Head for the Hills - Cedar Hill, TX
May 21, 2016
A big thank-you to the Rotary Club of Cedar Hill. Another great Head for the Hills Rally. Happy 10th anniversary to this ride. The route is the same has years past and has had some re-paving of the road surface making for a mostly smooth ride. Lots of the chip seal has been worn down smoother over the years. Lots of good rollers without any big climbs. This is a fast course. Great rest stops with plenty a smiling volunteers. Thanks to all law enforcement, volunteer, intersection control people, bike shops(B&B, Bicycles Inc,, etc), Red Robin, Chik-Fil-A, Expressions Chiropractic, etc. Great weather, easy on-ste registration, a great after party—the beer was a nice touch. So glad you guys put your drinks(beer and soft drinks) on ice. Though intersection control was pretty good, it seemed like not as many intersections had a person manning the post like in years past. Nonetheless, you guys put on a really good rally. See you next year!
This ride continues to be a favorite for me. It is very well organized and supported. The course is laid out so that, in most cases, you can sustain your momentum across the rollers. This makes for a fast ride (rare for me). I was surprised at how many wildflowers were still in bloom. Made for some great views! I am looking forward to next year!
Very good ride, excellent traffic control for the first 4 miles going out, and last 4 miles coming back in, the rest of the ride you are out in the country with very little car traffic so no need for traffic control. Excellent signage for directions. Road conditions were very good, smooth asphalt with the exception of 3 miles or so of very light grade chip seal. Post ride with both, cokes and beer was very good (though stocking craft beers instead of coors and bud would be nice).
May 9, 2015
Rode the Head for the Hills rally in Cedar Hill today. Once again a great effort by the Rotary club of Cedar Hill. Glad the rain held off, but the winds were stout. The route was hilly with some good rollers without any steep long climbs(100k route). Only used 2 rest stops, but they were staffed with plenty of helpful volunteers. Had the usual refreshments at the rest stops and they were well spaced at approx every 10 miles. Road surfaces could have been better, but it is north Texas, so what can you do. Lots of assistance at the turns and intersections. Always nice to have Red Robin burgers at the finish and ice cold soft drinks. Thank-you to all the volunteers and sponsors. Lots of SAG support on the route. Thank-you to the bicycle shops for supporting this event(B&B, RBM, Bicycles Inc, and Bicycles Plus—I think). Wish the turn-out had been higher, but I think the threat of bad weather conditions kept some cyclists away. Thanks again to the good folks in Cedar Hill. Enjoyed it and will be back….rain or shine!
Once again, the Cedar Hill Rotary executed their ride perfectly. Everything was superbly organized – parking, registration, rest stops, signage, and traffic control. I was glad the heavy rains held off, even though we had stiff winds. This is a fun ride with plenty to do afterwards!
Head for the Hills 100k. Perfect? Not when you start an 8am ride at 7:50. There is a first time for everything in these rides. More than a few riders were surprised to either see the group pulling away as they rolled up or completely gone by time they got there. Parking gets so spread out that many are nowhere near registration or the start line. Most of the intersection coverage was solid but on the return there are two very busy and unmanned intersections that put riders at risk. I will say they do put together the best goodie bag in the DFW area including a CO2 cartridge.
Thanks to everyone out in Cedar Hill for a great ride. Having taken a several year hiatus from large organized rides, I was glad to see they still put the same great event as the first two events so many years ago. Comments below are for the 100k route, but I'm sure the others were similar.
Great road control on the route from the volunteers and law enforcement. Almost every intersection had someone standing at it holding traffic and directing riders. I did see two intersections where officers were hanging out in their cars and we had to wait a few moments for them to stop traffic, but really, having to wait 15-20 seconds isn't a major complaint, maybe a minor annoyance at best. Where the turns were not staffed, they were very well marked with painted arrows on the street and signs on stakes. These we're always right hand turns, on very low traffic roads, so no concerns with other vehicles.
Rest stops were very well staffed, with volunteers holding bikes for the participants, and well stocked with fruit, cookies, Gatorade, water, and just straight ice for dumping in your bottle.
I heard a few people complain about road conditions, to which I will respond with; you are on rural roads outside of the main parts of the DFW metroplex. Once you get south of I-20 all bets are off. With all of the rain we've received lately, the roads were actually in pretty good condition. Yes, there were some potholes, but it looked like the municipalities or county tried to fill them in as best they could with gravel dirt and rock, and the organizers did an exceptional job of making sure they were all well marked. Every road hazard I recall passing was well marked with the same bright pink paint they used to arrow the turns. The bigger problem I saw was people in groups not calling put the road hazards. There were some sections of chip n seal, but they were generally very small rocks in the mix and not the boulders I've seen in other areas (I'm looking at you Collin County).
Finish featured Red Robin serving burgers, and I was glad to see they are still doing this. It also had a similar selection of fruit, snacks and drinks as the rest stop, as well as some big buckets of soda.
All in all, great ride and I'm looking forward to riding it again next year.
May 10, 2014
"From the co-chair of the rally: thank you for providing this feedback to future riders and us, the organizers; feedback is the only way to hear how to make a rally better. One response to the rough road comments: the County decided to resurface two long stretches of planned route roads two weeks before the rally which sent us scrambling to move Rest Stop 4 and find an alternative route. Unfortunately, the bypass roads were NOT in good shape, and we never would have considered using them for the rally. Lesson is to work with the County early in the repaving season to perhaps understand planned maintenance."
Found Item at Head for the Hills
Have a small Igloo Max Cold insulated lunch container a rider left on his car, fell off and he drove away. Some ladies shopping yelled at him, but he must have misunderstood and rolled over it (!) And left without! I believe he was in a dark SUV. I have it at home. Black & blue in color (told ya he ran over it),, 2 small Ozarka water bottles in it, opened Gatorade & gel cold pack inside. Feel free to post on website. I reunited a rider with his helmet @ Peach Pedal a few years ago, so it's worth a try. (817) 680-8405. Thanks!
Windy, but beautiful day for a ride. I rode the century route (actually 107 mi) and we were fighting the wind for most of the (hilly) route. The roads were quite rough in places. And there were no sandwiches at any rest stop (There was supposed to be chick fil a). But this was a very well-organized ride. Registration. parking, signage, SAG, traffic support,and rest stops were on point. But what really made this an excellent ride were the volunteers. Riders were given the royal treatment at all rest stops by the friendly volunteers. And there were Red Robin burgers at the finish though a veggie/turkey burger or chicken sandwich option would have been great.
This has always been a great ride and This one was no exception. The organization was impeccable with everything running like clockwork. The weather was nice, with a brisk headwind for the first half of the ride, but it made a nice tailwind for the run back. The countryside was beautiful with many wildflowers still in bloom. The chocolate chip cookies were a real treat! The hills were certainly there, but none that couldn't be handled. All in all, another fun rally!
I did the 40 mile route. Although the hills weren't that steep or long, there was a constant up and down on the route. This is a good stretch of the legs for early in the season. No issues with on site registration, it was a snap. Rest stops were nicely spaced and very friendly. There were a couple of uncontrolled intersections on the way back, that by that time of day, had some significant traffic (Bus. 287, maybe?), I think that could be improved. Only other suggestion would be to find a start/finish at a school or other place besides a shopping district so it's not a nuisance to the merchants and less congested. I liked the ride.
Had a great time! Good route (40) & easy on-site registration. Of course, the Red Robin burgers were great at the finish! Sad that the pickles ran out.
Re: absence of Chik-fil-a.......organizer told us that C.F.A. was under renovation, so, with regret, they could not supply rally this year. Got waved-at (friendly-style) by drivers on the route. Very nice volunteers from start to finish. Thanks to all, and I will be back next year!
overall a very good rally with great support, volunteers, and overall management of the ride and route. i did the 107 mile route (which was advertized as a 100) and experienced several long stretches of some of the worse pavement conditions i have ever traversed on a road bike.... do's/don'ts to the organizers. 1) try to advertize the correct distance - at least to +/- 1 mile... a 6-7 mile differential is not acceptable. 2) do not locate rest stops off the main route unless clearly indicated as off route. .. the rest stop in italy was about 1/2 mile off the route, so those that didn't plan to stop there, most likely ended up there only to have to make a u-turn to go back to the main route ... //mb
Head for the Hills, 64 mile ride. First time attending this rally. Registered online, packet pickup took a minute. Online pdf route map needs to be replaced or supplemented by an interactive map such as mapmyride or ridewithgps. By 7:30 the designated parking was full, so we were directed to the normal mall parking. The route was well marked, but I thought the arrows were difficult to tell which direction they were pointing from distance. The signs were right at the turns, generally having them 25-50 feet before the turn gives riders plenty of warning and time to prepare for the turn. Arrows for rest stops need to be distinct from the route arrows. Most intersections were manned except for the inbound route, which by then, had consistent traffic. After the ride the mall was a nightmare, especially if you had to park in the regular mall parking. Having to navigate around mall traffic was pretty dangerous; this is not a good location to finish the ride at. The organizers did add a few nice touches; each rider receives a pin at the end. The ride numbers have the event name on it, always a nice touch. The goody bag also had a co2 cartridge in it. Overall the ride is good, but some improvements could be made.
Head for the Hill in Cedar Hill, Texas was a very good ride. There were ~ 1200-1500 riders. The event is held at the Uptown Village Shopping Center. There is plenty of parking. The routes were well marked and the event is well supported. There is some car traffic during the ride and 75% of the roads were good; some of the pavement was horrible. I would give this ride a 7 out of 10. Free Food! I would recommend this ride. I used Hwy 67 and the traffic was light. There was plenty of signage directly from the highway. Upon turning onto the main street to the event, the signage was a little lighter. They had a few volunteers, but the first volunteer we encountered wasn't stationed properly. We ended up turning into the Tom Thumb parking lot where he was standing. Of, course a line of people behind us turned as well. It caused a little confusion. Onsite registration was great. There were several high school student volunteering and the event coordinators had a great system set up. There was a separate line for early registration, onsite registration cash and credit card. Well done. The organizers had everything in one general area including space for Richardson Bike mart to make quick repairs…nice. The port-a-potties were plentiful and tucked away between building, but still easily accessible.
I believe the ride started on time. It was staged in an open area of the parking lot. Maybe it's just me, this is where most rides are in need of improvement. There needs to be more volunteers in the area. There is always confusion. The organizers tried to group the riders by distance, but there should be more signage or something. HHH does a good job at this, but maybe because they have overhead signage and block off the street for a mile or two.
The 60 mile route was very well marked. They also had volunteers on routes. I felt that they needed more officers at the intersections on the return back to the start. We waited through a few lights and had to contend with traffic in a few areas. A few of the roads had some aggressive drivers and it didn't feel safe at times. The road conditions were fine, but about 25% of them were either cracked, bumpy or chip-n-seal. There were a few hills, but not too bad. (Remember, we live in Texas. How big and frequent could the hills be?) The weather was great; not too windy or hot. The reststops were GREAT! They were well manned and stocked. The Gatorade was perfect! No colored water here. They had all these chocolate chip cookies everywhere. They were really addictive. (I love free food.) At the last station one of the volunteers was a health professional. He stretched the legs of one of my fellow riders. NICE!!!
The event concluded with FREE FOOD!!!! (I love rides with free food at the end) The restaurant, "Red Robin" served made-to-order hamburgers with all the fixins. RED ROBIN!!!!….Hmmmmmm!!!! I was told earlier the line for the food was ridiculous, but there were only 3 or 4 people ahead of me when I got there. There was plenty of seating and ice cold water. The volunteers were sooooo nice. It was like having your mom fix you and your friends lunch after playing outside. In conclusion, this was an extremely organized ride! I will attend this ride again next year and highly recommend it to my friends.
May 11, 2013
It was easy to see why Head for the Hills is one of the premier rides of the Metroplex. Everything was flawlessly executed. I couldn't see a detail that was missed. Throw in the nice weather we had and what a ride!
Did the Head for the Hills Rally and once again the Cedar Hill Rotary Club did a great job. The weather was perfect, but the head wind coming back from the 100k course made it more challenging. I wish there was more of an official finish line. Thanks to all the sponsors: Chik-fil-a, Schlotzky's, Red Robin, Expressions Chiropractic, etc. The food at the end was really good and the Chik-fil-a sandwiches at the rest stop are a nice surprise. Thanks you to all of the police officers and the civilians controlling traffic. A few intersections did not have traffic control and could have used some, but you guys seem to have some of the best around despite that. I though i had missed a turn and thought I was off course until i started to recognize the neighborhood. I don't know if the sign was not placed at the turn, if it blew over, or was stolen, but I followed an orange painted arrow on the road and assumed I was going the right way(turned out, I guessed correctly). Registration was easy and fast. Parking plentiful. Port o potties were available and seemed to be enough except at the 20 mile stop(i did not stop there, but the potty line looked long). Volunteers were friendly and enthusiastic. Roads were OK for the most part. Thanks again for another great rally. See you next year.
Windy, but beautiful day for a ride. I rode the century route (actually 107 mi) and we were fighting the wind for most of the (hilly) route. The roads were quite rough in places. And there were no sandwiches at any rest stop (There was supposed to be chick fil a). But this was a very well-organized ride. Registration. parking, signage, SAG, traffic support,and rest stops were on point. But what really made this an excellent ride were the volunteers. Riders were given the royal treatment at all rest stops by the friendly volunteers. And there were Red Robin burgers at the finish though a veggie/turkey burger or chicken sandwich option would have been great.
I'll definitely be back next year!
May 12, 2012
A great big THANK YOU to all our riders, volunteers and sponsors... and a brief apology.
There was confusion at the beginning of the rally when one well-meaning volunteer inadvertently directed the lead riders into a highway turn around, rather than having them make a left turn. But our riders are good-spirited athletes who took it all in stride and made the best of the situation by placing value on the 'extra miles' added to their route. We salute you all and vow not to make this particular mistake again. May 11, 2013 will be the Rotary Club of Cedar Hill's 7th rally and we strive for improvement each and every year. Hope to see you all next year!
A good ride with more than ample support. Everyone was great. Good supported stops and 10 mile allowed riders to skip as many as they wanted. SAG and leadership was disappointing. The ride started out with a major flaw - several hundred riders were directed incorrectly with accommodating signs causing the riders to end up at the start point after 9 miles. SAG did not respond to calls nor did anyone attempt to help direct the multitude of confused riders. The second rest stop was overrun when all riders converged at the same time, this mixed experienced riders, kids and new riders in a dangerous convergence. Staff blamed it on the lead rider taking a wrong turn. The good part is we got 71 miles instead of 60 with very cool weather.
Great ride overall. This year the ride included an added loop courtesy of the local law enforcement at an intersection, I can always use the extra exercise. This ride has the best intersection control of any local ride so I'm not going to gripe one bit. The after party was good, but not as great as it was last year. Red Robin was there serving delicious burgers, WAHOO! The roads on the route are a bit tired and can be a bit rough. Overall one of our favorites. Brian
I have never sen so many officers directing traffic. - John
This was my first Head for the Hills rally and I had great expectations (due to reviews here and from friends) Parking was very organized, registration was quick, plenty of bathrooms at the start. The starting "chute" was adequate for the number of riders and everyone around me got off without issues.
As a first time rider I was following riders ahead and volunteers/police so I got to do the "bonus" 8 or so miles. This wasn't a huge deal, but the extra time we spent doing this loop might have been the difference between getting rained on or not. I'm sure it was an honest mistake, and otherwise this ride had really great intersection control.
Road quality was average to good for Texas. Maybe I just ride crap roads but I thought these were fine. I intended to do the 60 mile route but with our extra mileage at the start my little group decided to do the 41 (now 50ish.) The hills must have been on the 60 route because we never really hit anything difficult. The rest stops that we did visit had plenty of friendly volunteers and I loved the half Chick-fil-a sandwich at the last stop. The finish line had people handing out pins which are fun mementos. The rest of the festivities were underwhelming though. For a ride of this size I was amazed at how little there was at the end. Red Robin was there with a huge line, we bailed after standing in line 5 minutes and not moving a single step. They really need a faster setup. We didn't see any obvious water or Gatorade at the tent either so we basically just packed up and left.
Mixed feelings about the ride, it's on the pricey end of the spectrum for charity events and the finish line was a bust; but the ride itself was scenic and very fast. We rode this even about 1.5 mph faster than our typical speed for charity events. I know there are bigger hills in the area, maybe we'll get a chance to ride them on a future event. I'll probably come back but this isn't a top tier ride for me.
My first time on this on. What could've been a great ride was overshadowed by the misrouting problem. Riders where sent back to the start causing mass confusion. I didn't mind the extra 7 or miles but this was very dangerous as we were directed down roads with no police on point control duty. Other problems: my online reservation wasn't on the master sheets but fortunately I had my confirmation printed. Not enough portable restrooms. This may have been exacerbated by the routing problem. Roads a bit rough, but no huge problems. Bright spots: rest areas where big and well stocked. The Chic-fil-a rest stop was the best! Excellent police support. --David
I guess the "extra miles" has been covered enough. I rode the 100k (71 miles) route. Some of the roads were pretty rough. The first half of the ride was very quick. The 2nd half was moderate. Rest stops were manned with very pleasant people and pretty well stocked. The first couple could have used more porta-potties. The finish was a let down. No one there at all. The line for the burgers was way too long so I just left and went to Sonic. Overall a great ride and I'll be back next year.
May 7, 2011
Cedar Hill is one of the most scenic locations in DFW to have a bike rally, with access to good roads, challenging climbs, lots of beautiful scenery and not too much vehicular traffic. Unfortunately most of the roads on the 100k were rough and not well maintained and two of the nicest climbs in the area (Lakeridge Drive and Texas Plume) were not part of the course, not was the dam going across Joe Pool, although I suspect traffic and/or road construction may have been the reason. The course was set up perfectly for the headwind on the way out and for the tailwind on the way back with lots of roads that offered plenty of trees and shade and the 100k had 3,500 feet of climbing. It was nice having a big parking lot for the staging area and the start/finish line - and the goodie bag contained some nice swag; kudos to Chic-Fil-A and Red Robin for the food! The Volunteers did a pretty good job of signage, marshaling the intersections, and marking the potholes on the course. Excellent reststops!!! This is a good example of a rally that is best suited for riders who average 10-13 mph, but for those who did the 100k in three hours or less it was dangerous and not worth the risk. Overall I'd give this ride a grade of C or C- because of the extremely bumpy roads and chipseal. I doubt I'll be back next year.
Great Ride out of Cedar Hill. Once again it was a great event. Liked the new starting point at Uptown, but it was definitely easier getting out of town from the High School. Some of the road surfaces were a little rough, but this is Texas and Chip Seal dominates country roads. Signage was great. Rest stops very good with friendly volunteers. The wind out was brutal, but made for a nice return to town. The 100K route is well planned. I did not like the left hand turn back into downtown from the highway 67 access road. Thank-you to all the sponsors for the finish line food, drink, etc. You are appreciated and noticed. This was my 5th year for this ride. Thank-you for all the hard work. I will be back.
I rode the 40 mile route. This is my 4th year of attendance at this rally, because it is one of my favorites. I like the new location (Uptown Village Mall), but it was a little chaotic post-ride, in the parking lot, with the shoppers coming and going. Maybe a better cyclists parking area can be roped off next year. I also liked the addition of the food provided by the sponsors such as Patrizios, Black Eyed Pea, etc, as an alternative to standing in the long burger line.
There's no chip-seal on the 40 mile route--roads are in pretty good shape with the exception of a stretch of road somewhere around 15-20 miles--has some pot holes, bumps, and one train track crossing.
This ride gets an A+ for volunteers, who ran a very smooth registration, manned all the intersections, put up great rest stops, and a great post-ride set-up. I WILL be back next year!
Great ride. Well run. I did the 40 and the hills are easy. It's a great ride to try your first 40 mile event. I finished by 11am and the line for burgers wasn't bad. Overall a very good ride. I suspect there are a lot more hills in the 60 mile course but I don't know. I will be back next year.
What a great ride. The intersections are clearly marked and well covered. The rest stops were well stocked (plenty of ice) and the volunteers were friendly. Great to have a mini-massage at the final rest stop! The 100K course has some challenging climbs and covers some scenic areas. Yes, there is chip seal but this is Texas! Many thanks to all of the volunteers who made this happen.
Thr ride director is seriously looking at police protection at the left hand turn back into downtown from the highway 67 access road for next year. - John
May 8, 2010
Cedar Hill "Head For The Hills" Rally - 5-8-10. The organizers did a great job with this ride again this year. Too bad they couldn't control the wind. It was a great tail wind on the way out, but nothing but head winds on the last third of the ride. Normally, the winds are predominantly out of the south for this area and a tailwind would have been much appreciated as we got closer to finishing. However, the new route is much improved over the previous year's route on the 60 mile course. It is 4 miles shorter than last year, but the road surface is much more cyclist friendly. Adding a climb up Mt. Peak (FM875) was brilliant. It was the hardest climb all day. Since it came towards the last third of the route, we were all warmed up for the climb. I only stopped at 2 of the rest stops; however, both were well staffed and offered the usual amenities. My only complaint, and it is one the organizers can fix, was the limited port-o-potties at the 2nd rest stop. There were only 3 at that location, when 6 would have been ideal. Again, a great ride, very well organized and the Tech T's were very much appreciated. Yep, I'll be doing this ride again next year and recommending it to friends.
This was my first time for this ride. It was a choice of this one or the North Texas Classic which I've done the past two years. I'd say Head for the Hills was the better choice. About 1500 other cyclists also chose it. My riding partner and I arrived at about 7:15 AM and the parking lot was already pretty full. Packet pick-up for pre-registered riders was very slow as just two persons were checking riders in. Plus, there were no more small, medium, or large T-shirts. But the lady said they would mail one! The 8 AM start was delayed about 10-15 minutes because of the large crowd and slow pace getting through the preliminaries. But after that, the ride was very good. Traffic control at intersections was very good and the roads were decent compared to what we're used to in Parker County. We also didn't have any problems with motorized vehicles. Although the ride is named Head for the Hills, the biggest hills we saw were on the way into Cedar Hill before the ride. The ride itself seemed almost hill-less. Climbing feet total from my Garmin was a little over 1600' for the 40-mile route which turned out to be 39 miles. The third rest stop had Chik-Fil-A mini-sandwiches (Yum!) and no wait for porta potties when we arrived. The finish line was manned by several volunteers who handed riders a ride pin as you crossed the line. Nice touch! And Red Robin hamburgers were served to all riders post-ride. Double-yum! The lines to get one were long but it was worth the wait. Aside from the slow check-in process, this was a well-organized, well-supported, and enjoyable ride.
We just finished the Cedar Hill Ride for the Hills Rally. The road choices were really good, excellent signage and traffic control at intersections, and numerous rest stops. I did not hear anyone complain which is unusual, and have never been on a better supported ride. Kudos! This would be a good choice for a first rally, and the routes are excellent if you prefer to hammer a ride!
The Rotary club did an excellent job running this ride. The routes were well marked, the rest stops were top notch and the pins at the end of the ride were a nice touch. I had stopped doing this ride because of the condition of the roads in Ellis county. Sadly, they still aren't any better. Also, the Red Robin people need a new system for the burgers. I had to wait in line over an hour for mine. Maybe I'll try this ride again in another three years. Maybe.
Wow! This ride was brutal, but yet so fun. Great roads to ride on, (except for one choice spot that bottle necked because of no pavement), but that is a fault of the city. The break stations were good as always, well stocked, and good cookies. The ride was easily enjoyable until you turned in toward the head wind at about the 25 mile mark, and then the sadness of watching the average speed on my computer start to fade away. I can’t remember the area, but there was one downhill that was the most fun of the entire ride, the speed it let you get to. The burgers at the end of the event were good, and I love the well stocked beverages at the end of the ride. The magician was entertaining, I think, by that time it was so hard to concentrate on things he was doing. In the end, the trio of us were tired. It hurt to smile, it hurt to think, but it was all worth it as we knew we earned our sore muscles that were to come.
Good ride overall. Great rest stops with very friendly people and lots of refreshments.
One thing that could be improved was after the race, we were supposed to get a free hamburger supplied by Red Robin. When I got to the area where the food was to be served, there were at least 100 people in line and the line was not moving at all. Believe me, the last thing I want to do after riding 64 miles, is to then wait in line forever for a hamburger!!!!. As I walked away, there were quite a few other people that we also talking about this as well.
Again, overall a good ride and I would recommend it to others.
Thanks to all the volunteers and police for helping make the ride safe for all.
Good ride with great volunteers. This was my first time to do this ride and I will definitely be back. Registration was a breeze. Routes were well marked which is always a plus. The rough patches were also marked which is a bonus on any ride. Kudos to all involved. Great volunteers and sponsors make a rally and Head for the Hills had both.
Cedar Hill "Head For The Hills" Rally - 5-8-10 . This was my first time to ride the Cedar Hills ride and I really enjoyed it. True the stiff winds on the return part of the circuit were tough, but this is out of the control of the organizers. I did the 60 mile route – advertised as 60 on the webpage, 61.6 on the turn-by-turn directions, and 64 on the route (it was 60 miles by my Garmin).
Good- drinks, snacks, fruit, friendly volunteers at the rest stops and excellent traffic control (I was never stopped by traffic from start to finish – well done local police departments and volunteers). Road choices were very nice – I can only remember a few miles of bumpy/chip and seal routes. Mt. Peak came at the 40.5 mile mark of the 60 mile route – so if you went 40 you missed the “Hills” of the Cedar Hills ride :) Bad – lines for port-o-potties. I’ll definitely be back next year.
I participated in the Head for the Hills rally on Saturday, and rode the sixty-mile route with a few friends. This review is from the six of us who did the ride; four of us did the 60-miler, the other two did the 40-miler. Registration and packet pickup before the event was convenient and well run, I used the Richardson Bike Mart pickup on Friday. GREAT, organized start to the ride! One of the best, safest and most-organized starts for any charity ride that we’ve seen. Support staff at rest areas was outstanding and appreciated! Food and drink were plentiful and the volunteers at the rest stops were really helpful! There were not nearly enough porta-potties at the rest stops, especially the early stops. The route was great: Lots of beautiful Texas countryside and very little traffic. Kudos to whoever mapped out the route! Traffic control at major intersections was outstanding and certainly contributed to the safety of the ride. Thanks to all the officers and volunteers who worked the intersections! Food at end was big disappointment with an hour-long line for burgers. All of us skipped the wait and went elsewhere to eat. This was the first time for all of us to ride this event. We’ll consider riding it again in future years.
This was my first group ride of any kind, so I did not know what to expect going into it. I rode the 60 mile route. It was GREAT!! The rest stops were well stocked and the volunteers were more than helpful, holding bikes, refilling water bottles, etc… Red Robin at the finish was worth the wait. The last 20 or so miles were a little brutal with the headwind, but that is life in Texas in spring. I will definitely ride this one again next year.
May 9, 2009
A lot of fun! Really nice people, very well-organized, good snacks, good signs, decent roads – I would definitely do it again.
This is my second year to participate in this rally and one of my FAVORITES! No doubt I will continue to ride and recommend this rally
-Great location, beautiful route with lots of shade with very little traffic
-Extremely organized and super friendly volunteers
-Plenty of parking, drinks, BATHROOMS and even a snack, if needed, at the start.
-Well marked 64 route with great sponsors at the rest stops
-Staggered start with plenty of room
-BEST OF ALL, fantastic fresh hamburgers from Red Robin. Worth the wait! Another great year! Thanks so much.
I typically do a rally a week during spring and summer. After reading the reviews for this rally and the North Texas Classic, I opted for Head for the Hills. Glad I made that decision. Overall, this was a great rally. Parking and registration were very easy. Road surfaces were smooth for the most part (chip seal on only one short segment), course was very scenic with lots of back roads and relatively flat with just few small rollers. Road hazards were very well marked, and course signage was easy to follow. Course support was great except for one intersection that should’ve been manned. There were a few steep down-hills with sharp curves, but these were well marked. I rode the 64 mile route, which was exactly 64 miles by my calculations. This rally will be on my calendar from now on.
Great ride. I really like when the rides have early packet pickups at local bike shops. This makes Saturday morning much smoother. This was a well run ride. I do like the staggered start rides. It would be good if all riders would observe their ride’s start. The routes were as well marked of any ride I’ve done. The volunteers were great, rest stops were well stocked. Lines were reasonable at the portapots. Road hazards were well marked.
This was the first time my husband and I rode this ride. We loved it. It was very well organized and the volunteers were exceptional.
We rode the 41 mile route and had no difficulty. Bad spots in the rode were well-marked and they had great signage all along the route.
They were true to their word—it definitely had some hills, but nothing terrible. On several spots on the route, beautiful wild flowers grew alongside the road. I have nothing but praise for the ride. It will definitely be on our must-ride list in the upcoming years.
This is my new favorite ride. Parking was plentiful in the school stadium parking lot. Well organized staged start and very well supported from start to finish. Plenty of well-stocked rest stops offering delicious chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon bread, Chic-Fil-A sandwiches, fruit and of course, water and gatorade. Perhaps the best rest stop (at least for my meat-eating friends) was the finish line where volunteers were grilling up hot, fresh and huge burgers. Lots of sodas to wash them down with too.
The route itself (I did the 100k) was beautiful. Rolling hills covered in wild flowers with a few challenging climbs and a couple of fast descents. Some tight turns and some wooded areas throughout kept things interesting. The roads themselves are mostly country roads. No heavy chipseal but a good number of rough spots and pot holes but all were very clearly marked with spray paint.
I did the Muenster Germanfest 100k two weeks before this one. The Muenster ride is a great one too, but the hills in Muenster are much tougher—bordering on cruel and unusual punishment.
This is a fantastic ride. Very little traffic on the two lane roads ( I don’t think I was passed by 10 cars all day) and good shoulders on the four lane. Only a couple of rough chip seal sections. Very good intersection control, signage, and hazard markings. This is a welcome alternative to the suicide run in Saginaw. Being old and slow I thought there were plenty of hills! Although no real killers. One note to (some) riders – even with light traffic don’t be an ass and ride two or three abreast and spread out to the center line while a car is waiting patiently behind to pass.
The folks that run the Head for the Hills Rally did another great job this year!! Well organized, great signage, well stocked rest stops, and friendly volunteers. The Chick-fil-a sandwiches and Red Robyn burgers were a nice bonus. The roads had light traffic with well manned intersecitions. There was an intersection or two that could have used some traffic control. I only used two rest stops on the 100k route, but the volunteers were very friendly and helpful. I was thanked for choosing to spend my time and money doing their ride. Thank-you to all the volunteers and the sponsors for another great job! I will be back
The organization was superb this year. Roads were very dicey with potholes gallore but every one of them had an orange mark on them alerting the riders. That must have taken days to do! Ride did have quite a few turns but otherwise a great ride. The Red Robin hamburgers post ride was A+++. Man, that was worth the drive! Cedar Hill folk---job well done!!
Need reminder of basic cycling courtesy-stay to the right unless passing so you do not block other riders and announce loudly when passing on left Ride was well organized and fun !!
After reading the past reviews, I decided to give this rally a try and what a good decision that was! The location was easy to find after getting off the highway. Parking was plentiful and registration a breeze. The course was very well marked as were any significant dangers in the road. The roads were mostly flat (with a few rollers here and there), and scenic. Signage was excellent. Volunteers and officers were placed at all the right places. I encountered an unfortunate mechanical problem which ended my ride at mile 30. Fortunately, all I had to do was call a phone number for SAG support and a volunteer arrived within minutes to pick me up and take me back to the start. I can't say enough about how well coordinated the hamm operators were who were volunteering as SAG support - they were wonderful! The Red Robin hamburgers at the end of the ride were well worth waiting in line for! For only being three years old, the race organizers really seemed to have their act together and had all the kinks worked out. Event day registration was $30 (which is reasonable). You could even pay by credit card! I'll definitely be adding this rally to my calendar for next year - this one ranks way up there!
Great ride, very nice people along the way, very well marked and excellent warnings of pot holes. Red Robin was a great treat at the end.
My only suggestion is that the first rest stop was placed at a hazardous location - on the left side of the road just after you make a left turn at a four way intersection. When I went through, there was a lot of traffic backed up behind the rest stop and the stopping riders were clogging the lane of traffic, and the on coming riders were making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic and riding into the confusion.
May 10, 2008
I just finished the second annual Cedar Hill "Head for the Hills Rally". Another great job by these folks. You improved the start!!! It was great to stagger it. I did the 100K, but took a wrong turn somewhere(my fault) and ended up on the 41 mile course and logged 52 miles. I only used 2 rest stops, but they were well stocked, well placed, and plent of friendly volunteers. I saw plenty of SAG vehicles throughout the course. Most of the roads were in good repair, with some chip seal.. Thanks to Red Robin for the hamburgers and drinks at the finish line. Thanks to Chic-fil-a and Panera also. All the volunteers did a great job(Rotary members, motorcycle club, radio club, Cedar Hill police, Expressions Chiropractic,etc.). Without all the volunteers and support, this ride would not be possible. Thanks again for another great ride. I appreciate all the hard work and look forward to next year.
Hey if anyone is planning a bike ride, talk to the Rotary Club of Cedar Hill. They had this one staged just right. Got the fast bikes out first and it was smooth sailing right from the beginning.
Plenty of Rest Stops and the roads were well marked. Many with little traffic. The only thing I would have to find fault with would be the food offered at the rest stops. We could use some stuff that is not full of sugar. Some pretzels or crackers will provide the riders with better quality fuel than cookies and bananas. Missed the rest stop with Chick Filet. That will teach me for skipping stops. Also ran out of food at the end The had more coming, but I don't eat meat and all they could offer me was a bun with mustard. No pickles, tomatoes or lettuce, no chips and no diet coke.
That said the volunteers are awesome! It was a first rate ride, just work the kinks out. I'll be back again next year.
Yahoooo ! I have ridden a number of rallies and are always amazed at how some just stand out from the rest. This rally was so organized and well done, it is hard to believe that this was only the second year. What great volunteers and it was so well marked that even I didn’t get lost or on the wrong track. The rest stops were very well supplied and full of surprises. There was plenty of turn support, the only thing that I think might be good next year is to put up a sign saying “last of turn support for a while”, you spoiled us early on. We should all watch carefully no matter what but just a jog of a reminder might be good. Thank you also for doing such a great job of marking hazards and picking beautiful scenery to travel through. This was just a delight. On a funny note: this might be one rally where you don’t want to tell newbies on bikes “oh come, just do the little 20 miler”… someone put the hills there…LOL. See you next year as I have to see what I missed on the 60, I know the 40 was great.
This was my first year for this ride and I was very impressed. The high school is right off of Hwy 67 and almost impossible to miss. There was plenty of parking and registration was a breeze. The staging was innovative, and the staggered start made for less congestion. The roads, for the most part, were in good or great condition, and they did a great job of marking road hazards or warning of sharp turns. The only concern I had with the route selection was one blind curve after a downhill. First, you will have the riders that, despite the warning to slow down, take the hill and curve at a fast pace. However, when I came through that curve, there were three cars, stopped, and waiting for the cyclists. There really needs to be a marshal at this spot for the riders safety. You will not always have such courteous motorists, and a car traveling the road, not expecting a bunch of riders, is a situation that is not good for either. It seems that based on the comments from last year, the rider organizers were proactive in some areas to improve the ride. I hope they are as proactive in this area to improve the safety. I did not stop at any rest stops, but the hamburgers at the end were great, thanks Red Robin. And thanks to the Rotary Club for a great ride. I will be back next year, and will recommend to all.
In my opinion, this was the most enjoyable ride that I have ridden this season. The weather was perfect, the start/finish location was perfect and the volunteer support was great. The route was challenging, but not a killer. The only negative thing I can say about this ride is that there were a few left hand turns that needed someone to stop traffic, but no one was assigned. My wife and I look forward to next year's ride.
A great event! Thanks to all the volunteers and all involved in the
planning of this ride. Great route with not too much traffic (FM 663 at
Midlothian was a bit fast and furious, but it was a short stretch). Great to
see the SAG wagons and the bike shops support vans around frequently. My
mistake not to grab a Chic Filet at mile 50! Highly recommend this ride!
The Cedar Hills bike ride was the best we've participated in. Great course, excellent support, very good rest stops including the outstanding stretching exercises from a quiropractor at the last rest stops and the hamburgers at the end were delicious!!! We highly recommend it!!!
What a great ride in Cedar Hill! One place I would change was crossing Hwy 287. There was no one there stopping traffic. Every other place was great. Thanks for such a great ride.
This was our 2nd year there, and we will be back. The staging at the start was the best organized rally start I have ever seen. This is our favorite rally in the Metroplex; the routes are challenging and offer beautiful countryside views with wildflowers in bloom. This rally is well organized, offering plenty of support, clearly marked turns and road obstacle marking, well stocked and staffed rest areas, enthusiastic volunteers, cool swag in the registration bags (no one's mentioned the spice packet!?!) and it's at the perfect time of year where it starts off cool but warms up nicely. An excellent rally, looking forward to next year to try a longer route! A big thank you to the organizers, this ride really rocks.
This is the first time I have done this ride. With the competing North Texas Classic ride, I decided to give this one a whirl since the North Texas Classic is a bust. So where do I start. I thought the route was very good. Yeah I heard some riders complain about some of the potholes, but with the drilling going on, it's hard to find a road that doesn't have them. Even with them, the ride organizers had painted warnings around them! The start was very good. Not a lot of chit chatter, just welcomed and thanked us, did the national anthem (have you wondered why people don't put their hand over their hearts lately?) and got the show on the road. I thought the rest stops were amazing. Pickle juice in May? Nice thought. Oh, did I mention the Chic-Filet and the Panera Cinnamon bagels! I've never had a warm bagel on a bike ride before....definitely hit the spot. Well staffed rest stops and VERY friendly people at them. I did the 100k route and it was beautiful. When we finished, it was nice to take a shower and GUESS WHAT? Included in the ride fee was a free burger from Red Robin.... WOW. All I can say is that I will be back next year. The ONLY thing I would recommend is to change the route away from the 4 lane highway in Midlothian. The traffic was really bad in that area and they were going quite fast... BUT, if you can't change it, I'll still be back...LOVE THOSE BAGELS
What a great ride. My wife and I do lots of these, and it's hard to believe this is only their second time hosting a biking event. We did the 41 mile route. Nice scenery and enough hills to keep the heart rate up. Loved the rest stop with Chic-fil-a sandwiches and volunteers giving massages–worth the cost of the ride all by itself. Next year I think we’ll go straight to this stop and skip the rest of the ride! Super job Rotary Club of Cedar Hill. Terrific alternative to the disappointing Saginaw ride.
May 12, 2007
I rode the first annual Head for the Hills Cedar Hill Bike Rally. These people did a fantastic job considering this was their first ride to put together. The signage was great, big, helpful, set far enough from the road or the turn, etc. The rest stops I stopped at had plenty of refreshments and port a potties. Most of the major intersections and turns were manned by police or volunteers. The route was well thought out with good roads most of the time (we know you cannot control road conditions). Most hazards were marked with orange road paint. This saved me from hitting several large pot holes when I was in a crowd. I appreciate the folks at Panera and Chik Fila providing food. Weather was beautiful with a very gentle wind that kicked up late in the morning. All in all, this was a great ride whether or not it was the very first one that these folks had put on or not. Turn out was a lot higher than I expected, so I did not get a T-shirt--my fault for not registering early. Thanks again for putting together a great bike rally so close to home.
This is another example of a first time ride where the organizers don't appear to have done their homework on the details that makes a ride fun, safe, and worthwhile. The directions were not very clear, I saw many frustrated drivers trying to figure out how to get to the event - signage and volunteers at the major thorougfares would have helped direct traffic to the high school parking lot. The parking and registration was laid out well and it was nice to see at least two different bike store repair tents close to the registration area. The staging area was too small and riders doing the 64 mile option had a hard time wading through the crowd of riders as they tried to get to the area where the 64 mile group was staged. Nice job on announcement and singing at the start line. The first 1/2 mile of the course leaving the stadium was unsafe due to the patchwork asphalt, minor potholes, and gravel. Once we got out of the residential neighborhood it was wider and the quality of the road were somewhat better. The roads on this ride were among the most dangerous I have ever done on an organized ride; unfortunately, the roads on this ride were somehow worse than those on the Red Hot Chili Pepper Ride. Most intersections close to the start had marshalls, but after a few miles there were almost no ride marshalls. The roads were full of potholes and gravel, although most were adequately marked. Next time, more ride marshalls should be stationed where roads and turns are dangerous, so that they can warn the riders to slow down and be more careful. I did the 64 mile route and it appears that nobody swept the corners before the ride; way too much gravel and junk on the roads. There are several intersections that needed a ride marshall, especially an adult ride marshall... I did one rest stop about 50 miles into the ride and the volunteers did a great job, especially with the ice cold towels for the head and neck - good job ya'll!!! The rest of the ride was pretty much the same, although as we got closer to the finish line there were more ride marshalls. The burgers and dogs at the finish was a nice touch and I think the song selection was the best I have ever heard at a ride - good job to the spinner!!! I don't think I will do this ride next year nor will I recommend it because the roads are not particularly safe to ride a bike on, especially when you are in a pack of riders travelling fast; these roads are best suited for a leisurely club ride. Somebody needs to rethink the downhill on Texas Plume and the hairpin turn up Lakeridge. I saw an injured rider and several others who almost wrecked on either the gravel or the severely cracked concrete road surface. This is a classic example of not doing your homework, and as a result, somebody was injured. I would suggest that the organizers of this event start riding a bike and do two or three really good rides, such as the Wildflower Ride in Richardson, or the Mesquite Rodeo Ride, or the Tour d'Italia. Talk to these folks and you will find out how to greatly improve the quality of the ride so that it will be fun, safe, and worthwhile. You'll also find out what makes a rider want to come back and do it next year. Good luck folks, you have your work cut out for you on this ride.
It was quite obvious the organizers talked to Mesquite about how to conduct a rally. It was that good. In fact it was just as if we were at the Mesquite Rally. Very impressive for a first rally. Good course too. Can't think of anything I'd change. Looks like they had a lot more people than they expected. I hope they raised a lot of money for their cause. I hope to return next year. Way to go Cedar Hill.
For the inaugural run of the Head for the Hills Rally in Cedar Hills, I have the following comments.
Registration: On-line registration was provided.
Parking and Traffic: The rally left from Cedar Hills High School, so there was adequate parking. There were even adequate restrooms in the sports stadium with no wait for the pre-ride ablutions.
Packets. There were not enough sizes of T-shirts available. Even though I pre-registered my wife, she did not get the small T-Shirt. The rest of the content was a large water bottle and a sample of those “sportlegs” dietary supplement.
Route: (These comments pertain to the 41 (actually 43) mile route). Very well marked with signs and orange paint on the road. A color map was provided. There were also volunteers posted at the main intersections. Since this was the “Head for the Hills Rally” there were many hills and the ride was a good workout.
Rest stops: Very good with soft cookies in addition to the usual bananas and sports drinks.
I was impressed with this ride because it was the inaugural ride, yet it seemed as if the organizers and volunteers had done this every year for quite a while. They did a good job and this was a good ride.
This year was a toss - up between riding in the North Texas Classic and the Cedar Hill rally. I decided this year to head for the hills, (and based on previous years experiences with N.T.C., I think I made the right choice). In a word - Perfect. Good job for the 1st. annual rally. Impressive turnout, good mix of enthusiasts and family groups. The 41 mile route did have the usual country road character, but that just makes it more interesting. Whoever planned out the route (weather on purpose or not) included a nice variation between reidential, farm, frontage and highway terrain. There was only one spot - where the 22mi. met up with the other routes - were there was a sign down/missing. Other than that, signage, volunteers and sag vehicles were abundant. I will be back next year to check out the 64 mile route.
For an inaugural rally I thought the Rotory Club of Cedar Hill did a wonderful job!! We did the 41 and the routes were well marked, there were well stocked rest stops w multiple porta-potties, road hazards outlined w orange paint, visible sag and mech vehicles, volunteers directing traffic at most (not all) intersections and food at the finish. They must have been reading this website! Unfortunately, when you do a ride in Ellis County you have to use Ellis county roads and that's a shame since some of them were not good. Plus, this ride had a little too much vehicular traffic for my tastes so I don't know if I'll be back. I know the Rotary can't control everything but they still did a great job w everything else.
Great Job Cedar Hill! You guys did a great job putting this event together. I certainly hope you continue. I only have a couple of suggestions. More tshirts are needed. Even though people do not register early they still want a tshirt as a token of your ride. I think most of the bad places in the roads were well marked. May want to review a few of these roads though because they need some serious patching. Also, it would be nice after riding in the heat to be able to shower before leaving. I came from out of town and would like to have had the opportunity to clean up for the two hour trip home. I would say this is very important to most people. A big thanks to all of your volunteers! I hope to make it back next year.
This was a great ride. Yea were some of the roads bad but you know thats texas. Some of the roads on the Tour of Dallas are pretty bad and Dallas is alot richer than Ellis County. Some of you guys just like to bitch. It was great and I will be back.
Good job everyone! I've ridden most of these roads many times, but
still got to ride on a few new ones. Great route marking,
enthusiastic volunteers at the rest stops, free food at the end. Yes,
there were a few potholes and such-what roads don't have them?
Vehicular traffic-well, they are public roads. I'm the director of a
popular area ride-Judy and crew did a GREAT job, especially for their
first year. I'll be back in 2008.
I thought the Head for the Hills ride was better than some rides that are years older. Whoever gave the ride coordinators advice, did an excellent job. My expectations for a first-time rally were far exceeded. The 41/42/43 mile route was beautiful, with varied scenery and lots of rolling hills for a good workout. All the volunteers were friendly, the signage on the route was near perfect, and those warning of hazards were particularly appreciated. I agree with some others that roads with less potholes and bumps would make a near perfect ride just about perfect. Red Robin at the end was terrific. I will try to convince my husband to go back next year.
All in all, the ride organizers did a great job on the first annual Head for the Hills Cedar Hill bike rally. A map to the start was not provided on the website, but typing in Cedar Hill High School into Yahoo Maps got me there without any problems. The high school was a nice staging area for the ride. There was plenty of parking, and registration was fast. The start was a little confusing. They were supposed to stagger the starts, with the 64 mile group taking off at 8:15 am. But all routes started together at 8:00 am. This made it tricky at the beginning, because the roads getting out of Cedar Hill were narrow at times and there were too many riders at all levels/speeds riding. So it took a long time for the field to spread out. For safety reasons, next year I hope they do the staggered start. The route was nice and quiet and very pretty. The roads were a little rough at times, but in Texas it is very difficult to find roads that are lightly traveled AND well maintained/smooth. The State does not put money into maintaining lightly traveled roads, only busy ones. So it is really a trade off. My personal opinion is I would rather have the quiet roads we had on the 64 mile route, than busier ones. If you ride like you are supposed to...cautiously and safely...you should be able to avoid potholes/bumps. For the most part, the hazards were marked. There were some that were missed...but next year maybe those could be marked as well. The signage was great, the rest stops were awesome (some of the best I have seen at a rally), and the volunteers were very nice and helpful. However, on the 64 mile route the SAG wagons were few and far between. I saw them at the beginning, and I saw them at the end. But there was a 30 mile stretch in the middle where I did not see adequate SAG support. My recommendation is you should have a SAG drive by about every 15-20 minutes. Overall...this was a fantastic first rally...and I will be back next year!
Great ride for a first event! It ranks up there with some of the best local rides who have been doing this a lot longer!
Two small suggestions if you want them: I never did find directions to the start. I assumed CHHS was Cedar Hill High School, and that the address to mail-in entries was the correct start address. Thank God for Yahoo maps! Also, your site never actually said you registered riders on the day of the ride. I took a chance, and am GLAD I DID! Fabulous ride! I'll be back next year, hope you raised a million!
In recognition of this ride as an inaugural event, it was a job very well done. Way to go Cedar Hill Rotary Club!! Good job with the bright orange paint marking the bad spots on the majority of the roads. I went for the long haul and for those of you reading these reviews don’t let the word “Hills” fool you, all of the “Hills” were lots of fun, mostly rollers, some really nice downers, and a few lightly challenging inclines thrown in here and there, but absolutely none too difficult at any point during the ride. There were lots of riders, the weather was as good as anyone could ask for, and there was very little traffic throughout the entire ride. (The roads were not cluttered with trash of any kind that I could see, nor was this ride anything like the Chili Pepper which I can agree was a terrible mess.) For me, this was the perfect “Back in the Saddle” ride after last weeks MS-150. And although some of the rest stops seemed to be a little “Hidden”, I enjoyed every mile of it and will definitely be back next year.
In closing, it troubles me to say, the single most thing that bugged me about this ride were those careless riders. At least more than I’ve ever witnessed in a single ride, you know the ones who jump into the oncoming traffic lane and blaze downhill into a blind left handed curve only to find out that there is a car less than 50 feet in front of them, and then nearly run you over trying to avoid a head on collision in a desperate attempt to get back where they should have been riding all along. Then those who simply refused to ride single file in areas where the signs clearly asked us to, ultimately forcing motorists to go around, regardless of the fact people were yelling “Car Back” trying to warn them to move over. And finally those who are so busy trying to get to the front of the pack that they almost rub tires with nearly everyone they pass along the way, and never use the proper verbal signals to make slower riders aware of their position. A message to all riders: there is nothing ride organizers can do to keep us safe on the road if we don’t practice safety ourselves, and maintain a certain level of courtesy and respect for our fellow riders and the drivers of other motor vehicles with which we share the road. Great Job Cedar Hill R.C.!! See yall at “The Hills” next year.
Having ridden many of the rallies in the area, I can say that this was one
of the best. The route (64 mile) was through some of the most beautiful
rural farmland and wildflower covered fields anywhere.Highway access roads
and busy four lane roads were less than 5 miles. The rest stops were
friendly, well stocked and located. My thanks to all who held our bikes
while we refreshed. All this and less than 30 minutes from Dallas. We will
be back next year.
did the long leg of the Cedar Hill "Head to the Hills" ride last Saturday, May 12, 2007. It was a beautiful day, registration was smooth, they seemed to have enough maps, the route was well marked, great rest stops, and it was generally safe--but the Texas Plume segment had two significant safety problems.
I was very concerned about two riders I saw headed down the Texas Plume in the middle of the left lane! They apparently assumed the road was closed--it was not. I yelled out that the road was not closed but they didn't seem to hear. They were coming up on a hill whose crest they couldn't see over--imagine what might have happened if a car or truck had crested that hill at even 10 mph and encountered a couple of cyclists coming at them in the center of their lane? A few volunteers stationed at the beginning and part way down the hill could have warned these riders of their stupidity much more effectively than I and other riders. Or how about a big sign at the top warning everyone to stay in the right lane? We had signs instructing us to Single File it on busy highways. I have to assume those two weren't the only clueless ones.
The other problem with the descent down the Plume is that it was too early in the ride and hence the field was still all bunched up. The whole field was there--including the 22 milers, which included lots of novice riders who often don't even know what it means to "hold your line." We needed a few good climbs to spread the field out. Taking Kingswood Dr. south from 67 before we got to the Plume would have been a much safer route--albeit significantly harder. Instead of the Texas Plume we were to take Kingswood Drive, then right on Castleview Drive, left on Valleyview Drive, left on Lakeview Drive *then* turn right up Lakeridge Parkway? That would really spread the field out. You might want to direct the 22 milers to stay on the frontage road and skip all that climbing. Several of the more experienced riders in my club elected to do just that--not because they wanted to avoid climbing up Lakeridge Parkway but because they were concerned about coming down the Plume in such a bunched pack of riders.
Riding is risky--we all know that. There's no way to eliminate the risk but organizations that plan organized rides and profit from them must do all they can to minimize it.
Overall, it was a great ride. The wildflowers were beautiful, the wind was light, and the temperature was moderate for this time of year. They even fed us and provided a place to sit in shade at the end. Good job Cedar Hill. I'll be back next year.
People, if there is traffic at a four way stop, then you should STOP! I’m sorry, but this bad behavior was observed in MY town. These are roads I cycle almost daily. This behavior is a small part of what causes some motorists to want us off the road. Some would like to see us banned from public roadways permanently. Cyclists are supposed to obey traffic laws. I even saw some cyclists run the light at N. Midlothian Parkway and FM-1387 (a busy intersection). Shame on you! Do I run the occasional four-way stop? Yes, only if there is no traffic. Do I run the occasional red-light? Not unless I have sat there for more than one cycle.
I can not disagree more with the reviewer who bashed this event. I have done many bike rallies and for a first time event there were many, many positives. I have been to rides that their learning curve still does not reach the apex this one has in the first year. I do not see Richardson's Wild Ride, a good rally mind you, being any better. Italy also has a narrow start area, so the complaints seem agenda laden. A close in bike rally to the city needs to be supported. The folks at Cedar Hill need to be commended for putting on a ride in this area that has been lacking due to Grand Prairie's short sided ban on bike rallies (I could write a long bashing note of that city's mayor, but that is for another forum). The terrain in Cedar Hill and environs makes for a great ride, far better than most rides in this area. The elevation climbed was very close to Muenster (3,185 vs. 3,300 according to Mr. Garmin), yet it really did not seem difficult. I, for one, want more roads like Texas Plume as it is one of my favorite roads in DFW to ride, but I like the other direction better since it is more "up" than "down". We spent very little time on busier roads, and very few pedal turns on interstate access roads (Aledo!) The signage was better than at any rally I have ever done, there was one intersection near the glider port that had 5 signs to make sure you turned when you should. Areas of crumbled asphalt are common on small roads in Texas, and I have yet to do a ride that had 100 percent perfect roads. That is not something to fault the organizers. I saw only one serious road hazard that had not been marked by orange paint. Where marshals were needed, they were there. Too often a ride is criticized due to bad bike riders rather than bad organizers. I wonder if some of the people who complain about these events do any bike riding on their own without marshals and police officers. Everyone should do club or group rides to learn how to ride with throngs of people who depend on each other for safety. If you are moving at a leisurely pace, don’t take up the whole road talking to your companions, and then act pissed off when you get nudged over. Be aware of what is in front and well as behind you. One caveat about this ride, I would be very wary if I was in a 40-50 strong pack hammering away on this route. The start has just a few too many narrow, tight turns on . Hopefully those that choose to make a race of it neutralize the first 10 miles or so. My only suggestion, a few more chairs at rest stops, my companion’s lightheadedness due to allergy medicine warranted a place to sit, and there were none.
This ride will go on my permanent schedule to do every year.
I rode the 40 mile route at Cedar Hill’s “Head for the Hills” last Saturday. What a great turn out. There were right around 1,000 riders.
This is a great ride and I will be back, God willing, next year. Setting up at the high school stadium made parking a snap. Registration was really accessible. Even though the flyer called for a staggered start, there was a mass start at 8 am. Riders, in my experience, don’t like to be told when to start! They want to start right now and get done earlier. Personally I prefer a staggered start. I have witnessed too closely so many accidents from inexperience in the large peletons.
The support was awesome. There were numerous SAG vehicles. The rest stops were well enough stocked with water, Gatorade, bananas and cookies. And there were volunteers to hold your bike while you partake of the fare! At 30 miles there was an older gentleman handing out napkins soaked in cool water. The busy intersections were all manned by local police. The roads were good, some new, and one kind of rough on the 40 miler. But the potholes and rough spots were marked with paint.
Judy Pluto and the team did an awesome job on their first ride.
I had just finished the 40 mile, after riding fast, I was dog tired. Between the finish line area and the parking lot I saw an old friend, one time best friend, Shannon Smith. Anyone who can give me Shannon's contact info, or give mine to Shannon would be AWESOME. Please respond: JamesGeorge@avaya.com