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Cowtown Classic Bike Ride - Crowley, TX 

September 10, 2016

I was concerned about the weather for this rally, especially since it rained constantly for about two hours on the drive to the staging site. However, once I arrived, the rain stopped and stayed away. Thanks to the cold front the temp was 66 degrees when the ride started. We had very comfortable conditions after that. The ride was well-supported and ran very smoothly. Great intersection control and SAG vehicle were everywhere. I really appreciated the cheering sections. Attendance seemed lighter this year than last. I'm sure the threat of storms scared a lot of folks away. Too bad. They missed a great ride!

Cowtown Classic followed the standard route. It was raining just before the start then stopped throughout the ride. Most of the signs were down but street markers on road. Good traffic control and rest stops. Ridership was way down because of weather. A few people missed turns but overall the ride was a success.

 

September 12, 2015

This medium-sized rally was well-organized, and one of the best I've been to this year.
REGISTRATION: I pre-registered. Early packet pickup was a week early, and no problem. Even so, I also picked up a friend's packet at the event from regular registration, and it was also fast and easy. Parking at the high school was fast, and there was music and a good medium-sized turnout. Lots of high school kids were there on the sidelines, providing a festive mood at the start, and applause at the finish. REST STOPS: The rest stops were good, providing pickle juice, cookies, bananas, orange slices and the usual Gatorade and iced water. There were plenty of portable toilettes, and a few chairs for tired riders needing a rest.
COURSE: Because my back was acting up, I chose the shorter 45-mile course. It was marked well with signs, and arrows painted on the road. Traffic was very light. There were a lot of turns in this course, but police were helpful and did a great job. It was a gorgeous day, with enough wind to get your attention. There were lots of hills, but none were that difficult. The road surfaces were highly varied, a few potholes here and there, but decent (and no chip-seal!). The scenery was pleasant rural Texas countryside... tree-lined roads, rural houses, and wide open farmlands. Very nice.
SUMMARY: This ride went off smoothly... IMO, a great job! The weather was sunny, but not too hot... next to perfect. There were many friendly fellow cyclists, and the course was a lot of fun. All in all, it was a really nice time. I would highly recommend it to anyone, and will definitely be coming back next year.

What a beautiful day for a ride! The weather was perfect! Everything was well-organized and executed. SAG was visible everywhere and the intersections were controlled well. Plenty of enthusiastic and helpful volunteers! The canned and live cheers as you crossed the finish line were inspirational. It was fun!

Same route (45 mile) as previous years. Basic supplies only at rest stops but they had pickles/pickle juice, which is always a good thing. TONS of police coverage at intersections, even in the middle of nowhere. Wish there was a little something at finish. A truly basic rally.. ...used to be a biggie back in the day.

September 13, 2014

This was my first Cowtown Classic ride I chose the 59 mile route, overall I give this ride a 7 out 10. The weather was cool and overcast for the whole ride and very windy in spots. Good signage and good rest stops although I only stopped at the last stop to refuel. The Course was a bit of a challenge with some rough roads and hills throughout the course, I completed my ride in 4:04. My only complaint is the lack of any post ride activities. Will give it another try next year.

This was an enjoyable ride. The weather proved to be cool (temp started in the mid 50's). The cooler temps combined with a brisk north wind made me glad I brought my long-sleeved jersey! This was a well-executed and well-supported event. Plenty of hills to keep you busy, but some nice downhill thrills, too. Signage was great and volunteers were super! There was control at all the important intersections. I still enjoyed the canned cheers and applause provided all the riders as they crossed the finish line!

I rode the 59 mile route. This was my second year. It seemed smaller than last year, possibly due to the unseasonably cold weather. Brrr (and windy)! The route was well marked and all major intersections had great traffic support. As I didn't use any rest stops, I didn't have to unclip even once after leaving the parking lot, which was nice. Roads were in fairly good condition for a country ride. All in all, a solid no-frills rally.

 

September 14, 2013

IMO the organizers continue to do a good job with this ride and they listen to comments (last year a review asked for more color in the logo, this year we got a bright multicolored logo). If you like riding in a big square with minimal turns, then this is not the ride for you. But if you like variety with turns and changes in direction this is a great ride. Online registration and packet pickup completed with no problems. We have access to the high school facilities pre and post ride, including showers. Extra porta potties outside near the start line. Lead out vehicle at the front of the ride for the entire distance. The road surfaces are in good shape, with minimal potholes and cracks. One corner had quite a bit of gravel, but most were fairly clean. The busy intersections had traffic control. Every single intersection was not manned but given the cost of traffic control is driving up the registration costs, we are either going to have to pay more or manage some of the less busy intersections on our own. Encountered minimal traffic while on the ride. At the end of the ride they had support staff cheering the riders in, plus a 'crowd cheering' piped over the PA system, which was a real nice touch. I'll continue to support this ride.

This was a well-attended, enjoyable ride. Everything was organized and executed efficiently. Signage and traffic control were spot on. Good SAG support. Plenty of cookies at the rest stops for this cookie monster. The canned cheers kicked off on the PA for each rider as they finished was a great personal touch.

Rode the Cowtown Classic 9-14-2013. It is a good ride. Good roads, excellent traffic control by police and county deputies. Maybe 400 or so riders. Rest stops well stocked and friendly, helpful volunteers. Lots of SAG presence. Only saw 1 flat and 1 injury - guy apparently crashed on a straight and a county EMT was assisting. Hilly 59 mile course. I ride in Cedar Hill area every week and this Crowley course is similar to the hills I encounter. Other than the happy and encouraging students at the end of the ride there is no post-ride activities. Your are done and you load up. It would be nice to have something at the end to give you some time to unwind and cool down. I would classify this ride as a bare-bones ride that focuses on some important things, namely good ride support.

Very nice volunteers, good police coverage @ intersections.
Good 41 miles route.
"1st Annual Blah-Blah Bike Rally" provisions, though. Basics only @ rest stops: bananas, oranges, sports drinks. Cookies were nice. NOTHING at end. This rally has been going on for YEARS, but any niceties are pretty much gone.

September 8, 2012

Nice selection of packet pickup dates and locations for early registering riders. The $35/$40 fee structure is on the high end of rides for this area. The Sponsor page on their website had only eight sponsors. Maybe if they worked harder on getting sponsors, they could keep their fee structure more in line with other similar rides. Rider attendance seemed a bit low compared to last year; but, that could also have been a result of the big north wind. The ride itself was well-supported by police, SAG vehicles, bike shops, and rest stops. I did the 45-mile route and enjoyed it. The road surfaces were very good and the route seemed well-marked; however, the organizers get a black mark for not removing gravel from some turns. As I passed the split point for the 21 milers, I saw a lot of gravel in their turn and later was told that one young rider went down as a result of it. The rat snake on CR 1004 probably startled a few riders; we stopped and nudged it to move off the road.

I haven't done the Cowtown Classic since the early 2000's, the last time I did it, they had kind of an out and back course and I didn't like that, being from Crowley, I knew there were a lot of good roads and there was no reason for an out and back course, I decided to go this year just for fun, lots of good riders showed up on a windy (out of the north) Saturday morning, hung with the fast guys for a whole 20 minutes, got a group together after that and hammered all the way in, Great 59 mile course, we did it in 3 hour on the money, not bad for such a windy day, police at every intersection, got lost in Joshua, but I think it was our fault, didn't see any arrows, got back on course real quick though, had a blast, handing out cold Gatorades at the finish, that was good, thanks to all the organizers, keep up the good work, see ya next year.

This was an enjoyable ride. It was well executed and well supported. Signage was great and there was considerable intersection control. I'll be back!

Absolutely the best roads of any ride I've participated in this year – no chip-seal to speak of! Yeah!!! However, it was also the most exhausting ride I've ever participated in as well. Why you might ask? One word – wind! The wind was extremely strong during the event, strong enough to blow lighter riders off course a bit. Coupled with extremely challenging elevation changes, the ride took everything out of me; but I did finish the 46 miles on the bike, albeit 4 mph slower than normal.
The ride was well organized and very well supported. The courses could have been marked a tad bit better (even John S. got a little off, but his GPS fixed that) and the T-Shirts could be better (add some color next time), but overall an excellent event, will do again!

Cowtown 59 mile route. Pre-registered packed pickup took about a minute. Registration was in the high school so we had access to the facilities in addition to the porta potties outside. Showers were available post ride. Plenty of parking at the school, as well. The route was nearly identical to the last several years (technical with lots of turns) except they took out a small 1-2 mile section. The route was well marked with arrows on the road and signs, with large arrows, at the corners. Good traffic control at the intersections. The organizers do pay attention to some details most might miss. Pre-registered riders have their numbers pre-assigned, so the number is already in the packet. For some reason I like it when they do this. The ride number has the name of the ride, the date and the logo for the year on it. Over the years, the organizers have shown they listen to comments made by the riders and they try and adjust. I'll continue to support this ride.

September 10, 2011

I enjoyed this well-organized ride on good roads with little traffic, good route markings, excellent police support at intersections, and good rest stops with plenty of porta-potties. The starter announced a staggered start but many apparently didn't hear that or ignored it and went off with the first group. I did the 48-mile route which came to just over 47 on my Garmin. No steep hills but plenty of gradual ones and some good rollers. I recorded 1663' of climbing over the 47 miles. The only minor drawback was some gravel at several intersections that could possibly have been removed before the ride. The starter did point that out prior to the start and one police officer also pointed it out at a turn. All the volunteers were very friendly and there was a cheering section of students at the start and finish. I hope to do this ride again next year.

After a brutal summer the 2011 Cowtown Classic was held on a near perfect day for a ride. A start in the 60's an unusually light north wind and clear blue skies. The ride was well attended. The support organization was good and they had a cheering section for the riders as they finished. The course was the same they've been using for several years, which is a very technical course. Lots of turns, but the course was well marked with markings on the pavement and very large arrows on signs. As has been noted in the past the course has mostly rolling hills, but nothing very steep (gradients show up primarily as 1%). The 100k group had a pace car which did an excellent job. The driver was very aware of the relative position of the riders behind and kept a near constant distance between himself and the riders. The driver was even able to signal when we approached a couple of corners with significant gravel. All the intersections were manned with police support which held up traffic as we approached. Access is provided to the high school facilities, so there in side toilets and outside porta potties (never had a significant line at these) and access to showers. And there is plenty of parking available.

I rode the 100K route for the Cowtown Classic in Crowley. The ride is an exceptionally good ride. Registration was quick, parking was adequate and there were plenty of porta-potties at the start and throughout the route. All rest stops were well stocked with refreshments that serious riders needed. It is by far the most interesting and fun ride of the year with lots of turns to make it interesting. Although not a lot of steep inclines, there was not a flat spot on the route making it a pretty fast ride. The intersections were well supervised by volunteers and law officials. Good ride signage and well marked route. Concern: Parking and registration was hidden behind the main buildings and there was no signage or volunteers to redirect traffic. Volunteers were staging at the front of the building which confused the riders on parking. A large Cowtown Classic banner would have been nice at the street. I will be back in 2012.

steep hills but there were more than enough of them to make you work and wear you out. I only made two stops once at the 30 mile and again at the 50 mile mark which was the first stop on the ride going out. The Gatorade was nice and cold and they had bananas, Oranges, Pickles were at the 30 mile stop, and cookies. No waiting in line for the Port-a-Potties and plenty of Law Enforcement at the intersections. I thought this was a great ride and when I got in I heard a cheering section and that was the coolest thing.

This could be a great ride but the route needs to be researched and changed because of too many dogs. I encountered 4 separate packs of dogs that chased riders and was not so lucky with the fifth pack. At the 42 mile point of the 62 I was taken down by a dog. No serious injuries other than bruised ribs and strained muscles. Not to mention medical expenses for CT Scan and now time off the bike at the most pleasant time of year. Will never do this ride again or recommend it to friends.

Rode 48 miles......hilly, as Johnson County can be. Good start location, plenty of parking.

Septembet 11, 2010

I really enjoyed this ride and hope to do it again. Did the 40-mile route. Lots of turns, yes; but, I'm not so fast that it bothered me. The good roads and the excellent traffic intersection control made for a nice ride. I was pleasantly surprised by the large number of police officers on the route. Too bad somebody sabotaged some route markings. One of the few rides I've seen where the number of port-a-potties at the start and at rest stops was adequate. Lots of enthusiastic volunteers, good rest stops, and a cheering section at the finish line. I thought the organizers, volunteers, and police officers did a great job.

Finding myself with a free Saturday morning, I got up early and rolled over to Crowley to ride the Cowtown Classic. Sign up was a breeze, parking was not an issue and it started on time. Some of the route markings were hard to see or follow and at one place removed/changed by vandals. I did the 40 mile, route was fine, a couple of rough patches but generally little or no traffic until the very end when people started getting up and about. Mainly rolling topography, no real steep climbs. The rest stops were well-stocked and had extremely friendly volunteers and there seemed to be enough for everyone on a humid, windy day. Overall, it was good and since it is less crowded and at the end of the season, I may have to put this on my calendar for next year.

I rode the 100k Cowtown Classic in Crowley for the first time. It is actually 59 miles. It was an enjoyable ride and the weather was nice except the wind did not let up. Some riders got lost when they followed the wrong arrows because the route loops back at the start and finish. Past the first rest stop pranksters removed signs and painting over street arrows and there was an incident where an angry motorist abused a pack of riders. The volunteers worked hard to make it a good ride. This ride was one long incline after another, not so much real steep but it wears you down. The ride was pretty safe and protected, a section of dirt road and others with gravel top coating. They announced all of the bad stops before the start. A bonus - no wait at toilets! The high school students cheered us in at the finish line, even the late finishers. I have it on my schedule for 2011.

This is my first (and last) time to do the Cowtown Classic. I decided on the 40 mile ride. The good points were: lots of flat terrain, good rest stops, the band at the starting point is a nice addition. The bad: The route was very poorly marked, I was stuck at one spot with about a dozen other cyclists because we couldn't tell which way to go. Both the county constable who pulled up and then a SAG vehicle (who even had a map!) couldn't tell us which way to go. Several cyclists were quite angry, and eventually the SAG vehicle went both ways and figured out which way we were to continue. This was really disorganized with regards to the route. In additon, I was attacked by wild dogs in the Johnson county area. A lot of the 40 mi route takes you within old, delapadated trailer-park type areas, and there are MANY MANY unfenced dogs running around. At one point, around mile 18 these two huge dogs ran after me, barking, growling, like maniacs. I am a "slow" rider--averaging about 12 mph, and these dogs were able to keep up with me, one RAN into my back tire. I truly feared I was going to be bitten, and at the moment I started to panic, a car drove up, the young man got out of the car, started running towards the dogs and screaming, and managed to get them off me and my bike. I am very thankful for that good samaratian. Regardless, I think there are some major safety problems on this route (and no SAG vehicles around that leg of the ride...) and I will not be coming back next year.

My wife and I did the 20 mile route. (After repairing 2 flats in the parking lot before the start! Is it possible to have to sag out before leaving the starting line?) The registration went quickly. They ran out of 2x shirts—my fault for not registering earlier. I know that 2x is a very popular size. But, the shirt is nice looking. The parking and port-o-potty situation is top notch. The route was great—lots of shady areas. The only rest stop on the 20 mile route was in great shape. Lots of fruit and cookies ready to go. While at the rest stop we heard about someone sabotaging the route markers on the longer rides. I hope the ride folks don’t get blamed for this since there was nothing they could do. There was someone directing traffic at every major intersection.
It was great having such an enthusiastic cheering section as we rode back in. We are going to write a letter of thanks to NCHS, the Key club and band—we really appreciate them taking time out of their Saturday for our benefit. Being able to go inside to cool off and wash up a bit was a huge benefit! I really like this ride. It is well run and the volunteers are great. This is the second time I have done this and will definitely be back again.

Close to being a great ride with lots of traffic control. But poor markings for turns and a lot of riders wandering around lost. My experiance has been that rides tend to repeat their same mistakes. I love the charity but I think I'll just send them the money next year.

September 6, 2008

MORE SHADE PLEASE! My main complaint was the rather sparse rest stops. Some had no shade canopies and those that did, were primarily occupied by the volunteers and not available to the cyclists who really needed it. This was a new route for the Cowtown with lots of twists and turns along rural roadways. So many turns in fact that they were not able to provide staff at all of the intersections. Direction arrows painted on the pavement were difficult to see and signs were small and few. I know of several riders who got lost along the way. It didn’t appear that the ride was as well thought out this year, but it is supported by a very friendly and outgoing group of volunteers and public officials. I’ll still recommend it.

I am just getting back into road riding so this was the first organized ride I have done in 20 years. For my first time back I thought the Cowtown Classic was well organized with plenty of volunteers at the packet pick up area to keep things moving. The event started with a prayer (that was a welcomed surprise) and the Star Spangled Banner played by the Crowley High School band. The rest stops were adequately spaced through out the 40 mile course and were well stocked with fruit, cookies, water, and sports drink. The friendly volunteer's were also eager to help. I loved the course with all the turns, rolling hills, and the scenery. All the major intersections were occupied by law enforcement and I only had to stop and wait for a semi trying to make a tight turn once. At one point we did have to contend with a big dog that was loose, luckily my group made it by him without any problems. There was one road that I thought in the future the organizers might want to work around, I don't know the name of it but it was toward the end of the ride and had pot holes everywhere and a lot of white rock. Upon returning to Crowley High School there was an enthusiastic group cheering the riders for their completed ride. All in all; two thumbs up!

This was my first time on a bike in over 5 weeks! I was worried that I might have to sag out!
I did the 40 mile route and enjoyed it. It was challenging but not brutal. The roads were in pretty good shape and where there was bad pavement it was usually marked. There was one particularly bad section of road that was essentially like riding on a dirt road. They might want to try to work around that one next year if possible. What made it worse was it was at the bottom of a hill--I slowed WAY down for the bumps and then the hill kicked me pretty good. There were TONS of turns but they were well marked and I had no trouble staying on course.
The rest areas were fine and the volunteers were very friendly. The snacks were kinda generic--the usual cookies/bananas/oranges/gatorade--nothing salty. The registration went quickly and the start was smooth. It was pretty nice having the school band send us off. I only saw 1 sag wagon and a couple of the ham radio support cars over the whole course. But, then again, I wasn't looking for them. Some shade and places to sit would have been nice at the rest stops but that might have encouraged me to stay longer.
All in all I was happy with the ride and will do it again next year.

This was my 4th year of riding the Cowtown Classic, and this year was very similar to last year in attendance and support. What changed were the routes. It seemed like there were stretches no more than ½ mile before you had to turn onto another back road through the next mobile home sub-division. There were only a few crossings of major roads, which were tended by safety officers, but all the back roads in between were not. The routes were marked by different colors of spray paint, painted on the road surface, were poorly done and created some confusion on a couple of back road intersections. Where the routes split there were signs on the sides of the road, but you had to watch for them. I prefer the routes from the last couple of years over the ones they used this year. The rest stops had plenty of people working them, plenty of fruit, cookies, fluids, and porta-potties and were adequately spaced out along the ride. I picked up my packet prior to the event so can not comment on registration and packet pickup at the event. It was nice that they had showers available at the finish, and an air conditioned cafeteria to rest in as well. The band at the start line and people cheering your finish was a nice touch. I continue to recommend this ride, but it does need some improvement on the routes and route signage.

Wow, I disagree with all the reviews I have read so far. I have participated in 8 to 10 rides per year for the last 10 or so years, so I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Cowtown Classic was definitely in the "good" category. There was ample parking, and the onsite registration was very efficient. The route I rode (100k) was very well marked including significant road hazards. When they said "gravel" they meant an inch or so of the loose stuff and not just a few rocks. It is true that I missed two turns, but that was due to my own inattention as opposed to poor signage. I realized my mistakes immediately and was quickly back on course. The significant intersections had police support including those later in the course. All of the rest stops I encountered were well supplied with liquids, snacks, chairs and helpful volunteers. The new course (I had not ridden this ride in a couple of years) was very scenic and devoid of car and truck traffic until the last ten or twenty miles. I do agree with other reviews that the band at the start and the finish line cheering section were great. My overall experience was so good that I considered seeking out the ride organizers to thank them personally. Unfortunately my schedule compelled me to drive home without a proper "thank you" to those responsible for such a great ride. I plan to return again next year with other riders in tow.

This was my 3rd time riding the Cowtown Classic. I missed last year, but rode the previous 2 years. Onsite registration was smooth. I rode the 100K route and thought it was much better than previous years. For the most part, the roads were smooth with little traffic (except for the last few miles), and no riding on the shoulders of highways. There were a few rough spots (as I expect on any ride), but they were well marked. I enjoyed the many turns since it forces one to pay attention to the route, keeps it interesting, and provides periodic relief from a headwind, although the wind this year wasn’t that bad. Larger signs would be helpful with additional signs placed before the turns. At one point where the routes split, the sign was easy to miss. At another turn there was no sign and several riders missed it, although there was a red arrow on the pavement. Overall, this was a good ride, and the volunteers did a great job. I plan to be back next year.

I rode the 40 mile route this year and absolutely loved it !!
The terrain is fairly flat for the most part. Very little climbing except for a few 6 percent grades here and there. I was concerned about the twisty route at first. But, as one review mentioned before, it really made it interesting. You want shade? Well, you better get yourself back on the route. There were several tree-lined stretches of road. You want some downhill blasts? There were THREE good ones where I was hitting close to 30 mph.
The Cowtown Classic organizers came up with a good route that is much more safer than in previous years. These days there are a lot of 18-wheelers and more dangerous traffic that use parts of the old routes. Keeping the cyclists off Hwy 171 to Godley, Hwy 1187 and Hwy 2331 is a good move to avoid this traffic. The support was good. The volunteers were great. The finish line was staffed (unlike the Peach Pedal) with some well-spirited cheer girls and guys. I am very pleased with this ride and will return next year. Remember: these are open public roads. Ultimately you are responsible for your own safety. YOU must stay to the right. YOU must yield to all traffic. YOU must ride as if you are invisible to everyone. Ride defensively.

I won't be doing this ride again. It starts out in a nice area of Tarrant county and quickly goes in the "3rd World" area of of Johnson county and remains for most of the ride. A really nasty route.

The Hitchhikers Guide on Towels:
http://www.towel.org.uk/index.php/The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Towel Why? Glad you asked. Because it rained the entire time. It was raining the day before. I'm not sure it stopped raining until the next day. That said, it was a good ride. The rest stops were well stocked with cookies, oranges, bananas, water and some sport drink (not sure the brand) and the attendants were quite friendly.
I rode 40 miles and if I hadn't missed one turn (the sign was there, I was just talking too much with my new friend) it would have been EXACTLY 40 miles. I've never been on a ride that well measured.
Did I mention that it was raining? There wasn't much need for water bottles, you just opened your mouth and you were quenched. It made it hard to draft since the water coming off the tires in front of you wasn't exactly appetizing. Thank goodness for the showers at the school (start/finish line) after the ride. VERY NICE.
The turns were color coded and well marked, the one I missed was my fault. Busier intersections were manned by local law enforcement. One truck wasn't paying attention and the sheriff smacked his hood to get him to actually stop so I could turn in front of him. He never did catch up to me. I think he chatted with the officer for a while, hehe.
Ride 9/10
Weather 3/10
People 10/10
Can't wait for next year.

September 8, 2007

Registration: This could be done online or by mail. There was no separate Tandem registration category. I don’t remember if a small T-Shirt was available.
The start of the ride was at North Crowley High School, and the parking area was filled by the time I arrived. Some of us parked in the field next to the parking lot. The registration was very fast, the packet was all prepared with my name on it. There were more than enough toilets at the start and the line moved very fast. Registration gets 5/5.
Route: (Comments pertain to the 56 mile route). The map available on the website enabled me to construct a GPS route, which I used. The support on the route was fantastic, lawmen at every interchange, even the most remote and lonely ones. The route was mostly marked with painted color coded arrows on the pavement. That being said, me and some other riders missed the intersection for the 42 and 56 mile route and started on the 36 mile leg. The other riders backtracked, using the GPS, I turned south on another road and ended up in the Valley of the Dogs. The canine denizens of this neighborhood helped us to quickly locate the actual route again after a small detour.
The route was mostly on county roads, and therefore was rough and unmaintained in places. One had to be especially careful not to ride into a pothole. The upside was the traffic was minimal. Then the route came to and followed busy SH 171 for a few miles. One had to ride on the shoulder, which was very rough, almost like chip seal. At this point the 56 mile route took an idiot loop south of 171. After completion of the loop you went through the town of Godley and headed north on county roads again. At rest stop # 4 I overheard some riders saying that the “Duck Lady” had missed the turn north, and continued on SH 171, presumably never to be heard from again. The route followed FM 1187 for a spell, there was traffic, but a broad shoulder which was much smoother than that of SH 171. I did not have any problems with the rest of the route thanks in part to my GPS.
The route itself was similar to that of the Honey Tour, lets say it went south first, then north, and both were uphill. There were a great many hills on this route and I was thoroughly exhausted when the ride was over. I recommend it for a physical challenge.
Despite a few problems noted, I give the route 4/5, mainly because of the law enforcement support.
Rest Stops: All the rest stops were the same on this route. Bananas, oranges, and cookies. No salty stuff. The water was cold, and it did not run out, I should know, I was one of the last riders to finish. Volunteers were very friendly. Rest stops get 4/5.
SAG: There was ample evidence of SAG on this route, including a huge truck which was empty. I can only suppose the organizers were afraid a lot of people would want to SAG, hence the huge truck. The major bike shops were also represented. SAG gets 5/5.
There were showers after the ride. I don’t know what else there was because I was one of the last to finish, and no doubt the festivities were over by then. I don’t know if any post ride food was offered, but there was a shower, and that is what is most important. Post rider gets 4/5.
This ride competes with the Jackrabbit Stampede. If you feel you want an easy ride this weekend, go with the rabbits. If you want a grueling workout with good support, choose this ride.

All in all, the ride was good. Not great. The roads were terrific compared to some of the chip seal roads they could have had. One road in particular was buttery smooth! The start was well done with the line up off the road, in the parking lot. The showers at the end were welcome too! Lots of rollers as you would expect in this part of North Texas.
While the roads were well planned and the lack of chip seal is appreciated, there was a fair amount of traffic on the roads. If there was a good shoulder, it was OK though some of the roads did not have a shoulder. The drivers though were some of the best, slowing until they could pass safely. The only problem was the route markings. It was easy to miss the turns and two of us rode alone for several miles (Not a bad thing, really) and discovered the last rest stop, ten miles from the finish when we had only 29 miles of a 56 mile ride! We had to back track for a ways to get the distance we anticipated. Larger arrows painted on the street would be a big improvement. I will be back next year to see if that was done!

This year was my first time to ride the Cowtown Classic. I guess I just never made time for it before. I had heard some good and bad opinions, but nothing real specific as to what was good or bad. I enjoyed this ride and found it a little more challenging than I had expected. There were a good amount of very lightly traveled country roads and a couple of long inclines that got the legs burning.
I pre-registered, but a friend registered Saturday morning and was done quickly.
The course was well marked except for the turn for the 56 mile course. Directional arrows were painted on the pavement well in advance of turns, but painted arrows could have been a little larger. Most turns were also indicated by good sized directional arrows on a stake. I think almost every intersection had some sort of law enforcement to direct traffic. I had intended to do 56 mile, but I never really determined where to turn. I over heard similar comments from others wondering if they missed the 56 mile turnoff at a rest stop on down the road. I ended up doing the 47 mile loop and had a good ride even though it was shorter than I had planned on. The only road I had concerns over was 171, which had a nice sized shoulder, but it was VERY rough. This caused some riders to stay in the traffic lanes which created some hair raising moments with car/truck traffic that could be traveling at 55+mph. At rest stop 4 (which I think was also the turnoff point for the 56 mile loop) one irate motorist left his car parked in the middle of the highway to educate everyone at the rest stop that the cyclists should stay on the shoulder. It was really not a good scene for anyone, but the incident was handled quickly by the law enforcement that was on hand.
SAG vehicles were all over the place and I saw them quickly on the scene to help with roadside repairs to haul cyclists back in on a couple of occasions.
Rest stops had basics, Cookies, bananas, oranges, water, Gatorade. I was there to ride, not eat, so I was happy with the selection, but some salty stuff would be nice. Volunteers manning registration and rest stops were enthusiastic and helpful.
I’ll plan on doing this ride again next year.

I love this route! It’s a very nice ride, well-organized and pleasant. I like it so much I re-rode it slower on Sunday as a recovery ride. The organizers did an excellent job of picking roads smooth by North Texas standards and relatively traffic-free. The course is by no means hilly, but there are some deceptive false flats that make it more challenging than it should be. In re-riding the route I found that turns were well-marked for the most part, with only a few exceptions. These didn’t matter on Saturday, because law enforcement and volunteers did a great job of pointing riders in the right direction. Still, for some reason on Saturday I didn’t notice/believe that the ride turned north at Godley, so I and a few others rode well down 171 toward Cresson before turning north. This added part was really nice, some of it quite hilly. All-in-all, I can’t think of anything negative to say about the Classic. I’m already looking forward to next year!

"Duck Lady" is alive and well and resting in her nest! Thanks to the cyclist who pointed help in my (wrong) direction!
Okay, I'll start with the "nice". I pre-resgistered at Sam's Club on Sept. 4 and did get a small t-shirt. Parking at the school was plentiful. The 42/46/whatever route was scenic; hope organizers keep this route for next year.
Rest stops: really could use someting salty......pretzels, Fritos, sliced pickles (can't stand pickle juice). Nice volunteers.
THANK YOU to all the law enforcement officers, as many, if not more than, the Mesquite ride. GREAT JOB!
Okay, here's the beef: ORGANIZERS: YOU'VE GOT TO DO A BETTER JOB MARKING THE PAVEMENT!!!!!! Having tons of LITTLE arrows on straightaways where it is OBVIOUS there is no mistaking direction is overkill.
Please focus your efforts in areas of DIRECTIONAL CHANGE (i.e., TURNS)!
That's where I (and several other EXPERIENCED riders) got messed up. Again, these LITTLE arrows, if even present, look like tiny colored blobs if you're riding along at even minimal speed. PLEASE, skip the fancy little stencils and simply take a spray can, with route colors, and make a one-foot long arrow showing either "turn here" (one arrow about 100 feet BEFORE the turn and ANOTHER AT THE TURN). Then, about 20 feet after the turn, make another arrow showing that this is the direction we should be going on that particular route. If there is a split in the route (i.e., 36 mile riders straight, 46 mile riders left turn), again, spray each arrow the appropriate color showing the direction of each route about 200 feet BEFORE we have to make the decision. Then, again, about 100 feet or so after the split, make another arrow verifying which route the cyclist is on.
I'm a pretty happy camper on these rallies (17 years now), but the lack of markings on this one really put a damper on what started out as a great ride. We ride the routes on which we are prepared, both training-wise and supply-wise, and I was not prepared to ride any further than 42 on this day. By the time I got done, I was almost ill. And, at Rest Stop 4, after my extra mileage on Hwy. 171, a volunteer thought it was amusing that I went the wrong way. There is NOTHING funny about that situation; riders can become very sick and have their safety compromised while riding alone with no support.
I will let the Kiwanis gang know about this website, so they can (hopefully) make improvements. Thanks again to my "rescue" rider, and thanks to Richard "Duck" for looking out for me.......luv ya!

A decent ride, but not great. Volunteers were friendly and enthusiastic, rest stops well stocked with the basics, but route signage left a lot to be desired. Painted arrows on the pavement were on the small side and hard to see at times, and the split off for the 56 mile route was not clearly marked at all. There were several confused riders wondering which way to go. I had to ask a rider at the Godley rest stop which route was which. And I was lucky I saw a guy ahead of me make the turn right onto Main and head through Godley or I would have kept going straight on SH 171 thinking that was the way for the 42 mile. I’m sure several people ended up on a distance they did not plan on doing - either longer or shorter than anticipated. I didn’t enjoy the section along SH 171 at all because of the heavy traffic. The shoulder there was very wide, but it was also extremely rough, which caused many riders to risk riding on the smoother highway surface where cars and 18 wheelers were whizzing by them at 60 mph. Over all, roads were on the rough side with lots of turns on certain stretches. I might be back next year, but it’s not a “can’t miss” ride on my calendar.

9 out of 10. Previous years reviews are obviously listened to by organizers, as the start was well organized: Easy location with LOTS of parking, staggered start, good PA system. Nice rally with at least 1200 riders based on numbers seen. Ideas for next time: the road arrows are hard to notice, but in one spot they were painted on a white background and really stood out. Perhaps do that for all road markings? Also, put ice directly in the coolers- one RS was putting ice into each cup and then filling one at a time before handing them out- appreciated gesture, but slow and created lines. Fun t-shirt design and with small sizes available, my wife says we’ll be back next year.

Registration was quick and easy. The local high school band provided some nice tunes to start the rally. Nice touch. The course was marked fairly well. The arrows could have been larger. The road hazard signs were good stating rough road ahead or a blind curve. Heard at one rest stop no. the a rider miss judged a blind curve and broke a collar bone. The right turn direction was poorly marked or did not exist . Has mention in the previous review about the Duck Lady, yes she did miss the turn and went several miles on hwy 171. I almost missed the turn into Godley. There was another location was the turn was not marked well, but cannot remember actually where it was. Other than the traffic on 171, even the shoulder was chip and seal. there was room for us to ride on this stretch.Very little traffic on the rest of the ride .The rest stop volunteers were friendly and helpful. Great job on the Local law enforcement for traffic control. Around mile 15 a cyclist was having trouble changing a flat, and as I was riding by, asked if she needed assistance. After I stopped to help, she said about 100 riders road by and DIDNOT even slow down to see if this rider needed help. That's pretty sad. Come on fellow cyclist, help your fellow riders or just asked if one needs help. Cause, some day you will need help

The ride turned out better than I first thought. I was glad I drove it the day before though. I want to add my vote for bigger pavement markings, bigger pre turn signs and the all important route confirmation signs after turns. Thanks to the numerous law enforcement officers, they were very much appreciated. The Godley rest stop/ 56 mile route turn may have needed one more officer. It was an awkward situation. Trash cans were scarce at rest stops. Thanks to all the volunteers! Great job!

 

September 9, 2006

Parking is still scarce, get there early. Once parked, eveything went smoothly. There were sag wagons all over the route, especially near the end where thry could be needed most. There were Police, Constables and/or Sheriffs and every major innersection and most of the minor ones.

Great ride, well stocked, plenty of T-Shirts, great volunteers. More goodies than any of the rides I have participated i in this year. Plenty of crossing guards. Issue, mass start made for a congested beginning. Very much worth adding to your list of annual rides.

Note from John: They did announce a staggered start but I never saw any indications of where the staggers were, And having some jerk in a Big Black Pickup with a bikeshop web site in the back window, (now if I could just remember who) was parked right at the corner didn't help either.

My first Cowtown Classic and I was a litter leary of it from past reviews but was pleasantly surprised!!!! The ride started on time with cheering as we left and returned. SAG vehicles could be seen. Rest stops well supported with plenty of volunteers. Roads varied from very smooth to chip n seal. Some traffic on some roads was busy. Plenty of police etc. patrolling the intersections. The pizza and burgers at the end was a very good. Just a couple of things to maybe help this ride: 1. Maybe let the gas stns know where the start is so that they can help lost rides to the registrations. 2. Sometimes it was difficult to see the little painted arrows on the road. 3. Maybe mark the roads for roughness, pot holes etc. This ride is headed in the right direction. We'll definitely be back next year with friends in tow. THANK YOU to all the volunteers who helped.

This is an old time good ride. The weather was great, the road assistance was FANTASTIC! Now for a few suggestions. Would someone visit the home of the St. Bernard owner and ask them to keep it up? This is the 3rd year that dog and his small friend has found the bikers. Also, it would be nice to have more of a variety at the rest stops, especially at the end for the long routes. Different cookies, pickles, watermelon, etc. Get creative, for $30 you could improve on the rest stops. BUT, overall a great job. Coming from the HHH, this staggered start was a breeze.

Another note from John: If this ride is going to get bigger they will need to put up some signs directing riders to the start. I saw vehicles going all which way looking for the start. A few good signs would make a world of difference.

Great ride. Excellent rest stops well placed along the way. Really appreciated the Cub Scouts there to hold your bike up at rest stops. Some chip seal but not intolerable. Some rolling hills but not too demanding. I did tne 100k and posted one of my fastest average speeds due to the long streches of super smooth highway mostly flat with nice tail wind most of the way. Well organized. Quick and easy sign ups. I would rate the ride a 95 out of a possible 100. One of the better rides and I definitely plan to do it again next year. Turn out coulld be better if others were aware of how good this ride really is.

Overall this was a good ride, check in/registration was well organized, although the start was a bit confusing, they need a starters pistol and "ready, set, go" or something. Did not stop at any rest stops, but there was plenty of people cheering on the riders. The traffic control by local law enforcement officers was outstanding and I want to send a thank you out to all of the supporters and law enforcement that worked the intersections. For the most part the signage on the roads were adequate, there were a couple of turns that caused some confusion (different route distances crossed each other), better signage would have alleviated the confusion. The roads where in descent shape (typical Texas secondary roads) although a lot of truck traffic (trucks supporting the gas wells - price we pay to be dependent on fossil fuels). The route was rolling hills and there were some good climbs and descents. Overall, I had a very enjoyable day.

I haven't done Cowtown for years, instead attending Jackrabbit in Forney. Glad I came back! Good ride on 35 mile route...decent roads, WONDERFUL traffic control by law enforcement officers....THANKS! Rest stops could have had more variety. Road markings definately needed to be better...I think I still have 20/20 vision, but those arrows sure were small!!! Also, there was NO signage to the start; we came 35W, exited 1187, and if it was not for following a fellow cyclist, we could not have found school. A BIG "THANK YOU" to Dana in the Richardson Bike Mart van for going above and beyond for loaning us a forgotten item. You're a sweetie! Kathy "Duck"

2006 Cowtown GOOD BAD and UGLY!
I will start with the positives! Course was good with varying terrain and good roads. No line ups at the race pickup and lots of port a potties!
The BAD; NO STAGGERED START! The starter states the 60mile is starting....a few minutes later he yells microphone "I don't what y'all are waiting for everyone can go! RIDICULOUS and thus very difficult to find riders in your ride and ability THAT MUST CHANGE! No Clock at the end, no announcer shouting out words of encouragement or thanking riders...LIKE THE GOATNECK!
The UGLY ; Very poorly marked course and officials directing you to correct route. I rode with a few riders who luckily had a map! This shouldn't be necessary!
Overall a good bad and ugly experience! If they want to improve this ride and have more people and generate more $$$ for charity they need to visit and the GOATNECK and do EXACTLY what the do!

 

September, 2005

Attendance was down this year at the Cowtown Classic due to hurricane Rita, I'm sure. Winds were out of the North at about 16mph, so the ride on the way to Godley was fast and fun. But, turning back became a bit of a challenge at times with the strong headwind. Luckily, a large part of the return route seemed to go from West to East so that gave us a break from the direct headwind. The ride organization was very good, as usual. The organizers provided pizza and drinks after the ride. I don't recall them doing that from previous years. If they did, I must've missed it. There were plenty of high-school-aged volunteers at the finish passing out food and drinks. Maybe next year, some of those will join us on the ride.

Cowtown Classic - September 11, 2005. Ok ride...felt that the course was very poorly marked... I got off the course on two occasions...ended up riding the 38 mile course twice, because I kept missing the longer course turns? Lots of traffic control...mostly all really good. Parking was a problem...there was a band contest going on at the same time, so the parking lot we usually use was not available. This was my third time to ride this one, I don't know if I will ride this one again? Just not that much fun...sketchy organization.

For a ride in its 17th year, the bags should have had something in them besides advertisements.

This was the third year I have ridden the Cowtown Classic and it doesn't appear to have grown in size. I have asked many people why, and the responses have ranged from "uninspiring and blah rest stops" to "no showers" to "the sag vehicles aren't marked" to "they don't promote it as they should" to "the tee shirt design is cartoonish and silly". After reading the previous review about pizza and drinks at the end, I think that communication is a big part of the problem. Who knew that they had pizza and drinks? Where was that publicized? There weren't any signs telling riders to go to the tents in the field after the ride. The finish line itself wasn't marked, and that is a let down after riding the long course. Or were the pizza and drinks just for the riders who did the short courses? And the tee shirt design was suitable for a small child with its cow riding a bicycle theme. This is a decent ride with a lot of negatives...and it is not getting better from year to year. It is as if the organizers are just going through the motions of putting on a ride.

 

September 11, 2004

This was the 16th annual Cowtown and I have ridden in all of them as best I can remember.
I have mixed feelings about this one. First the registration went smoothly as usual. At the starting line they announced that they had changed the course this year to make it more "Entertaining". A groan could be heard in the crowd. This usually means making the ride more painful. Sometimes I think the ride promoters should remember that most of the 1,300 plus riders there that day paying 20-25$ are not cat. 1 , 23 year old , 5'6" 135Lb racers. They are riders like me who want to have fun not experience heat exhaustion and pain.
The suspicions were justified. Whereas last years course was 60% flay high speed pavement with the rest mild rollers, this years course was 90% hills, long grades and some mean climbs. Worse, they decided to avoid the big hwys with smooth shoulders and put us on serpentine country roads. There were hundreds of left tuns, right turns, left turns, right turns, etc, etc. Interesting for a few miles. But as the miles and hours went on the turns were killing off many riders. One has to slow down for each turn (gravel) and then speed up again. This burns the bear fat like crazy.
The course was well marked with splendid police support as usual. The sag was quite evident but the rest stops were very stark looking. I did the 65 mile without stopping. I thought it would hurt more to stop than to go on and finish! The finish was starker than the rest stops. Bananas, oranges and water. Yummmy! Uggg. Greenville had Pizza for all finishers in a shaded area at the finish. Go thou and do likewise race promoter. Suggestion: Restore the old course. It's more fun and less pain. A flatter course competitor will suck away many of your riders next year unless you make and announce a change.- Norm Weatherby

This years ride was different. Better but different. Always before the ride out of Crowley has been flat to gentle hills. The biggest problem has usually been too much wind or heat. This years (2004) mostly new course has raised the challenge bar a notch or two. The wind or the temperature were not a factor but the larger, longer rolling hills on the new 100K course put in a whole new challenge to the ride. The twisting back roads makes the course very different from the old ride of open highways. The rest stops were located in good places (tops of hills) and only one was running short of supplies when I stopped in. There were plenty of police, sheriffs, fire fighters and other road helper to keep you from turning off on to roads that would lead you astray. The turns were well marked if you were looking for them. I ended up stopping at more of the rest stops than I had planned at the begging of the ride but most of the fun in rides like this are the people you meet at each rest stop, workers and riders. The whole day went smooth from sign up to starting the ride on time, to taking care of the riders on the road. I liked that a real person warning all 100K riders about the water crossing and the carpet across the water crossing was a good idea. Good thinking. I will be back next year hopefully in better shape for the hills. David in Azle.

The Good: This is a very well organized ride with easy registration, courteous volunteers, exceptionally well marshaled intersections (among the best), very scenic & challenging route (100k), few flats and no wrecks observed, lots of rest stops, relatively well marked routes unless you are colorblind, plentiful sag support, cookies & powerdrink at the finish tent, and a free ticket to the OMNI!
The Bad: Lots of turns with lots of gravel, relatively rough roads, a klan flag at a house on the route, no shade or chairs at the finish tent, the route was mostly two-lane roads with no shoulder, challenging course - LOL
The Ugly: I've done well over 100 tours and this course may be the most dangerous of them all due to the combination of aggressive vehicular traffic, narrow twisting roads, and the gravel at the intersections. It's a shame because it's a challenging & scenic course, but the aggressive vehicular traffic is too dangerous.

I think the organizers did a fantastic job in designing the new 100K course. The beginning of the course is very technical in that the roads are narrow, there are large packs of riders going fast and there are lots of turns. Yes you have to concentrate on what you are doing, but that is part of the challenge to me. The road surfaces were good, the course was well marked and there was good traffic control at the major intersections. As far as the hills go, that is what you are going to get for any of these rides south or west of Fort Worth (ie Goatneck, Peach Pedal, Firecracker 100, Tour De Pants). But to me, that is also part of the challenge. Registration was easy. I think it took me maybe one minute to hand in my registration form, pay and pick up my packet. As far as the rest stops go, I generally don't stop at them on these rides unless it is a ride of 70 miles or longer and I need to fill up the bottles and hydration pack. All I ever expect to see at rest stops or the finish of the ride is water, Poweraide (or equivalent) and some fruit. You don't need anything more than that. Some of the area rallies offer lunch afterwards and that is definitely a nice bonus to the ride. However, I pay my fee for a challenging, well marked course with adequate traffic control at key intersections and good road surfaces for the ride. This ride had all of that. To the ride organizers, job well done and keep up the good work. I hope to return next year.

This was my first Cowtown ride and found it to be a very good ride. I arrived at the ride a few minutes before start time and it only took a few seconds to register which was great. I just missed my start by a few minutes and was able to catch up within minutes. The officers controlling traffic did an excellent job and were very cordial to all. The routes were marked well, I did not have to rely on my map to navigate the course.
I think the curves made the ride more interesting and the hills were not too bad a couple were a bit of a challenge but for the most part an excellent ride. I do have one complaint and it is not about the ride or the course it is about the riders. Please remember that we have laws governing bicycles on the road and please follow them. I saw people riding the width of the road not in one lane but in both we do not own the roads and we are not the only ones on them. I can see where drivers get irritated with us and that causes problems between cyclist and drivers plus it makes it dangerous for those trying to get around these people. I rode behind this one group for about five minutes before I finally was able to get around them. I announced that I was passing on your left and the only response I got was a cold look from an older fellow who looked annoyed at the fact he had to move a over a couple of feet. But all in all a great course and ride I will be back next year and will start towards the front so I will not encounter the road hogs. Great ride!!!!!!!!

I was a little upset during this ride due to missing the 47 mile/100 k split and got on the 47 mile route by mistake and then had to double back. Riders told me the cop was telling them which way to go at that junction, but when I ( and several others) passed through it, he was busy directing automobile traffic (as he should). I think the organizers should have a volunteer there to make sure people don't get lost at such a critical split. The route, though, seemed to be of medium difficulty and just fine for this month of the season. I noticed that someone had swept away the gravel at several intersections (I ride much of this route weekly, so I know where the gravel had been). Several riders remarked on the absence of sag support. Later, I found out that sag support WAS there--but the vehicles weren't marked. I did see the Ryder truck, but, hey, I just figured somebody had rented a truck! The only sag vehicle I recognized was the REI store's pickup truck. Perhaps these vehicles could be marked next year. Most of the volunteers were great, but the ones at the last rest stop were having a lawn party, sitting in the shade under the awning on the chairs put there for weary riders! I was dog tired, but they were having a great time watching the riders moving stiffly toward the tables. Other than that, it was a pretty well-planned and executed ride. I'll be back next year for sure. This is one of the better rides around the DFW area.

I don't do many reviews as most of the times the existing reviews generally do a good job of tell it like the way I remember it. Unfortunately, I find myself not agreeing with several of the reviews already made about this one. Here goes... Wow! What a ride. This was the best ride of the year for me. I did the 64-mile option. It had just about everything, high speed straits, technical curves, a few bumpy sections, fast descents, longer twisty climbs, fun rollers, amazing scenery and even a couple water crossings. There was never a dull moment. The only disagreeable section I found was that on hwy 171. I just do not like riding on busy roads even with a shoulder. I do not recall seeing any trouble with motorist (very few cars) or gravel pits as in years past. The twists and turns kept the ride interesting where as long stretches of hwy shoulder gets quite boring. If I want to see hwy, I'll take my car. Yes this course was "entertaining". The only entertainment we had here in past years was trying to dodge the gravel pits and the frustrating antics on display at the down and back section. Imagine 60 cyclists doing 26 mph in a pack having to come to a sudden stop and turn around in the middle of the road. Then the coarse would double back on it self for many miles thus occupying both sides of the road so that motorist could not safely pass from either direction. (What a nightmare). So on that note, leave the route as it is. The old route was boring and dangerous. I will most definitely be back next year for this ride. (Please have Cowtown style eats at the finish and shade. I thought that was a good idea)

I am getting to be less of a novice..but this was a great ride.  Never have done the rally before so I have nothing to compare it to except other rallies.I encounter something new with every event I do and on this one it was the winding turns.You definitely would never zone off on this route.  I had heard and we were warned of some hills on the new course.  Yes they were there.but not the killers that I have done on other rides.  There were some false flats  ( why do I need that gear now??)
And that little kicker at the last leg..Some guy who had totally too much energy crested it with me..he had this huge smile on his face.Is this not a great ride?!!!  Yep..Did not like the carpet on the flooded area.too squishy.but it went by quickly.  That one section of chip seal road was really the worst part of the course.if it were smoother it would be great   I did not see anything negative at all to say about this rally insofar as service, support or spirit.  I will be back next year.

The 2004 edition of the Cowtown Classic Bike Ride was fantastic.  This year they did a staggered start, unlike previous years when everyone started at the same time.  The new route this year added a nice hilly section to the 100K route.  Some who may have expected a relatively flat course as in previous years may have objected to this new section, but I liked the hills and some scenes of the countryside in this section were almost as if you were not riding in Texas.  Even with this section added the Cowtown ride is not as hilly as The Goatneck or the Aledo Ride for the Hero's.  The routes were color coded on the pavement, this caused some confusion as some people mistook the 100K route for Green instead of Red.  Doing color coding is a good idea instead of sign markers, at least the Cowtown organizers don't have to worry about the sign markers being stolen, then that really causes confusion.  The police did an outstanding job, they had presence at all major intersections and even on the course, and they were friendly to boot.  The rest stops had plenty of friendly people to help fill your water bottle and offer cookies.  And on a side note, the T-shirt provided at registration is a nice colorful pattern!  Outstanding job for the 2004 edition, I'll be back next year!

This was a pretty nice day for a ride.... not much to complain about specific to this ride. I thought most everything about this ride went  well... But... like others (previous reviewer, and other riders on the road that day), I too missed the 47 mile/100 k split and found myself on the 47 mile route. I read many ride reviews here, and this is one aspect that seems to come up often, and to which ride organizers need to pay more attention to. The vast majority of riders are not led by an escort vehicle - we're usually following someone else, who may or may not be on the same course. Organizers must place a volunteer at major course splits, to ensure that everyone stays on the route they had planned on taking. For me, missing a section of the route that I had planned on traveling is disappointing, frustrating, and makes me wonder if I should return next year. I know that in part, missing an important split is my fault for not knowing the route, or memorizing the supplied map, but I NEVER travel on those roads normally, so a special sign or two, and a couple of extra volunteers would help ensure that all riders traveled the course they wanted to ride, and not find themselves wondering "What happened? Where did I go wrong?" after they've realized that something in not right.

A good ride and my only complaint was with regard to the finish - Where was it? No banner, no grand stands, no timer, no announcer, no people! Just tired riders walking around and loading bikes onto their cars. The support tent was way off from the road and there was no shaded area with seating for the riders to cool down under. A good ride Crowley, with good rest stops. But the finish was anticlimactic and a real disappointment.

What a ride!!!!!!! Everything was "all good" till the ride started, then it was "ALL GREAT"!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations to the route designers. The 65 miler was fantastic. Hills, hills, hills, turns, turns, turns, YES! YES! YES!!!!!!!!!!! The routes were changed to get us off the highways!!!!!!! All the organization was there, all the traffic control was there, all the wonderful volunteers were still there. All that was missing from previous years was the noxious fumes of traffic, glass and nails from the shoulder of highways, and straight, flat, BORING roads. Finally, routes that take us through the essence of cycling in North Texas ... clean, smooth county roads. And, as another review mentions, curvy, curvy roads. For myself, I love this route selection. There is something aesthetically beautiful about cycling around corners where the sun doesn't even hit the road because of the shade from the trees. If you came to this ride hunting for a route to "blow the competition away," you would be disappointed, but if you came to this ride for the thrill of it, to get back to nature, to commune with other gentle souls on two wheels, what a rush. I got chills up and down my back from the serenity of it all, and the "fellowship" of my fellow cyclists. If you want to ride on straight, flat routes, I've got a route for you...it's called I-35 . But if you want to enjoy beautiful scenery and "get away for awhile," this ride is for you. All of the volunteers, from the aid station support to traffic control, were splendid. Just like the Crowley disc golf course, this ride is one of the best kept secrets in North Texas. See everyone next year... Peace and Love...ROADKILL !!!!!!!!

This was my first time to ride this event and was pleasantly surprised. The course was very fun to ride. Many rallies are just rides down the highway shoulder, and this was a great break from that. The traffic control was excellent, rest stops were stocked well, and registration was fast. We had a member of our riding team suffer a serious injury, no fault of the rally, and the support was everything you would hope for. Police, fire, and SAG support were quick and professional. The ride director made a point of finding me to understand what happened, and see if they could have done anything to prevent the injury. The director also called later in the day to check on the health of our rider. When I really get down to what is important in a bike rally, safety and support are the real issues and this organization was prepared and responded. I will definitely be back next year. My hats off to all that helped us in our time of need. 

I did the 65-mile run on this ride last Saturday and it was LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of fun. I really like the new course. We spent only about two miles riding the shoulder of some highway where the pavement wasn't packed very well, so it went bumpy. Plus there were cars, and I am never a fan of that, but this is ONLY those two miles! The rest was fantastic, perfect, excellent, little county roads
meandering about, little turn here, little turn there, little hill here and there, lots of fun. I do not like riding on a straight highway that goes around town with lots of cars and trucks passing me. Who in their right mind likes that? This Cowtown Classic was perfect, with just enough challenge and loads of excitement. Plus the ride support, traffic control, rest stops and all that was great too, I'm very thankful to everyone that made it happen the way it turned out this year. I read other reviews where people complained about the hills, about the workout, about the ride not being straight enough, flat enough, etc. Why don't those people just do the 15-miler, or for that matter, stay home and watch Dallas Cowboys or something like that? Don't breathe our air and crowd our space. I did practically no exercise of any kind for two years till I got my new bike two months ago. And still smoke a pack a day. Still, I finished the 65 miles feeling good, tired but good, tired in a good way, and that's what it's all about. Remember, people, no one is making you ride any number of miles, or for that matter, even get up off your couch. A perfect ride, thanks everyone!

I have heard a lot local homeowners in the southwest of Godley area complaining about the amount of trash left by the Cowtown Ride. Organizers need to clean up the mess.

 

September 13, 2003

Cowtown for 2003 was just about everything a rally should be. Quick & organized check-in and a chilly/cloudy start with lots of shivering riders... a pretty large rally with lots of Ft. Worth club jerseys around. But once we got rolling the temp was perfect. And overall the nicest, smoothest pavement I've seen all year, nice scenery, and stellar police support -- most every intersection was covered (and the smiling cops were out of their cars, unlike Rockwall). Well-stocked rest stops, lots of ice and cookies, and ALL THE SIGNS were there, unlike Forney last weekend (I guess there are more entertainment options for the local teens than stealing the rally signs, and the cops kept everyone going the right way, too). We did have the obligatory last-few-miles-on-a-busy-state-highway-shoulder, but even that wasn't too bad and certainly didn't compare to the hellish ending to Chili Pepper. This is a fairly HILLY route (we did the full 100k). No whoppers like the Chili Pepper, but lots of climbing, and there was a decent breeze to contend with, too. If you ask me, Cowtown ranks up there with Paris & Italy in the "That's how it's done" category. Throw in the gorgeous sunny day with a nice cool breeze, and it was about perfect. Low point?? The lonnnnng slog to Bono that seemed to be nothing but uphills, into the wind. The high point? Turning around after the Bono rest stop and flying back DOWN the same path with the wind at our backs, which felt like about 4 minutes. We finished with a 17mph average; no food at the finish other than more rest-stop fare (one of those Paris burgers would've been very welcome) but overall our take was "see ya next year". Great day at a great ride.

I agree with the conclusion of a previous review. Another excellent rally. Looked like a nice turnout too. I saw ride numbers as high as 1350. I rode the 100K. The road surfaces were outstanding and the countryside is beautiful. I especially liked all the turns on the country roads near the beginning, that was fun. I really like the rides in this part of the Metroplex although this ride doesn't have near as much climbing as either the Peach Pedal or Goatneck (about 1300 feet of total climbing per my bicycle computer versus about 2000 feet for the Peach Pedal or 2400 feet for the Goatneck). I was glad to see that the organizers generally sent us south on the first half of the ride so that we could get the typically southerly prevailing winds as tailwinds on the return. That was certainly the case this year. Traffic control at all the major intersections was excellent. It is obvious the ride organizers consider safety to be job one. I cannot rate the rest stops as I didn't stop at any. One suggestion for improvement I can think of is that the route direction signs are still a little small. I didn't have any trouble myself but I am under the impression that some riders missed key turns where they had to choose between the 50 mile or 100K routes. Some rides seem to be able to paint direction arrows on the road, others not, but direction arrows painted on the road always help tremendously. One other thought, not just for this ride but for all the rides is that since many riders now carry cell phones, it would be helpful if the route maps that are handed out included cell phone numbers of the sag wagons patrolling the route or the local medical emergency personnel, if different from 911. I was in a pack of riders going about 22 mph when one rider wrecked. In a circumstance like this emergency numbers for other riders to call for aid would be helpful. Thanks to all the organizers for a great job this year. I hope to return next year.

Great ride! This group has it all together. Very fast roads...60% Flat...rest mild rollers. I averaged 17.9mph. Police support at intersections was impressive. At one intersection there were SIX (count 'em folks!) that's SIX cops directing traffic. Signs were all there, but could still be larger. Some riders missed turns or appeared confused. I suggest a large sign at Bono stating "STOP! TURN AROUND POINT! GO BACK!"...some new riders could sail right thru and end up in Marfa. It would be great to have pizza at the finish...something? I'll ride this one next year for sure...so should you. Forney...check out how this was done and do likewise.- Chinese Monkey Dancer

All-in-all, a successful and fun ride. The number of rest stops were just right, hosted by nice people and with nice stuff. Road conditions were good. What a contrast(!) between the friendly, helpful cops on this ride and the scowling, testy Dallas cops of the Chili Pepper. (Must be a small town/big city mindset.--The cops in these somewhat rural spots seem always to have the good attitude.) Most everything about this ride was right, except... Missing 100K signs! At one key turn early in the ride, the 50m sign pointed left, but no 100K sign. Naturally, one assumed that the 100K continued straight, but NO. Luckily just then a rider was returning from a 2-mile "side trip" and warned me. But others said that wreck(s) occurred around there due to the confusion. Several 100K signs also were missing later in the ride, but the correct route by then was obvious. Suggestions for improvement: (1) 100K signs, (2) Set up registration in a more centrally-located place, away from the Start and closer to the parking and preferably on concrete instead of mud, and (3) Design a 100K route that does not have to traverse ground already covered (e.g., the Bono "spur".) This ride comes with my recommendation. I'll be back for it next year.

For the most part, this year's Cowtown Classic was a joy. The day shaped up beautifully once the ride got underway. The course is nice and fast with a mix of small-to-medium rollers thrown in to keep things interesting. The rest stops were organized and well-stocked. I greedily partook of a cookie and 'nanner at the 35 mile stop <thanks>. The only gripe I've got concerns the signage. I took off in the lead group and 25 of us promptly smoked by the first critical turn marker. The sign read "30 miles straight; all others right" in smallish print. None of the 20-plus riders behind me caught what the sign said either, so I know I'm not being overly-critical here. In addition, the sign was too close to the actual turn. If we'd been given an additional 100 feet or so to talk amongst ourselves, the rolling committee may have voted to turn right without actually having to stop and turn around to do so. About 20 more miles into the ride, there was another critical miscue that had riders circling in the road consulting maps and one-another alike. There were a few words of frustration uttered here and there, but more than anything, the miscues serve to take one out of his or her respective "groove". After stopping twice, I felt as if a little wind had been taken out of the sails. We all turned around and got back under way, but it was without the same vigor as before. Once my ride was over, I sat at the finish line and watched a handful of riders go down on the last 90 degree turn (with the water running across it). Although I haven't seen a gripe about that specific technical glitch, I'm sure the folks at home nursing road-rash appreciate my bringing it up. Would I hit the ride again next year? Of course! Anything that promotes cycling and all the wonderful causes supported by our money! is worthy of attending. I couldn't have cared less if I missed a turn and went all the way out to Marfa, came back and busted-a@# at the finish line ... I'd be back next year with a map, a phone, and a better set of tires. The volunteers were terrific and I appreciate their efforts. Ride On!

I have to say this was definitely a great way to forget the miserable ride of the week before. Beautiful morning for a ride and beautiful ride itself, at least up until the 30 turn off. I made the mistake of turning around to say converse with my confused teammate and before I knew I was eating asphalt. After unhitching my front wheel from the other rider. I can't wait to see the Hall of Shame shot someone took of me trying to true my wheel. Once I got back on the road and stretched back out I was moving at a blistering pace. So fast that I made a right hand turn where I should've made a left. Hate it when that happens!!!!!! No fault of the organizers, just mine. I was too caught up on catching up with everyone. At least I still got to see some BEAUTIFUL scenery. Couldn't have asked for a better day. The rest stops were good. Only good cuz I'm still having flashbacks of the Bikini filled rest stop at the Peach Rally!! All in all a great ride. It definitely beats sitting at home watching Anna Nicole reruns!!!!....The Lil Biker that Could

This was my first Cowtown Classic and it was great. I was part of the Ft Worth Police bike group and we thought that the Police presence was outstanding at the intersections, this made the route safe and enjoyable.