-Five cyclists On Tour de Mesa Rewound

Added April 5, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Forty-five cyclists showed up to see our new tandem with the extra hardware for independent coasting. It did well on its first outing; just a couple little fine-tuning adjustments to make. Next Saturday we'll see how it climbs. Since I've been busy doing our procrastinated tax returns all week, it's hard to remember much else from the ride. I do recall that Janet and I had to rush off and completely skipped the group breakfast. That's my 2nd favorite part of the day. Riding with you guys is the best part.

Coming up...

Saturday, 04/15/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 5:58

Saturday, 04/22/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Length of Lindsay
The Length of Lindsay takes us to the east, with route options of 29 miles or 39 miles, no climbing. Breakfast at Panera Bread on the SE corner of Guadalupe and McClintock. Sunrise: 5:49

Saturday, 04/29/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
This new Ahwatukee Foothills route will include a few extra loops with little climbs, and one big loop with steep hills for the extended-distance option. This will be the first Saturday Cycling map that takes us north up 8th street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway near the Telegraph Pass trail head, which I consider one of the steepest ungated climbs in the foothills. You beer drinkers will notice the title's reference to a flagship product from one of our state's greatest, previously independent microbreweries. I plan to complete the map and have it posted a week prior to the ride. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 5:42

Tid Bits...

It's now been 2 weeks since the Arizona Bicycling Summit. I attended the all-day event and asked lots of questions, but wasn't much of a note taker. These then are the highlights that remain impressed on my tired old memory cells, with the help of a printed agenda:

  • The Director of the AZ Governor's Office of Highway Safety entertained us with his insights in how state government works. His office is independent of ADOT. I was glad to know he thinks cyclists are relevant to his charter.
  • The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is doing a detailed study of what they call The Spine, which is essentially from where I-10 enters the county from the south, to where I-17 crosses the county line to the north. They are finding that the bigger traffic problems are on the streets that cross the freeway, rather than on the interstate itself. A complete redo of Warner Road over I-10 is one of their higher priorities. The north end of town apparently has similar problems that are getting some attention as well.
  • Bicycling Programs for Under-served Populations was a focus topic. We heard about Pima County DOT's efforts to supply bikes and safety training. Also, four Phoenix non-profits:
    • Trips for Kids – See Aug 6 Tid Bits.
    • We-Cycle – providing reconditioned bikes to kids and adults in need
    • Phoenix Spokes People – Advocating for all cyclists in the city of Phoenix
    • Rusty Spoke Community Bike Collective – Connecting with, and providing bicycles to some of our neediest neighbors: the homeless.
  • The Head of Business Operations for Waymo gave us a fascinating presentation on their self-driving vehicle testing (formerly known as the Google car). She highlighted the way it detects bicycles, and how it handles unknown situations. Like an old lady in a wheelchair, chasing a duck in the street while swinging a cane in its general direction. You just can't predict every possibility; the system needs to be heuristic.

One of the best benefits of the Summit is networking. I had a nice conversation with Brandee Lepak, co-owner of Global Bikes which will benefit PMBC members: she offered to host our Memorial Day ride this year from the Global shop on Ray road in Chandler. They will provide a route, sag support and a breakfast at the finish! If you were thinking you wanted to organize a holiday ride, your next opportunity will be Independence Day on Tuesday, July 4. I imagine some people will have Monday the 3rd off too.

Events

  • Cycling for Recovery – Saturday, April 22, 7:30am
    • Portillo's at 10574 N 90th St, Scottsdale
  • ABC's Desert Classic Century – Saturday, April 29
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16

Have fun and ride safely.


April 1 Saturday Cycling Report

38 Cyclists Rode Chandler-Pecos East Instead of El Tour de Mesa

Added April 5, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

We had 38 cyclists who rode with us instead of riding or working the el Tour de Mesa. A total of 5 club jerseys were on display at the Chandler Family Ride. Most of the Chandler City Council was there too, either riding or working the sag stop. Nice example of government accessibility. The rest of you probably noticed the friendly police controlling traffic for us at the canal crossing as you returned down Pecos.

There's a schedule change below. I've moved out the new Foothills route premier to avoid Ahwahtukee's Easter Parade. We'll do South Mountain again instead. I hear the cactus blossoms are coming on now.

Coming up...

Saturday, 04/08/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Mesa Rewound
Distance options of 32 miles with no climbing, or 44 miles with a gentle climb. Breakfast at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:06

Saturday, 04/15/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 5:58

Saturday, 04/22/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Length of Lindsay
The Length of Lindsay takes us to the east, with route options of 29 miles or 39 miles, no climbing. Breakfast at Panera Bread on the SE corner of Guadalupe and McClintock. Sunrise: 5:49

Tid Bits...

It was a busy week for advocacy. I attended another AZ bike summit at the Mesa Convention Center last Friday. More on that next time; today I want to relate my first experience as a volunteer Tempe bike counter.

I watched at a very busy intersection with double left turn lanes on all 4 sides; the evening rush hour had a constant flow of vehicles in every lane. The N-S street had bike lanes; E-W didn't.

Here are my observations:

  • 58 bikes used the intersection during the 2 evening hours.
    • 31 were on the sidewalk
    • 15 were on the wrong side of the street
    • 10 wore helmets
    • 1 was female
  • All the cyclists wearing helmets were on the correct side of the street and most were on the road, not the sidewalk. I've always felt that a helmet is a good indicator that the cyclist will behave predictably.
  • I only saw one cyclists use a left turn lane. It was in the morning rush, he was wearing full kit and did it by the book; he was quick, smooth, and safe. Could have been one of us.
  • All four travel directions had a bus stop a couple of hundred feet after the intersection. Most of the buses had a bike on board; that feature is popular. I believe many of the wrong-way sidewalk riders were just going from the bus stop to the intersection; often to get to one of the other bus stops for a transfer. What's their other choice? Cut across 8 lanes of rush hour traffic to get to the correct side? No bike lane or signage is going to solve that. In fact, I consider it a rare case where wrong-way sidewalk riding is the right thing to do.
  • Most of the time the traffic was very orderly. The stress points were the busy right turn lanes. All the other lanes just need to know red from green, but right turners often need to make decisions. Several times I saw them jump out when they shouldn't, cutting off other motorists. Just as often, the lead right-turning car would get honked at for not going when it should. They are clearly the greatest danger to crosswalk users.
  • For the morning rush hour, all the traffic volume was lower. Especially bikes and peds. That surprised me. How many one way commuters can there be?
  • This job is hard on the ears. Besides the heavy traffic noise, in the morning there were gasoline powered landscaping tools going full volume on one side, and a concrete cutter working a parking lot on the other.
  • My lungs scrubbed a lot of exhaust from the air. That probably explains why the haze was thin and the sky so blue. The brisk wind may have helped a little.

The city of Tempe is requesting public input on another project towards implementing their Transportation Master Plan. This time it's for Country Club Way which parallels the 101 freeway on both sides of the 60. Public meetings will be held Tuesday, April 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Fuller Elementary School located at 1975 E. Cornell Dr., and Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 a.m. at Escalante Community Center is located at 2150 E. Orange St. Those unable to join and interested in the project can also provide input online April 18 to May 9 at www.tempe.gov/CountryClubWayPath. Maybe we can prevent another mistake like the Hardy sidewalk bike lane.

Events

  • Cycling for Recovery – Saturday, April 22, 7:30am
    • Portillo's at 10574 N 90th St, Scottsdale
  • ABC's Desert Classic Century – Saturday, April 29
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16

Have fun and ride safely.


March 25 Saturday Cycling Report

Closing Out the First Quarter of the Year

Added March 28, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

We closed out the first quarter of the year with a big crowd of 60 cyclists that included a few newcomers and several familiar faces who found their way back to us. The thin cloud cover seemed to preserve the cool of early morning for most of the ride. >From all I heard, everyone had a good time. That was followed by more fun later that same day at the Macayo's happy hour. President Janet expressed her gratitude for the people – the friends – who make this club so fun, and plenty of club logo swag was given away raffle style.

==== APRIL START TIME IS 7:00AM =======

Coming up...

Saturday, 04/01/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
Anyone on the ride who plans to attend the Chandler Family Ride will head over from the regroup to Chandler's Park & Ride lot on the SW corner of Germann Rd and Hamilton St, or shortcut up AZ Avenue to get there a little earlier. The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 6:16

Saturday, 04/08/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Mesa Rewound
Distance options of 32 miles with no climbing, or 44 miles with a gentle climb. Breakfast at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:06

Saturday, 04/15/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. 8th Street Ail
It's about time we added a new route for Saturday morning; especially since the Pecos freeway conversion has made two of or our Ahwatukee Foothills rides obsolete. This one will include a few extra loops with little climbs, and one big loop with steep hills for the extended-distance option. I believe this will be the first Saturday map that takes us north up 8th street from Chandler Blvd to Desert Foothills Parkway near the Telegraph Pass trail head, which I consider one of the steepest ungated climbs in the foothills. You beer drinkers will notice the title's reference to a flagship product from one of our states greatest, previously independent microbreweries. I plan to complete the map and have it posted a week prior to the ride. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co. Sunrise: 5:58

Tid Bits...

Here some good news for East Valley Cyclists: ADOT has committed to installing a 20-foot wide high-speed bike/pedestrian path along the south side of the Pecos freeway for the entire 6 miles from 40th St to 17th Ave! It will now be designed to accommodate 20mph bike traffic and may even be suitable for group rides. This will be the last phase of the freeway construction project, since the space it will occupy will be the motor vehicle bypass until then. I'd like to acknowledge the efforts of one individual who doggedly pursued this goal: his name is Joe Struttmann. Joe networked effectively with local government leaders from the City of Phoenix, both the AZ house and senate, as well as other cycling advocacy groups, individuals, and businesses. It's also a good sign that ADOT may be getting more responsive to cyclists needs; Bob Beane at CAzB is taking steps to keep that momentum going. Congratulations to all who helped; I had my doubts, but you did it! See https://www.facebook.com/groups/PecosActionGroup/ to learn more.

The city of Tempe is once again soliciting input for a new "streetscape design". This time they are working on improving 5th street in downtown. There will be an open house on April 4 from 5-7 at 200 E. 5th street, or you can provide input online March 22 through April 10 at www.tempe.gov/5thstreet or by calling 480-350-4311.

The Saturday Cycling Lost & Found in the back of the van is growing. Today we found a green insulated water bottle with the PMBC logo in the street near our parking lot. I gave it a bath and it's all ready to return home. I'm also holding three long-fingered gloves and a Micky Mouse baseball cap that miss their owners.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


March 18 Saturday Cycling Report

52 Show Up to Ride Around Mummy Mountain

Added March 24, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Even with the Mining Country Challenge luring cyclists out of town, we still had 52 show up at Kiwanis to ride around Mummy Mountain. It turns out they have wildflowers up on that end of town too. All the hillsides were accessorized in yellow. Many photo opportunities, but we came to ride. Janet and I had to skip the breakfast; we had the grandkids coming over for the afternoon. The pool water never seems to be too cold for kids who love to swim, and I was the only adult to hop in there with them. Overall an exhausting day.

Coming up...

Saturday, 03/25/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 6:25

Saturday, 04/01/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
Anyone on the ride who plans to attend the Chandler Family Ride will head over from the regroup to Chandler's Park & Ride lot on the SW corner of Germann Rd and Hamilton St, or shortcut up AZ Avenue to get there a little earlier. The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 6:16

Saturday, 04/08/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Mesa Rewound
Distance options of 32 miles with no climbing, or 44 miles with a gentle climb. Breakfast at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:06

Tid Bits...

Back in December the Tempe City Council agreed to study alternative implementations for McClintock Dr between Broadway and Guadalupe. The city created safe bike lanes there in 2015 that reduced the number of traffic lanes from 3 to 2 in each direction, and some local motorists complained. Now it's time to receive feedback on the proposed plans. Public meetings will be held Saturday, March 25 at 9:30 a.m. at Tempe Public Library located at 3500 S. Rural Rd. in Meeting Room A, and Tuesday, March 28 at 6 p.m. at McClintock High School located at 1830 E. Del Rio Dr. Those interested can also provide input online March 25 through April 5 at www.tempe.gov/mcclintockdrive.

The Tempe Bicycle Action Group (TBAG) is organizing volunteers to do a bike count at selected intersections during weekday rush hours. Here's the link if you'd like to help: http://biketempe.org/bikecount/. There are training opportunities this Thursday evening and Sunday at noon. I've signed up for two shifts next week and will be at the Thursday training show.

I recently heard about a charity ride for families with children who suffer from addiction put on by an organization called 100pedals. The ride is 7:30am on April 22 out of Portillo's on 90th/Shea. There are 15, 30, and 60 mile options. The cost is a mere $25 donation. Here's the registration link.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


March 11 Saturday Cycling Report

Wildflower Display at South Mountain Park

Added March 16, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

The 49 cyclists who ventured into South Mountain Park hoping for a good wildflower display were not disappointed. There were large fields of poppies and plenty of little purple lupines, sometimes all mixed together. I imagine the show will continue several more weeks before all this greenery gets scorched to the ground, but we're not likely to venture back up the mountain on a Saturday until autumn.

Coming up...

Saturday, 03/18/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:34

Saturday, 03/25/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 6:25

Saturday, 04/01/17 7:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
Anyone on the ride who plans to attend the Chandler Family Ride will head over from the regroup to Chandler's Park & Ride lot on the SW corner of Germann Rd and Hamilton St, or shortcut up AZ Avenue to get there a little earlier. The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 7:33

Tid Bits...

We still need one or two more volunteers to handle the lunch stop at the MCC! See link below.

We have again agreed to support the Chandler Family Fun bike ride which kicks off AZ Bike Month on Saturday April 1st. It's very simple. We just show up prior to the 8:00 start time, wearing our club jersey, and then ride along with the kids and their parents while role-modeling safe cycling and hoping no one falls in the canal. There is even a t-shirt in it for you, but you need to preregister (no cost, just a waiver) at www.chandleraz.gov/transit.

Here is a summary of Tempe's free Bike Month festivities:

  • Sunday April 2nd - the annual Tour de Tempe Community Bike Ride which starts from Kiwanis Park at 9am. They will have t-shirts, free breakfast and lots of shops and groups providing information.
  • Saturday, April 8 - New this year is a Bike to Art ride at 9am starting at Tempe Center for the Arts. It will be a leisurely cruise around the Town Lake and Mitchell Park areas, showcasing public art.
  • Wednesday, April 19th - Bike to Work Day with 8 locations providing treats to cyclists.
  • Thursday, April 20 – Tempe Bicycle Action Group's 2nd Annual Bike & Beer event at the Tempe History Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave, with a bike themed panel discussion, followed by a ride to Pedal Haus Brewery in downtown Tempe.

All the details are at www.tempe.gov/bikemonth.

Events

  • Mining Country Challenge – Saturday, March 18
    Volunteers needed to help with the Mining Country Challenge
  • PMBC Patio Party – Saturday, March 25
  • Bike MS Arizona – March 25,26. McDowell Mountain Regional Park
  • Arizona Bicycling Summit – Friday, March 31
    Registration
  • El Tour de Mesa – Saturday, April 1
  • ABC's Desert Classic Century – Saturday, April 29
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16

Have fun and ride safely.


March 4 Saturday Cycling Report

A Peaceful Transition of Power

Added March 12, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Forty-eight cyclists signed in last Saturday, and another 30 or more club members met up with us at Fibber Magees for the first membership meeting of the new year. There we witnessed the peaceful transition of power to President Janet, after Past President Armando held the office for 4 straight years. Armando will still be serving as an ad hoc board member. It will be tougher to blame the previous administration for every little thing with him sitting right there, but we'll manage.

Coming up...

Saturday, 03/11/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 6:44

Saturday, 03/18/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:34

Saturday, 03/25/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Tour de Sue
Tour de Sue is a flat loop to the south, with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Both routes include a good long stretch with no traffic lights. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 6:25

Tid Bits...

Here are some items of interest from the membership meeting as I remember them:

  • Kathy Mills is this year's Mining Country Challenge chief organizer. Yes, the same Kathy Mills that also recently volunteered to coach beginners as she rides sweep for Saturday Cycling. Isn't she great?!
  • There will not be a White Mountain Tour this year, or probably ever again as no one has stepped up to champion that cause. We do, however, have people interested in initiating a new out-of-town overnight event ride, which is something to look forward to. If you really miss riding the WMT, I'd urge you to participate in the Tour of Flagstaff in July; it has been steadily increasing in numbers each year since its inception.
  • There is room for one more on the PMBC board. Please contact anyone on the board if you feel the urge to leap into leadership.

Here's a link where you can see our friend Wayne on a 1:12 YouTube video regarding the new Rio Salado Pathway in Mesa. If he wasn't famous already, he will be soon with 65 views and counting! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i48XzVpT68Q.

Apparently, something has gone amiss with the maintenance agreement for the awesome bike lanes on SR 179 near Sedona. ADOT was quoted as saying they will begin the removal of the bike lane markings and signage on SR 179 between the Red Rock Ranger Station and the Sedona City Limits if someone doesn't pony up the $4,000/year it costs to keep it great by May 31st. The Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition has started a fund-raising effort as a possible solution. If you'd like to help keep the lanes swept, and avoid their complete removal (which seems nutty to me), please go here to donate: http://www.vvcc.us/p/clean-lanes-fund.html.

The annual MS fund raiser is happening later this month; more info below. Also, a link was added for the AZ bike summit registration.

Events

  • Mining Country Challenge – Saturday, March 18
    Volunteers needed to help with the Mining Country Challenge
  • PMBC Patio Party – Saturday, March 25
  • Bike MS Arizona – March 25,26. McDowell Mountain Regional Park
  • Arizona Bicycling Summit – Friday, March 31
    Registration
  • El Tour de Mesa – Saturday, April 1
  • ABC's Desert Classic Century – Saturday, April 29
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16

Have fun and ride safely.


February 25 Saturday Cycling Report

Forty-Two Cyclists Took to the Hills on Foothills Training Ride

Added March 5, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Forty-two cyclists took to the hills on Saturday. It seems like every year I inadvertently schedule an Ahwatukee-Foothills ride on "Transportation Day", an event put on by a local preschool. It's grown popular enough to convert a half mile of Liberty Lane's bike lanes into a parking lot. Car doors come popping open, and small pedestrians suddenly appear from between parked cars. Even though it's a hazard for us, I'm kind of glad that we do ride by. I've seen fire engines, buses, horses, and helicopters at this event, but I've never seen bicycles in their transportation mix; including the attendees, who all arrive by car. Maybe next year I'll see it coming and schedule us to ride past it on purpose, as a reminder that bicycles can move people too.

======= MARCH START TIME IS 7:30 =======

Coming up...

Saturday, 03/04/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
It's time for another Quarterly Membership Meeting! We'll be returning to Fibber Magees this time. The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Fibber Magees, 1989 W. Elliot Road in Chandler; just east of Dobson. Sign-in will begin at 9:15am, and the meeting should start around 10:00. Sunrise: 6:53

Saturday, 03/11/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 6:44

Saturday, 03/18/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Mummy Mountain
A 40-mile loop with lots of climbing, or 31 miles with a couple of moderate climbs, takes us north into Scottsdale and around Mummy Mountain. Breakfast stop at Panera Bread at McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 6:34

Tid Bits...

Here is something you should know, and probably already do: the Saturday Ride Report is not an automatic benefit of membership in PMBC. You most likely got on this email list because you legibly wrote your email when you signed in one Saturday morning, or you were already in the distribution list I inherited from my predecessor, Sue. Official PMBC member email blasts come from VP Steve; he is the keeper of the membership database. For example, if you are a current member you should have recently received an email from Steve about the March 25th Patio Party (see Events below). If you didn't and should have, please contact Steve Miller.

Be assured that Steve and I both do all we can to protect your email identities. We never release email lists to anyone. We've been asked, and we always say no. Letting your PMBC membership expire will eventually get you removed from Steve's list, but to get off mine you need to request it. I'm pretty good about deletions. This report currently goes out to 571 cyclists each week.

Events

  • Mining Country Challenge – Saturday, March 18
    Volunteers needed to help with the Mining Country Challenge
  • PMBC Patio Party – Saturday, March 25
  • Arizona Bicycling Summit – Friday, March 31
  • El Tour de Mesa – Saturday, April 1
  • ABC's Desert Classic Century – Saturday, April 29
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16

Have fun and ride safely.


February 18 Saturday Cycling Report

Sloshing Through the Tour de Lehi

Added February 26, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Water was the story last Saturday. First, water released from the Granit Reef Dam turned part of McKellips road into river bottom, closed to all traffic, which necessitated a route change. Despite the near certainty of some rain, 19 people showed up at the start. Four of them changed their minds on arrival and drove away (DNS in Le Tour lingo), which left 15 cyclists to slosh through the Tour de Lehi.

It started out with light sprinkles, wet roads, and rooster tails. Then, as the pack's premier pessimist predicted (say that 3 times fast), heavy rain came down as we approached the point furthest away from the park, and continued for most of the remainder of the ride. So yes, we who rode got very wet and gritty. At least it wasn't cold; we were wet, but not shivering wet. I was impressed with how many cyclists were willing to ride in inclement weather, but only two of us brought rain-ready bikes complete with fenders (or something similar to fenders). That meant muddy faces, dirty chains, soaked feet, and dark stripes up the back. But still, we rode. The pay-off should come three weeks out in the form of a colorful wildflower display in South Mountain Park.

Coming up...

Saturday, 02/25/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:01

Saturday, 03/04/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
It's time for another Quarterly Membership Meeting! We'll be returning to Fibber Magees this time. The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Fibber Magees, 1989 W. Elliot Road in Chandler; just east of Dobson. Sign-in will begin at 9:15am, and the meeting should start around 10:00. Sunrise: 6:53

Saturday, 03/11/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. South Mountain
Route options of 24 miles with a bit of gentle climbing, 38 miles with moderate climbing, or 39 miles with the longest steady climb within 20 miles of Kiwanis Park. Breakfast is at AZ Bread, southeast of Elliot & Kyrene. Sunrise: 6:44

Tid Bits...

The Mining Country Challenge needs volunteers! A volunteer sign-up has been created on Eventbrite for your convenience.

I did a little exploratory ride in the Ahwatukee-Foothills yesterday. There were people working on the Chandler Blvd extension west of 19th ave, but it looks a long way from finished. It appears that Pecos is still clear sailing most days in the westbound direction, but that won't last long. Since I plan the routes 3 weeks out, I'm not taking any more chances with Pecos; two of our three Foothills routes are now obsolete (Ahwafooty and …Or Give Me Hills). Scouting out a new route was the main reason for yesterday's excursion. We need to maintain a reasonable balance between routes that hit our two breakfast stops, and we just dropped two AZ bread maps. I hope to roll out the new route in March, or early April while the weather is still nice, because there will be hills.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


February 11 Saturday Cycling Report

It Just Was

Added February 17, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

The forty-three cyclists up showed up last Saturday were treated to no weather at all. It wasn't hot, it wasn't cold, it wasn't bright, it wasn't dark, and it wasn't windy. It just was.

The March free-breakfast Quarterly Membership Meeting is on the radar. We'll be returning to the same venue as last time. Changes will be made to ensure the long route riders get some hot food too. Jason's Deli on Frye is the latest in a collection of previous meeting venues and breakfast stops that have gone under. I think it's the first time it's happened since I became the ride leader, so it's not all my fault!

Coming up...

Saturday, 02/18/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. McKellips Loop
This 28- or 37-mile loop will take you north through Tempe and then east through Mesa on McKellips Road, returning to Panera Bread for breakfast. Sunrise: 7:09

Saturday, 02/25/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:01

Saturday, 03/04/17 7:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Marco Polo
It's time for another Quarterly Membership Meeting! We'll be returning to Fibber Magees this time. The 26-mile standard route goes east on Guadalupe for 12 miles, then loops back on Elliot. The 41-mile long route keeps going east all the way to Ellsworth, then heads a little further south before rejoining the Elliot return path. Breakfast at Fibber Magees, 1989 W. Elliot Road in Chandler; just east of Dobson. Sign-in will begin at 9:15am, and the meeting should start around 10:00. Sunrise: 7:27

Tid Bits...

About a month ago, our board was contacted by Nicole, the volunteer coordinator at a Tempe non-profit called Bike Saviours (yes, they use the British spelling; don't know why), and this week I finally went to their facility to see what it was about and found two reasons that our club members might be interested. First, you might want to use their primary service which is as a very inexpensive do-it-yourself bike repair shop. For $4 an hour you can use their fully stocked shop complete with repair stands, tools (including truing stands), parts and the company of other friendly cyclists. If you are a little mechanically challenged, they have volunteers on site who can help you out. Volunteering as a helper is the other way we could get involved. In fact, there was already a PMBC club member named Jim there on Monday wearing an apron and ready to help. Nicole told me that no experience is necessary, but I would think some familiarity with bicycles would be a plus. They're located on Roosevelt, just north of Broadway and a short dart's throw away from Boulder's On Broadway, so beer and pizza are always close by.

Here's their web site: Bike Saviours

.

You can reach Nicole if you'd like to volunteer. If you want to use the shop, check the hours on the web site and then drop on in.

The Mining Country Challenge registration is up and ready for you!

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


February 4 Saturday Cycling Report

St. Francis Loop Starts with Headwind and Finishes with Hills

Added February 8, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

We kicked off our February rides with 44 cyclists. It appeared that no one missed the move to the earlier start time; all 5 of the maps I left on the windshield were still there. The St. Francis Loop has long been my personal favorite; it starts with headwind and finishes with hills, but all the climbing seems easy.

Coming up...

Saturday, 02/11/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:16

Saturday, 02/18/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. McKellips Loop
This 28- or 37-mile loop will take you north through Tempe and then east through Mesa on McKellips Road, returning to Panera Bread for breakfast. Sunrise: 7:09

Saturday, 02/25/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Foothills Training Ride
Ride with us on a loop through the Ahwatukee Foothills with options of 25 miles with a couple of gentle climbs, or 38 miles that will take you up 5 bigger hills. If you follow the spaghetti-bowl long-route map, you will have gone up and down all 5 approaches with no repeats and no U-turns. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. on the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:01

Tid Bits...

I'm suddenly on Arizona Bicycle Club's (ABC) email list and have added a couple of their rides to the event list below. Also added is the 2017 Arizona Bicycling Summit put on by the Coalition of AZ Bicyclists and the City of Mesa, and in some way associated with the Tour de Mesa. I went last year and was impressed with the number of statewide, even federal government agencies who presented. I know of three PMBC members who work in the transportation departments of three of our East Valley cities. I'm hoping to see them all there this year.

Last week I was asked if I expect more alternative-start locations on the Saturday ride. The short answer is no, other than the 2nd Saturday in December each year when we start in Mesa for Geno's Free Ride. You should always feel confident in knowing that Saturday Cycling will leave from Kiwanis Park every Saturday morning, even if you have no internet service at all. Although, it would be hard to remember the migrating start times, so I recommend you stay connected anyway.

We do, however, love to do special rides like the previous week's Mountain Bridge Loop from time-to-time, and I have had other members suggest that we do more of these relocated rides a little further away from the city centers. I agree, and I encourage them to organize those rides on any of the 10-12 holidays that recur each year. With the Mountain Bridge Loop added, we now have five maps on-line under Miscellaneous Rides, plus Paseo de Cesar Chavez which has been relegated to Labor Day only. New routes are especially welcome. Just stay within our approximate mileage guidelines (25/35+), locate good regroup sites at appropriate intervals, and create a map. I can help with any of these steps if you're interested in leading a holiday ride. President's Day is two weeks from now, and there is no ride scheduled yet. Memorial Day will be the next opportunity after that.

Due to road construction, it looks like the Mining Country Challenge will be restricted to the Metric Century route only this year. The good news is we have a ride leader and are once again making it happen. Watch for updates on the web site soon.

Events

Have fun and ride safely.


RAGBRAI a breeze for 580,000-mile rider

Roger from Arizona

Added February 5, 2017

submitted by Tom Adams

The July 29 2016 Ragbrai section of the Des Moines Register newspaper carried a half page article with pix about our own Roger Simmons, headlined "RAGBRAI a breeze for 580,000-mile rider". I thought it would be of interest to his friends in the club.


January 28 Saturday Cycling Report

Complimentary Brunch was a Big Hit

Added February 5, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

The invitation to brunch, and the chance to ride over Usery Pass attracted 60 cyclists. Not all of them actually did the ride, but they were all cyclists. The complimentary brunch was a big hit. I think the real complement part is Rick and Maggie's message that they think this club is great, and they really like you good people that they ride with. That sentiment is as warm and comforting as the AZ Bread Co. breakfast entrees they provided. Many thanks for both!

==== February start time is 8:00 am =======

Coming up...

Saturday, 02/04/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 7:22

Saturday, 02/11/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:16

Saturday, 02/18/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. McKellips Loop
This 28- or 37-mile loop will take you north through Tempe and then east through Mesa on McKellips Road, returning to Panera Bread for breakfast. Sunrise: 7:09

Tid Bits...

The Tempe City Council has become one of the first communities to establish rules for the operation of electric bicycles; it also covers gas powered "light" motorized vehicles. My interpretation of the ordinance is that light motorized vehicles are treated the same as standard bicycles, with these exceptions:

  • Motorized bicycle operators must be 16 or older.
  • They are assigned a speed limit of 28mph when using bicycle lanes, and 20mph on multi-use paths.
  • Motors are required to be shut off when riding on a sidewalk.

All sounds reasonable to me. You can read it yourself here: http://documents.tempe.gov/sirepub/agdocs.aspx?doctype=agenda&itemid=24248

The May 2017 Amgen Tour of California route was revealed yesterday. You can find it on their web site: http://amgentourofcalifornia.com/home

Events

  • Mining Country Challenge – Saturday, March 18
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16

Have fun and ride safely.


January 21 Saturday Cycling Report

Wind: It Intensifies Your Workout

Added January 26, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

The twelve who showed up Saturday tended to agree that wind is just part of the sport; it intensifies your workout. I can remember once abandoning the effort in Boulder CO, when the wind was in the 60 MPH neighborhood, but 20 MPH is definitely doable.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO RIDE FROM KIWANIS PARK THIS SATURDAY, 1/28/17. Instead, I encourage you to make the drive out to Mesa and join us on a Usery Pass ride with complimentary brunch at the finish! Details below.

Coming up...

Saturday, 01/28/17 8:30 a.m., Northeast Mesa. Mountain Bridge Loop
A special membership appreciation ride will have Saturday Cycling relocate to Mesa this week. But rather than the club showing appreciation to its members, this time two of the members, Rick and Maggie McKee, wish to express their appreciation for the club by hosting a free catered brunch for all participants! The start, end, and brunch location is the Mountain Bridge clubhouse, 8730 E Mountain Bridge, Mesa (near McKellips and Ellsworth) 
https://goo.gl/maps/nwwZTWQViKx. Route options will be around Usery Pass and Las Sendas and will be about 28 and 40 miles long. The long one has about 1900 feet of climbing, the 28-miler, not so much. The route maps schould be posted soon on our Ride Maps web site under the Miscellaneous Rides heading. Sunrise: 7:27

Saturday, 02/04/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 7:22

Saturday, 02/11/17 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler/Gilbert Bronze
Gilbert and Chandler are each Bronze level bicycle friendly communities. We'll ride through both communities with route options of 25 or 35 miles. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co. at the SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:16

Tid Bits...

If you registered for the Casa Grande Century on the day-of the event, then you probably don't have the link to the professional photos that went out to all the people who registered through Eventbrite.

Here is the link to the photos: http://www.photocrazy.com/perl/view.pl?ev=1244

The key to finding yourself is to remember what time it was when you were at the main rest stop that served all the routes. If you did the metric, or the extra short route, your first photo op was probably about 1.25 hours after your start time, plus or minus depending on your speed. And for everyone, it would also be around 1.25 hours before you finished. If you have trouble, the good folks at PhotoCrazy can help you out.

Events

  • Mining Country Challenge – Saturday, March 18
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16

Have fun and ride safely.


January 14 Saturday Cycling Report

Numbers Were Light for Chandler-Pecos East

Added January 22, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

Our numbers were light this past weekend with 21 on Saturday and only 7 for the short-notice MLK Holiday ride on Monday. I'm sure it was partly due to the dicey weather, but I also hear that several of our regulars were away cross-training on the ski slopes. I'm sure it makes them better cyclists in some way. At least I'm guessing they won't complain about the cold Phoenix winter mornings for a while.

There has been rain in the forecast for 5 of the past 6 Saturdays, yet we have beaten the odds each time and were able to enjoy pleasant riding conditions under some dramatic cloud formations. This coming Saturday our luck will be tested again; the latest forecast says slim chance of rain, but plenty of gusty winds. We'll have to see how it plays out.

Coming up...

Saturday, 01/21/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south, through the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area and parts of Ahwatukee. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 7:30

Saturday, 01/28/17 8:30 a.m., Northeast Mesa. Usery Pass & Las Sendas
A special membership appreciation ride will have Saturday Cycling relocate to Mesa this week. But rather than the club showing appreciation to its members, this time two of the members wish to express their appreciation for the club by hosting a free catered brunch for all participants! The start, end, and brunch location is the Mountain Bridge clubhouse, 8730 E Mountain Bridge, Mesa (near McKellips and Ellsworth). Route options will be around Usery Pass and Las Sendas and will be about 28 and 40 miles long. The long one has about 1900 feet of climbing, the 28-miler, not so much. Sunrise: 7:27

Saturday, 02/04/16 8:00 a.m., Kiwanis Park. St. Francis Loop
Both the 25-mile and 36-mile options include three moderate hills, taking you north through Papago Park, around the St. Francis Cemetery, and returning to Tempe via south Scottsdale. Breakfast at Panera Bread on McClintock and Guadalupe. Sunrise: 7:22

Tid Bits...

Irrepressible Ann is planning to do a tour in San Diego March 18-25 with a bike tour club called Colorodo Heartcycle. Here's a link to their web site; she said she'd be happy to have the company of other PMBC members. https://heartcycle.org/Tours/TourInfo.aspx

There was a very cool helmet with an embedded LED lighting system seen on a recent ride. Apparently, several people wanted more information, so here's a link that will even get you a discount: https://lumoshelmet.co/?referral_code=4127d50342db33729382. Thanks Tom!

Mark your calendars: we now have dates for the Mining Country Challenge (March 18) and the Tour of Flagstaff (July 14-16). Registration should go live about eight weeks before each event.

Events

  • Mining Country Challenge – Saturday, March 18
  • Flagstaff Tour at Lake Mary - Fri – Sun, July 14-16

Have fun and ride safely.


January 7 Saturday Cycling Report

Fifty Cyclists Take On South Mountain

Added January 13, 2017

written by Ken St. John

Hello Saturday Cyclists!

An even fifty cyclists showed up Saturday to take on South Mountain as a warm-up to Sunday's Casa Grande Century. At first I felt kind of guilty for that scheduling trick, but realized the next day that many of our regular weekly riders are the ones doing the volunteer work at the CGC, rather than actually ridding. It reminded me that those big rides are put on by us as a service to the rest of the cycling community. I was also reminded on Saturday that when you patch a cut in your tire with a 'boot', you'll be lucky if you get 10 miles before it flats again. It's probably wisest to head to the nearest new tire once the boot is in place.

I had to make some schedule changes this week:

  1. Changed this Saturday to Chandler-Pecos East because the Rock and Roll Marathon is closing key Tempe roads this weekend.
  2. Moved Research to Oak to the Monday MLK Holiday. The marathon clears out Sunday.
  3. Changed the January 21 route to Lucky 7's, since it still looks probable that parts of Pecos in the Foothills will be closed for power-line relocation.
  4. We will have a different start location on January 28. See below for details.

Coming up...

Saturday, 01/14/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Chandler-Pecos East
The extra-long route sails east on Chandler Blvd all the way from Rural to Power, returning by way of Pecos. Distance options are 28, 34 and 42 miles; the shorter routes simply head over to Pecos a little earlier. Breakfast at AZ Bread Co (SE corner of Kyrene and Elliot). Sunrise: 7:33

Monday, 01/16/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Research to Oak
The Research to Oak route takes us on a clockwise loop around town, with 31 miles and no hills, or 38 miles with some moderate climbing. Breakfast is at Panera Bread. Sunrise: 7:33

Saturday, 01/21/17 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Lucky 7's
The Lucky 7's route loops clockwise to the south and takes advantage of some of the new roads over by the Wild Horse Pass casino/resort area. The name plays off the mileage options of 27, 37 and 47 miles, plus the 2 casinos along the way. Breakfast is at AZ Bread Co at Kyrene and Elliot. Sunrise: 6:45

Saturday, 01/28/17 8:30 a.m., Northeast Mesa. Usery Pass & Las Sendas
A special membership appreciation ride will have Saturday Cycling relocate to Mesa this week. But rather than the club showing appreciation to its members, this time two of the members wish to express their appreciation for the club by hosting a free catered brunch for all participants! The start, end, and brunch location is the Mountain Bridge clubhouse, 8730 E Mountain Bridge, Mesa (near McKellips and Ellsworth). Route options will be around Usery Pass and Las Sendas and will be about 28 and 40 miles long. The long one has about 1900 feet of climbing, the 28-miler, not so much.

Tid Bits...

Here are a few more things I recently learned about the South Mountain Freeway construction plans:

  • There will be one or two weekends very soon when big sections of Pecos will be completely closed for power line relocation.
  • As soon as the power lines are relocated, widening of the east bound lanes will begin to convert them into the temporary Pecos road that will carry traffic during the freeway construction. This interim road will have 2 narrow lanes in each direction, no shoulder, and heavy construction barricades along its north edge. The speed limit will be 40mph and it will not be bicycle friendly in any way.
  • The first step in building the interim road is to close the existing big shoulders on both sides of Pecos. I think that means Pecos is going to be gone to cyclists completely within the next month or two.
  • Some of the construction activity will spill over to Liberty Lane. It has something to do with relocating a water main.
  • The multiuse recreational path that ADOT plans to build on the south side of the freeway will be the last thing that gets built, since a lot of it will use the interim roadway, which won't be available for conversion until the freeway is drivable.
  • Powerful advocates are hard at work to get the multiuse path to include separate bicycle-only lanes that are designed for speed. ADOT says that requires costs due to drainage and blah-blah-blah. The negotiation is ongoing.

I hope we get one more chance to ride the Pecos shoulder, but we will probably be retiring two of our foothills routes. Revising them to use Liberty Lane westbound doesn't really appeal to me. I'm leaning towards a whole new route. Maybe we'll find a fun way to incorporate the pending Chandler Blvd. westward extension from 19th to 27th Ave.

Events

  • Mining Country Challenge – Saturday, March 18

Have fun and ride safely.