Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
Well, it looks like "old man summer" has decided to make his home in Phoenix for a while. The forecast of around 114 degrees seems to be the outlook for the next 10 days or so. In fact, as I was driving around yesterday, the thermometer in my vehicle hit 120 degrees. Pretty hot, even though it is a "dry heat". The good news is that even though it is hot, the monsoons haven't shown up yet and you can still get out of town, that is unless there is a wildfire closing the road you were going to escape on.
In light of the talk of beating the heat, today I am going to bring you part 2 of the Tombstone/Bisbee Ride that will take you to a location that remains at 70 degrees year round provided by natures air conditioning. As we left Bisbee we took Hwy. 92 along the Mexico border and then headed North on Hwy. 90 as we made our way to Kartchner Caverns, one of the relatively unknown jewels of the Arizona Sonoran Desert. Kartchner is located just 10 miles South of I-10 and Benson on Hwy. 90.
The history of Kartchner Caverns dates back to November of 1974 when two young cavers, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts, were exploring the limestone hills at the base of the Whetstone Mountains. In the bottom of a sinkhole they found a narrow crack leading into the hillside. Warm, moist air flowed out, signaling the existence of a cave. After several hours of crawling, they entered a pristine cavern. It wasn't until February 1978 that Tenen and Tufts, told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, about their amazing discovery.
During the four years of secret exploration, the discoverers realized that the cave's extraordinary variety of colors and formations must be preserved. After many clandestine meetings, the cave's existence became public knowledge in 1988 when its purchase was approved as an Arizona State Park. At this point, work started to make the caves available for public viewing. But to do this they had to protect the delicate ecosystem that kept the cave alive by preserving the moist microclimate that feeds the limestone formations. The caves rely on almost 100% humidity to survive, so any exposure to the dry outside air of the desert would deplete the annual supply of moisture almost immediately.
Over the next 11 years work was done that would enable the public to gain entry into the caves by putting in multiple doors that would trap the outside air, not allowing it to reach the caverns, installing 13,000 square feet of passages around 2 rooms as long as football fields, and installing 22 environmental monitoring stations that measure air temperature, relative humidity, evaporation rates, air trace gases and airflow into the cave 24 hours a day. A Discovery center was added to the property and the Caverns were finally opened to the public on November 12, 1999 and is now known as Kartchner Caverns State Park enjoying a top ten rating of all of the parks available for view in the United States.
Mrs. C. had been wanting to go to Kartchner Caverns for several years. But for me, it just wasn't something that I was real interested in doing, even though I had heard very good things about. My thoughts were, what is the big deal about a few stalagmites growing in a cave? Why walk down into a cave when I have perfectly good roads I could be riding on? I have to admit, I couldn't have been more wrong. It is the combination of the awesome colors and natural beauty that nature has been preparing for us over the last millions of years combined with the diligence of the State Parks to bring to us this phenomenon in such a way that it is a real "life experience". I'm not going to give it away, but the end of the 1.5 hour tour is phenomenal. The last 5 minute production is worth the whole trip, you will be moved by this experience. The visit to Kartchner is still something that I think about often.
There are 3 rooms in Kartchner to visit. We toured what is called the Rotunda Room and the Throne Room. The Big Room is closed from April - October due to bats inhabiting the cave for reproduction. The Throne Room is the home of the tallest and most massive column in Arizona known as "Kubla Khan", standing 58 feet from floor to ceiling where you will learn new words such as "spelothems", "helictites" and "soda straws". Who would have thought that drops of water seeping through limestone to deposit minerals one on top of the other that form stalactites and stalagmites could be so interesting? Not me, but after visiting Kartchner Caverns I have a new appreciation for what lies beneath this earth that we cannot see. This is what you see on the outside. This is what is underneath. It is amazing and well worth the visit!
It is best to call the park for reservations for tours that leave every 20 minutes, especially on the weekends, and most certainly in the high tourist season. We got lucky and there were 2 spots left on the next tour leaving in 5 minutes. Call 520-586-CAVE to reserve your spot. There is so much more to know about Kartchner Caverns that I cannot include here, but I do have some good links for you to find some information for yourself. Click Here for basic information from the State Parks site about the park with times and costs. Here is a good site called Friends of Kartchner Caverns. Here is an excellent PDF of the complete history of the Caverns as written by the discoverers. Here is a good article from the AZ Republic a few years ago. Some the info is dated but very informative.
The surprise of the trip on the way back home was our ride through the Saguaro National Park just West of Tucson. This is a beautiful 28 mile loop that takes you through the mountains and hundreds of acres of Saguaro cactus. You can also stop at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum along the way and the Visitors Center. Take Speedway exit #257 off of I-10 West and follow the signs to Saguaro Natl. Park. Go North on Sandario Rd. to Picture Rock Rd. and back to I-10. We did not take the inner road in the park as it is not paved. We just made the loop around the outside after stopping at the visitors center. This is a jewel of the desert that is well worth the trip. Click Here for the map.
Click Here for Photos of Day 1 of the Tombstone - Bisbee Overnight Ride.
Click Here for Photos of Day 2 and Kartchner Caverns.
Click Here for the Tombstone/Bisbee Overnight Ride.
If you saw last week's Extras about the man who complained about the Luke Air Force 4 man flyover, see Extras column below for his apology sent to the Arizona Republic.
This Week's Bike Night Events
Copper State Cycles Two Wheeled Tuesday. Who knew that north Scottsdale's newest bike night was such a great place to hang out. Last nights motorcycle trivia contest was a huge success, and the winner really enjoyed the grand prize. Join Copper State Cycles and K O'Donnell's this Tuesday for a great time on the mist cooled patio. Enjoy $2 Bud drafts, Happy hour pricing on appetizers or a great meal from the full menu. Come see the new 2005 Red Horse Customs on display and visit with your friends. K O'Donnell's American Bar & Grill (formerly Uno's Pizza) located in the north Scottsdale area at 14850 N. Northsight, just of of the 101 & Raintree. Every Tuesday night from 7:00pm until...... 61" TV's and music on the mist cooled patio! Reserved parking in plain view for all bikes. For more information call 480-596-6820.
Hooters at 1-17 and Bell Rd. Wednesday Bike Night. Hooters at I-17 and Bell will be hosting a new Bike Night every Wednesday night from 6pm - 9pm. They will feature a "Ride In" Bike Show with weekly prizes for 1st - 3rd. And then, the third Wednesday of every month we will crown the Bike of the Month with a Grand Prize and will also be featured on Cyclerides.com as the "Bike of the Week". We will have $2 Bud, Bud Light, and Mich Ultra bottles. There will be 20% off of all food and merchandise when you ride in on your bike. Stop by for loads of Raffle Prizes. There will be VIP Motorcycle Parking and you will be greeted at the front door by a Hooter's Girl waiting to give you your raffle ticket. Hooter's is located in the Bell Canyon Shopping Center at 2834 W. Bell Rd., West of I-17 on Bell Rd. 602-375-0000.
Thursday Night features 4 Bike Nights all over the Valley.
is one for those of you in the far East Valley!
Hooters Mesa Thursday Bike Night. Hooters in Mesa located at 6730 E. Superstition Springs Blvd. will host a Bike Night every Thursday night from 6-9 pm. If you haven't seen this Hooters yet you will have to stop by and take a look. This is one of the nicest locations that they have. Hooters will $2.00 Corona's and 20% off of food and merchandise if you ride your bike in. Stop by for raffles prizes every Thursday Night with Big Raffle prizes the first Thursday of every month. For more information call 480-396-9396.
Hooters at Arrowhead Bike Night. Continues Giveaways and Raffles. Ride by and join in on the fun! Hooters will host a Bike Night every Thursday at the Hooters at Arrowhead located just 1 block S. of Bell on 83rd Ave. Stop by for some great food and Hooters Hospitality. There will be 20% off menu items, $2.00 Corona Thursdays and plenty of parking next to the outdoor patio. Stop by for some giveaways and raffles from Hooters and Arrowhead Harley as well as great wings and fun at Hooters. Click Here to see Pictures and all the detailed information.
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
Cave Creek Roadhouse Bike Weekend. Take a ride and stop
by the Hottest New Restaurant/Bar in Cave Creek where every weekend will be Bike Weekend. There is plenty of motorcycle parking right out front. I have mentioned this place before
and now it has finally opened to rave reviews. 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:
Thursday: "Todd & Ethan" 8:30pm - 12:30pm
Friday: Live Music with "J.D. Simo" 9pm - 1:30am
Saturday Night: Live Music with "Chuck Hall" 9pm - 1:30am
Sunday: Live Music with "Jondo" 3pm - 7pm
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 Ė Grilled English muffins, smoked ham, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
Served with your chose of fresh fruit or crispy potatoes. ($8) or Sugarís Pancakes Ė You wonít eat pancakes anywhere else. Buttermilk pancakes served with butter and syrup. ($5)
Option #2: Canít 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, July 16th
Thunder In The Canyon. Looking for a cool place to ride this weekend? Here is an opportunity to take a ride to the cool country, support the riders participating in the Million Dollar Ride for Children, and raise funds for child and family advocacy centers throughout Arizona. Supported by the Childhelp Children's Center of Arizona. Live music all day from 10:30am with Kokomo, 2:00pm with Rondavous and 6-9pm with J.D. Simo. $30 donation includes concerts, ride pin, meal ticket, 2 beverages and a raffle ticket. Event held at Grand Canyon Harley in Bellemont located 10 miles West of Flagstaff on Interstate 40 at exit 185.
Saturday, July 16th
Memorial Motorcycle Ride for Corrections Officer A. Krause. This Saturday, July 16, There will be a motorcycle run for a Department of Corrections officer killed in a off-duty motorcycle accident. The fallen DOC officer Arthur Krause served in the USMC. He graduated number one out of his class for DOC and just completed his probation. He moved his Mom and sister to Arizona from Ohio to live with him. His sister was diagnosed with MS a year ago. Krause was a hard core Harley rider. He restored a 1968 Harley which he was riding at the time he was Killed. He has a 1948 shovelhead on the floor of his bedroom that he was working on. Mom is going to sell it if any body is interested. Krause was stopped at a red light and hit from behind. His mom paid for the funeral with credit cards. The RUN WILL BE HELD ON JULY 16th. Registration begins at 7am, and the run leaves at 8am from the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts located at Arizona Mills Mall. The cost is any donation. The run will end at the Famous Sams in Casa Grande where there will be a 50/50 and a presentation of all money collected to the family. http://www.ace-mc.com/ Info: email email@example.com
Friday - Sunday, July 22nd - 24th
Too Broke For Sturgis. It is that time again when A.B.A.T.E. of Arizona hosts the Rally in Mormon Lake known as "Too Broke For Sturgis". The weekend features camping Friday and Saturday night, Bike Games, Bike Show, Poker Run, Tattoo Contest, Kids Games, 50/50, Wet T-Shirt Contest and many local amenities. Food and Beverage available on site. The Chuck Hall Band and Myklos will be playing Friday and Saturday nights. Cadillac Angels will be playing in the bar. $25 per person for weekend. $15 per person for Saturday and Sunday. Kids under 17 free. For more information call Billie at 480-855-3395.
For those of you that did not see last week's Extras column about the man from Peoria that sent a letter to the Arizona Republic complaining about a fly over from Luke Air Force jets and the pointed response from a Lt. Col Pleus at Luke Air Force Base, Click Here to read. But for those of you that did see the story, this week I received an email from the man that wrote the original letter to the Arizona Republic complaining about the 4 man flyover. Apparently he is also a reader of Cyclerides.com.
Now that you have stated your opinion and correctly stated, please allow me to comment in the same manner. As you have seen, I was totally out of line and need to be more patient before blasting off my opinions to the Republic. It is quite easy to blurt out comments as you have so eloquently done in hammering me.
Please feel free to pass my reply printed in Saturdays Republic (An
apology from the heart to the Airmen at Luke) on to your readers. Thank you for your time and I think cyclerides
is an excellent Web site where I have spent enjoyable time and will continue to do so in the future.
The following is what Tom sent to the Arizona Republic:
An apology from the heart to the airmen of Luke
Jul. 9, 2005
Regarding "Flyby honoring fallen comrade" Letters, June 28):
I read with increasing embarrassment and humility the response to my unfortunate letter to The Republic concerning an Air Force flyby ("A wake-up call from Luke's jets," Letters, June 23). I had no idea of the significance of the flyby, and would never have insulted such a fine and respectful display had I known.
I have received many calls from the fine airmen who are serving or have served at Luke, and I have attempted to explain my side and apologized for any discomfort my letter has caused. This was simply an uninformed citizen complaining about noise. I have been made aware in both written and verbal communications of the four-ship flyby, and my heart goes out to each and every lost serviceman and woman in this war in which we are engaged.
I have been called un-American by an unknown caller and I feel that I must address that. I served in the U.S. Navy and am a Vietnam veteran. I love my country and respect the jobs that the service organizations are doing.
Please accept my heartfelt apologies. - Tom MacRae, Peoria
It is obvious that Tom made a grave mistake in attacking our Air Force in the condescending way that he did and there is no doubt that he has received a lot of negative repercussions from that faux paux. I'm sure that most of us have shot off our mouth without clearly thinking it through, we just don't do it and then send it to the Arizona Republic for everyone to see. But I will give Tom credit for making amends for his mistake with a sincere apology, again for everyone to see. Thanks Tom.