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Tour de Cure

June, 2014

I'm a huge supporter of the cause, but don't think I'd ride this ride again (will donate instead). The good: ample parking, quick registration, well-stocked rest stops, good signage, good post-ride food and entertainment. So what could make this a no-repeat ride you ask? The course, for one. The most uninspiring course I've ever ridden. It was out and back on a lot of chip and seal. With the wind, it just wasn't fun. The next thing that I didn't like was how early they shut the ride down. Don't offer a century option if not planning to support the riders! We got back to TMS to start our laps at around 11 and it seemed that by 11:30 or noon the entertainment was over and they were starting to pack up. When we finished our laps around 1, there wasn't much food left, the beer was gone, no massages, and the place was deserted. The century riders needed the massages most, so ending that early was especially not cool. And many were still on the track when we left. They should just skip the laps around the track as it really wasn't very fun. It got boring really quickly. The other issue was the line to get into TMS due to having each car sign a waiver before entering. That caused the ride to start late. All in all, do this ride to support the cause, but not because it's a great ride.

Tour de Cure 100k route. Certainly not their best effort. TMS never has a traffic issue, but I guess someone didn't think that through too well. My understanding is they were having people sign forms as they drove in. At 6:30 am they had cars lined up in all directions trying to enter the tunnel. Since my wife was with me I just got out and road my bike in so I could complete the registration. For me, others seemed fine, it was a hassle. I was one of their 'champion' fund raisers and they couldn't find me in their computers. Had to go to special assistance to get 'approval' that I had raised the required money. Spent about 10 minutes running back and forth. The benefit of TMS is there is plenty of parking and restroom facilities. This year they appeared to finally take previous year's advice and keep the exit from the track clear instead of having people wandering around while we came off the track. The route is the same as in previous years, except Wise county chip-sealed the 3 mile stretch on FM407 with some really big chip-seal, ruined a nice road to ride on. There are 6 turns on the course that need intersection control, while they were manned, they certainly were not looking for riders coming through when we got there. If the event is paying for intersection support they need to make them get out of their cars and manage traffic. It did look like they were bringing food out by 10am which is good since the first of the 100k riders arrive by that time. Like most, I support the charity, but after doing this for so many years they should have the kinks worked out.

I rode the 100 mile route -- the first time the Tour de Cure has offered one locally -- this year. While the other reviews are correct in mentioning that the chipseal, especially from mile 50 just past the big hill, is awful, it's part of the same route that Cross Timbers uses and there are very few other routes anyone CAN do out of TMS. Minus the chipseal, road hazards were well marked, aid stations were well above the standard of other rides, and the final 40 miles looping the speedway were some of the flattest, smoothest road I've ever seen. Just felt like someone should chime and say what was good about the ride. Will definitely be there next year. Just wish someone would bring some asphalt and show the county what they should be doing with our tax dollars. :-|

August 3, 2013

Tour de Cure 100k route. This is a resister and fund raise ride. This year $25 registration fee and $200 fundraising commitment. I've seen this ride grow from the 1st year, and given that they had more than 1,000 registered riders, they have done a great job turning this into a relevant ride in North Texas. The ride begins at TMS, so there is plenty of parking. Packet pickup, on the day of the ride, only takes a few minutes. Multiple restroom facilities. The various rides start at 7 (100k), 8 (32 miles), 9 (15 miles). Thankfully the organizers listened to suggestions from last year and did the announcements prior to 7am, so the ride started on time (after all who really wants to get up to ride at 7am then actually start at 7:15), so a big thank you for that. The ride starts with a loop around the TMS track behind the pace car, always cool. Coming off the track, same issue as every year, we go back through where we started and people are milling around completely unaware that that the ride is coming through there. The organizer must do something to fix this problem it is only a matter of time before a rider and pedestrian come into contact with each other. Rope it off to create an alley, just do something to keep everyone safe. Interestingly, last year we had a motorcycle lead out vehicle, this year there was none at any point. Not a lot of road support is needed, there are only 5 intersections that need any support. On the outbound, at least for the front of the 100k riders, the intersection support seemed unaware we were coming. The turn off of US156, there was no traffic support when we went through, even though there was a patrol car parked there. Again, at the intersection with FM407 we were left to fend for ourselves (which is fine but I assume the organizers are paying for the support that is sitting in their cars). On the return, turning back on to FM2264, car there but no one manning the intersection. For some reason there appeared to be no traffic support turning back on to FM407, given that that a rest stop is right there somewhat surprising. The road conditions are decent and adequate for the volume of riders. The route is an out and back, while not my favorite is ok with one exception. The way they stagger the starts creates a safety issue for the riders. The last 16 miles have riders on both sides of the road. FM407 is ok, since there is a good safe shoulder there, but when you get to the last stretch on Sam Reynolds Road you have the 15 milers going out with the 32 and 100k coming back. The locals must just hate us. This is a back road with no shoulder, it's near impossible for a car to pass with riders on both sides of the road. The organizers need to fix this, it's another accident waiting to happen. Just do the math, the front end of the 100k are coming through this section at 9:30, the 32 milers are on there was well. Most likely the 15 mile riders are the least experienced and probably have more families with children, and they are faced with frustrated drivers trying to navigate between riders on both sides of the road. Start the rides at 7, 7:30 and 8 and most of this should be avoided. End of ride, there is a lunch provided, eventually. The organizers must realize that they need the time the food based on the start time. If you start the ride at 7am you need to be ready to serve food within 3 hours. The first group of 100k riders finished before 10am. Ride the 100k in less than 3 hours and you need some protein sooner than later. Sure there are snacks but at this point our bodies are looking for real food. As I left after 10am, I still did not see food being served. Just as a benchmark, I can't think of a ride in the DFW area that doesn't have their end of ride food ready before the 100k riders finish. I've supported this ride for years and have enough friends that are affected by the disease that easily push me past the 'champions' level of donations each year, but this is no longer the small 200 rider bike ride. If you are going to bring 1,000+ riders together you are going to have to treat this like other big time cycling events in the DFW area.


July 28, 2012

Ovrall a good experience, jsut a few things to do better. Especially with the heat, if they say they are starting the 62k at 7:00, then start at 7:00, not have 15+ minutes of announcements, which we could have heard except for the helicoptor that was at the start, which while very cool, you could not hear a thing anyone was saying, so I hope it was nothing important. Stops were spaced just right well stocked and all the volunteers we helpful and friendly. Plenty of signs and directions so you knew where you were at all times. Plan to put this on the yearly ride

Tour de Cure 100k ride. Packet pickup was quick and easy. Plenty of parking and restrooms at TMS. Agree about the start time, need to start announcements earlier or shorten them. Always fun to do a lap on the track of TMS. Still need to control the exit from the track as people are milling around and pretty oblivious to the riders that are flying off the track. The same out and back route used as the last two years, with signs and arrows marked on the road. Law enforcement support at the three intersections that needed it. Lockheed Martin is not only the main sponsor but they bring their cycling team which has raised the level of riders participating. Post ride food was good and the entertainment was appropriate. The organizers and volunteers are enthusiastic and supportive.

July 23, 2011

This was my 3rd TDC. Packet pickup was quick and easy. I think the 15 minute start delay was inappropriate considering all who were there and ready to go. The hour between each staggered start is way too much. I thought the route support, rest stops, and the volunteers were excellent. First time I ever saw route or course marshals on bikes; good idea. Route signage/turn guidance needs improvement. One sign at the turn isn't enough. A number of folks (not my group) missed a right turn and went off route for several miles before realizing the mistake. I'm also not a fan of out and back on the same roads, so I used the bailout route from the 4th rest stop. One volunteer at the rest stop was telling folks that the bailout route was down Hwy 156 until TMS. That wasn't true but I'm sure many did just that because the one sign for the first right turn in Justin was small and easy to miss. Finish area was excellent as were the choices of food, drink, and snacks. Overall though, a very good event.

I rode the 100k Tour de Cure. The race is organized very well. The start/finish has great support and extensive food and water. The police support on route 156 was much improved as they did stop traffic for the riders. One issue they need to address was how the riders come off the TMS track. There was no one pointing the riders to the exit and we had to ride back through the support area where we started. As we came off people were wandering around oblivious to the fact that all the riders would be coming through when they exited the track. The organizers need to create a safe pathway for the safety of the riders and the spectators. A couple of minor issues, the motorcycle that was guiding the front of the race missed the turn onto CR4530, we turned the motorcycle went straight never to be seen again. At the 32 mile turn around it would have been helpful to have someone directing the riders to slow down an turn back around (there was a small sign). Also it would be nice if they could manage to find a pre-ride day packet pick up location that is on the Fort Worth side of the Metroplex, since the ride is located west of DFW. Overall the support and organization were great while the issues were minor.

I originally planned to send a detailed review of this ride btr after reading the draft I decided to just give the reader this condended version. Poorly organized, considering all the volunteers who were clueless to answer questions. Terrible signage to direct riders. Flimsy signs that were either blown over or so small and not in an easy to see location. The kind you see on the side of the road promising you'll make $10,000 a month from home. Not a loop ride. Never heard of such a thing. Rather than go back the way I came, I took a bailout. That was a mistake. There was one sign for the next ten miles that I past the first time and then doubled back to actually see it. Constant obnoxious emails from the ride event manager to raise more money. I get it where the money goes. Don't keep asking me for more. Blaring classic rock music at 7AM with a lousy sound system and a radio DJ who was acting so excited that I'm glad I could'nt understand what he was saying. Why do ride organizers feel they have to play music this early in the morning. Its becoming a cliche. I'm surprised they did'nt play "We Are The Champions". Well maybe next year. Directions to the speedway stopped when you got off the exit. I had to wait for a group of cars to know where the the "staging area" was. Few police at key traffic areas. I got the feeling that once you left the start area you were pretty much on your own except for the rst stops. This is not the first year of this event. I would suggest the organizers contact the group that runs the Goatneck Ride in Cleburne. Those people get it right. I will not be attending the next years event. I suggest that if you have not done this event. Don't do it. Its waste of your time. The only positive comment I can give was that the end of the ride had some great free food. Now if they could improve everything else. Well you get the idea.

July 24, 2010

This ride raises money for the cure for diabetes. This year I rode the 62 mile and my husband road the 32. We loved this ride. It was incredibly well supported. The roads were great and we got to ride on the official track! I loved the finish line party with great food and fun for the entire family. It was WELL worth the short time it took to raise $150 to ride. Many, many people were there to support and cheer for the “Red Riders”, the diabetics we ride with. This was definitely my favorite ride this season and I would do it again.

I rode the 32-mile route and had a great time. The 2 rest stops I visited were fully stocked and each had a great crew of happy volunteers, which wasn't easy considering the morning heat. A special treat were the fresh peaches ready for the munching. Riding on the Texas Motor Speedway track was a big thrill. But I found it very moving to share a few miles talking with a lovely couple about their grad-school age daughter with Type 1 diabetes. Since I am also Type 1, we had a lot to talk about, but from different perspectives. This event was a great improvement over last year and, since it seems everyone knows someone with diabetes, it should be even better in 2011.


September 12, 2009

We did the 32 mile route. The good stuff: Registration was easy, set up in a parking lot at the Texas Motor Speedway. Volunteers at the two rest stops we used were VERY friendly, offering to hold bikes, etc., with a good choice of goodies and fluids, though on this very rainy and cool, (low 70s) day, you didn't need much in the way of fluids. The route was pretty good except for a section along the fairly busy Hwy 407. Free food at the end was good and generous and the live music was great.
The Bad Stuff: I've done 7 rallies since I've gotten back into cycling last year and this was the worst marked route I've seen. At one turn point, where the route went under a railroad, there were actually arrows pointing in opposite directions, though this could have been a prank done by someone the night or morning before. All the signs were of the "stick-in-the-ground type, i.e. there were no arrows on the pavement. A sign saying "Turn Ahead" isn't nearly as useful as one say "Right (or Left) Turn Ahead" Hazards weren't marked. Lotsa details were missed. Very few of the intersections were manned, though I know on a small rally like this they simply can't afford to do every one.
Do the rally directors for these things look at these reviews and in particular do they look the "Open Letter To Ride Directors" on this website, or are we talking to ourselves?
Given the three other choices for rides on this same weekend, I think I'll be skipping this one next year and be looking for a better choice.

I also did the 32-mile route. Given all the rain, I'm glad we were on the back roads. This ride raised money for diabetes research, so I was glad to lend my support. As a diabetic, I was given a special red t-shirt and ride jersey to wear. This made me a Red Rider and most folks who passed shouted "Go Red Rider" as I did to those in red. What a great feeling, even though I was soaked from head to toe. This is the first time I've participated in a ride that benefited a single cause and this created a special camaraderie among all involved. While the weather created some unexpected problems, how can you lose with such great volunteers? I am looking forward to next years' ride with the hopes of raising more money and riding farther.

Hi, all. As some of you may or may not know, my little sister passed away at the beginning of the summer as a result of complications from obesity and diabetes. This past Saturday, I did a 62-mile ride for Diabetes, to raise money and awareness about this life-threatening illness. It was a quite a ride as you will see by reading my little Tour de Cure ride log below.
Saturday, September 12, 2009 - Tour de Cure
62 miles - I did it!!!! I did it!!!! I did it!!!!
Nature was not to be forgiving today. The heaven’s opened up and stayed open; the winds were gusting. Yet, I rode and rode to the very end.
Somebody at a rest stop gave me a big green garbage bag, that I stuck my head and arms through and wore like a poncho. Over my makeshift raincoat, I put on my drenched windbreaker and serenaded myself with a medley of show tunes (thank G-d no one was riding near me to hear me singing at the top of my lungs) as I continued to pedal one pedal stroke at a time.
There were moments, it was raining so hard that I could barely see (hmmm.... I finally figured out after about 40 miles, that wiping the water off my glasses would help) and the winds were gusting all over, that I thought there would be no way I could get up the hill in front of me as cars and trucks were whizzed by. That rain was coming down so hard, there were times, I thought it was hailing, but I kept going. There were times when I did not see a single route sign or police escort and thought I was lost, but I kept pedalling . And then I would break in to song, “The sun will come out tomorrow; Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun” and ride and ride and just plod along.
By the time I came across that finish line, it was a just deluge out there and I was soaked to the bone (my little feet were just swimming around in my bike shoes; BUT - I felt such a great sense of accomplishment and so happy to have stuck with it, in spite of nature, and did what I had set up to do – ride for dear Leslie. We need to stop Diabetes in its tracks. It robs one of health and life and causes pain and grief to loved ones. We will continue to fight this horrible disease.

The forecast for weather was one that most would not enjoy when it comes to cycling. Tradition has it that when it rains, most cyclists stay in. This was not to be the case for this year's Tour de Cure. Despite potentially bad weather and a forecast of 100% rain, cyclists showed up in good numbers. 300-400 would be a good estimate.
This year marked my second time to participate and my first to volunteer as a staff participant by helping to distribute flyers, posters, and bring in sponsors. Special thanks to all who sponsored the event, and those who rode and raised funds. Without them the event could not be held. Registration was a little slow as volunteers dealt with how to set up all their paperwork in the pouring rain, but - conditions considered - it went well.
At 8 a.m. we stood at attention for our National Anthem; then the siren went off to start the 100k Rally. This year was extremely special to me as I was allowed to wear a "Champions" jersey and wear the number 236 which represents the 23.6 million Americans suffering from Diabetes everyday. We rolled out and around TMS and headed out toward the roads. The group stayed tentative for the first 1/2 mile or so but then, from out of nowhere up rolled this really big guy saying "no more riding alone". It was Joe Eldridge, co-founder of TT1 cycling team. WOW, here I was riding side by side for the first time ever with a Pro Rider.
What a great guy, we talked about diabetes, racing and just about everything else as our group of 20 or so rolled down the wet and rainy highway. I asked Joe how we were doing and he said we were setting a realty nice pace, as I looked down and saw we were rolling along at 22-23mph. Our group took turns on the front sharing conversation for miles on end. One thing for sure, when a Pro need to go, well they have no revelations about stopping and going. Joe said he'd catch up as he pulled over to the side of the road and had a quick relief. Another Pro rider from Oklahoma and I slowed and waited and as Joe come rolling back up and by he said "let's go" and we grabbed his wheel and took chase back to the lead group. I casually looked down to see our pace, noticing how leisurely Joe pedaled as we rode 34 mph to get back on.
We continued on in the rain and 40 miles or so in Joe utilized a rest stop for fluids and conversation as our group, now 8 strong, rolled on. We were greeted with cheers at every rest stop. 50 miles in the rain and slick roads had seen our group down to four. We teamed up, worked together and pushed on in the rain. As we turned back into the speedway for the victory lap around I assumed the front and pulled the group to the finish, coming in in 2:52 min at 21mph in what could be said the least of desirable conditions. Joe and his riding partner rolled in about 10 minutes later, not quite catching up as was expected.
We had great traffic control at intersections (hats off to the law enforcement who stood in the rain for us). Our route was laid out well and provided a safe course minus the water and excessive chip seal rocks on the shoulder from recent new paving. Good job by the staff to give us a really nice route this year. Riders all seemed to agree rest stops were very well stocked and use friendly.
Post -ride we had BBQ, Papa Murphey's pizza(yummy) and massages as well. A live band kept the spirits high and the soaked soggy finish more pleasurable. The Tour staff, Britt and all the gang pulled off a good event considering the conditions and I look forward to next year's dry ride as we strive to help find a cure for Diabetes. Thanks to Joe Eldridge for taking the time away from his everyday job of racing and giving an experience to normal riders like mysetf that doesn't normally happen. That is what makes our sport grow.