Sunday Breakfast Club – Jim’s Cafe

37.6 miles total

Another edition of the Sunday Breakfast Club.   This time we picked out an unknown place called Jim’s Coney Island Cafe, located on Scottsdale Road between McKellips and Curry in north Tempe.

I took the usual roll west on McKellips, assisted by a modest tailwind.  Crossing the river bottom, a cyclist came up and passed me on the left, so I decided to pick up on his wheel.  About 100 yards away from Alma School Rd., we saw the light yellow, and then red, so I began to coast.   The other guy, though, simply stood up on the pedals, quickly looked both ways, and plowed right through the red light, this in front of a half dozen stopped cars.

I couldn’t help myself and yelled out, “No – no – no – that’s bad cycling.”   I do hate it when cyclists do that.   And here’s why (soapbox time):

The #1 problem facing road cyclists is not drivers.  It’s road design.  The designs of many roads ignore (or, in some cases, they predate) the needs of a road cyclist. In the Phoenix area, the cities (Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix) do a mixed but reasonably fair job providing bikeways, but the state’s record (ADOT) is deplorable. The only way to change this is for cyclists to become politically active, either individually or through advocacy groups like CAzB.   The only way for those efforts to work is if the city and county and state highway departments learn  respect for cyclists and cyclist groups and start to listen to them. Plowing through red lights will NEVER achieve that respect. 

Sure, I’ve read the arguments:

  • The Safety Argument: “A cyclist can see and hear better than a car driver and often doesn’t need to fully stop.”  IMO, this one has some merit.
  • The Physics Argument: “A cyclist needs to conserve energy and thus it is too much to ask him or her to stop.”  IMO, this one has no merit at all – it’s just self-serving.

But alas, both arguments are for our legislators to debate, and neither argument has any bearing on the streets.  The fact remains that every time a cyclist runs a stop sign or red light, he/she disgusts those drivers and riders around that see it.  This drags down the reputation of cyclists everywhere.  STOP! (or at the very least, slow down a bunch and yield)!  Be an ambassador for cycling.

Budgeting 2 hours for the 20 miles to Scottsdale is always generous, and today I made it in about an hour flat.  Jesse joined me about 20 minutes later.

We both immediately liked Jim’s Cafe.  It’s an old 70s or 80s style place with interior stone walls, a long bar with stools, and booths by the windows.   Service was way above average.  Coffee refills every time you turn around.    Our plates were served about 5 minutes after our orders went in.

Best of all for me, no lines or crowds, a few empty tables here and there, even on a Sunday morning.  It made us feel comfortable in lingering after eating, talking  golf and technology and politics.   Jesse explained that we were well outside of downtown Scottsdale here and thus out of tourist city.

A spin back by Curry, Mill Avenue, and then Rio Salado back east.     One fabulous day to ride, in the high 70s going, and the mid-90s on return.