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Ennis FFA Bike Ride, Ennis, TX

October 27, 2012

Rode the Ennis Lions Pride 66 mile ride. This was my first time participating in this ride. Registered on line, packet pickup was quick and easy. Very nice looking t-shirts. The high school stadium was open for the use of the restrooms, so there were plenty of facilities. Signage on the roads was great. Signs had huge numbers indicating which route you were on. Arrows painted on the pavement as well. They did an extensive job marking the cracks, holes and other pavement issues, more than any other ride I've been on. The road support was outstanding I've never seen so many support vehicles on a consistent basis. The SAG and support vehicles were seen patrolling back and forth across the course. Intersections either had police support or volunteers controlling traffic and directing riders through turns. Riders were escorted across the Lake Bardwell Bridge as they showed up on the return by police cruisers with lights on. The route has generally good roads and for most of the route there was minimal traffic, on some stretches of 10-15 miles I might have seen one car (besides the SAG and support vehicles). Post ride food included hamburgers they were grilling which were quite good. Attendance was light with the cold weather, but this ride is certainly worth putting on your ride calendar.

The Ennis ride is certainly a well kept secret. Perhaps the cold air that arrived that morning kept the amateurs away. Regardless, the numbers were pretty low given its vicinity to the metroplex. Fair price, adequate Tshirts for those late registers, plenty of volunteers, roads were ok. In fact, it is a pretty flat fast route. The FFA student volunteers were friendly, rest stops were about what is expected; the traffic was inconsequential. Road markings were good, I thought, but somehow I got off track for an extra 8 miles. They leave from the school's football parking lot, unfortunately after ride showers were not available, so I probably won't travel there again.

There were exactly 100 riders this year according to the organizer. The day started chilly (only 40 degree when we started). The weather during the ride last year was just as cold. Perhaps I should call this my "deep fall ride" or "first winter ride " if the weather happens to like this again next year. It was a nice sunny day with the temperature warmed up gradually to the low 50s. However, the north wind still made us work hard on our bikes.
I did the 66-mile route. The course was relatively flat with some rolling hills from time to time. Endomondo on my cell phone registered 850 ft of climbing. We spent time at 3 rest stops - talked to the FFA, took photos with them and had some home-made cookies. We had a great time.
After last year's ride, I knew the burger at the finish would be something to look forward to. It has become our tradition - sitting next to each other along the curb to enjoy our well-deserved burgers. Before we headed back to Dallas, I took my time to chat with the FFA, volunteers and congratulate them. Every rider that I talked to said that this ride is getting better every year. I hope the attendance will grow a little more next year without compromising the feel and atmosphere of the small community bike rally signature.
I have done several bike rallies this and last year. Some of them are about the challenging courses, the climbs, and the speed. Other rallies are about the scenic routes, the friendly people, and the community. Ennis Lion Pride is the best in that regard.

Two thumbs up to Ennis for this ride! Their attention to detail is amazing! Every aspect is covered, ranging from registration and parking to ride support to the after ride activities. The exuberance of the volunteers is inspiring! I love this ride!

This is a very nice put together ride. Directions were great and everyone very friendly. Rest stops nicely spaced out. I did the 63 mile route and climbed only 2000 feet. Wind was not bad. I think they have the BEST Hamburgers at the finish that I have ever had at any ride in the last 7 years. Almost need 2 people to eat them. Beautiful scenery and will definitely do again next year. Look forward to those burgers again next year maybe with jalapenos this time. Great Job.

October 29, 2011

I just got home from the Ennis ride. I tried all day to find something about this ride that needs improving. They recd a grade of 100, A+, 4.0 GPA. I could go on and on but you get the picture. Thanks for a great day,

Everything I read in previous reviews about this ride was true. This is a well thought out and well supported ride. The folks in Ennis are really friendly. The best thing about the day was was the FFA kids themselves. It was wonderful to see such well socialized young people working hard to support not only their FFA chapter but also the food bank. We will be back next year. This is probably our last organized ride for 2011 and it is nice to end it on such a high note!

I did the 40 mile ride (which was actually closer to 44) yesterday and am so glad that I did. Amazing support, terrific rest stops - all staffed by enthusiastic FFA kids - and beautiful countryside. And the ride was capped-off by some awesome grilled hamburgers. Can say enough good things about this ride, and will certainly be rolling this route again next year!

this is a great rally with good roads and minimal traffic... not sure why there is always such a low turnout.. i heard there was about 140 riders this year ... weather was great this year with sunshine and very little wind ... the 66 mile route was well marked and volunteered ... i liked the out and back section where one could see the other riders either coming or going ... the u-turn was even in an easy to do location with no traffic problems... hats off to the FFA and all the volunteers responsible .. burgers at the end was a bonus .... //mike baker

I rode the 42 mile course on Saturday morning and this is my second year to ride this one. I agree with the other reviewers. This is a really good ride. I find it hard to believe that more people don't come out for this one. The course was perfectly marked (including most of the road cracks) and the roads were good to very good. This is a fast course with long semi shallow climbs all the way. The students that sponsor this ride were very engaging afterwards. The ride organizers may want to consider bumping the 42 mile course up to a 50. This would be a nice in between ride slotted between the 35 and the 62 milers. Not much difference between 35 and 42. Great job!!

My wife and I are new to bicycle rallies and are loving it. Ennis was my sixth of the year and her third. We really had a great time Saturday! We rode the 40 (no, 42…no, 43.3…. J) Well, whatever the distance, great fun. Good, fast course, with bumps and road cracks well-marked. Perfect weather conditions made for good speed. FFA kids were awesome (we're both schoolteachers, so we recognize good kids!) Loved the hubcap-sized burgers at the end--- nice treat. Should have been three times that many riders, though. We will definitely talk this one up and look forward to adding it to our ride-list for 2012. Hope the organizers realize what a nice job they did!

October 23, 2010

A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to the dedicated riders who didn't let a few sprinkles keep them away! We hope you enjoyed the ride and we look forward to seeing you next year!
Thanks!

This was the first year a friend and I did this ride and we absolutely loved it. We did the 100k (actually 66 miles) and we both said to each other that they do an excellent job of supporting this ride. All of the routes are clearly marked and event he potholes and cracks are marked throughout. SAG support is everywhere so no worries there. As for the route itself - the route had some chipseal that wasn't so smooth in sections. But other sections were fine. The route is NOT flat so expect to be going up and down hills pretty much the whole time...no huge hills, but 3 or 4 good inclines and the rest are rolling hills or gently inclines. It pretty much rained on us on and off the whole time but the ride was still fun and we were very pleased with our time even given the hilly course. Overall and excellent ride though...we are definitely doing it every year. Plus the staff and support are really nice and it's for a great cause in Ennis so we are happy to support them. Thanks for and excellent experience.

This is the third year for this rally and I have been at all of them. I think it gets better every year. The only thing this rally needs is more participants! The volunteers work very hard to continue making improvements. Good signage, road markings of hazards, and great hamburgers at the end. We always enjoy the police escort over the mile long bridge. I'll be there again next year!

Great ride, little traffic and fantastic support from the people of Ennis. I was surprised at the low turnout, but, I guess the no shows didn’t want to brave the intermittent light rain. Their loss. The promoters provided ample and friendly SAG support that patrolled the course frequently. I did the 35 miler (actually 36 but who's counting). I agree with the previous reviewer. The route is not as flat as some people say. One long climb within the first 10 miles that was a little challenging if you take it too fast. Many rolling hills. I will definitely do this ride again as it is a great way to spend a Saturday morning. The drive from Plano is short, the people of Ennis are fantastic and the burgers were tasty! If I could change anything I would ask the City of Ennis to run the street cleaner across the shoulders of the bridge prior to the ride. I was concerned about getting a flat tire on the ride in. But otherwise job well done to the people of Ennis! This is one I plan to do every year.

I rode the 66 mile route. This was a very fun ride and well organized. It was a bit lonely in spots with a low turnout of about 100 considering a promise of high winds, rain, hail and tornados. (I saw jersey numbers over 400). The scenery was beautiful and most of the routes were very fast. The cotton was being harvested and the cotton gins were in operation. Except for a few inconsiderate drivers that thought their destination was more important than the safety of the cyclist and other cars, the rally was safe and had limited traffic. The T shirts were nice as were the burgers at the end of the ride. The high school kids engaged in conversations and supported their cause at the rest stations. There were a couple of accidents on the RR crossings but SAG later sent flaggers to warn the cyclist. In addition to the signage they had people where the routes split to shout out directions well before you got to the point of making a decision. They have the capacity at the facility and staffing to handle four times the attendance. The 6 mile "U" turn on the 66 mile route is a wash board. I would encourage riders of all levels to attend, there are routes for everyone. It is on my list of favorites.

October 28, 2009

Beautiful weather + great support = great ride. We did the 36 miles and remarked that this route has some of the smoothest roads we ride all year. Friendly people, nice T-shirt and all the hot dogs you wanted after the ride. The number of riders grew from last year, but it still seems like the best kept secret in October Rallies. Try this one next year, and you'll be back the next!

This ride exceeded my expectations. It seemed to be low key from the start, nothing flashy, it just started…on time. Almost all the details were covered. Great escorts across and back the Bardwell bridge. All the traffic was very courteous with the police escort. Out in the country, where there was practically no traffic, no escorts were needed. The few drivers encountered were willing to give all the space needed. This is farm country so it was pretty flat and I would expect the faster folks to have turned in some real fast times. SAG support was everywhere and they were kind enough to distract the several dogs that seemed to want to chase you out of their territory. I was very surprised to see that the Future Farmers of America, besides teaching students responsibility, self confidence and leadership skills, can also teach folks how to organize a bicycle rally. It was most appropriate that an FFA sponsored ride would have animal crackers at all rest stops. Great idea! I would suggest that next year some effort be made to mark the larger cracks that can, and did, cause a bad spill. I recommend this ride and I hope to return next year.

I rode the 48 mile route of the Lions Pride Bike Ride. It was a very enjoyable ride on a beautiful day. Rest stops were well spaced and stocked with the essentials. The route had some slopes and rollers to keep things interesting, but pretty flat for the most part. Road surface was worn chipseal, smooth and in good condition. A few loose dogs along the way, but only a couple tried a half hearted chase. Not much car traffic on the country roads, and there was a very wide and smooth shoulder along the stretch of TX 34. Thanks to Ennis law enforcement for the patrol car escort they gave me across the long Lake Bardwell Bridge. A nice complimentary lunch of grilled hotdogs, chips, and bottled water was waiting at the finish. I’ll definitely be back next year.

This is a terrific ride! Wonderful weather, after it warmed up just a touch in the morning. Well organized and well run. Nice folks at the rest stops. Not too many people rode, which was a bit surprising considering it was the only ride that day, and the beautiful weather. Their loss! I will do this one again next year.

Another top-notch ride! The weather couldn’t have been better. Volunteers were all cheerful and helpful. SAG vehicles were visible and out in force. The escort across the bridge both heading out and returning was appreciated. Thanks, Ennis! I’ll be back next year!

All in all, an enjoyable ride. Weather was pretty, a bit of wind, but I still made good time. There was some rougher road on the 62 mile route, not fresh chipseal, but just a lack of smoothness in sections. Very little car traffic on the backroads, no dog problems for me. Saw some really nice looking cotton growing down there.

October 25, 2008

The Ennis FFA would like to thank everyone who came out and participated in our first Lion Pride Bike Ride! We hope you found it fun and enjoyed the country side. We are thankful we were blessed with beautiful weather and we look forward to seeing you next year!

Rode the 36 mile route. The route was well marked with colored arrows on the roads and on signs. A mix of about 66% light chipseal and 33% smooth roads. All roads except the final run on TX-34 had very light traffic. TX-34 has wide shoulders, so there was no danger from the traffic. The police escorted riders over the narrow TX-34 bridge over Bardwell Lake. Excellent SAG and well placed rest stops. SAG was even present to protect riders from an aggressive, loose dog. No really steep hills on the route. Some fun rollers. The final run to the finish from the last rest stop was down the very smooth TX-34 shoulder - permitting a pleasing, fast ride. This was a fun ride. I will do it next year.

The narrow bridge over Bardwell lake had, not one, but two police cars protecting the bikers. Even cars going the other way were driving very careful. This ride was organized by bikers and it showed.

This was a good, well organized ride, especially for the first year. Thanks for the police escort over the bridge. I'm really looking forward to this one next year, it will only get better as it grows!

I did the 100k. Except for the small turnout, it did not show that this was their first event. The signs were great and there was plenty of support. There was no “fresh” chip seal, so the roads were fine. The free lunch afterwards was also a nice touch. A++

What can I say? If you weren’t here, you missed a great one! Fantastic weather, excellent routes, superb support…..it had it all. I’ll definitely be back next year!

This was a great ride! I don't know of an detail of the ride that was not given serious thought. Plenty of food, SAG, Route makings and little if any traffic on mostly flat terrain. The roads were almost all smooth with route marshals at the turns. To get an idea of the detail and attention given this ride there was an escort past a house with a dog issue and there was police escort for riders returning across Lake Bardwell. That's the kind of attention that makes this ride a cut above. This ride is a keeper.