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Road Biking in Flagstaff and Sedona

NEWS:

Help bring the "Idaho Stop" to Arizona.  Write your legislators.

The Idaho Stop allows bicyclist to treat a stop sign as yield sign and a red light as a stop sign.
This has been shown to increase safety for bicyclists and significantly reduces bicycle commute times.
Many cyclists already practice this behavior safely. It is now time to decriminalize cycle commuters!

Here is the text of the "Idaho Stop" law: 

49-720. STOPPING — TURN AND STOP SIGNALS. (1) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of- way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other traffic.
(3) A person riding a bicycle shall comply with the provisions of section 49-643, Idaho Code.
(4) A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given during not less than the last one hundred (100) feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.

Colorado now allows individual cities to enact such laws, and Delaware has their own version.  Paris France also find this safer and better for cyclists.

In 2005, then Legislator Doug Quelland introduced a bill to bring the Idaho Stop to Arizona.  Representative Quelland would daily bike from North Phoenix to the Arizona Capital in downtown Phoenix.  He is an avid cyclist and proponent of better cycling laws.  Unfortunately, he was the only one of the 90 legislators that commuted on a bicycle. Most of the Legislators just didn't take an interest in or have an understanding of cycling issues. 

Ask your Legislator to bring the Idaho Stop to Arizona.  It's safe, it de-criminalizes safe habits and encourages bicycle commuting.

(More ideas for better bicycle laws)

Flagstaff Road Biking:

Lake Mary Road:

Lake Mary road provides a popular out and back road ride at 7000' elevation.
Lake Mary has newly broadened shoulders that allow for safe biking.
Ride out as far as you like and turn around when you want. You can also make the ride longer by looping around Mormon Lake.
There is a store about 7 miles down Lake Mary Road that is open in the summer. There are also services at Mormon Lake Village.

89a - Flagstaff to Oak Creek Overlook

ADOT recently re-built this section of road and included nice wide shoulders which are great for biking.
Park at Ft. Tuthill and ride south to the scenic Overlook about 11 miles away.
If you want to ride from town, I recommend going through Ponderosa Trails neighborhood to Ft. Tuthill. 89a north of Ft. Tuthill is NOT safe for bicycling.
The ride consist of rolling hills and is rarely flat. Elevation is 7000 feet above sea level.
The Overlook parking area is open during daytime only and has vending machines and bathrooms.

Snowbowl Rd.

Snowbowl road is 7 miles long and ascends about 2000 vertical feet.
Caution: there are no shoulders on this road and several sharp curves. The road will also have loose cinders on it in the Spring.
This is also a popular ride from town with only a few dangerous sections. Be smart, be visible and have a good work out on this ride!

Wupatki - Sunset Crater loop

This is a long ride from town with little shade and only a few services.  A popular century ride and part of the annual Taylor House Ride.

Sedona Road Biking:

HWY 179

Hwy 179 from the Village of Oak Creek to Sedona is a popular ride with good shoulders.
Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition convinced ADOT to install nice shoulders (bike lanes) on the condition that VVCC would pay for the street cleaning.
Recently ADOT has agreed to take over the street cleaning. Anyway, this is a very scenic road ride. Elevation is about 4000 feet above sea level.

Road Biking Etiquette

Stay on the shoulders if possible, or at least as far to the right as possible.

Wear light colored clothing - you will be more visible and stay cooler in the hot AZ sun.

Do NOT make a peleton that veers into traffic lanes!

Never ride more than two abreast by law.

Governor's Bicycle Safety website with Laws:  AZGOHS

The color or your clothing will make you more visible.  Next time you buy a cycling jersey or helmet, buy white!
Look for clothing with reflective bits built in.  Don't be afraid to add reflective tape to your helmet or bicycle.

Road biking best clothing colors
Source:  Idaho Bicycle Commuter Guide

Please support these local bicycle organizations:

Flagstaff Biking Organization graphic and link

Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition graphic and link

 

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