PHOENIX METRO BICYCLE CLUB
pmbcaz.org The Hub: April 2017

The Hub: April 2017
Reports, News, Memos, Ride Reviews, Stories, Etc.
Updated 4/20/2017

April 2017
April 15 Saturday Cycling Report
  Awesome Spring Day for Cycling South Mountain. By Ken St.John
April 8 Saturday Cycling Report
  Forty-Five Cyclists on Tour de Mesa Rewound. By Ken St.John
April 1 Saturday Cycling Report
  38 Cyclists Rode Chandler-Pecos East Instead of El Tour de Mesa. By Ken St.John


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

Have fun and ride safely.

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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

Have fun and ride safely.

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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

Have fun and ride safely.

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Members add your spoke to The Hub. Send your Reports, News, Memos, Ride Reviews, Member Profiles, Etc, to Terry Wright.

pmbcaz.org The Hub: April 2017