Possum Pedal Bike Ride, Graham, TX
July 1, 2013
The Good: first half roads were about as good as it gets (in Texas, anyway.) Road management by law enforcement and support staff was A+. Nice rolling hills with a few moderate climbs. Scenery should remind everyone that Texas is the greatest state in the world. Nice, nice, nice people running the rest stops (Note to everyone in the world: be like these people, starting now!) Light northeast wind made this an unusually cool end-of-June ride. Great band playing at the finish (guessing a local band.) And, they started on time!
The Not-So-Good: second half roads were not good. Ran out of water at one of the rest stops (mile 35 or 45. Note to organizers: screw everything else about the ride, but don't run out of water!) Wow, they shut down shop quick (1 PM, it's over, everyone's packed up, and it's back to Graham as usual. No slow-pokes allowed here.) Local Methodist church wouldn't let my buddy park his trailer there overnight because of liability concerns (everybody's new "well-I don't-have-a-real-reason" reason. I guess they make their attendees sign a waiver every Sunday morning.)
Will I be back? Hmm, I'm still thinking on this one. Leaning against.
Despite being a long-haul from the Dallas side of the metroplex, these folks make this about as easy as it gets for a bike rally. I pull up, not yet registered, about 6:50am (for a 7:30 start), and park about 30 yards from the registration area and a block from the start line. No registration line, so I'm in and out in under 3 minutes. Public restroom is right next to the registration table (pre-ride task #2 - check). The ride starts on time. Couldn't ask for better weather in late June (low temps/humidity, and very light winds), but since I don't blame ride organizers for bad weather, I can't give credit for the good weather (but I am in a better mood as I write this). I did the 100K course, which measured out very close to 62 miles. Roads for most of the course were near perfect - smooth blacktop with a wide shoulder. The last third of the course got a little "chippy" at times, but overall not bad. Relatively flat course - my Garmin indicated about 1,400 ft. of elevation gain. Rest stops were well stocked with the basics and not too crowded. Two minor gripes - spacing between a few rest stops was long, especially for the last part of the course (16 miles, but then followed by another just a few miles later), and the turnoff toward the dam near the end was not very clear. But all this was forgotten as they had a firehose finish line spray, a band playing, and a free barbecue lunch. Overall a great ride that I highly recommend.
My wife and I completed the 62 mile route. Organizers did a good job with well marked route signage & road hazards with friendly volunteers at the rest stops. I would summarize the 62 mile route as rollers mostly with a few moderate inclines. Roads are generally very smooth with typical chip seal when you ride around the lake area. The NE wind changed the characteristics of this route since 2012 had a strong south wind. Mild temps and even a couple of sprinkles were unusual for this time of year and made for an enjoyable ride. The live band, free BBQ brisket sandwich, chips, cookie and drink were a bonus at the finish. My untrained eye would estimate 350-400 riders participated and my hope for the event is that it continues to grow. It certainly deserves it.
Easy drive from Denton to Graham, smooth to rough road with lots of fun hills to climb .. good rest stops & great people .. would like to see them change the route to cut out the bad roads .. the after ride BBQ party was very nice
June 30, 2012
The folks of Graham Tx have really keyed in on what riders like and don't like in a ride. They did a great job before during and after the ride. Packet P/up was good with no problems. This seems to be getting better at all rides. This used to be a major hassle for some. It goes to show, some people listen.
The routes were good, smooth, and had great law personnel to direct the major intersections. Ok, there was this, I don't know, 6 mile section that was in pretty rough shape. All potholes were outlined with paint. And some of them holes were biggins! Talking with the locals, it's the only road that connects the route in mileage. If one pays attention, it isn't that bad. Rest stops were good, and the people friendly. At my last rest stop, they saw that I was trying to stay with a group and told me to stay on the bike. They took my water bottle, filled it and push started me. I caught the group in less than a 1/4 mile! That was cool! To the rest stop people at the power plant - THANKS! I could have finished without the group, but we had ridden so many miles together, it just made it much nicer.
After the ride? Food, music, the fire truck sprinkler, cold towels, shaded seating. C'MON ! ! What more can you ask! Well, more is a parade, a historic deal going on, food vendors, downtown stores welcoming riders. To me, my entry fee was a bargain! Speaking of that, a tee shirt, water bottle, coupon for free lunch. Are you ride directors for other rides listening? This ride has made a strong comeback in my opinion. A definite YES on next years calendar.
Didn't know what to expect from this ride but it was awesome. I think the key is "hospitality". They have the best rest stop support groups working of any race that my wife and I do…and we do a lot. When you're out there working hard it actually does pump you up when you get to a rest stop, someone offers to hold your bike for you and you have everything you could need before you hit the road again. It's quite a haul to go to this from the DFW area…but heck, not really any further than those south of us…and certainly worth it. We will make this a regular stop on our tours from now on.
First time to visit Graham, so I stayed at the Holiday Inn Friday night, rode (2.5 miles) to the start line downtown and rode the 47 mile route. Friendly town, cannon blast to start things off gets your attention. The first 21.5 miles with the South wind at your back and then the 47 mile route does a U-turn. The last 26 into the wind made for a tough ride back in, but roads were smooth and hazards well marked (other events could learn a lot from this event) and can't say enough about the volunteers at the rest stops holding your bike while you refill bottles and fill up on snacks. The terrain is rollers with a couple of inclines when you pass the lake, but for the most part fairly flat. Nice event and will attend in 2013. Well done!
Rode the 100k and can only say that the 1st 25 or so miles were very awesome smooth and fast, and without that dreaded chip seal the hills were a breeze. Had to work a bit to get back going against the wind and I would like to especially thank the FWBA women. I appreciate riding with Y'all. That draft sure helped. The volunteers at the rest stops were awesome. Everyone was quick to meet you and hold your bike. Special props to the one at the 55 mile stop. There was a parade going on when I finished and it kinda made you feel secondary when you get in but that was cool. My only complaint this year is that this is Texas. It gets hot quick this time of year, Sure would love to see earlier starts for the longer distances. All in All this is a great ride ane one you should put on your calendar for next year.
.. had a super time, fun course to ride, lots of hills + so really great smooth roads. Only small problem was having to cross FM roads to get to rest stops, seems like they could of put them on the same side of the road as we were riding on?
July, 4 2011
This was a great ride in all the ways that count. They were curious about ways to make it better for next year. They are going to make a few minor changes but like it is I rate it A+.
Possum Pedal was a great ride. Vast majority of the roads were extremely smooth and the rest stops were well stocked and the everyone was so nice. This ride will definitely be on my list for next year.