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Ride Ataxia, Denton, TX

April 1, 2017

I rode the Ataxia Ride in Denton today. Apogee Stadium was a great place to start, with plenty of parking. However, getting out of Denton from the stadium was on cracked and pot hole riddled roads with a lot of twists and turns. Denton Police and Denton County Sheriff's Dept did an excellent job of traffic control and intersection control The route essentially follows the Turkey Roll and is on mostly chip sealed roads that are very rough, with very few smooth areas. The ride into the state park was wonderful. Weather today was nearly perfect. The entry fee for this ride is a little steep(55$ for day of registration). Rest stops had the usual stuff, including Outback Steakhouse offering grilled steak and chicken at the state park rest stop and lunch at the end(burgers or grilled chicken). The route had plenty of rollers to keep you on your toes and a lot of long straight aways. I am sure there was SAG support, but I did not see any on the route myself. Thank-you to the sponsors and the local support. As a cyclist, would I do this ride again based on the above factors…probably not. But I think this is a very worthy cause to support and will likely be back. Thanks to all who helped support this ride and hopefully it will improve and grow.

March 29, 2014

Great, well organized ride. I rode the 50 mile route. Cold and windy start but warmed up by the end. There was ample parking and we had access to the stadium restrooms, which was great for changing after the ride. They had fruit at the start, which is always appreciated. I can't comment on the rest stops as I didn't stop at any. The roads were generally in good shape and there were a few nice scenic stretches. There was traffic control at all major intersections. The route was well marked and the signs every 5 miles were a nice touch. The highlight of the ride for me, however, was lunch! Finally a ride offering a non-red meat option (yummy grilled chicken sandwiches)! Thanks Outback! They also had plenty of beer and snacks. And the t-shirts were cool. Will definitely be back next year.

Be careful on this ride, you could eat yourself sick Outback was there cooking Steak, Chicken and Shrimp on the spot and the steak was the best I hace ever tasted. Beside the meat, rest stop one had a wide selection of fruit and cookies. See my photos for the full spread. - A big problem is there was no sign for the 25 mile turn around. And no one told the rest stop people that they were the turn around spot for the 25 mile riders and some of these riders found out at rest stop 2 that they were doing 50 miles. - Back at the finish I had a hamburger that was really, really good. - John

March 23, 2013

For a day that was cold and wet this was a really great ride. Everything from to registration, parking, routes, Outback provided unbelievable rest stops and finish line burgers, and all for a good cause. Great way to start the season.

April 24, 2012

What a way to start the Cycling Season. Outback was grilling steak at the first two rest stops. At the third stop there was a table full of home made goodies. One could get fat on this ride. - John

Great ride. Really liked the new ride location. Outback and the other sponsors treated us well. Good challenge, ride as fast as you can.

Rode the 50 mile Ataxia ride. A much improved ride from last year. First they moved it to Denton, away from the traffic of the Plano/Farmers Branch location used last year. Fortunately the weather was great so the 8am start time (around 55 degrees) was not too much of a problem, but it just as well could have been in the low 40's. The ride started at Apogee Stadium of North Texas, which provided plenty of parking. The restrooms in the stadium were open which provided adequate facilities (no showers available). It should be noted that quite a few people were using the shed near the parking lot so it might be worth investing in a porta potty or two at the far end of the parking lot. The volunteers were enthusiastic and supportive. The course was marked pretty well with a couple of exceptions. The turn around at Lake Ray Roberts Park caused some confusion. Some riders were not sure they were allowed in without paying. Then on the return there was not a visible sign showing to take a left instead of heading back to where we came from. Not sure what was going on at the finish for the 50 mile, we turned at the sign there were some arrows that pointed us behind the stadium, but there was no access to the finish. We went back and looked for the way to the finish, but just went down to the road where we started the ride which was the finish for the shorter ride. We had arrived at the finish at 10:25 so maybe we were not expected at that time but there was no one there giving any indication we were in the right place. Later, I saw riders coming up the side of the stadium with some volunteers cheering, so completely unclear how we were supposed to get to that point. There was a big gate which when we came through was closed so maybe it was not open that early. Not the end of the world but certainly annoying and confusing. Traffic support was good getting out of town with the key intersections manned. After the first 15 miles there was no support but not needed until the last 15 miles. On the return the same intersections were not manned with police or volunteers leaving us to the vagaries of the traffic lights. This year the SWAG included a t-shirt. No map provided only a cue sheet, I brought my own, but might want to mention that on the web site. The food was provided by Outback and continues to be outstanding. Food was served at 11am, so those that arrived between 10:30 and 11 had to wait. Probably should have food available when the first riders start to get back, on a 50 mile ride I suggest a minimum calculation of 20mph, which puts the first riders at 10:30. The issues were relatively minor but provided to help the organizers to continue to improve the ride next year. Overall a very good experience and will continue to keep this ride on the calendar.

This was my first time to do the Ride Ataxia and it will not be the last. This was a really great rally and a really good kick off start to a year that promises to be a great rally year in North Texas. I would have done this ride last year but due to injuries I could not do it. The staging even was at the new Stadium at the University of North Texas. There was plenty of parking and there were a lot of people that showed up. The weather was perfect. There was zero wind to deal with which made it a very fast ride. I did 51 miles in 2:40 minutes. There was approximately around 14 mile of crappy roads. The rest was smooth as silk. There was one turn in the the Isle of Bois State park that should have had someone directing traffic as it was very dangerous. When I came up on it there was a State Police trying to chase a vehicle down to pull him over and no one to direct traffic. The after ride was fantastic as the Outback Steak house had hamburgers afterward with plenty of drinks including free beer! With all this being said and done, I will make this ride again next year, God and weather permitting

First time for this ride. Great police support on the way out. Good rides and friendly volunteers. Will add this ride to the list for next season.Thanks. LC

I did the ride last year around Lewisville, Double Oak, Bartonville and it was a good ride. This year they moved it up to Denton and it got even better. Amazing ride. Incredible rest stops, fun and friendly helpers, low volume of traffic! Very flat and smooth easy course. The weather was so good you could have blasted around in record time but where's the fun in that! I stopped, sampled and chatted at each rest stop and got in at the back of the pack! I didn't want this ride to end! The scenery was so good I'm going to be heading out that way again. This is one awesome ride and it's made that way by the generous contributions of Outback.

 

March 26, 2011

The 50 mile route at Ride Ataxia in Lewisville. This an urban ride not a rural ride stopping at most intersections with minimal traffic control. This area is a popular cycling area, I estimated that there were as many non-riders on the path as registered riders. Follow the signage, not the group in front of you. The web site plus the organization of the ride are well done, including informational emails and reminders. The food provided by Outback was wonderful. Pre-ride and post-ride events were well thought out and of high quality. Site registration went smoothly. There is room for improvement. The staff flaggers should not wear green shirts that blend with the landscape. Signage was minimal. I did not see any porta's, at the rest stops you had to ask to use the host "home" toilet or a business. I did not see any SAG. Two requirements - you need to be a seasoned urban rider and have a large bladder. I enjoyed seeing a beautiful new part of Texas. Maximum slope 9%.

For a first time ride they did well. They tried to limit the start to fifty riders at a time. that worked well. since we had to stop at red lights it was more effective. Sinage was good but halfway out they switched from signs to arrows on the pavement we had to learn to look for the arrow instead of the signs. I met three lost riders that said they had already ridden this road and were we sure this was the right road..The third rest stop is a candidate for rest stop of the century. Outback Steakhouse was grilling steak and shrimp. It was some the best steak I have ever tasted. See the photo section for pictures of all the goodies offered. - John

I rode the 50 mile route for Ride Ataxia.  For perspective purposes, I was in the lead group of five, so my view is more reflective of the serious high end riders.  Obviously this is a charity ride (between the ride itself and Outback they raised more than $175k), but it must be judged in comparison to all the other charity rides that are available.  There are both good and bad things about this ride.  Some were annoying or curious and others were more significant.  The route was fairly enjoyable once we got out of the high traffic area around the Vista Ridge Mall (and the return through the same area).  There was minimal support on the road, we were pleasantly surprised when the Grapevine police were actively manning intersections, but beyond that we were on our own.  The marking of the route would have to be classified as poor.   In some locations there were signs and in others only colored arrows painted on the road (no one in my group knew if we were following the red or blue markers since if it was mentioned we must have missed it).  The arrows on the ground were usually very close to the intersection making it difficult for the group to determine when turns were required.  This nearly caused one crash when 4 of the 5 riders missed the turn and one saw the arrow pointing to the left and made the turn.  At the end of the ride, the lead rider who was ¼ of a mile ahead completely missed a turn as we were doing 25-30mph downhill (the Lakeside Pkwy to Spinks Rd turn).  I missed it as well but fortunately saw the arrows at the intersection as I flew by.  Turned around and confirmed a turn was required there.  After that I was really attentive looking for the arrows and signs, but still missed the turn from 121 to Highpoint Oaks and wound up going a mile up 121 in heavy traffic before figuring out I missed a turn.  Very dangerous.  To make matters worse the maps handed out were of no help (fortunately I had created my own using mapmyride) and if you need reading glasses there is no way you could read the cue sheet.  For those that care about SWAG I’ll mention, no shirts (website didn’t mention any either) or water bottles.  I have more than enough so no big deal but others may expect something that has the name of the ride on it.  Interesting that they apparently did not have enough numbers printed, mostly because the website said registration was limited to 650 people, I saw people with numbers in the 500 range with the number handwritten on a piece of paper.    The food from Outback was great, probably some of the best quality you’ll see post ride.  The supporters were enthusiastic and supportive.  Overall improvement should be made to make this ride safer and more enjoyable.

Rode the 50 mile Ataxia ride on Saturday.  The pre and post ride event was pretty organized and the volunteers were helpful.  The signage and markings could use some improvement.  I ride in Flower Mound area often and was more familiar with the turns, it seemed there were a lot of turn arounds and back-tracking for many riders.  The rest stops weren't evenly spread out, but worthwhile to wait for mile 34, grilled steak and shrimp was a luxury stop!  I'll be back next year, but hope for more police assistance at the many red lights until you get out of the main streets.  Maybe the police officers that patrol the Wal-Mart intersection in Highland Village would be willing to help out. 

Outback was a great sponsor, food, etc. Too many stops - one & done! Unfortunately if they don't pick a better route I will not do this one again.

Great roads, great cause. Not great signage for turns. Please add volunteers to provide directions at turns OR put the turn arrows BEFORE the turns, not in the middle of them. I know Flower Mound has a problem with putting signs up, so that's unfortunate. Also need police support at major intersection crossings -- there are many. There are also lots of stop signs (support here would be nice, too). Good idea to have signage 1 mile prior to rest stops so riders know they're coming; when riding in a group, we ride past them because we can't plan ahead for who needs to stop.