Tag Archives: Jason Tullous

Community Bike Ride List February 6-13

Last week The Damion Alexander Team shared thousands of photos from various rides and events around Tucson.  To see the photos, Look at “The Damion Alexander Team” on facebook and please like it while you are there.

Two bills are currently being reviewed in the AZ State Legislature. SB 1102 which would prohibit texting and driving and SB 1302 which modifies AZ Vulnerable Users Laws to include bicyclists and stiffer penalties. Please consider writing, emailing or calling your AZ Legislator to ask them to support both of these bills. They both are currently assigned to the Transportation Committee chaired by Sen. Bob Worsley and to the Public Safety Military Technology Committee chaired by Sen. Steve Smith. You can find out who your Legislators are by visiting http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp?Body=S

This list is a major time commitment and it is my pleasure to put it together.  All I ask in return for the list is that you remember I’m A REALTOR.  If you have a relationship with another REALTOR, I love loyalty and respect those relationships.  However, if not, or if you need a second opinion, Please keep me in mind.  Many agents spend money advertising for new business, some door knock and others  cold call.  My business is based on referrals from past clients and friends.  The less time I have to do traditional prospecting the more I can do for the clients and friends you refer my team AND for  the cycling community.  For example: This list.



What Where When Distance/Time Speed Contact
U of A Cycling Monday Mosey Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Monday


1-1.5 hours Max 20 miles www.UofAcylcling.com
Ben’s Bike MTB Meet at shop 6:00 PM 1-2 hours Easy, fun, socail Ben’s Bikes
Hills, Hills Hills Bashas Kolb/Sunrise Tuesday


20 miles

About an hour



Damion Alexander


Velo Vets VA Blind Rehab Center. Tuesday 5:00PM 5-25 miles easy, fun, social and service ride Giuliana Donnelly



Tuesday “Shootout” University/Euclid Tuesday


2.5 hours

40 miles

Fast www.Fairwheelbike.com
Tuesday Night Fast Fixed Ride Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Tuesday


Few Hours Varies Fast brownus_clarence@yahoo.com
Tuesday Night Ride Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Tuesday


12-18 miles Slow Facebook

Tuesday Night Bike Ride

UA Cycling  Wed.Worlds Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Wed


40-60 miles www.UofACycling.com
Mt. Lemmon University/Euclid Wed


55-60 Miles www.Fairwheelbike.com
JKG DnA Easy Udall Parking Lot Wed


Udall-Mile post 3 on Lemmon Casual


Cyclo-cross Ft. Lowell Park 5:00PM A few hours As fast as we can go https://www.facebook.com/groups/671108262985165/?fref=ts
Heavy Pedal Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main 7:00PM Different route each week
Bike Polo UofA Mall 8:00PM https://www.facebook.com/tucson.bikepolo?fref=ts
Tim Carolan Ride Starbucks




46 miles 18-21 mph
Up Oracle

Thursday Shootout

University and Euclid Thurs


Fast www.Fairwheelbike.com
Hills, hills, hills Bashas Kolb/Sunrise Thurs


20 miles 12-14(but Hills) Damion Alexander


U of A Cycling Thursday Thrill Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Thurs


1-1.5 hours Max 20 miles Easy Ride www.UofACycling.com
The JKG Flagship ride Le Buzz Thurs


Le Buzz to Molina Basin Hammer fest JKG Strava on Facebook
U OF A Cycling  Friday Freewheelin Flagpole  – West Side of  Old Main Friday


2 hours

30-40 miles

Team Time Trial Practice www.UofACycling.com
Bicycle Ranch Tucson Group Bicycle Ranch at Oracle and Ina


Saturday 8:00AM 48 (shorter option of 35 as well) miles 17-20


Free Breakfast after ride
Oro Valley Bikes Ride Oro Valley Bikes

4749 E Sunrise



50 miles 17-18 MPH (520) 577-5511

John McCarrell


Old  Man Shootout

University and


Saturday 7:15AM 60 Mile (can be extended to 100) Fast

20 MPH+

The Big Boy Shootout University and


Saturday 7:30 AM 60 Miles(can be extended to 100) Faster www.fairwheelbikes.com
Performance Broadway Shop Ride 7204 e Broadway Saturday 8:00AM 17 miles beginner 10-14

No drop



Broadway Bicycles Shop Ride Various Routes

Call Scott

Saturday 7:00AM Scott 296-7819
Miles Ahead Shop Ride I’m sad to say that Miles Ahead has closed and one of the best shop rides in Tucson is no more.  If you are interested in starting a Pistol Hill Ride Every week, please let me know so I can put it here.  I know there is an interest, we just need someone to step up.  Thanks Geoff for having such a great ride.  You and Miles Ahead will be missed.
Ben’s Bike Ride At Ben’s bike

7431 Houghton

8:00AM 6-10 miles Easy www.bensbikestucson.com


Sabino Cycle Shop Ride Varies- email Steve  to be on the list Saturday 7:30 No Drop steve@sabinocycles.com


Tucson Endurance Performance Center Ride Mountain Bike Ride Contact shop for details.  Different route weekly. Saturday 7:30AM www.graskyendurance.com/weekly-workouts.html


VELO\VETS Ride the Loop! Mobility Fitness Center 2502 N. Dragoon Ave Sunday 3:00 PM 5-25 miles All speeds welcome http://www.cactuscycling.org/event-1825494 Giuliana Donnelly



Tucson Endurance Performance Center Ride 6448 N Oracle




Ben’s Bikes At Ben’s bike

7431 Houghton

Sunday 8AM 35-40 17-20 www.bensbikestucson.com


Velo Vets Ride the Loop Mobility Fitness Center 2502 N. Dragoon Ave. Sunday 3:00Pm- 5:00pm A few miles Easy fun social ride Giuliana Donnelly




PLEASE NOTE- Category below just for Mountain Bikes Dave Slagle Slaglesphone@live.com


What Location Date/Time Distance Speed Contact- More Info
Sabino Cycles Shop Ride Sabino Cycles Saturday



35-40 No Drop

Rain=no ride, but food

Steve Wetmore
Zona Cycling Meet at El Con Mall in back of the Starbucks Coffee shop Meet at El Con Mall in back of the Starbucks Coffee shop Saturday 02.7.15


55 miles https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zona-Cycling/186457201423794?fref=ts

GABA Desert Museum Loop

1500 W. River Road,  on the loop Saturday 02.7.15


54 14-16 http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/220323724/

Cactus Cycling Northwest Sunday circle


Panera Oro Valley 10604 N. Oracle Sunday



39 miles 16-18 plus http://www.cactuscycling.org/event-1855473

2nd Sunday Ride slow Tucson “The Loop” ride

East End of the Rillito Bike Path

3575 N Craycroft Rd




58 miles 12-14 mph http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/220027263/

Cactus Cycling

Amado to Arivaca Ride

the Cow Palace Restaurant at 28802 S. Nogales Hwy Sunday



44 14-16 mph http://www.cactuscycling.org/event-1859017 Carol Forszt & Michael Zaffke (520.403.7234
Have you ever dreamed of bike touring through scenic byways, visiting little cultural gems along the route, all at a mellow pace and in the good company of fellow adventurers? If you find yourself nodding your head yes, then Tucson’s first Tour de Little Free Library might just be the experience for you! This inaugural Tour de Little Free Library (LFL) takes place on Sunday, February 8 and will wend through 4 neighborhoods, for a total of about 10 miles over the course of roughly 3 hours. congregate at the Dunbar Springs LFL, 2nd St & 10th Ave at Noon on Sunday 2.8.15   https://www.facebook.com/events/616856618419764/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Tour De Cure Training Ride

St. Philip’s Plaza on River Rd/Campbell Ave (meet near the bike path) Sunday



20-30 miles Tbd on who shows up, but no drop

Cactus Cycling Ken’s Monday Ride

Beyond Bread – corner of Oracle & Ina Monday



25-35 mph 14-16 mph http://www.cactuscycling.org/event-1855198

Ken  520-668-5000

The Bicycle Loop Ride Udall Park

7290 E. Tanque Verde




60 miles 15-16MPH http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/220116292/
Pistol Hill Loop Ride Udall Park

7290 E. Tanque Verde

Wednesday, 2.11.15

9:00 AM

47 miles 14-16 MPH http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/220116191/
Pima County Fairgrounds Loop Ride Udall Park

7290 E. Tanque Verde

Friday 2.13.15

9:00 AM

49 miles 14-16MPH http://www.meetup.com/bikegaba/events/220116733/

Valentine’s Day Ride All Levels Welcome


San Carlos Grill 12125 N. Oracle Saturday



25 miles Social ride http://www.cactuscycling.org/event-1852001

THIS WEEKS MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDES  ^^^^Road rides are above^^^^

What Location Date


Time  Distance Speed Contact- More Info

Honeybee Canyon Trail

1171 E Rancho Vistoso Blvd Saturday


9AM –

16-mile loop relatively flat and rolling terrain. Pace will depend on group.  2-3 hours http://www.meetup.com/Southern-Arizona-Mountain-Bike-Association/events/220317518/

AZ Endurance Series – Tor de 50

Chad’s house(must register), Saturday


9AM –

This is the annual Tor de 50 put on by AZ Endurance Series, connecting the upper 50 year area with the Tortolitas.  It’s about 54 miles total with over 5500 ft. of climbing.  It is a self-supported endurance ride http://www.meetup.com/Southern-Arizona-Mountain-Bike-Association/events/220318111/
February Group Ride 50yr Trail Meet at the Golder Ranch parkin Saturday


9:30AM –

Please bring plenty of water it will be a 3hr+ day if you stick to all the loops with us. Plenty of bailout options. All are welcome no one left behind. Post ride cold ones provided. https://www.facebook.com/events/1503260973271167/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
Pivot Bikes Demo Event Sweetwater Trailhead Saturday


9AM –

3 PM

Demo Pivots and FREE MTB clinic by Edy Yee and Martha Lemen! 1-2pm. Ages 7-12 https://www.facebook.com/events/1582764165302228/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

OMR Sunday Ride.

2 N Calle Rinconado Sunday



Less of a group ride and more like training for the 24HOP race https://www.facebook.com/events/860227864036842/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Dave
A.B.E. – Santa Cruz Bicycles – demo Fantasy Island Sunday


9AM -12

Check out all the 2015 Santa Cruz Models! I LOVE Santa Cruz bikes.  Been riding a tallboy for 3 years. Only issue with doing this demo is you will want one.  Damion https://www.facebook.com/events/806436606109812/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
Old Pueblo MTB: Last Crack at 24 HOP 24 Hour Town Sunday


3:00 PM

Pick your poison.  16,32,48 miles.  Or do some half laps. https://www.facebook.com/events/801775489860194/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Todd Rasmussen 520-256-1340
SAMBA Monday Night @ Hope Camp Hope Camp Trail Camino Loma Alta Monday 2.9.2015

6:30 PM

Plan on 2+ hours.  All skill levels welcome, but you do need a good ligh http://www.meetup.com/Southern-Arizona-Mountain-Bike-Association/events/219887510/
Tuesday night lights with Burritos!

·                   Fantasy Island North Sude




The normal TNL ride on the north side loops of FI Burritos at  Losbetos https://www.facebook.com/events/712315755556613/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Dave Slagle Slaglesphone@live.com
SAMBA Wednesday Night RideStarr Pass

Richard E. Genser Starr Pass Trailhead




Yetman re-reoute Lights are still needed!

Pizza and beer at Bianchi’s

Youth Ride on The Arizona Trail

Colossal Cave on the AZ Trail





Camping, riding bikes, kids on bikes.  All hosted by The AZ Trail Association


https://www.facebook.com/events/890495934315848/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Damion 977-5664



What Location Date Contact
Learn about being a GABA Ride Organizer City of Tucson Ward 6 Office

3202 E 1st St

Saturday, 1.7.15

10 AM to 2pm

Boy Scouts Bike Repair. You don’t need to be a bike mechanic, just a desire to help. Double V Scout Reservation

3801 S Kinney Rd


February 7, 2015

9:30AM PM

Consider Yourself Challenged!~ An Inspirational community Event for CAF Tucson Jewish Community Center,

3800 E River Rd



24HOP Packet Pickup Party! Fairwheel Bikes

503 S Park Ave



Bike Advisory Committee Meeting Himmel Park Library Feb 11, 2015

6:00 PM




Name Description Date Location Contact Info
Valley of The Sun Stage Race 3 day stage race 2.13.15



Phoenix http://www.wmrc.org/

Brian Lemke

Sun Devil Criterium  Sun Devil Criterium will take place on the ASU Tempe Campus, around iconic Gammage Auditorium Sunday



ASU Gammage

1200 S Forest Ave

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo Burning man meets MTB race.  Is this a race or a party? I say BOTH! 2.13.15



Willow Springs- An hour North of Tucson http://www.epicrides.com/index.php?contentCat=5
Havasu Havoc A Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) race. 2.21.15 Lake Havasu
Tour De Cure- The Damion Alexander Team has a team for this event and is a major sponsor.  E-mail me for a free registration code! 50 and 100K rides


This is the motivation you are looking for to keep riding after El Tour De Tucson!

March 1, 2015 Tucson Harley Davidson

7355 Interstate 10 Frontage Rd



BBiondo@diabetes.org  | (520) 795-3711 x7112

White Tank Whirlwind A Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) race. 3.7.15 White Tanks Regional Park

Waddell, AZ

Tucson Bicycle Classic 3 day Stage Race 3.13.15



McCain Loop TT

Sauharita Road

Pima CC West Crit

Honor Ride Phoenix Join Ride 2 Recovery to honor our nation’s healing heroes


3.14.15 UnitedHealthcare Offices, 4425 E. Cotton Center Blvd http://ride2recovery.com/honorRide.php
MARC in the Park (Team event) A Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) race. 3.28.15 McDowell Mtn. Regional Park

16300 McDowell

Foray at the Fort (Sierra Vista) A Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) race. 4.11.15 Fort Huachucha

556 Auger Ave.

Flagstaff Frenzy (Flagstaff) A Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) race. 5.16.15 Fort Valley Trail Network, Flagstaff, AZ http://mbaa.net/racing/7-flagstaff-flagstaff-frenzy/
Super D (Flagstaff) FUN-D raiser for the Flagstaff Biking Organization. 5.17.15 Fort Valley Trail Network, Flagstaff, AZ http://mbaa.net/racing/super-d/
Whiskey Off Road 7 races.  One fun weekend. Pro Crits, kids race, 25, 50, and pro 50 races. 40K Purse. April 24 – April 26, 2015. Prescott http://www.epicrides.com/index.php?contentCat=6


This list is a major time commitment and it is my pleasure to put it together.  All I ask in return for the list is that you remember I’m A REALTOR.  If you have a relationship with another REALTOR, I love loyalty and respect those relationships.  However, if not, or if you need a second opinion, Please keep me in mind.  Many agents spend money advertising for new business, others sit open houses or cold call.  My business is based on referrals from past clients and friends.  The less time I have to do traditional prospecting the more I can do for the cycling community.  For example: this list.

Rider Back! The etiquette and skills for passing.

After the first NICA high School race my son Samuel and I had a conversation that lasted a better part of the drive from Prescott back to Tucson.  He felt that he could have done better in the race, but that he was unable to pass riders.  He mentioned riders not yielding, weaving to prevent passing and riders off the bike on hills who made it impossible to ride past them.  Sam, who is a considerate young man, (yes, I might be biased in my opinion) wanted to know how to pass without being over aggressive.

I have never thought of the proper etiquette when it comes to race day even though I’ve been in many races.  The only “circuit” mountain bike race I’ve done is the 24 hours in the Old Pueblo.  Since I have been more in participation than race mode,  I’m always quick to relinquish the trail and patient to pass.  In longer races like the Tour of the White Mountains or The Whiskey I’ve found the start is thought out with enough road or jeep trail to allow the racers to find the spot they naturally belong in.  There just is not that much passing to be an issue.

When we returned home I asked this question on facebook  “I’m writing an article about passing etiquette during mountain bike races. Also, skills for passing.”  I also sent notes to Olympian Todd Wells, Krista Parks, Chloe Woodruff and  Coach Jason Tullous asking their opinion on the subject.  The following are the responses.

Todd Wells said : Hi Damion, Thanks for the note. Passing is a big problem. I can imagine in NICA races it is a really big issue with such large fields and different ranges in ability. I think one of the rules for a NICA course is it has to be a certain percentage of double track or fire road to facilitate passing. When ever there is a wide range of abilities passing is always an issue. I find it also difficult when I am racing on a course with multiple categories and they aren’t pulling riders so we don’t’ have a clear track. At a World Cup race riders will fight you tooth and nail for every position and there is no courtesy, if you can take the position you do and if you can avoid giving it up at any cost you do as well. In less competitive races there is a more civil way of doing things. Generally the slower rider yields to the faster rider. That is not to say they jump off the trail but they move slightly to the side to allow the faster rider to pass with the least amount of resistance to their own speed. Most times this works. There are always riders that won’t get out of the way and no matter how nicely you ask they just don’t get it. In those instances it up to the rider, they can take the position forcefully or wait until the trail opens up to pass. If the race is low key I will usually try to accommodate the slower rider and wait to pass. If it is a big race or a lot of prize money on the line I will take the position however I can.

I like to yell long before I get to the person so they have time to look for a spot to pull off.


Krista Parks said:  Hey Damion!  yep it’s a tough one… it has to come from the top that blocking is not allowed, not even for a second. If that instruction is not clear and enforced the faster rider will end up being the bad guy. I try to keep talking, “rider back”, “when you get a chance”, “on your left” (like it or not 🙂 ). Once I lost patience with a guy on a downhill after 5 minutes of trying to get by on the rolling section and said, “wow you are really slow”. that worked and I thanked him nicely as I passed. Obviously being nice is better than winning a race, you make way more friends that way. It is much easier to come up behind a new friend, use their name and ask for a pass than to make enemies then try to get them to let you by…

Jason Tullous said:  Simply, the rules are you must yield to the faster rider and that’s something the Conference director should bring to the Coaches attention and then on down to the riders. Most of the athletes are new to the sport and may not understand. Of course that typically does not solve the problem. You  will have to get more aggressive. This should mostly happen at the start. In the course pre ride, you have to determine how hard you will need to start to position yourself well. When you do get stuck behind a slower rider, first be patient and know the passing lanes. Save your energy to pass at that moment. Be sure to have your elbows out just in case. 🙂

If they will not move, you’ll need to be aggressive in looking for unique passing opportunities and pester the rider in front of you by continually asking to pass, stating the rules, rubbing their tire, etc… I think the best solution are the rules and your pre ride giving you a race strategy.


I followed up the question with Coach Tullous and asked for techniques to pass

“Be in an easier gear. This allows you to accelerate quicker. MTBers are typically bad at this but they are always faster for it. Practice cadence.”


The comments on Facebook are below.  Some were more joking, but I left them in as they were humorous.


Lindsey Cooper: So, yelling “move it, b*%&$!” isn’t correct?????

Ryan Floden:  Be sure to include common remarks such as yelling “STRAVA” or “On your left”

Kyle Akin: how about something for the trail corker that won’t get out of the way when you’re trying to win a race?

Damion Alexander:  Kyle, that is what I’m looking for. Thoughts on what is appropriate when you are timed and trying to do your best regardless of if that is for a podium finish or simply to finish in the best time you can. The reason I’m on this is after the first NICA race I had a long conversation with Sam about this

John Mertes: You should pass like people do during the 24 hour race, if there is no room, run the slower person into a bush…thats always fun, especially when you are the slow person.

Ma Fin: What Mertes said! Be sure to fire a snot rocket at them as you are passing and riding them into a cactus

Liane Ehrich: How about passers should be respectful of the person that they are passing? If you are passing you are strong enough to wait a few seconds for a safe place to pass and then take the bad line. Those being passed should look for a safe place and call out the direction they want the passer to go. If the place is too short, the passer waits until a longer line presents itself. Communication and respect should be two ways

Lauren Denise Gowan DeLillo:  I think you’re getting a lot of great material for a really funny book or at least a magazine article.

Julia Strange:  I admit to being one of those slower people and really can say it stinks when you are trying to get over but there are cactus (or rocks or a cliff) and the faster person passes anyway knocking you into the said cactus. I always get over as quickly as I can, even stepping off the trail if I have to … But I refuse to ride intentionally into a cholla so that someone can get 10 extra seconds of time

Daryll McKenzie: Lately there has been much of the load to pass put on the passer and very little on the person being passed. Racing on single track esp. with the wide bar craze makes for some sketchy passing. Too many times I hear at race meetings to be nice when passing and if you get out of line it’s a penalty or DQ. This has now sent the message to those being passed they have little responsibility and even empowers them to stay in the middle of the trail giving less room to pass. It takes both racers to give some to make it work. Just on our squad last race we had 3 sprint finishes for a podium placing that were decided by 1 second. Putting in hard work to distance a competitor and then giving it all back sitting behind a lapper is frustrating, watching a competitor ride away from you while you are stuck behind a lapper even more frustrating. MTB racing is one of those sports were you have to have a certain etiquette as you said Damion. The race rules and meetings should put as much emphasis on the person being passed (they really control the trail and pass situation)as they do the passer.

Richard Biocca: what we have here is not a passing problem. It is an entitlement issue. Daryll McKenzie is right on the money. I have the been passed and have passed and it is important that people respect each other. I always try to be nice and ask to passee and exchange some kind words when trying to perform a pass. I am also guilty of giving up on my relationship with said passee after they become difficult and get attitudes etc. I then hammer down and leave them behind and hope their day improves. When being passed I do my best to get the f out of the way cuz I know I am not the fastest out there and want to give the respect that we should all expect and not be a speedbump. I would never yell Strava either.


Ira Getraer: If you are going to get off your bike get clear of the trail and wait until no one is coming up behind you before you walk over the section you didn’t want to ride. After walking over the section look back and be sure no one is about to come off that section before you get back on.

Jimmy Bees: Rubbing is racing

Elliot DuMont: Better yet why don’t people just exercise kindness and common sense. If you’re passing someone chances are you are the better rider and should give the passee noticeable heads up before arriving on their wheel, the passee should wait for the closest time they can allow the passer to move over, the paser should move as far to the opposite end of the trail making the passee feel as safe as possible, then when the passer passes they say, “hey thanks, have a kick ass ride” or “hey thanks, you’re doing great!” AND LEAVE THEM IN THE DUST!

Jolly Rogers: I call passes on singletrack, bike paths, roadways and in the bar. The passing person also needs not to be yelling 1/8th of a mile back “rider up” but rather approach the individual and make verbal contact without yelling like a douchebag and expect the person to instantly clear for you. You are over taking or passing someone so you are are responsible for a safe pass on BOTH parties and some portions o f trail only allow for one rider at a time.

Elliot DuMont: I’ve always been impressed with the pros and how kind and patient they are on the trail. I got passed as most of you have by Karl Dekkker at 24 hop and he was ridiculously patient and kind.

Kit Plummer:  This is not a suggestion, but something from another sport with similar issues. In professional motocross/supercross – lappees are waved with a special flag by workers around the track, to let them know that leaders are coming up behind – and they are to give way. For NICA one of the issues is that four categories (and unlimited breadth in each) make up the ridership on the trails. The lap/distrance differentials allow the varsity and JV categories to finish the races with out having the interference. But, it creates an opportunity for all racers to “use” the lap/slower traffic. Just based on the experience of the V/JV versus Soph/Frosh groups I could see where it would be beneficial to both to separate the actual races. Until something changes, I believe respect between passer and passee must baseline whatever the protocol is.

Alex Paterson: I have been asked a few times when I am trying to pass someone what my hurry is….well it may not be a race to them but it is to me. I am a slow climber but I make up for it on the descents. I know when someone is behind me on a climb and I do my best to let them by ASAP. I will take the rough blown out route to get around people on the decent and yell on your left as I pass someone . In a race like the Whiskey passing is a real problem and congestion is a bigger problem.

Alex Paterson:  A race like the 24 Hours is another perfect example of passing making a huge difference to your overall time. If you have spend and xtra 2 to 5 minutes passing slower traffic each lap you can really loose some time. It may only seem like 10 seconds to the person being passed but it seems like time is standing still to the person doing the passing.

Alisa Payne Neave:  Shoving someone into a cholla – not good manners!  Someone with a loud voice (like a certain youth cycling coach) got my attention at 24HOP to move on over

Jimmy Bees:  Motorcross also uses hip check or posting them in a corner. A tailwhip seals the deal

Mike Perr< y Kit Plummer, et al. If the league continues to grow at its current rate, in 2015 we will likely split teams into D1 and D2 (based on size). When that occurs we’ll increase from two start waves to three (with each category separate by 5 minute start intervals): Girls – V / JV / S / F, Boys – S1 / S2 / F1 / F2 and Boys – Varsity / JV1 / JV2. This will help alleviate some of the congestion created by lapped riders, but it’ll also result in longer race days and the V and JV boys racing in hotter temperatures (even when we start the season in northern AZ).

Craig Boydell:  Having a bell makes a big difference. It can be hard to sound nice when you’re anaerobic but a bell always sounds polite. Plus, you can ding it a couple of times from a ways back and it gives the rider more notice, especially if there’s a big speed difference. Once you get closer you can then “I’ll pass if I can”. This combination seemed to work great at the 24, thanks to Bryan Little handing out bells to the Hosie Cows crew.

Ben Elias:  Craig Boydell has a good technical solution that is easy to implement and compliments respectful attitudes whilst passing or yielding

Richard Biocca: Another great idea is to only ride at night (my strategy) as your lights will give the passee proper warning. If you approach fast enough they will get scared and jump off course fearing an alien abduction

Kyle Akin:first of all, this is why there is a mad dash to the single track in MBAA races… Passing slows you down.. and that really sucks if you’re really suffering while leading a race with chasers behind you. Ideally, as you’re approaching a slower rider, you ring your bell, or let them know you’re coming and say “when you get a chance”.. be clear about the side you will be passing. The slower rider SHOULD give priority to the passer and if need be, pull off to the side and stop. You must be very careful not to clip the rider you’re passing.

Kyle Helmke: Passing is a game of ethics, If you’re caught by someone please yield ASAP

Krista Park:  I remember reading UCI cross-country rules stating that blocking was forbidden and could earn that rider a DQ. In enduro it is more obvious who is faster, if you are caught you are 30 seconds slower, almost everyone is amazing at getting out of the way. If not, other racers will talk about the one or two people who are known blockers. If you are caught, get over right away, if you can’t get over, ride off the trail and stop. I have done that twice; yes, it messed up my time but that’s how it works, over-taking riders have the right-of-way.

Damion Alexander : Great conversation. Thanks for all the comments. Mike Perry, Thanks for the picture of what might come as the league grows. At the same time, the question I’m trying to get at is not just about having to many riders on the course. It is about the riders in your category who are not willing to yield when they should. For example, on some of the wider sections with ample room to pass, athletes were weaving from side to side to prevent passing. Riders were also unable to make some of the climbs and were walking with their bikes in the middle of the path. With El Grupo and especially Samuel, we hammer over and over the importance of being respectful. I’d rather see no podiums and good kids than those who have a win at all cost attitude. I also get that these are young adults who are still trying to figure out what is right and wrong and sometimes those lines are hard to be clear of. Especially at times we see adults who set a bad example.

I do want to give you and John Shumaker props for having this conversation prior to the race. I hope that at the next coaches meeting you will bring it up again. Perhaps even mentioning some of the great points my friends have made here.

Mike Perry:  As we remind at every race, passing can define the day for both riders involved, positively or negatively. Besides the coaches meeting, it’s covered with each group in staging and I addressed it in two news letters leading up to Race #1, too. Whether racing or JRA, passing happens. Be a role model. https://madmimi.com/p/ca6645 https://madmimi.com/p/b40835

Mike Ingram: at 24 HOP I have noticed that the really fast people were excellent passers, they let you know, were polite, and passed when it made sense — then there were those clowns who did a dangerous pass/cut-off 20 feet before the doubletrack and who then proceeded to slow down going up the bloody hill ( fighting for number 1991 vs 1992 nd place I guess )

Patrick Fraher:  The NICA & Arizona models are about sportsmanship on both parties accounts. I advise my kids to be safe whether passing or being passed. If there is no reasonable place to pull over then the passer will have to wait. If someone rams them, grabs their bars or causes injury to them, then we as coaches need to evaluate what we are teaching & correct it. Not every kid out there has racing experience going into these events & I really appreciate the league doing their best to emphasize safety. I don’t want my freshman girl getting run off the trail & quitting the team because of the unsportsmanlike attitude of a few. Nobody is earning a check yet & I’d rather they kept cycling the rest of their life instead of hating it. It is an ALL INCLUSIVE league, not just for the elite racer

Kristin Élise Hillman Fukuchi: I don’t know the rules about which side to pass on but a rider came up on me during a Mtn bike race and asked to pass so I pulled left because it was the safest spot for my riding ability and then he got mad that I didn’t pull right (off a pretty good cliff mind you). It’s not a road race, right? At least I pulled over and was trying to be nice. He still managed to get around but I think he lost 2 seconds of time.


Dave Sewell:  My experiences at races have almost always been positive, while passing, or more often being passed. Most people are kind and patient. Communication is the key.

Intentionally blocking a faster rider should be grounds for a flogging, it is unsportsmanlike childish. Being an ass when you are passing deserves the same treatment. Passing and being passed is something that should be coached, and practiced (on both ends) by racers. Faster riders cannot expect you to give up the good line if you are a passee, it is up to them to take the rough ride around line. But like Nicole said, there could be times where you need to just pull over and let the by. There are exceptions to every rule. Anyone off their bike or stopped should be off the good line, and like someone said above, make sure it is clear before trying to get back onto it.

Mark Flint:  course design/modification can also help. I just finished designing a new course, and we’re going to put in passing lanes wherever it’s feasible (i.e. whenever the side slope grade is low enough to make a wider track or a passing lane. The start has about a quarter mile of uphill that is wide, gradually tapering to singletrack. But as others have said, basic rules of courtesy and respect should (unfortunately don’t always) eliminate negative experiences.

Donald Lewis: It’s Mt Biking, there is no etiquette!


If you read through all of this, what do you think the take away is?  If you were a race director, how would you structure your rules?

Stolen Bike Alert

My Coach Jason Tullous had his bike stolen  from his CTS car in front of his home in the La Canada and River area.

The bike is 54 H1 Trek Madone 7 series with Ultegra Di2 components.  The color is a custom CTS paint scheme with colors blue, black, and white.  It does have an older rear power tap wheel (Mavic rim 2.4SL powertap).  It also has a Motorola MOTOACTV attached to the stem.  It has a black seat bag with skulls on it and I have a sticker with the name “Tullous” on the top tube.

This is not the exact bike, but the same paint  and look.

This is not the exact bike, but the same paint and look.

Due to the unique paint and his name, this one should be easier to spot than most bikes.



El Grupo field trip to Carmichael Training Systems

El grupo had one of the most important practices of the year Wednesday night. It included an effort of only 9-10 minutes on a trainer at Carmichael Training Systems (CTS). The entire workout consisted of riding a three mile computer course in order to establish training parameters for the year.

Based on the results from the test the kids are able to figure out what their heart rate and Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) should be for different workouts. CTS breaks the different zones into Foundation Miles, Endurance miles, Tempo, Steady State Intervals, and Recovery miles. If you are so inclined to know what each of these is, I’ve copied the summary of them at the bottom of this post.

CTS offers a state of the art facility that has 8 trainers hooked up to computers that allows for group races. 23 kids showed up to determine their base line fitness . The A team had a little more challenging course that offered more uphill, while the others had one climb and a majority of the TT like race was downhill. For what seems like an easy 10 minute effort I have not seen as much anguish and outright pain in these kids. The computer not only tracks your watts and speed, but a huge monitor shows exactly where you are in the race compared with the other racers and how many feet you are behind the racer in front of you. For this test, they turned off the “drafting” feature, but it’s possible to set up a life like drafting feature.


Kyle Helmke giving it everything and more.

Head Coach, Jason Tullous, broke down all the info that was gathered to show the kids what their zones are. I’d like to give a special Thanks to all of the CTS staff who stayed very late to get this done. Having industry leading coaching available for El Grupo and all of us who live in Tucson is one of the reasons that Tucson is such an incredible cycling community. Most teams would need to travel many a mile to find what is generously given to EL Grupo. Again, THANKS!

Endurance miles: This is one of the primary workouts for building an aerobic energy system that will increase your endurance capabilities. Expected benefits include: Increased size and strength in slow-twitch muscle fibers. Increased stroke volume from your heart. How to do it: Although similar to the Foundation Miles workout, the pace during the EM workout is quicker than during the Foundation Miles (FM) workout. It is performed at a moderate pace, but at a slightly higher heart rate (or power output) than the FM workout. Use your gearing as you hit the hills to remain in the saddle as you climb. Expect to keep your pedal speed up into the 85-95 RPM range. As with the FM workout, you will have a certain heart rate (or power) range for this workout. The goal is to not exceed the prescribed heart rate (or power) range. Even though the intensity is greater the closer you get to the heart rate ceiling, you are still using aerobic energy to power your cycling. At end of your EM ride, you should have spent at least 95% of the ride below your heart rate ceiling. If you are training with power, the longer the EM is, the lower your average power output should be and vice versa. The appropriate intensity will be determined by the results of the CTS field test. If you are training primarily with heart rate, you don’t need to stay near the top of your EM heart rate range all the time. The range is wide to accommodate the changes in effort level resulting from uphills, downhills, headwinds, tailwinds, stop signs and stoplights.

Steady State Intervals “Goal: Increase your lactate threshold by training at the edge of your aerobic/anaerobic threshold.

Tempo: Strategically placing tempo workouts into your training program has many advantages: Greater comfort while cruising on rolling terrain. Better fuel utilization during long races or rides. Increased capacity for more intense workouts. Better power at moderate intensities. Increased muscle glycogen storage capacity. Improved free fatty acid oxidation, which spares muscle glycogen. Increased mitochondrial development, structures within the muscle cells that produce energy. Improved aerobic efficiency. How to Do It: Pedal speed should be low. Try a 70-75 RPM range while staying at the prescribed heart rate intensity. This helps increase pedal resistance and strengthens leg muscles. Also try to stay in the saddle when you hit hills during your tempo workouts. This adds more pedal resistance and readies the connective tissues and supporting muscle groups before training heads into more explosive workouts. It is important that you try to ride the entire length of the tempo workout with as few interruptions as possible – tempo workouts should consist of consecutive riding at the prescribed intensity to achieve maximum benefit. This intensity will be determined by the results of the CTS field test.

Recovery miles goal is to speed the recovery process by riding at an easy pace at low resistance on flat terrain. Benefits include increasing blood flow to the muscles to help remove muscle soreness, reducing free radical build-up that cause muscle stress and damage. Studies have shown that active recovery at an appropriate pace leads to faster recovery than complete rest. How to do it: Recovery rides should be between 30-120 minutes in length on flat to rolling terrain. Keep your pedal speed slower than normal, staying in a light gear to keep resistance low. Heart rate must also remain low even if you hit any hills, just slow down and use your gears to keep the resistance low. The key to recovery rides is to ride just enough to engage the active recovery process but not long or intense enough to induce a training stress upon yourself. This is a workout that you will use during all your training periods. Even though the temptation is there to vegetate on the couch the day following a tough workout, use RR as an active recovery workout to jumpstart the process of repair and regeneration.