Waggin Trail Bike Ride - Hillsboro, TX
May 2, 2013
All standard amenities were in place with manned rest stops. The volunteers were accommodating. Assume low turnout because of cold and windy, MS roundup and bad reviews from 2012. I recommend a few things. 1) Signage on service road location - event was hidden behind buildings 2) arrows to turn into finish line area since the mileage did not match the que sheet 3) 10 miles of chip seal in same location as last year - reroute to better road. It was a great ride but lonely. I would like to ride again in 2014.
The rest stops were good, the people were friendly and accommodating, and the rolling, green countryside was beautiful. The only downside was the rough chip/seal portion of the ride between the Covington rest stop (on FM67) and the Turner cemetery rest stop (FM934). I have been assured by Warren Smith that they will look at re-routing around the chip/seal for next year. We will definitely do this ride again.
This was a lightly attended event. Maybe 200 riders max. The weather was nice and the volunteers were great, too. The course was well-marked and the rest stops were well-stocked. It was an enjoyable ride.
Route was better this year. All was great and better than last year until all riders doing the 70 mile the 100 mile had to stop at mile 52. 2 ride volunteers blocked the road and it was a proceed on the marked route at your own risk. Rocks the size of golf balls along with fresh tar under it. I sat there contemplating what to do for 5 minutes. They said this road was like this for 15 full miles. WHAT? This would have been very difficult for any mountain bike yet alone a road bike. When we decided to turn around I could not move my front wheel off of the tar. Had to jerk it off. Then my front tire would not spin. Tar and rocks would not let it roll under the brake. Spent another 5 minutes trying to scrape tar off my tires. With zero directions other than to back track the 50 miles we had just went, did not know what to do. Temperature was already at 90 degrees, blaring sun and wind at 17 to plus 20 mph. No rest stops in sight we wound up at a 70 mile cross road, 18 miles later after turning around. Had to make a decision to do an extra 10 miles on the 100 against the wind or do 70. Turned on my GPS and it took me back to the start. That road had to have been that way for at least 2 weeks to a month. How can the ride organizers not know that? Hot dogs were nice after and the rest stops we stopped at were well stocked. The band at the start of the ride was a nice touch also.
Started the 100 mile route and considered it the best roads in 2012. Small group and new ride. Staff was very accommodating. It was a no frills ride with some stops just coolers. 20 miles between stops was a bit far. They advised riders to turn back about half way due to road construction with no instructions on how to complete the route. Bailed out and completed 77 miles without doing the final 25 mile loop. A lot of riders dehydrated and picked up SAG on this very windy ride. Will try again.
May 7, 2011
We did the Waggin Trails ride today at Hillsboro. Great area. Decent roads. Nice volunteers. However I grade the ride a F. Road markings was the worst. Spray paint is cheap but none used. Some of the rest stops were ok but poorly stocked and not where needed. Sag was ok but what good are they if you are on the wrong road. They offered long routes but intent on closing early. Nuff said. Thanks
I tried the Waggin' Trail ride again this year. Ride planners need to pay attention to details. Why they moved from a great starting/finishing line at the Outlet Mall is hard to understand. This year it started at the old Walmart with a dangerous and unnecessary hairpin start onto Coke Street across Highway 22 and through some of the state's most bumpy and bone jarring city streets. The police escort was a nice help but he sped off from the group. The snacks were also on the wrong side of the busy Coke Street for some reason. Returning to our cars forced us to cross the busy intersection of 22 and Coke Street.
I chose the 40 mile route. The country side was pretty. The first rest stop was dangerously placed on the wrong side of a busy highway 171 so I skipped it. I would have had to dodge cars and bicycles to exit and re-enter. The next marker pointed me in the wrong direction either because of vandals or the wind which threw me 6 miles off course and in Itasca. Planners should spray paint directional arrows on the road including 1/4 mile advance warnings of turns. This would help guard against vandal/pranksters or the elements. The unmanned cooler at Carl's Corner was a welcomed sight after pedaling 6 miles off course and fighting a strong south wind to recover my route. At that point I decided to double back on the 26 mile outgoing route instead of re-joining the 40 mile route.
Strong Winds the whole day with a wind advisory at 12 noon. Nice T-Shirts and about 300 turned out I think. Did the 100 mile route. Would up doing 112.5 miles per a sign that was not where it was supposed to be. Rest stops were not existent. There was supposed to be rest stops roughly every 20 miles. Well there was a porta potty but Zero of anything else. No people, no water, no nothing. Lucky I had money with me. A friend and myself that did the 100 miles stopped at 3 different convenience stores to rehydrate and eat. At 55 miles a sag saw us and had ice and water. Then at 75 another sag found us and had pickles and gatorade. A welcomed site. People were very nice thruout. This is one ride I will never forget. Yes I will do this one again because of the challenge. Hopefully they can correct the shortcomings next year for a strong ride. Thanks.
First time to try this ride. Will not be returning.
Missed the 40 mile turn off, ended up on the 60. I did not have 60 in me (barely had a 40 mile ride in me, what with the wind that day)
Finally stopped and "found" my own way home (thanks to my map on my iPhone). I was not on their course anymore, just heading back shortest route possible so I actually never saw any of their rest stops (except the first one that was on the wrong side of the road and so I did not stop at it).
The whole experience just felt "rushed" and that I was "on my own" once the ride started. Too far a drive to feel that way.
September 25, 2010
2010 Waggin Trail was not planned very well as it was held the same day as the Waco Wild West. That is probably why there were only 50-60 riders. The routes were reversed from the first ride 3 years ago but not sure why as the first 10 miles was mostly up hill on chip and seal. The police escort through the car show was a nice touch although the start line on Elm Street was not as good a start line as the outlet mall with its ample parking and clean restrooms. The T-shirt was the same as 3 years ago. Organizers need to plan ahead and schedule better and rethink their routes.
May 2, 2009
Plenty of parking spaces. Registration was fast. Appeared to be about 200 participants. Rode the 40-mile route. A 15 to 20 mph wind was blowing from the South. This made for an exceptionally fast ride north on Hwy 171 to the 1st rest stop. The hills on this route were mild compared to those on the 40-mile route in last week's Muenster ride (Ave. speed on this ride was 2 mph + higher than on the Muenster ride). The rest stops were well stocked with cookies, fruit, Gator Aid, and pickle juice. Two Port-O-Potties at each rest stop - no long lines. Traffic control was provided at major intersections. There were no really rough roads on this route. The last 1.7 miles were on a very smooth road (FM 286) that permitted some high speeds to be achieved. Nice scenery and a fun ride. I will be back next year. J.G.
All things considered a scenic and nice ride. Great parking and clean bathrooms at the Outlet mall. Nice ride through town. Plenty of police and fire support. Average, basic rest stations. Well marked route. Some things needing attention though include a better organized check-in table, a nice PA system at the start with ride updates and a welcome with the Star Spangled Banner, not enough 2XL t-shirts (but very nice design), sag personnel could carry pumps, less time on busy TX 22, and block off the lane through the parking area around the finish line (I was almost hit by a mall shopper coming through the staging area at ride's end. Steve Allie.
Much better than last year. Good routes unless you need hills. Two longer distances for the big dogs.
A nice improvement to the course for this years ride. The roads
on the 70 mile course were in much better shape than lasts years
and didn't require any hazards marking. Very wide shoulders on
the roads that had any traffic. Pretty standard rest stop fare with
the addition of coolers with pop. I liked the 6 mile out then back
as it was nice to see the other 20 riders also doing the long course.
Overall an excellent ride put on by the folks in Hillsboro.
May 3, 2008
The folks in Hillsboro did an excellent job putting on their first bike rally.
At the start, they had the police department control the intersections
through town and provide an escort until the edge of town and beyond.
There were many police, fire department, and other volunteers flagging
major turns and intersections along the course. There were even several
on quads that controlled exiting traffic at the 35E overpass and another
that warned of a bad gravel patch on a downhill along 77. All the rest
stops were appropriately stocked and had porta-potties. A vast majority
of the road hazards had been marked with paint. The course had a lot
of rollers, no real big up or down hills, and there was very little traffic
except for a few stretches.. The chilly, strong NW wind made it
seem like it was all uphill to Blum. My gps showed a distance of 74.5
miles from the parking lot start to the same spot for the finish. All in all,
a very good effort by the organizers that made for a good day of riding.
Hopefully the number of riders will increase next year.
Turn out for the ride was small, which was surprising. I thought the location would bring riders from both north and south. The weather did not cooperate, but that was really the only downfall. Traffic control by police and fire depts. was some of the best I have seen. They were at every intersection. We dropped down to the 36( which I had at 40 start to finish)due to the weather. The roads were all in good condition except the one into Osceola, but most bad spots were marked by orange paint. Traffic was almost non-existent most of the ride.I stopped at one rest stop and it was great. Fruit, cookies and Gatorade. My only suggestion is to find a straighter way back into town. The last few miles winding through neighborhoods was ok for looking at homes and yards, but got alittle old for me. It could be that I was dead from fighting the winds.
Can't wait to go back next year and try it without the wind.