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Blazin' Saddle 75 - Grandbury, TX

August 6, 2016

A well-organized and well-executed rally. A lot of friendly volunteers and plenty of SAG vehicles. The same routes as last year except the 20 milers had the option to bypass Skull's Crossing. I didn't and, believe me, it was still just as steep as it was last year. There are some fantastic views from the ridge tops and the downhill trek after reaching the Peaks is a thrill! The only knock I have is that we could have used some intersection control crossing Highway 377 at the beginning. I noticed on the way back that they had someone controlling the stoplights, so it was much better then. The tour at the Revolver Brewery after the ride was a lot of fun.

A very good turnout for the Blazing Saddle 75 in Granbury.
The start was well organized and the volunteers at the rest stops were cheerful and encouraging.
Routes were nicely marked with colored arrows on the pavement. Skulls Crossing is the first out-of-the-saddle climb. It's actually fairly short but very steep (around 15%). I used a 36/25 to get up and it took about 10 seconds to ascend the steepest part of the "Skull". Shift into a low climbing gear as you cross the creek and get ready to stand and pedal hard when you feel the hill. Don't stop!
For those who wish to avoid Skulls Crossing, you are offered a "bypass" by continuing up Hwy 51 to Panther Branch Rd.
Blazing Saddle is hilly! The longer routes go to Dinosaur Valley and have to ascend Mongo's Mountain. The last climb is going up Comanche Peak. The 30+mph blast downhill is fun! After that, you get two more mild hills and you're on your way to the Finish!
This is one of my favorite rides and I always look forward to it! Congratulations to the organizers and volunteers for making this a successful ride.

 

August 1, 2015

I rode the 2015 Grandbury, Texas Blazing Saddles 75, 40 mile event today. The total ride distance turned out to be 43 miles. We were fortunate with the weather as it was around 80 and humid in the morning, but cloud cover kept the temperature to the low 90's by the end of the ride. Not bad for July in this part of Texas! The two biggest items that I was concerned about were the road conditions and the hills based on the reviews I've read. The county roads around here are what they are. A lot of chip seal. There was no new chip seal which means no loose gravel, but it was a little rough and bouncy at times. There are a few tough climbs. I did the 40 mile course so I'm sure there are a few named climbs that I missed. I think the two major climbs on this route are known as the Cemetery climb at the 8 mile point and the Pike's road climb (Pike's Peak) at 37 miles. The Cemetery climb is serious business. It's hidden by curve, but the BS75 crew put up warning signs to gear down! For most riders this is valuable advice. It's a low gear up on the horns climb for me and most of the folks I was near. The Pike's road climb doesn't have any vicious hills, but it is long and steep. There are two parts and they wore me. You clear the first one and have a little breather before you are hammered with an increasing slope on a long hill to the top. After the peak (marked as 1229'), it's a wild ride down hill. I was not familiar with the road and there are a lot of trees and shadows on the bumpy chip seal, so I tempered the downhill with the brakes. Fortunately, there are no big surprises on this part of the downhill. If you've run it once or twice, you'd probably feel comfortable just letting it fly. There was a warning sign for the downhill section going in to the turn back on to 51. This could be very dangerous, so riders should heed the warning. It's a steep downhill to a stop sign and right turn on to the highway.
There were some climbing parts, but significant parts of the ride were flat to slightly downhill and I felt like I was able to ride very fast on numerous fairly long sections. I would say it's comparable in difficulty to the Peach Pedal 45 that I did a few weeks back.
The event is well organized, several water and snack stops along the route--the volunteers are fantastic. They had traffic control at several key intersections which was great. The roads aren't much for shoulders, so when cars pass, they can be pretty close. I only had one that buzzed me (thanks black pickup truck with the longhorn sticker!). We also got passed by a massive 3 wheeled water truck on a back road. He was as wide as the whole road, but put one wheel in the grass to get around.
All-in-all, I thought it was a great ride day and will look forward to going back to it next year.

"A perfect morning for the Blazin Saddle. I enjoyed the ride and the rest stops and volunteers were great. Just a few comments. First, if the route length is 43 or 44 miles, then it's not a 40-mile route; it's a 43 or 44-mile route. Round it off to the nearest mile, not to the nearest 10 miles. Second, make sure those doing early registration/packet pickup have enough ride numbers. The people at Fort Worth Cycling were out of ride numbers before 4 PM. Third, you need police at a major intersection like Hwy 377 at the start of the ride. It's not enough to have an ambulance initially stop traffic on the highway for the lead group and then leave. When we came through there was no police presence and cyclists were going through a red light when the traffic on the highway had a green light. Although the highway traffic was still stopped because of the volume of cyclists, there is a right way to control a major intersection and it wasn't done until riders returned."

This continues to be a fun ride for me. The support is always great and the routes are scenic. Some of the views are breathtaking. Plenty of hills to challenge you, but the long downhill after "the Peaks" is a great reward for all the work. It's a gas!

Amazing ride! I did the 75mile route and it was beautiful! We will be making this a team training ride for sure next year. Great water/aid stops, extremely friendly folks, and a lot of fun. The one steep hill towards the beginning of the ride was very well marked and for decent riders, not a big deal. However, there were some newbies who had some serious issues with the short little climb. There were some cattle guards that we had to go over which was new for me. There were also a few areas of the road that were gravel/dirt and a spot with a couple of inches of water flowing over the road. Neither were a big deal and added to the challenge of the ride. The 'Peak' was a little of a let down, since I was expecting a much longer and harder climb. But, the view of the peak was amazing. In fact, there were several spots where the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. For next year, I'd like to see a few more toilets are the start/finish line and better traffic control. I think there were probably 4-5 spots on the course that needed a police officer (or someone) directing traffic for the riders. I'd actually pay a bit more for the ride to have better traffic control out on the course.

I rode the 75 mile route the last two years. I agree with the previous reviewer that there should have been traffic control on the roll out at 377. I was toward the back of the pack and felt a little uneasy rolling through a red light. Thankfully the motorists there respected the cyclists but if someone had wanted to try to shoot a gap between the cyclists it could have been a bad situation.
I thought the rest stops were understocked compared to last year and to other rides I've done this year. I stopped at the 30 mile stop and didn't see any fruit. When I hit the 50 mile stop they were out of ice and also had no bananas or oranges. They said ice was on the way but didn't know how long it would be. At the 60 mile stop they were initially out of ice but luckily a truck pulled up with a couple of bags of ice 2 minutes after I got there. My guess is maybe there were a fair amount of late registrations.
The roads seemed better than what I remember from last year, there were several sections of new blacktop. This is definitely one of the better rides in the area. I make these comments not in a derogatory manner but in what I hope is a constructive manner. Fix these few issues and this is a must do ride.

I would just like to say, that Blazing Saddles 75 is an extremely challenging ride, especially for a 69 year old female, but the support and organization were amazing. Rest stops popped up right when you needed them and the road markings were perfect. Very well done!

Registered online, the extra $3 provided no benefit: Arrived early with bottleneck in parking then packet pickup. (Packet was a race number in a bag and a tshirt.) The maps of the courses were on a table to select from. Parking was in a field near the middle school. Due to the delay in parking/packet pickup, started ride 15 minutes late. Ended up doing the 40 mile course, they have a bypass for Skull's Crossing, but due to the late start had the road to ourselves, The courses split after the first rest stop. The ride started with a temperature of 82 with calm winds, finished with a temperature of 99 (heat index 102) wind E at 9. The sag wagons were getting a lot of use, the courses converging allowed riders to cut their rides short. The rest stops were well stocked and the sag support was excellent. The courses were well marked as well as hazards in the road, potholes, shoulder issues. Aside from the arrival/registration bottleneck, this was a great ride.

Blazin saddles 75 is one of the most challenging rides, very hilly route, several long climbs. The heat and winds made even more difficult. With the hills, a 21 ave is comparable to a 24 ave at HHH. Noticed that from mile 54-mile 75, there were 4 rest stops, about 5 miles apart. Pro's - very good and difficult training ride - good for the soul, numerous rest stops, (not that I stopped, but much needed for others in the heat), school provided showers at the end, good signage. cons - could use a little more traffic control, one long gravel section about mile 30-32. The BEST part is Revolver Brewery - blood & Honey fame - had a special for all the cyclists after the ride. close to 60-70 cyclists enjoyed the after ride festivities. back next year for just for the brewski's

August 2, 2014

Best thing about the ride - revolver brewery just 4 miles on the way back after the ride. Second best thing is the challenging course - several 1-2 mile climbs, a couple 15% grades (though those two were only 100 yards). Overall ave speed down slightly due to terrain. Rest stops were friendly- the all waved when we went by. Very good signage, not much in the way of traffic control or people telling you where to turn, but not needed with the good signage.

My wife and I ride in all the large charity events. The Blazin' Saddle 75 left us with mixed feelings. The area and scenery were absolutely beautiful, I felt like we were more in New Mexico than just outside of the Metroplex. The elevation changes provided a great backdrop and would make a nice postcard and the climbing was just plain ol' fun and a bit challenging.
The starting line was well organized and it started right on time.The rest stops were well stocked and the volunteers were friendly and helpful. I actually broke my carbon rear wheel and had to walk back to the 17 mile rest stop. Luckily, I was only about 2 miles past it when my wheel went. The Bikes Inc. support gave me a wheel and I was able to complete the ride.
Though it is no fault of the event organizers, 90% of the roads were very rough chip-seal. It got pretty "old" by the end of the ride and it actually made you forget how beautiful the scenery was.
Traffic control seemed almost non-existent and left some dangerous intersections. There was also too much riding on the highway, where cars were going over 60 mph and there was no real shoulder to get on or the shoulder was so rough it was dang near impossible to ride on. I didn't feel safe on a good part of the ride.
Overall, we enjoyed the ride but I don't think we will include this event, in our schedule, next year.

What a great race and great course!! I have been riding for 2 months and this was my first 40 mile ride. A very hilly terrain and there is a couple of hills that seem like mountains!! Overall it was a great experience, plenty of rest stops and the arrows on the road marking the course direction was perfect. I will ride again next year.

Great event with wonderful volunteers- very cool with the Air EMS helicopter overhead at the start. Signage was very visible on the 75 mile route-Love the climbs and descents. The start was right on time and very organized. Parking was also very easy to navigate (in and out) The finish was a festive atmosphere with lots of refreshments and BBQ from Brookshires and then it was over to Fuzzy's Taco shop for more good times with fellow riders and live music. This event just gets better every year!

Blazin' Saddle 2014 was a fantastic day on the bike. The weather was perfect and the views were stunning. Lots of work on those hills were followed by some really nice descents on the route. The event included nice, clear route, awesome rest stops with HUGE wedges of watermelon and happy volunteers. Very happy cyclist here!

Great rally! Will definitely be going back next year. Not only was there great support, signage and all the other factors that make for a good rally, the bikes routes provided beautiful scenery.

This ride was well worth the 2 ½ hour drive! With temps in the 60's at the start, it was a very different experience than is usual for this time of year. The hills were still there, but the views and smells (cedars, sage, etc.) were invigorating. Registration and parking went smoothly and there were plenty of rest stops. I saw a lot of SAG vehicles patrolling. The signage was impeccable! It was among the best I've seen this year. There were one or two intersections, I would have appreciated some control on, but overall, it was fine. I'll be back next year.

Rode the Blazin Saddle 75 mile route. I road this two years ago when there was probably 150 riders. Not this year, it looks like the word got out as this rally appeared to approach 500 riders. To that extent they may be a victim of their own success. It starts with the entrance/parking. There was a small sign and a person at south entrance to the school telling people to go to the north end. Cars then pulled into the next parking lot which was wrong as there were no signs pointing further down. Eventually we came across another little sign which cars kept driving past as there was no one there directing cars to the parking. I was preregistered. Packet pick up was quick but they ran out of pins, indicating they had more people show up than they expected. The route is one of the most challenging in the DFW area. Overall the roads are average for the metroplex rides. The 'signage' was a bit more problematic as there were only road markings that were very close to the intersections. Anyone riding in a group of five or more would have difficulty anticipating the turns. There needs to be some actual signs. Around the 40 mile mark, there is a turn that has a cattle guard coming out of the turn, at least one rider crashed there as the warning signs were in adequate. That was followed by the sharp dip which lead to dropped bottles and chains. When this was a small rally these areas were not big issues, but with larger groups of riders moving at a decent speed there needs to better warnings for these hazards. This rally has the potential to be one of the top rallies in the area, but the organizers need to step up their game and provide the support needed for a rally with 500+ riders.

This was one of my favorite group rides I have ever participated in! The course was outstanding (lots of hill climbs!) and the rest stops were more than equipped with food, drinks, and sunscreen. A SAG wagon passed me probably every 30-50 mins, which was reassuring. On top of all of this, I had difficulties registering and the event director promptly rectified the situation though a quick phone call. Will definitely do this ride again!

August 3, 2013

Pros - Smaller rally, Impeccable organization, Best signage (BY FAR) I have ever rode, Very friendly rest stops, Simple & perfect food at finish, SHOWERS
Cons - Didn't see much SAG support, Website needs more detail (location of restops, GPX file for download, shower info)
Overall if I could think of a way the perfect rally should be organized this would be it. Just by happenstance I spoke to one of the organizers at the last rest stop and they are ardent cyclist who put everything into this rally so that explains why the organization is so great…
About the ride,, I do A LOT of rallies and by my account (and everyone else I spoke with) this 75 mile course is exceptionally difficult and harder than the HH100. The combination of the 4000ft climbs, heat (garmin showed 107.5 at 12:45 finish) and wind are unrelenting. Also the chipseal while not bad is well worn. The effect is a sometimes bumpy ride but more importantly your tires don't roll as easily so your tires feel "sticky" to the road. I say this not to knock the ride but to encourage you to choose your course wisely and take your body needs before and during the ride seriously. Also I saw more than the normal amount of flats on the ride. The course was fine but because the asphalt is blistering hot your tires / tubes need to be top notch. Please (for your sake) buy good quality new tires and tubes so you won't be suffering on the side of the road in the heat.

I enjoyed the 40-mile route again. Rest stop supplies and support were great. A few suggestions: Need speakers near the start line as the chatter amongst cyclists who are lined up drowned out whatever announcements were being made; the new routing to/from the Paluxy Hwy was good; however, the maps on line never were updated; would be nice to have a sign or two warning cyclists about the 15% or so climb at Skull's Crossing; some of those who don't know it's coming and are in the wrong gear end up falling over and becoming obstacles; would also like to see a 40ish-mile route go to Comanche Peak. I plan to ride again next year.

The Blazing Saddles ride in Granbury is the gold standard that other rides should try to equal. Thanks, Robert Grantham

This is a great event. They really know how to organize a ride! All aspects seemed to have been covered. I rode the 40 miler and had a good time. I saw plenty of SAG vehicles, which was good since it was a hot hot day. I love the views and the smells (cedar, sage, etc). The hills were a challenge, but I remembered them from last year. If you didn't make it this year, you missed a good one!

This was my first year to ride the Blazin' Saddle 75 and I did the 75-mile route.
I think the 75-miler is probably the toughest ride in the North Central Texas area. Challenging hills and heat are what make it tough, so it's good that shorter distances (including a bail-out option from the 75-mile route) are offered. Even though parts of the course are very tough, it's a good challenge. I will definitely do this ride again in the future.
The rest stops were great. Well stocked with ice, water, Gatorade, cookies, pickles, pickle juice, pretzels, etc. And very friendly, helpful volunteers who would wait on you as soon as you stopped. (You didn't even have to get off your bike at most rest stops as the volunteers would come to you.)
The route was incredibly well marked. (By far the best informative signs I've ever seen on an organized ride.) Excellent signage that was easy to see/read along with many arrows on the roads... and even funny comments ("yes, you are going the right way".... and "bumpity.... bump" over a covered cattle guard).
There were many sag vehicles and mechanical assistance from local bike shops. Good food and showers available at the end of the ride.
I would highly recommend this ride to anyone. The event organizers/directors are cyclists and they understand exactly what you might want or need during the event.... almost like they are "in your head" or riding along to the side of you during the ride.

Really a remarkably well-organized ride, and I'm not just saying that. This was probably one of the most challenging routes I've ever done (75 mile) - the hills just don't stop, and the August heat sure doesn't help you out. You can tell that whoever organizes this ride has done their fair share of rides, as a lot of details that aren't usually addressed are ironed out - for instance, making rest stops more frequent toward the end of the ride. When the heat really started to crank up, water started running out a lot quicker, and I would have had a really rough time with the last 20 miles if it weren't for that. The routes were marked really well, and some of the signs and notes on the pavement actually elicited a chuckle or two. Great ride -- I'm looking forward to next year.

Best and Toughest 75 mile course I've ever done in my 25 + years of riding, Loved the HEAT !!!, LOVED the HILLS, see Ya next Year !

First time to ride in this event. I have to say the course rates up there with the Goatneck and Muenster rides with the amount of hills to climb. Hard course to ride. Around mile seven there is a short steep hill that had no warning. There several riders who could not ride up the hill and were working up the hill. I do not have a problem with that. The issue is there were 5 to 6 riders walking side by side up the hill. Which made it hard for those behind them and caused several to fall. Nice scenery. The roads were some of the worst I have ridden on. Almost the whole route (42 mile route) was chip seal. Some of the roads were in bad shape. Really had to pay attention on some the down hills and curves, watching for the potholes, etc .. The course was well marked. Rest stop were well stock with supplies and friendly helpful volunteers (thanks). Not sure if I will go next year.

Great ride and I'm in total agreement that the 75 mile course was harder than I expect my HH100 to be this year. The scenery was great, people were very friendly and the rest stops had all the right things. I'll be back. Brian Faulkner

Better than last year in some areas. BBQ sandwiches at finish by Brookshires that a lot of cyclists were unaware of, sweet tea by Chicken Express (ditto). Great volunteers, good road markings. Interesting that pre-registered packet pickup line was way longer than same-day registration line. Second rest stop on 40-mile course ran out of Gatorade. Hard-to-hear announcements at start. Organizers need to STRONGLY emphasize how wicked the hill is (you know which one!) besides a skull-and-crossbones symbol on the map. Caught a lot of new participants by surprise. The girl who was safely upright on the right side of the road who walked (with her bike!) into the middle of the road (!!!!) to check on her fallen compadre needs to know how DANGEROUS that is! Parking, as last year, needs rethinking. Off Bus. 377, we need to turn right on Deputy Larry (?) Last Name road, to ALL feed from one direction into field, instead of turning right on Howard Clemmons Road and backtracking.
I appreciate Cadence for their hard organizing efforts, but the rally website was vague and hard to access. Still, a rally I'll likely attend next year.

I am just getting ready to leave for the the HHH in Wichita Falls this Saturday. As I prepared for this endurance ride, I wanted to share how important it was for me to ride in the Blazing Saddle 75 ride out of Granbury. What a challenge that ride is. Lot's of hills. Elevations for the ride reaching 4000 feet. The ride was very well manned and supported. It was so good to see at the rest stops that the attendances were coming to either hold your bike or came out with pitchers to fill your bottle on the bike. They were outstanding. The organization was very good and the ride was beautiful and quite challenging. The "BLAZING SADDLE 75" is THE ride to prepare for the HHH. There are shorter distances as well and they in their own provide a good workout. The "Peak" close to the end of the ride is a wonderful incline for a long thigh burning experience. Hope to see you all next year. Hans

Perhaps the most challenging ride this summer combined with the most gorgeous countryside. The 13 mile loop (alternate to the 100K so that you get the full 75 miles) was an almost mountainous joy-filled beating. Was that ALL uphill?? Fun.
The organization was outstanding – nice start, good rest stops, food and showers at the end. Perhaps the only suggestion for improvement is to add more port-a-potties earlier in the ride – lines were long while standing in the sun.
I will definitely make this an annual ride for me and my family. Thanks to all the sponsors. Greg

August 4, 2012

Second time for me to ride this one and absolutely loved the new route. The scenery and hills made it a very tough ride when you throw in the wind. Cadence is doing something right since this year they doubled the number of riders than last year. Parking was a little of a cluster at first but worked out in the end. If you go next year to Granbury Middle School, get there early for a parking spot. The roads were in better shape than most and of course thanks to the morons in Austin at TXDOT, just about every road in Texas now has chip seal. This ride had its fair share of chip seal too. On the back half of the 75 miler there was a short distance with really gnarly loose gravel. I found the roads to be really well marked with arrows as well as holes circled. The rest stops were very well manned with cheerful workers with some ladies wearing Hawaiian outfits including coconut bras. There was food and ice along with port a potties. I loved this ride and predict it will grow exponentially when the word gets around.

This was my first time to ride the 75 mile ride, and I must say that it exceeded my expectations. The roads were beautiful, well-marked and relative traffic-free. The rest stops, although small, were staffed by enthusiastic volunteers – especially liked the folks at the Sookie rest stop with the dog mascot. This ride had a local-ride feel to it but had some impressive big-event amenities – helicopter fly-over at the start, continuous sag patrol, etc. The race organizer was actually patrolling the site and at several rest stops obtaining feedback from riders on the spot! If you like a good challenge and continuous hills with some thrilling descents, this is the ride for you!

Great, well marked challenging route! Loved the hills.

It certainly wasn't wet this year! It was a good ride, though – well organized and well-executed. Plenty of hills on all routes to give you a workout. SAG vehicles were everywhere and the volunteers were exceptional. Signage was great, too. Plenty of notice for turns and hazardous areas. Breathtaking scenery. All-in-all, a great ride!

I really didn't think that I could be caught off guard by a route in a touring event, but the 75 mile course is Granbury is a big boy and girl route that caught me by surprise. The hills didn't stop and numerous inclines were hidden by blind type turns in which I had to get out of the seat to tackle the incline. Since this was my maiden voyage to Granbury, my hope is that I'm better prepared for what lies ahead of me next year as this ride will go in my must do list. A number of events claim to be a perfect prep for the HHH, but complete the 75 mile course in Granbury and the HHH will NOT be a problem!

Blazin Saddles 75 mile route. Volunteers did a good job at packet pickup as they processed late arrivals quickly as the start time approached. The school provided good facilities for the start, with plenty of parking in the field across the street. The course is challenging with many hills and long stretches of climbing. No signature climbs but the hills are relentless. The route is well marked with both road markings and large signs with big arrows. At most of the cattle guards a piece of plywood was placed on one side to make for easy crossing. I would recommend to try and have all routes going in the same direction as there were sections where the 40 and 75 were going in opposite directions. Impatient drivers were passing riders on their side and going into the lane of on coming riders. We had a few unpleasant close encounters with vehicle traffic because of this. There were post ride showers available in the school which was appreciated. Overall enjoyed the ride and will plan on coming back again.

Wow! Riders who have never participated in this rally need to come here next year! Just a couple flies in the ointment at the start.
PARKING: Organizers? Please have a flagger to park riders in the big field instead of a just sign on the corner. We sight the cars in the parking lot, knowing that is where registration/bathrooms/mechanical help is, so we go there. But when it's immediately full (I arrived in PLENTY of time), and one persons says "go that way" and we go that way, only to be turned around by another person on the other end who sends us back the way from which we came, it was a very frustrating mess. Not a pleasant way to start the day. Communication is key between the parking areas; walkie-talkies would be a good idea. Need a volunteer, too, at Business 377 (past the Square) to direct us to the school; several riders had different directions. After we started, there were several participants still sitting in their cars on the street, waiting to park.
START: The very sweet-voiced young lady making the annoucements was pleasant, but waaaayyy too chatty. 95% of the riders are experienced participants (21 years, myself), the staging area was very small, and we did not need to be told every 30 seconds that we need to gather under the banner that says "Start" (among many other very obvious tips). Also, 10 minutes prior to start was too early for prayer and the Star Spangled Banner; riders are still waiting in the potty line or getting last-minute preparations at this time. About 2 minutes prior to start would be much better.
OTHER 99%: HAD A GREAT TIME AND GLAD I CAME! Excellent 40-mile route, plenty of challenging climbs and pretty scenery, great volunteers, good variety and quantity of supplies at rest stops, good SAG coverage. Look forward to riding here again next year!

A very nice and well put together ride. You could really tell that every one everywhere cared about the riders. Everyone went out of their way to make sure you were comfortable. All rest stops stocked. Route Directions were great. Maybe add a few more porta potties at the start is the only recommendation. I will definitely mark this one on my calendar for next year. Keep up the good work. A+

Our first time doing a big bike ride. Had a great time! I did the 40 mile, my husband did the 75 mile. All well marked! Volunteers were great. Most roads were car free and scenery was terrific! One comment from the 75 mile ride - mark the loose gravel a little sooner. My husband said that just as he saw the sign warning of the gravel, he was right in it. Other than that it was a great ride and a great day! Thank you!

This was a great ride, very challenging which is what I went for. The course was marked well. The rest stops were full of the most cheerful and kind volunteers and well as well stocked with the necessary hydration and nutrition needed to get you along the road. It was assuring to see the number of SAG vehicles along the course to help out stranded cyclists (I was one of them). Because of all the mishaps in my journey, I was one of the very last cyclists in, but there at the tent, there were still a couple of volunteers waiting to laddle up me my beans and jalapeno cornbread with watermelon and southern style sweet tea! YUM!!! Don't want to forget the scenery was beautiful as well!

Really a great ride. The 75 mile was by far the most challenging ride I have done to date. I am sure that the participation will continue to grow. I actually enjoyed the sweet "chatty" voice at the race start. Constructive comments: race start area and parking could be organized a bit better. More than two port a potties are needed.
Beautiful, challenging ride….I will definitely ride next year…thanks to Granbury EMS and all of the great volunteers

First time here. Ride 5 or 6 events per year, 40 - 100 miles. I'm afraid I'll have to bump one of my other rides to include this one. Tons of up-hills, but, surprisingly, a similar amount of down-hills. Nice scenery, decent roads, awesome support staff and organization. A few surprises kept us on our toes. Especially liked the "DOGS AT TOP OF HILL" note painted on the pavement. Did not see any dogs, but got my heart revved up. Overall, one of our funnest rides ever. Looking forward to seeing Sookie here next year.

I just did the Blazin Saddles 75. I would do it again in a heartbeat or a chain link. There was great support of the ride, wonderful volunteers at the rest stops. It was a challenging ride, but the beauty was worth the challenge. The roads were very lightly traveled by cars. There was some chip seal, but it was no where near as bad as the Stephenville ride, which I will never do again. I was exhausted after the beating I took on the chip seal in Stephenville.

If you like Goatneck, and Paluxy Pedal, you will Love Blazin' Saddles 75 in Granbury.
Rode with a small group that did the 75 miler. Scenery: absolutely beautiful. Hills: plenty and more. challenging route. SAG/Safety: I think I saw more SAG than road traffic. In 6 years of cycling, I have needed SAG twice for mechanical type issues on a pay-ride. This was another one of those days. Our SAG was attentive and happened to notice and question my direction of travel (back toward a stranded friend cyclist). She gave me a lift back to the stranded, and had plenty of tubes pump, ice and water and we were on our way in a jiffy. Thank You! Bikes Inc, you saved one of our group riders from having to end his ride at the 40 mile rest stop by having a tandem length shifter cable when the standard bike length cable was too short - Thank you! Fly over and presence of Careflite == Thank you, Thank you! Volunteers: amazingly cheerful and helpful. Plenty of smiles, laughter, costumes, sunscreen, food, ice, water, pickle juice, cookies..... Port-o-potties: Plenty. I personally never had to wait in line. Signage: There was one occasion where we questioned a turn. Other than that, signage was perfect. Parking: I arrived very early and had no problem - parked right in front of the on-site registration and indoor restrooms. Chip Seal: yes chip seal but I have to add the great company and wonderful views minimized this Texas annoyance. Ride's end: Food and drinks at the end (and I mean the VERY end) of the ride. Sweetest watermelon ever, tea, pop, beans, cornbread... Thank you to everyone who made this ride possible and Thumbs up to Cadence Race Productions for a very well organized ride.

August 13, 2011

Rode the Blazin' Saddles 75 in Granbury. The wet weather seemed to keep attendance down. There was also the Hot Rocks ride in Rockwall. So glad I chose Granbury. Great rodes with some chipseal. Scenery was awesome. The volunteers were great despite the wet weather. Rest stops well spaced with plenty of goodies. Registration was quick. Great signage, though I did miss one sign and ended up in Tolar and then on 377 back to Granbury, but I'm sure that was my fault for not paying attention. The signage was good as far as I could tell. Plenty of hills to make the route challenging. This is the first time I have done this ride. I will be back next year and look forward to riding it in better weather.

Blazin Saddles 2011 was a wet, but pretty darn good ride. Rain, rain, and more rain, but at least it was different from the usual 100 degrees and sunburn. Well run, great people, well stocked rest stops, nice roads for the most part, and plenty of markings. Lots of signs/arrows/writing on roads/etc., for turns, potholes, steep hills, RR crossings, routes merging, etc. These people really know what they're doing, and I will do this one again. (Only one very small complaint: Water at one of the rest stops tasted terrible. Was that stored in a trash can?)

This was a great, bucket list, kind of ride. It got off to a rough start because of the rain but turned out very well. All rest stops stayed open without a sign of closing until the last rider came thur. It had some hills to tame but the beauty of them would take your breath first. I rate this ride A+.

All I can say is that the 75 mile was the most beautiful, challenging course I have done this year, and the rain was GREAT, I could not believe how many riders showed up despite the rain, very well organized, a little confusing toward the end, with the course coming back on itself, some of the arrows were wearing off because of the rain, but I never got lost, plenty of corner workers, GREAT RIDE, I'll be back next year.

Wonderful ride in the Granbury area! 2nd time to do this event and choose the 40 mile course this year. I give this ride a 2 thumbs up! The rainy weather this year kept some folks away but what an awesome experience riding in the rain after 40+ days of scorching 100 + degree days. Cool, wet, the trees were singing with delight as I zipped along the well marked course, quite happy to have a brief respite from the blazing heat.
A prudent 30 minute precautionary delayed start by the very thorough Cadence race directors allowed the lightning to clear the area and once underway the scenic course provided an awesome riding experience. Great rest stops staffed by enthusiastic volunteers offering a multitude of race snacks and fluids, very light traffic on my route, and terrific sag coverage throughout this gently rolling course made this event to be one of my most pleasant and memorable rides. Oh, and the huge pot of warm beans with cornbread is such the terrific finishing touch!
I highly recommend this event for all riders. This is a professionally produced, high-quality event that goes the extra mile to ensure safety and an overall good time for all participants. As advertised, it is the perfect warm-up for the Hotter-than-Hell (Texas). Thank you guys and way to go Cadence!

I rode the Blazing Saddle 75 last weekend, and what a ride it was. The ride was well organized, and well supported. The Blazing Saddle directors, and staff really worked hard to pull this off in spite of the bad weather that enveloped the area. For most of us, we thought, it just doesn't get better than this! One of the riders told me, "…it was the best ride all year". Again, the roads were well marked. Some turns had redundant marking. How cool is that? There were also markings that verified you were on the right track. I believe there was one intersection where the weather had blown some of the markers off of the stop sign; however, looking down at the asphalt were the painted (stenciled) arrows showing the way. Rest stops were extremely friendly, and rest stop no. 8, I won't forget you!! Thanks so much for the lei. All in all, the directors, and staff deserve a huge THANK YOU from all us hard core riders that just never get enough. Well done!!! Look forward to seeing you again next year. BTW, this is great training for HH100.

August 14, 2010

We would like to thank all of the cyclists for coming out to the second annual Blazin Saddle 75 in Granbury. Being avid cyclists ourselves we understand and appreciate that our athletes have choices when it comes to which events they choose to participate in. It is our goal to always strive to produce a safe, challenging, fun event. We value all of the feedback we get and will be making the appropriate changes next year to make the event even better. I have heard rumblings that the 75 mile route was one of if not the most difficult ride in the metroplex. I quite sure that most cyclists like the challenge of a difficult ride, so expect the courses to remain the same in 2011. We will be making some slight modifications for safety, but don't plan to change the routes. Again, we thank you, our beneficiary Texas EMS thanks you and we look forward to seeing you and your friends in Granbury next year!

Did the 75 miler. The ride was hilly and hot as advertised. Lots of hills. The ride started at 8:00 AM, which is good if you don't want to wake up early, but when the forecast is for the 100's, I would prefer to lose the sleep so I could finish a little earlier and get out of the heat. The rest stops were in general about every 10 miles with one exception - by my computer it was 15 or 16 miles after the 30 mile rest stop to the next one (it was a loop so it was actually the same rest stop). It would be good if they had a more detailed map that indicated where the rest stops are going to be so you can plan accordingly. Volunteers at the rest stops were very helpful and friendly. Kudos to the volunteers. There were a few sections on bigger highways (that were chip seal - arghh) but in general the ride was mostly back roads (with very little traffic) that were extremely scenic and the ride was well marked.

I did the 75 mile route. It is one of the most (if not the most) challenging routes of any ride in the area. My Garmin said over 3200 feet of climbing, which is more than the Goatneck. The same hills that made it challenging made it the most scenic ride around also. I was worried that with this being only the second time this ride was put on, combined with the extreme heat and later start time, that we could be in trouble out there. Not the case. The rest stops were well spaced (I actually rode past the last one), with more at the end of the route. They all had ice and really friendly helpful people. There was more chip seal than I would like, but it was obvious that the route planners did all they could to minimize it. Traffic control was great, especially in and out of Granbury. Suggestions for improvement? Personally, I think any ride of that distance that starts this time of year should start at 7. But I understand that might keep people away, so I respect the decision to move it to 8. Also, don't hand out plastic bottles of water. Too many cyclists think they're in the TdF and toss them aside once they are done. Plus, by the time they are handed out, they are hot. All in all a great ride and a great part of Texas to be riding in. I will be back next year. Thanks to all the volunteers.

I rode the 75 mile course and with the humbling climb up Comanche Peak at mile 69, it is tough. This ride is very challenging, maybe even more than Goatneck. The weather was as expected for August. Great training for the HHH-100. Anyone who rode it, is definitely ready for HHH. Great support and markings. Maybe adding a course between 40 & 75 would be good because of the heat and all those hills. Could not have ask for a better cause than to support the local EMS. They are truly everyday heroes. Great job for just the 2nd year. I hope it continues to grow. Thanks for everything!

Rode the 75 miler. This is a great ride with great volunteers, well spaced rest stops, very good traffic support. The route was very hilly, scenic with very light traffic. For this being only the second year this ride is well on its way to becoming one of the top rides in this area. The organizers have obviously done their homework and it showed. Did I mention the route? Awesome. Great Job by the organizers, volunteers and sponsors, can't wait till next year. Just need more participants!

I rode the 75 (actually only rode 57 of it) had to sag out, way to hot. First I will say I will be back next year I have never let a race beat me until this weekend I would just ask for two things start early if there is light we should be on the rode. Second add an aid station in the desolate loop around the 40 mile marker it would have helped a lot. All in all this was a great ride amazing climbs the best aid stations around if you are looking for a HHH training ride this is your ride if you can do this no question you can do HHH. I hope to see twice as many riders next year.

VERY CHALLENGING RIDE!! The hills just keep coming! I agree that it would be great to start at 7:00 on this one. Overall a very good ride with a couple of very correctable problems. First as another reviewer noted, the 75 mile route had a very long gap between rest stops. What made this worse was, this was the most challenging part of the course (the lower loop), plus the rest stop right before that was out of ice. Second, and this bothered me all day: The lack of signs. The small colored arrows were easy to see once you were right on top of them, but from a distance there was no way to see the turns coming. I rode past three arrows, but noticed them just as I was on top of them. I was able to turn around and go back to the turn each time, but I found myself slowing slightly at almost every intersection to look for an arrow. The road paint plus visible sign seems the way to go. (That way you can prepare for the turn well in advance, when you see the sign, and re-confirm the turn with the arrow once you arrive at the intersection.) This was a tough one, but quite well run. Registration was a bit hard to find, as it was behind a school with no signs, but the people were TERRIFIC! Rest stops were great, and for the most part very well stocked. Thanks so much to the people who put this one on. I’ll be back next year!

What a fantastic improvement from last year. If you're familiar with the (now defunct) Cruisin' the Hood ride, you will be pleased by this new route. Hwy 51 has some recent chip-n-seal this year. Fortunately, we only had to ride about three miles of it on the 40-mile route. The rest of the ride is beautiful. Lots of decent country roads with very little traffic. My Garmin indicated 1385 feet of climbing. Whew! The police support was fantastic. The volunteers were cheery and helpful. The "fast guys" think they're on the freakin' Tour de France or something. Tossing bottles and trash, littering the beautiful country side like they're God's gift to cycling with no respect for the surroundings. Ugh. But all that aside, I really enjoyed this ride. Maybe if it was moved to a cooler time of the year, it would attract more riders. Congrats Blazin' Saddle for best improved ride of the year.

No signs at or near the registration area, but wasn't hard to find. Registration was fast and friendly. Police on 377 were nice, but no other intersections had police/staff controlling them, even the turns at the rest stops. Only a few signs for the route, painted arrows were used, which are easy to miss and were only marked once at the actual turn. I missed a painted arrow early in the ride and had to turn around, making me hesitant the rest of the ride. Most of the route was on lightly travelled back roads, nice hills, good scenery, but the chip seal sections were very rough (lots of chip, not much seal). People complained about the 7am start last year, but this ride needs to start at 7am. All intersections really need to have someone there to help riders with traffic and course navigation. It would be a good ride with that and signs for routes, not painted arrows.

I rode the full 75 miles (I think it was actually 77+). This was great but challenging ride. Lots of climbing. I found it much tougher than the Goatneck ride a couple of weeks earlier. Scenery was similar to Goatneck but even better. The heat (predicted to 105 that day) was incredible. I think the heat was really putting the hurt on me the last 7-10 miles. The roads were primarily chip seal. Most were well packed chip seal and actually quite nice. A few stretches had some rough chip seal (mainly hwy 51) but those stretches were kept to a minimum. I think they have a great route and need to keep it the same. The only thing I would do different (from a route standpoint) is to add a 60 mile ride. This would be easily accomplished by not taking the 75 mile route detour (the single 15-16 mile loop to the south in Somerville County). All the rest stations would be there & volunteers to support a 60 mile route. The ride was well organized w/ good traffic control in and out of Granbury and at some intersections on hwy 51. Most intersections are not manned, just an arrow painted on the road. Hopefully this ride will grow and with the growth more volunteers for the intersections similar to Goatneck. They did have some warning signs out indicating cattle gaurds, dips, warning motorist, etc.. They had plenty of rest stations with great volunteers. Rest stations were every 10 miles except one place on the 75 mile ride were you did the 15-16 mile loop (the one I described above). I found this loop to be the toughest part of the ride and a rest stop on the backside of that loop would have been nice even if it was one guy with a tailgate & an ice chest. I think most riders skipped the rest station going into this loop and did not realize that by skipping it they would wind up going 25+ miles in some tough climbing between rest stops. Next time I will stop at the rest station before heading into the 16 mile loop. One other thing that would be nice at the rest stops (Goatneck could use some help with this to) are laminated maps showing you where you are. Also educating the volunteers how far they are from the finish and the next rest stop. It was hot and a lot of people were suffering from the climbing and heat. There was always a few people trying to decide if they wanted to SAG it home or try to make it to the next stop. This type info would have helped them. Speaking of SAG there was plenty of it. That’s about it. It was a great ride and I will be back next year.

 

August 1, 2009

We listened to the rider reviews on your site and have made the necessary changes.
Thanks, Cadence Race Productions

This review is for the inaugural (I think?) Blazin’ Saddle 75, out of Granbury. The spring ride was cancelled this year, so I guess this usually rideless weekend (except for the San Angelo ride on Sunday) was exploited to get a ride done this year.
Comments pertain to the 40 mile route.
The route of this ride is totally different from the “Crusin’ the Hood” ride which is usually held in the spring, in that it is north of US 377, not south of it. The route was the first problem with this ride, even before the start. The map of the 40 mile route published on the website as a PDF file, was not accurate. The map had the route going east of Star Hollow lake, when in fact there is no such road. This became clear to me as I was preparing a GPS route for the ride. I contacted the ride organizer by e-mail, and he explained the correct route to me, which in fact goes through Lipan.
The map that was handed out before the ride was the same incorrect map, for the 40 mile ride. Now, the route ended up being not 37 as stated on the website, or 40, but actually 45.29, which is a big difference. Accurate information about the route needs to be provided.
The second problem was a complete dichotomy between the ride organizers and the Granbury police. Before the ride, the ride organizer told us to stay on US 377, as the shoulder was very rough chip seal. So we all started the ride, only to be told by a cop who came up behind us, using his loudspeaker, to move over to the shoulder as the road was still open. There should have been an understanding reached between the ride and the police. It seemed that this one particular officer was not to thrilled about the bike ride.
The route for the most part was very good , rural with little traffic. FM 4 was a busy road, but had a broad and relatively smooth shoulder to ride on, at least until you got to Thorp Spring, when the shoulder disappeared and several cars passed too close and fast, at which point I took the lane. The route had some challenging hills characteristic of this part of the state.
The rest stops were good, with cookies, pretzels, pickles and Gatorade. There was bottled water; I would suggest that this be kept on ice next time and not served tepid. The last rest stop run by Home Depot was particularly wells stocked. There were delicious home made cookies as well as store bought ones, bags and trays of potato chips, and enough pickle juice to float the Titanic. These folks really took their rest stop seriously.
The last comment about the ride is the early start time. 7:00 am was chosen, I am sure, to get the ride done before the heat got to bad, ironically, it was probably one of the coolest days of the summer (at least in the morning) with a section of cool wind and rain on the west most portion of the route. Perhaps we crossed a front line; as we proceeded east the weather got warm and humid again. I myself have no problem getting up at 4:00 am to make this ride, but the ride probably would have had twice as many riders had it started at 8:00.
If the ride organizers fix some of the problems mentioned (especially the inaccurate map) I look forward to riding this again next year, if it is held.

I really wanted to do something in about the 75 mile range and the Blazin' Saddles in Granbury looked pretty good, until I looked at the map. There's no way I'm doing this one. On the 75 mile, (actually 79 mile) route, more than half of the ride is on two major cross state highways, 377 and 281, basically just straight from Granbury to Stephenville on 377, (with a little detour) around Tolar, and then north on 281 for 22 more miles, finally turning off on Hwy 4 back to Granbury, just a big triangle with no apparent effort put in to keep the riders off of the big roads, or to give them much variety. The mid range ride isn't much better, just shorter, but much of it on Hwy 377. What were they thinking? This could actually be quite, dare I say, VERY dangerous. I think I'll give this one a pass.

Outstanding ride! I did the 75 (actually 78.5) which was very challenging, but nice. Roads were a bit busy, but the shoulders were nice and wide, and MOSTLY SMOOTH! One rest stop didn't have any ice, and I agree with the other review about the organizers/police at the beginning. A bit of conflicting directions there.... Good points: Rest stops were very well spaced and fantastically manned. VERY nice people. I too have mixed emotions about the 7:00 start. Very good as far as maximizing the cooler temps, but sure, you do have to get up at the crack of midnight to get there on time... Two thumbs out, however for this ride. The people who thought they'd wait till the organizers got the bugs out (first year ride) need not have worried. Well run. Well staffed. Good ride. I'll do it again next year for sure. Let's get some more people out there!

Sorry, I can't say much positive about this ride. The starting time was too early, Got lost trying to find my way to the event, google gave wrong location but there wasn't any signage directions either. The 37 mi ride turned into 45 mi.and the last 19mi from Lipan was worst shoulder I have had to ride on this year, very dangerous! sometimes their wasn't a shoulder, it was full of gravel, obstacles. Nearly got clipped once. Seemed most of the drivers had no regard for cyclists. I did like the challenge of the climb of first 15 miles, rest stops were sufficient. I love Granbury but big changes will have to be made for me to even consider the event for a second time.

40-mile route: I would highly recommend this ride. Most of the route was rural, with no traffic, and beautiful scenery. Please keep the 7:00 a.m. start time! A. Mills

The 75-mile (actually 78+) route is my new favorite of the dozens of charity rides I’ve participated in. It is well-laid-out and scenic, and has the smoothest roads of any Texas ride I’ve done. Its 49-ft/mile average ascent is typical of NTX – not real hard, not real easy. It has no iconic climbs, but has enough gradient to be interesting. We got lucky with the weather: mild temperatures, light wind, and no rain. I stopped twice – Stephenville and Morgan Mill – and the rest stops were well-stocked and manned by helpful and friendly volunteers. The start-finish isn’t the best locale – a few miles of chipseal to and from – but to me this is a small price to pay for the excellent roads featured on the rest of the ride. Despite being held on some prominent highways, traffic was a non-factor.
My only disappointment was that so few riders showed up. I’m not surprised – new ride, early start time. I hope the organizers feel this one’s worth holding again. In my opinion it’s far superior to Cruisin’ De Hood, and I thought that was one of the better NTX rides. I’ll be back for sure.

This was a good inaugural event and I look forward to riding it again next year. The 7:00am start is early, but I appreciate the organizers conern about the heat and encourage them to keep this as a start time. The 75 mile route was closer to 79. The hills, distance, increasing wind and heat made this a good tune up for HHH. The ride on 377 from Grandbury to Stephenville wasn't that bad - there was plenty of shoulder and the road was mostly smooth. Aid stations were stocked with the usuals and the volunteers were very friendly. I never saw any SAG support on the road and this needs to be addressed before next year's ride. Thanks to the Granbury YMCA for opening their facilities to the riders - that shower felt great.

I did not like the 7:00 start time. It was about 7:20 before I could drag myself and my bike onto the course. Should have started from home about ½ hour sooner, but I got up at 4:30 as it was. I rode the 75 mile route so I understand the concerns with 281. The shoulders were plenty wide and the pavement was mostly smooth, but I don’t enjoy spending so much time on the highway. The traffic wasn’t buzzing the riders, but it was frequent and it was noisy and it does detract from the enjoyment of the ride. Time spent trying to find some acceptable country lane roads to replace portions of 281 would be time well spent. The worst part of the entire ride was the chip seal, into the wind, slightly uphill last portion. I was really glad when that was over. The rest stops were well stocked and the volunteers were very helpful. The beans served at the end were a great idea, but my mama always put ham hocks in hers!

Great inaugural ride! Billed as a prepatory for the HH 100. Great course, I did the 75, some highway though very limited traffic. Great Sag, support staff, pickle juice, snacks, and BEANS at the finish. Made for a fun ride and a fun drive back to FTW as well. Go Mondo..will for sure see you ya'all next year. Cadence planned this event well as they have done with their previous Granbury events....

Great inaugural ride! The Blazin' Saddle 75 , labeled as a prepatory ride for the HTH 100, was a well run, well staffed, and totally fun ride. I have participated in other Cadence events and they really seem to plan their events out well. Blazin' Saddle course has good roads and even though some, I did the 75, highways were included, to me it was way better than other area rides that consist of way to much chip seal. It seemed like the only traffic on the road were the sag vehicles. Way to go! Pickle juice, snacks on course and BEANS at the finish made for a great ride, and a funny drive home, in a Mondo sort of way...Definitely will be back next year!! See ya'all in Wichita Falls....