Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
As most of you know from reading the newsletter in the past, and from looking at the Day Rides section of Cyclerides.com, I am always looking for that next destination that I can point the nose of the Road Glide to and then report back to you my latest finding. I was talking to a friend of mine one day (Mack) and he said he was going to take a ride up South Mountain. I knew South Mountain was there, I see the towers all the time, but had never taken the time to ride up to the top. For some reason I had always been under the impression that it was just a couple mile ride straight up to the top and it was no big deal. I WAS WRONG!
About 3 weeks ago I found myself with a little extra time on a beautiful Friday afternoon. I needed to add a few more miles for the 10,000 mile service and was itching to take a ride. So I pointed the nose of the Road Glide South and headed for the mountain with the towers on it. As I was riding down there I found it amazing that I have lived here for 25 years and have never been up South Mountain. In fact, never been to the bottom of it. I had to look it up on the map just to know for sure how to get there. I guess it is one of those things that when you are that close to it, you just don't find an urgency to go do it. Kind of like living in Arizona and never having gone to the Grand Canyon, but others will fly half way around the world to see it.
While South Mountain Park doesn't compare to the Grand Canyon in awesome beauty, it does have a pretty cool distinction of its' own. At nearly 17,000 acres, South Mountain Park is the largest Municipal Park in the world. When you think of a "Park" you might imagine open grassy fields, playgrounds, soccer fields and lakes. You won't find those here. This would probably be more aptly described as a desert mountain preserve. While picnics, 58 miles of hiking on 10 different trails, mountain biking and trail rides are popular activities here, it was the ride that will have me coming back.
South Mountain Park is easy to reach from anywhere in the Valley as it is located just West of I-10 at 10919 S. Central Ave. and South of I-17. Park hours are 5:30am - 11pm. You can take Baseline W. off of I-10 or 7th ave. exit off of I-17 to get to Central Ave. As you are heading South on Central you will see a sign telling you that you have reached the park followed by a tight right turn that will begin your journey. I would suggest taking a bottle of water or two with you especially as the temperatures get warmer because there is NOTHING at the top for refreshments. If you forget, you can make a quick stop at the Ponderosa Stables next to Scorpion Gulch to see the horses and the 2 headed turkey, you can get a bottled water out of the vending machine.
As soon as you go past the Park Ranger station you will see a sign that says "Winding Park Roads 15 M.P.H. On Curves". This couldn't be more true. Although it is only a 5.5 mile ride to Dobbin's Lookout, it will take you about 15-20 minutes to get there, especially if you are unlucky enough to get behind one of the sightseeing SUV's that are plentiful on this road. You will think it is a short ride, but by the time you Dobbin's Lookout, Buena Vista and the Tower Rd. among others, it will be about a 20 mile roundtrip full of twists and turns.
My first stop was to be Dobbin's Lookout. At 2330 foot in elevation, it is the highest accessible point in the park. As I zig zagged my way up the side of the mountain I could see the view and the panorama of the Valley area to the North start to expand. Trying to take a peek as I was riding but also keeping an eye on this twisty road, I had to stop a couple of times to take it all in. The higher you go, the more of the Valley comes into view and the more awestruck you become. By the time you reach Dobbin's Lookout you have an awesome 210 degree view of the Valley from the Estrella Mountains to the Superstitions and everything in between as far as your eyes can see. As you park and walk onto the point you will see a brass plaque located on the top of a round concrete structure that will show you all of the points of interest across your view. There is an old stone building you can stand in to get out of the sun or you can set on one of the several benches to take in this incredible sight.
After we left Dobbin's we took the road back and headed South to Buena Vista Lookout and then to the TV Towers. Yes, these are the same TV Towers that you see from almost anywhere in the valley. After seeing these for the last 25 years from afar, it was really neat to them up close and see what is around them. From the Tower Lookout point you can see all of Ahwatukee and as far South and you can see. The day that Mrs. C. and I were there we met up with some other riders that were taking advantage of this great ride. We were also entertained by paragliders who were strapping a parachute to their backs and jumping off of the back side of the mountain. Click Here for the video. I've done a lot of things including bungee and skydiving, but this just seems like a little too much left to chance on this activity. One little gust of wind at the wrong time and you could be doing a face plant into the side of a hill. But it did look thrilling, and it wouldn't surprise me if I were soon doing a story on paragliding. After watching the paragliders and taking a few photos we were ready to start our trip back down the hill.
If you are ever in a situation where you have some extra time and want to go for a short ride without leaving the valley area, this would be a good one. It would really be a good place to go to just sit on a bench and relax, maybe eat a sandwich, watch the city and the planes take off at Sky Harbor or watch the sun set and the city lights come to life. I enjoyed this ride so much that I took Mrs. C. back with me last weekend. And I'm sure I will be back again at dusk to see the valley lights. You will need to be very careful as you ride these narrow roads. There is loose gravel around a few of the corners and there are hardly any guardrails. Some of the corners are very tight and you don't want to miss one like somebody did here. On weekends there are a lot of bicyclists that you will have to avoid as well.
Other than that, go enjoy yourself and make this an excuse to get out and take a ride. I will be adding this to the Day Rides section on the site and I am giving it 4 spokes out o 5 for a good, short in town ride destination.
Useful Links: http://www.azcentral.com/travel/arizona/features/articles/archive/southmtn.html
*****Cyclerides.com Hearts To Heroes Ride Update*****
For those of you that did not see my update last week, I have included it again below.
I have lined up a very cool surprise from the sky at the GCC football stadium that you will really
enjoy. This will be a great opportunity for all of us to show our troops
that we at home are thinking of them and to donate needed goods for Packages From Home to send to them. Plan to
attend and bring your friends. This year I will have a limited number of shirts available for this ride. Click Here for needed
There are still over 100,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that still VERY MUCH need our support. A good way to show your support and directly help our troops in combat would be to attend the Cyclerides.com Hearts To Heroes Ride on March 25th to benefit Packages From Home. This is an event that I started last year that is a great tribute to our Soldiers of all branches that are in combat and is your chance to contribute to their comfort by bringing needed goods and donations that will be shipped to them. The ride will be similar to last year in that it will begin inside the 3500 seat Christ's Church of the Valley, located at 67th Ave. and Happy Valley Rd. Sign in is from 8-11am. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided by CCV. We will start with a 40 minute tribute to our Armed Services including an Honor Guard presentation of our Colors, Singing, Video Tributes, Interviews and a closing by Pastor Don Wilson.
We will then be escorted by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to the football stadium at Glendale Community College where we have words from Troops recently home from Iraq, Congressmen, Family members of Troops and music. Food vendors will be available at the end location. So strap your flags to your bikes and plan to attend the Cyclerides.com Hearts to Heroes ride on March 25th. No matter what you feel about our reasons for being there, we need to show support for our troops. A good way for you to do that is to attend this event so that they can see that you care. It is a very moving and Patriotic event that you won't want to miss. Click Here for the flyer to print and pass out at your place of work, post to your bulletin boards or give to your riding groups. In next weeks letter I will have a list of items that are needed by our troops. CLICK HERE for the story, pictures and video from last year's event.
Thank you for your support of this event and our troops.
This Week's Bike Night Events
Chester’s Harley Davidson Biker Night at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe! If you are looking for some fun on a Tuesday night, With 2 outdoor patios and plenty of excitement, This place is a good time! The Tilted Kilt is home to the best Scotch-Irish experience in Arizona, with an award-winning menu, classic pub fare, and signature Kilt items sure to please any palate—not to mention twenty four globe-spanning beers on tap! Biker Night Tuesdays also mean $3 Jack Daniels and half-price appetizers. And, with a Tilted Kilt Biker Night Card, you receive 15% OFF your total bill. So what are you waiting for? Come on down and have a craic with Chester’s Harley-Davidson! The Tilted Kilt is located at 660 W. Warner Rd. in Tempe, AZ. Just 1.5 miles East of I-10 on Warner Rd. 480-592-0102. Click Here for Map.
Uncle Sam's Thursday Bike Night has been cancelled. It just didn't work out.
I am looking for a new spot for the West side.
Superstition Harley-Davidson and Spirits Bar and Grill have teamed up to bring riders in the Far East Valley a great Thursday bike night. Now riders in the far East Valley can enjoy a great Thursday Bike Night, thanks to Superstition Harley-Davidson and Spirits Bar and Grill! Ride up on your bike between 7pm and 10pm and receive a FREE hamburger! That’s right, every rider to show up on their bike between 7-10pm will receive a free hamburger! Don’t miss out on the great prizes you could win from Superstition Harley-Davidson. Spirits is located at 9303 E. Apache Trail in East Mesa. One block East of Ellsworth on Apache Trail (Main St.). Come sit on the patio and watch the bikes roll in, stay inside and enjoy a game of pool, and friendly wait staff and the large dance floor is always open. Spirits is the hottest Bike night place to be in the east valley. The LEGEND of Spirits Lives on. More info at Superstition HD at 480-346-0600 or Spirits at 480-986-5572.
Casey Jones Grill Bike Night. A valley favorite bike night for over 3 years. Ride in and sit out on the patio for what I call the Best Cheesesteak Sandwich in town. This thing melts in your mouth. They have 3 new pool tables, darts and foosball. Located in the Mervyns Shopping Center on the SE corner of 43rd Ave. and Thunderbird Rd. Casey Jones is a great place for a bike night featuring a large outdoor seating and over 150 people inside. And for those of you that want to watch a sporting event they have 50 TV's scattered throughout the restaurant connected to satellite to get any game you can think of. They have a full menu for lunch, dinner and a Happy Hour from 11:00AM - 7:00PM and a reverse happy hour from 10:00PM - 12:00 Midnight. $1.75 domestic bottles and $2.00 Jacks. There are always a lot of bikes showing up for bike night at Casey Jones Thursday night. Join them for open mic night on Wednesdays. Sunday. You can always count on lots of bikes here.
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 right next to Genesis Custom Cycles 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
The "Hog Pen" at the Roadhouse Bike Weekend. Take a ride and stop by the "Hog Pen" at The Roadhouse, the Hottest New motorcycle patio in Cave Creek where every weekend will be Bike Weekend. Now Featuring a new Breakfast Buffet from 8am - Noon on Saturday and Sunday and Live Music on the patio every Sunday from Noon - 4pm! Grab a seat at the new Hog Pen bar rail and watch the bikes ride by. There is plenty of new concrete motorcycle parking right out front. CCR is located on Cave Creek Rd. in the heart of Cave Creek directly across from Harold's. It is a restaurant and bar that focuses on a broad menu of good food and has a large bar for socializing with your riding pals for a good time. It is built to look like something out of the 1800's, but it is brand new. Stop by this weekend for lunch, dinner or just to have a drink and take a look at the place. I can tell you that their hamburgers and steak fries are exceptional. Mrs. C. had the swordfish and said it was very good.
Live Music Every Weekend:
Friday: Live Music with "T.A.T.E." 9pm - 1:30am
Saturday: Live Music with "The Crown Kings" 9pm - 1:30am
Sunday Afternoon: Live Music with "Dok and Gal" Noon - 4pm
Sunday Evening: Live Music with "Walt Richardson" 5-9pm
Click here for the Cave Creek Roadhouse website. 480-575-3098
Sugar Daddy's Blues Biker Sunday Brunch.
Now is the perfect weather to be sitting out on the Sugar Daddy's patio, listening to Live Music while dining from the Brunch Menu. Live Music from 10am on the patio.
And Sunday Brunch Just Got Better! You now have 3 options to choose from.
Option #1: Eggs Benedict – Grilled English muffins, smoked ham, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
Served with your chose of fresh fruit or crispy potatoes. ($8) or Sugar’s Pancakes – You won’t eat pancakes anywhere else. Buttermilk pancakes served with butter and syrup. ($5)
Option #2: Can’t decide what to eat? How about an All-You-Can-Eat buffet for ONLY $12.
Option #3: Order off our regular menu.
Our 5,000 sq. ft. temperature controlled patio has six air conditioning units, misters, and plenty of shade. Sugar Daddy's patio, food and entertainment is becoming a regular Sunday stop. If you haven't tried it yet, give them a try. Complimentary coffee is now served. Make Sugar Daddy's Blues your stop on your ride down Scottsdale Rd. for Brunch or Lunch from 10am - 4pm. Enjoy live music from 10am - 2pm Or maybe just relax on the patio with your favorite beverage and enjoy the beautiful weather and watch the bikes roll down Scottsdale Rd. Click here to see the awesome pictures and details of Sugar Daddy's located at 3102 N. Scottsdale Rd. between Indian School and Thomas on the West side of the road. Stop by and check it out. A great place to hang out. Plenty of Bike Parking. If you have suggestions, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org . 480-970-6556.
Saturday, March 4th
Ride For Hope. Your support will benefit the Employees Assisting Cancer Patients Committee at Chandler Regional Hospital to raise funds for our community's cancer patients in crisis, allowing them to provide resources and assistance that aren't readily available enabling them to improve their welfare and overall quality of life. The Rally starts at East Valley Regional Center at 8:00 am, located at 1875 W. Frye Rd. in Chandler. The scenic route that will be taken finishes at thee Monastery located at 4810 E. McKellips in Mesa, where there will be food, entertainment and raffles. $30 per rider includes a registration includes lunch. First 100 registrants receive a free T-Shirt. More info at 480-728-3931.
Saturday, March 4th
3rd Annual Chief Bill Lanford Memorial Ride. On February 5, 2003, Chief William D. “Bill” Lanford, of Buckeye Valley Fire District, lost his life while riding his Harley on Vulture Mine Road, just outside of Wickenburg, AZ. Please join his family, friends, and fellow brethren in fire service and law enforcement to honor the legacy of Bill on this memorial ride. Everyone is welcome –Push It, Pull It, Drive It, Ride It, Bring It or just bring yourself…Help us make this the BEST RIDE YET! Check-in and Breakfast at 8:00 A.M. – Ride Starts at 10:00 A.M. From 25206 West MC. 85, Buckeye Arizona – Fire Station 324. Escorted, 100 mile ride, including a stop at Bill’s roadside memorial on Vulture Mine Rd. Finish at the Buckeye Elks Lodge, in Historic Downtown Buckeye. 109 N. 5th St. Everyone Welcome to the After Ride Party at the Elks, $5.00 cover for non-ride guests. Food, Dancing, Raffle, Prizes, Fun & Live Music by FLATHEAD. Please email any questions to email@example.com or call 623-386-5906 or 623-256-5131.
Saturday, March 4th
Run To The Sun Poker Run. Sponsored by the Sober Riders M.C. Sign in at the Steel Horse Saloon located at 1768 W. Bell Rd. in Phoenix from 10am to 1pm. $15 Single, $25 couple. Raffle Prizes, Run Shirts, Vendors, 50/50. Cash prizes for High and Low hands.
Sunday, March 5th
Miracle In The Desert 11th Annual Benefit Run. This run is to benefit the Sunshine Acres Children's Home. Registration begins at 9:00AM at Sunshine Acres located at 3405 N. Higley Rd. in Mesa. The cost is $10 each or $15 per couple. Includes entry, BBQ, Entry into Bike Show, Beverages will be available. There will be a special blessing of the bikes and bikers. ABATE, Desert Thunder, CMA and others are working together to make this happen for the kids. Sponsored by ABATE, Desert Thunder, CMA and Others working together to make this happen for the kids.
Saturday, March 11th
6th Annual Arizona Diamondbacks Line Drive For Kids. Space is limited and always sells out! So polish up your hog and get ready to hit the road with the Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun 20-30 Club for the 7th Annual LineDrive for Kids in association with the Arizona Diamondbacks Charities. Join our fully police-escorted motorcycle ride from Tempe to Tucson Electric Park to see the Diamondbacks-Padres spring training game on Saturday, March 11th 2006. For only $30, each rider receives breakfast at the Claim Jumper restaurant in Tempe, a special ride-shirt, commemorative ride-pin, a ticket to the Spring Training game, and lunch courtesy of the AZ Diamondbacks. The ride always sells out quickly, so REGISTER NOW while tickets are still available!
Sunday, March 12th
A.B.A.T.E. of Arizona Phoenix Chapter 15th Annual Chili Cookoff. Held at the BPOE Elks Lodge, 14424 N 32nd Street in Phoenix, AZ. $5.00 per person at the gate. Chili Cook-off registration $15.00. Chili Registration: 11am-1pm. Chili & Ride in Bike Show Judging: 2-3pm. Peoples Choice Bike Show with Classes including: American, Import, Rat, & Best of Show. 50/50 & Door Prizes. Horseshoe tournament with cash prize. Food & Libation available. Presented by Phoenix ABATE. For more information: 623 695-0955 or 602 285-0366.
Here is a hilarious blooper reel of some
of President Bush's speeches. Click
Bush is also easy for the comedians to make fun of. Here Frank Caliend on the Letterman show. A really funny parody on Bush. Click Here.
If you ever wondered why Iraq's military forces haven't taken over to defend themselves. This might give you an insight as to why that hasn't happened. Click Here.
For the next few weeks there will be plenty of things to do. Keep watching as the
event calendars for March and April are filling up fast with Arizona Bike Week events. Have fun and ride safe.
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,