Disco Bike Rally, Gainesville, TX
This was the 2nd annual Disco Bike Rally, my first. According to others who did it last year, the route remained the same. The organizer told me there were close to 200 riders (similar to what they had the first year). I prefer going to the smaller rallies, with less chaos at the start. More importantly, they are usually located at areas I have yet to explore. I know about Gainesville since it's along the way to Muenster - famous for their German Fest and bike rally in April. This bike rally also coincides with their festival in Downtown Gainesville - Depot Days (more on that later).
The 100k route overlaps part of the short route of Muenster Germanfest Bike Ride (one of my favorites). It's quite hilly and very scenic. The areas have many hills, windmills, farmland, cattle. There were some chip & seal but they were really minor compared to other bike rallies around Dallas.The temperature was perfect for a bike ride. However, the south wind was consistent at 20-30 mph all morning. The route was pretty much from east to west and back. We had mostly cross wind all morning. The wind, together with the hills, made a more challenging ride then I planned for. A few mileage markers were also down due to the strong wind. I joined a small group from start, hoping to get as much drafting as I could. However, that plan didn't last long. Before we got to the 1st rest stop, the group split to the point everybody was on their own. The route was clear marked. The traffic was low throughout the day. I want to thank all the volunteers who braved the strong wind and stood up straight for us.
After the ride, I went to the Depot Days in downtown Gainesville for a quick bite and drink. I was glad I did. They had good food, live music, and various dance performance. I was most interested in their Car Show - they had 27 Car Classes and 6 Truck Classes, a total of 150 cars and trucks participated. I didn't stay long enough to find out which car won but I certainly enjoyed the show.
I definitely would go back from time to time for the bike rally and the festival.
October 8, 2011
We rode the 62-mile route at the Disco Bike Rally in Gainesville, Texas last weekend, 10/8/2011. The route is hilly, so you may want to select your distance accordingly. The day we rode it was fairly windy as well. The volunteers at the rest stops were terrific! They were all friendly and helpful, and wore hilarious disco costumes. The pavement was pretty smooth. The ride was exactly 62 miles as advertised. Although there was quite a bit of truck traffic on the route, I've never seen such courteous drivers- all of the trucks and cars waited patiently to pass us, then gave us room as they passed. The medals at the end of the ride were a nice touch. I look forward to doing this ride next year!
While I agree that the rest stops were outstanding, and the people wonderful, I have to disagree about the roads and traffic. I did not enjoy this bike ride. Two lane roads with high car speed limits and no shoulders are not a good riding environment. I felt like I had big trucks roaring right past me all day. The first few miles had a fairly rough shoulder, but the rest of the ride did not. Lots of sections of very rough road surface. Registration was a bit of a mess. Webpage said they would open at 6:00, but when I got there at 6:15, the gate to the park wasn't even open yet. People were driving around the gate to get in, but when I got to the registration area, nothing seemed set up nor ready to go. Not great parking.