FASTER underground time trial series to start Thursday with earlier time

FASTER’s new underground time trial series begins Thursday on Sonoran Desert Drive with a new start time of 6:30 p.m.

Riders will sign a waiver, don a number and be timed for seven miles heading eastbound on Sonoran Desert Drive from the Apache Wash Trailhead in Cave Creek. The first rider goes off at 6:30 p.m.

According to an email sent out by FASTER owner James Kramer, riders register between 5:30 and 6 p.m. at the Apache Wash Trailhead, which is on Sonoran Desert Drive, east of Cave Creek Road.

Kramer said the time change came after an on-site logistical meeting Monday.

“Hopefully [the series] draws more interest to the sport and aerodynamics, brings the roadies and triathletes together for bragging rights and provides prep up to the Valley of the Sun stage race,” Kramer said.

Kramer’s email explained rules and logistics:

Waivers, numbers and parking:
  • You sign a waiver, understanding that this is not a race, not permitted, not insured and that you will follow the rules of the road and bike at your own risk and responsibility.
  • You will be given a number that you can either memorize or write on yourself.
  • The entrance gate closes at 7 p.m., but riders can leave at any time after if already inside.
  • There is limited street parking also available on the north side of the street going west and just west of the start line. If you park here, know that you will have to ride to the registration area and also back further from the finish.
  • It is 2.5 miles west from the trail entrance to start (figure 15-20 minutes).
  • Sonoran Desert Drive has no street lighting. IT WILL BE VERY DARK!!! Bring your own headlight(s) and taillight(s).
  • You will VERY CAREFULLY cross the road, following the rules of the road, and doing so at your own risk and responsibility to get to the starter.
The start and finish:
  • First rider off at 6:30 p.m. and riders go off in 30-second intervals.
  • Any type of bike is allowed.
  • We will have a holder to hold you before you start.
  • We will not allow you to start and get a time without lights.
  • The lightpole on the south side of the road just before where the bike path widens and is officially painted is official start. There will be a tent there with lighting.
  • The yellow sign on guardrail approximately 300 meters before Cave Creek is the finish.  There will be a tent there with lighting.
  • You will yell out your number to the timer at the finish line tent.
  • You will carefully turn around in the crosswalk at Cave Creek and head back the 4 miles back to the trailhead and your vehicle.
  • FASTER will be using the app webscorerpro to record and compile times.
  • Results will hopefully be posted on the FASTER website the next day.
  • Although it is not a race but a timed training ride where you individually follow the rules of the road, someone will hold the fastest time of the series on the first day.

The series will take place every Thursday for 10 weeks except on Christmas Day. The series will end on Feb. 5, the week before the Valley of the Sun stage race, unless others want it to continue, Kramer said.

Sarah Muench