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Wish 100 100k Bicycle Rally, Plano, TX

October 8 2016

This is a good ride for cyclists in Collin county area – nice course with plenty of challenging short uphill's. When you add a good weather with a solid support ( police, rest stops )- this is the one ride you want to pencil down in your calendar!

October 3, 2015

Not quite as impressive as last year. No t-shirt unless you raised a certain amount in donations; after-party lasted only until 1:00 and food ran out before then; sags not identifiable. Only R.B.M. was obvious mechanical help available. 41 mile route okay (one road had horrid chipseal) but first rest stop was 15 miles out after some hard hills. That rest stop did not have ice. Organizers need to polish up some details here. Sad, too, that at least 3 riders wrecked. Prayers up for their quick recovery.

October 4, 2014

If I had a wish I would wish for a a few more sag wagons to be out on the route. I cannot tell you how many miles I rode not knowing if I were on the right road. It was a very lonely ride. Not well supported and not well attended. More signage would have been helpful. The route had lots of rough road (and yes, while marked was jarring and terrible). Many sections of the road had loose gravel and debris, I had 2 flat tires on the 62 mile course. I was not the only one. There were several people I either ran into at the rest stop whom had flats and one gal in close proximity to me fixing a flat while I fixed my flat. I'm a seasoned cyclist, I typically do a long bike ride every Saturday. So I speak from experience when I write this review. I opted for the Wish 100 over the Paluxy Pedal in Glen Rose (which is a great ride). Note to self, I will skip this ride next year.

Did 40-ish mile route. FANTASTC ride! Couldn't ask for better route, weather or volunteers! Landon Winery had rest stop #2, complete with 3 samples of wine & champagne!! My gang & I lingered a bit longer than usual (!) The ladies staffing the stop were hysterically funny! Nice lunch at the finish, and we took time to enjoy the food & beverage offerings of a hamburger restaurant and wine at Landon's. I HIGHLY recommend this rally: very well done and for a good cause. Sorry the rider in the first review had a bad time. Sometimes it's nicer to ease back on the mileage, don't forget to look up to enjoy the scenery and appreciate the simple things that we sometimes miss when we're heads-down to the finish. Life is short.

 

October 5, 2013

If I had wish I would wish for a few sag wagons to be out on the route. I can't tell you how many miles I rode not knowing which route or even if I was on the right road. Maybe we could throw in a few more signs too. I passed one lady who was on the 60 mile course because she missed the 12 mile and the 41 mile cutoffs. Almost every innersection was manned. With all the wind and rain they had a bailout route but I am not sure very many riders took it because the right on the turn and hard to see.

This was the second time I've done this ride. It's for a great cause so I'm glad I do it. But each time I've done it I find myself frustrated about the quality of the ride. I did the 42 mile route. Just like in prior years there was very poor signage throughout the ride. There were several intersections were there were no signs or markings on the road. We all just "guessed" as a group on the direction to go. I even saw a sign upside down… I talked to several people who missed their turns, got lost, ended up riding much further than anticipated.. With the bad weather that moved in during the second half of the ride I wish I had seen a bailout route, or even a SAG vehicle… I didn't see a SAG the entire event. I do appreciate the intersections that were monitored by police. It's always a welcome sight. I did like the PBA rest stop at mile 22…it had food, bike racks, and toilets. In Texas you have to always expect chip/seal on any ride… well, we were on it almost the entire ride. It was brutal. There were even many stretches of road where the right half of the lane was completely torn up and you had to ride on the left had sign of lane. With the rain and wind it made for dangerous conditions. The finish….why did we not finish at the downtown square??? They had a finish setup with some balloons and a few people into a parking lot. Very uneventful finish with no music playing, announcers, loud speaker, etc… the finish line should always be a big deal. I really think this ride is a great cause, but doubt I will do it again. Just not a well supported ride.

Saturday's ride was quite an experience. At the start, the temperature was in the 70's with a calm breeze. Within 2 hours, the much dreaded northern cold front finally hit which brought 20-25 mph head winds, drizzle, and a 20 degree or so drop in temperature. The change occurred in about a three minute time frame, and it felt like I pedaled into a meat locker! Having left my cold weather gear in the car, Hypothermia was a real issue for me, but I had plenty of company! The route was clearly marked with both signs and pavement paint, which did not wash away with the rain. SAG wagons appeared to be everywhere and well equipped with repair supplies as well as some blankets for the weary folks who succumbed to the cold and cramps. The In and Out burgers at the finish were AWESOME. It was hilly, wet, windy, wet, cold, and there was chip seal exactly where I was fighting the wind to go uphill! In all, I was exhausted when I finished, and I loved every minute of it! An experience to remember, with Mother Nature making it a truly memorable ride. Well done McKinney, Velo and Matrix...see you next year!

I rode the 100k.
The good –
The route was great with pretty good roads, nice scenery, little vehicle traffic, some challenging hills, and fun descents.
There was In-n-Out burgers at the finish.
All major intersections were supported by friendly volunteers. I did not have to stop once. There were plenty of rest stops, and the one that I stopped at was adequately stocked with the usual fruit, water, Gatorade, and salty and sweet snacks.
The volunteers were friendly and very helpful.
There was a bail out marker for riders that did not want to continue in the bad weather.
Areas that could use improvement –
Sag support. I saw very few sag wagons along the route.
Signage. There were long stretches without signs, which caused me to worry that I may have somehow gotten off route. I'm guessing it was that way because there were no turns, but it would have been nice to still see periodic signs every few miles to let riders know that they are still on course.
Finish line. The finish was very anticlimactic. Maybe it was because of the weather. But it would have been nice to have a clearly designated finish line/marker to cross. Lunch. It was great that they provided a bite to eat after the ride, but a healthier option would have been great for us vegetarians and non-red meat eaters.
Rest stops. The rest stops should be more evenly spaced. I looked at the map prior to the ride and came up with a ride nutrition plan that went out the window when the second stop was not where I expected it to be (it was too close to the first, which I always skip) and the third was too far from the second. The last rest stop was also too close to the finish. Every 10-15 miles would have been better.
Overall, the weather did not cooperate, but I still very much enjoyed the ride and will return next year.

 

October 6, 2012

This was the 4th Wish 100. The organizers moved the event from Plano to Downtown McKinney this year. For those who did Collin Classic before would certainly find some similarity between the two as there were some common sections between the two. In other words, one would find some good hills and some cheap & seal. The consistent NNE wind, small chance of rain in the forecast and the lower temperature (day time high was in the lower 50s) kept some folks from showing up. Supplies at the rest stops were adequate. Many thanks for the volunteer who braved the chilly weather all morning. The presence of SAG was very visible throughout the course.
Before the riders got out of town from McKinney, several riders fell victims to a long crack that ran along the concrete in the middle of the road. The crack was never sealed off when the city put the new concrete there. The first SAG showed up within minutes and two more were dispatched. Three SAG with RBM mechanics helped to get all the flat tires, bent wheels and deraileurs adjusted and all riders were back on the road (everyone was fine with only some minor road rashes and bruises). I am sure a more thorough course inspection is in order next year.

Pros:
Overall a good ride, scenic in quite a few areas and the downtown McKinney start was interesting to begin and end at. The volunteers were GREAT! Very friendly and supportive. At most of the required turns there were volunteers, police, or fire fighters there to ensure we made the correct turns. There were some nice rolling hills mixed in the course to help challenge you.
Cons:
Now for the difficult aspects of the ride. Course: Not very well marked in quite a few areas (I read they used chalk that washed off). There were quite a few forks in the road that were not marked and were a little concerned which direction to turn. The hazards on the roads were not marked at all, and a few large cracks were a bit dangerous. Luckily I kept my eyes open and missed any serious hazards. I rode the 100K, the midway of that course went RIGHT by the landfill! With the strong northern wind that morning blew it to your nostrils for a mile or more before it and about ½ mile after it. It certainly motivated you to pedal faster! The end was rather lackluster. There were no markings or directions in the end. The course basically sent you to the downtown lights where you ended up going the wrong way on a one way street. I saw a few cyclist looking around of where to go and try to find where we were parked. Rest Stops: The first stop was at mile 17, it was very sparsely stocked with whole oranges and bananas. No knives to cut up the fruit, no antiseptic lotion to help clean your hands after digging away at the whole fruit. Rest stop #2 for the 100K was supposed to be midway between #1 & #3, there was no stop. It was at mile 42 (25 miles after #1) that I arrived at Rest Stop #3. When I arrived it was also rather sparsely stocked. The volunteer was very helpful to try to assist with anything needed, but I am glad I carried some other options with me to refuel myself for the remainder of the ride. There were no other stops before the finish line. I stopped at local restaurant about 12 miles later to get some pickles to ease some soreness.
I completed over 22 events this year, ranging from excellent to lack luster. I would have to rate this one as lack luster. I would give it 5 out of 10 overall. (7 for the course, 9 for the staff, 4 for the rest stops).

 

October 1, 2011

This is the second time I participated in this event; the first time was last year, and I talked this one up and encouraged my cycling friends to come. However, there were some disappointments that need to be addressed by the organizers for next year. First, the good stuff:
*Great route on 45 mile. Smooth roads.
*Enthusiastic volunteers, start to finish
*Plenty of parking
Now the bad:
*Call me crazy, but I SWEAR that late registration was posted on website as $35. Bellied up to the reg. table that morning, and was told it was **$45.00**!!!!! HUH? I checked the website SEVERAL TIMES before Saturday, and had I seen that it said $45 on day of rally, I most certainly would have registered early.
Funny......I pulled up a copy of it this evening (Sunday), and it now says "Standard: $45". What is "standard". Participating in these events for 20 years, the verbiage is LATE REGISTRATION/DAY OF EVENT. I am, by no means, the only rider who was caught by unpleasant surprise. The volunteers tritely, but politely, reminded us that it "was for a good cause". I agree wholeheartedly, but................something seems to be rotten in Denmark.
*"Event Information" page on website also says ................"will include food/beverages, live entertainment.........." Um.......unlike last year, when burgers, I believe, really WERE included, the only food and beverages available were if you bought it in one of the restaurants!
*Start site directions: Lots of us got lost, thinking it started at Pepsi headquarters on Legacy, as last year. I was not the only one circling that area, looking for the start. Even Mapquest directions were confusing. Some of us Tarrant County residents don't get out much thataway..................
*Speaking of getting lost, WE DID! Three or four times in the last 5 miles! Great that the "W" and arrows were AFTER you crossed the street or made the turn, but how about actually AT the intersections? Again, only in the last few miles; otherwise pretty good markings.
*Valet bike parking; cool! However, we were approached at our restaurant table by a nice volunteer, asking us if we had our bikes at the valet, telling us that they were breaking it down at 1:00, and that our bikes were going to be leaned up against the fence. No problem, but how about telling us that when we left them there? Another volunteer came along and said that, no, they will be there until 2:30. OOOKAAYYYY................! What we have here is a failure to communicate.
*A man with a massage table was set up, ready to do business, just past the bike valet. Hurting, I gave it a try. Might as well been a 5-year-old rubbing my neck and shoulders. He was NOT a L.M.T. Unauthorized vendor? Please monitor. All in all, though, had a good time. Couldn't have asked for better weather, met some new people. But really, whomever was responsible for the website really dropped the ball on prices and offerings. Please, Wish 100 organizers........take note of above-mentioned concerns. I will give next year another chance.

What a spectacular day for riding. Cool temps and light winds made for ideal riding conditions. This was my second time riding the Wish 100 and they had a new starting place and route for this year. The Good: Road conditions were great with very little chip/seal. I rode the 45 mile route and finished with a 20mph avg. The new starting area is very easy to get to with plenty of parking and port a potties. I pre-registered at Plano Cycling and Fitness, but my friends registered that morning and with no problems. No comment on the rest stops as I did not stop at any. The was a good amount of police presence at intersections. All the turns were well marked, even had signs that told you to go straight at some intersections. Although I didn't use it, the valet service for your bike at the finish is a great idea. Best of all, a lot of money was raised for a wonderful cause. Room for Improvement: Bikin' Mike does a good job of talking about potential problems on the route, but we missed most of what he said because there weren't enough speakers at the start line to hear him. Wished ALL the intersections could have had a police presence. Just seemed like we had to stop too many times, a real momentum killer (Note: I rode with the lead pack for most of the ride. Hats off to the Texas Irish riders at the head of the pack for being responsible cyclists and stopping at the red lights and stops signs.). Seemed like there were too many turns and too much riding through neighborhood streets. Overall, I enjoyed the ride and plan on returning next year.

I used the mapquest map for directions and got so lost I almost gave up and went home.- John

For me this ride is all about raising money for the Wish Kids and having a fun ride (this is my second year to participate). With that perspective the laundry list of complaints seems trivial. Over $172,000 was raised and I can live without finish line food, t-shirts and the extras knowing my money is going to a great cause. It was a beautiful day, the roads were great ( I did the 45 mile ride), the volunteers were upbeat, and the onlookers cheering in the various towns really added to the occasion (frankly, I think that's what makes this event unique). I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning. Great job to the Make A Wish Foundation of North Texas and thanks to the many, many volunteers that make this event happen every year.

Rode in the 45 route this past weekend and the ride was OK. I agree with the earlier comment about the 45 dollar entry fee. Enough said.
The ride was stock with all kinds of goodies and fluids. Glad to see Gatorade instead of power aide. Gatorade is better for fluid replacement. The volunteers were friendly and helpful. The rode surface is great except in a few places. Not much could be done about the roads where the road / ground shifted from this past summer heat wave. Could be marked for next year or warning signs.
For the course outlay, I think there were too many blind sided left turns. On the major roads, where we had to cross 1 to 3 lanes of traffic to make a left turn at an intersection. Could be a problem with aggressive motorists.
For next year, street leading to the break point one rest stop, have a sign warning motorist to share the road with cyclists. Did not care too much about riding in traffic the second go around heading to the finish, which could lead to a cyclist/motorist accident. Glad to see Law enforcement at the major intersections. Even though officers were there, we had to wait several times for the traffic light change to green. Most of these intersections were after leaving break point one stop the second time.
Will ride again next year, if the ride planner / directors improve with these comments.
Not the ride Sponsor fault. I notice several riders riding in the far left lane. These riders need to learn the rules of the road.

This is my third year doing this event. New route this year. While the prior route was not perfect, the new route is much worse with more stoplights, turns and double-back loops over the same streets. Very confusing, and I missed a key turn at one point. Hope the organizers will reconsider the route for next year. Other than that, great ride. Thanks to the volunteers and for supporting a great cause. I'll be back.

 

October 9, 2010

Road the Wish100, very organized and lots of support and activities. Biggest obstacle for this ride is its location. Trying to put together a 100k ride centered in Plano is tough. The lead group of the 100k was stopped at least 6 times at stop lights (gotta follow the rules/laws but most 100k rides try and minimize lights and stops). There was police support at most of the intersections but they certainly were not there to give the riders the right of way (they mostly ‘stopped’ traffic after the riders had the right of way with a green light). At some key turns that had people holding giant arrows pointing the way which was a nice touch. This is an ok ride for the casual rider but is not one I’d recommend for the top end riders.

I participated in the Wish 100 on Saturday. From start to finish everything was nearly flawless. The course was incredibly Marked and staffed, the rest stops were excellent and the Start and Finish lines were great. That is an excellent job Considering all the different intersections and cities this went through. Great Job!!!!!!!!!

October 3, 2009

Dear "Wish 100" Participant,
I would like to thank you for being a part of the first inaugural cycling rally to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas. As a participant in this past weekend's event, you have helped create a new cycling destination for the North Texas community, as well as helped raise funds to provide "Wishes" for children with life-threatening illnesses across North Texas.
The first 'Wish 100' was an outstanding success. We had almost 1400 riders participate in routes of 10, 30, 45 and 62 miles across southern Collin County. The weather was fantastic, and many folks had their first organized ride experience ever on this event.
That being said, we know that there is much to be improved upon for next year's event. Although many months of course and volunteer preparation were involved in planning this event, we still experienced some areas where intersections and turns were poorly marked (the chalk paint was washed away by the prior storms), poorly manned (Police and/or volunteers failed to show or had incorrect instructions), or just confusing. A quick lesson was learned about parking and registration when twice as many people arrived as was projected! A nice problem to have, but adjustments will be made in the future to ease the congestion of parking, registration, packet pick-up, etc. These problems were noted on the day of the ride, and modifications in signage, turns, and traffic patterns are already in the works to make next year's ride better and more enjoyable.
This is where you come in. The goal of the Make-A-Wish "Wish 100" is make this cycling event a "Wish" for cyclists of all abilities across the region. We need your constructive input into how we can make the 'Wish 100' a better ride in the future. Tell us what you liked most about the day. What did you like the least? Where was your favorite stretch of road? Good, bad, or indifferent, we would appreciate your input on the event. Thanks again for your support of our efforts to build a healthier community and grant children's wishes through Make-A-Wish.
On behalf of the 'Wish 100' Route Crew

I did the 100K route. Since it was the first year for this ride, I thought there may be a few issues here and there, but overall, I felt there were no major issues. During the ride, I heard a few people complaining during the first 12-15 miles about having to stop for the traffic lights every once in a while. I guess they expect that their $30-$35 entry fee commands them the right to have all of Plano halted while they cruise through on their bikes. It seemed a bit unrealistic to me to expect that, not in such busy suburbs as Plano and Allen are. But, back to the ride. The rest stops were space out more than I am used to, but with such a cool day, it wasn’t an issue to do the 100K in only 2 stops. The volunteers were encouraging riders and even many of the police force were trying to motivate folks. The Windhaven hill at the end was a nice touch. My suggestions for improvement: 1)Need better markings…there was confusion at the 45m/100k split since there were no signs and we had to get right up next to the cop to get the instructions. The paint seems to have faded a bit in spots and many doing the 100k went in 2 separate directions at one point. 2) I’m not sure if there was SAG support, but I didn’t see any on the road. 3) Maybe stagger the starts to help deal with the traffic…the gaps could allow the cops to allow cars through the intersections.

This was the first year for the Wish 100. That's always going to imply that there will be some room for growth. That said, given the scale of this ride through as many urban settings as it took, the number of riders, etc., this rated a 9 on a 10 point scale in my opinion. In fact, I could only find one gripe which was the initial parking fiasco. I arrived to find myself queued up in a mile long line at 10 after 7:00 am. And the line crawled forward at an agonizing pace taking me until about 7:50 before I was parked. There were simply too many inputs to a single entrance. I think I counted 4 different lines of cars getting funneled into and through the entrance to the lot. That was complicated a bit by line hoppers who got out of the queue and rode to the front and then insisted on getting let back in -- which just increased the delays.
The ride organizers acknowledged this at the announcements before the start and promised to get better. I considered this really a minor glitch because it only delayed the rally start by maybe 10 minutes. I think on everything else they had learned from mistakes in other rallies. They had speakers setup going down the lane of bikes at the start so that everyone could actually hear the announcements. They went over the immediate course to tell everyone that there were two sharp turns, to take it easy and watch the wheels in front. They asked the ones who wanted to do the 62 and be fast to go to the very front of the 62 miler batch.
The route was well marked though some intersections that were controlled by the police were odd compared to some that weren't. Being an urban ride, I found myself coming to a full stop for stop lights, etc. a fare number of times. The benefit of that was it broke the groups up fairly early so that it wasn't hundreds all in a single pack. Each group seemed to do a good job in calling out whether they were slowing or stopping and everyone was very courteous.
Couldn’t have asked for a better day, clear and cool with only minor winds, sandwiched between a storm system from the day before and one that would come in later that afternoon. There was a huge hill that snuck on me unaware at about mile 53 or so coming back. It didn't look so bad as I approached the bottom, but I saw a few riders going very slow and swerving side to side trying to ascend and others who hopped off and were walking their bikes up the sidewalk. I think there was a sign painted on the road there at the bottom but if there was I didn't get to read it because the next thing I knew I was going to an easier gear and another and another till I had no more gears to use. I did manage to make it up but was definitely huffing near the summit. Up to that point I had kind of thought that this ride would go down as a pretty flat ride because other than the hill on Los Rios near 14th there hadn't been many long, steep climbs the entire route.
I rolled in with my odometer stating 60 miles on the nose. I'm not sure where the 62 came from -- would be curious to know what others counted. There were volunteers there waiting and cheering as we ran through the finish line, some handing out water/juice right there. The after ride events were really neat as well. Lots of activities, live band, booths and snacks to refuel. This ride took a tremendous amount of coordination and planning to pull everything off. With the initial parking being the only glitch, that's a pretty amazing feat for a first time event like this. Hats off to the organizers, volunteers and traffic help. They all did a super job.
Because the ride was so flat and really paced quickly, one thing that might be nice to add to a future rally would be a true 100 miler. Perhaps they could grab an additional loop up towards 380/Lake Lavon which could probably add 30 miles without much need for traffic control at lots of urban intersections and then they'd only need to find another 10 or so on the west or southern side and there's some loops like that south of Renner.

Congratulations to Bikin' Mike, and his many volunteers, for the inaugural Wish 100. It was a beautiful day for riding and a great cause to ride for. The Make-A-Wish Foundation stated their announced goal of raising enough money to grant 100 wishes was well surpassed. I know Bikin' Mike has been the force behind the Collin Classic for many years, but this has now become the best ride in Collin County because the roads alone are so smooth and fast. They appeared to be plenty of parking, and registration went smoothly. Now, as with any other first year ride, there's going to be some kinks to work out, and these issues were addressed by Mike prior to the start. First, there were police at many intersections, but not all, so we had to stop on several occasions. This is a concern because you have the few riders who don't believe in stopping for red lights. Second, I was going to do the 45 mile route, but the road markings were not placed very well. There were volunteers holding signs for the 10 mile and 30 mile cutoffs, but none for the 45 mile cutoffs. Although I managed to catch the first 45 mile cutoff, I missed the second and ended up doing 57 miles. Didn't stop at any of the rest stops, but they were cheering on all the riders as they went by. Will definitely be back next year, and will recommend to have my riding buddies.

Gail Spann here, I have been a ride director for many Texas rides and my husband I went out to do this ride. We had a grand time and really enjoyed running into friends and volunteers we have known for ages. The minor amount of hills was great, the rest stops were fun and courteous volunteers made it even more so. We enjoyed the roads and the motorists were very congenial.
We enjoyed thanking all the police along the way and the volunteers along the course deserved a big hand too.
I know that the ride HAD to use chalk paint, which is always hard as it has a short life on the road, but there is nothing a ride director can do about that. A map was handed out and we read it if we were unsure, although that was only at one time during the whole ride. I would only wish that the turns were marked a good deal of distance before the actual turn as there were times we had to negotiate crossing three or four lanes in a short amount of time. I am sure this will all be different next year and look forward to participating once again. My hats off to all who made this event happen, thank you!
Cheers!
Gail Spann
Texas Ambassador for the League of American Bicyclists.