Gear heads unite in Copper Square

Perfect pavement? You can add it to the list of things for which Phoenix is famous.

Our flawless asphalt led the cyclists in the RideClean organization to schedule their Arizona State Championship Criterium in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, April 12. The daylong event will feature hundreds of amateur youth and adult riders pedaling in nearly 30 events. What does it take to enter? “It helps if you have more than 10 gears on your bike,” says Joseph Lopez of RideClean, a two-year-old East Valley-based group that promotes the suddenly novel concept of competition free of performance-enhancing drugs.

For those with just one gear, there’s the event’s centerpiece, the Downtown Showdown, a fixed-gear race that starts at high noon. “It’s a nod to the purists, the people who have long been ignored by racing. It’s the most basic form of cycling,” Lopez says. “There’s not a velodrome anywhere in Phoenix. This race is for them.”

For those in the non-Lycra-shorts set, there will be a bike rodeo, a bicycle-safety seminar, and perhaps the real reason to go to this thing: kids serving bicycle-power-blended smoothies.

Sat., April 12, 2008
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