Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
Well, the blow torch effect has now hit the valley of the Sun and the National Weather service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Thursday and Friday with predictions of record temps in the 114 degree range. Yep, I can see it now, you are reaching for the mouse to go to the Cyclerides.com Day Rides to see where you can go to ride without a heat advisory warning. I can already see the motorcycle taillights heading North this weekend. If you do that, and go to the Flagstaff or Alpine area, you can save yourself about 25 of those blistering degrees as they are predicting in the 85 degree range up there. Payson is predicting around 95 and believe it or not, Sedona is going to be looking at 103. So wherever you end up going, you will probably want to stay in the 6-7000 feet of elevation.
Even though it is going to be ridiculous hot in the Valley, you can still plan your ride by leaving town early, getting to elevation and still have a great day of riding. That is exactly what I did this past Saturday. Mrs. C. was a little under the weather this past week so I decided to get out of her hair for a while and head North to Williams to check out the Rumble on 66. Even though it is hot on the desert floor in the middle of the day, with the humidity low, it still cools off nicely to the low 80's to give us avid riders a chance to get out of town and head for the hills. As long as you leave by 8-9am, even on the hottest of days, it is still only 89 degrees on your way out of town. That is great riding. Take a look at these hourly temperature graphics for Friday, one of the hottest days of the year so far. This will give you a good snapshot of when to "Get out of Dodge". And more importantly, when not to come back to Dodge. After 26 years in Arizona, the heat doesn't bother me much, but it is nicer to be returning near sunset.
Saturday, I left at 7am, destination Williams, wearing a long sleeve shirt to keep the sun off of my arms with the thermometer reading 82 degrees. It was a beautiful time to hit the road. By the time I had hit Sunset Point it had dropped to a pleasant 78 degrees. With the whole day to just ride and take it easy, stopping off at the Rimrock Airport in Rimrock, AZ, (which is located just off of I-17 near Montezuma Well National Monument) was the perfect prescription to satisfy my desire for flying. I had been reading about the Air Creation ultralights and knew that there was a guy up there that gave lessons and demo rides in the craft, so I thought this might be the perfect time to pay him a visit. As luck would have it, there was a pilot who had just returned from an early morning flight over Sedona, so I chatted with him for a while to learn about this type of flying. After about 20 minutes of flying talk, my attention turned back to the Road Glide to continue the trek to higher ground.
My next stop was to be Munds Park to meet up with the Dan and Kathy McKinnon for breakfast and a ride to Williams, but from I-17, I could hear the sound of Sedona and Schnebly Hill Rd. calling out my name. The closer I got to the exit, the louder it became. Must have been one of those vortex's we keep hearing about reeling me in, but it WAS hard to pass up a beautiful early morning ride to Sedona with bright blue skies and the sun lighting up Bell Rock. Not to mention the prospects of another ride on Schnebly Hill Rd. So off I went on Hwy. 179 for my 26 mile detour, putting on hold breakfast for another hour. Before reaching my turn to SHR, I stopped at a cool little place called Silver Son West on the left side of the road a couple of miles from Sedona. It is apparently an art gallery, but they have some of the coolest old signs hanging all over the place that were begging to be photographed. I also got this GREAT shot of some old wagon wheels and the red rocks. Click Here.
After that, I was on my way for the slow ride up Schnebly Hill. This time it only took me an hour to traverse this 10 miles of twists, turns and exposed boulders. It is rough for sure, but still one of the best 10 miles of scenery you will see in Arizona. Check out the video from my last trip. Or some pics from this time up.
Reaching I-17 again, I was only 2 miles from Munds Park and ready to meet up with Dan and Kathy to head to the Lone Pine for some scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and orange juice. The great thing about this trip so far, was that I had ridden for 3 hours, 120 miles and it was still the same 83 degrees as when I left home. Now that is how you do Summer riding in Arizona. But I knew I was eventually going to have to pay for all of this cool riding weather on my way back to the Valley. With now 3 of us riding we headed North for Flagstaff and then West on I-40 to Grand Canyon HD in Bellemont where we met a couple of guys from Belgium. You can almost always meet some riders from out of the Country at GCHD because they all come through here to see the Grand Canyon. It was then on to Williams to take a street side seat at Cruisers Cafe to watch the bikes roll by that were trying to soak up some of this premium riding weather as well.
After about an hour at Cruisers and a pitcher of Pepsi, the McKinnons headed back to Munds Park and I was on my own again riding South out of Williams on Hwy. 73 for parts unknown. I decided to take a short cut across to Jerome from 73 through Perkinsville on a dirt road, a route that I would not recommend. Do you ever have one of those times when you ask yourself, "What the Heck was I thinking?" That was one of those times for me. Even though the temperature was back to 95 degrees by the time I reached Jerome, it was still very pleasant riding. But the mid 80's were just around the corner as I would once more cross 7000 feet in elevation as I took another one of my favorites routes down 89A and Mingus Mountain. This is a great ride with over 100 twists and turns that I never tire of.
SCAVENGER HUNT!! Now for those of you with a GPS, I left you a little present somewhere in the Jerome area. I put a long sleeved black Cyclerides.com T-Shirt inside a zip lock bag and stuck it under a rock. All you have to do is find it. It is located at these GPS Coordinates: N34 42.465', W112 09.139'. When you find it, have someone take a picture of you holding the shirt, or if you are by yourself, take a picture of the shirt when you find it and then email me the photos. Happy Hunting!
After hiding the shirt and thoroughly enjoying the ride down Mingus Mountain I cut over on Fain Rd. to 69 to I-17 and braced myself for re-entry into the Valley atmosphere. Believe it or not, it wasn't that bad. I landed back in town at 6pm. A little earlier than I would have liked, but I had something to do that night, so I just sucked it up, drank a bottle of water the last 20 miles and did fine. But Ideally I would rather hit the valley at around 7:30pm this time of year. Most of you that do this, know the minute you start the downhill descend from Sunset Point, it is like someone opened the oven door in front of you.
So if you are planning an out of town trip this weekend. A good one would be Sedona by 9am for Breakfast, up 89a to Flagstaff, over to Williams for a refreshment, on up to the Grand Canyon, across 180 to Snow Bowl, take the lift to the top, back around to Flagstaff for dinner before timing your trip back to the Valley at a desirable time. Have Fun!
Click Here for some photos from the day.
This Week's Bike Night Events
Chesterís 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 Chesterís 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.
Bike Night at Buffalo Wild Wings Mesa-Falcon Field. This is a great new stop for riders on the East Side. Enjoy GREAT FOOD and Live Music every Wednesday night with Soul Catcher, featuring acoustic blues and classic rock from 7pm - 10pm every Wednesday Night at Buffalo Wild Wings located at 4425 E. McKellips Rd. in Mesa, AZ, just across from Falcon Field. Special motorcycle parking in front of the patio. Choose from the extensive new menu including Wings, Chicken Tenders, Huge selection of salads, Wraps, Sandwiches, Ribs & Combos, Burgers, Desserts and Beverages. Click Here for complete menu. Bike Night specials are 50 Cent Legs all day, $2.50 Coronas & Pacificos, $2.00 Well Rum and Coke, $2.00 Well Vodka Tonics, $1.75 Bud Light Pints, $1.75 Miller Light Pints. Sit inside and watch your favorite sporting events on over 50 TV's and 5 Giant Screen TV's or sit outside on the huge patio where there are more TV's and enjoy the evening air. Wherever you find to relax, you will be sure to have a good time, good food and good entertainment at the Buffalo Wings Wednesday Bike Night. 480-218-9464. Click Here to take a look at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Harley-Davidson Thursday Bike Night at Gordon Biersch Brewery at Westgate. Live Music on the patio this week 6:30
- 9:30pm!! You can also sign up for the Gordon Biersch
Passport card. What a great deal! Pay only $10 for the card, and
you will get a $20 gift certificate to redeem for food and drink.
On Bike Nights you will receive double rewards to build points for free food and drink. Gordon Biersch
Brewery Restaurant in Glendale features the best Beer Garden you will find in this State, an impressive bar area
equipped with TVs and speaker system, great food, and a large outdoor patio seating. Bike night specials include 1/2 off of my favorite Pepperoni Pizza. 1/2 off
appetizers plus $3.00 Micro Brew Beer specials. Try my
favorite, the Gordon Biersch "Golden Export" or a sampler of all 5 of their beers brewed on
site. Plenty of motorcycle only parking. Gordon Biersch is located at 6915 N. 95th Ave. at Westgate City Center,
Loop 101 and Glendale next to the Cardinals Stadium. An easy ride from anywhere in the Valley. 623-877-4300
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
Harold's 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. Live Music from Noon to 4pm every Saturday with Bob Bouchard, the man who plays at Greasewood every weekend. Enjoy TV's all around the patio with a walk up bar. Ride out on Sunday's and enjoy the All You Can Eat breakfast buffet for $8.99 on Sundays from 8am - Noon. Or grab one of Harold's fantastic hamburgers and watch the bikes roll by on Cave Creek Rd. from the patio. 50% Off Appetizers and $2.00 Bud/Bud Light bottles. 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. There are still no tickets being given for DB violations. Just continue to keep the noise down as much as possible when riding through Carefree.
Trails Ranch Bike Weekend. The last Things
have changed at the Ranch! It
will still be open on weekend days for you to drop by on your rides out of town, but due to the weather heating
up, live entertainment will be moved to Saturday nights. Take a nice ride out of town and Enjoy a relaxed country atmosphere with good food
great Music every Friday and Saturday Nights. Live Music every Saturday Night from 8pm - Midnight.
Loud pipes? No problem! You can ride out to Western Trails without worrying about DB metering equipment to greet
you. Hang out under the covered patio at the Buzzard's Saloon or in front of the stage for some impromptu dancing.
Buzzardís Saloon now has Appetizerís available at the Bar. Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Chicken Tenders, Fries, Jalapeno
Poppers, Breaded Mushrooms, Onion Rings, Beer Battered Mushrooms & Zucchini and Spicy Chicken Wings. Fast
food service from the Bartender. Buddy Boomís Real BBQ is also open for those who donít mind walking 300 Feet
for the best Burgers, award winning Ribs & BBQ on the Westside of town.
So take a ride out to Western Trails for some Lunch, Music and Fun every Saturday and Sunday. For more information on Western Trails Ranch go to www.westerntrailsranch.com . Located on Hwy. 60 in Morristown, just 12 N. of Sun City West on Grand or just 3 miles South of Carefree Hwy. Click Here for Map. 623-388-0450.
Saturday, June 23rd
Waldo's Memorial Benefit Event. Gathering to honor Waldo and his contributions to the motorcycling community in Arizona will be at the Road Runner Steak House in New River, 47801 N. Black Canyon Hwy. on Saturday, June 23rd starting at 2pm. $10 donation at the door includes Food, Live Music, Auction, 50/50, Raffles, Wet T-Shirt Contest and the Jack Daniels Girls. All donations to benefit Waldo's daughter Charity. Vendor Space Available. For more information or to donate auction items call 602-399-1947 or 623-695-5659. Click Here for my story to learn more about Waldo.
Saturday, June 23rd
Mark Streech Fund Raiser. Some of you might have heard the horrific story of the young man that got rear ended on his motorcycle and then thrown into the path of an 18 wheeler coming from behind that could not stop in time to keep from running over him. You probably heard about this on the news, if not, there are video links from the newstations below. Here is the story:
On May 4, 2007, around 1:30 am, off-duty DPS officer George Aguilera was in his personal vehicle heading south on I-17 when he hit Mark riding his motorcycle. The impact sent Mark tumbling onto the freeway. A Swift Semi Truck, traveling behind Mark and Aguilera, was unable to stop before running over Mark - who lay on the freeway from the impact of being hit by Aguilera's vehicle.
The injuries Mark sustained were: a skull fracture, multiple fractured vertebrae, his left leg was broken in ten places and he ended up losing his right leg. Also, he suffered other major trauma to his body. Mark spent over three weeks in ICU; 2 of those weeks being almost completely under sedation. DPS officer George Aguilera did NOT have insurance on his car!! Mark needs help with his living expenses so there are some fund raisers planned to help him out while he recovers. There are a few ways to help Mark. One way is by simply making a donation via Pay Pal. You can do this from the front page of his web site. Click Here. The other is the ride on June 23rd. Starting at Cycle Gear, 15643 N Reems Rd, Surprise, AZ. We are asking for a minimum $20 donation to ride. We will be heading to Yarnell, Prescott, Verde Valley, Strawberry, Payson and back into NE Phoenix. We will be stopping in Prescott for an hour lunch. Click Here for links to TV News Videos of the accident.
Buddy Stubbs Hogs and Subs. The party at the end of the month is always at Buddy Stubbs. Stay out of the heat and party inside. This month drop by from 11am - 3pm for Free Food, Live Music, Free Pool Tournaments starting at Noon, Museum Tour at 12:30pm, Phoenix H.O.G. Charities walking Poker Run, and much more. Lots of covered bike parking. Not only that, there will be a huge sidewalk sale. 1 DAY ONLY! Check out the great savings on leather jackets, boots, mens & women's MotorClothes apparel. Extra 10% off on all sale MotorClothes items discounted at cash register. Buddy Stubbs is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. 602-971-3400.
I am sad to report that we lost a couple of riders this past weekend. Joe Smitherman
and Jon Hepburn collided into each other late Sunday night and were
both killed in the accident. Joe Smitherman's Potluck Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday afternoon from
3pm to 7pm @ Chandler Elks Lodge ( Chandler Boulevard & Pennington (light) turn south on Pennington & right
just behind the carwash) 1775 West Chandler Blvd. In the event you need further assistance please contact Greg
Wessels at 480-620-2547.
This is one of the Jamie Kennedy experiment spoofs. Funny stuff. Click Here to View.
Yikes! Watch this video showing one lucky guy that escapes a racing crash. Click Here to View.
This one could only be titled, "Four Lucky Guys". Click Here to View.
This report from Lou Dobbs is not funny, but really kind of troubling what goes on behind the scenes that we don't know about. Click Here to View.