I don't know about you, but I am starting to feel a bit like a caged animal with these little 100-120 mile day rides around the valley area. The weather just doesn't seem to be giving us a break to be able to run through a couple tanks of gas on one trip. We were going to take a quick ride down to Rocky Point this past weekend but the cold and rain came in on Friday so we had to settle for a short ride out to the end of the asphalt on Cave Creek Rd. that turns into Seven Springs Rd. late Sunday afternoon. If you are looking for a really nice, quick and twisty road to take a ride, go East on Cave Creek Rd. from Scottsdale Rd. and follow it the 11 miles until it turns into dirt. There is a nice little patch of asphalt at the end to park the bikes and enjoy the scenery for a while. If you ride or walk up the short dirt road right behind where you park, you get a great view of the area. Then you get to turn around and do it again.
The one thing that is always the same with the Cyclerides.com Update Letter, is that it is never the same. Two weeks ago I talked about a visit with wild animals, last week about Verve, the new Energy Drink for Riders, and this week I decided to get some questions answered about Photo Red Light Enforcement. Last Friday I was talking to Lt. Hildebrandt, a friend of mine at the Peoria Police Department and I asked a question about the new photo red light enforcement at 83rd Ave. and Union Hills. He mentioned that if I were inclined, I could come down and sit with Sgt. Panaccione, the photo enforcement coordinator to get all of my questions answered.
Personally, I have never been a red light runner. Now I'm not saying that I have never gone through a "pink" light, but typically my thought process is that waiting an extra 2 minutes for the next light is going to be faster than plowing into the guy turning left that thinks I am going to stop. Being one with an enquiring mind, I decided to take Doug up on the offer and went to the department Tuesday morning with the intent of finally clearing up all of the rumors and misconceptions that I have had about these recent technological advances on our city streets and highways. Since red light runners and left turners are pretty much "enemy number one" for a motorcycle rider, I was anxious to hear how these cameras might make at least this intersection safer for all who go through it.
My first question is probably one that a lot of you are asking as well. Exactly where is that imaginary line that can separate you from $200 and get you a date for a weekend in traffic school. In this case, it is not imaginary. There is a huge red line that goes across the street that is basically an extension from one curb line across the street to the next curb. Click Here to see the a picture of the 83rd Ave. and Union Hills line. If the front of your car has not crossed this red line when the light turns red, you are in violation. The system will be triggered, a series of 4 photos will be taken, the video will be time stamped and your net worth will soon decrease by exactly $214.
A good thing to remember is that the yellow light on the left turn signal only stays on for 3 seconds before going to red. So you will have to make your decision rather quickly if you are going to commit yourself to going through the intersection, because in this case, the red line is a good 3-4 feet past the cross walk (See Photo). If you decide to stop at the last second before the red line, you are now planted firmly in the middle of the cross walk. Another potential violation.
The second question is what happens when the traffic backs up and I am stuck in the middle of the intersection? Nothing legally, just a few sets of eyes staring at you as you are blocking the road and they have a green light. You are completely legal as long as the front of your car crossed the red line before the light turned red. This scenario happens quite a bit at the 83rd and Union light.
Ok, let's suppose you decided to proceed through the intersection and you didn't quite make it past the red line before the traffic light turned red and all of a sudden light bulbs are flashing like you are George Clooney walking the red carpet at the Oscars. This means that Redflex, the company that installed the cameras has now taken your picture 4 times, has video of the entire infraction and has clocked your speed. One photo from the front to show your face, one from the back for your license plate, two from the side to show your car at the red line with a view of the traffic signal and another 1/2 second later, followed by time stamping and extracting video.
This information is then downloaded to the Peoria photo enforcement division where officers look at every violation to see if the system was accurate or if there were extenuating circumstances. If the photos are inconclusive they can go to the video replay of the violation to see exactly what happened. At this point the officer has 2 buttons to click. One says Accept, the other says Reject. If the evidence is inconclusive, Reject can be clicked and it is your lucky day.
As part of the demonstration for me, Paul pulled up 2 of the 257 violations that were waiting on his computer. One of the violations shown to me he accepted because all of the evidence was very clear and the video showed precisely the driver running the light. The other case he rejected because there was a car that happened to be blocking the view of the red line and he couldn't be absolutely positive that it was correct. He admitted that his goal was not to make sure that every single person got a ticket, but to be sure that the system worked as it was supposed to. If there were any doubt, the case is rejected.
Peoria now has Red Light Photo Enforcement at 83rd Ave. and Union Hills Southbound only and 91st Ave. and Bell, East and West bound. 83rd Ave. and Thunderbird will soon be coming online. In the first 30 day grace period there were over 1700 warning tickets sent to those who were caught by the cameras. Since January 31st the tickets are running at about 35 - 50 per day. But he stated that they are starting to see a drop in both red light running and congestion at the intersection due to people milking the light for all it had.
Part of the fun for me was looking through the photos and seeing the expression on these peoples faces when they have probably realized milliseconds earlier that they have been nabbed by the cameras. The pictures are so incredibly clear that you could use them as Christmas cards. And fairly amusing too. We saw bad hair days, people eating, on the phone, and yes, one lady was even multi-tasking by driving AND getting a $200 photo of herself picking her nose.
We also looked at some video that was pretty scary. These are all short clips.
1. Here is a guy on a rainy night about to make a left turn when a truck runs a red light. When you watch this you can see that the truck was only at the crosswalk when the light turned red. Click Here to View.
2. Here is a guy that clearly runs a red light and a smart guy turning left saw him coming. The guy before him took a chance and got lucky. Click Here to View.
3. Here is a total bonehead move by a guy that is in the Southbound lane on a red light, see's the arrow in the left turn lane turn green and decides to go. It was a very close call in the middle of the intersection. Click Here to View.
4. Here is the same circumstance, but not only did the first guy go on red, but the guy behind him went too. Click Here to View.
Being somewhat of a techie kind of guy, this was one of the more interesting things I have done for a newsletter article. The technology that is being used today for this red light photo enforcement is fascinating. To combine all of the camera shots and video with such precision and clarity on vehicles moving at 40-50 mph is amazing. As for me, I am all for this type of enforcement. If they put them on every intersection, it would probably reduce left turn accidents by a huge percentage. When you know there are cameras at an intersection, you pay closer attention to making sure you don't push the envelope on the yellow light. Like I said earlier, red light runners are enemy number for motorcycle riders and many have been seriously hurt in cars the same way. There is really no reason to risk a life over a couple minutes of extra wait at a red light.
So what happens when you have run the red light and get your photo attached to a $214 ticket in the mail?
A. You can pay the ticket and sign up for the mandatory red light runner class.
B. You can contest the ticket, go to court and try to explain to the judge why you were picking your nose while making a left turn on a red light.
C. You can ignore the ticket and wait for the process server to track you down and have his services tacked onto the $214 fine.
D. Make fast friends with the guys clicking the Accept and Reject buttons.
Thanks to the Peoria Police Department for giving me the nickel tour of the Photo Red Light Enforcement and sharing some video. Following are some useful links that will explain the process in detail.
Explanation of the system and detailed sketches of the camera setup. Click Here.
If you were photographed running a red light you can view your photo at www.photonotice.com
Here are some FAQ's about red light running. Click Here.
The response to the newsletter last week about the Verve Energy Drink and Vemma Supplement
was well more than expected. Thanks for your interest. (Click Here to Read) I
have extended the $15 off on the Verve and the free Cooler with order through Sunday. I will be doing a taste test
for Verve this Friday night, weather permitting at the Easy Rider movie night at Hacienda
Harley from 6pm - 8pm. I will also be at the Dyno Drags Event at Arrowhead Harley
on Saturday from 10am - 2pm. Stop by for a taste, let me know what you think.
Don't forget to RSVP for the big Verve meeting at the Renaissance Hotel Ballroom at Westgate, March 6th at 7pm. Invite all of your friends and family to learn more about this great product from Vemma executive Tom Alkazin. Everyone will get a free can of Verve. Click Here to RSVP, space is limited.
Friday, February 22nd
Hacienda Harley-Davidson Ride-In Movie Night. Remember the DRIVE-IN Movies?
Join us at 7pm for FREE popcorn and drinks outside Hacienda North location, while watching EASY RIDER MOVIE.
Saturday, February 23rd
Chesters Harley Davidson Lipstick Ride. This one is for the LADIES: RIDE WITH US!
Saturday, February 23rd
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Presents Dyno Drags. Don't miss this rare opportunity to watch
or enter your own bike in the Teresi Dyno Drags.
This Week's Bike Night Events
Two Wheeled Tuesdays.
Take a ride on a Tuesday Night to the Chandler HD Bike Night at the Tilted Kilt. Bike night is every Tuesday night with food and drink specials, but Chandler Harley will be doing a special with live music the first Tuesday of every month. Enter drawing to win door prizes and gift certificates. For November, look forward to another special night at the Kilt. There will be Raffles, Vendors, Bike Competition, Portable Dyno Competition. Watch next week for weekly event specials. Bike night hosted at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe located at 660 W. Warner Rd.
Southwest Sports Grill Bike Night.
Riders on the far west side in the Surprise area finally have a Bike Night. The brand new Fuzzy's Southwest will
be hosting a bike night on Thursday Nights. Fuzzy's features an outdoor patio, 17 HD TV's, Pool Table, Large Horseshoe
Bar and all glass front to see the bikes roll in. Enjoy Great Food, Pool, and Your Favorite Sporting Events all
on new Flat Screens every Thursday Night at The Newest Bike Night In the Far West Valley. Bike Night Specials Include:
2.25 Corona's, Corona Light, Dos XX, Dos XX Amber, Pacifico, Tecate. $3.00 Jalapeno Poppers. $4.00 Super Spuds.
$5.00 Chicken Tenders. $6.00 Baby Burgers. From 6-9pm. Fuzzy's is located 18795 N. Reems Rd. in Surprise at the
corner of Reems and Grand Ave.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Every Saturday and Sunday
Western Trails Ranch Bike Weekends with Live Music featuring Doc & Gal Rocking the Ranch every Saturday and Sunday
from 12pm - 4pm with their Classic Rock Renditions, costume changes, and jokes. 12 Acres of pure fun in a
Laid Back Old West Town. Two Large Dance Floors for those that want to cut loose. Four Regulation Horse Shoe
Pits, Pool Table Room, Life Size Chess & Checkers. Nothing beats an open fire –lots of wood burning fire
pits to keep you warm all winter long, we supply the wood. Bar Food, Snacks, & Appetizers available.
Secure Motorcycle Parking in the “Steel Horse Corral”. Western Trails Ranch is also a Special Event Venue! You
can Rent the facility for your SPECIAL EVENT, Corporate Party, Concert, Weddings, Charity Events, Western Events
or BIKE RUN at “The Ranch”. 623-521-0367. Western Trails is located (Map) at 37823 NW Grand Avenue
Mile Marker 124 1/2 Morristown AZ. Click Here for more information.
Cave Creek Corral Bike Weekends. This
is the patio that we have all been waiting for in Cave Creek. The
new 4000 Sq. Ft. patio at Harold's is finally finished complete with misters, TV's and an outdoor bar. There is plenty of room to put some tables
together and hang out with your riding group for breakfast, lunch or the cold beverage of your choice.
Saturday: Every Saturday Patio Party 12-5. Drink Specials, $2.00 Bud / Bud light Bottles, $3.00 16oz Bud / Bud Light Aluminum Bottles & Widmer Hefeweizen Pints. $3.00 Margaritas, Sunrise, etc.. (new cuervo flavors; lime, orange, & pineapple)
Sunday: Every Sunday. All you can eat Breakfast Buffet $8.99 (from 8am - Noon). Sunday's are SERVICE INDUSTRY DAY (from 8am to close). Are you in the Service Industry. Golf, Hotel, Restaurant, etc. Show us your check stub & receive 20% off your entire bill because we appreciate all that you do.
(not valid on already discounted items)
You can also choose from their full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu every day of the week. Plenty of new motorcycle parking right in front of the patio. A great destination patio for your weekend rides. Harold's is located at 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., in Cave Creek. 480-488-1906.
The Popular Sugar Daddy's Sunday Biker Brunch. Voted Best Brunch in Phoenix New Times 2006. Sugar
Daddy's is under new ownership and is undergoing a half million dollar makeover. The outdoor patio is being completely
upgraded with new granite table tops and will be available for the new $9.00
all you can eat brunch. Sundays from 10am - 4pm. Live Music from 10am - 2pm.Enjoy
the patio with $2 mimosa's, $4 Skye Bloody Mary's.
Buffet includes: French Toast, Fruit, Eggs Benedict, Potatoes, Rice Veggies, Salad, Pasta Salad, Chicken Marsala, Biscuits and Gravy and much more. Sugar Daddy's is located at 3102 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale. 480-970-6556.
Events This Week
Friday, February 22nd
Hacienda Harley-Davidson Ride-In Movie Night. Remember the DRIVE-IN Movies? Join us at 7pm for FREE popcorn and drinks outside Hacienda North location, while watching EASY RIDER MOVIE. Meet and greet one of the cast members of this nostalgic movie - Dan Haggerty. He'll be sharing stories and highlights from the movie. For more info call 480-905-1903. Hacienda Harley is located at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ.
Saturday, February 23rd
Chesters Harley Davidson Lipstick Ride. This one is for the LADIES: RIDE WITH US! Its time for our LIPSTICK RIDE! LADIES ONLY RIDE! Sat Feb 23RD, 2008! You can pre-register by calling 480-894-0404 or register the day of the ride from 10AM-1PM. Kickstands up at 1:00. Registration only $20 per person and includes a commemorative ride lipstick, Lunch, and Live Music by RICKIEJOLEEN! All participants are automatically entered to win a GRAND PRIZE! Proceeds benefit SWANRIDER, an organization for victims of domestic violence. RIDE WITH US! Chester's Harley Davidson 922 S Country Club DR Mesa, AZ 85210 480-894-0404.
Saturday, February 23rd
Buddy Stubbs Hogs and Dogs. Join Buddy Stubbs for their monthly last Saturday of the month HOGS and Dogs Party. This Saturday’s event will feature Demo Days where you can sign up to ride the newest 2008 models before you buy, our 1st Annual Pie- Eating Contest, and a sidewalk sale of up to 50% off select merchandise. From 11am - 3pm, enjoy free hot dogs and soda, Live Music by 3 of a Kind, Pool Tournament, 50/50 Raffles and at 12:30pm take a tour of over 125 Vintage motorcycles in the onsite museum with Buddy Stubbs. And while you are there take a look at the new 2008 Harley-Davidsons and the latest in Motorclothes. Ride by Buddy Stubbs and enjoy the festivities at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. 602-971-3400.
Saturday, February 23rd
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Presents Dyno Drags. Don't miss this rare opportunity to watch or enter your own bike in the Teresi Dyno Drags. Grab your riding partners and see who is really the fastest without the risk of getting a speeding ticket. 9:30am-5:00pm. ONE DAY ONLY! Hourly giveaways! Giving away a pair of AHDRA tickets every hour! Vendors, food & drinks. All participants receive a photo, and RPM/speed printout. $30 per run includes T-Shirt, Time sheet with ET, Reaction Time, MPH, Horsepower at rear wheel and what the guy or gal in the other lane did. First come first, serve! Click Here to see more about how the Teresi Dyno Drags work.
Saturday, February 23rd
8th Annual Transportation Day. The Board of Directors at God's Garden CDC invite you to join in this year for our 8th Annual Transportation Day. This event is for our preschool children, their families, our church's congregation, and the public. Last year we had close to 3,000 people at our event and we showcased 42 different vehicles including a Helicopter landing, 3 World War I airplanes and a Blimp doing fly-bys! We would love to have your vehicle at our event for everyone to enjoy and have the opportunity to explore up close! We will advertise in the newspapers, place fliers in store front windows, and have numerous signs directing the public the day of the event. Please join us this year by having YOUR vehicle at this FUN event! Saturday, February 23, 2008, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Please have vehicle arrive at 8:00 a.m.) WHERE: God's Garden CDC/ Horizon Presbyterian Church, 1401 E. Liberty Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85048. CONTACT PERSON: Debra Gutierrez 480-460-3632 or cell: 602-741-5748.
Sunday, March 2nd
Chicks With Picks Music Festival. This looks like a really fun event, especially for those of you that like good music. You've got all day to catch a bit of this event. March 2 from 11am-8pm, FREE Music Festival featuring over 25 female singer/songwriters. Special guests include Jesse Colter, Julie Sinatra, Kacey Jones & Sistah Blue! This all takes place outside The Buffalo Chip, located at 6811 E. Cave Creek Rd. in Cave Creek. Coors Lite girls 5pm-7pm! Take a ride and listen to some great music outdoors.
www.azchickswithpicks.com (for more info).
This is one of the best motorcycle riding songs I have ever heard. A great video to go with it too. It is called "If you don't ride, You don't know"
by Joey J and the Shovelheads. The quality is good enough to enlarge to 200%. Right click on video and choose Video
Here to View and crank it up.
Here is a guy that is Very Clumsy and Very Lucky at the same time. But he made the newsletter. Click Here to View.
Oh my gosh. This guy should probably think of this as a sign to get out of this sport until he figures it out. Click Here to View.
Oops! Somebody forgot to say they were dropping anchor. Check out the guy on the back of the boat. Click Here to View.
Here is one for those up North in the snow right now. Click Here to View.