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Tour d' Italia - Italy, TX

June 2016

Once again, this ride continues to grow. Weather was hot and humid. Wish it would start a little earlier. As much as I like this ride, I think it has outgrown starting at the school. The road that we have started on the last few years is just not adequate for the amount of participation. Parking continues to be an issue. Disappointed with no Elvis at the 50 mile rest stop. The course is challenging enough to be a great work-out. Some good rollers and plenty of flats. Road overall as expected—some smooth, some rough, some chipseal, and some cracked and pot-hole riddled. Registration was pretty smooth with a decent goody bag. Signage was good as usual. Good intersection control. Lots of friendly volunteers and well stocked rest stops. Appreciated the ice cold towels. Overall, this is a good ride and a great prelude to the Goatneck and HHH. See you next year. Oh yeah, love the plums!

This is an enjoyable tour. Lone Star Cyclists do a great job. The only negative I can think of is the parking, particularly if you are late. I'm not sure there is a good fix for this because there just isn't a wealth of spots and this is always a well-attended rally. The announcer at the start mentioned some 1400 riders had registered. Everything else was handled well- registration, signage, etc. Great goody bags. The rest stops were well staffed and the chilled fruit (plums, watermelon) were a welcome treat, especially as the day got hotter. The route was the same as previous years and included enough grades and hill to give you an adequate workout. The snow cones at the end of the ride were great!

This is my second time to do Tour D'Italia, and it was just as great as last year. It is a large rally, starting at the local high school. Parking is a little tedious (don't arrive late!), but reasonably efficient. The ride is fully supported by all the big bike stores, and registration was quick and easy. I chose the 40-mile route, which was superbly marked… I had no confusion at all finding my way. The roads were mostly smooth and easy riding… nothing very technical, and the few hills were not too tough. It meanders through some cute little towns, ranch country, and sunflower farms. Better yet, there was practically no traffic, the rest stops were great, and SAG support seemed very present. Competitive types may find this ride a tad easy, as it is largely flat. I highly recommend this to first-timers, or anyone who enjoys country riding… it's about as pleasant as a bike rally gets! I will certainly return next year. IMO, Tour d'Italia easily remains one of the very best rallies within 100 miles of DFW.

June 20, 2015

Another good Tour d' Italia. Cloudy with lower temperatures. A little on the windy side, but not bad. Route is a good mix of hills, flats and rollers. Rest stops well stocked PLUS the most incredible ice cold plums! Elvis at the rest stop in Frost. Some of the roads need some work. Too much chip seal, but not the organizer's fault. I hear that parking was a little bit of a problem this year(I arrived early, so not a problem for me). Quick check in/registration. Thanks again for another good rally. See you next year.

Another great ride. This ride knows how to do it. Plain and simple. Sign up was not too bad. They might want to get another phone to handle the plastic sign ups. Still no big deal. Beautiful T-shirts. These are the best looking shirts, year after year. We also bought a jersey. $60.00 is more than fair . They played the National Anthem. Thumbs up. Signage was crystal clear. You knew where you were going. I heard that the 12milers had some issues, but also heard because the route criss crosses the other routes . But nobody on the 12 mi route ended up in Dallas. Police at major points was welcome and appreciated. Thank you guys for the hard work. Those points that you guys work for us is where a cyclist could get killed. Knowing it's being taken care of is really appreciated.
The routes were as usual just awesome IMO. I heard some of the roads were rough. Some were in little patches. This is road riding. With all the rain, this could have been much worse. I didn't notice it. Hills, yes, but no big tongue hangers. And no 10-15 mile straights. Just nice mild hills, twisting quiet country roads that makes some of us want to turn up the speed. This and Muenster have become some of my favorite rides, although Muenster is much tougher. These rides posses the something that makes good rides great. Rest stops were more than well stocked. Plums ! Never seen this one before, but they taste wonderful to a hot thirsty cyclist. People were more than friendly. BTW- the powerade was mixed just right. You could drink this without your eyeballs popping out. After the ride food and drinks were there for the taking and purchase. T-shirts were for sale. I bought three for 10 bucks. Cheap...... The only problem i see in the future is parking. This ride is getting bigger. Not sure what the answer is on this one. The high school looks like the biggest facility around. I'm sure they will deal with this. I'm already looking forward to next year in Italy Texas

One of my favorite rallies of the year; a must-do! Very little traffic. Chip seal typical, but you're not going to find glass-smooth concrete out that way....it is what it is. Those of us who attend this rally yearly KNOW you have to arrive EARLY to not have to park in the Outback. A "first" this year......the school ran out of food for sale! Dang. I'm starving when I finish, and have always been able to buy a burger from the athletic booster folks who sell to benefit. I heard we had 200 more riders than previous years, so ......
Great rally, as always, and look forward to next year!

June 21, 2014

Enjoyed the Tour d'Italia today. Good weather with cloudy skies and warm. Not too much wind. The route and roads were good as usual. The rest stops well stocked with gatorade, water, fruits, cookies, etc. Enthusiastic volunteers. Nice to have the sno-cones at the finish. Thank-you to all the volunteers, SAG support, ham radio operators, bicycle shops, police and the surrounding communities and counties. See you next year.

Another fun ride in Italy! Lone Star Cyclists had everything working smoothly! Parking and registration was a breeze. The volunteers were all enthusiastic and helpful. The route was scenic – the sunflowers were outstanding! Signage was great and the rest stops were excellent! One stop was entertained by "Elvis." It was very festive. This is a ride I keep on my perpetual list!

The rally went well. This was my 5th ride on TDI. Parking is always tight. It is a fast route. Rest stops well stocked. Only complaint - in addition to the interior toilets, there were 7 porta-potties at start line, 3 were locked and never opened. This caused a big delay and frustration. Have a volunteer monitor the toilets.

Still one of my favorite rides – and as I have cut back on the number of rides due increasing costs, this one stays on my "must do" list – well run, relatively flat and fast, terrific volunteers, good rest stops. Warm and a bit humid at start – got a break with cloud cover this year that helped keep the temps down. Cool towels at one rest stop were welcome. SAG was visible and always on patrol and checking in with riders. Just a great event and kudos to Lone Star Cyclists for keeping this one of the premier rides.

One of my favorite rallies! Always happy to attend. Did 50-mile route. Roads patched-up for the better in several areas. Cloud cover and light winds this year made for a very pleasant day of riding. Improvements needed: marshalled parking and how about some porta-potties in the Back 40 where A LOT of attendees park? That would alleviate a lot of frustration, especially since Italy is a LONG drive for some of us. And......happy to talk to a healthier ELVIS! Looking forward to seeing him for years to come. Good job to all !

 

June 15, 2013

Could not Believe how many good riders showed up, knew I was in for a tough ride. They started out pretty fast, but not that bad, I was hang'n in pretty good, hit some small hills, struggled a bit but hung in, hit a pretty good hill and got caught behind some slower riders and couldn't keep my rhythm and lost the pack, they were not very far in front so I tried to catch back on, I could tell I was catching on but it was going to take some effort, some guy on a Tri-Bike came by flying, jumped on his wheel, had to turn myself inside out to hang on to him, but he hauled me up to the pack, took a little while to recover but started feeling pretty good, went through a few more small hills and struggled some more but hung in, we hit a long flat area and the guys up front put the hammer down, staying on wheels and hang 'in in pretty good for a while, it got to a point where I just couldn't do it any more, pulled out and let em go, it was about 1:30 into the ride, paced myself for a while, got to feeling good again and just tried to finish strong, 64 miles a little over 2:55, not bad for my first ride of the year, try harder next time, 2013 Tour d'Italia was a Blast, thanks for everyone involved for putting on such a Great Ride..

A very well-attended rally. Weather was nice. The overcast kept temps down longer. Everything was smoothly executed. Signage was great. Volunteers were enthusiastic. Goodies were excellent. This was a good ride!

Italy ride excellent weather, good turnout, been 5 years since I've made it. This was my 4th or 5th visit & plan on it not being my last!

Great job by the good folks running the Tour d"Italia. I was not pre registered, but getting registered was quick and easy. It looked like the folks that pre-registered had a longer wait to get their packets. The start would have been better if it were staggered, but overall worked out OK. Weather was cooler than usual, but humid. Road were typical chip seal with numb inducing vibration. The route itself was scenic with a good amount of rolling hills with nothing too difficult. Rest stops were well stocked with friendly volunteers. The ice cold paper towels were awesome! Signage was great. Traffic control was good. Saw several SAG wagons throughout the 100k course. See you next year.

Lone Star Cyclists did a fabulous job with this ride. The new start is much improved over the old one. The route was marked so well, it would be hard to get lost. The only problem was with the loooooooooooooooooooong line at preregistration. It seemed to work better back when it was in the main building.

Tour d'Italia 63 mile ride. I'll start out saying overall this is a good ride, not perfect but obviously they are doing something right to bring in 1,000 – 2,000 riders for this event. Parking is going to be an issue for any ride (Collins, Goatneck etc) that has this many riders, so arriving 30 minutes before the start makes it challenging. The traffic is not really a problem just that you'll wind up parking quite far from registration and the start. One big plus is that, they have the police managing the intersections for arriving traffic so there is no problem getting to the school. Pre-registered online without a problem. The pre-registered packet pick up line had 20-30 people in it at 7:30 and beyond, definitely need to get a few more people helping there as it took 5-10 minutes to get through the line. Five porta potties at the start line with a big line right up to the start time. Definitely not enough facilities for this many riders. The 100k route is essentially flat, there may be 4 or 5 hills that require any effort but that's it. Roads are decent and they marked most of the major potholes and cracks. The route literally has 7 turns in it, so traffic control is not a big issue. Most of them are not manned by law enforcement, which given the cost of providing that service today, it's not needed and keeps the registration cost at a reasonable level. Minimal traffic across 95% of the route, so felt very safe on the road. Post ride showers available in the air conditioned gym. Free shaved ice given out at the end to riders. Post ride meal available for a few dollars (which is posted on the web-site so should be no surprise). When you consider the population of Italy is around 1,900, it's pretty impressive that the organizers pull off a ride that nearly double the town's population. I'll certainly keep the Tour d'Italia on my ride calendar.

This was my 3rd Tour d'Italia. There were some noticeable improvements. In the past, the rally started on Park St., made a sharp left turn onto Avalon St. and another sharp turn onto Main St. With riders at different levels trying to negotiate through those narrow streets (with cracks and pot holes), it was the most nervous section of the whole event. This year, they started on College St. The change make it a lot better and safer. Moreover, the road conditions have improved. With the overcast and temperature in the low 80s, it was a pleasant rally in mid June. I wish they got more volunteers at the pre-registration packet pick up. 30 minutes before the start, that line got pretty long.

June 16, 2012

Excellent ride in Italy, Texas this year as some of the friendliest folks work this who are most helpful in every way. I did the 50 mile route and although some roads are chip-seal, they have been worn down and are pretty smooth throughout. A small drawback is the lack of parking around the school but I gladly walked to register with friendly people. Highly recommend as this was my third rally in Italy at the Tour. Well done folks and thanks for an enjoyable rally as I will return again.

Memo to self...Rides that get started after 8 this time of year...do shorter routes. This was not a difficult ride. Their are plenty of hills but all are really manageable. It was Hot. I was sweating during the National Anthem. Did the 100k and the last rest stop was a blast and much needed as I was cramping bad. Sit under a tree for about 10 minutes listening to Elvis. Finished strong after that. A lot of riders was cramping up and I may have missed it but did not see any Pickle Juice. I give this ride a B all the way. Great Job.

What a great day for a ride! The weather was sure accommodating. Once again, a great ride staffed by great volunteers! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Grade: C
Good Points:
Great Route (Scenery) Great Rest stops (Well stocked) Easy package pick up the weekend before Nice volunteer's
Bad Points Terrible Roads (so much vibration made my hands hurt) Terrible Start (Everyone started at once on a narrow road, needs to have a staggered start) Parking (had to park 2 miles away)
Neutral Points No police or volunteers at intersections ( except at start and finish) Only saw SAG a couple of times (glad I did not need them) Not trying to be harsh but if things don't change for next year I won't be back.

Always a great must-do rally! To the rider who gave it a "C" review: what "intersections" are you speaking of that need to be staffed with police officers? Assistance is always appreciated, but the beauty of Italy is that there is NO traffic! Common sense would have a rider be cautious at any turn for traffic, even if it is a rural area. And as far as parking, those of us who have attended this rally know that parking is tight. If you give Italy another chance, show up about 1 hour prior to the start. As always, I look forward to attending next year. Kudos to all organizers and volunteers who work hard..........great job!

Tour D'Italia June 16, 2012 - 63 mile. The ride was a great success with a lot of excitement from the riders. A perfect day for riding and a perfect group of volunteers. Even the State Police participated by giving the arriving vehicles clearance to run lights and stop signs as we came off of I35. The best group of riders yet! Everyone seemed to be helping others. I was in a pace group and fell slightly behind. A young energetic rider came back and brought me back into the group. The rest stops were well placed and stocked even for the riders that needed more rest. Vendors had free samples before the ride. Overall - a party all the way.

June18, 2011

Great ride, great rest stops, nice people running the rest stops. A wonderful route. Some really pretty country with just the right amount of hills. So what did I not like? THE HEAT!! Horrible heat. At 35 miles into it, cramps set in. And as I continued the ride, I noticed lots of other riders feeling the same way. They need to talk to mother nature next year, and turn down the thermostat.
Except for the heat, I had a great time. I drove almost 4 hours to try this ride. And its because of this site that I went this year. The reviews! They do make a difference. Thanks. I'll be back next year.

Super Windy. 25 Mph steady the entire day with 35 to 40 mph gusts. First 42 miles was almost straight into it, at least it felt like it with the super strong cross winds. The last 20 Miles was fast and behind our backs. To top it off it was 103 degrees, super hot. Rest stops were great and prepared. Italy is always a great ride. Snow Cones afterwards. Elvis Presley was at the Frost Rest stop, last rest stop before coming back into Italy. He was great as always. Always yummy plums. Great job as always and looking forward to next year again. Thanks.

The 2011 Tour d'Italia 100K was fun and everything they promised it would be: hot, windy, rolling hills. I forgot the big climb was before RS #1 and kept looking for it. Great staff, well stocked RS, beautiful scenery, registration went well. It looked a little short on parking. Plenty of Porta's. All that and a snow cone. Thanks for the reflective wrist bands in our packets. It's nice to get a toy out of the box.

Windy, windier, windiest. Great ride in spite of the weather. Ride surfaces were pretty good in fact, The shoulder on 34 heading out of town was smooth as glass. Rest stops were well stocked. Parking and registration were a breeze. Lone Star Cyclists rock!!

Well Marked Routes, Rest Stops well stocked with lots of friendly faces. Thanks to whoever turned in my "Nissan" key that I dropped at the Navarro Mills stop. I would have been in a world of hurt to get back to my vehicle and unable to get in! -Kevin

Rode the 100k course at the Tour d'Italia. Break points were well spaced and well stocked. Volunteers were great. Roads were so-so. Seemed to be a little rougher than I remember in the past, but you're limited to the roads that are available. Maybe I just missed it, but I saw absolutely no police support at any intersection. Thought that was unusual, but not a deal breaker. If you're any sort of cyclist at all, you should be able to negotiate a uncontrolled intersection. They really need to work on the weather for this ride. Somehow, we had a headwind for 42 of the 63 miles. Insanely hot. My only real complaint, and it's more of a question than a complaint, would be about their packet pickup. Why would you schedule your packet pickup on the SATURDAY before the ride, ending at all 3 locations at 3:00pm. There was no fewer than 4 other bike rides going on in the area when they were holding their packet pickup; Collin Classic in McKinney, Tour de Pepper in Dublin, The All American Bike Ride in Springtown, and the Fire Ant Tour in Gatesville. Why would you have packet pickup when 95% of your riders are off doing another ride? How about scheduling it for a /datetime when your riders can actually go by and pickup their packets. I'm guessing that they didn't have a great turnout for their packet pickup. This might explain why the lines are always so long on the morning of the ride for pre-registered riders. Maybe just schedule it until 5:00pm on that Saturday, so your riders can go do one of the other rides, and still have time to go by and pickup their packets. Just a thought.

June 19, 2010

Overall a great event. The roads were decent with the exception of 34 heading out of town. Last year I mentioned that 34 was so smooth. Well, not anymore! Thanks TxDot! Maybe it'll be worn down by next year. Lots of support on the route, rest stops were well stocked and the signage was good, but what happened with pre-registration?? It was sooooo slooooooow. Not enough volunteers? Next yr I'll try to early pickup.

Rode the 50 mile route in the 25th annual Tour D’ Italia. Overall the roads were pretty good. Sure, there is chip and seal, but the first stretch has that nice smooth shoulder to ride on. Most of the rest of the roads had fairly worn chip and seal. The volunteers at all the rest stops were friendly, and there was plenty of fluids and snacks. The wind made you work a little harder going out, but it was nice to have that tail wind coming in. As with most rides, there is always some room for improvement. First, there probably needs to be more traffic control for the people arriving in Italy, especially for the cars exiting off of I35. I try to avoid this by getting there before 7:00am. Second, the registration went fast once you realized there was a separate registration room at the end of the hall. Having someone to direct the people inside would have been helpful. Last, and some may think this is silly, but what about a finish line banner? We heard many riders ask where the finish line was. I guess it gives you that sense of accomplishment. Many thanks to Lone Star Cyclists, and all the volunteers, for another successful ride. See you again next year.

I rode the 2010 Tour de'Italia 100K. The staff make a great effort. The long stretches of chip seal was rough to deal with, more at the start since the crowd had not thinned out enough for us to ride the shoulder. The rest stations were well spaced and stocked. I really enjoyed he scenery and small towns we rode through. The highway routes were less pleasant. Getting into town stacked up even before 7:00. Pre-registered packet pick-up was a bit slow and cramped into a small class room. It looked like there was a lot of on site registration. This intimate setting allowed riders to meet. The ride started on time as I watched late arrivals searching for places to park. If they had pre-ride drinks and goodies I missed them. The people of Italy were wonderful pleasant, laid back and the riders I saw went with the flow.

I rode in the tour d'Italia saturday June 19 and was disappointed overall. In 63.5 miles, I saw one SAG vehicle which I thankfully didn't need, but there was very little support along the way. The rest stops were all the same, but they even ran out of ice because they were not prepared for the hot weather. Even coming into Italy at the end it was just a "here is the town, have a snow cone, bye." There was nothing to even signify that you had completed the ride at the end. It wasn't like they were having to pay any extra police or anything either, because except for the handful of officers directing traffic coming into town, they were all long gone at the end of the ride. The ride itself was tougher than the website showed, and forget about the elevation levels it shows. The majority of the ride was on the chip and seal pavement which made it even tougher, but there was little traffic to deal with on the entire ride which was one benefit.

Rode the 50 mile route with my daughter. The route was low traffic but very high percentage of chip seal. I would estimate 80% of the route was quite bumpy and generated considerable road buzz. But that is the case with a lot of Texas roads. The route was moderately challenging going down to Navarro with a steady headwind, hills, and chip-seal pavement. Coming back in was nice with a good tailwind. The last rest stop had nice shade, plenty of ice, and friendly volunteers.
Good: Friendly volunteers, good police support at rally start, low traffic, well stocked, located rest stops, multiple early packet pick-up locations throughout the metroplex, nice t-shirts (included in registration priced)and jerseys ($55 additional).
Bad: High percentage chip-seal roads, heavy traffic into Italy (I turned off of I35 at 7:05 and was late for start of ride), limited parking at the high school, no real “finish-line”.

 

June 20, 2009

Registration was great, facilities were great, t-shirts are great, food was great, rest stops were great, and the people were AWESOME. Everything was great except the roads. On the 63 mile route, 80% of it is chip seal. Not the smooth kind, either. I don’t mind it for a little while, but when I ride on it that far, it really starts to become a grind rather than an enjoyable ride. I beg the organizers to find another route. Otherwise, I won’t be back. Or I will do this with the family and ride a shorter route on my mountain bike.

Another great event! Four of us attended, and we had a person on each of the 40, 50, and two in the 64 mile routes. Everybody had a great time. One of us had a mechanical on the 50 mile route and had to SAG in. SAG was quickly there, and we all saw SAG trucks all over the courses. The volunteers were amazing and the rest stops we stopped at were well stocked and provided everthing needed. The couses were great with low traffic and pretty countryside. I really liked the new start. It made for a safer quicker roll out than previous years. Kudos to Lone Star Bike Club.This ride is really growing for a good reason. It's been on my annual schedule for three years now, and will definately stay there.

Another great year for the TDI. Did the 100k route. The chip seal and wind were really tough to deal with, but nothing the organizers can do about that. Rest stops were great with cheery volunteers and plenty of goodies. Thanks to all the volunteers. SAG support seemed to be everywhere. I don't think I went 2 miles between rest stops without seeing SAG support. There did seem to be some confusion with the two start areas(Main street and the High School). This could be improved. Parking has become an issue. Needs improvement. Late registration was very efficient and quick. Overall, great ride, good route. Thanks to all who gave of their time to volunteer!!

This is the last TDI for me. Sorry to say it but this ride is a victim of its own success. I can forgive the 90% chip-seal on the 100K, the wind and the heat - what can you do? Traffic control getting to the high school was much better than last year, but still slow. The high school parking filled up early and I ended up walking about 1/2 mile from my spot - clearly, the TDI has outgrown this facility. With more than 1,100 riders, they should have more than 5 porta-pots at the start - I waited 30 minutes in line and missed the start. The refrain at every rest stop was "we'll have more ice in 20 minutes." This ride has *the best* SAG wagon support - they were everywhere! Until they work out the parking and logistics, however, I'm done. Not driving an hour for this.

It’s advertised as an open start but at 8:20am, there was nobody around to guide us from the high school! No signs, nothing. Should have gone home. Instead, we found the route and that was a NIGHTMARE with 45mi (of the 62mi course) with the most horrible chip seal I’ve ever experienced. We won’t be back.

My husband and I rode this for the first time. We chose the 50 mile route. This was a tough ride, but very well organized. The wind, the heat and the hills made for a long day, but that builds character, right? The event was well-manned and had great SAG support and rest stops. The roads were well-marked and the rest stops were evenly spaced out. All the volunteers were very kind and supportive. I love the 30 mile rest stop at the lake. There wasn’t hardly any traffic at all. I will ride this ride again next year. Well done.

Great ride this past Saturday. The volunteers and the rest stops were great. Hwy. 34 heading out of town was as smooth as glass. I just wish all Tx roads could be like that! One problem though: I could of sworn that in previous years they had signs downtown directing everyone to the high school. This yr there were no signs and I saw several people driving around aimlessly totally lost. Be back next yr!

The roads were terrible!

June 21, 2008

Wonderful ride out of Italy this past wkend. We did the 40 miles and had a great time. The roads in town are not that great and the start is dicey but the roads got better as the ride progressed. Only used one rest stop and it seems like they had more than enough food. Loved the cycling caps we got in our packets and the free snow cones at the end. Elvis lives!

Everything about getting down to the high school, getting registered and out on the ride was really smooth and rider friendly. The town, the high school and all of the volunteers really know how put on a great event. They even beat out Livestrong Challenge in terms of organization, execution and accommodation. And that’s really saying something about how hard they work to make this a fun weekend.
They warned us that the start of the ride would be bumpy and it was until we cleared the side roads heading out of town. The chip and seal at the first part of the ride from there wasn't new but for whatever reason it turned out to be the kind that wore on me a bit. I settled in with a friendly pack and stayed with them through to the lake rest stop where I pulled in to cool off a bit and refill my bottles. That was the only place that I stopped but I will say that the volunteers along the road handing up bananas to the lead groups at the earlier stops were a welcomed sight if you were trying not to stop. There were plenty of portapotties at the rest stops too if you needed them. Everybody at the lake rest stop was really friendly and they had a full spread all laid out. They even had one guy who was there just to give out ice, and they had plenty, which was great. There was also lots of shade there too. When the wind shifted around out of the north, it felt really good hanging out in the shade overlooking the lake, chatting with the volunteers and other riders. In all the rallies and organized rides that I have done, I haven't ever really taken the time to relax and enjoy a rest stop like that. It was fun. Climbing up from the lake back to Italy into the wind had me noticing all the rollers too. If this route is flat, I would call it sneaky flat then. On the 50 mile route my Garmin showed there to have been a bit less than 1,600 feet of climbing.
I was really impressed with the sag and ride control out on the routes. There were volunteers to call out clear and wave you through most intersections. But there were also a few uncontrolled intersections, so you had to slow and/or stop to check and clear on-coming traffic before crossing through a couple of the major roads. But there were plenty of large signs and volunteers warning you ahead of time on those too. I also spotted DPS cruisers working the route keeping the drivers from getting too touchy. But there really wasn't ever that much car traffic and even the few truckers we encountered were waving and friendly. From the spaghetti dinner and music the night before, to the pancake breakfast, high school restrooms and showers, and the snow cones, cookout and music at the end of the ride, this was really a fun trip. I am really glad that I made it down to Italy. Thanks to the previous year’s reviewers for the heads up on this one.

Quick review of the 2008 Tour D’Italy: GREAT!! Well run, excellent rest stops, excellent EVERYTHING! (Why can’t all rides be this good!)

This is a well run event with volunteers who are friendly and eager to please. If you are not good on long hill climbs. This is not the ride for you except if you do the shortest distance. I will certainly go again.

This was my 4th year riding in Italy. As always they had a great registration/packet pickup routine. The school is a bit hard to find if you aren’t sure where it is. Be that as it may. This year we were blessed with warm windy weather unlike the last 2 rain filled rides. The course as always was well marked and maintained (sans the first ½ mile at the start)
I stopped at a couple of rest areas. The volunteers were helpful and a great help with the fluids and wipes. Overall they held one heck of a fun ride in some very scenic land. I always recommend the ride to friends. I will be back again for more fun

Better and better every year. Elvis rocks at the 50 mile rest stop. Yummy plums. Keep up the good work.

 

June 16, 2007

Rain again this year……but no lightening! This is my second year for this ride – 62 miles. Scenery was beautiful, rest stops sufficient, and roads well marked. This is my favorite ride every year. Couldn’t have asked for more – not even sunshine – love riding through those water puddles…see you next year!

LOVED it! There was a point where I couldn't see more than about 1/2 a mile, but it gave my bike a good wash after thinking I could ride through the mud from the parking area at the back to the start point. I LOVE my road bike! It took it all very well! Didn't take any rain gear, but all the synthetic clothes dried in a few minutes after the rain stopped (back in my car). The lunch afterwards was great. The rest stops were wonderful, even though I think they will have many cases of pickle juice for next year. I wish I had the energy to take a case with me for riding this summer. I DID do the 30 mi route, my legs are a little sore, and I REALLY want to get a Brooks saddle now. Didn't see anybody I recognized, but had plenty of fun. Anyway, I'm up for next year!
DID hit 30+ (barely) MPH on the second try (downhill and pedalling like crazy), and like I said, I LOVE my bike!
Oh, Yeah. It's a 1980s Univega Gran Turismo, all original except for the rubber. Didn't see much in the way of older bikes there. I guess ChroMo is out of fashion these days.

Another fun in the sun day on the back roads of Italy. Yeah right! Mother Nature just did not want to cooperate. Star Cyclist put on a great ride, but the last two years have been out of the norm for rain. I managed the 50 miler this year with only one bad downpour and several showers. I have to give the volunteers credit for keeping their cheerful attitude all day. They were as wet as the rest of us, but they had to stand in one place and take it. Rest stops were great. Lots of goodies to eat and drink. One thing I wish other ride provided was ICE at every rest stop. Some of the smaller rides this year have had no ice at rest stops. That's a No-No in my book. Hot showers at the finish were great.
The rain cut the attendance down this year, or so it appeared. As always, we will be back next year, rain or shine.

What a day! Rain Rain and a little more Rain! The rain cleared right at start time 8:00am and it was perfect for about 45min then the RAINS came rolling in! I was hit with two consecutive FLAT TIRES! in the first 20miles! I was not the only one as I saw too many people with FLATS! I did not see a single SAG vehicle help any flat victims. The chip seal roads although NEW were not fun to ride and I think the rain and roads contributed to the many flats! I want to thank the guy with the yellow rims on team "man bulge" who I OWE a tube! and the Fed Ex guy on the carbon fiber Colnago who rode up to catch his wife and rode BACK to give me a CO2 cartridge! WOW that is what cycling is about....GOOD PEOPLE having a good time no matter what the weather!
Overall Scores
Roads 5/10 Routes 10/10 (Marking PERFECT!)
Organization 8/10 SAG 5/10 T-Shirts 9/10 Weather 6/10
PEOPLE 10/10 Overall 7/10 A good ride just badcircumstances for me! But the help by others made it a good experience!

This was our first group ride, my wife and I are just past 50 and started riding about three weeks ago. She was going to take the 12 mile ride and my daughter and I were going to ride the 30 miles. My wife decided to try the 30 miles, and inspite of the rain we all completed the 30. The rest stops were great, I always felt refreshed when I left them. Except for the weather, it was a great first ride for us. We are looking forward to more group rides, and will be back for the Tour d' Italia next year.

The drive down to Italy almost derailed my intent-to-ride. 6:05 am: The rain poured so hard I barely saw two feet ahead. I thought, well, I am on my own, I may as well drive down and pick up my packet (because I wanted the T-shirt!) Approx. 7:30 am: As I was walking toward the Exit door, with all intent to drive home right then, I see familiar faces walk in! I say, ""I am not riding today, but I'll wait with you while you pick up your packets." 7:45 am: we decide to wait it out a bit since we are energized now because we got cool shirts this year, small brownie cliffbars, fresh plums and I was able to snag TWO water bottles. 7:55 am: While sitting in the car the rain stops... YAY 8:15 am: We begin the ride. 9:45 am: The rain starts again, pouring down --- again, my thoughts are "i'll SAG out now" I am soaked, my socks, my clothes, my sunglasses --- I can't see! 10 ish am: We are at the second reststop and I discuss going the shorter route now because I am soaked and chilly. 10:30 am: rain stops! YAY Through the end of the ride, the weather was PERFECT for riding so we decided to ride out our original plan and we finished the 50 mile route (I clocked 52 miles). Roads were great with only a few miles of chip-seal. Apart from many volunteers constantly asking, "how many of you started and what time did you start" because clearly it seemed they did not want to stay out in the drizzle and mud longer than they had to, the rest stops were good. Having been the second time it rained during Tour d'Italia, maybe plan some tarps to set down on the ultra muddy areas.

June 17, 2006

I had heard about how fantastic this ride is from years past but was too busy to go. This year I did but my report will be short because of the weather. It started drizzling about 10 miles out and got progressively more ominous. There was sky to ground lightening all around the area. I got registered ok and chatted with a few of the riders who were also hanging around waiting to see what the weather was going to do. Two had left after the 8am start but turned around after a lightning bolt struck just ahead of them. They laughed as they exclaimed how the ground shook. I had my laptop so I brought up the weather channel to get a current view of the storm It was obvious we were surrounded and it wasn't going to clear anytime soon. I had no trouble deciding "deal...or no deal" (mimicking Howie) when a bolt hit somewhere just on the other side of the house across the parking lot. I had previously talked to a couple of the ride officials and was surprised at the stoic response to my weather concerns. The high school coach was obviously aware when he and another fellow passed by looking for the school's lightening monitor. I overheard someone on the short wave radio say the SAG wagons were working overtime and as the hour I sat in the parking lot passed, a constant stream of riders were returning and packing out. I would have been ok being wet (short of not being able to see) and I grew up in this area where thunderstorms and tornados come with the territory. I know some riders will go no matter what but I decided to call it a "save" and come back another day.

I was taught if I didn't have anything good to say - don't say it. Oh well... It's simple - ORGANIZE. Traffic, parking, location of registration, size of room for registration, announcer. The ride was great even with 100k of rain and winds. Though I may not of thought that at the time. Volunteers and rest stops were perfect. Just work on getting people in and registered better. I'll still see ya next year.

So what if it rained! The route (42) was well marked. The staff and goodies at the rest stops were oh so sunny. Packet pick up was fast
and accurate. This is my second Td'I. My opinion - the Td'I is the best ride of the season. Save me a spot in 2007.

From my point of view, I was very satisfied (save the rain) about how the tour went this year. When I arrived, they were directing traffic to their "overlfow" parking site at one of the churches a few blocks away - no big deal to me, since I simply moved my car closer to the school once I finished the ride. I was pre-registered, so they had the package all ready for me to pick-up. Took no time at all. The rain started in earnest when I arrived at the first rest stop. I could see lightning bolts as I approached, and through most of the ride, but they always seemed "distant" so I kept riding. I did change my plan, and decided to do the 40 mile route. This was becaue of the rain... The 40 mile route was not a problem - no complaints about it.. Relatively flat, SAG wagons were visibly plentyful, traffic was light, and the 40 mile route well marked... Lots of support staff at the start... I did not stop at any of the rest stops. I recommend this one, and will ride it again next year - hopefully, it will be a dry one at that time.

Rain or shine, this is always a great ride. Also, hat’s off to Mad Duck. Twice this year Mad Duck has rescued me from flats.

The 21st Tour d' Italia went off without a hitch . The Lone Star Cyclists continue to put on a great ride. I like the open 8 to 9 o'clock start. I wish it could be from 7 to 8 because of the heat, but no problem this year. The rain seemed to dampen only a few spirits. I was unaware of the lightning. I thought the people turning around near the start just didn't want to get wet. Great traffic control, great SAG, great rest stops and GREAT volunteers. They stayed cheerful throughout the rain. I have to admit...the fresh plums and classic long sleeve T-shirts ($2 extra) are a big draw for me on this ride, as is the south wind blowing us back to town. It was all good as far as I could tell. Oh, showers available, although I didn't take advantage. I'll always be back. DeWayne Shepard (Roadkill)

This is the 4th TdI I have done, and once again it didn't fail to please. Camping was nice, even though there were less people on Friday night than usual. The most improved aspect of the ride was the new start route to get to the highway. Much more open than in years past. The ride was absolutely the most fun I have had all year. The rain was fun and it didn't get into the 100's. The lightning was lightning. Pretty cool light show. My hat really goes out to the volunteers staying out at the rest stops getting soaked so we would have the things we needed for the ride. Great ride, I would recommend to anyone, friendliest staff I have ever met.

This was my third year to do this ride and, in my opinion, it is always very well organized. They did a great job getting you parked and registration was quick and easy. T-shirts remain some of the best although the t-shirt is not that important to me. I like good road surfaces and well marked courses. Had a little trouble this year with some of the course markings but I am 100% sure it was because I couldn't see due to the rain, my glasses fogging up and my eyes burning from the water and sunscreen running into my eyes. I was in a group early on that missed a turn but there was a rest stop just past the turn and they yelled load enough for us to hear and immediately turn around. I never had trouble with course markings in past years. Hard to complain about the weather conditions given that we need the rain so badly. I stuck to my original plan and did the 60 mile route which probably wasn't the smartest thing to do given all the lightning. I was completely amused that the sun came out not too long after I finished. I'll be back.

This was the first time for me to ride this tour and frankly it will be hard to rate it. The registration should be done in a larger room but it was quick and everyone was extremely prepared. The weather was the main factor but our group rode the 62 (which was actually 60) regardless of the rain. All the rest stops that I stopped at were great and the hot showers afterward were appreciated. SAG and the Lone Star Cyclists mechanics were working big time during this ride. Thanks to the organizers for putting this ride on. I really have one suggestion and that is to provide something to eat (pizza or whatever) after the ride.

This was my first Tour d'Italia (first-year rider, so every ride is a first for me), and I can simply say that I will definitely be back next year, despite the weather. I had no idea of the lightning issues I just read about here, though I did see plenty of the light show we had overhead for most of the morning and wondered about the sanity of straddling a metal frame. We started right at 8:00 and set out for the 62-miler (it wasn't quite 62), and the rain started about 10 minutes into the ride. We decided to stick it out, and finally at about 11:30 or so the rain relented. Of course, the humidity immediately skyrocketed, but we made it back in before it got too bad. And for all the weather, the registration was very efficient (we arrived at 7:10 to register), the start was a little hectic but manageable, parking was not an issue (for us anyway) and the folks at the rest stops were top-notch: very friendly, very enthusiastic, and very helpful. The rest stops were well-equipped, and the fresh fruit was a real treat. The route was well-marked and we did not have too much of an issue with vehicular traffic. As I said, I will definitely be back next year! Great job folks!

I love the Tour D'Italia. But more important, did anyone notice that the sponsoring club, Lone Star, had the best looking president of any club in Texas?


This was my first Tour d'Italia and even though it rained for the whole ride I enjoyed. The roads are good, and if you can see the country side through your rain fogged glasses it looks very scenic. The ride was well organized and supported with rest stops and road guards.  The route was generally well marked, although one turn left some of us confused.  It would also be helpful to have stand up signs you can see from a distance as well as the colored arrows on the road. Hard to see under several inches of water.  Also one or two more signs directing bikers to the high school would help.
All together well done.  I'll do it again next year!!!
P.S.  I like the long sleeve T-shirt option

Wrote a review already, but [stupidly] forgot to mention the single most important thing about the ride for me - the awesome support by the SAG/radio crews and especially the Bicycles, Inc. repair truck. I had a flat at about 35 miles and was preparing to change it (I'm a first-year rider, and though I know how to change a tube, doing it in a thunderstorm was not my desire at that moment) when a SAG truck pulled up, and the very gracious gentleman volunteered to take me to the next stop. But before he could finish his sentence, the Bicycles Inc. truck pulled up, THREE guys jumped out and one said "Hey, come on over here and we'll take care of that for you". I was stunned to say the least. Not only one truck/person there to help, but two trucks and 4 people! You just can't get any better support than that. I can't wait to see what this ride is like without the wicked weather. Lone Star Cyclists, you folks, and your partners and volunteers, are the absolute best! And Bicycles, Inc., you have won even more of my business (okay, I buy a lot of my stuff there already, but I promise to patronize the Bedford store even more than usual). THANKS for all your help out there.

Absolutely great ride - very well organized, lots of friendly people. Only one suggestion - when the weather turned sour, many riders tried to get info to make a start/no start or an alternate route decision, but no one seemed to know anything about the approaching storm - depth of the front, direction of movement. With forecast storms and that many people on the road, someone should be monitoring local weather radar and getting the word out on the ride's com net. We aborted at Frost, in part because we couldn't get any information.

Lost and found-
Found-Bicycle helmet.
Lost-Bag of men's and women's cycling clothing.
E-mail geohandy@yahoo.com if you can help.

It was my first time at Tour d'Italia and I'm not affiliated with the ride or it's sponsors. I rode the 62 mile route. I had no problem with day-of registration which included a t-shirt and water bottle. I guesstimate about 400 riders in all. They had an open, mass start between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. I missed the free spaghetti dinner the night before and pancakes the day of, but it's worth mentioning. The route was mostly flat (1500 ft ascent), as advertised, with about 50% chip-and-seal and well marked with color-coded paint arrows on the roadway. Rest stops were well supplied, had ample porto-lets and volunteers were friendly. Volunteers even helped steer folks who had more wind/rain than they could take to shortcuts back to the start. I saw SAG and police cruising the course common to most of the routes. There were refreshments at the finish line, but not food. Despite the wind and rain, this was a good small town ride that I'll plan to do again next year.

Quick registration; open start, good routes - still one of the better rides. A little rain – so what? After some of the HEAT on the last few rides, this felt like air conditioning – all you had to do was exercise a little caution with the drizzle and enjoy the show. Rest stops kept a good attitude, SAGs helped the people that needed to drop or weren’t up for it. I enjoyed the whole darn thing, and like another writer, just moved my car from the overflow after and appreciated the HOT showers. This ride stays on my must-do list – rain or shine (was nice to be cool for a change though).

June 18, 2005

On behalf of the Lone Star Cyclists bicycle club I would like to thank the record number of riders at the 2005 Tour d-Italia for making this ride a resounding success. We love hearing the rave reviews, and we are always disappointed when the ride fails to live up to someone's expectations. Please e-mail me at geohandy@yahoo.com  with any constructive criticism, compliments and suggestions to improve the ride for 2006. Looking forward to an even better ride in 2006-George Handy,Tour d-Italia Ride Chairman.

Great ride. Rest stops were well stocked. Route markings were easy to see with traffic control at a lot of the intersections. Love the free snowcones!!

Now, this should be a "classic." Packet pick up was quick and easy and parking was adequate. Well marked, lightly traveled roads, and I was over half way through the ride before I realized that there was not police support at intersections - not that it was needed on this well thought out route. I stopped at rest stop 5 on the 60 mile course and it was very well stocked with Gatorade, water, fruit, and sticky buns. There was some rough road and chip and seal, but it seems to be the standard for Texas roads.

The "Tour" just keeps getting better and better...............smooth rodes, a tail wind to bring ya home on the 100k route, the coolest T-shirts anywhere, ANYWHERE, free snow cones. The list just goes on and on. If my vote counts for anything, this is the "perfect" route for the 100k. Even if that "bridge" gets repaired, don't change a thing. Keep this 2005 100k route, it is awesome. thanks again,

The 20th annual Tour d'Italia, June 18th,2005 in Italy, Texas was a great effort by the Lone Star Cyclists. With benefits going to Italy High School Scholarship fund, Grand Prairie Brighter Tomorrows, and North Texas Food Bank, this ride offers one of the best cycling experiences in North Texas. This is about my 5th or 6th Tour d'Italia, and they just seem to always get better. This ride offers a spaghetti dinner on Friday night, then free camping , free showers, and breakfast in the morning. I love the "open start" from 8-9 am . This seems to be a very reasonable alternative to the mass starts at most rides. Safer at the start, it spreads the riders out, and it allows racers to race, and everyone else to tour at their own pace. Oh, registration went really well inside Italy High School and all of the volunteers were friendly and helpful. And, before I forget it, the classic Tour d'Italia tee shirts were excellent. The ride offered five routes, 12, 28, 42, 50, and 62 miles. I rode the 62 mile route and it was fantastic...very few vehicles and smooth pavement. Excellent traffic support , and, as usual, great volunteers. The rest stops at Tour d'Italia always have the best fruit at their reststops. This year they had iced peaches, plums, nectarines, as well as bananas, cookies, and Cliff bars. I saw tons of ice at each rest stop, and cases and cases of water . The "cold packs" came in handy also. Routes were marked clearly with colored paint, and the busy roads had CAUTION-CYCLISTS AHEAD signs along the road. All routes ended with the wind at our back , which helped tremendously. Free snow cones at the end too. This ride is also fairly flat. Oh, SAG wagons monitored the routes, and the folks from B&B Bicycles helped out with mechanical problems. This was a DREAM-RIDE ... perfect for inexperienced riders like 9 year old Kateland who took it slow and easy, her dad Todd who rode a 20 mph killer average and her mother Brandy , whom I rode with at a reasonable 15 mph average . If you missed this one, you missed a real treat. See you next year.

My wife and I always look forward to this ride.  It has been beautiful, well managed, and a fun ride in past years.  Well, this year did not measure up.  You could not control the weather, I know, and the heat and lack of shade certainly didn't improve things for me.   
However, what really upset me this time was that the ride I signed up for really didn't exist.  I signed up for the 28 mile ride, learned that it was 30 miles when I got there and when I had ridden 26.55 miles and was afraid of heat stroke, was told by a sag driver that I still had about 6 miles to go.  At that point I did something I haven't done before in my brief biking career - I sagged out.
As a 62 year old stroke survivor I have learned my limits and try very hard to stay within them.  That's hard to do when I am given bad information to start with.  Had I know it was really 33 miles I would have done the 12 mile twice instead. I was told by an official of the race that he had suggested the true mileage be posted on the website.  I wonder why that wasn't done?  I've ridden rides that were off by a mile or two but six????
 Please be honest with us from now on.  I love riding and love the fun of these organized rides.  I hate that depending on your information could have had very serious health connotations for me had I not taken care of myself.  

WOW, what a great ride!!! Many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped put on this rally. They did a good job of parking, registration was a breeze, and they had plenty of t-shirts. I did the 42 mile route and stopped at two rest stops. They had plenty of water/Powerade, fruit, cookies, etc, the cold towels were a nice relief, and the folks were great.
Other rallies should take note of how to pick roads to ride on. Yes,  there was chip and seal, but they were the well worn kind that had plenty of smooth spots. I made a point to find the ride director, after downing  a nice, cool sno-cone, to let her know what a great ride it was. 

I have to echo the other reviews. Outstanding ride, positive experience. This one is getting to where it is another ride that sets the standard. Most creative t-shirt designs you will see too. Who would think to put Mona Lisa in a bicycle helmet?

The second time I've ridden the 50 mile Tour d'Italia - and I'll be back again and again if they keep doing such a good job. The "open start" concept is a winner as far as I'm concerned - allows the pack to spread out quickly and everyone to go at the pace they like.
Would have wished for better control at the major intersection at the first rest stop. Seemed a bit dicey having to cross a major road with no controls in place - although a state trooper was looking on - but it wasn't too much of a problem.
Rest stops were great - friendly volunteers, LOTS of water, sport drink, and other goodies. COLD wet towels at each break. Nice route, too. I'll be back again. 

This was only my fourth organized ride and my first time to ride over 40 miles. I had an incredible time, but absolutely missed the turnoff for the 50 mile route... no fault of the organizers, we just weren't paying attention because of the beautiful scenery, awesome roads and great company! So, we ended up doing the full 100K which turned out to be a huge jump up from my 3, 40 mile rides... a great ego boost. What a rush and ouch, my legs! The only thing that helped me get through it were the great volunteers, roads and rest stops. Can't say enough. Anyway, great support by B&B... thanks for getting the clicking out of my handlebars. And, thanks to Nathan (a fellow rider) who helped my friend with a flat. Such great people in the cycling community! The course was fabulous, the roads were smooth, the rest stops were great, the pre-ride chair massages at registration Friday night were wonderful. Belinda is the best... got a huge knot out of my neck. Can't wait till next year!!

I tell my friends this is my favorite ride of the year. It's beautiful, well organized, and loaded with "free stuff". What more could you ask for? Honesty about the length of the "28" mile course. In reading these review, I realize that many of them are written by the folks riding the longer rides. There is also a group of us who aren't at the fitness level of the 40+ mile rider. We use riding our bikes to get in shape and maintain an average level of fitness. We love the rally's because it gives us an opportunity to get out on the open road - something we don't get to do very often. A friend of mine once said: "the farther back you go in the start line up of a rally - both the bikes and the body sizes increase. I'm one of those folks who has a bigger bike and bigger body than many rally riders! I choose my rides carefully to balance pleasure, safety, and challenge. The 28 (this is what the brochure said) mile ride was closer to 33 miles. Five additional miles may not sound like much to a more seasoned rider, but at 11am in the blazing heat it's a huge difference. The SAG wagon's were doing a booming business on our route. The driver's were very concerned for our safety and I appreciated being checked with toward the end. I finished the ride, will consider riding it again, but would appreciate being able to make a truly informed decision about the length of route that is most suitable for my fitness level.
For those of you who ride faster than me, I always appreciate hearing the words "on your left". I want the warning because I want all of us to be safe. Many of you don't let me know you are there. Please announce your presence - I'd hate to "run into" one of you someday.

Once again a great ride. The only constructive criticism I have is with the powerade. The powerade needs to be mixed a little stronger. On such a hot day, I was really getting no benefit at all from the powerade. I like this ride a lot and will be back next year for my fifth time.

Wow! What a hot day!! I am grateful that it didn't set in until later. Nothing the snow cones couldn't fix. Yummy! But you can't complain about the heat too much if you plan on riding in the HHH, right? This was a great ride. This was my first time to ride this and I did 60 miles and I would recommend this one to everyone I know. I really enjoyed the route and the scenery as I haven't been in that part of Texas like that. I am usually whooshing by on the way to Austin. I definitely appreciated the open start as we drove into Italy from Wylie the morning of the ride. I didn't notice a lot of traffic on these roads as in some rides, so that was good. However, I think that the lack of car traffic made some of the other cyclists forget that we were on a roadway and needed to use our cycling etiquette/rules/laws, etc. I saw one guy stopped on the white line between the shoulder and the road facing the OPPOSITE direction. He wasn't doing anything but standing there straddled over his bike. Resting perhaps? Who knows. All I know is that was not a very safe position to be in. My husband said that he came upon 3 riders abreast and moving quite slow. He finally decided to pass on the left in the opposite lane of traffic (unsafe). As he said, on your left, the lady on the outermost of the riders said, I am not moving. People, get your brains back into gear. If  someone says on your left, they are not being rude. You need to make some room for the passer - especially if you are hogging the entire lane!! Of course we joke about it now saying that she is probably a soccer mom with a very large SUV so she rides her bike just like she drives her car - no respect for others. (He he.) And to those of you who walked your bikes up a couple of hills on the right side of the road, kudos to you for doing so. Overall, I
think everyone did an outstanding job putting this one together. There were MASSIVE amounts of water, powerade, fruit - loved the plums - and cookies. I want to give a big thanks to Mark at rest stop #3. He fixed my flat in no time, my first ever in a bike rally in a year of riding and it happened to be at a rest stop. How can one be so lucky?! See you all at this one next year.

I had an excellent time for my first bike ride ever! Did 50 miles, and enjoyed every one of them. The rest stops were great, and I have no complaints at all. I plan to do it again next year and go for the 100K.


June 19, 2004

I loved this ride. I had not ridden it before. The 60 mile route was fast and well marked. We also got a bonus today, NO WIND. Parking and registration were easy. The t-shirts are as cool as advertised. The sno cones and nectarines after the ride were also a treat. My guess is about 800 or so riders participated. I cannot rate the rest stops as I did not stop at any. Based on my experience today, I can't think of any aspects of this rally that need improvement. For any riders who have not ridden this rally, put it on your must ride calendar for next year. THANK YOU Italy for a fantastic ride.

It was a good ride. Light wind conditions really helped as my wife and I headed out of town on only our third tandem ride. The morning went well but we did not get there early enough to get up close parking but we did get there before all the over flow parking was gone. ( What did you do with the overflow crowd?). I had sent an e-mail to bike riders I know telling them that we would be in Italy for the ride this year. I also mentioned I was not sure why we alway try to make this ride because it is a 1 1/2 hour drive from our area. Now I remember why we come. The ride is very well organized from parking, to getting to sign in, to plenty of helpers and workers to make a ride of over 1000 go smoothly. The early part of the morning was cloudy and light wind. The light wind stayed with us all day but the cloudes gave way to a very hot sun in just a hour or so. The roads are not heavy with traffic compared to rides near Ft. Worth / Dallas areas. The rest stops are spaced just right. You get to them just as you need them. I like the way the different routes run together and split and come back together because I was able to meet with other rides I knew that were riding longer routes. My wife and I rode the tandem on the 42 mile route and it was plenty far for our third ride together. I sure if our health hold up we will be back next year. We are both in the over 50 group but under the 60 mark and enjoy the outdoor world of biking. Oh yea! The SAG support people really did a great job. We had 2 flats on the front tire and were out of tubes when the support help came. They showed me the problem with the rim and fixed it. Gave me a new tube and even put it back together again plus put air in the tire for me. If not for their help the 12 miles we rode would not been a good ride for us.The road support made the major difference in a good ride or a bad ride. See you next year. David in Azle.

What a great ride. I am a fairly new rider (only 9 months) and have been slightly nervous about riding in a large organized rally. I rode the 62 (was actually 60.4) mile route with a very large group (30+ cyclists), at least large for me! I must say that everyone was very nice and helpful and my ride was excellent, except for running out of gas at mile 56. What a great cycling community we have in North Texas. I am riding the Tour de Paris and the HHH as well this summer and hope to see you there or out on the road. Many thanks!

This ride is a real class act and should be the archetype for all rallies in the area. Even the Collin Classic could take a few lesson from these folks! Parking was no problem. There were helpful volunteers directing the incoming traffic. There were helpful volunteers at critical corners and intersections, roads and rest-stops were well marked with sufficient warning and and even though I did not stop at any of the rest stops, the feedback I received from other riders was that they were well stocked and the people were nice. It was also good to see Bicycles, Inc. and Pearl Izumi out there. Registration was also a snap - well coordinated. The roads were well maintained - a few more hills would have been nice. The weather was brilliant - one could not have asked for better, especially for North Texas in mid-June. If ride organizers are looking to improve on anything, make it restroom and porta-potty access. Some folks needed a place only to change into/out of their riding kit that meant using up porta-potty/restroom space. A job very well done. This was my first time at this rally and you can bet I will be back next year!

Now that my wife and I have been riding a while and been to many of these type rides I have noticed a few things that bother me about this ride. There seems to be way too many people who think this is the real Tour d'Italia aka Giro. Big pacelines wizzing by at incredible speeds scaring the heck outta other riders. I also noticed that the majority of riders this year have little to no respect to cars and the law. On leading out on the first leg of the ride stretching from Italy to Avalon I saw a combined total of maybe five (5) riders on the nicely paved wide shoulder (including my wife and myself). The other 1000 (one THOUSAND) or more riders were all in the road. At one point later in the ride on the 62 mile route two riders were riding side by side in the middle of the road, I yelled "CAR BACK!" as I moved to the edge. They didnt budge. The car went right on their tail, they didnt budge. The car had to move entirely into the oncomming lane to pass, how rude can you get? It is no wonder some drivers hate cyclists with these people around! The ride was nice through scenic areas with slightly more chip and seal than I would have liked. The rest stop at the lake was beautiful and made me take a slight detour down to the lake shore to enjoy the view. Rest stops were pretty evenly spaced and well stocked by very friendly people. Hills were fairly frequent and moderate, great for a little workout. Parking was good, t-shirts as always excellent and everyone working as volunteers seemed friendly and happy to help. Food afterwards (that you had to pay for, bummer) was OK. Routes were well marked on the pavement for the most part. Would have liked to see some "1 mile to rest stop" signs. The mass start was a little better than last year but would still be MUCH better if it were staged. Will most likely be back next year as the 62 mile was a nice little training ride.

This is my third year participating in this ride and as always, it's a first-class rally. 2004 seemed to have the biggest turn-out ever -- around 7:45am, one volunteer began making people who wanted to park to turn around because they had run out of parking. Although parking is a tricky situation anyway each year because of the start site's location, the organizers work extremely hard at maximizing their lots and grassy areas. The Frost rest stop is always the best, with its Elvis impersonator and fresh plums. The volunteers are so friendly, and this year was no exception! I'm glad to see that this ride attracts more riders each year -- next year is the 20th annual Tour d'Italia and I heard there will be a cool surprise in store for the riders. Can't wait until next year!

This was my first time ever doing the Tour d' Italia. Unlike most of the rides this year, the conditions were picture perrrfect. The temperature was warm but not hot. The wind ...what wind? As mentioned in one of the earlier year reviews, even the chip 'n seal is better in Italy. This was a well marked course with fabulously fast stretches and a fine exhibition of Ma Nature behaving nicely. The course took off to the east and it was on very smooth, fast pavement. The hilly part of this course was very similar to the Lancaster ride. The hills came along at about mile 15 and thinned the packs out a bit and then fattened out again. The whole course was well thought out and all major intersections were manned by volunteers or police for smooth traffic flow. The only thing I had any issue with (if you really want to call it an issue) was how strung out the parking is. Obviously, the school isn't going to increase the parking lot size or anything drastic like that, just make sure you arrive plenty early so you can take care of everything you need to do before the ride. The school allows the use of it's showers after the ride which was nice. After the ride, the burgers in the lunch room were good. It was nice to sit down in cafeteria and enjoy good ol' school food again :-). The volunteers do a great job and this will be on my "gotta do" list for next year. BTW, they have pretty cool t-shirts too. Thank you goes out to the Lone Star Cyclists who do an awesome job with this ride.

Overall, this is a good ride. This was my third year to come to Italy. Only two gripes. 1) You need more port-a potties. 2) Anyone who runs a ride needs to listen to this. QUICKICK IS NOT A SPORTS DRINK. It is a sugar filled drink for kids. It is especially bad when the humidity is hovering around 80-85% and the reststops are mixing it way to weak to replace any nutrients that you lose during the ride. OK that is all of my gripes. Good ride once again. I will be back next year.

This was my first 100k to participate in. I enjoyed the ride, the scenery, and especially the Bison and Longhorn I saw. I cannot say enough for the fine folks at each of the rest stops...they would bend over backwards to help you in anyway weather filling your bottles with ice or giving you paper towels, they were really great! As far as the ride I had no problems until the last 20 miles and I started getting a little winded and the humidity seemed to be picking up making it hot, but, I think "Elvis" was hotter that all of us! I cannot wait for next year!

June 14, 2003

Although the parking was a little chaotic and the temperature/humidity up there, the Tour d Italia lived up to expectations as a nice ride through the gently rolling countryside south of Italy, TX. I rode the 50-mile route, stopping at all rest stops and had a great time. Traffic along the route was not much of an issue, other riders were for the most part courteous, and the volunteers at the rest stops were fantastic. Plums made a welcome alternative to bananas and oranges. I started riding rallies last year, but couldn't make this one. I'll be back next year.

The 2003 Tour d'Italia lived up to the high praise bestowed upon previous iterations. A slow start was necessitated by a short stretch of bad road, but once we got rolling we were rewarded with beautiful countryside, top-notch support, and decent roads. Even the Chip-Seal surfaces seemed less rough on this ride. The rest stops were well-stocked and manned by a fine group of volunteers. The availability of showers, food, and drink at the end of the ride were all nice touches. Although the humidity was a bit brutal, this was one of my favorite rallies of the year.

What a perfect day for a bike ride!!! The 2003 Tour d'Italia was a fantastic experience. Once again, the attention to details makes this a superb cycling event. The change in the 62 mile route was a blessing in disguise ....it made for a much safer and comfortable route. Easy parking, registration , good rest stops. The cold plumbs were excellent. Good signage . Although lots of potholes at start , they were outlined in red . As always, t-shirt was "best of season" . Excellent route for 62 route . Just enough hills to make it interesting . I'll be back next year. Roadkill.

It's hard to add to all the praise already levied on the "Tour d' Italia". BUT, here's some more! A ride through miles of very well developed corn, milo and beans best describes the routes. Farm country and few cars was a great combination. The heat didn't start kicking in until around 11:30 but the rest stops had plenty of fluids to keep de-hydration at bay. The SAG support was in evidence through out the ride. Friendly and courteous riders, pleasant rest stop workers, minimal traffic, and great scenery will bring me back next year. dtd

The 2003 Tour de Italia was great. I really do not have any complaints. Please, please please keep this new 62 mile route. It is far better than last years route. It is good not to have to go on Hwy 22. I talked to several people who like this years route better. I also like the hills that this year's route added. I will see you next year.

Well, the folks at Tour d' Italia have done it again for 2003! I have done this ride for the past 3 years and every year, if possible, just gets better and better. My favorite ride of all. Slow start only due to the large number of riders, 1146 this year, but very organized! Road at start was a little rough, but the bad area's had been spray painted and there was a course marshal in the road to help out with the start and the pot holes. Elvis was a wonderful way to start the ride, got you going with a smile on your face. The rest stops were well stocked, my favorite item was the ice cold wash cloths, that was so great! Traffic control good, everyone friendly, free snow cones at the end and cold showers and follow up with good hamburgers, free drinks and plums. The course was flat with rolling hills and beautiful countryside. Anyone who wants a great course, lots of fun, this should go on your list for 2004 and beyond. These folks know how to put on a "great ride" and they care what the riders think and asked for your feedback how to improve it! What more could you want! slbs

I can't say enough good things about the Italy volunteers. Aside from the accommodating volunteers at every rest stop, I had an opportunity this year to experience their volunteer spirit even more. After I completed the ride and made the long walk to my Jeep, I realized that my keys were no longer in the pouch on my CamelBak. After going through the proper "lost and found" procedures, I met a nice lady who offered to drive me to the last rest stop, which was one of two places that I actually saw my keys. When my keys weren't at the rest stop, the lady called another volunteer who drove me to the only other place I could imagine losing them and there they were!! I tip my helmet to these great volunteers!!

T-shirt: As per above, this alone is worth the fee. Attitude: it seems like some guys were boiling in the parking lot even before the ride. Registration: this would help at any ride: set up some flow. Ingredients: in door, form fill-out area, payment area, t-shirt distribution, out (different from in) door. It wasn't slow, mind you; it's just that is could be so much easier.

My wife's and my first ever organized bike ride, and a total blast! Great T-shirts, water bottles and other goodies. Nice
people everywhere. Traffic control was excellent and any problems with the roads were painted in orange and easy to see. One section of chip and seal road which they didn't know about until too late (someone slap the Texas Highway Dept for ever using that stuff). This ride would get a perfect score if they just didn't have that mass start on that terrible piece of narrow road. Best solution would be to just stagger the start. OK, and maybe a little more parking for the late arrivals. Unless a tornado wipes Italy off the map you can bet I will be there again next year!