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Crazy Kicker - Mineral Wells, TX

October 2016

The 2017 Crazy Kicker was another great ride put on by the good folks of Mineral Wells. I rode the 65 mile course and had a good time. The volunteers were extremely friendly and enthusiastic. I have ridden this rally numerous times and like the challenging hills. As always, Cherry Pie Hill was a blast!
The number of riders seemed a bit lower this year as compared to last. Perhaps the windy weather kept some away. I know the chip/seal roads received some negative comments last year, but one more year of traffic seems to have worn down some of the chip/seal. Therefore, I'd say the roads were smoother than last year.
If you missed this rally, you missed a good ride. Great work Mineral Wells! See you next year.

 

October 17, 2015

The rally went off well executed. I appreciated the email and social media reminders and updates on the status. Typical rides in this area have 100 to 200 feet elevation gains per interval. These are longer rollers that change 200 to 300 feet in elevation. I did not see anyone drop or SAG out. Beautiful fall and Brazos. They must have dropped the burgers and dogs at the end. Roads were a little rough.

Completed the 100 mile route today. Scenery was very nice and the weather was perfect. Ride was well organized. Signs along the route had good placement and I never felt lost or confused. Rest stops were well spaced and the people were very friendly and helpful. Biggest issue with this ride is pavement quality…IT IS HORRIBLE. Chip seal was endless. This will have an effect on parts of your body (hands, wrist, neck, shoulders, posterior). It seriously takes away from the beauty of the ride. I love hills and this route had plenty that were challenging. My goal was to conquer Cherry Pie Hill….feet never touched the ground. I will NOT BE BACK next year simply because of the pavement. Glad I did the ride but it is off the list. This is unfortunate because the Rotary Club which sponsored the event and all the volunteers which gave of their time are appreciated. Chip seal is a fact of life on this route and if you can look past that….enjoy the hills and the scenery.

Couldn't have asked for better weather for this ride. Temps started at 60 degrees for the start and just improved from there. As always, this was a well-run event. I missed hearing Elvis at the start, though. The Amigos offered their usual challenges. Views were spectacular. Observed SAG vehicles throughout the course. Some folks were concerned about the chip seal, but, let's face it, this is Texas and we were riding on rural roads. At least it wasn't fresh chip seal we had to contend with. The volunteers were helpful and friendly and the cookies satisfied this cookie monster's appetite. All in all, it was again an enjoyable tour made even better by the nice weather. I'll be back!

This was my first Crazy kicker and the last one at the same time. The roads are really very rough once you get off of Hwy 180, which takes its toll on your body and all the fun is greatly diminished when you do 100 mile course. It is too bad, because otherwise the course has its challenges and it would be very nice to ride if the roads were in a better shape. The rest stop support is also decent even though on the return loop of 100 mile course we could use one extra stop. Having done all major rides around DFW area I would not recommend you add this ride to your calendar. And if you do, 65 mile or 50 mile course might be a better option.

I have ridden the Krazy Kicker several times and have enjoyed each one. This ride was no exception. It was well-supported and the volunteers were very friendly and enthusiastic. The scenery of Palo Pinto County is super and this ride has plenty of challenging hills. Yes, the chip/seal roads were less than super, but I would rate them on par with the roads near my home. It's Texas, what can you say?
I travel from East Texas to visit family and participate in this ride. For me, it is a nice end-of-season experience!
Thanks to everyone there in Mineral Wells for the wonderful ride and hospitality. I'll be back next year.

October 18, 2014

What a difference a year makes! Temps started in the low 60s (compared to the 30s last year) and just got better. Parking, registration, etc. went smoothly. "Elvis" wasn't here this time and we missed him. The route, as always, was hilly and scenic. You know you're in for a challenge when there is an additional passing lane added for the cars. It was still an enjoyable ride and the homemade cookies were great!

Kiwanis Crazy Kicker 65 mile ride. The best weather I can remember for this ride. Much better attendance with the help of a great day to ride. Pre-registered online and packet pick up took a minute. Plenty of parking around the park. The route is a great one with the 3 Amigos and Cherry Pie hill to challenge your climbing legs. More new chip seal on the route this year on the back roads. The ride support seemed better than last year. I didn't see any substantial food at the finish. I'll continue to support this ride in the future.

I am honestly shocked at all the great reviews of this ride. I signed up for it was a result but was sorely disappointed. This ride is one of the few rides that have made my "do not repeat" list. First the good. Packet pick up was easy and there was ample parking. Loved that the t-shirts were long-sleeved. The scenery was beautiful, but the route is much better driven than ridden. And that brings me to the bad. The route had the worst chip seal I've ever ridden. I rode the 102 mile route and there was approximately 75 miles of HORRIBLE chip seal, including a long stretch (around 10 or so miles) that was freshly done. OMG, it was awful! My hands went numb more times than I can count. As the routes met up quite often, many on the long route went short as a result. I didn't notice any SAG at all along the route, though I was told there was some. The signage was not the best. One intersection for the long route wasn't marked at all. It showed a sign for 2 of the short routes to turn either left or right. So I went straight, right into a dead end street a few blocks ahead. Rest stops were not spaced well. This was a truly miserable day on the bike. I usually finish a hundred in under 6 hours and this took well over an hour extra due to the horrible road conditions. Do this one to check off Cherry Pie Hill off your infamous named-hills list (it was fairly challenging mostly because it was really long) if you must, but otherwise, I definitely would not recommend this ride.

October 19, 2013

What a great day and ride! Temps started in low 40s and rose mid 60 with sunshine moderate wind. Rode the 100 mile route and it did not dissapoint. Had plenty of hills with good roads and scenery. They even had hamburgers at the finish for us folks that did not finish till after4 p.m. Will be back to ride this one again. Only wish they could include the 3 amigos in the 100 along with cherry pie hill!

This is a wonderful little rally. The temps were pretty cold with the North wind, but the sun was out and it warmed up pretty quick. I did the 65 mile; the only negative is all the rough roads, even the 3 amigos road had been repaved to chip-seal! On the back side heading towards Cherry Pie hills the roads are just old and rough. But with the great scenery, the homemade cookies, the hamburgers and the really nice volunteers this is a great rally, one that I'd do again for sure!

It was a great day for a ride. Temps were a little cool at the start (37 degrees on my car thermometer when I arrived). There was a brisk breeze that magnified the cool at first. It warmed up, though, as the ride progressed and was very comfortable at the end. Elvis was out there in all his glory belting out the songs and giving things a party atmosphere before the start. The route itself was fine – plenty of hills and grades offset by some nice downhill swoops. You can't beat the West Texas scenery. I saw a sign saying "watch out for the cow patties" so I stayed vigilant. Luckily, I had no close encounters. As you can probably guess, this was an enjoyable ride.

I did the 65 mile course (a little over 67). It was very cold at the start and warmed up over the day. This course had the 3 Amigos and Cherry Pie Hill. Quite a bit of long climbs. They were not crazy steep, just long in duration. It took me a little over 12 minutes to summit Cherry Pie, but I never came out of the saddle. Great rest stops that were well spaced. The people were wonderful. There was still food at the finish even for the 100 miler folks. Elvis was in great voice in the morning at the start. The only issues I had were some of the chip seal roads had a bunch of gravel on them and the high speed vehicles passing us would kick up the gravel at you. I got hit numerous times by bits of rock. I suppose that's the price of doing the 3 Amigos. There were several beautiful roads we were on where we didn't see a car for miles. Very scenic. Would definitely do it again. The registration fee was reasonable and the online was left open longer than most. Great job!

Kiwanis Crazy Kicker 65 (actually nearly 67) mile ride. The Kicker returned after a year off due to scheduling conflicts with other rides. Certainly glad it's back. The turnout was fairly light with maybe 150 riders. The cool temperatures probably kept some away as it was around 40 degrees at the start. Thankfully, they moved the start time to 8:30 this year. Registered online and packet pickup only took a couple of minutes. Restroom facilities seemed ok for the turn out. The ride maps were upgraded and improved. The 65 mile route was the same as in the past. Unfortunately the 3 Amigos have fallen victim to Texas chip and seal. No intersection support this year at the turn on to route 254. Generally, not a lot of traffic support needed but the turns onto route 180 probably should have some sort of support. After all these years, I still can't believe they don't have somebody at the turn across west bound 180 at the finish. Riders and cars cannot see each other at that intersection, a mistake by a rider could be fatal there. I would prefer the police support be moved from the east bound side to the west bound side. Post ride there were hamburgers and snacks for the riders. The challenging route with the 3 Amigos and Cherry Pie Hill make this an attractive ride, but improvements could be made in ride support.Kiwanis Crazy Kicker 65 (actually nearly 67) mile ride. The Kicker returned after a year off due to scheduling conflicts with other rides. Certainly glad it's back. The turnout was fairly light with maybe 150 riders. The cool temperatures probably kept some away as it was around 40 degrees at the start. Thankfully, they moved the start time to 8:30 this year. Registered online and packet pickup only took a couple of minutes. Restroom facilities seemed ok for the turn out. The ride maps were upgraded and improved. The 65 mile route was the same as in the past. Unfortunately the 3 Amigos have fallen victim to Texas chip and seal. No intersection support this year at the turn on to route 254. Generally, not a lot of traffic support needed but the turns onto route 180 probably should have some sort of support. After all these years, I still can't believe they don't have somebody at the turn across west bound 180 at the finish. Riders and cars cannot see each other at that intersection, a mistake by a rider could be fatal there. I would prefer the police support be moved from the east bound side to the west bound side. Post ride there were hamburgers and snacks for the riders. The challenging route with the 3 Amigos and Cherry Pie Hill make this an attractive ride, but improvements could be made in ride support.

October 15, 2011

Another great ride around the Possum Kingdom area. I did the 100 miles and the rest stops were good as usual with great people staffing them. Only complaint is they talk about the great burgers and having them available 12 – 3. Well I finished at 2:30 and the last few hot dogs were being given out with the grill already clean. The ride organizers need to realize the 100 mile route takes a while and we would like to eat too! Subway got my business. I'll be back next year especially since I heard they may start at 9 instead of 8. Ride weather at the start this year was great, but past years have been a little cold. Moving to 9 will help a lot if the weather returns to normal next year.

I rode the Kiwanis Crazy Kicker 65 mile ride. The third year in a row I've ridden this, and the length is just under 67 miles, every year. Generally well organized with a band and burgers etc. afterwards. The course is challenging with Cherry Pie Hill being the main attraction. [rant on] As opposed to the previous years, someone decided to move all (not some, but all) the 'I Survived Cherry Pie Hill' pins (which is one of the fun things they do on this ride) to the last rest stop, so those of us that did not stop at that rest stop could not get a pin at the finish, unless we drove the 11 miles west (away from the direction home, so 22 miles round trip) and pick it up. If they are going to give the pins out on the course they need to be at the top of Cherry Pie Hill, like at 'The Wall' in Paluxy, or at least divide them between the rest stop and the finish. [rant off] The maps for the ride are antiquated, with the technology such as mapmyride.com, no excuse for the photo copied map they are using. No escort to lead out the race for any amount of time. 8am start time makes it quite brisk (warmer this year, but still in the 50's), riders have to either decide to brave the cold early or swelter later. Last concern is a safety issue, at the finish they have police on the east bound side of 180 stopping traffic so riders can turn left and cross traffic, then when you get to the west bound side of 180 there is zero traffic support. While all riders need to obey the traffic laws that will be a pretty hollow excuse when someone incorrectly assumes traffic is being stopped on the west bound side as well and gets hurt. Overall the organizers do a decent job, but if not for the lure of Cherry Pie Hill this ride falls behind the organization and support we see at other rides in the DFW area (for perspective I've ridden in 13 of the DFW charity rides this year).

Kiwanis Crazy Kicker 100K. This was the third year for this 500 rider event and my first time to ride this rally. I confirmed my decision to ride the 100K (66.69 miles) instead of the 100 miles after I received the post card reminder with the photo. The photo was of the 3 Amigos that started at 2 miles from the start and continued for 8 miles. Included in that was the smoothest and longest down hill ride every. From there I caught myself singing in my head "Spinning Wheels." We rode our painted ponies for another 40 miles until we arrived at a sign that said Cherry Pie Hill. Turned out that point was a teaser that caused me to unwittingly say "Is that all you got?" The next 2 miles rose 350 feet, I did not sing or hum, I just dropped it into low gear and peddled. The last 12 miles from Palo Pinto was acceptable and smooth along a wide asphalt shoulder with large speeding vehicles passing frequently. Registration, food, scenery, signage, rest stops and traffic all great. If you ride it once you will come back. Add an extra porta-potty at the start, some people have driven 1 or 2 hours and the lines were extremely long.

100 mile ride under good weather conditions with moderate wind. Rode a recumbent. Course marked fairly well. I stopped twice. The Lone Camp stop was excellent. Well stocked at the 75 mile point in the century. Good traffic control at critical areas for the longer distance rides. I have ridden the Kicker in the past and it continues to be an excellent ride. The rest stop supplies have improved over the years. How about saving some food for the century riders? I finished well before 3pm and they had run out of hamburgers, etc. This is an A+ ride. One of the few organized centuries around. Back in the seventies every ride had a 100 miler so I really appreciate the fact they have kept it in this event. Oh, I rode the 65 miler 5 years ago on a fixed gear. What was I thinking?

Cherry Pie Hill makes the ride. Looking forward to that challenge next year. Rode the 50 mile course. Just enough elevation changes to keep it interesting but not exhausting by the time Cherry Pie came up. Where there was traffic there was plenty of shoulder to ride. Minimal traffic on the narrower roads. Liked the 8 am start with the cooler temperature. Great rest stop at Lone Camp VFD station. The burgers were awesome. Overall great hospitality from the volunteers.

A beautiful morning in Mineral Wells and a nice turnout for the Crazy Kicker. Pre-registered packet pickup went reasonably fast. Elvis was singing pre-ride and the cannon shot start signal could probably be heard for miles in the cool, crisp air. It's been a couple years since I did the 37-mile route which doesn't include Cherry Pie Hill; but, there were enough other hills to make up for it. Road surfaces were good to excellent with a new smooth surface on the north part of Rte 4 and new smooth asphalt out of Palo Pinto eastward on Hwy 180 until crossing the Brazos. Always enjoy the homemade cookies at the rest stops; as usual, the Huzzies were on hand at the Palo Pinto rest stop to offer you a lei. Hamburgers and cold drinks were available post-ride. Things I noticed that could be improved - should have a couple more porta-potties at start and at rest stop 1. Police control of traffic at end of ride where we turn left off of Hwy 180 was less than stellar. Officers were in white T-shirts with POLICE on front but from a distance it just looked like some guy in a white T-shirt running onto the road. The road was coned off for cyclists but there was no car with flashing lights, no sign alerting drivers to be prepared to stop ahead, and the officers didn't have a hand held stop sign. I'm sure many drivers didn't know what they were supposed to do until pretty late. I very much enjoyed the ride and hope to be back next year.

Mineral Wells. Ride has some great country, cookies, hills, music, and volunteers. However it fails miserably in some key areas. If there were sag wagons, I didn't see one all day. No sign of a bike shop truck and the great rest stops were not all well placed. No spray paint on the pavement. Why not put Elvis to work on the important things and let him sing in the shower at home. I also don't like to see time limits on the course hours. Grade C+ and could be A+ with over 1000 riders.

Outstanding ride. Just about perfect. Excellent road conditions. Excellent registration/rest stops/post ride, etc. Just terrific! Beautiful scenery. Challenging hills. Can't say enough good things about this ride!

CON: I agree with the complaint about the lack of direction or protection on the final left-hand turn back into the park, with west bound traffic driving with absolutely no sign of a bike race ahead. I also had to find someone to ask if this was the finish because there was no way to tell. PRO: The t-shirt and back bag was awesome and the hills on the short distance were plenty challenging for a beginner.

October 16, 2010

My #1 Must Do Ride Of The Entire Year. Hands down the best ride of the year. Beautiful country and scenery thru-out the entire ride. Very light traffic on the country roads, no gravel at any corners, no road kill anywhere. This ride will challenge you and to me that is what it is all about. I did the 100 mile route and it did not disappoint in any way. Rest stops had plenty of goodies, signage was spot on, could not ask for more friendly and motivated group that puts this on. Plenty of sag wagons if you needed it. Weather was great, 50 degrees at ride time and the winds stayed down pretty much the whole day. 8 to 10 mph on the way back in to the park. I don't think I have had a better hamburger than I had at this rally at the end. They had hot dogs too all cooked on the grill. I will obviously be doing this ride again and again. Keep up the good work.

This was my first time to ride the Crazy Kicker and I did the 50 mile route. What a super ride! The course was well-marked and I saw lots of SAG. The volunteers were very friendly and enthusiastic. Great homemade cookies, fruit, etc. at the rest stops. Yes, a little chip/seal, but what area does not have this? I would say the roads were just fine—no complaints here. And, Cherry Pie Hill was a blast! The terrain in Palo Pinto County is lot different than the flat-land in my county.
My family and I came Friday and spent the night. Mineral Wells is a nice town. Hat’s off to the Chamber of Commerce staffer who stayed late to clarify early packet pickup. Thanks for your directions!
Super scenery, super volunteers, super ride. I will definitely be back! If you have not ridden this ride, you should give it a try. One of my favorites!

This is a terrific rally. The volunteers are fantastic, the routes are challenging with some long climbs and fun descents, and the scenery is awesome in places. Roads are good, light traffic or super-wide shoulder. There is one lengthy section on the 50 mile+ routes that is a little rough with old chipseal - you just accept it and push through, it's part of what the course throws at you. It's just what good biking in Texas is about, and you are missing out on some fun if you skip this rally. It is certainly worth the early rise and drive, which brings me to the first of two issues I have: The start time should be moved to 8:30 or 9:00. 30 minutes after sunrise is just too early of a start in mid-October for a rally that is about 1.5 hours from downtown Dallas. I honestly think it would help turnout. 9:00 am might be a little too late to start a 100-miler, which is why 8:30 would be a great compromise. The second issue regards signs and course marking. Though the major intersections are manned, the course markings could be really improved. Brighter signs, a little bigger. I would describe the course markings as barely adequate. Still, a rally I never miss. Love the long-sleeve tees, and the volunteers are great. Don't miss it!

 

October 17, 2009

Mineral Wells Crazy Kicker. Rode 37 mile route. Best ride ever, loved the hills. The hills did make me sweat even though the temp was in the low 50's starting out. Beautiful day, tons of sunshine. Parking was easy and fast in / out. Nice starting on time. I would like it to be moved to 9am instead of 8. I am very pleased it had moved up a couple of weeks on the Calendar. This helped with weather. It was terrific and not any wind this year. Great rest stops, very friendly, lots of SAG. SAG was counting heads nicely - not to miss anyone lagging behind. Roads on HWY 4 were a little rough - chip and seal but worn down over many areas. HWY 337 was smooth and clear, freshly paved this year. Loved riding on this part of ride. Will look forward to riding next year. Great improvements with Calendar.

Mineral Wells Crazy Kicker. I did the 50 mile route. My only negative comment is that there needs to be more signs along the route to let you know you are going the right direction. I was a solo rider for a 16 mile stretch. A sign here and there would have been nice. The positive aspects of the ride were the volunteers at the beginning, rest stops and at the end. What a great day. A big thank you to a cyclist whose encouragement was a great asset climbing up Cherry Pie Hill. I was about to start the walk before you came along. I will be back next year for the 65 mile route.

This is officially my favorite and # 1 ride of the entire year. I have ridden in 34 rallies this year and this one beats them all. You just have to experience it to understand. Scenery, country, folks and everything makes this one awesome ride. This ride will challenge you personally and the reward is of the utmost. I rode the 100 mile route again this year. Finished with a 19.2 average. Wind was 5 to 10 mph and 3800 feet of climbing. Nice sunny day. They moved this ride from its originally scheduled date for there wound up being 6 or 7 other ride conflicting. Thanks so much for doing that for I would have ridden this one anyways no matter what. Again this year I will look forward to this ride the next year. Thanks. J

October 18, 2008

All in all a great experience. I rode the 100 mile loop. This is the best terrain for a bike rally withing reasonable driving distance of the metroplex. A couple of things, one of which cannot be controlled by the coordinators. Although I didn't use any of them, the first rest stop on the 100 mile had a sign indicating the 100 mile route needed to turn right. After riding for approx. 1/4 mile we found out it wasn't anything other than a rest stop, not part of the route. Maybe next year for all the new riders not wanting to stop have a sign that says "rest stop turn right, 100 mile straight." It kinda ruined the rythm we had going. This cannot be controlled, but TXDOT laid down a lot of new large aggregate chip seal. Hopefully next year this will be worn down so everyone's fillings won't be jarred loose. On the positive side, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, the traffic is minimal and the hills are legbreakers. Saw a few walking up Cherry Pie Hill. Don't know if this is possible, but I think the turnout would increase dramatically if this ride was done earlier in the year.

Now about crazy kicker:
I rode this last year, I rode it this year, I'll be back next year. You simply WILL NOT find a ride with better scenery! What a beautiful day, great temps, great course, nice roads. The staff manning the rest stops were over the top. Very kind and caring....we really appreciate the positive attitudes we get from the rest stop people. Frankly, I wish the ride had more participants...I hope the ride continues forever! Hills Hills Hills...this course is for not for the weak!! Loved every minute of it. End of discussion!!

What an awesome ride again this year. Could not ask for a better day or ride. Everyone is so friendly and supportive. Very well organized as always, nicely stocked rest stops with home made cookies, pickles, sports drink, water, bananas, oranges and ice. I always look forward to the rest stop at mile 30. It is at the highest point at Possum Kingdom lake and you can see for miles and miles. I really takes your breath away and gives you a certain energy that is hard to describe. I did the 100 mile route and love the challenge. I love the buttons at the end for climbing Cherry Pie hill. It your could bring back the miniature trophies you had last year at mile 70 after climbing Cherry Pie Hill that would be awesome. I will treasure the little trophy I received in 2007 forever. I have rode 38 rallies this year and like every one this year the ride count was down. As soon as we get a democrat in office this year things will be back to normal next year with the economy and more riders will be attending all rallies. Thanks everyone for an awesome ride and cant wait till next year. Keep up the good work. J

This is the second year for me on this ride.... And the ride is well done IMO....the organization is great, the people were nice and helpful, easy registration, the homemade cookies are incredible, etc. I did the 100 mile route, which I think very few did. I saw sag support around, good markings on the route, reststops were well stocked, pretty scenry, great climbs and at the end lots of homemade cookies to choose from. The only complaint I have were the roads ( I know nothing you can really do) but on the 100, probaby 70 miles were chip n'seal, yuk... Next year I think I'll do the 66, and just eat less cookies!!

I rode the 65 mile route. You will be hard pressed to find a more scenic bike ride in this area. And whoever they had in charge of the weather really out did themselves. Could not have asked for a better day to ride. If you do this ride, you had better bring your climbing legs, because there's not a lot of flat on this one. Your either going up the side of one hill, or down the side of the other. Cherry Pie Hill was great. The roads, for the most part, were OK. You started out on about 13 miles of glassy smooth ashfault. After that, it was pretty much chip and seal, until you got back to Mineral Wells and back on the ashfault. A lot of the chip and seal was well worn, so it that bad at all. The volunteers and rest stops were great. Good cookies. The only suggestion that I would make, would be to move the start time back to 9:00am, instead of 8:00am. I'm thinking that they would get a better turnout from the Dallas, Plano, McKinney area if they started a little later. I drove over from McKinney, and to get there for a 8:00am start, I had to leave my house at 5:30am.

Possibly the most beautiful ride in Texas. I highly recommend this one!

October, 2007

Saturday ride was a good challenge, started out to do the 100 mile and due to high winds had to detour to 85 miles, still a great ride, good rest stops and friendly people. A little over 400 riders, they mostly did the shorter routes. I would rate this as difficult because of the hills!!!!!!!!!!!! And the wind you rode against for the first 30 miles. The scenery was beautiful. I have only two complaint’s, I never saw a SAG vehicle until the last 15 miles. A female rider caught a ride with a stranger to get back. And at the second rest area there was two very young Blue healer puppies approximately 3 months old abandoned. I asked the guy if he was going to take them into town so the Humane society could pick them up, he said no! I felt that was only right so they would have a chance at survival, considering we were 30 miles away from town. Around 7 riders were advised to cut the ride short because they were not going to have any body at the last rest stop since it was taking so long due to the wind. A great last ride for the season. I should sore for days!

I did the 65 mile ride which presented a challenging course with lots of hills and brutal winds.
Road conditions were less than perfect, with a long stretch of highway (HWY 337 I think) that had miles and miles of gravel-covered shoulder bordered by freshly paved highway that had a sharp drop to the shoulder. It was rough to ride the gravel and VERY dangerous to attempt any passes. At least one woman suffered some really nasty injuries on that treacherous stretch.
Rest stops were generally well stocked with friendly help and homemade cookies (awesome!), but SAG vehicles were few and far between. Also, a couple of left-hand turns across the highways lacked any support at all. I would do the ride again because it presents a great challenge late into the season, but would recommend that the promoters beef up police and SAG support. For my $30 entry, I look for more attention to safety.

This was my first time to do this ride and I absolutely loved it! The scenery was beautiful! Well marked roads and friendly people. I thought Cherry Pie Hill was great but, then again I like hills. It's mostly just long. I wish I had a hill like this close to where I live. My only suggestion would be to start at 9:00 instead of 8:00 since it was pretty darn cold for the first hour. I can't wait to do the ride again next year!

Another well organized ride. Good support, traffic control, and roads. I rode the century but cut in at Palo Pinto to make it an 85 mile ride. The ride was well attended. Bigger crowd than last year - this ride deserves the support. One stop was short on food (prior to Cherry Pie Hill). No bananas and only pickles and orange slices. However, multiple locations with plenty of water - mini stops. Overall the roads were very good. No dogs. Between this ride and the Paluxy Pedal we have two great rides this time of year. Oh, the t-shirts are great and they had all the sizes.

Great course, great hospitality, great ride. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will be back again next year.

Did the 100 miles and wish I had listened to the wiser, more experienced riders who opted for the lesser mileage. I had read the charts and studied the course, but never considered the wind. Big mistake. Apart from the wind, the ride was excellent. The route was great, traffic low, scenery fantastic, rest-stops entertaining, and the hills were a great challenge. The single factor that made this a ride I wish I hadn’t done was the wind. Next year I will not pre-register…opting to wait until the last minute and find out what he wind is expected to do. After Saturday I would not consider anything over 35 miles if the wind is going to be over 5 mph. One minor complaint and a major praise… at the 90 mile point in Graford – placing the rest stop in the gravel parking lot was a bad idea. I was too tired and to unstable to try and negotiate the gravel to get in there and replenish my water for the last leg against the wind. As I was turning I asked the volunteers at the corner if they had any water – they pointed to the gravel rest stop – so I passed it and made the turn. I had not gone over 1 mile when the truck of volunteers, from the turn, stopped in front of me and a lady jumped out and ran toward me with a bottle of ice cold Ozarka water. That was the single most impressive act I have experienced from a ride volunteer. Thanks guys. Given the rate I was deteriorating I doubt I could have made the last 10 dry… Thank you!

My third year riding the 100 miles at the Crazy Kicker and I’ll be back next year for the challenge it always promises, even though the rest stops and SAG support don’t match up with most rides. The wind from the South picked up well above the forecast and created a few slow stretches of road but also some fast northbound speeds. The wind made the last 13 miles from Graford to the finish a real gut check, especially with the huge hill at the 95 mile point. By the way, the reviewer that pointed out the volunteers with the Ozarka water...they were not ride volunteers but was my friends and wife who enjoy helping others and provide personal rest stops for me. When they saw the rider pass up the poorly located rest stop, they ensured he got some fluids to make it in. So for the ride organizers, please put that 87 mile rest stop out away from all the gravel next year…I don’t know why you moved it away from where it was when we passed it on the way out.

What a great ride. I started out doing the 65 mile and enjoyed every minute of it. I actually enjoyed cherry pie hill..the hill is fed to you in segments without you being able to see the top of the hill, thus not "psyching" you out as you are going up it. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking! The wind was brutal though: You feel like you are cooking right along, but don't look at your speedometer...only 12 mph!
bad experience: at mile 7.6 during the steep downslope of hwy 337 the lady about 30 yards in front of me took a serious spill. hwy 337 is new and the shoulder is still old, so there was a distinct 3-4 inch ledge that her front tire hit, therefore causing MAJOR wobbling. She took a hard fall and slid at least 40 ft, but the worst part of it was her broken femur bone. Thank GOD for the EMT right behind me that comforted her and for my cell service to call an ambulance for her. Everyone..lesson learned: if you aren't comfortable with your speed and/or the road surface..slow down-there will always be a hill or flat to make up the lost time.
I liked the rest stops-one of them even had these kids that would hold your bike up for you! They were all very friendly people. Thank you!

I’ll add my two cents about this ride. I did the 67-mile route, which was also called 60 miles, 100K, and 65 miles. I really liked the terrain; good mix of flat, rolling, and hilly. 49-degree temp at the start made the first hour or so very pleasant. The chip/seal was pretty bad, but fortunately there were only a few miles of it – I’d actually say better than most North Texas rides. I nearly crashed on a descent from one of the “three amigos” when I passed a group of riders by climbing off the shoulder onto the highway. An earlier poster mentioned the step-up; I was stupid enough to jump it in a tuck. I spent the rest of the three amigos riding in the gravel, which wasn’t all that bad. I’d gripe about the wind, but it was pretty typical for North Texas – I’m used to it by now. The folks at the rest stops were particularly friendly, and helpful in describing what was coming up the next few miles. I must have eaten 10 homemade cookies – they were excellent! I thought the course was superbly marked – never came close to making a wrong turn. All-in-all a great ride! If this ride were in June, 20 miles closer to Fort Worth, it would attract a couple thousand people – of course then it wouldn’t be as hilly, the roads wouldn’t be as good, and it would be hot. I’ll be back next year for sure!

Worst ride ever! First time, Last time. This was the last ride of the season for me, after riding in about ten other organized rides this year. The rest stops were pitiful, most had run out of food by the time the longer routes passed through them. SAG for this ride was also less than impressive, we didn’t see any SAG vehicles for the first 30 miles and while changing a flat tire on HWY 180, the SAG vehicle that stopped to see if we needed any help looked as if we were speaking a foreign language when we asked for a bicycle pump. Cherry Pie Hill lived up to the hype, but still not enough to bring me back again.

I love this ride. I have done it 4 straight years and will keep going back. I read some of these reviews and emailed the organizer to get some feedback on them. It turns out there were 2 more sag wagons that were scheduled to show but didn't. She said she is going to get 2 more than she needs for next year's ride and just have extras then and they will all carry a full sized pump! I rode the 50 mile route, so I didn't get to see the fresh paved section of 337, but that was unfortunately out of anyone's control but should be all done and beautiful for next year. I guess I hit the rest stops early enough that they were pretty well stocked. Each year she said her ride has grown (which is great for the kids the Kiwanis help support), but this makes it hard for her to estimate the supplies. I suggested she just double what she did this year and then give any leftovers to some local charity or something. All in all, the ride gets bigger each year and continues to be a great fun and incredible challenge to wind down my season. I love it out there!!!

October 21, 2006

Mineral Wells - Krazy Kicker. I rode the 65 mile route on fixed gear. 42/17 gearing. Another great autumn ride. Excellent stops, great directions, started on time. Plenty of climbing including Cherry Pie Hill around the 50 mile mark of the 65 mile ride A test on fixed gear but doable with careful pacing. I rate the difficulty 7.5/10 for fixed gear. Would have loved the downhills with a geared bike. Will ride this again.

I have ridden in 15 charity rides around the metroplex and this is the toughest route in metroplex. Not very many riders, I would estimate 200 riders. The 100K route is very challenging - a lot hills that includes Cherry Point Hill, which starts out 9% - 10% grade, then averages out to 6% - 7% grade for a mile. There were several good size hills that you must conquer before you get to Cherry Hill. The scenery was awesome and roads for the most part are chip-seal. The car traffic was considered light for the most part and the majority of the route stayed on back roads. The only "major" road we were on was Hi-way 180, but the shoulders were wide, although there was a lot of debris. My only compliant was the lack of traffic control when we were riding back into Mineral Wells. You had to cross 4 lanes of traffic that was going over 50 MPH. The route was well marked; however, there were a couple of spots that could have used signs. There should be sign at all road intersection. This was a good ride and if you want a challenge, then this is the ride for you - better have your climbing legs with you. below is the terrain profile off of my GPS for this ride. As a note Cherry Point Hill starts around mile 50.

Great ride – beautiful scenery, plenty of sag, minimal traffic, great rest stops, lots of challenging hills, long sleeve t-shirts, homemade cookies, great (& fun) signage, friendly volunteers. Some chip seal and some highway riding but the shoulders are wide. This is one not to be missed – one of my favorites of the year!

Outstanding. One the two best rides in North Texas. Glen Rose being the other. Plenty of distance and hills for the most demanding. Best cookies and a long sleeve shirt! Great scenery. This ride should draw as many riders as any.

First of all, let me say that it is entirely my fault that I injured myself at this ride. In the first quarter of a mile, I fractured my fibula in two places, blew out my ACL completely and tore my miniscae in my knee. I had knee surgery on 11/10 and am recovering pretty well now.
The day of the Kiwanis Crazy Kicker Ride I arrived about twenty minutes late (my fault) to do the 100 mile route. I had done almost every Saturday ride this Summer including HHH up to that point, so I had some experience. I had the map for the 100 mile route, the only problem I had was that the map did not show our starting location and I wanted to be sure I was going in the right direction. Since I was late, there were no other riders to follow (again, my fault). I didn't want to get started off in the wrong direction on a long ride in the back country of Mineral Wells.
I decided to ride back to the registration table going over the park grass instead of the road. Big mistake. The grass was wet with dew, which I hadn't expected. The front wheel slipped out from under me. I put out my leg to stop the fall and it slipped also, since I had road shoes on with only small cleats. My ankle and knee both turned inward with my weight on top.
Anyway, having paid some dues, I just wanted to make a few suggestions that there be signs put up or arrows spray painted on the ground as to which way to go, especially starting out when it is confusing.
Again, I take all blame for my severe injuries, but a few more signs or some spray painted arrows on the road next time would help. Even a more detailed map, one that showed the starting point on it, would have made my broken leg and torn ACL injuries less likely.
Thanks for Bicycle Stuff and thanks to the wonderful volunteer and rider community out there! You all are great. I just regret that I won't be biking with you at all for another six months! =]

 

October 2005

One of the two best rides of the year. Scenic routes and low traffic.

When it comes to scenery, vehicle free roads and killer hills, this might be the ride of the year. There were perhaps 200 riders this year, maybe 250 which seemed to take the organizers by surprise as they did not have numbers for at least 75 of us that did the same day registration. It's too bad this ride is not more heavily attended as a late season ride. It is a really great venue. I did the 65 mile route which became 71 miles when I made a wrong turn on to the 100m route vs. the 100k route. Rest stops were pretty well stocked with most having homemade cookies. The people were very friendly. There was not a lot of police support but the roads didn't warrant it. The highlight of this ride, is Cherry Pie Hill (so named by previous year cyclists). It's at mile 50 of the 65 mile route and it's a one mile hill at 8% grade (give or take a % point). The road winds around so you never know when the climb is going to end. On a two ring bike, this thing was a challenge. I passed many a walking cyclists (who in turn passed me later when I burned out). Come on out for this ride in 2006, you'll love it!

I rode the 2005 Mineral Wells Krazy Kicker and had a great time. The terrain was mixed and Cherry Pie Hill was a nice, short, somewhat steep climb. The scenery is much like the Hill Country and very pretty in the fall. More than anything else, I found the hospitality to be genuinely warm and friendly. Who else would bake 90 dozen home made cookies for less than 300 riders? This ride is at the top of my list.

It was a perfect day for a ride through the country side. The morning started out very cool, refreshingly cool. The wind was calm and that was a good thing with the temperature in the low 60's to upper 50's. At sign in they were almost out of everything. No shirts, nothing but a number (some of the riders did not get a number) and if you got a number there were no safety pins to attach it to yourself.
About 8:30 we could just barley hear the person up front trying to tell up something but we in the middle of the pack could not hear any details. Without any warning a Ka-boom equal to the cannon shot at the Hotter n Hell ride went off and most everyone I saw ducked (including me) not knowing what just exploded. Several car alarms went off and the ride was underway. I never did see where the cannon was located but everyone in Minerals Wells heard the start of the ride.
I have ridden from this area before and knew the hills would be tough. I choose to ride the 50 mile route because of the hills. The rest stops were well prepared and had some of the best homemade cookies of any ride. I do not remember seeing and store bought cookies at any of the rest stops and I stopped at all of the rest stops on the 50 mile ride. All workers at the rest stops have never met a stranger in their life. They were so friendly and helpful.
I have heard of the famous hill on this ride "Cherry Pie Hill" (I did not ask why that name stuck). The hill that drops you into the Brazos River Valley should be called Cherry Pudding according to my friend Buddy because it is steep and only has one turn close to the top. Just coasting we reached speeds of 37 to 40 MPH in our group. The drop into the valley was only a shadow of the hill to come called "Cherry Pie Hill".
After leaving the third rest stop (with plenty of homemade cookies) the hill was just ahead. From the creek to the top of the hill was aprox. 375 ft. of climb. The grade was not as steep as "The Wall" of the Glen Rose ride but the road just went on and on. The whole climb was almost two miles long but the really steep part was just over one mile long. At the steepest corner there was a sign that says "It is OK to walk" At that time my cadence was only 40 per min. but walking just does not seem like the right thing to do. I was glad to get this one hill behind me. If I had to choose Cherry Pie Hill vs The Wall, I would ride Cherry Pie Hills 3 times before I would ride The Wall once. 
In the 50 mile route there were over 2000 ft. of climb so the longer rides would have much more. At the end of the ride there were more great cookies and a few water bottle someone found in their trunk so I got a souvenir but I would rather have a T-shirt to wear, maybe next year. Bottom line is I will be back next year to enjoy the beautiful countryside and friendly people. David in Azle ( I hope it is not to long)

 

October 9, 2004

If you have never ridden in Palo Pinto county before, one word: Hills. There are hills, hills and more hills. I rode the 100k (well around 100k) and found it to be plenty challenging. This was an excellent hill course. The first 10 miles were a roller coaster. Absolutely fabulous downhills awaited after each summit. The roads on this course were in pretty good shape albeit, some had chip 'n seal. It would have been nice to see a larger turnout but with several rides in the area and most riders moving in to the off season, I guess the turnout was fair. The weather was dry with light cloud cover and a breeze from the north about 10 mph which was pretty much 'in your face' on the road back to town. After handling Cherry Pie Hill, that was a little more than I wanted. The 100k course comes in a little long. Somewhere between 66 and 68 miles total. I really don't mind how long it is....just tell us it's 66 miles if it's 66 miles. I couldn't really comment on the rest stops because I didn't stop. The mug they gave you at the end of the ride was a nice touch. Too bad the COOKIE MONSTERS ravaged the refreshment stand at the end though. Some crackers or something would have been nice. 

The turnout was fairly low--too bad because the weather was great! Mostly cloudy, no rain, a 10 mph wind and a high in the mid 70's. Evidently this is only their second year and it showed--I got there reasonably early and they were already completely out of the 100m and 100k route maps. They did give me a water bottle which was good. Who needs another t-shirt? I wish more rallies would give out socks like they did in Lancaster this year. I can always use more socks.
The Kicker in this ride is apparently the cannon shot fired to start the event--but at 8:45, 15 minutes after the scheduled start time they told us he had slept in so no cannon! The start was lame. First they let off the 100m. Then, about 3 minutes later they finally let the 100k group go--what, were they afraid we'd run 'em over?
Aside from these minor flaws, it was a great ride. It wasn't well marked in terms of arrows on the highway or signs along the way but they were volunteers at every major turn. The rest stops were well stocked with water, Gatorade, bananas, oranges and sometimes cookies. The volunteers were friendly. I especially appreciated the "Huzzies" in Palo Pinto with their display of Elvis and music from the King himself in the background. The route was excellent--some chip and seal but nothing too rough and good wide shoulders on the more heavily traveled roads. Cherry Pie Hill is a hoot--a little more than a mile in which you gain 1100 feet. The steepest parts, according to the profile of my Topo 5.0 map are a 14% grade with much of it at 12%. It's definitely a hill to test yourself against. I learned that a couple on a tandem who passed me on the hill had also done it yesterday and were going to do it again tomorrow!!!
Thanks Mineral Wells Kiwanis and keep up the good work. While you're at it, print a few more maps and wake up that cannon guy. I'm sure it would be a kick!

 

October 11, 2003

I think this used to be called Crazy Water, but now it is Crazy Kicker. I read the "latest" reviews you had, but they were for the year 2000. I always look for the highest ride number and it was about 350, so the ride has grown. The volunteers are fabulous, and the ride was pretty good, too. I ran into some ground fog early in the ride and turned on my rear blinker for safety. The only complaint I would have about this ride would be that the signage needs to be better; printing on a white poster board with a ball point pen just isn't easy to read! There are some rolling hills, but only one "big" hill that tests your mettle. At the following rest stop, the volunteers give you a special pin for your shirt if you can conquer Cherry Pie Hill. That was a nice touch. I'll be back, if only to see if Cherry Pie Hill is easier next time.

This was a good, challenging ride and scenic. Small turnout but well run. Rest stops about 15 miles apart were well stocked and had friendly volunteers. The course was challenging but fun. Some long climbs and long descents, lots of rolling hills. The roads were mostly pretty good, 377 had some traffic but wide smooth shoulders. Some two lane roads with no shoulder but very light traffic. I think this course gets regular cyclist use, the drivers were courteous. Route well marked with signs and painted arrows. I will be back for this one, the course is great.