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Cross Timbers Classic - Flower Mound, TX

May 2014

VERY DISSAPOINTED !!!! Went to do another Century (100 Mile ride) as advertised at the Texas Motor Speedway only to find out after an 1.5 hour drive to the facility that all rides and routes had been cancelled except some crit races. Several others were very upset and shocked as well.

I will admit that I was so optimistic about riding the rally again this year that I overlooked that the Cyclefest did not include an endurance bicycle rally. The registration did show an open rally but did not give distances.
Cyclefest did not include a bicycle rally in 2014. All cycling was on the track. The open riders were given 90 minutes to ride laps around the track from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. We were mixed with riders warming up for the CAT races. Most of the riders did not want to stay 3 more hours to get a drink or to get a free burger. they were still trying to clean up the track and get it ready for the CAT racers while we were riding. On the positive, the track was fast and fun.

May 18, 2013

This rally is unique in that it starts at Texas Motor Speedway and you get to ride  your bike on the high-banked track.  A lap around the track and then you are off to visit the hills of Roanoke and Trophy Club. Thirty five miles later you are back at the track for the loop around the parking lots then off to Haslet and other small towns south and west of the track. The various police departments did a great job of manning intersections - so much that except for stopping at the 35 and 55 mile rest stops I never had to unclip. The volunteers were friendly and the stops were well stocked with ice and the goodies to fuel your ride. The route was pretty wind neutral that did well to minimize a stout south wind. We had a great time and will return next year!

I rode the Cross Timbers at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time this year. I am rating it superior. Everything a ride is suppose to be. Beautiful routes, smooth roads, traffic control, evenly spaced rest stops, variety of hills and gentle recovery areas, after ride meal, adequate parking, organized registration. As a bonus we did a loop around the Speedway. It is on my list for next year.

Great weather for this well-staged event, good courses again and friendly volunteers.  Could not help but notice the crowd was half that of last year, it could have been less than that.  Parking lot wasn't full and no crowding at start.  I'm guessing more are now going to the Wild Ride, which I've done before and is a great event with strong reviews.  Prices may also have had an impact - registration at Wild Ride was $20 - $40 and at Cross Timbers if you registered day of event it was up from $35 last year to $50 this year.  At Wild Ride Against Cancer, there is an association with a charitable benefit; not sure if that is the case with Cross Timbers (if so, not evident).  I like the feeling I am contributing to some benefit when I'm out at an event.  I'll be doing the Wild Ride next year - apparently lots of others already made that choice.   

Rode the 100-mile Cross Timbers ride Saturday 5/18/13. Had I known what it would be like, I would not have done it. I didn’t feel safe and had many “WTF?!” moments. I would recommend the Cowtown Classic over this any day. 
1) lots  of curvy (read: limited visibility) narrow two-lane country roads, no shoulders, and no signs warning motorists that an event is in progress.  The only way drivers would know to watch for bikes is if they happened to go through one of the few intersections that had cops directing traffic. Yet these are exactly the kinds of roads where cars often fly precisely because they’re not expecting much traffic, much less bikes.
2) one stretch was on the shoulder of a 65-mph HIGHWAY complete with tractor-trailers – totally inappropriate for a rally route, IMO. Genuinely dangerous.
3) The cutoff was 3PM. Fair enough.  But I got back well before that, and no food, no finish line (unless that crooked line of orange cones was it?). I sat around and talked with folks for awhile, and noticed that the EMT people packed up early too.  They were also telling 100-mile riders that if their cars were in the lot where they directed us to park after 3:30, they’d be towed. I get that there need to be time limits, but only 30 minutes wiggle room?  That’s ridiculous. If the venue can’t be more flexible than that, then maybe the Speedway’s not the best place for this event, no matter how cool it is to ride on the track. Or just use a different parking lot. God knows the Speedway has tons of parking lots.
4) No sign of a sag wagon on the route after about noon.  Although I did see the sag “truck” parked chatting at one of the aid stations. If they were patrolling the route, they were doing it anonymously at normal driving speeds. That’s fine if a rider is standing there with a flat, not so great if one got run off the road, wiped out, etc. You need to drive these routes slowly so you can spot a rider in trouble off in the weeds (literally – lots of roads w/ no shoulders). For the 100, the slower riders were really spread out, so it’s not like other people were likely to see you get into trouble.
5) Worst route map I have ever seen – completely confusing and useless. And the actual route signage was not well placed. Many people made the wrong turn at the 62-mi mark and had to double back to get back to the 100-mi route. In other places, the signs were obscured by weeds or placed AFTER the point where you had to decide whether to go left or right. 
6) Lots of negative comments from riders about the extra loops at the Speedway and in the middle of the route. Was riding in redundant circles really the only way to get the route to 100 miles? The double Speedway loop came on top of ANOTHER quite long section that we looped twice in a row. Felt like I knew the cows by name after the second one. 

The 2013 Cross Timbers Classic ride had many, many good moments marred by a single very bad moment. If they can fix that one flaw, they truly have a Classic. 
ARRIVAL – A+ Directions were clear, and on approach to the Texas Motor Speedway, every intersection was manned with friendly people pointing the way to ample infield parking. Registration was held inside the mechanic’s bays, where $500K stock cars are tuned. It was extremely clean, as were the real brick and mortar restrooms. (No Port-o-Johns here!). The goody bag had cold compresses and a water bottle that I’ll be using on (and after) my next ride.  
STARTING – A+ The start sounded with a starter’s pistol while a fanfare played through outdoor speakers.  The ride around the Texas Motor Speedway is a real treat, and not to be missed. Be forewarned that the banked corners of this NASCAR track are very steep indeed, and the only thing holding you to the road will be the sides --not the bottom-- of your tires. Ascend the banks if you dare, just be forewarned that if you fall, you will keep falling for a long time, and stop in a road full of saner riders.  My son and I went halfway up, came to our senses, and waited until we hit the flats, where we touched the wall with riding by. A really fun moment. 
TERRAIN – A Rolling hills, with the toughest one at the very beginning (the way I like it). Police manned the major intersections out of the speedway, out to Trophy Club and most of the way back (see below.) Downtown Roanoke was quaint. 
REST STOPS – A Plentiful, well-staffed, and well stocked. My favorites were the first one at the Senior Center (nice shaded carport—you see this one twice), and the one at the Solana parking lot. The only thing I’d add to the tables would be sunscreen—everything else was accounted for. SIGNAGEA-Very good, with signs posted frequently, especially near any turn that might cause confusion. In addition, staff also put adhesive stickers in different colors onto the road itself  to let you know which way to turn.  If the colored arrows had the number of the ride on them (i.e., the orange arrow for the 30 mile ride had a “30” on it), signage would have been perfect. Many riders didn’t know what color their ride was (but the rest stop staff knew, and after that we had no fears about getting lost). SAG SUPPORT – A+ SAG wagons actually drive the route, and stopped to see if we were okay. Twice. My wife had skidded and toppled over, but she wanted to continue, and did so with scuffed, bloody knees. SAG was politely insistent, but eventually decided she was okay and let us go on. Their concern was real and appreciated, but my wife is stubborn and wanted to finish. 
THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT 114. NOW. - F There’s a 2-mile section on the home stretch to the Texas Motor Speedway that is on a state highway. You are completely unsupported here, and you’re riding on the shoulder while semis thunder by at 70 mph. This felt very, very unsafe.  Two different cyclists heard we were doing Cross Timbers and said they no longer do this ride because their wives refuse to return. They specifically mentioned this section of the route as dangerous. And that’s the word they used—‘dangerous’. I understand that routing options may be limited, but this part of the route is treacherous to the point of being irresponsible, and someday someone’s going to get hurt or killed. 
POST RIDE SUPPORTA+Fantastic. We pulled past the finish line and went straight to First Aid, where three employees from Harris Methodist expertly cleaned and bandaged my wife’s knees  and foot. First Aid actually had three hospital stretchers onsite, and next to her was a woman with heatstroke. That woman had cold compresses to every pressure point and was on an IV drip. You really felt confident that you were in good hands. The food was good and the serving volunteers were friendly.  There were several tables where people sat and ate in the garage (which, again, was clean as a whistle). A few more tables would have been nice, but I’m reaching for a criticism here. It was great to rest in the shade, and they even had fans blowing.  
OVERALL - Putting a ride together is a tough thing, and for the most part the Cross Timbers Classic gets everything very, very right. The only thing that mars it is the dangerous  unsupported section on a state highway. For many riders, that’s a showstopper preventing them from ever returning. I’m glad we did Cross Timbers once, but I don’t know if I’d bring my family again. They’d have to change that part of the route—it really is that bad.  If they can fix this flaw, they’ll have to start turning people away, because everything else really is that good.

 

May 19, 2012

Rode the 100k Cross Timbers ride. Actually it's 67+ miles, which I knew from mapping it out, but I'm sure some were surprised as they passed the 62 mile mark (I know the route was changed due to the Dove Road closing so that may have been a factor). Fun starting the ride at TMS and getting a lap on the track, where else can you do that? Fairly technical ride, with lots of turns especially going through Roanoke and Trophy Club. The ride included the rollers in Trophy Club. The road markings were great, they had arrows on the road and signs with arrows, so despite the amount of turns they seemed to have them all covered. Traffic support was adequate but needs to be improved if we are going to cross the major roads in the area. Always interesting when the police at the intersection spend their time waving traffic through when a pack of 20 riders come to the intersection and lets them stand there (377 intersection), not sure why they are there. Of course parking and the facilities at TMS are great for a ride like this. Access to the restrooms meant minimal if any waiting. Pre-registered and picked up my packet in advance so no problems there. Overall a positive experience and will plan to attend in the future.

25th Anniversary and as always a great event – thought I barely got there in time due to the mess on 114. BUT just a couple things to consider for next year: (1) I've ridden this before and the finish has been going through the tunnel as you come back to the Raceway. Arrows on pavement pointed the way, but then, AFTER those arrows, were TWO sets of all four route arrows on the pavement pointing left – so I thought maybe they changed it and headed off in that direction. Guess I wasn't the only one as I encountered other lost cyclists out on the road ringing the raceway, trying to follow yellow arrows or just figure out where to go. I finally just headed back to the tunnel but make the finish route clearer. (2) I love a good after party, especially with beer – and even music. But cut the volume. Even at the last table, we had to SHOUT to the person next to us to even try to be heard. It's nice to be able to chat with others about the ride, the next ride or whatever – but just had to cut out of there before I lost my hearing. Watched others bail quickly as soon as sandwich and beer were gone. Hey, I like rock – but that was just noise. Otherwise, ride and volunteers were all great as usual. See 'ya for #26.

Great ride again this year and very challenging with the steady 18 mph winds. Gusted pretty hard the later it got in the day. Directions were great and spot on. I did the 100 mile route and definitely left it out there with the wind, especially the last 35 miles. Temperature rose to the mid to hi 80's, great weather for riding. Rest stop at mile 55 had Zero ice. Not even any ice in the coolers. Bummer. All other stops did though. Seemed to be a different route this year and I liked it. A bit more climbing, ascent wise, but loved it. Very, very nice beverages after and BBQ. Police support was great. Love the start at the TMS. Gives you a feeling that is hard to describe. Cannot wait till next year and great job. Thanks.

This ride was a lot of fun! Taking a spin around the track, as always, was a gas! The support was top notch with plenty of police at the intersections and SAG vehicles everywhere. The volunteers were helpful and very interested in participant feedback. The medallions and the cloth bag were a nice touch. I'll be back next year!

This was my first time riding the Cross Timbers Classic. I must admit that I was probably more amused by getting to park in the infield of TMS than I should have been, but it was quite fun. Starting the ride with a lap on the track was neat too. I rode the 50 mile route (which somehow clocked in at 55 on my gps) and it felt like I had done two rides that were tacked together. The east of 35 portion was very suburban with lots of turns. They were well marked and manned with the exception of one pretty major left turn (maybe Fairway to Litsey rd, but I don't remember exactly) The route near Trophy Club had a lot more hills than I expected, which was good. Due to the out and back route of the east side you got an opportunity to hit rest stops from either direction. That's nice for someone needing frequent stops or just wanting other spacing. The part of the ride west of 35 is more typical of the flat rural rides in the area. Some road surface was bad, but in the "normal" bad road category. My only road gripe would be a few major potholes on 156 (collapsed road on the far edge of a bridge) and bumps/gaps on Westbound 114 (also near bridges with little to no room to dodge) The finish had volunteers handing out medals, I felt I earned that medal with the wind we fought today. Post ride celebration was great. They had water, EAS recovery drinks, Gatorade, BBQ and beer. The beer was very welcomed, you don't get that on many rides. When we first showed up there was a band playing entirely too loud considering they were inside. I feel bad for the volunteers who had to deal with that volume, we luckily just went outside. Overall this ride pleasantly surprised me, there isn't much I'd change. I'll be back.

Loved the new course that wound through Trophy Club, and, as usual, the starting lap around Texas Motor Speedway was a treat. Incredibly, all the intersections were managed by police - ensuring a safe ride even on the short highway 114 stretch. Rest stops were above average - well staffed with volunteers and the lines moved quickly, though the snacks could use an upgrade. My family loved receiving a medal at the finish line - cheesy, but it brought smiles. While the wind made the ride harder than expected, it was a good ride all-around. Finish line was a let-down - the BBQ sandwich was a nice gesture, but not as good as the burgers at other rides. The band played so loud people had to evacuate the rest area to speak. Big complaint: color-coded marker arrows are useless without the occasional label (pink=100k, blue=50). When the paths diverge, labels are essential! Several people complained that they didn't know if they were on the right route since the arrows were never labeled.

Cross Timbers - May 19, 2012. Rally started on-time with a quick lap around TMS. Then you were off to pedal around Roanoke and Trophy Club. Back to the race track where the 100k and 100 mile routes split. I did the 100 mile route (actually 103.6 miles) stopping at the 40,75,and 93 mile stops. The volunteers were very helpful, filling your bottles and holding your bike while you re-fuelled. The course was well laid out and the pavement was pretty good for the most part. As expected from the forecast the last 25 miles heading south were brutal into the 30 mile per hour head wind. But in N. Texas if you only rode on calm days you wouldn't get to ride very often. The Knobbies and Slicks bike shop did a really great job of setting the pace on the front peloton of the 100 mile ride - I hope they show up to more events! Police and volunteers did an exceptional job and I recommend this rally to everyone.

May 21, 2011

There is no better place to start a ride than the TMS. Parking in the infield is always exciting. Registration was quick and the people were friendly, and talkative. The ride started on time, always a sign or a well organized event. I couldn't resist getting up on the track, even though we were asked not to. Part of the fun of the ride is getting up in the corner! The routewas good, very scenic and looped around and after 30 miles. After riding through part of the TMS grounds, we headed out for the western 20 miles of the ride. That is where the trouble started. 114 is a busy road. It is also rough and the shoulders vary from 10-12 feet wide to only a couple of feet when crossing a bridge. It is unnerving to have cars, pick-ups and 18 wheelers whiz past at well over the 55 MPH speed limit when you're dealing with 2 rough feet of shoulder. If someone makes a mistake, isn't paying attention because texting is more important or wants to play Frogger, there is no place for the rider to go! At least twice, 18 wheelers passed close enough at a high enough speed for the wind off the truck to move the bike around a bit. Don't even think about talking with your ride partner, the noise would drown out a take off at Love Field. The most common word spoken was "What?". And it cost as much as $35 for this pleasure! The BQ at the end was a nice touch and the beer is back after a long 15 year absence. As exciting as it is to start the ride in the TMS, $35 is way too much to pay for taking your life in your hands on 114. Perhaps the other routes didn't have this problem.

I did the 60 mile route. This was only my 2nd rally and was very pleased. I would especially like to thank all the volunteers for their exceptional hard work and courtesy. I tried to thank everyone personally during the ride but for the numerous ones I did not see, I would like to thank you for the time and work you did out of generosity. Turns were well marked with the exception of a couple that had no sign(I blew by one along with a few other riders.) Only other complaint would be the long line for burgers after the ride. I did not want to stand in line for an extended time after a long ride, but thanx for making them available. Saw only one instance of inconsiderate riders at the 2nd to last rest stop. A group of 3-4 cyclists were stopped and talking in the middle of of a lane of a 2-lane road. Two cars were coming from both directions, and when one vehicle lightly tapped his horn to get the attention of the riders, one of them yelled at him to go around. I would like the rest stop volunteers to try to keep riders from congregating in the road. We do not have exclusive rights to the road because we are riding in a rally. Thanx to all for the rally. I'll be back next year.

Good ride, easy check in, great support and volunteers on the whole course. Police and volunteers and almost all the spots needed and big thanks to them...
Couple of nit picky issues...... Couple of spots in Roanoke that could have used a sign vs just the road marking, blew past a couple of turns..... Split in road outside Justin off of FM1384 was not clear which direction to go and few signs along the road would have helped too... Not meant as a complant but more of helpul ideas for next year....
Other then just a stiff breeze on the return this was a great ride and venue made for a easy start and finish. I will be back.

Arrived about 7:15 and got parked quickly. Sign in and ride number pickup were also quick. Did the 50-mile route. Had pre-programmed the route into my bike computer using the map on the website. I couldn't tell from the map if the route went west first or east first. I picked west. Wrong. It went east first. It would be nice to have a legend on the map that explained the red and black arrows or distance markers. The entrance and exit from the racetrack was good this year as the exit was separate from the entrance. Was surprised that there was no traffic control on the first exit from the speedway area onto TX 114 east bound. All other major intersections and some not so major on the east side were well-controlled. Liked the new routing east of the racetrack. Didn't like the almost 5 miles westbound on TX 114 for the west side portion of the 50-mile route. Lots of rough shoulder and lots of traffic. Rest stops were all very good. Lots of enthusiastic volunteers providing encouragement. With the exception of 114 on the west side, road surfaces were ok to very good. Post ride BBQ sandwich was good; but, no forks for the cole slaw?? Also, this was my 3rd year to do the ride and I learned today that there are showers in the building adjacent to the parking area. Apparently we're not meant to use them since they aren't advertised, lights weren't on, and there was no hot water. With the exception of TX 114 west of the racetrack, I enjoyed the ride.

Gets better and better every year. Did the 100 mile route and zero problems with the route markings. They had signs and also arrows on the road so no one could miss any turn. Spaced well in advance so you could see it. Police support was great, felt like everyone wanted to help. Plenty of rest stops and well spaced. 70 degrees at ride time. Wind was at your back the first half but only 5 to 10 mph so not much to push you. Coming back though a different story, wind kicked up to 20 to 25 mph and was in the face the last 35 mph, it was a toughy the last half. 2700 feet of climbing according to my altimeter in 100 miles. After the ride the had the best Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw on top with Chibata bread. Yummy. Also very delicious beverages to go with it. Love the start at the Texas Motor Speedway, gives you a real competitive feeling. Lots of Sag Support, Courtesy of Classic Chevrolet. Great job.

TWO THUMBS DOWN for the long section on 114. Semi trucks going seventy, rough shoulder, cross winds, and bicycles do not make a good mix! (Other than that, a terrific ride!)

Started at Texas Motor Speedway. This was fun ride, it started on time and it was really cool to take a lap on the race track before heading out to the road. It had a foggy, muggy start but it turned into a really nice spring morning though there was a stiff south breeze. The roads were smooth for the most part and the volunteers and police did a good job at the intersections. The route winds through Roanoke, Trophy Club, and then north and east of Justin. I did the 100k route stopping only at the 46 mile rest stop. Had a personal best of 3:15 to complete. Good – the start venue, lightning quick registration, toilet facilities, enthusiastic volunteers, and Police support. Bad - the route from about 35 miles on was out and back.

Having returned to the Dallas area looked forward to this and not disappointed - the TMS start is a blast - I did the 30 (clocked at 34) due to need to be somewhere after race; don't understand the long delay in starting the 30-50 riders so late - in future will just go out with the 100mi or 100k start since first 30 of the route is the same and you can get going. Well run; good people; disappointed that there was no sag or tech help at first rest stop (at about 18mi) - usually a technical issue will show up on the first leg and not everything can be fixed with a multi-tool in your seat pack. All anyone could come up with was a screwdriver; they did call for a sag but said no one was able to come or would have tools. What? Managed to rig up a temp solution with another rider's help (thanks) but some tech support on the ride beyond "we have a pump somewhere" (not the tool needed) would be an improvement. Otherwise great start, great ride, fun finish, good food and yes, BEER (thank you !!). I'll ride longer route next time.

 

May 15, 2010

From a 50-miler:
Cons
1. Were told not to ride above white line on the track which meant we couldn't ride up on the banked turns
2. Cyclists exiting track had to meander through cyclists waiting to start
2. Sheriff's car present but no visible traffic control officer at first right turn onto TX 114
3. No sheriff's car or traffic control officer at light-controlled intersection on TX 114
4. Actual route was different in two areas than map on website or map handed out (starter announcement only mentioned a rest stop location change)
5. Too much out-and-back on the same roads
Semi-con
1. First rest stop was at 20 miles - might have bothered some folks if it had been warmer and windy
Pros
1. Easy parking and easy check-in
2. Plenty of helpful and cheerful volunteers
3. Track open for bike laps until noon
4. Well-stocked rest stops
5. Well-marked route
6. Intersection traffic control on TX 156
7. Post-ride festivities

Love the start at Texas Motor Speedway. Nice ride again this year and nice turn out. The weather was actually great for a Century. Cloud cover the whole day kept it cool and the rain stayed away. Wind was only 10 MPH at the most. Yummy BBQ and Beverages after the ride compliments of the ride staff. T-Shirts were cool. Only negative was the signage again this year. I am thinking someone is color blind on 4 occasions. No major problems though, just had to stop and double check the bearings. Police support was nice. This ride keeps improving and keep up the good work. Thanks.

Best marked course I have ridden over the last 12 months. Every Race Director should take note. I would suggest if you could get all Race Directors to develop a universal color for the same distances. Orange arrows for 100K events, I think the 100 miler was blue, green for 50 miler, red for lesser distances.

I rode the 30 mile route ( or to the rest stop if you like) and did 10+ miles on the track. You guys have the best start and stop I have seen. I would suggest some method be employed to develop an earlier rest stop and a better rest stop. The girls did all they could with 2 tables and a gravel driveway but it was insufficient. I know many rides are being designed for the 16+ mph club but if you want the larger crowds you have to address the 12 mph crowd. The 12 mph crowd does not ride 100 miles nonstop in 4 hours. I would ask you to consider moving the rest stop to the 12-14 mile mark (one hour) and then marking the fast food shops near mile 29 (2 ½ hrs) for a non sponsored rest stop. That would allow us at least two rest stops.

May 16, 2009

Wet! All things said though, not a bad race. Not many people showed up, as it was raining, so they had almost no one helping in any of the intersections, and very small turnout at the rest stops, but we all made the best of it. Could've used a few more signs. Often, I asked myself if I was off course. 'It's been MILES since I've seen a sign.' I'll do this one again for sure. Hopefully in the sunshine next year!

VERY ,VERY, VERY much improved. I have ridden this the last 4 years and it seems they have taken our reviews into consideration, finally. I did the 100 mile route. The route was all different, climbed a total of 1900 feet in 100 miles. It was also marked well with signs and route markers on the pavement from routemarkers.com. First I have seen of these and they held up well even after 75 miles of rain. Did not have to circle the speedway 3 or 4 times. Free beer and hot dogs after. It rained on us, medium rain, for the first 75 miles. Most rain that I have ever ridden in. Nice T-shirts and everyone friendly. The one and only complaint I had is of the Police support or lack there of. There were Police at most every intersection but that was the problem. They were just "there". In 100 miles the only 2 officers that were actually directing traffic for us was at mile 57. They actually cared enough about our safety to be out of their cars and directing traffic. Other than that there was not one officer that bothered to do anything other than just sit in their stationary car with the lights on. Every year this has been a problem. I hope the Flower Mound ride is not paying the officers for being there because there is nothing earned. Its like they are better than everyone else. Other than the officers, great ride.

Too bad the rain scared away most of the riders, the new route was one of the best I've ever ridden in the DFW area, if not the best. We ended up doing the 100 miler, and other than the main highways of 156 and 380, the majority of the ride was extremely low traffic, and the road surface was great (ie, minimal Texas chip, save for the out and back leg up to Drop). The scenery was terrific - lots of small town charm and farms/ranches (with plenty of four legged creatures to say hi to), plus the houses were also very interesting to look at. Kudos to the rest stop volunteers, given the constant rain they were extremely friendly and supportive, many thanks. Route signage was great, every turn was marked and we did not get lost once. And contrary to the prior post - the police work was great. Yes, they were at every intersection but they saw us coming and got out of their cars to help us navigate the intersections. A few times we even got personal escorts as they trailed behind us to prevent traffic from passing! The rain lasted most of the day with a few breaks here and there, but it actually was somewhat refreshing - it sure beats the pants of riding in 100 degree weather! We'll definitely be back next year, really love the new route!!

Has any consideration been given to changing the route(s)? My husband and I have done this ride before (the 60 miler) but it’s an “up and back” route and on some roads that can be quite busy. As bicyclists, “up and back” routes are not popular for charity rides. There is all of that wonderful land out there, why doesn’t the Cross Timbers Classic come up with some new routes??? You could get a lot more participation and this ride could become much more popular if you took more consideration toward routes – thinking as cyclists do. If a bicyclist has a couple of charity ride options for the same weekend, the one that usually wins out is the one that has the best routes. Thanks.

May 17, 2008

This was our second year to do this ride and I have not been disappointed either time. The weather was much better this time but they were both great rides. The signage was very good until the end around the speedway. Many of the officers didn't know what to tell the riders. There was signage that said to go straight and the officer said to turn left. That was confusing. The fact that you told us, with signs, how far to the next rest stop was was very helpful also. My only concern with the ride, as with other rides that I have done, is that when I picked up my number and T-shirt my name was not taken to correspond with that number. If I had fallen and been knocked out and was carrying no identification, no one would have known who I was until I came to or my husband finished the ride and wondered where I was. I have to fill out information on who to call in an emergency but there is no way to know who to call if there is an emergency. I have seen this on a few other rides and I wonder why they give out numbers at all. Other than that the ride is well worth it and we will be doing it again.

This was the first time we did this ride. Check in was flawless and QUICK. I must say the start is something that NO ride can beat (at least not in Texas). A loop around the Texas Motor Speedway track was awesome. For those of us that chose to "go high" in the curves it was AMAZING. Now on to the route. I like this route because I do some riding in this area. They did a good job of marking the turns but I think they need to put the route distances on the signs, not just colors. IE., put a 100k in the orange arrow, etc. For the most part, I thought the Police did an outstanding job at intersections. Many other organized rides can learn something about intersection support. The rest stops were good and the people very friendly. I rode the 100k and got my money's worth. I personally, do not like out and backs and I think with the roads around Justin they could get rid of the out and back to Drop. BUT, I really liked this ride and I'll be back next year!! My only request is wouldn't it be cool to actually cross the finish line on the track? :) I know, complain complain complain. Cudos to the Rotary Club!!

This was the first time I have ever done this ride. I loved the start inside of the Texas Motor Speedway! Wow, we even got to go anywhere on the track we were brave enough to try, I stayed halfway into the bank down onto the flat section. We unfortunately had an apparent miss cue for the first 100K group and two of the riders bikes were damaged by a road grate in the area they rode through right after coming off the actual track. One fella ruined his front wheel, the second was not so lucky, his carbon fiber frame suffered terminal damage, real bummer but no riders were hurt. Everyone else was properly routed to ride out of the track via the cool tunnel under the track. That was unique for sure.
The routes were marked well, the workers and radio operators and SAGs took good care of the riders from where I could see. A couple of the back country roads could use a bit of tlc, but that is a county road deal not the ride officials. If I managed to stay upright on the loose stuff in a few spots, anyone should manage ok. The weather was perfect and no way could you ever be able to top it for bike riding. There was a bit of confusion on the return route once inside the TMS roads and I imagine the ride officials will visit that little problem next year if indeed they hold it again.
I know I will be on the lookout for it on my ride calendar next year. Oh there was even some free keger refreshments after the ride! The rest area at the end was inside of the garage area where the race cars would normally be! That was a rare treat as well for us NASCAR fans.

Police stopped traffic at almost all intersections - Excellant traffic control except a couple of spots. Cool weather and light winds resulted in fairly fast ride. Rest stops all seemed friendly - they waved at us as we went by. Note to ride directors - tell the rest stop volunteers to stay out of the road - especially for the lead group and the next three or four groups - those guys are not stopping - at least not until. later in the ride. The volunteers obviously mean well, but not good idea to be waving people to stop when group going by at 20-25. Overall one of the better rides. Well stock food at end ppizza and hamburgers.

I want to thank the organizers of this ride for a great kids ride. I decided to bring my 7 year old to this ride and it was awesome. Having ridden in the MS 150, I was prepared to have to go through all sorts of whip-cracking for getting into and out of the Speedway. I was blown away when we were allowed to actually drive into the infield. Also, how cool was it that they let you ride up on the track. My son was grinning from ear to ear and hit a blistering top speed of 15 mph down the backstraight. We did the 10 mile route and I loved it that the route was held to the streets around TMS - it made for a smooth ride with little to no traffic to deal with. When we finished, it was great to have some race cars putting on a show and a buffet for the little guy to choose a post-ride snack. All volunteers were so friendly and accomodating - I thank them all for that.
I had originally planned on riding the Richardson Wild Ride as it was closer to my house. However, at $35 a pop, I cannot justify riding with my kid for $70. 8 and under kids rode free at Cross Timbers. I would have gladly paid $35 for the day at TMS, considering my kid rides free. Good job to the Flower Mound Rotary. I will be back next year, possibly with my other kid and wife to have more fun.

This was a charity ride for the Flower Mound Rotary Club. Yet the 100K riders did not ride through hardly any of Flower Mound. At a 4-way stop in Bartonville, where we took a right turn. There were 2 Flower Mound policeman yelling at riders to come to a complete stop. ( No Bartonville police. ) I, and several other riders assumed they were there for traffic control. We all had to slam on the breaks to appease them narrowly avoiding a cyclist pile-up.
This rally got great support from Northlake, Justin, & Argyle police departments. Yet, the police force of the town of Flower Mound, the town we were riding to support, help, & paid $25 dollars to were there to intimidate & threaten us cyclists with traffic citations.

The 100 mile route was not marked very well at all. The first 20 miles we missed 2 turns. The arrows were either after the turn or about 10 yards before turns. When we are going 30 mph plus we need plenty of time to make a turn especially when we are in a pack of 20 plus riders. I had to cut it to 80 miles. Back at the speedway at 80 miles an officer and a ride volunteer both told us to go back into the speedway meaning the ride was over. I stopped and aske both of them where do the 100 milers go and they both said we have been telling everyone to go back into the speedway. The only parking for the 100 milers to continue there route was to take a right instead of going back into the speedway and we weren’t sure if that was correct because it was “last years” paint and marking. Since we were sure if there were going to be any more rest stops we ended our ride and disappointingly did not get to complete our century even though we could have rode around the speedway 4 times which a little ridiculous. After the 60 mile rest stop, there was not another when I hit 80 miles. We wound up back at the raceway at 80 miles so I went to my car to get Gatorade. It helped my hydration big time. We also didn’t feel like paying another $4 to eat afterwards after paying $30 for the ride itself. Other than that the policeman actually put the riders first this year versus last and controlled traffic versus last year the traffic controlling the riders.

This was my first Cross Timbers Classic and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A cycling buddy and I were the only tent campers this year but the FM Rotary Club took excellent care of us Friday night with good food, drink, and conversation. How cool to pitch our tents on the in-field grass with plenty of security during the night. We enjoyed the antics and celebration of the local Corvette club - a parade and contest doing tire burnouts from the starting line (largest cloud of smoke). I would encourage the Rotary Club to promote the Friday night camping opportunities for both tents and motor homes/trailers for 2009.
The Sat morning ride was awesome with the initial lap around the NASCAR track and then out into the countryside (I did the 50 mile ride). Weather was perfect, pit stops, and refreshments at the end were just fine. I completed the ride across Iowa (RAGBRAI) last year and the preparations for CTC were a close match to those daily rides. A bit of confusion at the ride's end on where to enter the track, but then I noticed the directions were on the route map stuffed in my jersey. "Re-enter TMS through the North Tunnel"
All in all a great experience...we'll see you campers next year!

This ride was pretty well supported, but my major complaint would be the fact that the ride was really poorly marked – the ride distances were not on the signs and if you did not remember what color you were, you could take a wrong turn.

May 19, 2007

This was the first time to ride the CTC and was very nervous given all the negative reviews that it had received. It was obvious that that organizers read the reviews posted here and have worked to correct the more glaring problems for this years race. (you can't avoid traffic and bad intersections in North Texas) This was only my third "paid" ride, but I thought they set a great tone by letting the riders do the first 1.25 miles on the actual TMS track. As the announcer noted, "too freakin' cool!". I noticed less rest stops with less selection, but come on guys these rides are for charity and do we really need more that orange wedges, bananas, gatorade, and water? The every 15 or so spacing was right for me. This was my first century ride and the route would have been better if we got the ugly out an back done earlier in the race. I would suggest the out and back before we went East to Flower Mound. One more thing on the out n' back - ask the owners of the mansion across from the 80 mile rest stop at the end to hold off on burning their weekly trash in the front yard the day of the race. Finally, charging for lunch after the race was fine, but being the guy who does not ride with cash on him I would suggest that the lunch option/price be tacked on at registration when we do have money. I will ride the race again next year. Good job on celebrating your 20th anniversary.

My husband and I went to the Cross Timbers ride at the Speedway and wow, what a great ride and great refreshments! We just rode the 30 mile because of a broken toe, but what an awesome way to start the ride by taking a lap around the track! The course was great and the food was abundant. And next year they are going to have camping available with possibly some festivities the night before! Sign me up, I'll see you next year!

My wife and son went on the 30-mile route (turned around in Justin), while I did the 50-mile route. Parking was convenient, the event was well organized and I really liked the route with the rolling hills and scenery once off of FM 156. Not so much chip seal, which was welcome, and volunteers held bikes at rest stops, which was appreciated. My wife was impressed with the traffic control for their turnaround in Justin. It was my son’s first “solo” rally, and he had a blast. The lap around the track was fun, and it was very nice to be able to use the garage facilities post ride. The brisket sandwich was affordable and good, and it was nice to get a free beer when done. Not many rides do this anymore that I’m aware of. It would be nice to have a distance option between the 50 and 100-miles, but with the hills I feel I got a good workout. The volunteers were friendly and helpful. I was bummed that I wasn’t going to get to do the Wildflower ride, but I’m glad I did this one and will do it again next year - due in part to the good route, but also for all of the other good features and friendly volunteers.

First time to do this ride; did the 50-miler, would do it again, but there’s room for improvement. First the good stuff: Top-notch rest stops! Plenty of food, drink, ice, and porta-potties! The ride was rainy, and every stop had paper towels to clean glasses! LOTS of volunteers to hold bikes! Outstanding t-shirt! The start at Texas Motor Speedway was a nice touch. Now the mixed reviews: Good traffic control at SOME major intersections. Well-marked route MOST of the time. SOME good roads. And the room for improvement: The endgame at the speedway was hard to decipher; the last couple miles should be better marked. There were riders going both directions over the same route, all wondering if they were on the right track. Two major intersections had no traffic control at all – courteous motorists kept things safe. Some of the roads were reeeeeally bad; not chip/seal – just plain bad! Bad roads on 50-100-mile routes are probably unavoidable, but this was Paris-Roubaix. Common complaint: 50 is too short; 100 is too long. Please add a 100k route, even if it means eliminating the 50-miler. Finally, there was really good food at the finish, but it wasn’t included in the entry fee.

I rode the 50 mile route of this years Cross Timbers Classic, and after riding 12 to 15 rally's a year for the last 7 years, I can confidently say that this was the worst example of route management I have experienced. I had heard that the ride organizers moved to the new location to access better and safer roads. Well, if that was why they relocated, then they failed miserably. There was just too much road that was 2 lanes, with little to no shoulder, and traffic zipping by at 60 to 70 mph. When you did get away from the traffic, most of the roads were a mix of pot holes, and patches over old pot holes. I don't know who decided on the placement of the break point, but the break points that I saw were all placed right next to the two lane, no shoulder road. So the only place for the riders to stop and stand, was actually in the road. Finally, the lack of police support was shocking. Too many turns at uncontrolled, busy intersections. The turn just before you got to the 1st break point, off of 156 on to Faught Rd, was particularly terrifying. It was a left hand turn across some of that 60 to 70 mph traffic that I mentioned before. The turn itself was just below the crest of a hill, so you couldn't see the traffic coming, and the oncoming traffic couldn't see you on the other side of the hill. For there to be no police traffic control at that intersection, was bordering on criminal negligence. I'm amazed that no one got killed at that intersection.
This was the 20th anniversary of this ride. You'd think that after 20 years they would know how to manage a bike ride. If this is the best that they can do, then there really shouldn't a 21st. Never again.

This was one of the most dangerous courses I’ve ever ridden in an “organized” bicycle ride/race/tour. Going north and returning south on Hwy 156 to/from Justin was like playing Russian Roulette with traffic (including heavy trucks) flying by at 60+ mph. The entire course had absolutely NO traffic control anywhere; No police, no volunteers, nothing. Several intersections involved left turns across fairly heavily traveled roadways without any protection for riders at all (30 mile course). Course markings were minimal and confusing – small colored arrows only. The rest stop was fairly well staffed, but was located on a narrow, 2-lane road without any shoulder space for riders to get clear of traffic. Once off of Hwy 156, the course is scenic, but most the roads are pretty narrow and poorly maintained – lots of potholes, gravel and patches. Although the ride has a great, fun Start & Finish location at TMS, I will not ride in this ride again - nor will I ever recommend this ride to anyone in the future.

I rode the 100. This was my first year on this ride, and likely my last. The first 70 wasn't bad, in fact it covered much of the same territory that I ride on weekends. The last 30, however, was dangerous. The road conditions were extremely bad, not something I would choose to ride my nice road bike on. From around Justin on there were areas with no shoulder, rough roads, and at one point a redneck in a duelly driving by laying on the horn. Unlike the Hotter than Hell, where it seems that the ride has gotten the buy in of the surrounding area, the folks in Justin seemed ticked off that there were cyclists riding on their roads on a Saturday. Other than Flower Mound, there was no police support keeping traffic in control and at one point one of our group almost got hit.
If I ride again, I will likely do something shorter and same my centuries for better organized rides where cyclist safety is considered.

 

May 20, 2006

This was my second time to ride the Cross Timbers Classic. Overall it was a good experience. The check-in/registration was well organized and went very smooth. The stagger starts (based on route length) made for a smooth and safe start. There are a lot turns getting out of Flower Mound, the course was well marked and they did have police coverage at most of the major intersections, not all of them, but most of them. The course did not open up until about the 10 - 15 mile point. The roads were in good shape, very little chip-seal. The 50 mile course can be best defined as rolling hills. The hills were not too challenging but enough to get the heart rate up. I did not stop at any of the rest stops so I can not provide a critique. My biggest complaint is the course distance. You had a choice of 50 or 100 mile. 50 seemed too short, but I did not have the time to do the 100, they should add a 100K (62 Mile). At the end, there was plenty of food and drink and good tunes playing. They were also selling brisket sandwiches (all supporting the charity). Well good ride and the course is a nice scenic course once you get outside of Flower Mound.

What an improvement from last year !!! I rode the 50 mile route this year and found no major issues with traffic control, support or the rest stops. We were required to STOP for one of the traffic lights on the way out, but this was such a minor incovenience that i wouldn't even consider it a "problem" whatsoever. Anyone who does is simply whining. The announcer at the start urged everyone to get a MAP because there was a phone number on the front you could call if you needed help. They even went as far as walking around the starting area and handing maps out directly to make sure you received one. Good thing I got mine because I got stuck with two flats and didn't have enough tubes. Who says these people don't care about the riders? Thanks to Bluebonnet Cycles, Mad Duck and Bicycles Plus for their support!. Registration went smoothly, the t-shirt had a new logo, plenty of parking, good scenic routes, great traffic support and excellent volunteers. I am particularly impressed by the ones that were still standing out in the sun at 1pm while helping to direct bicycle traffic through the neighboorhoods on the inbound route. Awesome dedication! The 50 mile route was easy to follow. Lots of color-coded arrows and signs along the way. Arrows were painted far enough ahead of the turns, plus they were painted again at the turn, so it was VERY difficult to get lost on this ride. Good police support getting us onto Country Club Rd, and other very busy intersections. Looking forward to next year.

I rode the 30 mile route and was a decent challenge. The support, etc was better this year than last. Good support at the rest stops. My only complaint was at an intersection where the route goes though twice. First time was to out and the second time was to the finish line. Riding up the hill and saw the direction painted on the street. Was a bit confusing and I went left instead of straight. Next year, need to have some one the to direct us which way to go. Bring back the Beer tent, might get more riders has in years past.

Very dissapointed. Starting with the finish. I got back from doing 100 miles hungry,thirsty and looking forward to the bar-b-que. I rolled up at 2:15 there was a man and woman running the stand next to the bar-b-que trailer that looked and acted very put out that I showd up as they hurried to put up bananas, and fruit bars. I asked if they had any more bar-b-que and they said they had just put everything away. I asked what about the riders that did 100 miles, there are 4 of us and there are still some coming in. He said sorry and that there was only 2 more riders coming in. How rude ! He said I could have some bananas. The LAST thing I want is a banana at the end when I have just had 6 or more during the ride. To top it off, my wife got done with here route at 10:45. We took separate cars knowing that my 100 would take longer and I didnt want here to just wait till I got done and when she went over to get some food they told here we dont start serving till 11:00, come back then. You know, these rides would not be possible without the support of the riders. We are the ones that pay and donate the money for it to happen. I chose the 100 mile route which was of course only 85 miles but you had to ride 3 laps around the outside of the speedway to complete 100 miles. At the 33 mile mark we were supposed to make a U-turn and back track, I decided to add some more miles so I wouldnt have to make 3 laps around the outside of the speedway so I went straight 7.5 miles and then turned around. Came out perfect. I dont know why any of the ride organizers couldnt think of that. Its not rocket science. Since I took a longer route at that point I was closer to the back of the pack at that point and there was a pt cruiser that was following us from behind, seemingly trying to hurry us along. It was obviouse that these people didnt want to be there and wanted to go home. On a good note all the rest stops were great, everyone was very friendly. This course was challenging for the first and last 15 miles because of the stop and go, also the hills. This was my first time to do this ride and the last. We ride where we feel appreciated. We didnt get that feeling from the man and woman at the finish next to the food trailer. Hope they enjoyed the bar-b-que.

I didn't make it to this ride this year because I couldn't find any information about it anywhere. In the weeks leading up to the ride, there was only the old 2005 information on the web site, so I was sure it was canceled. I wrote to the organizers asking what was going on and a couple of weeks later I got a message on my mobile phone that the ride was still on, but... too late! I really enjoyed the 2005 ride so I hope they will get their act together for 2007.

May 7, 2005

What a waste. I certainly won't pay money for this one again. I have never done a paid ride with less traffic control. In fact, on the best rides like the Goatneck and Ride for Heroes, there are almost no uncontrolled intersections. Here, there were numerous intersections with no traffic control, especially the residential ones getting out of Flower Mound when the whole group was all together, but also including some pretty major highway crossings later in the route. On top of that, the so-called "100 mile" route was actually 85 miles, leaving most of the 100-milers confused, frustrated and feeling like we'd wasted our time. Rest stop spacing was a bit weird, too, on the 100-miler, but that's a lesser issue.
I understand that a lot of people work hard to put this ride on, and I hate to criticize their work, but if you can't do better than this, you should either not do it at all, or be very frank in your materials about what the ride will be like. I got to the start line late and didn't have time to pick up my packet before the ride. I had planned to see if I could get my t-shirt when I rolled back in, but after this overall experience, I didn't even really want it.

I've stayed away from this ride for three years because of the reviews that stated the routes were too dangerous. I decided to try the "100" mile route this year, however, after noticing that the reviews had become more positive. Overall, it was a good experience. The routes were as safe as could be expected considering the route's proximity to north Tarrant and placement in Denton counties. The Flower Mound area was really pretty with nice houses and farms - the farm with the herd (?) of black Morgans or Clydesdale required me to stop and admire. Also, this course is nothing but rollers and hills! The timing is perfect too: An early season "100" miler, good weather, small crowds, adequate rest areas, perfect course markings (bonus!), and BBQ at the end. Overall, not bad. In the future I think this ride could compete with Collin County's 100 miler. The only thing that needs work is designing a course where the mileage adds up to 100 (not 85-ish). I'll be back next year for an early season suffer-fest.

Year after year I ride this ride as I enjoy the routes. Year after year I see the same problems. So, here we go:
Brochure said the start was at 2 different locations - map said Marcus High School on Morriss Road - text said start was at Flower Mound High School.
Chaotic start area with parking challenges, no signage telling you what is where, not enough toilets (why not use the stadium facilities for toilets and a check-in registration area?????)
Was that the start? The only way I knew the ride had started was the riders leaving the parking lot.
Nothing but fluids and fruit. No salty snacks or cookies. Many of the break points (rest stops) continue to be on the wrong side of the road (left), bad locations (bottom of hill on both sides of the road) and poorly marked. No volunteers controlling safety/cycling traffic at the stops. Too many kids handing off items in the middle of the roadway.
NO police at one major intersection with a short light, which created lots of safety issues with lawbreaking cyclists and irritated motorists. Police at minor intersections standing at the side of the road visiting with volunteers. LOTS of intersections with stop signs had volunteers in the road directing traffic. Illegal and unsafe.
Break point on the 50 mile without toilets - the toilets were on the side of the road one mile before the break point. Figure it out guys and put them together.
The 50 mile route was great - but the support was anything but great. Management seems to be "discovering" what a bike ride is each year. Why not build an operations manual so that you can at e last have a guideline to follow. Same mistakes year after year mean you are not paying attention. 

I did this ride two years ago and missed a loop to complete a full 100 miles, due to a very poorly marked course. I swore I would never do this ride again because it was a terribly unorganized experience from start to finish. But, I decided to give it another try this year.
Again, I am disappointed. I completed the ride, only to find out at the last rest stop that I would only be able to get in 85 miles by following the route marked on the map. This was my second attempt at a 100 mile ride, and I can't tell you the disappointment of having trained for it the last few months, trying to finish what I couldn't finish two years ago at the Cross Timbers, only to get there and find out that the 100 mile route is really only 85 miles. Please, if you are only going to mark a route that is 85 miles, label it as such. I read this complaint last year, which tells me the Flower Mound Rotary has had a year to either find 15 more miles of road for us to ride, or change the advertisement for the ride to say what it is - 85 miles. Had I known it was only 85 miles before I sent in my money to pay for my registration, I would not have done this ride. I was looking for 100 miles, and Flower Mound Rotary once again cheated me out of that distance.
I will give props for a couple of things. One, the course was MUCH more clearly marked. The painted arrows on the road is pure genius. Thank you, whoever thought of that. I would never have made it back to the Finish without those arrows. Much of the last half of my ride, I had to ride alone. Due to what you will read next.
And two, if anyone involved in the organization actually reads this, I am the girl who had the broken shoe, which was fixed by one of the SAG guys by using velcro to velcro my shoe to the pedal. The first shoe broke at mile 47, and my second shoe broke sometime around mile 65. Needless to say, with the wind and the shoe malfunctions, I was having a terrible time out there. But I was determined to finish, even though I'm pretty sure I hobbled in dead last. But, I want to thank the SAG crew, specifically the gentleman with the red Excursion, and the gentleman in the silver Jeep Grand Cherokee. They both helped me more than once with the shoes, and they checked on me several times as I limped along the last half of the ride. I would not have made it without their kindness (and Macguyver-like shoe fixing abilities). They were very kind and patient, and made an otherwise terrible ride day for me at least do-able so that I could cross the Finish on my own.
And also, thanks to the Bicycles Plus guy at the end of the ride who followed me in for the last couple of miles and cheered me on. It was after the close of the route, and I was pretty discouraged by this point, but instead of hurrying me along so that he could clear the course, he encouraged me to finish strong. I'm very impressed with all the SAG help this year.

This was my first time doing the CTC and it will be my last. Unfortunately, even the new "safer" course is too dangerous for an enjoyable ride and the road conditions were very poor as well (I can't imagine how bad the older course was). The ride starts out with 7 miles or so in and out of subdivisions with many sharp turns and speed changes which I enjoyed as it was sort of like crit. Then we headed out for 60 miles or so of the worst roads in Texas - bumpy, pot holes, cracks, washboard surfaces in turns. For every 10 miles of horrible road there was maybe a mile of smooth pavement. Most/all of the middle course was on roads with traffic travelling over 50MPH (some roads were 60MPH posted speeds) with no shoulder and the poor road surface made it very scary. The scenery during this section alternated between 1930s era depression shacks and empty fields. The last 20 miles or so was actually fun as the roads get much better and traffic was way down (why couldn't they do the whole thing on these roads. . .?). Although I didn't stop, the rest stops appeared to be well stocked but there was little notice they were approaching. It is not a true century but is more like 83 miles which is OK but they should probably indicate that distance. Finally, I finished at just under 5 hours but most of the post ride activities were already taken down (massage tent, slurpee machines, etc.) making the finish sort of boring. My suggestion - donate to the Rotary Club as it is a worthy cause and then go ride your own, safe century.

A very well organized ride. Parking and registration were easy. The routes were extremely well marked, an important issue given the amount of turns this course provided. We had a choice between 50 miles or 100 miles, but I admittedly modified my route, riding the 50 miler but diverting down to the Texas Motor Speedway and ended up with 70.12 miles all told. Perhaps the organizers could use this modified route to offer a happy medium between the 50 and 100. A large portion of the route used residential or little used country roads that were in great shape...unfortunately, there were many less than adequate road surfaces that were in terrible shape. That coupled with the many railroad tracks (I lost both of my water bottles going over one set of tracks) is a serious critique of this ride   also,  (and it may have been my own naiveté) it should be advertised that you don't get to actually ride the Speedway...you just get to ride the road around it! After battling a serious headwind to get down to the Speedway, I can't tell you how disappointed I was...oh well, I'll know better next time. And I think that there will be a next time as this ride still has much to offer...a good early season test that, with some route improvement, could be a top-tier event.

Same route as last years, so this has been 2 years now with the new route. Personally I liked the old route better. The one that took you up thru Krum and then into Denton. I know that the route was changed due to the road leading up to Krum, but I prefer it over the stretch of Hwy between Justin and the Speedway (which you have to do twice). This year's route was better marked than last year, so that was an improvement. Overall a good ride, but again they say 100 mile route when its only 85. At least the older route was more like 95. I guess they could have us do 3 loops of the Speedway circle to get in more miles, but that would be boring. Having to stop at the stoplights on 1171 going out and coming back is a bummer. I think the worst thing about this ride is trying to get back to I-35 to go home. 

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, I will probably not do this ride again. First of all, there was a ton of out and back, I know we're all riding around in circles, but that out and back stuff is for the birds! Secondly, they boast that they offer a 100 mile route, when in fact they don't. I logged in around 88 going back to my house, I suspect I finished with about 2 extra miles then those going back to the school. Lastly most major intersections, the busy ones, were NOT manned by a single person. There was that one cop who SAT in his car at 377, he didn't move at all, I was insulted to see him, would have been better if he wasn't there at all.

After reading last year's reviews and how CTC had improved their routes, I gave the 30 mile route a try. I was not disappointed at all. Route was scenic with a few hills. Lots of tree-line country roads to help block the wind and plenty support at the major intersections. The only downside was that we were directed to the overflow parking section before the main parking had filled up. We had to walk a block to get to the registration area. No big deal, but, if you find yourself in the small parking lot next year, it'd be easier for you to just ride your bike to registration. Motorists in the area seem fairly patient with all the bicycles on the roads. Whoever is running the show these days at Cross Timbers seems to have gotten the act together. I am looking forward to next year's ride.  

This is the 2nd year I've done this one. I rode the 50 mile route. The ride is reasonably well organized, the route is pretty good. Areas of improvement would be
1) there are a number of T-intersections where they are not staffed to watch traffic
2) there is one spot where the ride goes along a major FM and then the riders have to make an unassisted crossing - this one is a little dicey
3) the there are some great twisty descents that if they COULD bar cars from them completely would be a total blast. as it is when cars are coming it got a little bit dicey.

Overall it is well run and enjoyable. Time permitting I'll do it next year. For those that care the T-shirt is fine. 

This was my first ride so I can't compare it to other rides, but I could not have been more pleased. For the most part I thought the traffic control was good. I read one review where the rider was critical of those not obeying traffic laws and I could not agree more -- maybe it's my allergy to fast moving cars. The only complaint I have is that 2 volunteers and one officer let me turn the wrong way, but I did figure it out after a couple of minutes. Things could have been better, but they always could be better. Congrats and thanks to the Rotary Club and all the volunteers. See you in McKinney in a few weeks.

Well the last time I did this ride was 2003 when I wrote on my computer that I was never going to do this Horror again. I rightfully deemed it a death trap. After hearing that the ride had improved, had safer routes and actually talking to one of the ride producers I decided to give it another try.
I have mixed feelings. The ride was safer and the road markings were sort of ok...but this is now a hill course with 95% hills. A bit drastic I think. Find some flats to work in. They still insist on placing rest stops on the left side of the road where you stand a good chance of getting nailed by traffic. There was one horrendous left turn across four lanes of high speed cars requiring you to drift left across the traffic and make the left turn with absolutely no help from the cop on duty. If that's what you call what he was doing. He was just standing on the side of the road talking to someone. I guess his job is to mark the chalk outline on the road after you get swatted by a car and call for the meat wagon.
Is there not some kind of training for these police as to just what is expected of them? Sure would be nice. Most were ok though.
There was far much left turn, right turn, left turn, right turn, etc, etc, etc. This tires us out quick with all the start and stop. It's also dangerous. Crashes were not uncommon...particularly with the unwept gravel on the cement. By the way- how come the ride goes North then finishes South into the prevailing headwinds when you are tired? Bad Mojo. It should be the other way around.
I did the 50 miler. Roads were fine, a few rough areas but nothing compared to some rides. ..and I've been riding them for about 37 years. Need some cookies, etc besides what they had.
The surprising thing was that the people I talked to seemed to have very little knowledge of how bike events should be staged. Get the 18mph riders of all distances off first so they don't have to cut their way through a wall of human road kill to break free. This can minimize the starting dash crash risk. There does need to be a few more police at some of the road intersections. And please have road side signs as well as road markers. Point out Blue for this distance red for another on the sign, etc. Everyone was trying to find out what color was what. More bad Mojo.

This was my first year for this ride. We debated between the 50 or the 100 mile ride. I thought we were going to do the 100 mile ride. No problem, right? As me and a few others broke away on that route, we had to take some roads  that I personally thought to be a bit dangerous. Even though it was still a bit early in the morning, the traffic was quite heavy. I think the turn-off was  after stop #2. If you took the 100 mile route, the next stop was in Drop. I  think there were roughly 20 miles between the two. I don't like going that long without a break as I am still in the beginner phase of riding. After that point I headed out again and when I got close to Justin, I got a call  from my husband saying that he was finished and waiting for me! He ended up doing the 50 mile route. So I headed back up 403 into Flower Mound. I logged roughly 70 miles on this ride. My chief complaints are the lack of traffic control and the poor locations of the rest stops (bottom of a hill and split; potties a mile before the actual break). If I do this one again, I will only do the 50 mile route.

May 15, 2004

I know that this sounds bad, but already this rally is starting off on a wrong foot for me. A friend and I read through the rally pamphlet, and made plans to pick up the "Registration Packets" early at Bluebonnet Bicycle Shop in Lewisville (as the pamphlet clearly says you can). Well, the good staff at Bluebonnet informed us that they never received any of these registration packets so were not able to hand any out to the numerous people (like my friend and I) that wanted to avoid the long line-ups we expect to see the morning of the ride. This is sad. I had read all of the previous year's ride reviews (on this website), but decided that in spite of these, I would give the Cross Timbers Classic one more chance this year. Sounds like nothing has changed, and I may be in for a disappointment tomorrow. I hope the weather is nice.

In a word-Fantastic! I pulled my son in his trailer on the 50 mile route. The scenery was excellent. The route featured my two favorite types of riding, residential areas, and the little back roads with all sorts of things to see: horses, big estate homes, tractors (a big hit with my son). I even saw three zebras! Rest stops were well stocked with oranges and bananas, and all sorts of cookies. While not all intersections were traffic controlled, most of the important ones were, and I don't have a problem with stopping at read lights. Will definitely do again next year.

Looks like about 800 to 1000 riders for this year's version. They promised new and safer routes and at least on the 50 mile route, they delivered as promised. The route was great and a lot of fun. Generally there were good road surfaces, lots of turns and a decent amount of hills. On some of the country roads, the trees formed canopies over the roads which made the route very scenic. Traffic control at the intersections was also very good. Another past criticism of this rally was poor road markings. That was not the case this year. Color coded arrows were painted on the roads and were easy to follow. The only minor comment I have about this is it would be nice if they had the distances marked next to the arrows as well. I had to ask another rider which color arrows were for the 50 mile route. I am not sure if I was supposed to know that the blue arrows were for the 50 mile route because the 50 mile route map available at registration was on blue paper. However, no big deal. I cannot rate rest stops as I did not stop at any but they did have people by the road at one rest stop handing out fruit if you wanted it on the fly. Parking, registration and the start were a snap and there were plenty of free snacks afterwards. This ride has gotten a bad reputation in recent years because of the dangerous roads. With the route changes this year, this rally ranks up there with the best of them. I look forward to it next year. If you didn't ride it this year because of concern about dangerous routes, give it a chance next year. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Finally, at the risk of sounding greedy, it would be great if the organizers would add a 60 -70 mile route next year. I really wanted to ride farther than the 50 miles (actually 48.5 by my computer) but I didn't want to do a full 100 miles.

Congratulations are in order to the organizers of the Cross Timbers Ride. They are the front runners for most improved rally of the year. The staging area was better organized. The route we ran (50) was scenic, safe and managed well. The rest stops were well stocked and very helpful. The support didn't dry up and there was very little frontage or high speed roads on the route. The only complaint I heard was the 100 mile course was really about 85 miles. I suggest all organizers ride the route in a car at least and if it is less than advertised, say so. There were a lot 100 milers confused, thinking they must have missed some loop or turn. Nobody gets everything right, but this is an easy one. Thanks to the Boy Scouts and Jaguars football team for their help. Again, greatly improved and we will be back next year!

This was a great rally with some very nice roads to explore. Plenty of hills, some small towns and not too much chip/seal. Rest stops were well run and stocked with plenty to keep us going. One bit of advice would be to put up a route sign after the rest stop. After I fall down, pass out, come two, eat 3 bananas, etc, I usually can't remember which bike is mine, let alone which way to go. But a big thanks to the organizers, I think this was well run.

Well.. I'm not sure .. I've done this route every year since 1996 ... typically do the 100 miler (which has never been 100 miles.. has varied but has always been 90+ miles.. this year, major confusion... due mainly to the arrows leading in to the school and the ones leading back out at the intersection of Quail Run and Bridlewood since the 100 milers only had about 82 miles at this point coming back in.. the volunteer tried to tell us straight to the finish.. but most of the 100 milers felt he wasn't correct and we went back out again searching for the non-existent loop that would give us more miles.. the route was better than in the past but we need more warning before many of the turns .. especially on the return route.. seems like the markers were right at the turns rather than a little earlier... and PLEASE mr(s) ride organizer, if the route is only 83 miles then list it as such.. The routes were on the web site in plenty of time for those wanting to customize their 50 mile route to be just about anything they wanted since it was sort of an out an back type route at the 100 mile cutoff. i know several that did just that to get a 60 mile ride in... that is a big plus when the organizers put their maps on the web site ahead of time.. all in all, a good ride, much improved over last year..

Congratulation to the FM Rotary and the organizers, for reading and heeding the previous year's comments regarding the danger on the routes, this year's route, the 50 miler I rode was EXCELLENT, well marked easy to follow on the road with the blue arrows and the blue paper roadmap, very quiet roads. The change from Parker Square to FM High was a great idea also, lots of easily accessible parking and well organized registration. It was cool day, a little misty rain in some places, very pleasant, especially when you consider what Wichita Falls will be like come the end of August. The rest stops were adequate; I only stopped twice, thanks to the Boy Scouts who helped. One suggestion; see if you can include another loop in there to create a true 100KM option for those who would like to go a little farther. Overall well done, great t-shirt, see you next year.

In a word-Fantastic! I pulled my son in his trailer on the 50 mile route. The scenery was excellent. The route featured my two favorite types of riding, residential areas, and the little back roads with all sorts of things to see: horses, big estate homes, tractors (a big hit with my son). I even saw three zebras! Rest stops were well stocked with oranges and bananas, and all sorts of cookies. While not all intersections were traffic controlled, most of the important ones were, and I don't have a problem with stopping at read lights. Will definitely do again next year.

The organizers did a good job of turning their rally around. The route was decent. Most roads were of good quality and low traffic. The 100 mile route wound up being ~89 miles, so either several of us made the identical mistake or the route was a bit short (I talked to several people who I didn't ride with that had a similar distance on their computer). Volunteers were quite friendly and cheerful, even as they shivered. I rode after the rally for a few hours so it didn't really matter. Rest stops were OK, but they did try to close one of them before the last few riders were through. It was kind of nice to have the "pre-registered, but not paid" option with a web based registration form. I hadn't seen that before. Most intersections had friendly police, but one seemed to have a police officer ticketing cyclists instead of directing traffic? Not sure, but as we went by he seemed to be writing a ticket.

I had a good ride, and was pleased with the events of the day. The weather started out a bit cool ( I donned the free Tee shirt and wore it for the distance), with the sky overcast for most of the ride. I rode the 50 mile tour, and had no problems with the route selection - except perhaps for the short stretch along FM377. I had a scary moment trying to cross FM377 onto Harpole road. Automobile traffic in both directions was high, and from what I saw, this was the only point where there was no traffic control. Otherwise, I found nearly all intersections to be manned (thank you), and in most instances, they allowed me to proceed without stopping at all - this was very nice. The staff at all the rest stops were friendly, and there was no shortage of anything at any of the stops. The 50 mile route was a nice combination of town and country, with a mix of flats and hills. For most parts, the road markings were adequately decent. I plan on being there again next year.

I really think the rally this year was a great improvement over past years. The route for the 30 mile ride was very pleasant winding through neighborhoods and on country roads which did not have much traffic. The rest stops were well supplied with Gatorade in cups of ice and I love the granola. Very nice job - hands off to who did the route changes. I felt safe the whole ride. Will be back next year.

Great Ride! Good roads; plenty of hills; variety of riding styles; finish line area could have been more clearly marked. Will do it again for sure!

Cross Timbers Classic 2004 was a very nice ride. That was my first long ride taking the 54 mile route. Weather cooperated a little, mostly mist, not too much sun at all, but at least no rain. Beautiful sites on the route with countryside and spectacular homes. A few hills but nothing a novice like myself could not conquer. Nice turnout and looking forward to next year.