Ride to Phoenix’s First Friday Art Walk

February 1st is First Friday!

Join TBAG for a leisurely ride to Phoenix’s First Friday art walk.

We will gather at The Plaid Eatery (1044 S Terrace Rd in Tempe) beginning at 5pm – join us when you can. If you’re interested, Plaid is a great place to grab a bite to eat before our ride. We will leave promptly at 6pm to bike to downtown PHX. We can return as a group if people desire, or people are welcome to ride home on their own schedule.

We’ve done this in the past and it’s been great. Join us!

The ride is approximately 12 miles each direction.

Favorite East-West routes to Phoenix?

This morning, I rode my bike from the downtown Tempe area to downtown Phoenix along Washington Street. Up through 24th Street, Washington is a pleasant and fast way to travel, but after 24th bicyclists face disappearing/reappearing bike lanes and bone-rattling, uneven pavement. On the other hand, the route is fairly short (just over 10 miles).

This experience, and numerous other discussions got me wondering: what are your preferred East-West routes?

There’s Oak Street, of course, which is low in traffic but which lengthens the ride considerably.

A regular commuter mentioned riding along Van Buren up until 36th street, then turning north and then riding along Roosevelt the rest of the way, which I’ve found pretty pleasant.

There’s always the Grand Canal, although parts of it appeared to be under construction, and southern sections are tricky to find.

What do you think?

Midweek Crits @ PHX Muni Stadium

The midweek Phoenix Consumer Criterium Series kicks off on February 6th at Phoenix Municipal Stadium (the Oakland Athletics Spring Training Stadium). The races will run every Wednesday evening (with a few exceptions – see the flyer) through April 30th.

These races are a great introduction to road racing for the uninitiated – stop by and watch sometime – and great training for riders looking to tune their fitness.

Check it out.

68 Miles

Need a little inspiration to get out of your car and start riding your bike to work? How about Scott Mason? Scott rides 34 miles one-way from Carefree to his job in Phoenix everyday:

“People think I’m crazy,” says Scott, but he doesn’t, “It was incredibly liberating in that I don’t have to deal with the frustration of traffic …. it’s just a disaster out there.”

In addition to beating the traffic, Scott also gets to enjoy the other perks of using a bicycle for transportation:

Turns out the benefit to biking was threefold. Mason saved money, he guesses 15 dollars a day at these gas prices. He lost weight, about 115 pounds in the last 2 years and has competed in triathlons. Plus he’s helping save the environment. Mason just sold his car.

Check out the full article here

TBAG Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who took our survey last month (link to survey)! 59 of you weighed in on future TBAG activities and here’s what you said:

Potential future TBAG activities (average score, 5=best):

  1. Partner with the City of Tempe to start a bicycle friendly business program (3.66)
  2. Host monthly bicycle-related social events, such as bike film nights at a local bar and tours of local happy hours by bike (3.64)
  3. Organize informal cycling tours/camping trips and weekly rides (3.47)
  4. Start a program to distribute free (or low cost) bicycle lights to encourage safe cycling (3.27)
  5. Work with the City of Tempe on a bicycle rack program (3.15)
  6. Bring a bicycle film festival to Tempe (3.15)
  7. Lobby for a citywide texting-while-driving ban (similar to the recent Phoenix ban) (2.98)
  8. Deliver a set of bicycle commuter workshops (including workshops specifically for women and the ASU community) (2.97)
  9. Hold a series of bicycle trailer building workshops (2.49)
  10. Set up bicycle valet parking at large Tempe events (concerts, Festival of the Arts etc.) (2.33)

People also suggested lobbying the city for better bicycle infrastructure, putting on crosstown bike/light rail/bus races, reinstating bike polo, providing accident statistics, holding large cycling events to improve cyclist visibility, tune-up workshops, cyclist eduction, and driver education.

Thanks for all of these great ideas! In the next week or two, we’ll be contacting everyone who indicated they’d be willing to volunteer so that we can set up program committees and start moving on some of these projects.

Also in the coming weeks, look for the launch of some new TBAG programs and some social rides!

Silent Sunday in 2008

Mark your calendars, the monthly car-free day at South Mountain Park, Silent Sunday, will continue through 2008. As you can see from the email below, public support for Silent Sunday has been outstanding. Please take a moment to tell the City of Phoenix “Thanks!” for continuing this program.

Silent Sunday continues throughout 2008!

We’ll provide the open road; you create your own adventure.

The Natural Resources Division Silent Sunday events have continued to be successful at South Mountain Park/Preserve. The outpouring of positive community feedback has been terrific! Bicyclists, skaters, walkers, strollers, horseback riders, etc, have participated in these environmentally responsible events. During Silent Sunday we invite the public to enjoy a free day of non-motorized recreation at South Mountain Park/Preserve.

The goals of Silent Sunday are to promote awareness of alternative modes of recreation and transportation, and to give the Preserve a day of rest from motor vehicle traffic. All park roads past the main gatehouse at the Central Avenue entrance are closed to motor vehicles during the event. Free public parking is available near the parks’ main entrance at 10919 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix 85042. The roads are reserved for the entire day for all non-motorized recreational activities.

Visitors can also tour the South Mountain Environmental Education Center (SMEEC), open from 9am – 2pm thru April, and 8am – 1pm May thru September. SMEEC will have free drop-in interpretive programs for the public during Silent Sunday; please call ahead for program times.

2008 Dates: January 13, February 24, March 30, April 27, May 25, June 22, July 27, August 24, September 28, October 26, November 23, and December 28.

See you at the Preserve!

Papago Mountain Bike Racing

Been quiet around here over the past month, but I expect you’ll see an upswing in activity on the TBAG site in coming weeks.

January marks the start of the Arizona mountain bike racing season and the Papago Peddler Short Track is kicking things off this Saturday (Jan 5th)! This is a fun event that features short race lengths (< 1hr for all categories) on a fast course through the Tempe portion of Papago. It should be a good event to get your racing legs back or to try out mountain bike racing for the first time. There will day of race registration, so come out and make a few fast laps around the park.

TBAG is helping to organize this event and we could use a few helpers. Responsibilities will be minimal and shouldn’t interfere with your ability to race. If you want to help out, drop us an email at info@biketempe.org

I also noticed that Papago is hosting a 12 hr mountain bike race on January 19th. The 12 Hours of Pain & Purpose Mountain Bike Challenge
is a fund raiser for the Sydney Hudson Foundation. It could be an interesting event and to my knowledge this is the first time anyone has promoted an endurance race in Papago. Unfortunately, the event is on a busy weekend in the calendar and conflicts with the MBAA McDowell race.