Shiner G.A.S.P. Greater Austin to Shiner Pedal
April 25, 2017
Ride itself was great. Finish line alone is worth the entry fee. Some things I hope they consider to make this ride even better. There needs to be a packet pick up on Friday in Austin. With no pick up, there was a lot of scrambling on Saturday before the ride for the 100 milers. I have pictures of the nice long line as the ride was starting. Also the Saturday pick up needs to be organized (not trash bags on ground with two volunteers holding a sheet of paper). Rest stops were good. One stop had no food (stop before Elm Grove). I was not last and plenty of folks behind me. Other stops after had 6+cases of bananas just sitting around (I know this as I am related to one of the volunteers of the stop with LOTS of extra food. Coordination of stops to should be easy to. Also, need better communication on SAG support. One stop (Elm Grove), btw…. not Oak Grove as the map has listed, had a diabetic at the stop. We ask the volunteer at the 'AID STATION' who we can call as the rider wasn't doing well. Answer given was "I don't know". Not a good answer. Volunteers in each town should have emergency numbers in the event aid is needed. Speaking of Elm Grove stop, it needs to be marked better. Lots of us missed it as the sign said turn left. At one point I heard someone was at corner telling riders to go straight around the blind corner to the church but that person was not there when I turned. Last, let's find 3 more miles to make it a true century.
April 25, 2015
This is my first GASP and it was a great experience and a great ride. When friends of mine learned about I was to do this ride, they showed concerns about the head wind from the south, which is common this time of the year. During the ride though, we had mild wind from W and WNW. As a result, most of the folks in our paceline set their century ride record that day (me included). However, although the wind was in our flavor, the rain wasn't. Severe thunderstorms were in the area the night before, and we had scattered shower in the morning. The organizer decided to call a 15-minute rain delay in Austin (as well as for the 1/2 GASP started at Whizzerville Hall in McMahan). The sun finally came out at around 10, but the road was still wet and we didn't form a good paceline until later when the road was dry. The route was scenic. With the wet weather we have had in spring, everywhere was green with wild flowers on top. It was pretty much rolling hills the whole way but nothing steep. There were a couple sections with a few miles of rough roads during the first half of the ride. The support at each rest stop was great and the finish at the brewery was the best - Food, adult beverage, live music, showers and massage (choose your own order). My only complaint is their gift shop doesn't take AMEX. That might be a good thing otherwise I would have spent some money there.
This was my first year doing this ride. What a great well-organized ride! Rode the full GASP. Great start location. Fast packet pick up. Great rest stops, especially the pizza stop. Great volunteers. Good traffic support. Great signage. Mostly nice route, not overly hilly and mostly good roads. Great after-party. Though the day started off with a little rain, turned into a beautiful day. My only small nits….route wasn't quite a century and I wanted my century and those gravel sections kinda sucked. But otherwise, I highly recommend this ride!!! Can't wait for next year!!!