CCF Cycle for Life, McKinney TX
October 29, 2011
This was the debut ride in Mckinney for CF, but they did a great job. I did the 60.6 mile route, and it was a very nice course. Probably less than a third of it was coarse chip-seal, and the roads were all light traffic areas. Very few of the turns had people directing traffic, but it wasn't really needed. They had laid out little yellow signs with arrows along the entire course, with reassuring 'straight ahead' arrows every mile or so the entire route. Registration was a snap, and there were plenty of pre-ride pastries and fruit available. Post-ride pizza, cookies, brownies, and brownies were available. Rest stops were well-stocked, and everybody involved was very nice and very appreciative of the participating cyclists.
Rode 60 mile course for the CF Cycle for life ride. First year for this ride. It's modeled after the MS and Tour de Cure rides where there are minimum fundraising goals (registration fee plus $150 in fund raising to be allowed to ride). They provide an easy to use personal web-site that makes the fund raising effort quite easy. On line registration was not a problem but the organizers need to take a look at some of the other ride's web-sites for information that needs to be provided. The actual start time for the ride could not be obtained until you were in the registration process and then after you register it was nowhere to be found on the web-site. Packet pick up was easy and the volunteers were friendly and enthusiastic. The one oddity was it seemed they ran out of M and L tee-shirts and riders had to fill out a slip so they could mail them the t-shirts. This is confusing since because of the fund raising requirement there is minimal walk up traffic (i.e. I signed up in August). I do not recall if the registration process asked for t-shirt sizes, but no reason for pre-registered riders to not have t-shirts in their packet. The ride itself had 60 riders (but they raised $20k) so it was quite lightly attended. The ride started at 8am and the starting temperature was in the upper 30's. Highly recommend, for rides that start late in October to move the start time to 9am. Who really likes to ride all bundled up for 60 miles? The roads were generally good with 60-70% of them with low traffic. Much of the chip and seal was worn down. Over the last 5-7 miles the road was a little rough as they are in the process of repaving, so should be better next year. The first half of the ride is pretty tame with moderate hills at most. The second half of the ride has a little bite with several stretches of rolling hills. The signage was quite good for a first time ride. Large yellow signs with big black arrows. Sure enough at every turn there was a sign clearly marking the turn. I would recommend getting some signs for the course that notifies motorists that there are riders on the road, especially on some of the busier roads. They did have volunteers at some key turns but this ride is basically a big square so not too many tricky turns. Pizza, drinks and snacks at the end of the ride was good and plentiful. Plenty of parking and the facilities were fine for the number of riders in attendance. The facility at Meyers Park had a changing room so those that wanted to get dressed there before or after the ride could easily do so. Overall a good effort for a first year ride, certainly will consider doing it again next year.