Mission to Mission Trails
San Antonio, Texas
First let me thank the volunteers that came out in the rain to make this ride possible. Everyone was very friendly and accommodating. There was a volunteer at almost every turn directing traffic unlike what we had heard about past years. Unfortunately that is all I have good to say about this event. This is a classic example of take the money and run, the planning and coordination was severely lacking in every detail. I should have known what to expect since I sent an email to the organizer about two weeks before the event to get some type of route map; since we are from out of town and would like to drive the route and get some idea of what to expect; to this day I haven't heard back from him. To start the day, registration opened late and whoever set up the registration tables did so in a fashion that required everyone to wait in line in the rain instead of under the 40 feet of unused pavilion that was available. Now to the route, we decided to do this ride based on the name "Mission to Mission". You'd think with a name like that you'd get to see a mission, probably at least two-that is not the case with this ride, we caught a glimpse of the very top of one mission but never saw another. We saw several signs that led to Missions but at every one of them we turned in the opposite direction-I kid you not!! The one rest stop was well stocked with Cliff bars, bananas and Gatorade however the only cups available for the Gatorade were 2 ounce Dixie cups like you would find in your bathroom for mouthwash. We only saw one SAG vehicle which seemed lacking considering the weather conditions. Approximately half of the "32 mile" route was on access roads for I410 and I37 with extremely rough chip seal. We arrived back at the park having ridden the "32 mile" route with only 26.8 miles on our odometers-we weren't the only ones complaining about this so I know my computer wasn't malfunctioning. There was no water or food of any kind at the finish, they were handing out foil bag samples of dried coffee-again I kid you not!! The volunteer handing out the coffee did politely point us to the grill area and tell us "they are selling sausage or something over there". We had really high hopes for this ride and were severely disappointed, I can't imagine ever going back to do this ride which is a real shame because we love San Antonio and I think with just a little creativity this could be great. The planners need to understand that even though the event is put on by volunteers the planners have an obligation to the people who have paid to take part in an event. Next year, if we want to ride Interstate access roads and not see any Missions we will just stay in North Texas and encourage all our friends to do the same.
December 6, 2008
This was my first time riding the Mission to Mission Trails ride. I had been curious about this ride since I first saw it several years ago when I was visiting one of the missions. At the time, it seemed to me that the routes were only on San Antonio's bike paths. Maybe that was the case back then. This ride seems to have grown since then and the road routes are well chosen and are pretty smooth. I was surprised at how large this ride is. I would estimate about 600 riders showed up on this chilly morning.
The organizers and volunteers were friendly and helpful. I didn't see any problems with the rest stops at all and the routes weren't as hilly as I expected. We stayed at a Motel 6 that was only 2 miles from the start. Very nice place to stay and very easy to get to.
This ride is held every year on the first weekend of December. Local bicycle clubs in San Antonio help organize the event, provide SAG and have come up with a very nice route. Breakfast burritos and hot coffee were available, too.
If you need a little weekend get away in December with a nice rally to go to, Missions to Missions Bike Ride is a nice destination for you.
I look forward to going back next year.