Saturday, October 17, 2009

Geezers Jerseys and two Rides for Geezers

Three topics: the long sleeved jerseys and two rides that many Geezers plan to participate in.

First the Jerseys

Karen is sending in the order to Voler for the long-sleeved jerseys on Monday., October 19, 2009. Because she needs to write a check to send with the order, she would be grateful if everyone who has ordered a jersey would pay. We don't want Karen to kite a check and end up in prison, because that means that Dave Weiss would be back in charge, and you remember what that was like. The jerseys cost $67 with the hidden zipper and $69 with the full-length zipper.

A ride for Jim Stenholm, next Saturday October 24

A number of Geezers have expressed interest in doing this ride as a group next Saturday. The ride will not only serve to remember cyclist Jim Stenholm, but it should also help relations with the Scottsdale and Phoenix Police Departments, which are helping to put on the ride. Geezers are requested to ride in their Geezer jerseys or, for those who have them, a Consumers jersey, as Jim was a member of the Phoenix Consumer Cycle Club. You don't have to register in advance; just show up and sign a waver.

As its name implies, this ride will be held in memory of Jim Stenholm, an avid cyclists, a great husband and dad, and a Phoenix police officer who died unexpectedly on October 24, 2008. Jim loved riding his bike, and there is no better way to remember him than to go out and ride our bikes on the anniversary of his death.

In an age when most supported rides are fund raisers with entry fees between $40 and $100, it's nice to find a ride that's free and even includes free food and free swag and whose only requirement is that you sign a release form. Well, to be honest, there is an optional $25 donation to the 100 Club if you feel the ride was worth it. The 100 Club is a not-for-profit organization that helps police officers fire fighters, other first responders and their families when they are in need. If you make this optional donation, this ride will still be a bargain.

Bring the entire family, as there is probably a ride option that will suit everyone: a 100-kilometer ride that I suspect will suit most Geezerettes and Geezers, a short 8-mile ride that should be ideal for many families, and a mini course for riders 10 years old and younger. All rides leave from the Desert Horizon Precinct at 56th Street and Paradise Lane (16030 North 56th Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85254).

Riders need to arrive at least one half hour in advance of their start times in order to fill out and sign a waver. As an incentive to sign up on time, the first 150 riders will receive a free ball cap.

The start times, which have been calculated so that we can all arrive back at the starting point at more or less the same time and have lunch together, are as follows:

8:00 a.m. 100 kilometer/62 mile ride. (To be honest, the route is actually about 92 kilometers or 57 miles.) This ride will have a motorcycle escort.

10:30 a.m. Short course (about 8 miles) This ride will have a ride leader.

11:30 a.m. The Little 100 Mini Course for cyclists 10 years old and younger.

12:00 noon. Free chow and good companionship
Maps will be provided at the start, but to get a look at the route (there may be minor changes by ride time), go to this URL: (You may have to copy the URL and paste it into your browser's address bar to get to the correct map.)

ABC's McDowell Mountain Century, November 14

The other ride is almost a month away, but many riders may want to register in advance in order to avoid the late fee. Most of the Geezers will ride the 62-mile option, and many plan to ride as a group.

The Arizona Bicycle Club's annual McDowell Century takes place this year on November 14 in Scottsdale, Rio Verde, and Fountain Hills and starts at Serano Park, 56th Street and Sweetwater in Scottsdale. There are three versions of the ride: a 100-mile century, a 62-mile metric century, and a 30-mile half-metric century. Members of ABC, GABA, and Bullshifters pay $35 for the event, and non-members pay $45. Tandems are $45 for members per bike and $60 for non-members. After November 1, there is a $5 late fee for individual riders and a $15 late fee for tandems. (When I checked it, the ride's Website confusingly gave the late fee dates of April 15 and August 10, both of which must be incorrect. I reported that to the ABC, and hopefully the error will be fixed by the time you read this.) The entry fee includes sag stops with lots of munchies and insurance. The first 130 riders will also receive ABC logo insulated Polar water bottles.

Check-in and late registration open onsite at 6:30 a.m. The century ride leaves at 7:30, and the metric and half-metric century rides leave at 8:00. (Cautious riders will sneak off a bit early and avoid the dangerous mass starts.)

To access the ride's Website and/or to register online, click here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Presumed Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested

Phoenix Police arrested 23-year-old Timothy Kissida, suspected of being the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year-old cyclist Charles Waldrop on Cave Creek Road in Phoenix last Saturday (see entry below) after Kissida attempted to trade in his damaged BMW at a local car dealer under the Cash for Clunkers program. Kissler reportedly claimed that the damage to his car was caused when he hit a javelina. -- Jack Quinn

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Phoenix Cyclist Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver

Phoenix Police report that a 52-year-old male cyclist was killed Friday just after midnight in the southbound bicycle lane of Cave Creek Road just north of Mountain Gate Pass while riding home from work. Police have not released the identity of the cyclist pending notification of next of kin.

According to Phoenix Police spokesman Tommy Thompson, the cyclist was riding legally in the bicycle lane with a headlight and a flashing red taillight when a sliver. late-model, four-door BMW with tinted windows swerved into the bicycle lane and fatally struck the cyclist. The driver of the BMW then fled the scene.

According to witnesses, the car had been weaving and speeding prior to striking the cyclist.

Police do not have the license plate number of the BMW, but witnesses say that the car had an Arizona plate and that the car suffered extensive damage to the right front bumper area and to the windshield on the passenger side. Police found the car's right clearance marker lamp and fog lamp at the scene.

Jack Quinn

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Partisan Politics and Cycling: Bill Favoring Cyclists Killed on Party-Line Vote

As reported in the last issue of Arizona Road Cycling News, the Arizona Legislature's House Bill 2479, which would have permitted cyclists to treat stops signs as if they were yield signs, was voted down by the House's Military and Public Affairs (MAPS) Committee. What I didn't notice at the time was that voting was along straight party lines. Every Democrat on the committee voted to approve the bill, and every Republican voted to kill it.

Voting against the measure were Ray Barnes (, Sam Crump (, Carl Seel (, David Gowan (, and Jerry Weiers (, all Republicans. Voting in favor were the committee's three Democrats: Patricia Fleming (, Barbara McGuire (, and Daniel Patterson (

Perhaps the political party that has taken a stand against this cycling bill doesn't think that its constituents ride bikes. In case some of our readers would like to correct this impression, I've included the E-mail addresses of all of the committee members who voted on this bill. You may also to forward this article to your cycling friends who may also wish to E-mail, call or write the people's representatives in the Arizona Legislature. There is nothing that motivates politicians as much as knowing that voters are watching them and care about the decisions they make.
This article is also posted online at

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Legislative Committee Votes Down Cyclist Bill

This morning, March 4, 2009, the Committee on Military Affairs and Public Safety held a hearing on House Bill 2470, the bill that would give bicyclists the right to treat yield signs as if they were stop signs. As reported in today's issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News (, the bill failed to pass the committee by a vote of three in favor and five against. Voting for this bill were Representatives Barbara McGuire, Daniel Patterson, and Patricia Fleming. Voting against were Ray Barnes, David Gowan, Sam Crump, Jerry Weers, and Car Steel. You can access the bill's Web site by clicking here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Group riding skills

An article inside the back cover of the most recent issue of VeloNews got me to thinking. The article was about group rides, and there was a brief list of the skills that one should have to ride in a group such as our Wheezers and Geezers. To modify the list slightly and put it in my own words, I think that riders should have the skills to 1) ride in a straight line in a paceline with one hand on the bars so that the rider is able to point out obsticales or take a swig from the water bottle, 2) be able to ride a rotating pace line or else have enough sense to stay at the back of the pack out of the way when riders are rotating pulls at the front, 3) be able to follow the wheel in front of them in a steady manner, i.e. without swerving and at a relatively constant distance without the alternating pedaling and coasting that make the pace so jerky for those behind. -- Jack Quinn

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bicycling Through Stop Signs Could Become Legal in Arizona

In a past issue of Arizona Road Cyclist News, I mentioned that the State of Idaho allows cyclists to essentially treat red traffic lights as stop signs and and stop signs as red lights. Now Arizona may take a step in that direction. The Idaho approach makes sense, because cyclists are often unable to trip traffic lights that only change in response to sensors embedded in the road, and cyclists are often able to clear stop signs more rapidly and more safely, especially four-way stop signs, if they do not come to a complete stop and maintain some momentum. Of course, Arizona law already recognizes the right of a vehicle or a bicycle to cautiously proceed through a red light if the driver or cyclist is absolutely sure that the vehicle or bicycle cannot trigger the light.

Now, Ed Beighe of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists has drawn my attention to the fact that a bill has been introduced in the Arizona Legislature that would give Arizona bicyclists the right to treat stop signs as yield signs. In other words, cyclists approaching a stop sign would be required to slow down, look both ways, and then ride through the intersection without making a complete stop, if there were no cross traffic approaching

The proposal has been introduced as House Bill 2475 and has nine sponsors and co-sponsors. It would modify Arizona Revised Statute Section 28-855 Subsection C to read as follows. If the bill passes, the blue text will be added to the statute, and the red text will be deleted.

C. The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign and any person riding a bicycle approaching a yield sign or a stop sign shall slow down in obedience to the sign to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and shall yield the right‑of‑way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver or bicycle rider is moving across or within the intersection. If after driving or riding past a yield sign or stop sign without stopping the driver or bicycle rider is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection, the collision is prima facie evidence of the driver's or bicycle rider's failure to yield the right‑of‑way.

You can read the bill, follow its progress, and see who its sponsors are by clicking here. Once on the Website, click on "Show Versions" and then under current versions click on either HTML or PDF to read the complete bill.

PS/ The bill died the legislature without ever coming to a vote. Maybe next year. -- Jack Quinn

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sports Bar Recall

A large proportion of the sports bars sold by Cliff under the names Cliff Bar, Mojo, and Luna are being recalled, because they contain peanut butter and could be infected with salmonella. Most of the bars contain the word "nut", "nuts", or "peanut" in the name of the flavor. A complete list of the bars being recalled can be found on the Cliff Bar Website:

If you have any of these bars, please don't eat them. You may experience unpleasant digestive problems. Although Cliff says the bars are being recalled through an "excess of caution", the fact that they are being recalled indicates that the company may have purchased peanut butter and/or peanut paste from Peanut Corporation of American (PCA), the firm whose products sold to the wholesale market were found to be contaminated. Peanut butter purchased in stores is reported to be safe, but products that use peanut butter and/or peanut paste in their ingredients may be contaminated. Power Bar says that it does not purchase ingredients from PCA and that its products are safe.

Because many cyclists eat Cliff Bars, I am sending this message to subscribers of both Arizona Road Cyclist News and the Geezers' mail list. I apologize that those of you who subscribe to both lists will receive a duplicate.