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Shiner G.A.S.P.
(Greater Austin to Shiner Pedal)

May 2012

The ride was very well organized. I think they said there were 1600 riders. I did the full century, and the rest stops were all well stocked with all the normal supplies. Some of them had pb & j sandwiches and ice which was much appreciated as the heat got going. It was a headwind the whole way, and as always, the last nine miles from Moulton to Shiner were really challenging—uphill, straight into the wind. Great ride, but you must be in shape to complete this one!

May 7, 2011

This is an amazingly well organized ride. Many thanks to the team of great volunteers who took good care of us. It was a fun and challenging ride. This is the first time I've done this ride and it is one of the hardest I've done, mostly because of the headwind. The first 63 miles were great. After mile 63, we hit some rough grated pavement (which we were warned about) that lasted about 1.5 miles and then went to chipseal. The wind picked up at about the same time, which really started to slow everyone down. The last 10 miles of the ride were directly into a headwind and were very difficult. The aid stations were well stocked with fruit and drinks, although some of my friends who were a little slower said that some of the rest stops ran out of water. Since it got pretty hot, it was tough on those people who hit it once the water was gone. The festivities in Shiner were fun. The bratwurst was great and the beer was good once I managed to cool off for a little while. We took the bus back to Austin and our bus, unfortunately, did not have functioning air conditioning. It made for a bit of a warm ride. Overally, it was a tough and challenging experience, but I will totally do it again. Again, huge kudos and thanks to the ride organizers and the volunteers!

Fellow Dallasites, this was a great experience!
Tough finish into 20 mph head wind! Don't ever remember a tougher ride at the end of the ride. Discouraging to be at mile 92 and look down at 9-10 mph while going uphill on chip seal. Just you, the cows in the pasture, and the wind. The Shiner beer, brats, live bands, massage at the end of the ride were magnificent. Almost forgot the 3 minute shower (honor code), iced down soft drinks to bring you back to feeling human. Plenty of big trees around the Shiner brewery to plop down and take it all in! Rest stops were all well stocked with food and many future Texas 4000 riders volunteering at the rest stops. Friendly volunteers!
This was a well coordinated ride. The organizers should feel proud of their accomplishment. Law enforcement had most all of the intersections manned. Majority of the ride is on nice smooth pavement with the exception of 1.5 miles stretch outside of Jedda where asphalt had recently been removed. Must have been similar to pavers at Paris-Roubai..
Can we move the starting line to Houston and take advantage of the southerly wind! Or, consider starting/ending the ride in beautiful Shiner. That way, we won't be battling the wind the entire 100 miles and the $50 fee could be reduced.

This was a great ride. The route was beautiful (there was some road construction in areas that made it tougher, but it was still fine). The weather was nice (a bit windy). The rest stops were well stocked and the volunteers were very courteous. A special recognition to the folks that manned the rest stop at Moulton- the kids were courteous and eager to hold your bike, the folks were encouraging to the tired riders as we neared the end. Some of our group did the 1/2 GASP (50 mile route that started at McMahan) and were glad they did with the wind we faced all day. The after party at the Spoetzel Brewery in Shiner was a great way to top off a great ride. Plenty of bratwursts, plenty of music, and plenty of the product Shiner is best known for. Our group had set up our own shuttle, so I cannot rate the shuttles provided by the ride sponsors. Overall, a good experience, we will do it again. I have already put it on my calendar for next year. Thanks to everyone that helped put this ride together.

May 2, 2009

What a ride! The route was a little different this year in order to expand it to 100 M. I thought the organization was great. Plenty of SAG. As the ride went on, more and more full SAG wagons passed by. I only stopped at 3 rest stops but they were all well stocked. Those PBJ's at aid station #6 were the best! I know they're all the same but those just went down SO good. This is NOT an easy ride. The last 28M was directly south into a 20 mph headwind. The last 19M is the toughest I've ever done and I was training at almost 200M/WK coming in. Going uphill on chipseal facing that wind is enough to make you think something is wrong with your bike. This ride is Hotter N Hell with quadruple the elevation. I heard the count to be about 1500 but this ride deserves 5000-6000 riders. The beer stand and food at the end plus a great band banging out tunes made the ride complete. It doesn't get better than this. Hats off to the organizers. My suggestions for improvement: 1) spread the busses out and make the last one at 6pm to maybe 7pm. 2) coordinate the bike return trailers with the busses. 3) If law enforcement is going to be at an intersection, why not be out in the intersection doing something rather than leaning against the car on the side of the road. Most intersections were properly manned. 4) Provide a fresh water rinse for people who want to do a quick change. You could do multiple shower heads in a private area with a dressing area off to the side. I don't need total privacy. The shower van was nice but it would have taken an hour to get through it so I found a faucet off to the side and did my own thing. 5) Consider starting/ending the ride from Shiner. That way no busses, no trailers, all your stuff is there, etc.

Not sure if I've ever done a tougher century. Unlike in 2008, the wind was out of the south/southeast, as usual for spring in Texas. We had a tailwind for MAYBE a mile early in the ride. The rest was a crosswind or, for the last 28 miles or so, straight into the south wind.
I don't remember that many hills; it's just that most of them came during that last stretch, which also had some sketchy roads. The sag was awesome, although I managed (barely) to finish without using it. The rest stops were OK, although I chose a convenience store over the last stop because I needed a Coke. I know it's expensive, but that would rock -- Cokes at the last stop. There were plenty at the end.
All in all, it was a basic, well-supported race with good traffic control. Nothing fancy. No good scenery, although we could have been in the Alps on the last stretch and most of us would have been too tired to notice. Don't even think about trying this unless you're in great shape. Saw lots and lots of bikes on sag vehicles during that brutal last stretch.

What a classic ride. This year Garmin showed route at 101 miles with a stiff head wind the entire way. Roads were surprisingly good with the support strong. Bought an awesome jersey specially designed with the 100 year celebration. Got to sit near an astronaut on the bus ride home. Perfect ride. Will be back next year.

May 5, 2007

Outstanding. 85 miles of low traffic country backroads. Tons of sag. Need the addition of oranges and bananas at the rest stops.

This was a GREAT ride with challenges along the entire route. With almost 5000ft of climbing, an average ascent of 2.4% and a max at 10%, it seems that there was very little flat surface. Even though the stretch from rest stop 4 to Shiner was generally downhill, strong south winds, 25-30mph with gusts to 40mph and a variety of rolling surfaces made for quite a challenge. A number of riders dropped out by rest stop three. From there it thinned out quite a bit. I thought the ride was very manageable until the turn south on hwy 95. Then the terrain opened up a bit and there was very little to block the wind. On top of that the stretch from Cistern to Flatonia had some of the roughest chip seal around. It seemed to never stop going uphill even when the GPS indicated flat to -2% grade. The route was all through country roads and at this time for the year the wildflowers were a delight. Traffic was very light and the vast majority of pickups were SAG wagons. The thought of a cold Shiner beer kept me going. The post ride activity at the brewery was the best I’ve seen. It was a hoot. Live music (awesome pickers), free draft Shiners, great BBQ, a tour of the brewery and lounging under 300 year old oak trees. What could be better??? Recommendations for improvement: 1) Signs indicating a turn in the course should be added preceding the turn and be on the right hand side of the road, just like normal traffic signs. I almost missed two turns had I not noticed the sign across the road on the left. 2) Traffic control could be improved quite a bit. Even though police or fire department personnel were at some intersections, most were off on the side leaving bikers on their own. A couple of cross streets didn’t have stop signs and with a speed limit of 70mph, you had to be on your toes. 3) Mount a fresh water spray at the end so we can rinse off the salt and grime. The showers were great but it was too crowded. I’ll be back next year.

May 2006

What a ride to survive! I did the Austin/Shiner. This was a fantastic ride. Storms with lots of wind, rain, scary lightning and at one point bb sized hail. Unbelievable! That was the first 70 miles. The sky cleared up the last 20 miles and ended with a great finish with food and music. The best part after the ride was touring the Shiner Brewery. I can't tell you how refreshing that cold Shiner beer was after a ride like this. T-shirt was great, people friendly and the ride quite challenging. I strongly recommend this ride and look forward to next year!

 May 15, 2004

Dear Cyclist-
First of all, THANK YOU for participating in the 2004 Shiner B.A.S.H. last month. This year's bike ride from Houston, Austin, and San Antonio to the Spoetzl Brewery benefited the American Lung Association. Net proceeds will allow the ALA to continue supporting: a Gold-Standard smoking cessation program for teens; tobacco prevention program for elementary school-aged children; asthma education for 8-11 year-olds; environmental education for medical professionals; and clinical research at the Asthma Clinical Research Center located at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. We welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions to make next year's Shiner B.A.S.H. bike ride even better.
Currently, the ALA of Houston is busy planning for the 2nd Annual Bike to the Lake Tour, scheduled for September 18-19, 2004. This two- day, 150 mile (round trip) bike ride begins in Katy and will take cyclists down winding country roads, through historic towns and past picturesque fields to Lake Somerville State Park. Cyclists will then camp overnight and enjoy live entertainment and delicious meals-and then ride back to Katy the following day.

I rode my first Shinerbash back in May. This turned out to be my first century (actually 107mi) due to a miscalculation on my part. The Shinerbash 05 is the best ride of the 20 odd events that I have participated in. It was well organized and had the usual rest stop goodies. At the end we had hot showers, free tickets to a concert, food/drink tickets and a fun bus ride back to Austin. The only thing I would have added would be a post ride BBQ dinner separate from the concert area but I guess the elves & more ride spoiled me. lol.

May 2003

How one ride can do so many thing extremely well, and then turn around and do some things so horribly bad is puzzling. I rode the Houston to Shiner ride.
First the good. They started right on time. This ride had, by far, the best SAG support and on route mechanical help of any ride I have ever been in. There was a constant stream of SAG support vehicles traveling the route all day long. Not only were there mechanics trucks on the route, but mechanics at every rest stop along the way, all very helpful. All of the rest stops were well stocked with snacks and drinks, but curiously, no cups. Not really an inconvenience, but just unusual. All the people were very helpful and friendly. The finish line activities were great.
Now the bad. The late registration and packet pickup on the morning of the ride was a complete nightmare. If you were registering that morning you first stood in a long line to register. Once you registered, they told you to go stand in a longer line to pickup your ride number. Once you got your ride number, they then told you to go stand in an even longer third line to pickup your T-shirt, map, and the rest of your packet. And all three lines were right next to each other inside the Sun and Ski store, so there was a lot of confusion about what line you were supposed to be in. A real disaster. The only other complaint I had was that there were only three port-a-potties at each of the rest stops. Much more were needed. If you had to use one on the route, it guaranteed at least a 30 minute wait in line.
Hopefully, the organizers will learn from this years mistakes and make some corrections for next year. At least I hope they do, because the positives far outweighed the negatives, and I will defiantly be back next year. This was a very good ride and with a couple of corrections could be one of the best