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Red River Rally, Pottsboro, TX

Aug 2017

it was my first time to ride it but it won't be my last. Tanglewood Resort was the host property so my wife and I made a weekend of Lake Texoma. Be sure to contact the hotel directly for discounted rates. Packet pick up Friday night was easy. I rode the 64 miler and through the first 3 rest stops (30+ miles), there were a number of other riders so we took turns up front and the company was good. Rest stops were every 10-12 miles with gracious and supportive volunteers. For some reason, it got very thin after that so I was usually by myself – just about when I started having thoughts as to whether or not I was still on course, there would be another mark painted on the road thankfully and it synced with GPS. Perhaps with routes of 44, 62, 80 and 100 miles, there just weren't enough riders for the mid to long distances so perhaps the organizers should drop the 44 and 80 miler? Could make it an even better experience for riders and they would need less volunteers to support it. The roads were in generally good shape and the course layout was fine using quiet country roads (I believe the routes were changed in the last year or two). My only concern on the route involved police support crossing the busiest road – instead of being outside to help, the officer was inside the vehicle. There happened to be cross traffic as I approached so I had to clip out and stop which then made it harder to get across the road when cars on the cross road where coming 70+MPH. If it happens again, I'll back off from the intersection to get a rolling start at it. The finish line was just that, the finish line. I think my wife was just about the only person there to cheer on riders. Overall, a good experience on and off the bike. See you next year...

Aug 13, 2016

I have been riding 100 mile course for past five years. I like the most recent route the best as compared to all previous years. This year's weather was very good and cooperative and few raindrops and light northerly breeze provided a welcome relief to the heat. The rest stops were well supplied, all volunteers very friendly and helpful as usual and the pizza and other refreshments came very handy after the long hours in the saddle. I would recommend this ride to anybody, especially to the ones who plan to ride HHH 100 that typically follows up in couple of weeks.

This was my first time to do this ride, and only my second organized ride ever. I've done several more since this one, including Hotter n Hell and Big Dam Bridge, so I have a little more perspective now than the day of the ride.
I rode the 67 mile route, which was my longest ride to date. The first 10 miles or so is hilly, with a significant hill (6% grade) 5 miles into the ride. There were a lot of people walking their bikes up this hill, and since every route went through this area, it created a little bit of a traffic jam. The scenery through this first section is rural, pretty, and makes for a nice ride.
After the initial 10-12 miles, the scenery is rather blasé since almost all the ride is an out and back along Texas 289.
Pros and Cons:
Pros: 1. Beautiful start location at Lake Texoma and Tanglewood Resort. The hotel is very nice and offers a great deal on rooms for riders.
2. Excellent volunteers and rest stops. The volunteers were eager to help and the rest stops were very well stocked, averaging ~10 miles from one another.
3. Very good road surfaces. Most of the surface was concrete shoulders along 289, with the rest being fairly smooth asphalt.
Cons:
1. There is only one, but at least in my mind, it's a major detractor. The actual route. As I said above, it's almost entirely an out and back along 289. There's a lot of climbing (my Garmin shows 2,477 ft. over 67 miles) without a lot of scenery to make it more enjoyable. I realize an actual loop is harder to organize, but it adds so much more to the ride when the scenery is more than long stretches of highway. Overall, while this ride was ok, there's nothing to draw me back. The support was excellent, I just didn't enjoy the ride. If they were to change the route to a loop I would most certainly entertain the idea of returning in the future.

August 19, 2015

First 10-12 miles very hilly and challenging. Fortunately, the group kept it steady. Overall the course was very challenging and scenic. Rest stops appeared very friendly, they all waved as we went by. From mile 30-38 the road had a lot of pot holes (southmayrd road). A few items for improvement - 1) multiple signage for all the turns ( I missed one turn making it a 86 mile day) and 2) a little traffic control when getting back onto 289. Overall a good ride.

First time attending this year and looking forward to coming back! Nice supplies at start and rest stops. Weather cooperated nicely. Good route (40-something) with enthusiastic volunteers. Seemingly *unlimited* supply of post-ride pizza, even available for last riders coming in. Was able to obtain a nice long-sleeve rally t-shirt despite late-in-week registration, but if you REALLY want one, register early. Tanglewood hotel offers a discount, but heard complaints of a lot of noise from other guests (family reunions, bachelorette party and outdoor rally prep Friday night) that disturbed cyclists' sleep until wee hours). I stayed in Denison at Hampton Inn for a good price and quiet rest......highly recommend. Y'all should come to R.R. next year!

August 9, 2014

Today we rode the Red River Rally. The ride was extremely well organized. The rest stops we used were very friendly and helpful.
Much appreciated. Especially rest stop #8. The homemade cookies were the best!!!
Thanks to everyone for all their hard work. Nancy and John Droese

I rode the Red River Rally today. GREAT ride, beautiful scenery and awesome support! I rode the 26 mile route and, there are some hills in the first few miles but they are fun to whip. The course was very well marked, bright and clear. Something I've never seen before..... a few miles in at the Cook's Corner turn there were two young ladies on horses with signs! HORSES! I was to enamored of the fact that they were sitting on horseback that I didn't read their signs!!
SAG was out with HAM radio operators making sure that the people who needed help got it.
Rest stop 8 was the BEST! It is run by Texoma Cycling Club so they know what riders need at those kinds of lengths to get them through to the finish.
I will be back next year for sure!!

I'm having a lot of trouble reconciling the generally fun time I had at Red River Rally 2014, with the confusion and problems presented by the arrows in certain critical locations. On ANY August Rally, in this heat, you MUST, you MUST, you MUST have CLEAR, multiple efforts to steer people in the CORRECT direction. I downloaded the course off of RideWithGPS, and TWICE it did NOT sync with what the arrows were telling us. Furthermore, if you're going to place the Rest Area A MILE off the path, you need to make that clear. Mistakes like this are NOT SAFE. It would be SO EASY to get off course, and then end up with circling buzzards and heat stroke. That said, all the volunteers went out of their way to correct us, including driving to us to help turn us around. SEVERAL of the leaders made wrong turns, and SEVERAL of the arrows pointed to.... Rest Areas, which are optional. It was confusing. But again - the roads were great, the terrain challenging, the Rest Stops and Volunteers were excellent, and I generally enjoyed myself tremendously. LOVE the new route. But the mistakes, especially right before and in and just after Gunter, were egregious.

2014 RRR,another great job by Charlie, Pat and crew. Our 5th trip and it continues to refine. Course and crowd are the finest. Always a great prep for our Race for Grace team going into HHH! Recommend to any rider who would like some of Texas great sites and hospitality! See you in WF.

I completed the 100 mile course at the Red River Bike Rally yesterday. The course was fantastic! A little hilly at the beginning, and nice and flat towards the end. The rest stops were well stocked and the volunteers were extremely friendly and helpful. Each stop had plenty of ice for our bottles. The course was very well marked with arrows painted on the pavement. Signs at major turns might be helpful for next year. I greatly appreciated the police officers at the exit ramps on 289. Also, I saw the SAG support vehicles multiple times throughout the entire course. Rest stop 8 was the best! I needed a PB &J sandwich and salty potato chips desperately by the time I got there. It was very nice to have a real restroom (instead of Porto-potties!) at the rest stop at Gunter High School. Thank you Texoma Cycling Club, Sherman Kiwanis and all of the friendly volunteers for a great, memorable experience. I cannot wait for next year!

Best ride for the year (past & future (e.g. "I believe" even the coming HNH100)) R/T great homemade cookies by TCC & their wonderfully selected routes of the few remaining habitats on Gaia for healthy safe biking (trees, hills & "slightly below" the lethal Virulence "Mad Max" level behaviors of our toxic "modern cities"); this was mainly made possible by a dedicated group of bikers @ Google groups "Texoma Cycling Club" (TCC) with "The Right Stuff" (educated, healthy & a consciousness of environmental truths) that revolve around Charlie & Pat Jenkins social hub @ their bike shop with free beautiful rides @ 18:00 on Tuesdays & Thursdays evenings & Saturday mornings ("where art thou brother recumbents"). We need as many bikers as possible to be "environmentally aware" to avoid the "Fermi Paradox" proving true!! For the later warnings are being taught by some great environmental scientist (e.g. Prof Guy McPherson & James E. Lovelock & James E. Hanson). Safe biking friends.

I rode the Red River Rally this Aug. Great route. Nice hills starting out, when you're fresh, and more gentle when you're coming back in. I had no trouble following the route and I can get lost in a paper bag. Lots of shade when I needed it most. The two rest stops I stopped at were very well stocked and volunteers gave the impression they were happy to be there to serve you. The food afterwards was a big plus.

August 10, 2013

Unless you only want boys at your ride you must have a toilet at EVERY rest stop, non-negotiable, period, got it? If you're more than an hour from Downtown Dallas you need to offer "proper" showers, sorry. At the intersection of Fulton and 120 there was an officer. I've never found myself longing for law enforcement to exhibit some control of a situation, I did yesterday. He stood there looking at us, didn't tell us to stop, didn't acknowledge cross traffic. Another rider asked the officer "do we have a plan here?". Some rest stops had a great selection of fare, some had virtually nothing, I'd suggest more consistency. Cyclists aren't smart enough to plan when we'll be hungry and not just thirsty. This is a tough ride but beautiful. The cause is too good, the area is too beautiful and the people too friendly to allow the above to limit ride participation. Brian Faulkner

RRR was great and getting better by the year. Great ride to prep for HHH!

This was my first rally and I was very impressed with how well organized it was. The rest stops were well staffed and there were plenty of goodies to fuel up with. I also liked how well marked the routes were. I lost my que sheet halfway through, but really didn't need it. Thinking of going longer distance next year. This was definitely worth doing.

Another good ride and warm-up for Hell's Gate with a surprise north wind making the return a bit tougher than expected. From the rest areas, it appeared to be well staffed (I don't know first hand as I find it rather difficult to continue once I stop!) Where the roads had issues (gravel, gouges, and such), these were well marked as was the route. At the end - the pizza and cold drinks were definitely a plus. TCC went all out at the sponsored rest is what I am hearing!
Some suggestions - seem to lack some intersection control. In particular, the exit ramps from 289 to major highways - I recall a single volunteer at 56. Although I like the Tanglewood location, it is becoming apparent that the start / parking is becoming a bit crowded. Don't know what can be done, but maybe some competition on rest stops would up the fare as there seemed at least from some reviews some concerns relative to the stops.
Friendly and well supported by the local club which makes for a good day in the saddle.

I rode the 100 mile route Saturday. It was a great warm-up for the HHH. This was probably the most beautiful ride I've ever ridden in Texas. I like the fact that a significant amount of the ride is actually in the shade…you just don't see that very often. I also like the fact that at rest stop #7 (about mile 70, I think), there were experienced cyclists there that understood mid-day hydration needs and did everything they could to help me cool down and recover for the remainder of the ride. Likely due to the cool and overcast start, I had not properly hydrated and was really beginning to suffer at this point. My legs were shutting down an it was that attention to detail I experienced at this stop that allowed me to actually finish the remainder of the ride. One complaint though is that this rest stop was on the wrong side of that very busy highway.
The route, though quite rough and replete with road obstacles, was very well marked with warnings….one complaint though is that even though they warned us about it at the start, I almost 'bought it' at the gravel covered spot because I was drafting on that down-hill and storing momentum for the eventual climb at the bottom and the lead rider suddenly slowed to near a stop…definitely a 'whew' moment for me! Also, I noticed there were very few porta-potties. Now, I'm a guy, so it was no big deal to me, but I know some of our female riders would have liked to have had the opportunity for a 'tinkle-break' too. One more thing…I personally regularly ride high traffic highways, so the 289 traffic didn't concern me. However I know there were lots of folks out there that are not that hard-core and the truck traffic was a little intimidating to them. Just saying. Overall, this was a great ride with beautiful scenery, obviously marked by experienced riders and the rest stops were located in just the right places. I will definitely ride the Red River Rally again!

This was my first year to participate in the Red River Rally. My first ever event was the MS 150, so my standards were pretty high for this race. The course was very well marked. I did not encounter any areas where I felt that riding was unsafe. I also saw the SAG team many times. I really appreciated the announcer before the race giving everyone emergency numbers.
The sponsors did a great job. The Texoma Cycling Club is awesome! Charlie and Pat are super nice. Well, every member is super nice and patient. Rest stop 7 had all of the goodies to keep me fueled for the tough north wind back to Tanglewood. It was very nice to have cold skratch, cold water, and ice at each stop. Thank you for making this a very enjoyable experience!

This was my 4th Red River Bike Rally. It is always 2 weeks before HHH and a good final tune up for the Wichita Falls event. I did the old route twice when the rally started in Sherman. This is their second year with the new route started at Tanglewood Resort. The change has been very successful and they should keep it there. I agree with the comments from others on parking. The organizer would need to address that if the rally grows bigger. No matter what distance once chooses, the routes basically go up and down along Hwy 289, plus 2 loops on both sides of the highway. It's very scenic with lots of shades at the beginning and towards the end. The only segment one would be exposed to the element is along Hwy 289. Along 289, there are a couple places one needs to cross the exit ramps. The traffic is low but one should always be careful. I enjoyed this rally and will definitely be back.

August 11, 2012

Rode the Red River Bike Rally in Pottsboro. Possibly the most beautiful ride I've done in Texas! Very well organized. Only concern was the traffic on 289. Huge, wide, smooth shoulders, but trucks zooming by at 70 MPH is just something I'll never get comfortable with. Great ride overall!

Awesome ride. Difficult 75 mile route. Hills and headwinds. However, very well organized and supported.Very Scenic. Definitely on my list to do again next year.

Absolutely Love the new location and route. As always they did a fantastic job all the way thru out. New location was beautiful with great scenery. Very nice to see this part of the state. Directions were perfect, Rest stops right at every 10 miles and I did the 100 mile route. Plenty of Ice with the heat, goodies at the rest stops, sage help and friendliness you only get from a ride like this. Pizza and other goodies after the ride. I will no doubt be back again next year. This is my 7nth time to do the ride. I only live 3 minutes away from the Rockwall ride and I always choose the Red River Classic and drive 1.5 hours to do it. That should tell you enough about that. Make sure you do it next year if you have not already. Great job and keep up the good work. I wish they would have another one this coming weekend.

The new start location is terrific. The Tanglewood Resort is nicer than I expected and the parking was at a premium. Good route with long, grinding (not steep) hills make this the most difficult route I have done in many years. Not sure what TXDOT is thinking with the short sections of tennis ball sized chip seal sporadically placed across 289 which for the most part is a very smooth road. The organizers did a great job of marking bad road to make it easy to avoid and the rest stops were well spaced but not so well marked. A strategically placed sign to let riders know a rest stop is ahead would be appreciated. A sign would help point out the large, treed areas with a chair to sit in staffed by people who might bring you something to drink! Thanks to the volunteers for that! Great venue and the 90 minute drive to get to a ride that is as well planned as this is short. See you next year!

I was concerned about this ride given the response by the organizers below following the 2011 (attended) ride in which I didn't agree with their response. However, I can say that the 2012 edition of the ride was improved over last year. The start/finish at Tanglewood Resort was nice and was impressed with the breakfast area provided to cyclists. I hope the event continues to improve as this ride falls on a prime date for cyclists preparing for the HHH. Thank you to the volunteers!

This was a great ride, super rest stops & good roads. I did the 83 mile route & wish I had done the 100 miler, maybe next year

August 13, 2011

This was the first time to ride this event. My group consisted of 4 riders as we rode the 65 mile route. The organizers and volunteers were engaging and friendly. Hopefully the organizers will use this review to improve what should be a target for cyclists preparing for the HHH.
First, road conditions (well marked, but excessively rough in areas) and thunderstorms are out of the control of everyone. It is like playing golf, you play the course as you find it. However, there are basics that need to be met when running an event. Rest stops cannot be a pickup truck with water and Gatorade only. There was a stocked RS at mile 10, followed by the before mentioned at mile 17 & 34. There wasn't food until RS at mile 44 and for some cyclists, the first opportunity to use the restroom b/c there were no facilities (PP) at the pickup RS's. I believe there was an additional pickup truck RS and a stocked RS (didn't stop) before the 65 mile route concluded.
Second, organizers dodged a real bullet with the moderate temperatures b/c there was no ice at any of the RS's that I stopped at. This along with the appearance of a not well supported ride (rest stops) took away from the fact that the organizers themselves were sweeping gravel out of a wet turn and warning cyclists to slow down highlighting that they care very much about the participants.
I hope this review serves its purpose b/c this can be a real good prep ride for the HHH and it seems as if there is good people associated with it.

Just to clarify & get the facts straight: There were 4 fully stocked rest stops for the 65 mile route, starting at mile 10 (All rest stops were complete with food, water, ice, Gatorade, & porta-potties). In addition, there were 3 additional "water stops", totaling 7 stops for 65 miles. The "water stops" were spaced between the "rest stops". ALL stops were stocked with ice, water & Gatorade. A roving truck with an ice machine kept all stops stocked. The cooler temps kept riders from needing much ice, but it was there & available for all that wanted & needed it. There were 3 rest stops complete with restroom facilities and food by mile 44, and another at mile 58.

I rode the 45 mile route. There were a lot of hills on this route but most of them were easy climbing. I hardly used the small chainring. I thimk the organizers prepard for the hot weather by having extra "water stops", is a way it is too bad we didn't need them.There was pleanty of support, I want to thank Dana from RBM for readjusting my derailer after I messed it up. maybe it was the rain but all the roads seemed very smooth- John

This is a fun ride. It is a little small, but should get more riders. We did the 65 mile route. We got totally lucky that it rained and it was not hot. The organizers moved the start time up to 7 a.m. due to the excessive heat, but it worked out fine with the rain. This is a very hilly route. Be prepared for lots of rolling hills. It is great training for Hotter than Hell. It is very pretty up here. Some chip seal, but it is not horrible. The roads were very well marked except for one key intersection where the arrow might have been painted over. We had to stop and pull out our directions with a group of riders to make sure we were going the right way. The volunteers are extremely friendly. I'd add some portapotties at some earlier rest stops. The first few stops did not have toilets and it would have been helpful. People could not have been nicer and everyone was in a good mood because we were not hot. I'll definitely do this again. This ride deserves to get more riders!

Loved, Loved , Loved this ride! Maybe more so since it rained and I actually was cold for the first time in months. The people up there are really trying hard to make this a great ride, but I think they are lacking in man power. I heard they put in extra "water" stops to pre-pare for the heat....which thankfully didn't show up. I road the 65 mile route, loved the roads and the scenery. I got passed by the roving "Ice" truck, so I can verify it was out there. Reststops; though they were small were good, with friendly people. Unfortunately, I heard that vandals painted over some direction arrows, but it didn't affect me. I really wished we had country roads, with the great hills closer to my house, you can bet that next year I'll be back. Next year....I'm riding the 100 miler! Thanks Sherman Kiwanis club for such a great event, keep it up and soon you'll have thousands!

Great ride again this year. Even though I live 5 minutes from another ride that generally falls on the same day as this one, I always highly prefer to drive 1 hour for the Sherman Red River Classic. All Rest Stops were fully stocked with everything you could want. Ice, goodies, you name it. Very well prepared and it shows how much time and dedication the organizers put in to making this ride one of the best. Directions were perfect, I did the 100 mile route. They started the ride early to accommodate the heat we have been having in Texas this year. There is absolutely nothing negative about this ride, this is one of my top rides of the year and has been for the last 7 years I have done this one. Very challenging and Very rewarding. Check in was smooth and pizza after the ride. I always love there t-shirts. You guys and gals are awesome. Keep up the awesome work and see you next year. J

August 14, 2010

EXCELLENT. Awesome ride in every way. They were very well prepared for the heat with a truck carrying a full ICE BIN to all the rest stops. Thanks so much for keeping us safe and cool because my speedometer said 118 degrees at mile 88. Routes very well marked, very nice t-shirts and super friendly people all the way around. I always look forward to this ride every year. I live 5 minutes away from another ride that was happening this same day but chose to drive 1 hour just to do this ride. I can not wait till next year. This was my 46th Century. Thanks guys for doing it the right way.

This was a great ride. There was very little traffic, great support, lots of hills and heat. The summer heat really showed up on this ride, but the ride was very well supported - they even had a roving ice truck. The support staff was wonderfully friendly, offering everything from fluids to food, pickle pops, and sun screen. The course was hilly, but fun. Road hazards were very well marked. At the start the organizers gave out an emergency number, warned about gravel at a turn, and dogs at large at a rest stop. They cared about the riders. This was well worthwhile.

The Red River Classic was an enjoyable and challenging ride. It was very hot, very windy, and very hilly. I had no idea that the countryside near Sherman was that hilly, but I also had no idea it was so scenic. The organizers we very friendly and helpful at the rest stops. All of the 100 milers took a wrong turn about a quarter mile from the start which was hilarious. All in all, I had a great time, and I will be back in 2011!

With the wind, heat, hills and road conditions, this was one tough ride. Good training for HHH. The Sherman Kiwanis did a great job with the ride organization. Good signage, great rest stops with lotsa goodies and pizza and drinks at the end. Roads were typical: some good and some bad. Most of the major intersections were controlled but I would suggest putting someone at Hwy 11 in Tom Bean next yr. Also, I think it would be a good idea to print the emergency number on the route maps. Good looking LS t-shirts too.

This was a very fun ride and well organized. However, the ride is a pretty tough ride. It has a lot of rolling hills that felt relentless at times. The volunteers were great and friendly. The rest stops were well stocked and spaced fairly well. I thought the signage was good and did not have any trouble following the route, although the 100 milers took a wrong turn right off the bat. I did the 60 mile ride and enjoyed it very much. It might not be bad if this ride started at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. as it got hot very quickly. Well run ride and I'll do it again. This time, I'll be mentally prepared for all of those hills!

Rode the Red River Rally for the first time... hit the 44 miles.. They did a great job.. well marked, good SAG support, as it appeared many needed it.. including myself while fixing a flat.. plenty of rest stops.. Would only suggest.. some notification they are coming up or how far to the next one.. Also, although well stocked.. some of the tent canopies and some folding chairs would be great no only for the riders but also for the volunteers..When the previous years reports said some hills.. they really meant some hills.. a good challenge for most all I could see.. Will be there next year to support this great ride and great community effort..

Thanks to the folks in Sherman that sponsored the Red River Bicycle Ride this past weekend. I also did this ride last year and really enjoyed both events. I recognize that these events take a lot of coordination and work from a lot of people and wanted to make sure they know that we appreciate the opportunity to ride on a supported and safe route. Thanks and I am looking for to riding in 2011.

This is a great ride with Friendly Support the entire coarse. HILLS and more HILLS, so get ready before you bite off the 100. If you have never ridden in this area, take a shorter route! Only complaint was the starting time. This rally needs to begin at 7am…….After voicing the concern many of the volunteers stated that next year this would be solved. They seem to want to always improve their event. Hats off and I’ll be back with friends.

August 15, 2009

Thanks to all the cyclists who participated in this year's Kiwanis Red River Rally. Registration was double that of last year! I think the word is out how good the cycling is in Grayson County. GC is full of low traffic, scenic, hilly country roads. Perfect for cycling
.Road construction dictated last minute route changes this year. Literally last minute. Our scheduled routes were available until a few days prior to the event. In our search for alternate routes, we did discover a nice network of roads, actually improving the routes! This did create some confusion however, as the routes posted on the website were not the routes eventually used. Sorry for any inconvenience this caused. Hopefully we'll dodge the road construction next year.

I rode the 66 mile route today. I thought this was a really nice ride. It's a bit hilly at the beginning and end but nothing overwhelming. I like the fact that they set the ride up going south in the morning against the wind (which was definitely blowing today) but then you had the wind at your back for much of the return trip. Pretty good roads. Some rough chipseal here and there but that's just a sign of the times. There were some really nice back roads too with lots of shade and we went through a couple small towns. My only contention was starting inside the stadium. The exit was so narrow that I didn't even try. I just waited outside on the road. This isn't a really big ride but it certainly has potential. If the ride organizers can get a few more people at some of the intersections that would be helpful. Otherwise, it was a pretty nice day!

Great ride again this year. I did the 100 mile route. Last year my GPS said I climbed 4000 feet and this year it said 3200. I thought it was different but some of the organizers at the rest stops said it was the same. Maybe it is my GPS. Wind was 15 to 20 mph. Anyways all was great except the rest stops. First stopped at mile 38 and they had run out of water, gatorade, ice and fruit. Next stop was out of ice and fruit but had gatorade and water. At mile 65 I was able to stock up again for they had everything. This year there were 2 times as many riders as they normally have so that is why they ran out. Plus the 40 and 60 miles also went to the same stop as us at mile 38. It is definitely understandable. Routes were great and beautiful scenery. I marked this particular ride on my calendar the day after I did it in 2008. Cant wait till next year. This was my 35th century.

There were some problems with this ride this year.
The first problem was the registration. There was supposed to be online registration, home grown, not using Active or BikeReg. The problem was it didn’t work. You put your credit card info etc. into an unsecured site, hit submit, and nothing happened, no confirmation e-mail, nothing. When I inquired directly to the e-mail address on the website I was told to download the registration form, fill it out, and fax it in. This worked, and I was able to register.
The second problem was the route. The route maps posted on the web site were the same routes as last years. However, these are not the routes that were used this year, because of construction. This is a good reason to change a route, but you have to know this and post the correct route at least a week in advance. Don’t wait until the day before the ride to drive the routes and find out they have to be changed. So we start out on the mystery route, and here was the third problem. Between the Tom Bean rest stop, and the Luella rest stop there was a gap of 20 miles. This is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. The route itself was a good one with little auto traffic and scenic country views, but it was rolling hills into a strong south wind the first 10 miles of it and there should have been a rest stop set up between Tom Bean and Luella. I was dying of thirst and the tepid water in my bottle just wasn’t going to quench it. I don’t believe I have ever been on a ride when there was such a great distance between rest stops. It was very hard going. The rest stops themselves, when you finally reached them, were well stocked. I drank at least 4 bottles of water at the Luella rest stop. Another thing about this ride that was good was the packet, a useful cloth bag and a thick long sleeved T shirt for the winter.
I know the Sherman Kiwanis can do better than this, so I will give them another chance next year. Lets get accurate maps and enough rest stops, fellows!

Decent ride out of Sherman last Sat. Did 42 miles. The signage was good and most of the intersections were controlled. Didn't stop at any rest stops, so can't comment on those. Pizza and drinks were provided at the finish. I just wish the county would fix some of their roads. There were sections where I could have used a seat belt. Also, it would be nice if the start were on the edge of town so we don't have to ride back in through traffic.

Great ride, only a few miles of chip seal on the 100 mile route. The route is tough with the up and down hills, but is not a killer. What made it a killer was the wind this year. Into the wind 10-12, with the wind 20-25 miles. Love the pizza and cokes at the end of the race. Only complaint , don’t start the race inside the football field.

With the wind, heat, hills and road conditions, this was one tough ride. Good training for HHH. The Sherman Kiwanis did a great job with the ride organization. Good signage, great rest stops with lotsa goodies and pizza and drinks at the end. Roads were typical: some good and some bad. Most of the major intersections were controlled but I would suggest putting someone at Hwy 11 in Tom Bean next yr. Also, I think it would be a good idea to print the emergency number on the route maps. Good looking LS t-shirts too.

This was a very fun ride and well organized. However, the ride is a pretty tough ride. It has a lot of rolling hills that felt relentless at times. The volunteers were great and friendly. The rest stops were well stocked and spaced fairly well. I thought the signage was good and did not have any trouble following the route, although the 100 milers took a wrong turn right off the bat. I did the 60 mile ride and enjoyed it very much. It might not be bad if this ride started at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. as it got hot very quickly. Well run ride and I'll do it again. This time, I'll be mentally prepared for all of those hills!

Rode the Red River Rally for the first time... hit the 44 miles.. They did a great job.. well marked, good SAG support, as it appeared many needed it.. including myself while fixing a flat.. plenty of rest stops.. Would only suggest.. some notification they are coming up or how far to the next one.. Also, although well stocked.. some of the tent canopies and some folding chairs would be great no only for the riders but also for the volunteers..When the previous years reports said some hills.. they really meant some hills.. a good challenge for most all I could see.. Will be there next year to support this great ride and great community effort..

Thanks to the folks in Sherman that sponsored the Red River Bicycle Ride this past weekend. I also did this ride last year and really enjoyed both events.
I recognize that these events take a lot of coordination and work from a lot of people and wanted to make sure they know that we appreciate the opportunity to ride on a supported and safe route.
Thanks and I am looking for to riding in 2011.

August 16, 2008

The Red River Classic in Sherman used to be a September ride that was moved to August and they brought the weather with them. It was 68 degrees at ride start. The packet was full of stuff you have no use for like an oversized ball point pen and a ¼ size basketball from Academy. The point is, someone went to the trouble to ask these companies for their advertising gimme’s. At the start of the ride, they had a raffle for 8 Road ID’s and a mountain bike! Now that is some good gimmes! This is the kind of dedication few rides exhibit any more to making a ride enjoyable and showing they appreciate the cyclists. The roads on the 66 mile route were not maintained well. Maintenance in Texas means chip seal and poor maintenance means very little chip seal! Poorly maintained roads are good! It is not butter – but it sure beats chip seal! Bad sections were clearly marked and if anyone failed to see the tire eaters, they need to look at the road more often. Some of the roads were not much wider than a drive way – with about as much traffic! Speaking of traffic, about twice as many cars passed through this route as SAG wagons! More cars were parked in the lot at the Circle K than passed by during the ride and those who did pass were courteous, allowing a full lane for the cyclists. Turns were clearly marked and the only confusion was one rest stop that was ½ a block past a turn. It was not a problem. The ride is lightly attended. This means you are liable to spin for several miles without seeing anyone else. If you want to go out and have a fully supported ride for just you and your ride buddies, this is the ride you need to do. Even the folks who I spoke with at the finish line (Oh, Pizza, cold drinks and more snacks than could be eaten were waiting at the finish line!) said they would be back. Guess I will see them next year! The organizers even promised to take a belt sander to some of the hills and flatten them out a bit. With all the hills on this ride, that might be too much to expect.

I really enjoyed the Red River Classic this year. I think this ride is poised to develop into a much bigger draw. The route was challenging and fun, well marked, and there were some beautiful views. The organizers clearly put a lot of thought, preparation, and work into the event. Rest stops were stocked with essentials; some were fluid only, so if you’re in the habit of eating after 20 miles you might carry your favorite snack. As the other reviewer mentioned, ride support was everywhere. I can’t wait to go back!

Red River Classic on Aug 16, was great.  The hills about destroyed me doing the 100 miles, but it was a lot of fun.  Every time you thought the hills where done, another hill was in front of you.  I never saw so few cars on a long ride like this.  I am so going back next year.

It was a good idea to move this ride to the weekend before the HHH since the 66 mile route is a good warm-up for it. There were only a couple of hundred riders there and I think the weather scared off a good many. The routes were well marked: saw a “U turn” spray painted on the pavement after going the wrong way and some of the road hazards were painted orange. Only stopped at one rest stop and it was well stocked. Some of the roads were good and some were bad which is kinda like every other ride around here. Most of the busy intersections were controlled leaving and entering Sherman . Lots of food waiting for us at the finish! My one change would be to NOT route us through Van Alstyne and Howe so we miss the traffic, turns (this route has a LOT of turns), RR tracks and stop signs. Thanks Sherman Kiwanis!

 

September 15, 2007

Riders: The Sherman Kiwanis Club is dedicated to making this ride one of the best rides in North Texas. We review the comments carefully and strive to improve. For 2008 we have changed the routes (no Highway Frontage Roads), moved to a new starting location at the Austin College campus (to provide better parking), Changed the date, and added a new 100 mile route (for those riders practicing for the HHH next weekend)! We hope to see you there!

To keep this short, I will just ask you to re-read the well-done review from the previous year. The extra comments I will make are that it seems most of the criticisms of last year have been addressed successfully. The finish was altered but it still had its problems. While I know we can’t expect a cordoned entrance all the way inside the city, that last turn at Mulberry and Crockett was just too busy. One side of the intersection was blocked off, and the traffic at the other approaching streets was too congested. It was just too close to the Arts Fest activities. As I went through, a shouting incident occurred from someone who had no knowledge of what was going on. This event needs to be seen as a positive by everybody.
No need to go into detail on the highway departments recent resurfacing of Hwy. 11 with what appeared to be fist-sized chip seal.
Other than that, the ride was fantastic and the ride back in from the 40 mile route on the Ida Road was glorious. The view from the crest of the watershed of the Red River to the north and the Trinity to the south was awesome and the weather and volunteers police assistance was great. Thanks RRVC and the Kiwanis.

Great volunteers, that made you feel welcome and appreciated. Suggest you find an alternate to Highway 11 for next year. The final 20 mile run into Sherman was outstanding with low traffic, fantastic vistas (for this part of Texas), and fun downhills – that’s a keeper part of the route. Loved the raffle prizes and kudos to the sponsors.

Okay, figured I'd Crash-Test Dummy myself for this one; shoot, everybody goes to Cotton Patch.....let me go up north.
Forecasted winds out of the east at 5-10 mph on the Weather Channel is for Irving, NOT Sherman (duh). This was a hilly booger, too, especially outbound (east). If hills are your style, there's enough up here to please. Scenery is nice, too.
I guess they did reroute to avoid MOST of boulder-size chip-seal on Hwy. 11, but not all. We did get on it for a few miles; I asked the paramedics at one turn if they'd look for one of my kidneys a mile or so back. Still waiting to hear from..........
Mechanical support by Plano Cycling (thanks!), but nothing much in the way of SAGs.
No cups to drink from at rest stops (!!!!), but bottles of Gatorade, water and other items were available in ice-cold coolers. Cookies were especially good!
Nice blue long-sleeve t-shirt, and a stuffed goody bag. Raffle had a lot of good prizes.
A lot going on in same area: bike rally, running event and arts festival caused much confusion in where to park, where to register, etc. I actually started signing up for the running event in error (QUACK!).
All in all, a pretty decent day.

This was a pleasant ride through some of the prettiest countryside that I have ridden through this year. The terrain was, for the most part, rolling and the road surfaces, with the exception of a 6 mile section of chip seal, smooth. Coupled with the late summer/early autumn scenery, this ride was unmatched as a visual display and challenging enough that I felt that I had worked to get to the end. Speaking of the end…the course had been pretty well marked until just short of the end. The only reason that I found my way to the end successfully was that I caught up to a person who had ridden last year and knew the way in. Other than that one small issue, this was one of the most enjoyable rides of the year for me.

September 16, 2006

The Sherman Kiwanis Club appreciates all constructive criticism. We have learned from our mistakes and hope 2007 will be a greater ride. 2007 also will be the 25th anniversary of the Sherman Arts Festival. Thank you for supporting the youth of Sherman.

I rode the 60-mile; what a gorgeous route. Lots of curves, hills, and flats. Roads were in great shape, with only one stretch (a couple of miles) of chip-seal. All of the intersections where it mattered were controlled, turns were well-marked, and the one rest stop I used was well stocked. To make this ride perfect I suggest: Starting on time, and maybe even starting the longer routes earlier (0830 was the published start time, 0800 would be nice); Controlling the intersections near the finish line (the last 2 lights on Houston street had no police control. The first one was green for me but I had to stop for the 2nd one…about 50 yards from the finish line). Final comment: I think start/finish in the middle of the town's festival is a cool idea; gives bikers something to do after and let's non-bikers see that we're real people, too. I'd suggest that the last couple of blocks on Houston could be split, one lane for bikes and one for cars (or 1/2 lane for bikes and use cones for 2 car lanes?) to help prevent any interactions between bikes focused on the finish line and people looking for a place to park, etc. Again, overall a super ride.

Small head count as the Cotton Patch Classic probably took most of the ridership away.  Ride start was around 45 minutes late as we had to wait for the runners to finish.  Probably the biggest complaint I kept hearing was the over-zealous sheriff deputy in the truck who continually harassed the riders to stay single file and stop blocking traffic.  He mostly harassed the lead group - probably the best, most experienced riders out there.  Somebody needs to remove him from next year's rally or somehow remove him from interfacing with the riders.  He pissed a lot of people off.  Other overheard complaints:  we need more signage before some turns.  Maybe put a rest stop out on the loop for the 60 milers. There was no 'finish' to the ride. We just rolled into town with the traffic.  The final rest stop at the end was manned but it seemed like one of those rallies where they take the money, set you off and pack it up.

Wow, what a fun challenging ride the this was! Those first hills were a blast, with a great course to follow. I rode this ride a couple of years ago and it keeps getting better. The Kiwanis did a great job, (I heard it was their first time, couldn't tell) check in was easy, and rest stops were well furnished, and I've never seen a goody bag so full! The long sleeve shirt was awesome! This ride will absolutely be on my list next year. The late start was nice since I came from Plano, but it sure made the sun get hotter faster. My compliment to the Kiwanis club and the ride director, you could tell they really cared about this event, and I look forward to next year.

I rode the 60 miles at the Red River Classic in Sherman. Hilly, windy and hot… a great ride. The Kiwanis did a great job organizing the ride. A couple of suggestions; start on time and 8:00 would be the best. If the ride is to grow there will have to be some traffic control at the end of the ride. There were a lot of cars at the festival and it made finishing the ride somewhat difficult. The goody bag, t-shirt and rest stops were excellent. See ya next year!

The ride was really great. The lead pack was strong but the strongest riders were most likely at the Cotton Patch. Made it easier for me to ride with them until I backed off to ride with a buddy who was there as well.
The route is great. Very little chip-seal, lots of hills, beautiful scenery, great vistas. The ride was lightly attended which means you almost feel like you are on your own, personal, supported ride! I hope the Kiwanis don't cut back on their efforts just because the turn out was light. Word will get out about this ride and pull more participants. It was really nice finding yourself at the top of a hill with a great view in front of you and be able to enjoy it instead of concentrating on the wheel in front of you.
The packet was the best I have seen in some time. The long sleeve tee shirt will be welcome in a couple of months. A lot of effort went into making up these packets. Registration was fast and easy. They had money taking down to an art!
Suggestions. I almost missed a turn because of the markings. The sign was at the turn, not before it and since it was on a downhill, braking from 30 MPH was a challenge. Some roads have a bit of traffic on them. If alternatives could be found, that would be great. It also allows an opportunity to extend the ride by a few miles. The rest stops were fine and since there were two festivals in town, a more festival like atmosphere at the finish would be appreciated. The biggest request though is to spray paint the cracks in the roads to warn riders that wheel eating cracks are coming. There were a few places where an unaware cyclist could stick a front wheel in a crack and wind up on the wrong side of the handlebars. Paint used to mark grass is inexpensive, does not harm the environment, washes away after a few weeks and can help prevent the need for the medics.
I will be back next year!

 

September 18. 2004

This was a great, scenic, hot, ride with massive hills. The terrain was similar to that of Collin Classic's 100 this year which, as these Sherman hills, were used by a young Lance Armstrong. This day's temperature topped at 97, very humid, s/b called Hotter than Hotter N' Hell. The HH100 ride temp barely got into the 80's this year! The 60-mile route with the loop east of Whitewright was a big improvement over last years. This year the bikers also started a block away from the joggers and were divided up into each route group with a lead car. The rest stops seem manned by friendly and experienced bikers. Critical intersections had police officers, which also drove around checking on us (much better this year and Thank you SPD). I considered hilly areas like 902 not well suited for very young riders as cars coming up hills tend to get too close to bikers (Mesquite Rodeo is best children's ride). However the festival was jamming like MS150 and had plenty of arts, BBQ and entertainment that a family can enjoy. I biked 15 miles from Howe (total 92 miles) for this event and being X-hypertensive at 55 I hope I get a few more therapeutic doses from Red River Classic.

This ride was a vast improvement over last years ride in several major categories. First: The registration area was clearly marked and easy to get through with signs (Hurray!) leading you off RT. 75 to the start area. Parking was a bit better but they are going to need a lot more. Road markings: YOU WON'T GET LOST ON THIS COURSE ANYMORE! The turns are marked on the road with colored route arrows before, at and after each turn with a road side sign thrown in for good measure. Still not perfect but 99% there. There were also POLICEMEN AT KEY ROAD INTERSECTIONS! That solves the safety problem. Last years nightmare crossings where you had to 'Cheat death" are no more! You might want to consider replacing that route back to Whitewright...a bit tight with no shoulder. Kind of nervous for a while. Also, no more 'Deliverance" movie type wilderness areas to sweat. Rest stops...fine...modest.. but they are there like clockwork. I suggest some tents for shade after the first stop, maybe some chairs for the riders to use to rest...not the staff please! Exception: the mile 40 rest stop was invisible...and this is a critical stop for most people. You had to turn off the course and go a ways to another intersection. Not a good idea. Sign also could not be seen. No big deal to fix. The finish line...Where did everyone go? Hey folks, when you roll in after 58 miles (Was supposed to be 60) you would appreciate someone there to welcome you in. I guess the 10 and twenty five milers came in and left and you thought.. what? Forget the 58 milers? Suggestion: Have a big tent with tables and lots of chairs for finishers to sit after the ride and congregate, socialize, etc. All the big successful rides have them. Riders really like that. Consider having some food, pizzas, even a vendor selling hot dogs and hamburgers, have some cookies, cokes etc. Make the finish friendly and happy not stark and abandoned. And definitely man the finish line area until the last rider is in. Also consider music at the start and finish...even a big boom box. Something. Conclusion: Congratulations to the ride director and staff for turning this ride around. THIS RIDE IS WORTH RIDING AGAIN FOLKS. Hills, flats, a good combination for everyone. Mark this course as a must ride for next year. If the same people staff it next year they can make the minor improvements needed and we are going to have another Tour-D-Paris, Mesquite Rodeo Ride, Tour D Italy, etc.! - Norm Weatherby
PS: Bring back the 41 mile ride. There is too wide a spread between 25 miles and 60 miles on this course. People who feel they can make the 40 but not the 60 will not drive all that way just to do a 25.

I rode the Red River Classic's 60 mile course, and found it to be very challenging. A small rider turn-out, compared to other rides that I've been on this summer, but that made registration and access to the service that much easier (parking, registration rest stops, etc.) The morning started cool enough, but the temperature rose with nearly every passing hour. The hills are substantial - specially on the first half. Roads were preetty good, and lightly traveled by car traffic. Rest stops were well stocked, and hosted by very friendly people. For me, this was a very good ride, with a tough course, that pushed me hard. I was pleased that I participated in, and finished this one. Good job everyone. I'll be back...

 

September 2003

we have read both the rider's reviews and your suggestions for tour organizers and expect to implement as many of the suggestions  as possible.

First, I don't know which ride the previous years' reviewers rode, but the whole course was up and down with HILLS. I think this ride rivals Weatherford's Peach Pedal and Cleburne's Goatneck as far as hilly terrain goes. The "good": low traffic, really decent road condition except for the beginning 5 miles or so, friendly volunteers, pretty route, and challenging hills. The "bad": allowing a group of runners to start the course before cyclists, no directions to parking, then
once finding the parking lot only 15 parking spaces for 100 cyclists, hardly any volunteers on the course at key turning points (maybe two?), several DANGEROUS crossings of highways, signage was not easily spotted, and the maps were hand-drawn which wouldn't have been so bad if the course hadn't zig-zagged all over Grayson County. I may be back next year for the hills, but this ride really made me miss the Grand Prairie Grand Prix!!

What a gorgeous day for a ride - my first on this one. I was a late registrant in the high 90's, and the highest number I saw was 105, so that may be about the crowd size. The directions said take the Lamar/Houston exit and follow the signs. NO SIGNS. Found it anyway. Started just after the pack left and was surprised when I crossed under 75 to turn left there was no traffic control on such a busy frontage road. Route was nice and bucolic, enough hills to make me work and get a little quad burn going, but route signage could have been better, especially after the Tom Bean rest stop if you were doing the 44 (which was advertised as 40 but clocked in at 41.6). Again, you exited the rest stop, turned left and come upon a major highway with no traffic control - OR SIGNS. Several stopped and debated which way to go. We finally figured it out. Toward the finish, we came to a T where we could see the 5k run painted marking on the road, but no markings or signs for the cyclists. We figured that out too from the direction of the 5k signs, but SIGNAGE is a nice thing to have. Still, I liked the route and would go back and ride it again on my own for a nice workout. All the folks and scouts had great attitudes. And it was only a "two dead 'dillo ride" (down from three at the last ride). Pizza and bomb pops at the end (thanks Cici's Pizza). This ride isn't a big production, but I liked it.

What beautiful scenery! Rustic, rural, primitive.95% hills. Cool weather, roads average to excellent...only 150 riders? I soon found out why. This was my first attempt at this ride. It was the Third Annual. I felt a bit uneasy when upon turning off Rt. 75 as there were no signs as promised to direct bikers to parking. Many blocked off streets for the Art Festival.
After wandering a while I found a lot to park in. Registration was....ahhh...casual. I looked at the route map, an almost unreadable copy of a copy, and noted that it was supposed to show the various route distances as Red, Blue, Yellow and Green. The map however... was black and white. No one at the registration area could point out any of the routes on the map. Strange thought I. Most curious. At the start the bikes started BEHIND the 5K runners. (Yep BEHIND the runners) That's ok...they said just follow the motorcycle cop...he will be there the whole route. Problem...no motorcycle...no cop. So...we just rode off with our black and white maps....as soon as the runners were far enough ahead not to hit them. Interesting. SIGNS: Inconsistent at best. On a long straight stretch there was a sign on the pavement (arrows) indicating "Straight ahead". Hmmmmm. OK. One mile down the road at a confusing three way intersection...no signs. Curiouser and curiouser. Signs that were seen varied from typing paper with arrows flopping on a stick to painted road arrows. Mostly there were few or no signs after 35 miles or so. I stopped at two rest stops to ask the volunteers what road this was and what ride routes the rest stop served. Just blank stares. No answers. Fascinating. One said he didn't know...but did I want a banana? At one point during a banked high speed turn a volunteer was seen
frantically jumping and signaling. I braked hard. I was told to turn off the high side of the turn and plunge off into a "Black hole" of a road (Totally shaded, black macadam) and into a woods. At 30% brake and praying I and two other riders went off the high end of the turn only to find it almost pitch dark, killer potholes and a sharp turn to the left complete with gravel. I heard a scream from behind and the sound of crashing metal. "It's ok" was the response to my call. Emerging out of the darkness (Had to rip off sunglasses) it then ran across a savage RR Tracks. Two riders with wheel casualties were off on the side as I passed the tracks. My dual HED-3 tri-spokes and 700x25 tires saved me. I did not see my (unknown) ride companions after this event. Maybe they are still in the tunnel. Adrenaline was now pumping. Soon attacks by packs of two and three farm dogs at a time, intent upon ripping my leg off drew my repeated response with pepper spray. The ride was real exciting now. At most intersections I had to stop and examine the maps. I was only lost three times but managed to find the right road eventually. Lots of time to appreciate the beautiful scenery. No sag wagons were ever seen...anywhere. Make no mistake about it...you are completely on your own on this ride. Sort of a macho thing...makes the pulse pound!
Coming back into town...naturally. no signs except some few on the street for runners. I and some other survivors ,who wandered in from some side streets, followed them back figuring they had to go back to the start. They did. Why oh why is it seeming so hard for ride planners to solve the sign problems? Go to one of those sign supply shops and get some 3' X 2" coreplastic signs (The ones you see on telephone posts advertising Insurance, etc ) Post a sign 100 ft. before the turn, at the turn, and 100Ft. after the turn. Hmmmmm? This is not rocket science. Oh yes...some that did come came late as the internet said the start was 9:00AM rather than 8:00AM. I talked to them after the ride. They wanted to know why there were no signs so they could at least have ridden on their own. Oh well...Nobody checks these things on the ride committee. So....150 riders or so. Most probably won't come back...150 riders next year...mostly first timers, and each year there after. Sad. The ride has such great potential. Oh yes...did I mention the beautiful scenery?-Chinese Monkey Dancer

Took part in the 42 mile ride. It was a fun challenging route, but not TOO challenging. For some of the climbs you were rewarded with an exciting downhill roller-coaster ride once you crested the top. Great support at the rest stops, with homemade cookies, bananas, and plenty of SunnyD everywhere you looked. Signage could be improved in spots--mainly on the last couple of miles after the routes return to town. I got lost and the maps don't provide any sort of detail. Still, it wasn't too difficult to find my way back. Free pizza and bomb pops at the finish line. I don't know what the attendance was, but I overheard someone say 130 had pre-registered and they had a list with three pages of people that signed up the day of the event. This is a good ride worthy of support. I'll be back next year!!!

My fist time to do the ride...I agree, lots of potential but boy, I felt like the lone ranger at times on the 64 mile course. Very poor signage in my opinion, I pulled out my map a few times and stood looking around for other bikers...there were dogs and I forgot my pepper spray, I turned off for a garage sale thinking it was one of my poorly marked signs. On one BIG downhill all of a sudden there were yellow arrows pointing left...almost missed it and there was small pea gravel 2" deep that was a BAD accident waiting to happen. Again, lots of potential, volunteers friendly, good pre post ride food/drink. I was alone, probably won't do it again unless i get someone to come with me...there were times I  really felt all alone out there...

I must have been the latest registrant (# 105) observed by reviewer number 2... I was all pumped up to give this ride a great review, but reading all the earlier reviews made me realize something: I was thinking it was so great only because it was such a vast improvement over the Forney ride. But seriously, I still think this was a good, maybe even a near-great, ride. THE GOOD: Variable terrain, pretty scenery (Loved the tree-shrouded tunnels!), generally good roads, very friendly rest-stop support, helpful police, post-ride pizza and popsicles. Sure, as always, there are improvements that could be made: (1) Signage.--Add some signage on the first leg along the Hwy 75 service road to assure riders that they are headed in the right direction. This is especially helpful for riders who are chronically tardy to the rides, as I am. Late in the ride, post some signs on the telephone poles in the residential areas. (One of the organizers said that they could not post signs in peoples' yards, to explain the lack of signs late in the ride.) And use larger lettering. (2) Maps.--Create a more readable map. However, I did not have to use it because the signage was adequate for the most part. And if it's supposed to be color-coded, be sure it has colors! (3) Directions to the ride.--Needs work, reviewer number 2 said it all. There could not have been 200 riders, if that. This one deserves more, I hope others try it out. I'll do it again.

While I did not organize the ride this year I did organize the first two years so I will try and address a few issues.
First off I would like to thank everybody that came to Sherman for the ride. As far as the start goes the riders started behind the runners because after 200 feet the runners went straight and the riders turn right. The riders were actually supposed to stop at the line but when the guys that put on the run saw the riders roll up they started blowing the horn and clapping causing the riders to think they were supposed to go. . More discussion with the run organizers next year should fix this problem. I'm not sure where a motorcycle came in because Sherman does not have a motorcycle cop. Their was supposed to be a police officer taking the riders to 1417, as far as I know he was there but I was not down there so I can't say for sure.
There were 6 signs directing you to parking, on both sides of the street. After the fact I realize they may not have been visible by the time the riders started arriving because of cars parked that were blocking them. I am not sure how this will be fixed but it has been noted.
A complete re-design of the maps is in order and will be undertaken before the ride next year.
Signage and more warning before tricky or dangerous intersections will be addressed before next years ride as well.
Total participation was 125, I think. I know it was at least 120, but I'm thinking I saw 125 go out. This is up from last year but not what was expected by the organizer. I don't know how he promoted for the most part other than direct mailing, but hopefully with word of the great course getting out there more will come next year.
Please feel free to reply to me directly if you have any questions or ideas for next year.
Chris Jennings

2002

This was the second annual Red River Classic in Sherman. It is the first time I have ridden it. About 100 - 150 riders participated. The 64 mile ride was actually 62. It is the first ride that I never had to stand in line at the porta-pottys. The route was scenic. The hills were challenging at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. Some flat areas were thrown in after the beginning hills and before the ending hills. The organizers are bike riders and it showed with friendly support every where and good signs.

I expected it to be hilly, and it was, but few hills were worthy of very low gear. I heard that vandals had stolen some of the signs Friday night but signage was still good and I never felt lost. Parking was a little chaotic but after the ride, we were parked in the middle of the festival, handy for picking up a turkey leg or a sausage on a stick.

I rode the 44 mile route and had a lot of fun.  The hills weren't too steep, just enough to make you work, but the scenery was great and the weather was fantastic.  It's too bad the turnout was so low.  This route is one that I will keep in mind to ride some time on my own.  Definitely will attend next year!

Positives: Very scenic ride - yes there are lots of hills, but they are rolling and very "doable". Good signage most of the time. Friendly staff and adequate provisions at rest stops - the gazebo at Tom Bean was the best. Good support from law enforcement at critical intersections. Good music at the festival at the end of the ride.  ** Negatives: POOR signage & parking for start. T shirts not ready at beginning - I got one that doesn't fit - no big deal, I have a drawer full of ride tees. No one present at the end of the ride - I was in by 2:00 and people continued to come in after me. Sag support not well marked. Road from Luella to US 75 was in awful condition, but the scenic view at the top of the bluff was worth all the bumpy pavement. Got lost at the end, in town, because there were no signs for the cyclists and the signs on the pavement from the runners race gave conflicting messages - the majority went to the left, but the 5 k went to the right - didn't know which to follow!