Tour de Cypress, Mt Vernon, TX
April 16, 2016
This is an enjoyable deep east texas ride. Even though there were several competing events, a respectable number of riders showed up. Prior to heading out, the announcer mentioned that the ride was the major fund raiser for the Mount Vernon Rotary Club. It was evident in the support the club and community gave the tour. There were plenty of enthusiastic volunteers at the staging site as well as scattered throughout the course. All the details (registration, signage, intersection control, etc.) were covered. Even the weather cooperated. This time of year, the east texas countryside is lush, with an abundance of wildflowers. Throw in a few hills and you can find some great views. After the ride there was free food and drink and the live band was very entertaining. It was all well worth the drive!
April 18, 2015
Weather forecast has always been unreliable in spring time. But the weekend forecast for the past two weekends have been ridiculous. Take the Tour de Cypress for example. Up until Friday morning, weather.com still predicted there was over 60% chance of thunderstorm during the ride. Guess what? There wasn't a single drop and it was partial sunny, mild wind. They couldn't order a better weather than this. Because the weatherman did such a poor job, as a result, there were less riders showed up this year than I expected. It's a shame because this is a really good boutique ride. I wouldn't mind driving close to 2 hours from Plano every year to do this ride.
Now about the ride. registration and packet pick up was seamless. For people already pre-registered, everything is in a ziploc bag - ride number, T-shirt, coupons (yes - coupons for free burgers and free beers after the ride). The volunteers at the registration and every rest stop were very friendly and helpful. At 9 am sharp, the Franklin County Sheriff led the start in his flashy patrol car. I did the 100k (60 miles) route. The word "scenic" doesn't quite describe it. A good part of the route is shaded with trees. We went across Lake Bob Sandlin twice. The water front was gorgeous. There were plenty of farmers along the routes, cattle and horses are the normal scene. I also saw large herds of camels, zebras and kangaroos. The route is definitely not flat. When the route in a town with the name "Mount" Vernon. One should get the hint. The road was smooth and fast in general. However, there are also a few sections with miles of chip & seal. End of ride burger was sponsored by a local restaurant - Our Place. It was delicious. And Bongo and the Point was back to provide some nice music. I enjoyed this ride.
Another wonderful job by the people in Mount Vernon for the 2015 Tour de Cypress.
The number of riders looked to be down this year, but I am sure that was due to the overnight weather. As it turned out though, no rain and what a nice day to ride! I rode the 45 mile route and the course for this ride was super. Low traffic on the roads, which were in good shape. Much of the course was over county roads and riders got a great view of the pretty countryside. There was lots of support and riders were provided a great post-ride meal on the square in Mount Vernon. What a nice setting! If you missed this ride, you missed an outstanding event. Great work Mount Vernon!
After the heavy rains the night before and the bleak forecast, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, about 15 minutes before the ride the clouds parted, the sun shone, and it turned into a fantastic day for a ride. Everything clicked like clockwork. The routes were well-marked, plenty of SAGs making the rounds, and supportive and enthusiastic volunteers were there to help. This time of year, the scenery is great and the rural roads provide some interesting views. The post-ride refreshments and band was super. I have always enjoyed this tour and this year was no exception!
The Tour de Cypress is an excellent ride (which I've done ½ dozen times) along the beautiful Franklin County countryside. Nice views, tree-shaded stretches, an exotic animal farm, mostly flat terrain, lakeside distances and very well-spaced and supplied rest stops along the way. I especially enjoy the BBQ the night before honoring the Franklin County First Responders and all TDC riders at the Franklin County Airport (where yours truly provides a C&W music show each year). Thank you Mt. Vernon Rotary for continuing to hold and support this excellent Spring ride. Bruce Dunai – Dallas, TX
April 19, 2014
What a beautiful day for a ride. The countryside is just gorgeous this time of the year. Quiet country roads. Oh there was traffic but I never saw so many friendly drivers. Nobody sounded their horn, they all smiled and many waved. It was hilly but most of the hills were pretty easy, no killer hills to climb. Every major intersection was manned. Only one traffic light the whole ride and that was covered by three officers. After the ride there was short line for burgers. - John
The Rotary Club in Mt. Vernon put on a fantastic ride! The weather was perfect, the views were beautiful, and the support was outstanding! I really enjoyed the trip around the lake. The folks in the cars and trucks that we encountered were some of the friendliest I have ever seen. Most of them were waving and many of them were cheering us on! The after ride entertainment and food and refreshments were superb. It doesn't get any better than this! Thanks, Mount Vernon for a truly fun and memorable day!
April 20, 2013
We did the 30 miler and its a beautiful ride and well supported. There were probably 200 riders this year. Good signage and most of the intersections were controlled. Typical Texas roads (too bad). Nice lookin T. Thanks Rotary!
Mt. Vernon Rotary Club picked a day with perfect weather for a ride. Everything went off without a hitch – registration, parking, start. Mixed road conditions, but the signage was excellent. Plenty of hills to occupy you and some nice views. The after ride burger and entertainment were great!
April 21, 2012
This is my second year to ride this tour, and will probably go back again next year. They keep getting better and better each year. If you get a chance and want to ride a ride with nice scenery and a few challenging hills you need to put this on your calendar for next year. THANK YOU MOUNT VERNON ROTARY CLUB FOR ANOTHER GREAT RIDE.
Special thanks to all the volunteers that helped with the ride. I did the 100k and it was a beautiful ride. Signage was good with signs on the side of the road, on the pavement and manned intersections. Also, I really liked the signs telling us how far it was to the next rest stop. Speaking of rest stops, they had fruit, water and plenty of homemade goodies. Free burgers after the ride on the square. The only bad part was that they put us on some of the worst roads in the county. I hope they can re-route in future years. If you do this ride, make sure your bike can take the abuse.
What a great day for a bike ride! I had only ridden in two other events and both of those had massive crowds. This was a great change. Everyone was friendly and thanked us for coming out. I rode the 30 and had a great time. The route was well marked and who wouldn't love riding down the tree lined country roads. Most of the hills were easy, just one about 12 miles in that just about beat me. They had plenty of traffic control near town and other than one driver, everyone I met on the roadway waved or nodded and passed very slowly and on the far side of the road. All this and a hamburger on the square when I finished-what more could a bike ride offer?
I rode in the Tour de Cypress 2012 in Mt. Vernon, TX. It is a wonderful ride and very well supported. A member of our bicycle club suffered a medical event on the ride, and support arrived almost immediately, with a deputy first, then firefighters, then EMS. Ride organizers immediately contacted the victim's wife, then took her to the hospital and stayed with her there. I was very late finishing the ride and a deputy escorted me the whole way, keeping traffic away. This was the best supported ride I've ever done.
I would say again that this is a great ride run by nice people who tend to do very sloppy work. Both my wife and I were impacted by this sloppiness, and in my opinion, both were avoidable. First my wife - she entered the 47 miler, which for her would have been her longest distance ever. She was ready and excited about it. Her actual mileage - 56 miles!!! (The analogy: Running a Half Marathon - and being told to run another 2.5-3 miles when you thought you were done). The funny thing about it is that by simply looking at their own map, they would have seen the 47 miler was FAR LONGER than stated. They had great measurement (show all distances to rest stops) on the map - but clearly someone NEVER added the miles up to come to 56 (versus 47). She was exhausted, and will probably never go back. My problem was IDENTICAL to last year. When I needed a rest stop (and I only needed one) the stop had a man sitting in a pickup in a parking lot. With 36 miles down, and 26 to go, I needed water and a breather. And just like 2011, the rest stop had nothing. Huh??? It was the only stop on the 100k split, so it wasn't like I had a choice. I crawled into the excellent rest stop at 46 miles, but was pretty depleted by this time. The stop I was at was great - homemade chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, homemade mint chocolate brownies, and people that were very happy to see and help us. Burgers and the post food is better than any event, but having 17 seats and 3 tables is way too few. Tired riders were standing, while locals were enjoying a burger. Nothing against the locals - you want to be sitting to eat a burger - particularly when you are tired. There has to be more than 3 folding tables they have access to. So would I go back? Tough question - it is an incredibly beautiful ride. But after 2 very sloppily managed rides, I would say "no".
I rode the Tour de Cypress in Mt Vernon this past weekend. The ride had several pro's, and 1 unforgivable con.
First the pro's. I've done this ride for the past several year's and it the best kept secret in the DFW area. I enjoy it more and more every year. You would have to look very hard to find a friendlier group of volunteers. The downtown square in Mt Vernon makes for a great place to start and finish a ride. Great free hamburgers and beer at finish. The route is very scenic, but the course seemed a little rougher this year than it did the year before. Not just chip-n-seal, but rough and bumpy roads. Now the one big con. As I had somewhere to be back in Dallas, I decided to ride the 47 mile route. But, as it turns out, the 47 mile route was actually 55 miles. A mile or two difference I could see. But 8 miles is unforgivable. It seems that the route map was wrong, as well as the course being marked and sign'd wrong. While that extra 8 miles wasn't a big deal for me, I'm sure there were some riders out there who were stretching their abilities by attempting 47 miles. I'm sure the 55 miles was more than they cared to do.
I'll certainly be back next year, but I really hope the organizers are a little more careful with their routes next year.
Super beautiful course with great views, some rolling hills but nothing bad, and super friendly volunteers/well stocked aid stations. There was some bad chipseal here but the course was nice enough that I'll do it again. They also had a 5k/10k run afterwards that you could sign up for, which is nice for those of us that need to run off the bike but aren't familiar with the area.
April 16, 2011
If you like sun dappled wooded lanes and friendly townspeople you will enjoy this ride. I had a near perfect ride today -- perfect weather,quiet roads and beautiful terrain. The wooded roads were lightly traveled and offered some welcome protection against the wind. There were many rest stops (averaging about 7.3 miles apart on the 45 mile route), the routes were well marked, and the traffic control was excellent. The burgers and activities on the town square after the ride were a nice touch. This is a lovely ride and well worth your support. I will definitely be back.
The 2011 Tour de Cypress, held in Mount Vernon, TX, was a great success. The ride's sponsor, Mount Vernon Rotary Club, really took care of all the riders. The weather was a bit windy and cool, but that is Spring in TX. The routes are hilly, full of wild flowers, and are some of the most beautiful in north east TX. The routes were well marked and there were volunteers at all major intersections to insure the safety of the riders. There were plenty of well stocked rest stops, each with friendly folks working. The after ride events were fun too. Volunteers grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for the participants, there was music to liven things up, and a good feeling all around. There were only 207 riders this year (the biggest they have had yet). You should put this ride on your calendar for next year, to make sure you don't miss this jewel of a ride.
Overall, the best experience I have had since getting into the local cycling scene. Small group of riders made for uncongested, pleasant riding. The terrain is beautiful, and the road were in really decent shape. Challenging, but not overwhelming hills. Friendly people, free grilled hamburger dinner and free beers after. The one thing they need to work on is having fluids. We stopped briefly at three of the four stops. None had water or Gatorade. Given that we were going 30 miles, that wasn't an issue. But if it had been a hot day and I was doing 62 miles, it could have been a disaster.
April 17, 2010
I really love this ride. It is a very beautiful ride with very lightly traveled roads the whole ride. Very small town but they really get better and better every year. Luckily the rain stayed away this year and the sun even came out towards the end of the 60 mile route for me. Awesome hamburgers at the end and a nice get together from the town folk. There were so many neet arts and crafts. This is a must do ride for anyone looking for a peaceful small town, awesome ride. I will always be back to do this ride. Thanks.
Good ride out of Mount Vernon today. The rain threatened but we only got sprinkled on a few times. The Rotary Club knows how to run a bike rally. Rest stops had plenty, there were ride marshalls at the major intersections and free food at the end. Beautiful scenery on the 100k. Roads were typical of Texas: some good and some bad. If the weather cooperates in the future and the word gets out, this could turn into a really big ride. Liked the t-shirt color this yr too!
I rode the Tour de Cypress this weekend and had a great time. All the riders who bailed because of the pending weather really messed up this time, because it was pretty close to perfect. I rode the 100k distance and found it to be a great scenic ride, and well supported where it counts (turns, stops, and route markings.) The burgers at the end were top notch, very friendly townsfolk. I think when people knew find out how well managed this little ride is, there will be a huge crowd – then I’ll probably write to complain about that. This was my first year with TdC, but I will be back!
April 18, 2009
This is a great small town ride. The volunteers are enthusiastic and the T-shirts are 100% cotton. Unfortunately, this year’s ride was hampered by severe thunderstorms. We rode about 8.5 miles of the 30 mile route and turned around and rode back to the start due to the severity of the weather, especially the lightning. There were new routes this year which were very pretty as far as we rode. We will definitely return next year and hope for better weather!
First off, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who braved the weather in support of this ride. It was much appreciated. Most folks must have looked at the weather forecast and decided to stay home as this ride was lightly attended. The rain shower that past through 20 minutes before the start was an omen of the deluge that was to come. Registration was quick with coffee, fruit, and muffins available. The 60 mile route had a few hills and several areas where the trees canopied over the road, which would have been very scenic but instead provided a respite from the rain. Traffic was very light and patient if encountered. The rest stops were typically used as shelter from the downpours had some great home-made cookies. There was SAG support which definitely got well used. In spite of all the rain during the first half of the ride, the second half ended up being relatively enjoyable with the rain stopping and a tail wind picked up. Hamburgers were provided at the finish. Hopefully this ride will have some good weather next year. Mt. Vernon put on a first class effort on this one.
I rode the 100k ride on Saturday and it was great! Though it was raining cats and dogs I did not get cold...instead I think I was hydrated the entire race without drinking much water. I finished the race in 3 hours and 50 minutes even with the rain. The country was beautiful and green, the smell of the honeysuckle on the sides of the road were great!!!! And the fields of Indian Paintbrush were beautiful. The law enforcement, fire department, and all volunteers were the best I have ever seen in my 5 years of riding this ride. The riders were looked after with top priority (even with the rain!). Traffic (though minimal) was stopped every time a rider came to an intersection. This year I saw such an improvement in SAG support, it was quite smooth running. As usual the food at the end was plentiful and good. Richardson Bike Mart had a van at the start taking care of bikes that were having mechanical issues. The technician that was repairing and tuning the bikes was very knowledgeable and repaired my bent rear derailer in a matter of moments. The only thing that might have made this ride better for some people........Sunshine:) But for me.......I loved the experience! Great Job again Mount Vernon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Excellent ride! Traffic control at every point needed and definitely superior to any ride I have participated in. Excellent rest stops with real toilets!!! Great hamburgers after the ride. The organizers and volunteers all were very hospitable and seemed genuinely happy to have the riders in their town. There were some "isolated" rain showers to deal with, but there was nothing a devoted rider could not handle. In fact, the rain (and lightning) added some addtional challenge to the ride. The rain did affect the attendance considerably which is unfortunate. This is an extremely well organized ride over a very scenic course and it deserves more attention from the North Texas riders. You should not miss this ride next year. And I don't know anywhere else that you can go to view a rare bird egg exhibit....including eggs of the long extinct passenger pigeon.....except in Mount Vernon.
This was my 2nd year in a row to do this ride and I will be back next year. Yes it is 90 miles from Dallas but the scenery is superb with great roads, excellent traffic control and hamburger meal afterwards. Great job Mt. Vernon Rotary Club – we hope nature is on your side next year – you deserve a great turn out for your ride.
April 26, 2008
This was a great event but under attended. Unfortunately it was on the same weekend as Mt Pleasant and Muenster rides. I have been riding for > 10 yrs and the courses for this ride were as good as any in Texas - challenging with great scenery. There were numerous roads with no traffic that had a canopy of trees over us for miles. The traffic control was excellent on the 45 mile course. Lots of rest stops (did not need to use) and the course was clearly marked. After the ride they had free hamburgers and free beer at their cultural center. I took two of my children with me. They ate breakfast at the historic café on the Square and then toured the library, toured the museum and played in the park (all right off the square) while I rode. We had a great time in Mt Vernon last weekend. Like most rural Texas towns, it is hard to beat the local hospitality – especially in Mt Vernon. This ride is just as challenging as Meunster and about the same distance for those in the Dallas area. I would highly recommend giving them a try next year
They had someone at every major, and some minor, innersections. Sineage was great except some were partially obscured by the high grass. Although it was hilly, I thought Muenster was hillier. (is that a word?) - John
I thought the ride was excellent. Beautiful weather, great people, plentiful food, plentiful history, offering a short family route of 10 miles shows dedication to family. Having the 80 mile route shows racing quality. I rode the 45 and it was challenging yet beautiful. I recommend this ride to any level of rider. This year was absolutely fantastic....
Thanks Mount Vernon, the riders know quality when they ride it.
April 14, 2007
enjoyed the third annual Tour de Cypress in Mt. Vernon.
The organizers definitely did their homework and it's a shame the turnout was so slim again this year.
I pre-registered and packet pickup was easy. There was a before-ride breakfast across the street from the square.
I had planned to ride the 80 but chose the 45 because of the cold and wind.
The route was well marked in most places and major turns were guarded by law-enforcement personnel.
There was an abundance of rough chipseal on the 45 mile route along with rolling hills and some scenic county roads.
The wildflowers were abundant. The rest stops were well stocked and bathroom facilities were available.
There were freshly-cooked hamburgers with chips and cold drinks afterward.
What a fantastic ride. I commend the people who organized and designed this
ride. This ride was well organized and easy to find. I rode the 45 mile
route and it was gorgeous, the winding roads through the forests and across
the lakes.....WOW! The roads were well maintained and easy on the bones.
The route was well planned and kept you out of harms way. The rest stops
were numerous and had cookies, bananas, oranges, pickles, gatorade and water
at every rest stop. Rest stops were well placed and easy to get to. They
had police and fireman support at all the intersections flagging your turns
and watching any traffic (which was not much traffic). Everything was well
marked with nice signs that were color coded by route and numbered by
distance. The weather the night before was nasty so I think it hurt their
turnout of riders, this is unfortunate because it is simply the best ride
with the best route in this part of Texas. Though it was a bit chilly in
the morning it was still a fun ride and an incredibly beautiful ride with
incredibly nice organizers. If you did not make this ride you missed one of
the best and I will be back next year for more of this medicine:) Thanks
I did the 80 mile race. Was dropped from the lead
pack at mile 30 or so and continued to work with
another rider to the finish (thanks for the gel
packs). The route was very scenic with long stretches
of traffic-free roads winding through hilly forests.
All major intersections were controlled. After
completely bonking with two miles to go, the
hamburgers (4 of them) were very much appreciated.
April 8, 2006
Sean Kenedy and the Mount Vernon Rotary Club did a great job of giving Us the best ride possible for the the April 8 th 2006 conditions. The course was extremly well marked. A person would have had to be blind to get lost on that course. All of the major intersections had Law enforcement personel or county fire department personal for our safety. The hamburgers were great.
There was a major problem problem since no one can control the wind. The wind was very rough. Considering the factors that Sean and company could control it was a nice ride. -
This was an entertaining ride. The Mt. Vernon Rotary Club did their homework! All the elements were present....eager volunteers, active SAG support, great signage, and a beautiful route. If you weren't here today, you missed a good one.
This ride has the potential of becoming one of the better rides in the state. Like the Goatneck, this ride really gives riders a feel for a beautiful part of rural Texas, in this case, East Texas piney woods. The course is extremely scenic, meandering around the rural roads near Lake Cypress Springs and vicinity. There were wildflowers, majestic pines, and pastures with horses and cattle. Only in its second year, race organizers did a superb job with course layout, support and overall logistics. Police and fire personnel were at every intersection. Aid stations were manned by friendly Rotary Club members. I loved the aid station at the Mt. Hope Baptist Church. It was wonderful talking with these folks. So down to earth. Volunteers cooked hamburgers for riders in the Mt. Vernon town square following the ride, adding to the down home feel. Rider turnout was unfortunately low – only about 100 riders, down from 150 the previous year, but this was likely due to the rally falling on the same weekend as the Lancaster Country Ride. Plus, this ride needs to market itself better. It’s got so much to offer and relatively close to Dallas – only an hour and a half from Dallas just off of I-30, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t be getting more Dallas area riders. We need to get Bikin’ Mike and others to make sure it doesn’t coincide with a major ride next year and to promote this ride.
April 9, 2005
Good effort for a first time ride. the organizers put a lot of
effort in it and it showed. There were 110 riders. The routes were mostly low
traffic country roads. I have been chased by dogs before but this is the first
time I have been chased by "guard" Geese. Another thing was the
lack of trash along the roads. I even passed a local going thru the tall grass
with a trash bag. There were police or firemen at almost every major turn.
If anything I would suggest sag wagons be better marked and more visible.
This was the inaugural Mt Vernon ride and it was obvious that the Rotary club had done their homework.
This was an excellent ride. The scenery was beautiful and everyone was soooooo friendly. They were glad we
were there and it showed. Rest stops had the basics along with homemade goodies. Traffic control was
excellent. They even had the VFD out there warning traffic to slow down on a narrow bridge! There was
free food after the ride too. We did the 36 miler and there was some chip-seal on Hwy. 71 that wasn't too
pleasant but what can I say about chip seal that hasn't already been said? I do question the 8 am
start. Heat isn't a problem this time of year. I can't help but think that a 9 or 10 o' clock start might get
more riders out there. We'll definitely do this one again next year!!
This was a very enjoyable ride. You would never have guessed it was this Rotary Club's first time to host a bike ride. Everyone was friendly and well-organized. I agree that a later start (9:00 a.m.?) would be preferable. One major plus in my book was that the second rest stop on the 36-mile route had an indoor bathroom facility we could use! The route was scenic, and it was wonderful to have shoulders on the major roads. Well done! We will definitely be back!
I did the race portion of the Tour De Cypress in Mt Vernon and you would have never known it was there first time putting on a bicycle event. They had done there homework and being from East Texas myself they treated me just like I knew they would - like part of their family! I met several great folks from the ride director to the registration people, they were real nice folks. Even after I got dropped by the leaders they had volunteers at every intersection stopping traffic. It was a first class event and I hope that more people find out about this event so it will grow. I am sure the attendance was not quite what they were hoping for but the people of Mt Vernon can be proud of this event. I will be back.