Collin Classic, McKinney, TX
I've done the Collin Classic every year since 2003. It was my first long ride – 75 miles (on a mountain bike) that I will never forget – the open country road, the fresh air, no traffic, a little Texas heat, and the feeling of adventure. It sparked my interest in cycling. Thank you, Mike!! It was the standard I measured all others against. It was easily my favorite ride, and I've only missed it one time since then. But in 2016, I didn't do the Collin, and I think you should know why. Since Mike bowed out as the organizer, things definitely have changed. The price has gone well north. And now they are charging 5 and 10 dollars for "VIP" parking on top of that. You must be kidding – and in parking lots paid for by our taxes. I know they say "complimentary parking is available", but something still smells wrong. I know it's for a good cause, but I don't believe the ends justify the means. (It reminds me of the Wild Ride, which also was for a good cause. When I registered at the shop for $40, they offered to sell me a t-shirt for $10. I'm sure the "you must be kidding" look on my face was priceless as I said "No thanks".) I still wasn't motivated to write this review until I went to their website for 2017 and noticed that the "until July 10" fee is "Just $45", and after that it's "Just $50." . They actually use the word "just" as if it should be more. Their promoters must be from California, I guess. I believe this is the highest fee for a tour ride in North Texas (and no 75 or 100 mile option). IMHO, it's "just" a bit greedy...so I "just" won't be there.
I wasn't a fan of the new routes. It is no fun riding the same roads out and back. The old 60 mile route roads were in better shape than this year's route.
Parking was much more difficult at the new location unless you paid for VIP parking.
The only negatives were the route and road quality. I'm hoping they go back to the old ones.
The rest of the ride was top notch. The food, organization and SAG support was great.
I like the new route - but I also liked the old route. Traffic control was good, very little if any chip seal. A few cat 1's and a few extra Cat2's in the lead group made for some fun and fast pace. Excellent hamburgers from Texas Land and Cattle. Plenty of beer and margarita's (at a city of plano park), though could not partake since I had to ride home. Lot of vendors at finish, TXLC, Starbucks, Cains chicken, some ice cream. Apparently a live band that started to play after I left. Rudy & the Andrea Foundation got this one right.
June 13, 2015
This was an interesting ride. With a reported record 3000+ riders, it was busy! The weather was dicey, with showers blowing through off and on. Everything was organized well – parking, registration, traffic control, and signage. The course was its usual challenging self – rollers, some chip seal, etc. The post ride meal was tasty! Overall, a thumbs-up for the Collin Classic!
Great turnout, good rally! Great burger lunch after, nice 46 mile route. All good; a must-do rally for me each year.
Another wonderful Collin Classic behind me and it's still one of the best (Got to see Bikin' Mike and Emmett Smith). The 100K route has some really "nice" hills in the top of the route that really tested these old bones. The route did cross slower riders but I didn't have a problem as I was not in a large group. The rain storm I encountered was unexpected but didn't last long and helped cool me down, although the resulting humidity was a little tough. The burgers were excellent for me but the wife thought they were under-cooked. I completed the ride with a 16.9 MPH average which included one stop (an excellent rest stop too). Will do the ride again!
June 14, 2014
Nice modification to route, added a few extra hills in the 18-28 mile point in ride. Texas land and cattle hamburgers were excellent. Nice end of ride finish. Get a pace car for the start - Someone let Rudy A act as the lead cyclist and he missed the first turn, The fast guys had to circle back to get back on the correct route, going 30+ weaving through the slower groups got a Little sketchy until we go back in front Other than that mistake it was great ride
Did the 48-mile route (Actual distance was 51.5 miles). Pre-registered on Friday and arrived about an hour before the start in anticipation of the same parking problems as last year. No problems this time. Long line at Port-O-Potties, before the start - could have been a few more Potties. Anticipated the headwinds and chipseal, but not the number of hills. Seems like there were more this year than last year. Was pretty tired of climbing hills by the time I reached the last rest stop. The rest stops were great - well stocked and staffed, and adequate numbers of Port-O-Potties. Heard third hand that there were at least a couple of accidents, one of which involved a peloton taking out a 74-year old man. I heard and saw in my recumbent's mirrors a 20-man peloton approaching me from behind, so I pulled over to the far right. They had plenty of room to pass, but elected to buzz me, coming very close and each of them cutting in front of me. I know it must be fun, but you guys need to cut that c$$p out. Suggestion for organizers - include route maps with SAG number in registration packet. The registration volunteers at PC&F didn't know the SAG number. They said it would be on the maps on the Ride's website. The number was in fact not on the website maps.
In response to the rider that had a small peleton buzz by him - One of the beauties of a bike rally is that it allows riders of multi skill levels to enjoy a bike ride with thousands of their closest and dearest friends. This is also one of the curses which is the mixing of cyclists of different speeds and skill levels on the same road at the same time. Granted some of the faster cyclists appear rude when the announce "on the left" - but it is a safety issue. Granted this is only a rally and not a race, but testorone takes over, and the peleton wants to stay as part of the group. We know it is a turn off for the recreational cyclists and most of us try to be considerate of the recreation cyclists.
The ride directors are should strive to design routes so that the slower riders / shorter distances dont merge into the longer distances until the last couple of miles. When biking mike ran the collin classic, he was notorious for dumping the shorter routes onto the longer routes. This year the 20 mile route did not merge into the 67 mile route until the last 5 miles which was good. However the 50 mile route was merged into the 67 mile route at approx 30 miles which is dangerous. At the merge point my group was going by at 22-24mph passing 17mph cyclists going 2-3 abreast with on coming traffic.
There are times to ride double or even triple file but when riders are passing fast, it is time to ride single file. On the other hand when the fast riders ride in double file peloton there isn't much room left. I am a slow rider and I have been yelled at because I was not 6 inches from the edge of the road and the yellers were in a double peloton. I also might want to pass an even slower rider and have been yelled at for that. Most of the time it works out just fine. A pet peeve of mine is the "Buddies" Two riders that will side by side no matter what. Usually one or both may be an inexperienced so they ride slow and manage to take up the entire lane. - Oh well - John P.S. No flames please.....
ORGANIZERS: Just after leaving Rest Stop #3 on 48/52 mile route, a BLACK SUV SAG vehicle, containing CYCLISTS, passed several riders at a HIGH RATE OF SPEED, CROSSED OVER A NO-PASSING YELLOW LINE WHILE APPROACHING A HILL, and came close to COLLIDING HEAD-ON WITH AN ONCOMING VEHICLE!!! His/her "evasive action" to avoid this near-tragedy was very alarming, and could have seriously injured or killed several cyclists/passengers/drivers if contact had been made with other vehicle. This is my 24th year of attending rallies, and I've never seen anything so stupid & dangerous with the operation of a SAG.
June 8, 2013
64 miles, 3 hours 42 minutes – What an outstanding event. Super police presents, excellent break points (the volunteers were simply the best), good roads and excellent weather! From an old dudes perspective: THE BEST RIDE THIS YEAR! - Ed
It has been a while since we've ridden the Collin Classic and were very pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the event went, at how beautiful the countryside was, and at how well stocked the rest stops were. The after ride hamburgers were excellent. Terrific job organizers! Don and Donna
"Interesting" things about the C.C. this year: I know to be in the parking area no later than 7:00 am or else finding a spot is hard, but jeez! EVERYONE had to park in the field(s) because the concrete lots were occupied by "festival vendors"! Dozens of riders could have used those spaces, especially when there were so few vendors.........THEY should be in the grassy areas. Those folks directing parking kept rolling us down full aisles, waisting precious time, instead of communicating with each other via radio or phone. TO THOSE WHO DID NOT GET A T-SHIRT because of not pre-registering, or not having your size AT pre-registered site:
Dang-near last man standing at post-rally party, boxes upon boxes of goodie bags arrrived with ALL sizes of T-shirts! When it was clear that no one was claiming them, it became a free-for-all, whomever wanted one, grabbed 'em! WOW! Where were these when riders were laying down their money? Free burgers were great, thanks! Skip the bottled mineral water, as it tasted awful.......just get cheap stuff from Walmart.
Good police coverage at intersections and great volunteers.
I'll be back, but PLEASE get the vendors out of the parking lot. Not interested in buying insurance or newspapers or anything NOT cycling-related.
The event was great. I would give it an A- Good stuff - Like the staggered start, great 100k route, good intersection and turn control, rest stops looked good, ride was beautiful lots of local clubs supporting the shorter routes to help people out. Bad Stuff - Conflicting signage at a split (sign said go left Policeman pointed right). PARKING got horrible reviews last year and this year it seemed worse. At 7:15 there were literally 100 cars waiting to get into a single entrance. Really?? Second issue was about the pre registration. I was the 1st person to pick up my packet at RBM. No shirts but given a ticket and told to pick it up before the race. Considering the parking issues the logistics of that would have been ridiculous... For 2014 get there early or park away and ride in.
Lets see, 2700 riders, that must be about 2,000 cars. Now lets park them one at a time. How long does that take? Well that is too damn long. Get there early or don't go. - John
June 9, 2012
As one of the organizers of the Collin Classic, I felt obligated to respond to the review of the ride, in which a rider complained that he couldn't get to the head of the start, and that he was unable to make it to the 62 mile split on the route before the 10:00am closure.
First complaint; there wasn't any room up from for him. Solution; get to the ride earlier.
Second complaint; the 10:00am closure of the 62 mile route was not "broadcasted", and that a 15 mph average to get to the 62 mile split was unreasonable. Solution; on the route map on the website, and on the route map that every rider was given, it clearly states that the 62 mile route will close at 10:00am. Also, it is 24.4 miles from the start to the 62 mile split. To get there by 10:00am, you would need to ride a 12.2 mph average. Even with the "congested" start, if you can't ride 12.2 mph for 2 hours, then you don't need to be doing the 62 mile course. As one of the other reviews stated, probably a good idea to visit the website and look at the rider map ahead of time, instead of just showing up at the last minute to the start site and going.
I am not a fast rider, as most of you know, but I made it past the 62 mile turnoff in plenty of time. - John
All in all, the ride was enjoyable for what it is -- a fairly flat ride with a few of hills thrown in here and there; unfortunately, I don't remember hitting any set of hills I'd refer to as "The Roller Coaster." Enjoyable ride aside, there were a number of issues that I ran into -- none of which are deal breakers for me, but I think they're things that should be considered by other riders and the event organizers. The start of the race was extremely congested -- it was so packed, there wasn't room for those of us planning to ride the longer rides up towards the front. Without an up front start, quite a few long distance riders were left in the back of the pack with people riding the 20mi route. Suffice it to say, this caused quite a delay in getting the ride going. Once the ride was finally underway, the signage was less than ideal -- it seemed as though the organizers only put out signs for the short distance rides; the longer distance routes required us to look for a 1sf area with a painted CC and arrow. When we finally hit the 62 and 52mi split, we were told the 62mi route was closed. Closed? What? I'm not a top contender by any stretch, but a 15mph average shouldn't lump me in with the "too slow to complete the route" crowd. Had the event broadcasted that there would be a time limit on the 62mi route, I would have made a more concerted effort to start at the front -- even if it meant showing up earlier than I did. The last little annoyance was the lack of road hazard markings; unless a rider up front called out a hazard, you were up to spotting your own -- which is easier said than done when you're forced to start at the back of the pack and surrounded by countless riders. Despite the issues, I'll ride the route again. It is an enjoyable, relaxed ride once you break free of the congestion.
Awesome ride! The start was a little tight and congested but I do understand why they did it. It was actually nice keeping all the riders together through downtown McKinney. I am sure all the kids standing on their front porch got one heck of a sight! The rest stop I stopped at (22) was outstanding! Fully stocked, welcoming, and an all around happy to see you attitude! I did the 42 and I did notice that when the longer routes split off there was only the 48 mile route marked. No big deal if you reviewed the map before hand. Also no problem about the 62 route closing at 10, also on the route sheet. Sometimes it helps to review the routes, not just show and go! My hats off to a job well done. The organizers are doing their best and I want to thank them for putting this on! AWESOME Job, where I come from we say Bravo Zulu!
A) The road selection from mile 12 through mile 20 was horrible. Narrow road, loose gravel, chip seal, incomplete pavement. At least two crashes were due to road conditions. That stretch had numerous blind corners.
B) Way too many routes 62, 52, 47, 42, 36, etc. With that many routes, it requires extra signage, extra police support etc. The second problem is that it dumps the slower riders in front of the faster riders. At mile 30 we began passing the 52 milers, at mile 40, we began passing the 47 and 42 milers, mile 45 we began passing the 36 & 32 milers, etc. There was long stretch on FM 1827 where cars were backed up with the slower riders.
I have done it for years and I will keep doing it. Nice start with plenty of parking, but can get congested if you are late. Overall, good and challenging 60 mile course (promoted as 62, but that's not what my computer said at the end). Nice hills workout. A few rough roads, but I'd say that was less than 20% of the 60 mile route. Nice indoor showers and available bathrooms with toilet paper. Nice finish in school cafeteria with free massage/chiro service. I walked right up with no wait. BBQ and warm drinks at the end did not seem appealing to me. I was really craving ice and a cold beverage. Congested traffic on the way out. There are alternative side roads to get in and out easier.
This is a well supported ride with law enforcement at all intersections, fully stocked rest stops, adequate route signage (there were no issues on the 42 mile route), post ride showers, food and messages available. In the future, road hazards should be marked for rider safety, but that would be my only suggestion. I live in McKinney and will continue to support the ride and was thrilled to see close to 3,000 cyclists participate. There was an announcement prior to the start that a different organization will assume responsibility of putting on the ride in 2013. Thanks to the organizers for all your hard work over the years and best of luck in 2013 to the new organizers.
Road the Collin Classic '62 mile route', well actually just over 60 miles. Where to begin? Let preface this review by saying that I've ridden in 23 different charity events in the DFW area over the last 2 ½ years, so I've seen a lot of variety, both good and bad. Starting with registration. I pre-registered online, which was no problem. Getting the packet on the day of the ride was a different story. At the registration tent (20 minutes before the start time), there were two lines with 20 riders in each. One line was for pre-registered and the other was for day of race registration. My friend and I started off at the same point in each line but he made it through the registration line before I could get to the front of the pre-registered line. It appears that they had more riders than expected, which is good for them and the charity, but bad for the riders. After getting my number, I was sent around the other side of the tent where they handed me a map and told me they only had small t-shirts left, no bag at all (I had seen other riders carrying bags so I assume they ran out). The web-site said 'the first 2500 registered riders would get t-shirts' and 'if you don't want a t-shirt there was a $3.00 discount, unless you were registering day of ride'. I guess it didn't matter when you registered but what time you arrived at the registration tent. Unfortunately the most disappointing pre-registration experience I've had at any ride. Traffic and parking? From the reviews last year I could tell coming from 75 would be a mistake, since I was coming from the West (via DNT and 380), I was able to avoid that mess and roll right up to the front of the school. There was some limited parking on the Southwest side of the school so I was able to avoid the long line of cars waiting to park. A lot of porta potties but still pretty decent lines at 7:40, they needed more porta potties. Mass start for all routes? Big mistake, riders were crammed into a three lane road and it stretched quite far back. If there are this many riders, the organizers need to try and separate the start of the various routes for safety purposes (the back of map said the start would be staged but I think only the family route was staged. FWIW staging is only effective if there is an attempt to get the fastest riders up front not just those riding the longest distance). The route itself was good with several areas of technical turns, mainly flat with a few hills. The country roads kept us away from most of the traffic. Route marking were clearly marked with large signs and key intersections were manned. There initially was a motorcycle escort, which I believe peeled off at some point, which was probably a mistake. Once the lead group of 30-40 cyclists, came upon the areas where the shorter routes merged it became very dangerous for the lead group and the riders on the other routes. The riders on the other routes had this large group bearing down on them at 25-35 mph with no warning, which an escort would have provided. Two points here for the participants, while I'm all about doing the ride as fast as possible, not so much at risk to other riders or myself. The leaders of the pack should have moderated the pace a little instead of driving us at high speed through the slower riders. Some bad behavior by a few in the pack, yelling at the riders from the other routes to 'get to the right' in a not so nice way. This was not HHH 2011, with slower riders stretched across the full two lanes but riders that were mostly on the right half of the road who were probably shocked to see a 'race level' peloton flying past them. The merging of routes approximately started at mile 35, and then continued at 36, 39, 49, 51 and 54 which provided a steady diet of slower riders meeting up with the lead group. In conclusion, it appears the organizers were not prepared to handle the volume of riders and unfortunately this created some safety issues for riders of all skill levels. I doubt I'd ride this again unless changes are made.
Just wanted to make a comment about the Collin Classic bike ride. We were disappontedin the fact that even though we were preregisterd we did not receive a T shirt or anything else for registering. Even before the race started the porta potties were our of toilet paper. We were also told not to take anything from the rest stops unless you absolutely needed to. We rode our route, did not stop at any rest stops and went right home afterwards. Did not feel it was handled very well.
I really enjoyed this ride. You need to get there early as traffic getting in is difficult and lines are long for registration and the port-a-potties. I think they had a much bigger turn-out than expected. However, it is fairly well organized. It is very crowded and stayed very crowded for at least the first 10 miles (at least with the 62 mile group). There were some rough stretches of chip seal, but that is difficult to avoid. I agree that it was probably less than 20% of the ride. It is a pretty easy course with jut a few hills. There is one stretch with some fun rollers, but it is not very difficult. I actually crashed and several very friendly people stopped to help and take care of me. I hit a road crack the wrong way and it threw me. No one's fault but my own. Many thanks to the SAG wagon from Cadence Cyclery who hauled me in and to the riders who stopped to make sure I was o.k. I've done this ride for 3 years and I'll continue to do it. However, I know to get there even a bit earlier next year to make getting in and parking easier.
I road the Collin Classic for the first time in 2012. I completed the 62 mile route. I was reading a lot of these review and felt I needed to add my $0.02 since the squeaky wheel usually gets most of the oil. I had a great time and thought the rally was well done. The break points were staffed by volunteers that were helpful and friendly. The riders were courteous throughout the ride. Even the parking attendants were running around getting all those last minute/late arrivers to a parking spot as quickly as possible. The energy of the ride was great from start to finish. I will definitely look forward to participating in this ride again in 2013.
June 11, 2011
Excellent organization with this ride. Pre-registration, parking, start, and police support were all first class. Did one of the shorter routes so didn't use a rest stop. Be back next year!!
Changing the route in 2010 going south was a good idea except for the narrow downtown streets - this section needs to be rerouted. The change of the route off of fm 2933 onto the chip and seal roads was a terrible idea. Until the route got back on cr500, the back road were heavy chip seal littered with gravel with a lot of tight and blind turns. Mike needs to work on improving the road choices
Rode the Collin Classic today. The routes, volunteers, parking, etc. were great. I have two reasons I'll probably not go back for a while; the "Pedalers Party" was water, PB&J and a Popsicle. The ending made the Head for the Hills ride in Cedar Hill (for those that haven't been, go, you'll thank me) look like the Ritz Carlton vs. the Collin Comfort Inn. With all the restaurants in McKinney you can't con someone in to providing decent, even if it's small, food of some type, REALLY? The second issue is and it's a deal breaker for me, if you want me to drive more than 15 minutes from my house to your ride, provide for showers. This just makes sense for the local businesses, I'm not going to go sit down for a meal or stop to shop until I've gotten cleaned up. Kudos to the Allen 24 Hour Fitness for allowing my wife, who's not a member, to go in and shower while I did. P.S. the Hill Challenge was supposed to be towards the end according to the CC website, it wasn't, the was no signage, hence when I saw the "bumps" in the road I avoided them, not knowing what they were. I was actually really look forward to that part so I was very disappointed.
I rode the 100K route (61 miles). Love the new course! Interesting tour of historic downtown McKinney, nice rolling terrain, very little chip seal, and very little on freeway access roads--had no idea it was so pretty in this area. Other pros: very safe start (nice, wide road to head out on), traffic controlled by cops at every main intersection and through McKinney, and rest stops (3 and 5) had everything, even cool wet rags! My only real complaint is the need for the separate waiver. I arrived with my registration form filled out, but had to wait in a line for the waiver. This waiver information can be put on the registration form and save us all that hassle. With the large crowds it is advisable to get there an hour early if you are going to register that morning. I got there 45 minutes prior and was scrambling. (Cars are already backed up to the freeway at this time). I prefer the outside tent to the cafeteria of year's past--but with the heat the only thing that I found desirable to eat were the popsicles. Thanks for a great ride and see you next year!
DISAPOINTED that I chose this ride instead of Dublin, Texas for the DR. PEPPER ride or driving to Arkansas for a different ride. I Rode the 100 mile route. What? 100 mile route! They did not offer a 100 mile route you say, they only had a 76 mile. There was exactly ONE sign that said 76 mile loop and it was painted on the road. We turned right at that sign and did another 20 miles courtesy of Bikin Mike. The Signage was poor and ridiculous. I do not mind doing 100 mile routes at all I just do not like that helpless empty feeling of being lost and not seeing anyone for 20 miles. They had one year to prepare for it and difficult to understand how they could mess it up so bad with the experience that Bikin Mike has doing these. No food at the end and we finished before 2 pm. Not even PB&J sandwiches. Rest stops was the only bright spot, well stocked.
Thought the ride this year was great. Great route, very good rest stops, well organized. I look forward to doing it again next year.
Great well organized ride, only one little bit rough section of Chip Seal that i noticed, generally smooth pavement overall, lots of nice rolling hills and scenery. I rode the 52 and stopped at two of the rest stops that were well stocked and full of nice happy people..thank you....lots of parking, easy registration and easy start. Had a great ride...tkyu
I participated in the Collin Classic yesterday. I'd like to extend my congratulations to who ever was in charge of the event – yours was the only contact info I could find on the website. Mike, if you are not the correct person, could you please pass this email onto the correct person? Thank you!
I am a runner, and new to biking. This was my first bike 'non-race'. (odd concept coming from the running world). I was overwhelmed and amazed at what a fine event it was. First of all, I didn't expect much for $30. That equals a cheap running race, so I was expecting bare minimum. I couldn't believe the number of volunteers, police officers, routes, and participants. And everything went so smoothly! I found my fellow bikers to be so kind and helpful to a newbee like me. (I didn't know where to put the race number sticker – bike or helmet?!?) The water stops were more than water stops – they were full out parties! How fun! I had no idea that this world of biking existed. I am so glad to have found it, and to add it to my list of hobbies.
Thank you for a well organized and safe race. I had a blast and will be back next year.
I completed the 76 miles in 5 hours. At first I did not think I was going to make it the 'cutoff' point for the 76 miles BUT I got there at 1130am and had plenty time to get finish. It was a great ride with great support. Please thank all the rest stop support people.
I wanted to say how AWESOME the ride was , I was so impressed with the amount of patrol to keep the riders safe !! Great Job on organization for the ride !!
FYI - the a McKinney PD officer noticed a young driver operating his vehicle in such a manner as to be threatening to the cyclists.
Said motorist was pulled over, ticketed, vehicle was towed and he was instructed to walk home.
He was also told if he had been 17 years old he would have been arrested and put in jail.
Thanks for riding with us.
I enjoyed the ride very much, I rode with my PBA club members and we had a ball, all the rest stops were great and of course the PBA rest stop excelled.
There was some chip seal but that's to be expected right, try find a 70+ mile route with no chip seal in Texas, I have only one contention. We were a group of 16 reasonably experienced cyclists and we all could have easily made the full distance however as it was the longest ride for some of our members we stopped at all rest stops and timed ourselves to reach the cut off point which we did 20 minutes early, Why oh why was the road closed early? I can tell you it was very disappointing for us especially as we could have picked up the pace and made it earlier!
Otherwise a great event, everyone from Bikin' Mike, the volunteers and all the law enforcement were awesome to deal with, I only saw one ambulance out there taking a scratched up rider away which is remarkable considering how many people there was out there.
Looking forward to next year and Mike, please don't let them talk you into closing early, we wanna ride the whole event. Thank you for an awesome day on the bike.
June 12, 2010
I rode the Collin Classic this weekend, and completed the 60 mile route. It was a tough ride, with plenty of challenge for everyone. It had some challenging hills, wind, and oh yes: A HEAT INDEX THAT WOULD STOP A TRUCK. I think the volunteers and organizers did a good job. The rest stops were well stocked, the routes were well marked, and the food at the end was very good. I think if it were not for the heat, this would have been a perfect day. Nice job, folks!
Great ride! Organization was great. Special thanks to all the volunteers that worked so hard to pull off this event. I did the 60 mile, which was 57 according to my computer. Didn't use and rest stops so can't comment on those. Parking and preregistration were handled well. Signage was excellent with volunteers at just about every intersection. Lots of police support too. It was hilly and windy this year but I'll be back.
Great ride! Organization was great. Special thanks to all the volunteers that worked so hard to pull off this event. I did the 60 mile, which was 57 according to my computer. Didn't use and rest stops so can't comment on those. Parking and preregistration were handled well. Signage was excellent with volunteers at just about every intersection. Lots of police support too. It was hilly and windy this year but I'll be back.
This event continues to get better each year. I love the added portion of tracking through Downtown McKinney through the first 6 miles of the ride. The chip seal which really beat me up the last couple of years has smoothed out significantly creating a truly enjoyable ride. I believe all of the returning cyclist were very cautious early on considering the number of incidents early in the ride of 2009. I didn’t see any wrecks or even close calls this year. All rest stops are well stocked with friendly volunteers and the finish of the ride keeps you honest with a moderate elevation incline. I would recommend this ride to anyone looking to add a date to your cycling calendar for 2011.
Just a note about how much I enjoyed the 2010 Collin Cty. Classic. The new route through Downtown McKinney was great. Having the populous stop and cheer made you feel like a Tour Rider without the 30mph pace. I rode the 39mile loop. The rest stop, a few miles after the 1827 turn, was brilliance. This ride just keeps getting better every year...........! ,BK
June 13, 2009
I was really pleased with the way our volunteer leadership team and volunteer crew members responded to the challenges of the day. With the high heat, high humidity and low wind levels – we knew we were in for a hot day. We upped the ice order to 4 tons and reminded the crew that we had 2 thoughts for the day.
1) Slow down – you move too fast. Heat is an energy drain.
2) When things go wrong, don’t go with them.
As the morning unfolded, we had some inexperienced and/or aggressive riders causing others to crash and medical transports that got it started. Then as the heat of the day developed, riders who had underestimated the effects of the heat were quickly pulling over and calling for a SAG. The numbers began to build very quickly.
In an average year, we experience a 1% to 2% transport rate for SAG support. For us, that means 24 to 48 cyclists. Yesterday, according to our COMM Team, we had well over 125 transports when they quit counting – a 5% transport rate. Our system was quickly overwhelmed/backlogged – but the volunteers kept their cool and just went to work identifying where the people were and scheduled them for a pick up as soon as they had a crew available. Admittedly, it took a while. For some people, who evidently think that calling a SAG is like calling a taxi – it must have been extremely frustrating. Some riders got so tired of waiting that they ended up riding in to the finish – while others berated the volunteers at the Break Points because a SAG had not gotten there yet.
Anybody who is ever unhappy with an event of mine should complain to me or yell at me. It is not the fault of the volunteer at the break point or driving the truck. My email address is mike@BikinMike.com and yes, I can read yelling.
We’ll study the event, talk about the issues, meet with City and County officials and work to improve our plans and support structure. I work year round on the Collin Classic. No matter what we do to prepare and set it up, it takes all of us working together to make it a safe and enjoyable for all.
Many of the volunteers who were out there yesterday supporting you are fellow cyclists. They gave up their chance to ride yesterday to be there to take care of you. While many of the volunteers at the event were participating in our “Work and Ride Free” program (we have comped more than $8000 in registration fees since we began this program), others were just ordinary people who want to be a part of an activity that is serving and improving our community. They are doing the best they can with what we gave them to work with.
While I study the patterns and work to put the best possible structure in place to serve the volunteers who will make the event happen, I must confess that the patterns are always moving and changing. Producing cycling events is like building a jigsaw puzzle with pieces made of water. Everything is always changing and many factors are unpredictable (like the recent Bike MS rides in Houston and Dallas). All I can promise to our participants is that we will do everything we can to provide a good ride opportunity for them to enjoy – and hope that they have a good ride.
What happens on the route, for the most part, is up to the 2500 people sitting in the saddle. We hope that they had a good ride experience with us.
On behalf of the 200 volunteers at large including
Our Break Point Teams
Plano Bicycle Association
The Team Bikin’ Leadership Team
Mikalan Cawley & Kathy Kilpatrick – Volunteer Coordinators
Fred Miller & Paul Breitzman – Route Coordinators
Jan Roewe & Laura Schulte – Registration Coordinators
Nancy King & Jeanie Brazelton – Data Entry Coordinators
Kevin Colbeck & Walt Robertson – SAG Coordinators
Tony Campbell & Chad Stetzl – HAMM NET/ Communications Coordinators
Stephen Bell – Start Staging
Lisa Bell – Cafeteria
Frank Cortese – Set Up & Take Down Coordinator
My husband, Jim, and I got up early to go work registration at the middle school this year. We were so pleased with the set up and the way the cyclists were moved through the lines quickly. Lots of port a potties were available and in a location that made it easy to get to. When the ride started we were finished with our duties and got our bikes ready to do the ride. Thanks to Mike for letting us ride free when volunteering.
We had fun watching the families with small children do the four mile route and we said encouraging things to the children as we passed.
The roads were really pleasant as we chose to do the 34 mile course. There was some chipseal but it was worn down so not unpleasant, and some mild rolling hills also. The rest stops were well stocked and I enjoyed the choices of snacks. Ice cold drinks were a pleasure to find as the heat of the day was rising mile after mile.
Lots of mechanical support was available as we saw vans go by and witnessed them helping to change people's flat tires. We helped one fellow whose spare tube had a problem so we gave him one and before we knew it a SAG driver came by with a floor pump for him, what service!
The volunteers, the roads and nice scenery, the camaraderie all combined to make this a very fun event for us. I give this ride a big thumbs up. Thanks to all who made it happen, and to Mike Keel for his hard work as director!
Now, for my concerns...
My only real complaint has to do with the lack of cyclist to cyclist communication. Only four people said "On your left" the whole ride, hundreds came by without a single word. When did we lose our concern and courteous behavior? And pointing obstacles out on the roadway was seldom done. I would like to see less headphones also, we said "On your left" to a rider who could not hear us. And the fellow following us while talking on the cell phone as he held it to his ear was a bit annoying and uncaring. We took the speed up as we thought it best for our own safety. I wish these folks would take a Traffic Skills 101 class from BikeDFW! Cheers,
Gail P. Spann Texas Ambassador for the League of American Bicyclists LCI # 1900
This was once again a well organized ride with great routes (at least the 55 mile one) with rolling hills and very challenging weather (HOT and HUMID).
Great job by all the volunteers and police en route.
The only comment for improvement would be regarding Rest Stop #2, where the well intended volunteers insisted on filling up the water bottles as opposed to setting up the station for riders to do so themselves (as is customary). This caused HUGE lines that left riders waiting upwards of 20 minutes to be able to refill water… (ouch)
I rode the 34 (Mr. Garmin said 31 – oh well!) and my wife did the 22. Other than the brief section of the Texas standard chip and seal – gee, nothing new about that – this was a nice challenge on a high humidity day. Reading Bikin’ Mikes review only reminds me that far too many forget hydration and turn macho for the wrong reasons. I was also glad that despite the number of riders the incidents on the road seemed to be manageable with the most serious about 4 miles into the ride. Most riders were quite conscientious of signals and sounding intentions. Additionally, the support and visibility of the various members of law enforcement added significantly to the day’s event. The fajitas definitely hit the spot at the end of the day! Thank you for an enjoyable morning.
Our group did the 55 mile route. Parking and race day registration was uneventful. Got a T shirt ok. Staging of the different ride distances seemed to go smoothly. Loved the National Anthem singer. The course had police at all intersections and volunteers at all potentially dangerous spots, like rail road tracks. The roads were in decent shape, with one stretch of well worn chip seal heading into Melissa. The rest stops were many, well spaced out, and all had enough supplies to handle the cyclists properly. (But there were lines to get fluids at the 25 mile rest stop from what I hear). After the ride there was plenty of food and water available, along with a great indoor venue to hang out in. (Restrooms and showers included). For food they even had a vegetarian (breakfast burrito with egg) option. This place is easy to find and is close to home. I'll be back next year!
Big thanks to Mike and all of his volunteers for another great ride this year. I'll echo what Mike said in that the wrecks were caused by some over-aggressive riding and lack of attention. Thanks to the person who rode back and warned oncoming riders that someone was down. It did get quite hot, which I figured would hamper some riders as just a week ago we had cooler temps and much less humid air. The rest stops I dropped off at (#3 & #5) were very well run and stocked with plenty of food/drink. Shade was available as well as chairs, kids with water guns, etc.
I think I have heard Mike clearly state that this route is most difficult towards the end. The hardest stretch was coming out of Blue Ridge to Princeton and on the road in to New Hope. Rolling hills, south winds, and heat were doing a number on folks. However, the rest stops and post ride is set up very well to replenish riders. The tacos were very good (choice of beef, chicken, egg) and cold water hit the spot. For $25 a rider (pre-registered) and 1/2 price for the kids, this is a very well planned event. The chip sealed roads on the route have weathered down fairly well and volunteers get better and better every year. I think next year I might push my oldest kid to do the 15 mile route as it seems to have very good support and traffic control.
Good ride, I had easy in and easy out for parking, but was there early, did see some back up a bit later. I liked the 55 mile route it was very pretty, the chip n'seal was bad though but you can't do much about that in Collin County, the traffic patrol was excellent. I ended up with 53 miles on the 55 mile route, but no big deal. I stopped at rest stop #5 and it was great, everyone was very friendly, plenty of snacks/drinks to choose from. The food at the end was excellent! I didn't see any crashes or any aggressive riders causing crashes? I did see a few inexperienced riders nearly cause a few accidents but that is to be expected as accidents do happen when many cyclist are on the road.
On a positive note, the route was good. Had it not been for the heat and chip sealed roads. On the negative side: There were LOTS of chip sealed roads. I would say at least 50% of the 55 mile route (which was really only 53 miles!) was chip sealed. I wasn't very impressed with the rest stops either – really long lines and NO ICE. I think it was the 3rd aid station, I stood in line behind about 40 people (3 lines) to get water and sports drink. The showers in the high school must have moderated temperatures, because I could not get cold or hot water, just medium, and as hot as I was, all I wanted at that point was a cold shower. None of the routes were as long as they were advertised as. The 55 miler was only 53, 47 was only 43, 34 was 31, and so on. After 5 minutes and no movement, decided to just get back on the bike without refilling. I seriously doubt I would do this one again.
Still one of the best rides in the area, but this year was not as enjoyable as past years. For whatever reason, Collin County road crews decided to chip seal a lot of the great pavement that previously existed. The result, a lot more numbness and nowhere near the amount of miles of smooth roads as there's been in the past. Aside from that, everything was well organized. Good rest stops. Good traffic control at intersections. All routes were well marked.
I rode the collin classic/Mckinney 6/13/09 for the first time.
I thought it was a delightful ride, I knew that it would be hot and did the 47 mile ride and I finished just the way I wanted…hot, but hydrated.
The scenery was great and every rest stop was wonderful…thanks for the popsicles at rest stop #4 (I think) that “hit the spot”. Cant wait to do it again next year.