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Aledo's Ride for Heroes - Aledo, TX

April 20, 2013

Aledo Ride for Heroes 75 mile ride.  Pre-registered online with no problem.  Packet pickup day of the ride took 2-3 minutes.  Traffic at exit 420 was backed up onto the highway due to the stop light at the top only letting a few cars go each time.  I’d recommend the organizers try and arrange with the local police to get an officer there to help clear traffic.  They had 8 or so port-a-potties at the registration site, some near the start line, but also the restrooms in the stadium were open (a definite plus as there was no line there).  Start of ride was on time with a motorcycle lead out.  Route was very well marked by signs on the side of the road with large arrows visible from a distance.  Roads were in good shape.  Cones at turns are good for single riders but are somewhat of a hazard when a group goes through them.  Weather.com lied to us with 5-15 south wind, which turned out to be 20 with gusts to 26 that made the route south brutal this year.  Finish line had cheerleaders welcoming the riders back, which was a nice touch.  Shout out to Felix from Pedal Pix who was the photographer for the ride and did a great job with the ride photos.  Great job by the organizers and given the events of this week a very appropriate charity to support.  Planning to be back next year.

This was my second Ride for the Heroes, and it will be a permanent addition to my calendar going forward.  The ride itself is nice and challenging with plenty of hills and wind, and with the beautiful scenery of Parker County.  What makes this ride exceptional, however, is the incredible support from police, firemen, and volunteers.  Every, and I mean EVERY, main intersection was staffed by law enforcement that stopped traffic for us.  It was like we just owned the road.  There were great volunteers staffing every rest stop with all the supplies needed—and with a friendly smile and words of encouragement.  Top notch.

 

 

April 21, 2012

Rode the Aledo Ride for Heroes 73 mile challenge. Great organization for the ride. Easy registration online and packet pickup. Scored one of the 10th anniversary jerseys. The 60 and 73 routes had motorcycle escorts. The routes were well marked with large yellow arrows; ironically the only problem was at the end as quite a few riders wound up in the parking lot (the signs directing riders for parking were still up) instead of the official turn (second entrance) for the end of the ride. Very good traffic support at the intersections on the entire route. The ride was very attended, so they still need to increase the porta potties or access to the school restrooms. Overall enjoyed the ride and plan on being back next year.

A beautiful day for a rally. Temperature was 50 with sunshine at the start warming to about 70 by the end. The 10th running of the Ride for Heroes started on time after a nice live rendition of the National Anthem by Aledo High flute players. A quick start and the front group was at the Wall in about a half hour. I did the 62 mile route and it had its challenging hilly sections. Miles 10-25 and 45-55 certainly had their challenges - if you saw a hill or rise in the distance be assured that the route would eventually having you climb it.
For the most part potholes were marked and intersections were clearly labeled and manned by alert volunteers and police officers. This rally is very well managed and I highly recommend it. The rest stops were well stocked with water, gatorade, fruit, and other goodies. I'll be back next year.

One of my favorite rides that I haven't been able to attend since 2008. It seemed 'smaller' this year. No official finish line…just rode up next to the stadium. Loved the band playing and cheerleaders cheering as we crossed the finish line in 2008. Those are the minor flaws. The registration, packet pickup, and start are fabulous. The start is long and large enough to accommodate all riders. Safety first with this ride. A separate coned off lane on the service road, markings on the road AND signs posted for upcoming turns and police supported busy interections. Loved the 'Rest Stop One Mile Ahead' signs. Rest stop 5 was my fav. Home made cookies and tortilla chips!!! Salt and Sugar….my fuel. Cheering people on the corner directing us into the rest stop and encouraging words when you left by reminding us we only had 5 miles left. Mortiz had several cars lined up at the stadium to browse through with sales people on hand to ask questions. I found a model we might be interested in that I did not know Chevorlet made. Of course, by far, the best part of this ride is knowing there is a grilled hamburger at the end of the ride (made by our 'hero' firefighters of course). Choice of chips, cookies, condiments and hand chopped toppings. Tables and chairs set up to sit down, eat and relax with you riding buddies and talk 'shop'. Oh, yeah, forgot to mention the free (tip if you like us) massage therapist on hand to work out the kinks.

I was preregistered, however it looked like the sign up and check in process flowed well and had plenty of volunteers. Speaking of volunteers, the signs to the schools were plenty and there were plenty of people directing in the parking lots. The Pa announced the line up to start in plenty of time. National anthem was played by a few members from the high school band, and they announced that we would start about a minute after the end of the anthem so everyone had time to get helmets, glasses and everything together. Lots of signs along the course, markers indicating how far one stop was and how far to the next, so no guessing involved, sign at the corners warning of loose gravel , plenty of officers at the intersections for traffic control, well stocked rest areas a lot of volunteers who made you feel welcomed and thanked all of us for riding, I had choose to ride the 73 mile challenge and arrived at the stadium around 1:30 and they were still serving lunch and had folks around to take care of us we were complete. The weather could not have been more beautiful. I will be back and recommend this ride for all riders, bring you climbing legs, not many steep hills to go up but many long slow rising ones which made sure you got a full workout, but those were offset by the gentle downhill rides.

I want to thank everyone for a excellent rally @ Ride for the Heroes. This rally is well organized, there really isn't anything I feel they could do better. Everyone must make this a MUST RIDE. Congrats to everyone who competed in it & to all the volunteers etc. for a job well done. I'll be back next year.

Wonderful job again to the organizers! Enthusiastic volunteers, nice route (23 mile), great lunch afterwards. Even had veggie burgers for those who chose meatless route. Class act all the way around! Looking forward to attending next year!

April 16, 2011

Just finished the Aledo ride and it was great. Zero complaints. A+ grade. Thanks

I rode the 82 mile ride in the Moritz Ride for Heroes in Aledo. It was a great day for a ride. The support of the ride was excellent. The course is challenging with lots nice hills. The extra 20 miles for the 82 mile ride were definitely worth it. The signage was outstanding. Big yellow signs that could be seen from distance and the arrow direction could be determined before arriving at the sign. It was a nice touch that there were signs announcing the rest areas in ½ mile plus noting the distance to the next rest area. The only challenge I saw was not having enough porta-potties at the start. There were 11 set up and a decent line for them. To be fair the website had a message stating that the school facilities there would not be available due to construction. Over all a very good ride and experience.

The last time I did this ride was two years ago in the brutal wind and cold. Even though it was tough I enjoyed it and wanted to return. This year, I was happy to see that it had moved into April. This was my wifes first rally and it will be difficult to top. The registration is so easy and well organized. The start was a little cool, but warmed up nicely. There was little to no wind all day and we ended up doing the 82 mile route. Even though we only stopped at 3 rest stops, every rest stop was cheering everyone on. Every intersection had law enforcement or traffic control. My wife was just so taken by the friendly people. I have been riding rallys for over 30 years and this is definitely one of the top 2 or three, and it is for a good cause.

My daughter and I did the 44 mile route. It was my second time for the ride and the weather could not have been nicer. A cool start that gradually warmed up to perfect riding weather. It was a good move to get this ride out of March and into Mid-April. The first ten miles are lightning fast – we went by the first rest stop 25 minutes into the ride, but then the Aledo Hill Country starts. The Wall comes into play at the 12.66 mile mark and you are generally climbing until the 20 mile mark. The roads were generally good and the ride organizers did a good job of marking bad pavement. The route was well labeled and there were Police and volunteers at every intersection to get you through safely. A very nice morning ride indeed! Good: police and volunteer support, rest stops, well labeled turns, burgers at ride's end. Bad: Started about 15 minutes late. I'll be back next year – the ride organizers are due some weather breaks after the previous two miserable years!

I rode the 60 mile route. Rest stops were spaced apart just when I needed them. Some were only 6-8 miles apart but were well greeted on those rolling hills. It was supported very well.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 44 mile route this year. The sponsors did a great job of dialing down the 30 mph winds from the day before. The rest stops were well spaced and had lots of friendly greeters. Great route and road surfaces were in good shape. The only negative was receiving some very weak Gatorade at one of the rest stops. I'll definitely ride again next year.

 

April 17, 2010

Despite the rain we had a great time.....
ONLY issue is/was the railroad crossing on HWY 5. Something could have (should have) been placed over the crossing. I understand the issue of trains but the ability to move such covering could be addressed. The sign that was place warning riders to remain far to one side was insufficient as it (crossing) was borderline unsafe regardless of the crossing point. The fact that there were several riders that experienced flat tires from impacts due to the LARGE gaps and height variations in the tracks and surface should warrant some solution in the future events.
Overall even with the trying conditions everyone involved was very supportive and friendly and we will be back next year.

Definitely a character-building experience! ...
I appreciated the enthusiasm of the volunteers at the rest stops. I only stopped at the one on Hwy 51, but all of them were cheering the passing riders.

I rode the 76 mile route and in spite if the rain it was a great experience. Well marked, good traffic support, great volunteers and rest stops, and as promised...bluebonnets were in bloom.

I can second that it was a first-class well run ride. i've ridden 4 now and this was the best one i've seen yet. it was excellent. thank you to all the workers and volunteers for your efforts. i loved the cheerleaders! that always lifted the spirits while you were riding!

Great time for all. Despite the rain it was all grand. Thank you to all the cheerful volunteers.

This was my first time to ride the Ride for Heroes in Aledo and I think the organizers did a great job. Friends who rode last year froze in March so the ride moved to April and in comes the cold spring rain. The Forest Gump quote "We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin' rain... and big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath" never seemed more appropriate.
Good - decent route with minimum chip/seal, well stocked rest stops, excellent PD support, tasty burgers after the ride, and pre-ride packet pickup at multiple Metroplex locations. Bad - some of the really sharp turns need a little warning - one of the rest areas (2nd?) was on a limited shoulder area with a lot of gravel (hard on bikes and cleats). I rode the 44 mile route and was very glad when it was over. With better weather forecast, I plan on returning next year!

 

 

March 28, 2009

Thanks to all the hardy souls who came out and braved the really bad weather that we had yesterday to ride the Moritz Ride for Heroes. I would like to apologize to the 30 or 40 riders who got sent on the wrong course. We had a misunderstanding with a police officer at FM5 and the I20 Service Road which sent some of the 23 and 40 mile riders in the wrong direction. As soon as we found out we corrected it and chased down the misdirected riders, gave them the directions and offered to have a SAG give them a ride back. I hope we found all of you.
As a rider I know how annoying it is to get off course. We try very hard to have the routes marked well for our riders and take if very seriously when we have a glitch like this. Thank you for your understanding.
Gordon Robertson
Ride Director
If you pre-registered for the ride you can get your shirt at Bicycles Inc. in Hurst or Fort Worth starting Wednesday.

Where do I start? First the positives: 1) there's freakin signage on the interstate leading you there!! Who else does that? 2)police presence. The police were everywhere, SAG was everywhere...both were always very kind and helpful! We all appreciate you! 3)lot of volunteers at the rest stops (i didn't stop any), but they were ALWAYS cheering you on - very supportive!
now the negatives: 1) I preregistered, but still spent 15+ minutes at packet pickup in the cold wind 2) weather: extremely cold and windy 3) i got lost! there were multiple signs, etc., I'm probably just a dope and missed a turn, regardless, I ended up doing 12 xtra miles
Will I be back next year? you better believe it. This ride was so much fun last year, that it more than made up for the miserable weather of today's ride. Bottom line: good support, good marked course, friendly/helpful people!

FYI, you weren't the only one lost --  I flagged down a motorcycle assistant because I thought I should have finished 10 miles prior, and from the on-course chatter, it appeared that several of us were lost. After he checked in, I was told that there was indeed a mistake made by the officer directing traffic at I-20 and that while we were indeed on a route, it was not the 23, but the 66 (!).  There's no telling how many people got routed onto the wrong course.
With the wind and cold, today wasn't the day to put in miles you weren't planning on riding, especially three times as many as you'd planned on.  For me, the distance wasn't the killer, it was the unplanned time.  For many though, especially a guy I saw on a hybrid, I'll bet there was some real suffering.  The unfortunate solution for me was a 20 mile unprotected 'shortcut' back to the finish line (which oddly, I rolled across in the wrong direction due to the short cut). And then I couldn't find the lunch!  It was supposed to be indoors, but where?  The girls at the finish line didn't know, either.  It kind of capped an overall miserable morning, on what is normally a great, well-organized ride.
With all of the public safety excess in place, the mis-route was surprising.  I'm sure it was a weather-related glitch (the officer seemed frozen and not exactly "on his toes", so I suspect it'll be back to it's old self next year.
Just wanted you to know you weren't a dope...duped maybe, but not a dope.

I have been at rides where, with bad weather, half the volunters do not even show up. Today in the bitter cold they were out there being helpful to the bitter end.

My helmet is off to the officer at Muir Rd. and FM Rd 5 who helped us wayward 23.5 milers and called in a SAG truck for us. Bravo to the volunteers, fireman, and policeman who braved the cold and wind to do whatever they could to help us riders. The only person that let us down Saturday was Mother Nature – I got her back by turning on all my lights during Earth Hour that night. Take that!

One of the best put together rides there is. My top 3. Support everywhere, excellent signage everywhere and plenty of time before the turns, bar-b-que hamburgers and sausage afterwards, extremely friendly people everywhere. Thanks very much to the high school for their support. The high school band and cheerleaders were standing in the cold 35 degree weather and the 35 mile per hour wind making it feel like 20 degrees passing out gloves, lending encouragement and the band played a tune before ride time. Turnout seemed only like 500 to me because of the nasty weather but I bet there is usually a 2000 plus rider turn out for this one. Mark this one on your calendar next year as one not to miss.

Unfortunately for the ride it turned out to be a brutal day to be on a bike. The weather was unseasonably cold which kept the attendance way down. But the worst part was the 40 mph wind gusting all morning. The ride was very well organized and although the conditons were terrible it was well staffed. I suggest that next time to overlay the routes as much as possible to avoid confusion. The 66 and 100 were on a completely different route from the others and I can see how it was easy to get confused at the split. My complaint other than the weather which could not be helped is the course chosen for the 66 miles which I took. It appeared to be designed by a real estate agent who wanted to give a tour of the neighborhoods. Speed bumps are not welcomed plus a ride with a lot of twists and turns is going to get people lost and has more potential for accidents. Also try to make it more rider friendly next time, not all the riders want to attack every steep hill they can find. Otherwise the support was great and the rest stop volunteers who braved the conditions deserve a standing ovation.

i had planned to do the 40 mile ride, but with the cold and the wind, i opted to cut it short and do the 23 miles (a decision i made on the road - just too windy out there). i first want to thank everyone that put it on. there were signs on the road directing you to the school and a lot of support at the start area. the pre-registration was a little slow and being outside in the cold didn't help, but the people handing out gloves were great. the start seemed a little chaotic, but the ride started smoothly. there were a lot of people out on the roads giving encouragement to the riders - braving the cold weather.
i only had 3 complaints of the ride (besides the weather): 1. i was one of the lost people who went straight at 20 and didn't realize i was lost until i was at muir road and 5; 2. the parking situation was not the greatest. there was enough parking, but they had many of us park in the south lot, on the other side of the school of the ticket windows (registration) and the cafeteria where the lunch was moved too. i know this was an unexpected issue because of the construction at the school - which was posted on the website the night before, but there was a half empty parking lot across from the ticket windows. 3. the registration lines were long and slow. they did open a 3rd window to help, but two windows was just not enough, especially when we are all standing in the cold and the wind.
all that said, i look forward to doing this again next year and will plan on doing the 60 mile ride. it takes a lot of work to put a ride like this on and i don't fault the people who put this ride on for the complaints i have.

 

March 29, 2008

Another well supported and great ride, well marked, lot's of sag support, plenty of food and fluids. I think other rides can take note of this organization and plan accordingly. Put this in your top 10, better yet top 3 for the metroplex!! Weather was a bit nippy but not too bad, we finished and felt well enough to have the complimentary lunch. I actually had some hot coffee after the ride, nice touch..

What a blast...perfect weather, beautiful roads and most of all the organization...top notch. Very friendly people and the BEST rest stops. I'll be back next year for sure! Oh yeah..the road surfaces sucked though!

75 miles on fixed @ 42-18. A tough ride for fixed gear. Intended on riding the 100 mile but decided the last 25 would have worn me out. Degree of difficulty for fixed gear is 8.5 out of 10. I'll ride the century on a SS or geared bike next year. To the ride: Organization is excellent. Routes clearly marked with excellent traffic control. Food is the best of any area rides. Not tricked up. Fresh bananas, oranges, and simple carbs. Plenty of help at every stop on the 75 mile route. Post ride food excellent. No shortage if you rode the 75 and I bet the century. This ride moves to the top of the list with the Paluxy Pedal and Crazy Kicker right behind. The Kicker needs to get their food situation in shape for the longer rides. The Paluxy is spot on and could use a century.

This year for the first time there is a 100 mile route. (not me, 40 will be a good workout).I enjoy the scenic views, yes there are a lot of hills West of Ft. Worth.
The day started off on the cool side with temperatures in the upper 40's to lower 50's. Long sleeves, riding tights, and a jacket felt real good for the first few miles. There were many more riders this year I think than last year. It seem this ride continue to grow in popularity every year and this year was the best. The start of the ride really needs some help. They did not talk to long but for the start there was suppose to be a bell that was to ring. It was very very weak. They need a cannon or something with a big bang like HnH or the Mineral Wells ride. With either of those ride there is no doubt that the ride is underway.
I like the start this year which is mostly downhill for the first mile or two along a nice winding road which give you time to warm up before you get to the first hills along I-20 heading up to the Aledo exit. The bridge over I-20 is the highest point in Tarrant County. By the time you get to Parker County the hills get bigger. I looked at the 75 and 100 mile routes and these rides includes all the big hills of Parker County. Just ask any of those rider and they will probably agree. The last few miles to the finish was better this year by returning the riders through the North parking lot area (instead of going back up the hill to 3325, going right to the next light and then back to the parking area).
I enjoy all of the rest stops on the 40 mile ride and I only skipped the last stop.
Once we left the Lake Weatherford area the major hills were behind us on the 40 mile ride. The 62, 75 and 100 riders still had many miles and hills to go.
The rest stops were well stocked and the workers very helpful. This ride will continue to grow and the money raise goes for a good cause.
The hamburgers were really good after the ride and the firemen really friendly and easy to work with.
Moritz Chev is probably the main sponsor and the main reason this ride is so good. But any ride takes all the sponsors to make a great ride. Like they suggest on the web site, bring your climbing legs and a camera next year. I will be back ( the Lord willing). David in Azle.

In a word COLD. I can't fault the organizers for the weather in March. This years ride was colder but free of the nasty north wind of last year. This is usually my first ride of the year and its always whopper. Loads of climbing and the same routes as last year with the addition of a 100 mile loop. I started out going for 75 miles and after riding on the first breakout for the 62 mile route (note that the 62, 75, and 100 mile routes overlap) I realize that my legs were just not going to warm up all that much after about 35 miles so I finished off the ride on the 62 mile route. I ended up riding 67 miles. I like the wait the overlapped the routes so riders can try out longer routes knowing they can always head back on a shorter route.
The ride is as usual very well marked and maintained. A few big rigs were a bit scary passing riders on 2 lane roads but what can you do in the oilfield.
I am not a cold weather rider. Anything below 60 degrees and I'll ride the trainer indoors. I have a bum knee from running and riding allows me to exersize without hurting my knee. However, the cold weather makes that knee ache until it gets warmed up. Luckily I had stopped in at bikes Inc the night before and picked up a pair of leg warmers.
The ride was fairly comfortable. The Reststops were great homemade cookies and pickle juice certainly helped.

This is the fourth time I've done this ride, each time the 75-mile course. It's definitely top 5 in North Texas for challenging course (my computer had the 75-mile course at 4,200ft of ascent), stocked rest areas, enthusiastic volunteers, ample parking at start, and entertainment/food/facilities at the finish. I refilled at the 40 mile rest stop, and they had great fresh fruit, cookies, peanuts, energy drink along with EMTs on site just in case someone needed some help. Top notch. The roads were a little rough in spots, but no worse than most rides. My only real complaint was the road that split off the 75mile from 62mile course (FM1886?). That road was 55mph with no shoulder. I don't recommend removing that area from the course because the area just south of there had some great climbs. But perhaps a cop or two spaced out on that road to keep the drivers at a safe speed?? See you next year.

 

 

March 31, 2007

A great ride made even better by the return to the high school for the start. Parking and late registration a breeze. Concern over storms the night before were not a problem - only a few patches of water and road encroachment and they were on top of it. I did the 32 due to other plans, and it was a great ride -nice and cool, a little headwind on the course. The routes on the signage was washed out by the rain so a few times I wasn't sure what route I was on, so maybe color flags, road paint or something other than magic marker on tape that washes off would help. Great volunteers - does the entire town turn out? Fantastic support. Had a flat my pump wasn't working and someone from Mad Duck stopped and helped - THANKS. Cheerleeders at the finish to cheer you in, Hamburgers free with ride ticket - what's not to like? this is consistently one of the best rides.

The Aledo bike rally was very good yesterday!! Great organization and support. Thanks for going back to the 75 mile route on nice hilly course - the course was much better than the longest route last year (which was only 100k). The setup at the Aledo High School including the lunch was very good. Thanks for all the hard work to make it a success! Brad

The Ride For The Heroes despite bad weather the night before turned out to be a great ride. Great support at intersections and blind corners. The road signs encouraging riders were great. Loved the encouragement from supporters as we travelled up hills but would love to hear more cowbells, they were great! The food at the end really hit the spot. If I had anything to request for next year is that the Wind Gods be a little kinder!!! Thank you to everyone for all your hard work, this is a ride that everyone should plan on doing next year!!!

A great ride! I completed the 75. MY GRADES: Organization 10/10 Routes 10/10 Volunteers 10/10 Rest Stops no grade (didn't stop but everyone looked happy) Weather 7/10 a little cold in the morning and very very windy but overall it was good as it was not raining! Roads 8/10 a storm the night before made some points a little tricky but ok! Signage 9/10 no problems but it could always be better! Free Food 10/10 a great burger, chips and drink! Start and Finish at the BEAUTIFUL new high school plenty of parking, washrooms and space!
The only change I would suggest is having an actual start and finish line with an announcer like the goatneck! Also maybe be the first on the block to get electronic bike timing...people would pay the extra $$ to be able to see their results vs. other riders (like Hotter than hell 100) it is a charity ride and not race BUT so is every road (running) race in the area and it is fun to see how you rank against others in your age group...closest thing most of us will get to riding in a real race.
I will be back next year!

While there were an abundance of volunteers at the start and along the routes, the young ladies staffing the registration tables told us they had received no training prior to the event. "Sorry, we don't know anything. We just showed up this morning." was what they told us. We received no instructions, no ride packet, and no map. We got t-shirts by asking around whether they had run out. They were out of maps, so we borrowed one long enough to get an idea of the routes. The routes were scenic and well marked. The volunteers at the rest stops were friendly and they even had homemade cookies. Not a bad choice overall.

First class. One of the top 5 in North Texas.

 

April 1, 2006

Ride for Heroes 2006. AWESOME, AWESOME ride. This was my first bike ride/rally and if all are like this then, man, am I in for some good times. Top notch organization beginning with convenient packet pick up prior to the ride date, well organized parking with helpful attendants, convenient close parking, well run staging area, and plenty of porta potties at start line. As for the ride itself, I rode the 33 mile route. Great route for someone like me that is still working up that mileage. Not too tough of a ride with the right balance of some nice challenging hills and very scenic country side. Perfect route selection for this distance. The route was marked with plenty of signs and the traffic control at the intersections was superb. I never needed to look at my map because they did such an excellent job of marking the route and guiding you. Good placement of rest stops, although in my opinion the first stop(which also doubled as the last stop) could have been further out from the start which would have made it further away at the beginning and not so far away at the end. The stops were manned by friendly, helpful people with a great selection of food and drinks. It seems as if the whole community of Aledo and the surrounding towns support this ride in a big way. Kudos to them for a job well done. The hamburgers for lunch-great touch! I WILL do this ride again, every year!

Great ride with lots of support along the routes. Low traffic routes and good scenery. The lunch afterward was a nice touch. Will put it on my calendar for next year.

I rode the Aledo ride for Hero's and again the ride workers did a great job. The biggest challenge was parking. The start was moved to downtown Aledo about one mile from the High School which made it very difficult to find quick parking. If you had the time to wait in line (about one mile long) the worker would show you where to park. I was glad I signed in over the Internet and picked up my ride package on Friday because I never saw where sign in was. I am sure many (100's or more) did not sign in at all because parking took to long and sign in was somewhere. Once the ride started it was Great. The first part winds through the countryside along a winding road along a valley with beautiful countryside all around. The hills along I-20 at exit 420 is a long climb but the Aledo volunteers were everywhere. There were people of all ages along most all of the really tough, long climbs cheering us on. Ringing cow bells and shouting words of encouragement. No other rides in the past five years have ever had so many helpers along the way just to encourage riders to keep on keeping on. All rest stops were well stocked ( I tested all of them) and the workers were so willing to help with whatever you needed. Lots of smiling faces and helping hands. I know they want us to vote on the best rest stop but they all were very good. This ride continues to grow and get better every year. The only suggestion for next year is to come up with a better parking solution (faster) or move the ride start back to the high school. I will be back. Thank again to the firefighter that cooked a great meal after the ride. I wish all the riders that could not find sign in or did not have time to sign in would mail in you donation to the ride official anyway. They earn every penny of it. If you live in the Mid-cities or Dallas county this ride is worth you drive. Plan on being there next year. David in Azle.

An excellent ride which is very well supported. I have done this ride several years now and will do it again. I didn't like the change in start/finish. The high school was much better with less congestion and traffic to contend with. One of the intersections toward the end of the ride (crossing under I-20) needed someone to direct the riders and the car traffic...otherwise the routes were very well marked. Keep up the good work and hats off to the "Hero Firefighters"

The 2006 edition of the Ride For The Hero's in Aledo, TX, was probably the best since the ride begain in 2003. This year the ride started in downtown Aledo, in past years it kicked off at Aledo High School. The route for this ride changes slightly each year, but it promises to deliver on several fronts: hills, wind, gravel, highway, pavement, excellent rest stops and cheerful volunteers. What I took great notice of this year: frequency of rest stops, people who will hold your bike when you get a snack, cheerleaders cheering you on during the course, posted words of encouragement alongside the route, and very excellent homemade cookies and virtually every rest stop! Oh yes, they also had plenty of oranges, banannas, other sweets and poweraide and water for you, too. What to not like? Well, not much. However, I liked starting at the Aledo High School as there is ample parking and an easy start to the ride. Perhaps they could not start there because of technical/legal reasons. I did think it was cool that a train came by us all before the start of the ride! You won't get that when starting at the high school. Also, more porta-potties at the early rest stops. The start had plenty of porta-potties, which is good, but when hydrating very well from the start because you know the day will be long and hot, you'll need more than one porta-potty at the 1st two rest stops (who wants to wait in a long line?). But back to the positive, the hamburger with full condiments at the post-ride meal was very nice! A friend from Houston came up to join me on this ride, he was very impressed and felt it better than the Ride for the Roses. I plan on having a big party around this ride next year, I cannot wait! Thanks also to the City of Aledo for embracing the ride!

My husband and I love this ride. The rest stops were great, traffic support was wonderful, and all the volunteers were very supportive and appreciative of the riders. We enjoyed the new routes, too. The food at the end was welcome and yummy. Though not a major complaint, we weren't thrilled with the traffic getting to the ride and then leaving. We always get to rides early and wind up sitting around a bit waiting for the start, but because of traffic getting into town and our parking location being much farther away from the start, we had to rush. We turned down the shirts so we wouldn't have to go all the way back to the car. Being Dallas folks, we couldn't do packet pick up any earlier. All in all, this is one of the top notch rides in the area and we'll continue to support these fine folks year after year.

Aledo Ride for the Heroes 2006 what a ride!!!! This was our first time doing this one and we'll definitely be back next year. The 50 mile course was challenging with the hills and winds. Each rest stop was excellent and the cheerleaders, homemade cookies, road signs of encouragement, cow bells etc. was great also but just a couple of things, could we please have more porta potties at the rest stops and a couple of the roads were quite rough, other than that everyone should mark this one on your calendar for next year. Thank you to all the police for traffic control, you did a excellent job!!!!

This was my first year riding the Ride for Heroes, and only my second ever organized ride. As others have stated, this was a superbly supported event, from the organizers, the registration tables (which went surprisingly quickly given the number of riders), the OUTSTANDING support along the route from people cheering you on up those hills as well as those at the rest stops. I rode the "36" that I clocked at 33.3. Routes were clearly marked. This was one great ride, and I will definitely by back next year.- David in Euless

Ride for Heros, what a good way to start the riding season. This was my second time to participate in this ride and as usual the volunteers did an outstanding job. I rode the 100K, which was quite challenging. Between the hills and the wind, this course would test the most experience rider. According to my GPS profile there was not a flat part on this course. I was glad I kept up my training during the "Off Season". The route signs and traffic support was outstanding, thank you to the local law enforcement. The rest stop had plenty of food and drink and the volunteers were very supportative. This ride is definitley one of the "must" rides in the DFW area, but if you have not kept up your training during the winter, the 50 or 62 mile routes will be a challenge. The only critique I would have is to move the start back to the high school, getting to the finish line through all of the local traffic was a challenge and parking was scattered all over Aledo. Good Job Aledo, I will be back next year.

Parking proved to be a challenge after I pulled off the interstate it took me 40 minutes to make the two miles into Aledo and get parked not the most patient person in the world this was frustrating. However, things were about to improve dramatically. The registration was very well organized and a snap. .A volunteer even held my bike while I registered. The start in downtown Aledo next to railroad track was picturesque and the drum and bugle corps and the cheer leaders kept things upbeat. Even though the start was held almost 25 minutes to let late arrivers register there was no grumbling everyone was sympathetic about the parking situation. The start was a smooth and the course has little to no traffic ( I rode all the way around Lake Weatherford and didn't see a single car ) there are some steep hills on the 50 mile 100k course but at the crest of several climbs there were small crowds cheering and ringing cowbells amazingly good for the morale. The signage was superb signs were easy to read and the course well marked The traffic control and police protection were the best I have ever experienced on a rally. The hamburger at the end of the ride was great and it took me all of 3 minutes to clear the line with my hamburger with all the condiments chips and lemonade. Overall the impression you get of this ride is a very favorable one as it is apparent that the organizers the volunteers and everyone associated with the event go out of their way to exceed expectations and succeed in almost all areas. It is definitely a repeat.!!

I, too, noticed that the start of the ride was in downtown Aledo instead of at the high school, so instead of complaining, I asked somebody! She said there was construction going on at the high school--a new football stadium--and they couldn't host the ride this year. However, it will be back at the high school next year. So, everybody come on out---and tell your friends. This is a terrific ride in every aspect.

Ride for Heros 2006: This was my first time on the Ride for Heros and it was a great ride. I found it to be almost as challenging as the Germanfest ride. The people were very friendly and the food at the end was great which is always a plus when you drive 50 miles to try a new ride.

The 2006 Aledo rally was not nearly as good as the 2005 rally: 1) parking was a long delay and a BIG mess (apparently due to HS construction), 2) route went on many busy roads including more interstate frontage roads, 3) poor road surface and much loose gravel on many of the roads, and 4) less scenic and less hilly route. Positives on the rally were: 1) great volunteers, 2) good signage, 3) nice cookout in the fire station at the end.

This was my first but of course not my last, I enjoyed the 33 mile race with the great scenery and rest stops. I am only 14 and without training finished great in this event! If you want to see some of my pictures from the race go to http://www.brightroom.com/view_event.asp?EVENTID=11944 and type in 991 for my “bib number” I will continue to do this race until they stop (If they do). Oh and I think the last stop was the best I had 1 donut, 3 muffins, 2 cups of Gatorade and was back on my way for the finish!!!

I've been doing rides in the Dallas area for over 10 years - almost every weekend during season, and this year's Ride for Heroes has to be perhaps the best organized, best run rides ever. Great people, support, routes, rest stops, after event food - everything first rate. I'd put it among the top 2-3 rides of the year. I'll be back. DON'T miss this one.

This was my first Ride for Heroes – very nice! This will be one of my “Don’t Miss” rides in the future. My only two suggestions are to, first, rethink the downtown start – there just isn’t enough parking. Secondly, make the finish line a bit more noticeable and exciting. I felt it was a little anticlimactic to finish strong to the finish line only to not know where exactly it was. Plus, I had to slow down for cars as I was trying to finish my ride.


April 2, 2005

In one word, FANTASTIC. I now consider this one of the top tier rides based on my experience today. Looks like about 1000 or so riders participated. I rode the 76 mile route (79 miles by my computer). What a challenge too. You don't want to take on this route without some solid training under your belt. I've said it before but I love the rides in this area (Goatneck, Peach Pedal, Tour-de-Pants, Firecracker and now Ride for Heros) because the terrain is so challenging with the constant ups and downs of the hills. With the possible exception of the Tour-de-Pants, this ride is the most challenging of the aforementioned rides because of the length and total amount of climbing. My computer registered approximately 3250 feet of total climbing. In comparison, the Goatneck has about 2400 feet, Peach Pedal and Firecracker 2000 feet and Tour-de-Pants about 2400 feet. The Tour-de-Pants has a few killer climbs that this one doesn't but that is not to say there weren't plenty of challenging climbs on this one. After this ride, my legs were definitely fried. In general, the routes were clearly marked, there was great traffic control at most intersections and the road surfaces were generally good although there were a couple of stretches with some potholes you had to watch out for. Parking and registration were a snap, and the hamburgers afterwards were a nice bonus. The Aledo high school band and cheerleaders kept the atmosphere very upbeat. I didn't stop at any rest stops but there were plenty of volunteers cheering as I rode by. GREAT JOB ALEDO! Put this one on your must ride calendar for next year. I sure hope to return.

Aledo's Ride for Heros 2005. This was the third year for this ride and already it has a great group of riders that return every year. Last weekend, we had about 1" to 2" of snow on the ground but this Saturday the sky was clear and the wind was calm (during the sign in time). Over 1000 riders took off for the rolling hills and green country side, trees, bushes and flower were blooming and the day was wonderful. Things that make this ride so good is the country homes, rolling hills and beautiful valleys. The ride is very well organized from sign in to the finish. Moving the sign in area indoors was a good idea that take away many weather problems of the outdoors. The High School drummers really get you going as they drum and march to the start line. The volunteer help is a major factor in making this ride so much fun. All ages from young to more mature are glad to help at the rest stops or sign in. The ride itself has many good things, well marked signs that you can see giving plenty of notice of coming turns or information you need to know. The official help with the Highway Patrol, and local police that were at all major intersections holding back the traffic at a safe distance until we clear the danger, that alone was worth the entry fee. The rest stops get an A+ for well stocked and a large varity of goodies,especially the homemade cookies. I did not see any of the rest stops running short of any supplies that I stopped at. The routes were very different this year and this was good and bad. There were more scenic views than ever to get to the top of the great view meant more hills than before. If you are use to riding the long ride ( or what ever length ride you like) drop back to the next shorter length ride and you will enjoy it more and hurt less. The 57 and 76 miles rides had enough hills to give Stephenville a run for the most challenging course. There are many other good things about this ride but just one more. The money raised goes to the volunteer firefighter to help them buy the right equipment that can help save lives and homes. But no ride is perfect a few suggestions for next year. #1. Open up the High School in the morning to help cut down the line at the Port-a-John. I only saw 8 Port-a-Johns with a thousand riders was not near enough. #2. Less talk at the beginning of the ride will make riders happier. #3. Have the High School gym open so riders could use the showers before heading home. I only live 20 minutes away but many people come from Dallas, Austin and other far away places. Come next year and ride in beautiful Parker County, around Lake Weatherford, which has a frisbee golf course and enjoy the freshness of the country ride through the hills and hills and hills you get the idea. David In Azle.

Kudos to the organizers, volunteers, and sponsors of the 2005 Ride For Heroes! The staging area was easy to find, had good parking, and was logically located close to the registration area, which was staffed with lots of enthusiastic volunteers. The T-shirt design was also very well done and was just different enough from the typical cookie-cutter T-shirt designs seen at most of the Saturday benefit rides. The band and announcer did a great job and thankfully the weather was more cooperative than last year. More port-o-potties were needed at the main parking lot. The 57-mile course was different than last year, not necessarily better, but certainly different. The majority of the 57-mile course was north of I-30, which is more barren and windswept. I prefered the course last year which was southwest of I-30 and more scenic. This was a more challenging course than last year and there were two hills that were steep and long enough that some riders had to walk their bikes to the top. The course was well marked with easy-to-read signage; if you got lost on this course it was because you were doing something besides paying attention. The law enforcement officers from Aledo, Willow Park, and Hudson Oaks were incredible and are to be commended for doing an outstanding professional job of marshalling the intersections and keeping us safe; there were many busy intersections where cars were lined up 10 and 20 deep waiting for us to cross the road and I'm sure some of the drivers were verbally abusive. We only did one rest stop but it was a hoot; it had a bawdy county & western theme and had some poor old clown-looking guy who looked plumb tuckered & wore out from riding his trainer too much - nice costumes & cleavage too! The finish line had lots of enthusiastic cheerleaders who did a great job of congratulating us at the finish line. The high school food court was a perfect place to finish the ride; good eats, drinks, entertainment, and an interesting assortment of vendors & products. All in all, this was a very professionally accomplished tour that was fun, challenging, and most importantly, more than worth the $25 entry fee. I've done a boodle of tours and what makes the difference between a great tour and just a tour is planning, attention to detail, a great cause, and a good sponsor. My Brother came from Oklahoma City to do the ride this year because of all the things we told him about the 2004 ride and he was very impressed with everything on this ride. Thanks to everybody for doing such an outstanding job on the 2005 Ride For Heroes! See you next year!

Chilly start turned into a nice day. Registration was a breeze. Free coffee. The route was well marked and traffic control was great. I don't recall any of the roads being in bad shape or any chip and fill. There were a two hills that were surprisingly step (especially on a fixed gear bike 48x18) and challenging for so early in the season, plus plenty of other hills to see if that winter training paid off. I was one of those rides that that took a lot out of you, but you were really glad once it was over and could brag about it. The only rest stop I stopped at was at 60 miles; it seemed well stocked and well manned. SAG was very visible as well as the BMW motorcycle patrol. I can't think of any negatives for this ride.

All in all a great ride. Well run, well marked, good police support at all the bigger intersections. I have only one gripe - how could the mileage have been off by 4 miles? If it's a 50 mile ride, just say so. When 46 miles came up on my odometer, I was loooking for the high school - miles later, I finally found it. I'm not one of these guys who can ride 70 miles at the drop of a hat so I was looking forward to the ride be OVER at 46 miles. I guess it didn't hurt me to go 4 more miles but my miles per hour average sure did suffer.

The Ride for Heroes in Aledo should be one of those "must do" rides each year. Superb organization and an enjoyable trek through Parker county. The hills are good training for Muenster and Goatneck. An impressive of a mile long hill at a steady 8% grade and a couple of 9% bumps on the 76, oh wait, make that an 80 mile long course. That would be my one complaint, I stretched myself a bit this early in season to do 76 only to find it just almost 80 miles long. Accurate mileage is something ride organizers really need to get a handle on. It is always good to see John out on the course, I think he has become a cult figure in North Texas with his recumbent and camera. Thanks for a great service to cyclist everywhere! Picture #103-107

It was a beautiful day for a ride. The support was terrific, particularly at the intersections. A lot of hills, so the ride was challenging. Some very scenic views along the route. A few of the roads were a little torn up and presented some challenges. Still, it was a fun rally and one worth a return trip.

Once again, a good ride. Some great scenery, well organized. Roads are generally good. Traffic control was generally good. I'd give this ride a 8 out of 10.
Constructive suggestions:
* Need more port-a-johns at the start. One of my ride partners was stuck in the bathroom line until right at the start, and our group ended up split. Two port-a-johns for that size of crowd, right as everyone's morning coffee kicks in, just doesn't do it.
* Once again, the 76 mile route showed just over 79 on most people's computers. Check the measuring you're using - it's hard to believe everyone's computer is off by that much. Just make it at 80-miler. Or offer a century route - that'd be even better!
* The route is pretty hilly for this part of Texas. I kind of enjoyed that, but one of my riding partners didn't really realize how hilly it was going to be, and was unprepared for it. Especially the long uphill stretch starting around mile 55 or so was pretty tough. The marketing materials don't really give you an idea that this ride may be tough. A little better disclosure might help. Maybe make it a fun thing and do an elevation profile like the Goatneck.
* The rest stops were good, but isn't the point of a drink company sponsoring a ride to get people to actually pay for their product? Does PowerAde actually think sending that nasty red fruit punch stuff to the events they sponsor will get people to buy their product? Does anyone actually buy that flavor voluntarily?
* If the ride coincides with the air show in FW again next year, see if you can get the Blue Angels to do a flyover. That would be cool. We saw them in the distance and enjoyed it.
All in all, thanks for a great ride. I've volunteered as a helper in both run and ride events, so I have some idea what it takes to put one of these on. I've seen well-organized ones, and I've seen poorly organized ones. The Aledo ride ranks close to the Goatneck as one of the best events in this area.

This was a very well organized ride. Plenty of intersection support and well marked route. 76 mile route ended up closer to 79 miles (I guess due to the late route change). Didn't make any stops, so can't comment on the rest areas, except that they seemed to be well spaced. The hamburgers and drinks at the ride finish were great. This is the hilliest rally I've ever done. It makes the Muenster ride look flat, well almost. But this ride had long climbs (some fairly steep), one right after the other. I wonder if anyone was able to count them all without losing track. Simply a very tough course, one that I wasn't quite ready for this early in the spring.

This ride has the best traffic control of all the north Texas rides - bar none. Very low traffic routes with some of the best scenery around. Outstanding ride and outstanding effort of the organizers.

This is a fantastically well organized ride which appears to have grown well since its inception 3 years ago. The terrain is not as challenging as perhaps the Goat Neck or Peach or Paluxy Pedal rides later in the year, nonetheless, it's a great event for this early in the year! Excellent rest stops, very courteous volunteers throughout and a nice little lunch provided at the end. Turns were well marked and all which involved crossing major intersections were manned with local police and fire department volunteers. Last minute changes were also announced prior to the ride (a detail some events don't address) and were attended by volunteers, just to make sure no one took a wrong turn.

Pros---great cause, very scenic course--going around L. Weatherford is awesome, great traffic control even though the course was on roads with  little traffic, challenging, yet do-able hills, free lunch is a nice touch as were the fly-overs. Cons---please, please get the distances right. the 33 mi was 36 mi, the  46mi was 50 and we have already heard the 76 mi was almost 80mi. you don't have to change the courses just change the brochure to the true distances. Running out of T-Shirts is a huge no, no in my book. I know that's a good sign for the ride organizers, but its not for the riders who had to pay $30 and get nothing. It's a high school--let us use the bathrooms AND add a lot more porta-pottys few more course markers on the straight-aways would be nice--especially since I was out there a lot w/no one else around. I never saw one sag vehicle--were they out there? And last, but not least--please don't make us go ALL THE WAY AROUND and behind the school to get to the finish line!

April 3, 2004

Lots of pretty country and hills & hills & hills & wind! Good support along the routes as I saw the SAG and Ham Radio Operators passed me often. One girl fell behind us on a turn and someone was there to help by the time we turned around to help. It was also great to have all of the activities after the ride. Hard to tell this was only the second year for the ride. Some of the organizers of older rides could take lesson from this group. Only suggestion was to add more or bigger signs when the different rides split. A couple of times you had to slow at the last second to tell if you had to turn or go straight.

There were close to 800 riders that started the Ride for Heroes on Saturday. Again we had incredible support from the community. The rest stops were all fantastically decorated and supplied with home made goodies. The Aledo band boosters brought the High School Drum Line and All Star Jazz band to perform. Local law enforcement came out in droves to make sure the routes were safe. I hope no one got lost due to the vandalism we experienced with our route signs. We had some deliberately stolen sometime during the event. I look forward to hearing your comments on how we can make it even better for next year. Thanks to all of you who came out and made the 2004 Ride for Heroes a success.
Gordon Robertson
Ride Director

We rode Aledo last Saturday. This was the first year we have done this tour. It was organized except for the rest stops. The first one was at 5 miles for the 9 mile riders. But then there wasn't another one until the 16 mile mark and for some one riding the 23 mile it was a long time and a lot of hills between. Neither rest stop had ice or Gatorade. The lunch was great but that still doesn't make up for the distance between the rest stops and the luck warm water.

This was my first charity ride. It was so well organized that I'm afraid I'll be disappointed at the next one. The rest stops were great, plenty to eat and drink. There was even a lady at the second stop that was offering to hold our bikes! The route was interesting with plenty of hills. The pavement out there was kinda rough, lots of chip/seal, but what can you do? Thanks to everyone that work out on the course to make things safe and enjoyable. See you next year

A couple friends and I did the Aledo Ride for Heroes on Saturday. Nothing but praise for the course, the organization and the weather. It was a  wonderful day and an excellent course. You had to be prepared to do hills like a dog chases frisbees though....with vigor!. I didn't experience any sign problems and actually found the signs to be quite helpful. One possible exception, at the top of the hill just after the railroad tracks and just before the 78 & 41 mile split, it would have been nice to alert the riders that once they got slowed down from a 40+ mph descent there was a turn to make, either left or right (perhaps it was there and I just didn't see it). They were still serving hamburgers at 1:00 this time and I believe that was one of the problems from last year. It looks like they got that fixed. I think I would rate this ride in the same category as the Goatneck Ride. Excellent.

What a great rally! The rally was very organized and the volunteers were great. I loved the routes - going by the lake was very nice. There were some hills that makes for somewhat of a challenging ride. The weather was nice - a bit windy. The post rally was super nice. It is so nice to have something good to eat after a ride. Thanks to all the volunteers - you all did a great job. I will be back next year!

This was my third organized ride, first time at this one, and I am thoroughly pleased and excited about riding with these people next year. The 40 mile route was well laid out with a great mixture of climbs and descents. I never felt like I was in danger of being run off the road by too many cars. Great rest areas with very friendly volunteers. Could have had a few more port-a-johns. A+

The 64 mile course on the 2004 Ride For Heroes is one of the most challenging courses I've ridden in Oklahoma or Texas and this tour could be one of the best with continued improvement. The parking lot was large and easy to find but a had a choke-point at the lot entrance due to the numerous volunteers trying to direct cars and lend assistance; this could be a problem if the ride continues to increase in popularity. Registration was a snap and the staging area was laid out and organized well. The band prior to the start of the ride was a nice touch and the announcers kept their presentations brief, which the riders appreciated due to the brisk northerly wind. The ride started well and the intersection marshals are to be commended for making things safe and smooth at most of the intersections on the first 2/3 of the 64 mile course. The most confusing and potentially dangerous intersection was somewhere around mile 35, at the "Y" in the road where 78 milers turned left and the 64 milers turned right - the road signs were posted too close to the intersection and the confused looking Police Officer had his car parked in the roadway which made the intersection dangerous for the 64 milers. Most of the roads were typical for Parker County, which unfortunately means some scenery, lots and lots of flat tires and a bumpy ride - but thankfully, not one dog chased me! We did one rest stop at mile 53 and the volunteers were outstanding; they were courteous, enthusiastic, and had lots of goodies for us to drink and munch. We finished the 64 miler at 1:15 p.m. but the cyclometer showed the course to be almost 67.5, but never the less, we were hungry enough to eat the legs off a table and we were VERY appreciative that there was still some food for us to eat. Another thing I liked was the presence of medical personnel - very smart and I wish more rides would do it. I thought the 64 mile course was too long and too hard (hilly) for an early April ride, but this ride might be the one for you if you want to ride where the boys from Moritz stomp the big ring.

April 5, 2003

Well, if anyone ever wants to see the right way to put on a tour, all they need to do is go do the Aledo Ride For The Hero's. The people that put on this ride can be proud of a job well done! The route was laid out very well and never got boring. The ride constantly twisted and turned through the rolling hills of that part of Texas with very pretty country to view. The roads were all in pretty good shape with very low traffic. The exception was a very short gravel road and a very short distance of HWY shoulder, both only lasted about 10 min each. The rest stops were all very well spaced out and the people were very friendly and seemed happy to be there. They had hamburgers cooking on the grill and live music at a after ride party which, was a nice touch. The line was pretty long for the hamburgers but, it moved very quickly. The only bad part of this ride in my opinion is that we'll have to wait another year to do it again.

This was a fantastic first effort for the good folks of Aledo . You could tell a lot of effort was put into the organization of this rally. It seemed to have lots of local support. Registration went well, as did the other pre-ride activities. I loved the route selections. The organizers avoided the temptation to pull out a Parker County map , and draw out a giant loop. You could tell the routes were selected by cyclists who actually ride the area. No busy highways for this route. the 72 mile route, anyway, went over rural county roads with no traffic. The routes might not have been as smooth as more traveled roads, but the roads were extremely rider friendly. Due to construction, there was a very small section of dirt road, but it was well packed, and posed little problem for riders. SAG wagons cruised the routes and I saw no one stranded. The rest stops were well staffed...they even had helpers to hold your bicycle up at many of the stops, and they even had home-made cookies at some of the stops. The only snag I saw was the signage. They did have small directional signs at the intersections, but only if the route turned at THAT corner, and only one or two signs. No painted arrows for back-up. I missed one turn ,along with another rider , but was approached at the next intersection by someone connected with the ride, who pointed us back on the path. Two to three "arrow signs" would have helped, placed maybe 50 feet apart . Other than that, this ride was splendid , and put on for a worthy cause, the firefighters of Aledo . I will definitely be back next year .

An amazing effort for a first time ride. A very unique set of routes as you had until less than a mile from the finish to choose to go the long route. So many routes you make the decision so early that you are committed even if the wind or early enthusiasm wears you down in the middle of the ride.
The start was organized, the routes were manned and well marked (I did read the reviewer that ventured out to see more unexplored countryside) with enough riders that you could follow the string of riders. I have never seen more docile dogs. They mostly did not even bother to lift their heads even when they were on your side of the fence (and I thought that the Longview dogs were laid back). A great event.
I was sort of disappointed with the meal. They advertised a hamburger, and that is what you got. No chips, no potato salad, no coleslaw, no fruit. You got a grilled burger and bun. It did smell wonderful, but I expected more.
I missed the homemade cookies, but not the covered bridge. I thought that I was back in Pennsylvania. A wonderful ride, especially for a first time effort. The people were fantastic and helpful. People came out of their farms to cheer you on. It reminded me of HHH, except for no hand slapping. Maybe next year we can add that to the locals'
knowledge base. I have to give this ride two thumbs up (or is it all three chainrings? - four if on my mountain bike tandem - five for Da Vinci).

WHAT WAS GOOD: The 72-mile course had numerous rolling hills for a good challenge, plenty of turns so you never got bored, nice rural scenery, minimal traffic, "country folk" sitting on their porch waving, adequate route markings, cheering and jumping high school cheerleaders at most major intersections around Aledo, the Honda Goldwing crew who gave a true European peleton feel (and whom I have not seen since I had to raise $250 to ride for MDA), and some of the best rest stops I have ever encountered. They were themed rest stops, staffed mostly by Aledo High School staff, parents, and students who genuinely seemed excited to give up their Saturday morning to cheer and serve total strangers. They treated it like a real race, running up to you to fill your bottle and handing off bananas as you peddled by. Although all the stops were creatively decorated, well-stocked with standards, and staffed by cheerful volunteers, my favorite was probably the one sponsored by the Spanish Department because of the homemade Mexican pastries and the kid who held up my bike for 10-minutes. This was a top-notch inaugural ride. WHAT WAS NOT-SO-GOOD: First, a good 20 miles or so of the 72-mile route was on really rough pavement or through construction zones. For you Gen X-ers out there, it was like a crummy playground blacktop, full of gravel, big cracks, and random bumps. I ride carbon/Ti and the vibrations were killer. Even the guys on the suspension bikes we moaning. And second, unless you rode the shorter routes (30 and 45 miles), or were fast enough to finish 72 miles in 3 hours, you could not get the burger you paid for or enjoy any of the post-ride festivities. They quit serving food, turned off the music, and took down the ceremonial "Finish Line" sign before many, if not most, of the 72-milers finished. That was uncool and not conducive to return riders. I finished around 12:30 and the place was almost deserted. It was like they said, "Well, it's noon. We got our money, served burgers and entertained the 30 and 45 milers. Let's go home and let the 72-milers eat on their own."

To all who came out to support the Aledo Ride for Heroes.
Thanks! We had a terrific time hosting this inaugural event. We appreciate your comments and suggestions for improving our ride. We are listening because we want to see you and your friends next year.
Our biggest mistake this year was underestimating the support from the cycling community. This resulted in us coming up short on food at the end of the ride. Though we did go out and get some extra to try and cover it, we didn't get quite enough for everyone. My sincerest apology to anyone who did not get a burger. Please contact me at cycletexas@bicycling.com  and I will be glad to treat you to a meal at Jerry's BBQ.
We also recognized that we started packing things up a little too soon. This won't happen next year, we promise. The party will go on until the last rider is in.
Next year it will be get even better. More community support, bigger and better route signs, more food, better menu, etc.
Thanks for your nice comments and constructive suggestions. And thanks for making our ride such a success.
Gordon Robertson
Aledo Ride for Heroes
Co-Chairman and Ride Director

I agree with earlier reviews in that this was a great effort for this being their first ride ever. A very well laid out route with enough rolling hills to be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery. I really appreciated the low traffic route. I can sympathize with the 72 milers who were not able to get back in time for the hamburgers, but then again I intentionally did the 45 mile route so that I could get back in time to enjoy the food and entertainment. Can't really comment on the rest stops because I did the ride straight through. Wish I hadn't now knowing I missed out on some homemade cookies. Parking and registration location was perfect. The volunteer and support staff were the greatest. I will definitely be back next year!