Old Ride Reviews

Looking for motivation, I went through some of my old Facebook feeds and found some reviews of rides. I decided to post them here.

 

 

Strawberry Festival Bike Ride Review

May 19, 2013

Jeff and I participated in the Strawberry Festival Bike Ride on Sunday. The ride was a Trailnet event. It was a beautiful day for cycling. The event was not as good as it could have been. I have reviewed the ride in categories which are important to me. My grading scale is OUTSTANDING (it was awesome), ABOVE AVERAGE (better than most rides), EXPECTED (it was what you get at most rides), BELOW EXPECTED (not as good as most rides), UNACCEPTABLE (horrid).

Here is my review of the ride:

Lengths of Rides: ABOVE EXPECTED

There were many ride lengths from which to choose: extra short, short, medium and long. I thought this was

wonderful. There was a ride for the beginner and one for the advanced.

Parking: BELOW EXPECTED

Parking was not allowed at the park. Participants were required to park on streets or the grade school parking lot several blocks fromt he event. We asked one of the parking attendants where the park was located. He sent us in the direction opposite of the park’s location.

Registration: ABOVE EXPECTED

The registration process was fairly simple and well-organized. There were plenty of bike racks available.

Bathroom Facilities: WOMEN’S: EXPECTED: MEN’S UNACCEPTABLE (as reported by Jeff)

Rest Stops: BELOW EXPECTED The only thing offered at the two rest stops on the medium length ride was water. I was grateful for the water, but a Gatorade type drink would have been nice. The minimal expectation is to have the obligatory banana offering at rest stops. This ride did not. Oranges and peanut butter make riders even happier.

Road Conditions: ABOVE EXPECTED

Most roads were paved and in good condition. One connecting road was rough, but it was very short. There was very little gravel along the sides of the roads.

Traffic: UNACCEPTABLE

This ride was very stressful because it went through areas of heavy and fast traffic. It was dangerous.

Routes: UNACCEPTABLE

The ride was routed through the business district of Highland, Il. The traffic was heavy and fast and very close to the cyclists. There were many busy intersections through which the cyclists were forced to navigate. I was very unhappy at the many stops I was forced to make because of traffic lights. It was not well planned. This was not a rural ride. I feel there were many backroads which could have been utilized to avoid this. Perhaps the ride could have utilized the beautiful bike path instead of the heavily traveled main highways. The shoulders on many of the roads were non-existent. Riders were forced into lanes with trucks, cars and mini-vans. It should be noted that all routes began together. So, novice riders and children were riding these dangerous routes.

On a positive note, there were no unleashed dogs along the route.

Route Markers: BELOW EXPECTED

I liked the bright pink used for the route markers. It was very distinct and easy to see. Still, the markings could have been larger. The thing I found most annoying and somewhat laughable was that later in the route the arrows were placed after the intersection. So effectively, we had to choose which road to take and then were informed whether or not we had made the correct choice.

SAG: UNACCEPTABLE

We only saw SAG vehicles when we started in St. Jacob and once in Highland. We never saw them again while on the medium length route. The event flyer read that SAG would end at 3 p.m. Usually, SAG makes a last run of the route before closing. This did not occur on the medium length route.

Overall Ride Experience: UNACCEPTABLE

I would have preferred to keep my entry fee and do an unsupported ride.

Would I do this ride again? NO

Would I recommend this ride to a friend? NO

fork-in-the-road

We came to a fork in the road…

Metropolis Kiwanis Superman Celebration Ride Review

June 8, 2013

 

Jeff and I participated in the Superman Celebration Bike Ride. We did the 60 KM (38 mile) route. It was a gorgeous day for cycling. The event was great. I have reviewed the ride in categories which are important to me. My grading scale is OUTSTANDING (it was awesome), ABOVE EXPECTED (better than most rides), EXPECTED (it was what you get at most rides), BELOW EXPECTED (not as good as most rides), UNACCEPTABLE (horrid).

 

Here is my review of the ride:

 

Lengths of Rides:  EXPECTED

There was a 16KM, 60KM and 100KM ride.

 

Parking: ABOVE EXPECTED

There was plenty of shaded parking near the start of the ride. There was plenty of room to prepare for the ride.

 

Registration: ABOVE EXPECTED

The registration process was fairly simple and well-organized.

 

Bathroom Facilities: ABOVE EXPECTED

 

Rest Stops: BELOW EXPECTED

The rest stops were not well stocked. Supplies were limited to the first few lucky riders. There was plenty of cold water, but not much in the way of food. One of the rest stops had a few sugar cookies, but no protein.

 

Road Conditions: EXPECTED

Most roads were paved and in good condition.

 

Traffic: BELOW EXPECTED

There was a bit more traffic than I like, but most drivers were very curteous.

 

Routes: EXPECTED

The route had some nice flat sections and some challenging hills (challenging for me at least).

 

 

Route Markers:  EXPECTED

 

 

SAG: OUTSTANDING

The SAG crew was great. They kept tabs on the riders. They were very vigilent at the toughest parts of the ride.

 

Overall Ride Experience: ABOVE EXPECTED

I hope to get stronger this year and be better at hill climbing when I do this ride again next year!

 

BONUS: We saw an Elvis Superman! Can it get any better than that????

 

Would I do this ride again? YES

Would I recommend this ride to a friend? YES

 

 

Tour de Corn 2013 Ride Review

June 22, 2013

On Saturday, Jeff and I rode in the Tour de Corn in East Prairie, Mo. This was our second time riding this event. It was a blast in 2012. Last year, we rode the 30 mile route. This year, we rode the 63 mile route. The day started out with blue skies, sunshine and optimism. As the day went on the sun became stronger, the pavement grew hot, the wind blew stronger and the riders became tired. Still, it was a good ride and we finished. This was the longest ride I have made this year.  I have reviewed the ride in categories which are important to me. My grading scale is OUTSTANDING (it was awesome), ABOVE EXPECTED (better than most rides), EXPECTED (it was what you get at most rides), BELOW EXPECTED (not as good as most rides), UNACCEPTABLE (horrid).

 

Here is my review of the ride:

 

Lengths of Rides: ABOVE EXPECTED

Beginner to advanced rides were available.

 

Parking: ABOVE EXPECTED

We found easy, shaded parking close to the start of the ride. We had plenty of room to unload bikes and prepare for the ride. We also felt quite secure in the knowledge that our car would still be there when we returned from the ride.

 

Registration: ABOVE EXPECTED

We registered online. It was easy. The packet pick-up was very well organized.

 

Bathroom Facilities: ABOVE EXPECTED

They did need a few more facilities at the start of the event. We were allowed to use indoor facilities at the Start/Finish and at the Anniston rest stop. Most rest stops had hand-washing facilities. All stops had hand sanitizer.

 

Rest Stops: OUTSTANDING

Rest Stop 1 provided many tasty refreshments including sweet corn. A live band playing bluegrass music added to the festivities. Rest Stop 2 provided refreshments (many of them made from corn)in a very well shaded locale. The ladies at this rest stop were considerate enough to provide riders with chilled, wet towels. It was a great way to revive hot cyclists. Rest Stop 3 offered watermelon. They were gracious enough to fill our water bottles with ice. Rest Stop 4 was at a private home in Charleston, Mo. The house and lawn were charming. The hostess provided her whole lawn on which to rest. She had snacks, water and Powerade. She invited us to use her porch swings and lawn furniture and had thoughtfully provided a sprinkler and a garden hose for anyone who wanted to cool down. It was a refreshing stop. Rest Stop 5 was at the Anniston Community Center. It offered much needed air conditioning. We were allowed to use the indoor toilets which was a relief after a day of porta-potties. The food was very good with many home baked items available. A pleasant man made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for road-weary cyclists. The rest stop should have been closed by the time we arrived, but the kind-hearted volunteers stayed late for hot, tired cyclists. The day was hot and the wind was strong. Many riders were riding much slower than anticipated. The volunteers stayed to man the rest stop and were cheerful in doing so.

 

Road Conditions:  EXPECTED

Most roads were paved and in good condition. There were a few rough patches.

 

Traffic: EXPECTED

There were a couple of stretches where the traffic was a little heavier than I like, but those roads had wide shoulders. It was harvest time for wheat. There were more farm semi’s than I would have liked; and yet, the drivers were extremely curteous. The majority of drivers were considerate and friendly. Most people smiled and waved at us.

 

Routes: OUTSTANDING

The routes were mainly flat, rural roads. The distance between rest stops was short which was a blessing on a very hot windy day.

 

Route Markers: ABOVE EXPECTED

The route was very well marked. The route map was very good. At no point was I confused or lost.

 

SAG: OUTSTANDING!

The SAG crew worked very hard and kept tabs on all the riders. The drivers of SAG vehicles offered to refill our water bottles while we were on the route between rest stops. They stayed much later than the official close time to ensure all riders made it back to the finish line.

 

Overall Ride Experience: OUTSTANDING!!!!

This is a very well organized and well supported ride. The community seems genuinely happy to host the event and are very friendly to riders.

 

Would I do this ride again? Emphatically YES!

Would I recommend this ride to a friend? ABSOLUTELY! DO THIS RIDE!!!!

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