Ahhh, finally. The last day of September is here and cooler weather is on the way. The warm weather doesn't bother me that much, but I know the water cooler talk for a lot of people has been the extended season we are having with high temps in the low 100's so late in the year. But when you think back just a few months, the talk was how cool June was, so it looks like this Summer season just slid South a little bit and we still ended up getting our 3 solid months of hot weather. The good news is that it is finally going to cool down to the upper 80's and with that comes great riding weather and scenery that COMES ALIVE!
What I mean by that is with the cooler weather and shorter days, the leaves will start changing colors. And if you go to the right places, you will see brilliant red, yellow and orange as some trees start to show their fall colors. Seeing the leaves change from solid green to a bright yellow or red has always puzzled me. How can that happen in just a few days? Well, since seeing the fall colors is the subject of this article, I thought you might want to know, as I did, why this botanical phenomenon happens.
The long answer is, well. . . pretty long, and technical. I will let you read and study that for yourself. But the shorter answer, taken from the Dept. of Agriculture web site is that three factors influence autumn leaf color. They are leaf pigments, length of night, and weather, but not quite in the way we think. The timing of color change and leaf fall are primarily regulated by the calendar, that is, the increasing length of night. None of the other environmental influences-temperature, rainfall, food supply, and so on-are as unvarying as the steadily increasing length of night during autumn. As days grow shorter, and nights grow longer and cooler, biochemical processes in the leaf begin to paint the landscape with Nature's autumn palette.
If you had to pick one thing that controls the leaves color it would be Chlorophyll, or the lack of. Chlorophyll gives leaves their basic green color. It is necessary for photosynthesis, the chemical reaction that enables plants to use sunlight to manufacture sugars for their food. Ok, now here is the most simple explanation I could find of why the leaves go from green to other colors. During the growing season, chlorophyll is continually being produced and broken down, keeping the Chlorophyll near the surface making leaves appear green. As night length increases in the autumn, chlorophyll production slows down due to the lack of sunlight that enables it, then it stops and eventually all the chlorophyll is destroyed. The carotenoids and anthocyanins that are present in the leaf are then unmasked and show their colors.
Certain colors are characteristic of particular species. Oaks turn red, brown, or russet; hickories, golden bronze; aspen and yellow-poplar, golden yellow; dogwood, purplish red; beech, light tan; and sourwood and black tupelo, crimson. Maples differ species by species-red maple turns brilliant scarlet; sugar maple, orange-red; and black maple, glowing yellow.
The amount and brilliance of the colors that develop in any particular autumn season are related to weather conditions that occur before and during the time the chlorophyll in the leaves is dwindling. Temperature and moisture are the main influences. A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp but not freezing nights seems to bring about the most spectacular color displays. During these days, lots of sugars are produced in the leaf but the cool nights and the gradual closing of veins going into the leaf prevent these sugars from moving out. These conditions-lots of sugar and lots of light-spur production of the brilliant anthocyanin pigments, which tint reds, purples, and crimson. Because carotenoids are always present in leaves, the yellow and gold colors remain fairly constant from year to year. And for the full technical reasons, Click Here.
Alright, now you are an expert on why leaves change colors, now where can you find them? In the State of Arizona, we don't have the luxury of seeing this in the major metropolitan areas or in the desert. So we have to go find them, which is the fun part if you are looking for a good excuse to go on a motorcycle ride in pursuit of seeing this once a year march of nature into winter. There are 3 fall foliage hotspots in Arizona that include Coconino National Forest, Apache-Sitgreaves NF, and Kaibab NF. Click on those links for information about those areas.
The following are some of my favorite places to see fall foliage that combines brilliant colors with a good ride.
The ride up to Snow Bowl just Northwest of Flagstaff. The Aspens are starting to turn and will soon be a brilliant gold and yellow. Take the Skyride to the top of the mountain and get a great view of the Aspens all around. Skyride runs to mid October. Click Here to find out if it is still running when you want to go.
The ride up 89A from Sedona to Flastaff is always a good ride in the Fall. You will see some fall colors peeking through the pines, but it is a good ride this time of year regardless.
The White Mountains around Greer, Alpine and Hannagan Meadow combined with a ride down the Salt River Canyon would make a great day.
A ride up Mount Lemmon through the Aspens would be an excellent day ride.
My favorite: The North Kaibab National Forest Fall Colors Tour, particularly State Hwy 67 that takes you from Jacob Lake off of Hwy. 89A to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This is 44 miles on a Scenic Byway that offers stunning views of fall foliage and ends at the North Rim. Can't get much better than that. Click Here for Map and information. Call the Forest Ranger Office to make sure this road is open when you want to go. It closes in November for the season. 928-643-8167. The South Kaibab Forest, South out of Williams, AZ is also a good ride.
The best time to see the Fall Colors in Arizona is from NOW through the end of October. Some have already begun to change. The best thing to do is to call this Fall Colors Hotline number and listen to the recording. 800-354-4595. Next would be to call the forest service in the area that you want to go, and see if the leaves are changing yet. Phone numbers can be found from the forest links above.
This is a once a year opportunity, with a narrow window of viewing time to see nature in living color. So you better start making your plans now. I will provide a couple of links below, but you can just Google "arizona fall colors" and get all the information that you need. Enjoy your ride! As always, go to www.cyclerides.com and click on Day Rides for lots of ideas.
The Full Story. Why Leaves Change Color
Wikipedia. Autumn Leaf Color
Fall Colors. http://www.fs.fed.us/news/fallcolors/
Kaibab National Forest.
Coconino National Forest.
Fall Colors and Fall Foliage in Arizona
USA Today Fall Foliage in Arizona
Fall Colors Hotline: 800-354-4595
Bike Nights This Week
Historic Downtown Chandler Wednesday Bike Night. Just under 300 bikes attended the first night last week. Click Here for Photos. Presented by Cyclerides.com and the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership. This is a first for the City of Chandler. They are opening up 2 blocks of Historic Downtown for a Wednesday Bike Night, and what a great venue it will be. This is the closest thing we will have to a Sturgis type experience. Within this 2 blocks there are 6 restaurants and bars that are participating with bike night specials. Parking will be on San Marcos Pl., and the area just to the East.
Restaurant Participants will include: Check for weekly specials.
The San Marcos Hotel with Live Entertainment in beautiful AJ's Courtyard
Murphy's Law with Live Music,
San Tan Brewing
El Zocalo Mexican
The Bistro at Kokopelli Winery
98 South and Piza Pizza.
Click Here for all the Weekly Restaurant Specials.
There will be music on the street and Vendors will be setting up next week.
Motorcycles will be on display by our Sponsors Chandler Harley-Davidson and Ridenow Powersports. We would also like to thank Chuck Franklin Law as one of our first sponsors. We will be adding activities and vendors as the event progresses over the next couple of weeks. Downtown Chandler is located just 5.5 miles South of U.S. 60 on Arizona Ave. adjacent to Dr. AJ Chandler Park. (MAP) Please ride out and join us from 6pm - 10pm. If you would like to be a vendor at this event contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chester's Harley-Davidson Wednesday Bike Night. Tonight! Lynard Skynard Tribute Band and the Jack Daniel's Girls.
Chester's HD invites you to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill Bike Night every Wednesday night. If you looking to get your bike out of the garage and ride someplace where you know other riders will be, head out to Toby Keith's located in the Mesa Riverview next to Bass Pro Shop, Loop 202 and Dobson, Mesa. 6PM til Close. Live Band starts at 7PM. Free Raffle and great prizes. Half price selected appetizers, $2 wells til 7pm. $3 longnecks or $12/bucket of 5. Designated bike parking. Ride With Us and get a free Chester's koozie! Leaves Chester's at 5:30PM sharp. This is really a fun place for a bike night that includes a large outdoor patio. Great Food, Great Music, Great Place, Great Time! For more information call Chester's HD at 480-894-0404.
Bike Night Thursday at McDuffy's in Peoria. Ride by the newest Bike Night on the West side. Over 150 bikes last week.
McDuffy's is one of the finest West side locations for a bike night at a single restaurant. The 12,500 Sq. Ft. McDuffy's features 2 outdoor patios, a huge dining room with booths for seating, a very large area with high tops for you to easily hang out with your friends, an upper level for lounging or to play pool, a very large bar and 100 TV's to watch your favorite sporting event. Not only that the dinner menu is very broad and McDuffy's has excellent food at a very good price. Bike Nights features a $6.99 Menu that includes Classic Burgers, Charbroiled Chicken Breast Burger, Buffalo Wings, Chicken Quesadilla, Nachos, Popcorn Chicken, Pizza and 1/2 Drink Pricing. Stop by for the first night on Thursday, September 17th. McDuffy's is located just South of 83rd Ave. and Bell Rd. at 15814 N. 83rd Ave. 623-334-5000. Plenty of Motorcycle Parking! RAFFLES! For September Arrowhead Harley will be raffling off a set of "Games Riders Play". Harley-Davidson Folding Domino's table, a Harley Gammon Board, a Poker Chip Set and "Harleyopoly" Game set. Winner will be selected the last Bike Night in September. Octobers raffle will be a complete "Harley Cooler" set. 2010 Models will be on display.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. The Billet Bar is the place to be for the Summer nights and weekends. Set on the patio and watch the action. 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.
New This Sunday!
Sunday Afternoon Bike Day/Night at Oggi's Pizza & Brewing. This is the stop for West side riders on a Sunday Afternoon. Just off the Loop 101 and 67th Ave. Stop at Oggi's Pizza where they will be having Sunday Afternoon Bike days starting at 4pm - 9pm. Enjoy three $5.99 Dinner Specials including: 1. Build your own Burger: half-pound angus beef burger cooked how you like it with your choice of toppings; 2. California Cobb Salad: fresh greens with sliced grilled chicken, gorgonzola cheese, avocado, tomato, green onions, mushrooms, eggs and bacon; and 3. Turkey Ranch Wrap: oven-roasted turkey breast, provolone cheese, fresh lettuce, tomato and avocado, with creamy ranch dressing and bacon in a sun-dried tomato wrap. Happy Hour pricing on Drinks and Appetizers all night. 22 Televisions to view Sunday Night Football, a nice bar and large dining room as well as an Outdoor Patio to enjoy the great weather. Co-sponsored by Arrowhead Harley Davidson. Motorcycle parking out front. This is a great place to end the day with excellent food. Stop by this week and give it a try. 623-566-8080.
Saturday, October 3rd
13th Annual C.U.F.F.S. Run. Register at Chester's Harley Davidson - 922 S Country Club Dr., Mesa. This is always a good run. Choir Boys are a Law Enforcement organization committed to assisting the survivors of fallen law enforcement officers with immediate needs. This is a great cause to help families of the Civil Servants the help us every day. Net proceeds go to the families of officers killed or injured in the line of duty. Registration starts from 8:30 - 10:30am. Donation: Rider - $20.00, Passenger - $10.00. Includes Poker Hand. High Hand $300/Low $150. Free Ride Pin to first 250 registered. After party at Chester's with Live Band or DJ to be announced. $5 for non riders. Sponsored by Chester's Harley-Davidson. FMI call 480-894-0404.
Saturday, October 3rd
Save the Vets Day Parade. Sponsored by American Legion Riders - Post 26. Come support the parade that honors our heroes past and present. Starts and ends at American Legion Post 26 located at 505 W. 2nd Ave. in Mesa, AZ. (off Country Club between Main and Broadway) Admission $15 per bike or $20 with passenger. 5 stops - Free playing card at each stop. Registration 8-9:30am. $5 Breakfast 8-10am. Proceeds to support our combat unit in Iraq. Lat bike out 10am, in at 3pm. Live Music 2-6pm. Raffle, Door Prizes. Everyone Welcome.
Saturday, October 3rd
Victory Motorcycles of Mesa Factory Demo Rides. Join Victory Big Dog Motorcycles of Mesa to view the new Victory Cross Roads and Cross Country touring motorcycles. It’s the factory demo ride of the year Saturday October 3rd, at 9am. Plenty of Food, Music, and Fun. Be the FIRST to test drive a new Victory motorcycle at Victory Big Dog of Mesa lots of factory to dealer incentives. Victory Of Mesa 833 South Country Club Drive. 1 mile north of US 60 on Country Club Dr., Mesa, Arizona 85210. 480.668.7969. www.VictoryOfMesa.com
Saturday and Sunday, October 10 & 11
21st Annual HOGTOBERFEST. This is a 2 day event sponsored by Tucson Harley-Davidson.
Saturday Night: 5-9PM: Pick up Pre-Registration packets at the Tucson Harley-Davidson. There will be Music, Food, Fun and Vendors while you register.
Sunday: Poker Run 1st bike out at 8 am last bike in at 1pm Pins/Patches 1st 200. The day will start the day with a pancake breakfast at 6-9 am. Other Sunday activities include Bike games, Bike Show, Bikini Bike Wash, Fashion Show, Music, raffle prizes and share the wealth tickets. This event is free except for the Bike show and the poker run. For more information and to pre register or to purchase a T-shirt, event pin or patch, please go to the website it will have the most up to date information. http://www.hogtoberfestaz.net/ or http://www.tucsonharley.com/. Tucson Harley Davidson is located at 7355 North I-10 Frontage Road. Tucson, AZ. 520-792-0111.
Saturday, October 10th
Hog'n Dogz Ride for Independence. We invite you to participate in Hog‘n Dogz to benefit the AZ Power Paws Assistance Dogs. This motorcycle ride begins at Chandler Harley Davidson and ends at Alice Cooper’stown with an outstanding BBQ and live music by Faded Jeans. There will be 4 stops in between with appearances from Power Paws Client-Dog teams as well as Puppy Raisers and dogs in training, and raffle items, plus a 50/50 raffle. Riders on all makes and models (cars & trucks too) welcome! We'll begin the ride with a light breakfast Chandler Harley Davidson. Suggested Donation: $15.00 per person / $25.00 per couple. Day of Event Registration/Check-in opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 9:45 a.m. The ride starts at 10:00 am sharp, rain or shine!6895 W. Chandler Blvd. Chandler.
Saturday, October 10th
Charity Ride N Drive for Domestic Abuse Shelters. Charity Bike or Drive for Arizona Beta Sigma Phi's against domestic abuse. This event is for bikes, cars, trucks or whatever will get you there. All proceeds donated to local domestic abuse shelters. Ride starts at Chester's Harley-Davidson located at 922 S. Country Club in Mesa. Registration and continental breakfast 9-10:15am. Departs at 10:30am sharp. Cost is $25 per rider and $5 per passenger. See flyer for details.
Saturday, October 10th
1st Annual East Side B.A.C.A. Poker Run. “LET’S BREAK the CHAINS OF ABUSE to OUR CHILDREN”. 100% of ALL Proceeds to Benefit Abused Children. B.A.C.A. (Bikers Against Child Abuse) is a 501-(c)- 3 Non-Profit Organization. Registration 9 am to 11 am at Smokey’s Bar & Grill, 1734 E. Main St., Mesa. Pre-register by Oct. 3rd at $15 single/$25 couple - Day of Run $20 single/$30 couple. Includes a pin (to first 300 ppl), meal at end party & free poker sheet. BANDS, RAFFLES, 50/50, HIGH & LOW HAND, VENDORS. Run Shirts will be for sale till we run out. See flyer for details.
Saturday, October 10th
Renegade Classics Fall Kick Off Party. Come get your gear for the riding season with your friends at Renegade Classics of Phoenix. Free Lunch, Bike Show, Bikini Contest, Vendors, Prizes And Giveaways All Day. Save Big ALL Day. 10-50% OFF. In store specials from 9am - 4pm. 3102 East Cactus Road, Phoenix, AZ 602-595-9597. www.renegadephoenix.com
Sunday, October 11th
We Ride Miles For Smiles. Benefiting the Community Dental Foundation. This organization brings dental health care to children who do not have insurance or have families that are financially unable to pay for dental care. Registration for the ride is from 10 - 11 am( last bike out by1130am) at Buddy Stubs Harley-Davidson located in Phoenix at 13850 North Cave Creek Road. 125 mile ride, stops are at least 30 to 40 miles apart. Participants will be able to tour the Mobile Children's Clinic so you will be able to see where and how your money is being spent. Cost is $25 a person, $40 a couple; price includes small breakfast, lunch, live music, door prize ticket, and extra dice roll. 1st 100 pre-registered riders receive a bag of free goodies. Prizes for highest roll, lowest roll and snake eyes: 1 roll per stop. Live music: The Weezul Brothers. See flyer for details.
Don't forget, the Rocky Point Rally is ON! November 5-8. If you plan on going you will need to get your passport card ordered soon. If you missed the newsletter a couple of weeks ago with the announcement of the Rocky Point Rally being UN-Cancelled, Click Here to Read and have instruction on how to get your passport card. The Rally is on an being planned with some very cool additions this year. More will be announced in the coming weeks. Get your passport cards and reservations now. www.rockypointrally.com .
Cyclerides.com is now on Facebook! Join 1200 other riders! I am inviting you to "Become A Fan" on the Cyclerides.com Facebook page. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cycleridescom/108447575697 to add your name and bookmark this page. If you are not on Facebook, you can still go to the page, but you will not be able to communicate. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined.
Not too much else to say about this except that it is "Just Wrong". Guys will really cringe on this one. Click Here to View.
Trask Performance - Arizona's Premier Performance Center. Riding season and cooler weather is upon us so it is time to get your bike running as good as possible. Trask Performance has been providing the valley with high quality motorcycle service since 2000. Our state-of-the-art dyno tuning center coupled with our vast experience in high performance customizations has made Trask Performance the premier tuning center in the Southwest. Our dedication to high quality and superb performance extends to our full service shop. Whether you need a basic oil change, an engine re-built for high performance or want a custom build that will make your buddies green with envy, we've got you covered. We stand behind our work 100%. Call us today to schedule your free performance evaluation! $50.00 value! Trask Performance is located at 21601 N 3rd Ave Suite D, in Phoenix. 623-879-8488. Click Here for Details.
Not sure why this was shot. Doesn't appear to be a commercial. But it is a pretty funny bit. A case of mistaken identity. Click Here to View
Video of the Week
Since football season is here, I am reviving a very funny football bit from a comedian. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"
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