Cycle: Seven Evening and Casual Rides During May

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As we roll into May, the competitive spirit begins to drift from our legs similar to the perfect midday temps across the Valley. A new state road racing champion has been crowned, and close to every knobbie-tired gnar wrangler pushed their endurance limits at the Whiskey Off Road. It's time to chill.

A bevy of casual rides are popping up around town, most taking advantage of the ideal evening temps and longer daylight hours. But if you still feel like getting your race on, don't despair, as there are still a few races out there.

See also: - Cycle: Underground Crit Brings Aggressive Group Riding to North Phoenix - Cycle: Short Track at Papago is the Valley's Go-To Summer Race Series for Everyone

7. Arcadia Crewz Derby Day Ride The easy rides get rolling on May 4 as the Arcadia Crewz folks host their Derby Day Ride. This Crewz has a $30 registration fee that covers apps at their three stops along the route: SEED Café, O.H.S.O. Brewery and Kitchen 56. Half of every registration will benefit ComfyCozys for Chemo, a group that provides donated crochet, knit, and quilted items to children receiving chemotherapy treatments. Registration is through the Madison Improvement Club and the ride will depart at 9 a.m. from the club. Be sure to sport your best Derby attire.

6. State Bicycle Co. and PHX Bike's LOOPS Downtown Phoenix's finest bike boutique, PHX Bike has partnered with State Bicycle Co. to create a new weekly evening ride along the Central Avenue corridor. LOOPS rolls every Monday night from the Civic Space Park at 8 p.m. and makes up to three stops along the always changing route. Based on a ride concept started in Denver, LOOPS welcomes bikes and riders of all types looking for a social ride to kick off the week.

5. PISS and CRAP Don't forget about the long running PISS and CRAP rides in Tempe and Scottsdale. Both rides start in Tempe Beach Park. You can CRAP on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. and then PISS on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Both rides head to some adult beverage oriented destination in Scottsdale before looping back to Tempe.

4. Critical Mass On the final Friday of every month, join the mass as Critical Mass rolls from Steel Indian School Park at 6 p.m. to take over the streets. With monthly rides now in over 300 cities globally, the Phoenix edition hopes to hit a group of 400 riders bringing awareness of cycling and cyclists to the Valley's motorists. And as with each of these evening street rides, front and rear facing lights are required per Arizona law.

3. Papago Short Track The weekly evening dirt race series, Papago Short Track, is back in gear now that the sun shines later. The underground race for bragging rights and post-ride tacos still meets up every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the south end of Papago Park off of Lake View Drive.

2. Underground Crit For those who have not had the taste of lactic acid quenched just yet, the Underground Crit still runs every Tuesday with the B group starting at 6:30 p.m. Still drawing some of the fastest wheels in Arizona, this race is among the best places to get legs and nerves in shape for that next race.

1. Criterium at DC Ranch And that next race could just be the Criterium at DC Ranch on May 19. Now featuring a total prize purse of $4,000, this crit runs around the DC Ranch shops at Pima Road and Thompson Peak Parkway. A partner event to the Tour de Scottsdale in the fall, entry fees for racers is $15-40 depending on age and category classification.

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