Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one that is getting sticker shock every
time I fill up the SUV at the gas pump these days. The last $90
fill up hit home pretty hard. As a result, I have been using the bike as much as
possible especially while the weather is still bearable during the day. Since I
am getting ready to go to Mesa for a bike night meeting, which is a 90 mile
round trip for me, I decided to figure out how my “break the Arabs” campaign was
going. Since I have put 4000 miles on the Mako Glide in the last 4 months, this
would be a good time to figure out how I am doing. Here is how it breaks down:
The SUV gets 13 MPG. The Glide gets 40 MPG.
4000 miles at 13 MPG = 308 gallons of gas. At $4.00 per gallon
4000 miles at 40 MPG = 100 gallons of gas. At $4.00 per gallon
= $ 400.00.
This comes out to a total savings of $832 ($208 per month)
that won’t be going build a Silver plated Mercedes or roadside bombs. It is not
going to “break the Arabs”, but I feel good that at least $832 is not going to
To put this in perspective for my trip today. If I were to
take the SUV for my 90 mile round trip, it would cost me $27. Taking the Glide
costs me $9. A savings of $18 in just one afternoon. More than enough for a good
Northern Arizona Wine Ride
To follow up on the newsletter last week, I mentioned a new
route I had discovered through the Northern Arizona Wine Country that I wanted
to share with you. Most of you reading this that live in Arizona and ride a
motorcycle have probably been to Jerome at least once. For a quick day trip from
the Phoenix area it is a good destination. A popular route to Jerome is to go up
through Wickenburg, Yarnell, Prescott and up 89A to Jerome, which is a great way
to go, but I have another way, through the Verde Valley wine country.
Not many know, including myself, that Arizona is becoming well known for
their vineyards and wine making. There are 2 regions in the State
big in winemaking now that include Southern Arizona around Elgin/Sonoita, and
Northern Arizona focusing around the Verde Valley area which is where I will be
focusing on. Even though Arizona wine making started in 1973 in the Sonoita
area, the last 5 years has seen a huge increase in the wine industry as there
are now 45 licensed and bonded wineries throughout Arizona with numerous tasting
rooms around the State.
Arizona has three major growing regions, all in the high desert. The first region is in southern Arizona in the Sonoita/Elgin area. The
Willcox area in Cochise County was the second area to come on board. And now the
Verde Valley is our third region for growing grapes. Arizona's high desert
produces a climate ideal for vines. Hot daytime temperatures cooling off at
night is the perfect recipe for a happy grape. Most of the vineyards can be
found between 3800 and almost 6000 feet in Northern Arizona's Verde
Valley. The Verde Valley has
similarities to some of the great wine producing regions in the world. It has
the sunshine and heat to develop great fruit. The valley also has the unique
rocky soils that help the vines produce fruit with great flavors and
concentration. These soils and stressful growing conditions force the vines to
struggle to survive. This struggle causes the vines to put their energy into
developing less abundant but higher quality, more intensely flavored fruit.
Now that you know a little history of Arizona wine country, let me tell you
about a great 200+ mile loop to enjoy it. During Bike Week a group
of about 14 bikes took this route and we all had a great time. My starting point
and end for this route is I-17 and the Loop 101. Starting from here go 78 miles
North on I-17 to exit 293 for Cornville Rd. Turn left on Cornville Rd. and go 8
miles NW to Page Springs Rd. Watch your odometer for 8 miles because the road
sign for Page Springs Rd. on your right is very small and you will likely blow
right past it. A landmark would be a country store. Turn right on Page Springs
Rd. and go 4 miles to Page Springs Cellars.
Page Springs Rd. is definitely a jewel of a road in the Verde Valley area
and one that is captivating leaving me wanting to return again and
again. It is absolutely beautiful and serene with all the twisties as it takes
you on a 25-30 mph ride following Oak Creek past 3 Verde Valley wineries as well
as the Page Springs Fish Hatchery, the state’s largest
coldwater fish production facility, producing nearly 700,000 trout a year. My
only knock on this road is that it is not long enough. But the 8 miles you will
ride on it will be very memorable as you serpentine your way through the valley
with mountains on each side along Oak Creek enjoying the green vegetation and
trees that the Verde Valley has to offer particularly during the late spring
Our first stop was Page
. This is a very good place to start, and in my
opinion the best overall winery experience in the Verde Valley area. This winery
is run by Eric Glomski who has become northern Arizona’s prince of grapes. He
consults with or creates wines for several other Arizona producers. But he
concentrates his best efforts on the wines made for his own label. The winery
and features an outdoor patio and a selection of cheese plates and appetizers.
Eric set our group up for a fantastic private wine
tasting experience on the leather couches in a room just off the
main room. We tasted six wines and learned about the detailed characteristics
and vinting procedures of each one. I am the first to admit that I am not a wine
expert, nor even drink it that much, but the experience was enlightening and
enjoyable to share with friends.
Page Springs Cellars has won several awards for their wine, but in 2011 they took home 2 of the 22 Jefferson Cups, out of over 630
wines, among several other prestigious awards. A great step forward for Arizona
wines. After our tasting, we were all treated to a tour of the winery starting
outside in front of the vines to learn about the nuances of growing the grapes.
Then we were led to the back of the building to understand the technology of crushing
the grapes to extract the juices. and on to learning about how they
barrel the wine to let it mature. The flavors they produce has everything to do
with the type of barrels
they are in, how old the barrel is and how many times it has been
used. I had no idea there was so much technology that goes into making wine, but
it is very educational and interesting.
After the tour we took the walkway through the vines
to an overlook of Oak
. Be sure to do this. It is very beautiful and peaceful
just to hang out there for a while by the creek. Our thanks again to Eric and
his crew at Page Springs Cellars for making
this stop a memorable one. Thanks also to Mitch Levy, who was in our group and
also a winery owner for setting this up for us. Call 928-639-3004 for details on
tastings and tours or click here for emails of
specific areas. Tell them Cyclerides.com sent you. This
whole area is best viewed after the leaves have started to come back on
the vines and the trees along the road. Mid May should be
Once you are through with the wineries continue on Page Springs Rd. another 4 miles to 89A where you will turn left and ride 5.5 miles to
Mingus Ave. You will see a sign leading you to Old Town Cottonwood. Turn right
on Mingus Ave. and go 2 miles to Main St. Turn right on Main St. that will take
you 1.3 miles to Old Town Cottonwood. I have been to Jerome countless times over
the last several years and had never been through Old Town before. This is a
really quaint little town that is in the midst of a rebirth largely due to the
wine industry in the area. There are a few restaurants on Main St. One that we
seem to go to every time is the Tavern
Grille. The food here is as
good as anything you can get in Scottsdale. And the ambiance with a huge center
bar and TV’s is great. And for a food tip, their gourmet Mac and Cheese with
chicken is outstanding. Mrs. C. loves their Seared Ahi Tuna.
There are several wine tasting locations on Main St. as well as many curio,
antique, clothing and even a olive oil store. If you are in the
mood for ice cream, not far from the Tavern Grille is an ice cream and candy
store to cure your sweet tooth. If it is a great burger or milk shake you are
looking for, stop at Bing’s Burger Station just as you are coming into Old Town.
And if you are into tons of antiques of all shapes and sizes, it is worth your
while to take a walk through Larry’s Antique’s right next to Bing’s. Lots of
cool old stuff in there. On your way out of Old Town, you can take a walk back
into the 60’s and stop at the Ye Ole’ Hippie Emporium. Not a lot of biker wear
in there, but lots of bright tie dye apparel and curio to view.
Old Town Cottonwood has become a regular stop for Mrs. C. and myself over
the last year. Not only is it a motorcycle destination, we have
flown up there many times just for lunch at the Tavern Grill. Old Town is only
1.5 miles from the airport so it is a good little walk and a way to get out of
the fast pace of Phoenix while seemingly going back 50 years in time. We
recommend a visit in the near future.
From Old Town Cottonwood, continue North on 89A for the 8 mile
ride through Clarkdale on to old mining and ghost town of Jerome where you will
find the Spirit
Room, more tasting rooms, the Haunted Hamburger and many more shops
to visit. Most of you have been to Jerome, so I won’t go into that much more.
Suffice it to say that you could spend half a day here easy exploring the old
Now get ready for the best section of pure riding on this route. The 12
mile ride over and Mingus Mountain down to Prescott Downs is one of the best
short rides in the State for sure. As you leave Jerome on 89A
toward Prescott you will ride through red
rocks around a canyon with sheer drop offs as you climb through the
pine forest through twists and switchbacks to over 7500 feet in elevation before
descending through more of the same to Prescott Valley. They sell T-Shirts in
Jerome that say I survived 158 curves in 12 miles on 89A. I haven’t counted
myself, but I can assure you that you will be plenty busy while riding this
stretch of road. It is almost hard to do because you want to soak in the beauty,
but you really need to keep your eyes on the road. A fabulous stretch of
motorcycle road that gets a 5 spokes rating from Cyclerides. And to top it off,
it has been freshly entirely repaved and is like butter to ride. Put it on your
“to do list”.
When you reach the bottom of this great stretch of road, if you are not
ready to turn around and do it again, continue on 89A to Fain Rd.
Turn left on Fain Rd. and follow it 7 miles to Hwy. 69. Turn left on 69 and
follow that 20 miles through Mayer and on to Cordes Junction at I-17. Go south
on I-17 for 48 miles back to Phoenix at I-17 & Loop 101.
I highly recommend this route for a great day ride of over 200 miles
through North Central Arizona. I give this ride 4.5 spokes out of 5
for a perfect mix of riding, scenery and stops to make for a fantastic day with
your spouse or a group of friends. As with any route, there are options along
the way. Use the Google map to see what works for you.
Tidbits and Updates:
**Thanks to all who attended the Cyclerides.com
Westgate Bike Night presented by the Law
Tigers last week in the alternate location. I
had no idea how it would work out, but the response to the temporary venue at
Westgate was overwhelmingly positive. We ended up with a really nice bike show
in the center area. Chances are we will have it again in that area. This week we
will be back on Coyote Blvd. as usual with Live Music by Leon J. and Juke Joint.
See you there. Click Here for Photos from the night.
**If you were at any of the events during Arizona Bike Week
this year, chances are your picture might be in this gallery. Rusty Childress
has posted 1083 pictures from Bike Week and there are as usual, some very
interesting character shots. His photography is outstanding. Take a look to see
if you are in there. Click Here to view.
Every Wednesday Night
Starts Wednesday, April 25th
Republic Bike Night in Downtown Chandler
. Bike Night in Downtown Chandler is
back! Begins Wednesday, April 25th. For those of you in the East
Valley, Irish Republic restaurant and bar in downtown Chandler is hosting a bike
night on Wednesday nights. There will be motorcycle parking out front with Food
and Drink specials. Bike night is from 6 PM – 9 PM. Location is 58 S. San Marcos
Place in Chandler, AZ. For more information go to www.irishrepublicaz.com
Every Thursday Night
Where: Westgate City Center,
Loop 101 and Glendale Ave. SE Corner. Next to Jobing.com Arena.
When: Thursday nights
beginning March 29th – June 28th
Time: 5 PM – 9 PM
What: Bike Night. Live Music,
Food, Fun, Vendors, Motorcycles and Sturgis Style Cruising down Coyote Blvd.
Live Music with Sour Diesel Trainwreck.
will enjoy Live Music with “Leon J & Juke Joint” featuring their great Rock
and Blues sounds.
and drink specials include: Calico Jack's -
$3 Tacos, $2 Bud and Coors Original, The Shout House -
$7 Burger, Fries, and a Beer,
Rib Shack is offering a FREE 10 piece Traditional Chicken Wings
Basket with the purchase of any Full Rack Rib Plate. Value $7.99.
Saddleranch - Chicken Tacos for $5.50, Classic Pints of
Draft Beer only $2.50, Large Pilsners of draft for only $4.50.
Margaritaville: 15% Off Food with “M” class license.
I would like to give special thanks to our Sponsors of the Westgate
Please visit their booths at the event and click their links
below to learn more about them.
Law Tigers is a professional association of motorcycle
injury lawyers who help riders every day. Our association of motorcycle accident
attorneys consists of a skilled group of personal injury lawyers whose mission
is to support and promote the well being of motorcyclists. Dedicated to rider
safety, awareness, and education, we are committed to the riding community. Find
an attorney near you from our network of motorcycle accident lawyers or call Law
Tigers, toll-free, at 1-800-529-8443. Our lawyers are available -- 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week.
Your local Harley-Davidson dealership and proud sponsor of the
Cyclerides.com/Westgate Bike Night. Stop by and see the latest in what
Harley-Davidson has to offer. Speak to one of our trained sales staff about what
Harley-Davidson motorcycle would be right for you. We are located just South of
83rd Ave. and Bell Rd. 623-247-5542.
Curly's Customs is a full service Custom Paint & Body
Shop for the motorcycle enthusiast. We refinish Harley Davidson and Metric
motorcycles. Our goal is to provide high quality workmanship & materials at
a very reasonable price. Curly's is located at 12030 N. 111th Ave. in Youngtown,
AZ. 623- 977-0339. Stop by and see them at Bike Night.
Stop by and talk to our staff at bike night or at one of
our many valley locations. We feature many brands including Polaris, Yamaha,
Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Can-Am, BMW, Victory, KTM, Spyder, and Ski-doo. Click
Here for a list of our locations.
Saturday, April 21
WITH HEARTS Charity Ride
. Scottsdale HOG Chapter presents its third annual
HOGS With Hearts Charity Ride to support MDA Summer Camp. Summer
camp allows kids with muscular dystrophy a rare opportunity to spend a week away
from their families in the cool pines at Camp Shadow Pines on the Rim taking
nature hikes, riding horses, playing wheelchair soccer, attending a prom, and
various other events over the course of the week. It is a great time for all the
kids and is it an important break from their daily routine of dealing with
muscular dystrophy. Let’s help as many kids as possible attend camp!
Registration is from 8:30 to 10:00 with all bikes back by 3:00. We have a new
route and new ride format! Pre-registration is $25 (single rider) and $35
(two-up) and includes a pin, ride shirt and lunch for each rider/passenger.
Registration at the event includes pin and lunch. Breakfast is available at our
first stop and is free with the purchase of a beverage. Pre-register by April 12
at www.hog97.com. On-site registration also
available (does not include ride shirt). Everyone has a chance to win $250 in
cash prizes. And don’t forget the raffle prizes and share the wealth! Ride
starts and ends at Harley Davidson of Scottsdale, 15600 N. Hayden Road,
Scottsdale. For info email Sue at email@example.com.
Saturday, April 21st
Annual Southern Arizona Poker Run
to benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run
for Special Olympics. Run will begin at the Florence Prison Outlet
Store on the corner of Hwy. 79 and Butte Ave. Participants must have completed
all paperwork to include release, etc. in order to participate in the run and
draw a poker hand. Prizes for the best and worst hand. $25/$15. Includes shirt,
poker card and pin for all paid riders. Pins to first 200 riders. Registration
8-9 AM. 8:30 AM ride begins. See flyer for registration form and details.
Sunday, April 22nd
to benefit the AZ National Guard Emergency Relief Fund. Registration begins at 8AM with Kick stands up at 10AM. Starting at the
VFW Post at 7720 E. Wilshire Dr. in Scottsdale. $20 Solo/$30 Couple. Plenty of
Raffle Items also 50/50 Raffle.
Arizona Harley-Davidson Hogs and Dogs. We are hosting a new Clinic Series in
addition to their monthly Hogs & Dogs event on Saturday, April
28th, from 11 am to 3 pm! The dealership will be serving FREE food and drinks
along with live music as they kick off their new Clinic Series specifically
designed to give you education for a better ride! The classes will be for those
who are interested in learning more about their Harley-Davidson motorcycle,
gear, and accessories that create a safe and complete H-D experience. The
inaugural Service class will cover things like scheduled maintenance, safety
checklists, brake inspections and much more. Come join Buddy Stubbs AZ H-D as
they get you on your way to being a more informed H-D rider! Space is
limited so please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (602) 971-3400 to
register. For more information go to www.buddystubbshd.com and click on customer
corner. Buddy Stubbs AZ H-D is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ
Sunday, April 29th
. In Memory of the Beardslee brothers! Sunday April
29th Starts at Chesters Harley Davidson and goes thru a nice ride of the lake
and river ending at Baseline Pub and Grill! Check in is open from 9-11am. Last
Bike out by 11am. 1st 150 registered riders get shirt and gift bag. Lunch
included! Register at www.twogalsevents.com. RIDE #2. Bikers Shine for
Starbright Saturday May 12th. No Excuse for Child Abuse " Check in at
Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale 9am-11am. This ride heads to the "westside" ending
at Tailgaters off 67th Ave Great ride! Great Cause. 1st 125 registered riders
get shirt and bag!! Lunch Included! Register at www.twogalsevents.com
Saturday, May 5th
Inaugural "Blues, Bruise and
A Major Festival event ‘Ride In’! Bring
your bike and your babe and Ride in literally, to an all day Music
Festival with National Festival Favorite The Delgado Brothers Headlining
the event coming in from Los Angeles CA. This event has a Biker Village that
will be hosting Bike games, contests, and plenty of FUN all day long! The Biker
Village supports Children’s Cancer and is hosted by The Americans Motorcycle
Club. There are several rides forming to help support this cause and will Ride
into this event. Bikes have an opportunity for ‘VIP inside the event Parking in
the Biker Village’ for only $5 per bike. General Admission is only $10 per
The music Festival will also featuring Blues Hall of Fame
acts: Leon J & JukeJoint - Big Nick and the Gila Monsters -Bill Tarsha and
the Rocket 88’s - Paris James - and Geo Bowman. Other acts on the line up are
national acts Christopher Robin Band, and the popular Wiley Ones. The Festival
also has a BBQ Village with over 50 BBQ trucks, Beer tents and VIP cocktail
lounges, a Bar in the Biker Village where the fun will commence, as well as a
Body Painting Competition and the event finishes the night with a MMA Fight Card
on location in the 2 Knuckles professional Fight Zone.
Don’t miss this opportunity to show off your Bike, Show off
your Babe, play some bike games, and enjoy incredible music, food, and drinks as
you Ride In, to this amazing event! May 5th. 10am-11pm, 101 & I-10 at the
Fear Farm Location the West Side Sports Complex. Go to http://www.bluesbruiseandbbqs.com/ for more
Mid Week Updates will be made on
the Cyclerides.com Facebook. New
Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to
Facebook. Over 3700 FANS! Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall.
If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the
you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for
Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!
Police pursuits are always a grin. This one has
music. Click Here to
Video of the Week:
Have you ever seen the fastest 57 Chevy on the
planet? Watch this. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the
If you would like to sign up for the Cyclerides.com Weekly
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"
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