This was a WONDERFUL Ride! I truly enjoyed this ride. It is well worth the drive (if you live in Dallas).
The course was very scenic and the roads were in very good condition. Some were typical Texas chipseal, but most were pretty smooth. The course brings you around a lake and it is awesome.
The overall course (100K) is VERY hilly. A very strong challenge if you have not prepared for hills. It has some good rolling hills, so you can get some good speed to attack the hills.
Cons: There are a couple of sections that take you on I-80, I did not like that, but from chatting with the course coordinator, said that could not be helped.
Great, super friendly people and fairly well stocked. Most of the stops ran out of bananas though. Lots of oranges, homemade cookies, and plenty of water and gatorade.
Additional bonus, the Mineola Iron Horse Festival was on the same day, so after the ride you get to hang out and see some entertainment and lots of vendors to do some chow.
I would highly recommend this ride, and I plan on doing it every year!
The organizers were overwhelmed by participation this year. I recommend that packages with names be reserved for those who pre-register. Walk-ups take their chances. The ride was fine although quite hilly. Some of the worst road surfaces I have ever ridden on. SAG stops were fine and manned by friendlies.
This was a nice event. Because there were apparently lots of people who did not pre-register, they were not prepared for everyone who showed up. They gave out everything to anyone who showed up so that those who had pre-registered didn't get anything. That is the importance of pre-registration people! So they know how many are coming. But they promised to mail the shirt so it's all good. Can't get upset about what you can't control.
The ride itself was beautiful and extremely challenging - very hilly. But it was a beautiful day and the scenery was wonderful especially when you reached the rest stop at the Mineola Nature Preserve. I would do this ride again.
This a FANTASTIC ride, especially for a ride that was only in its third year! The organizers only had pre-registered numbers at about 75 people, and had a total turnout of about 225. It's great that so many found out about this gem of a ride and showed up, but the numbers were challenging for the event staff (3 people). BUT, the ride, rest stops, scenery, people manning the stops and the event staff, and people in the town were SUPER! This is a great East Texas back-country route and goes around a beautiful lake (the 100k route). Sure it has small hills, but nothing too hard, and lots of rolling ones - which were a blast going down and up and over. There was even one section I saw a sign for that dubbed the area, "Roller Coaster Alley." The nature preserve was awesome, and I wish I would have had more time in the area afterward because it would make a great spot for a picnic. In town was also the Iron Horse Festival, so post ride activities were abundant. A ride with so much, only a short distance from the metroplex, is on my list to ride every year! (I'll bet as word-of-mouth gets around about this one, they will rival attendance of some of the big rallies in North and East Texas!)
Great event, awesome venue! Thoroughly enjoyed the route and the rest stops were well spaced and fully stocked. Rode the 100K and it was a challenging route but the scenery was worth it. The event volunteers were helpful and there was adequate SAG vehicles on the route. Appreciated the free meal and drink from the downtown festival afterwards.
What a beautiful Ride! Our group participated in the 24 and 63 mile distances and everyone came away smiling!We own property in the area and have ridden around lake Hawkins before and thought what a fantastic place for biking. So we jumped at the chance when we saw the ride appear on the Mineola Calender of Events-Chamber of Commerce web site. The course was hilly and the road surfaces were the usual chip seal and country asphalt but the scenery rivals any ride within a few hours of Dallas. The friendly rest stops and the Iron Horse Festival made for a great time. In general the ride was safe but it might be a good idea to place more signage to "look for bikes" particularly when the course turned onto Hwy 80-crossing bridges with no shoulder was a little dicey. All said, we loved it, see you next year.
It was a great ride. Perfect weather and the rest stops were spaced just right. I did the 36 miles and it was a nice mix of back roads with little traffic. There were 220 riders and it really should be more. Can't wait until next year and I'll definately try to get some friends involved.
I'm joining in the chorus of hoorays posted for this wonderful venue and course. I ride mostly in North and Central Texas events, 40 to 65 miles in length on average. I chose the 37 mile course this time, and although spent longer on the bike than usual due to lower average speed in the roller-coaster sections, I could not have enjoyed it more. Road conditions were very good overall and incredibly scenic, especially this time of year with the trees turning and the cooler temps. An added bonus was the Iron Horse Festival with all the food, crafts, antiques, music and classic car venues making a full day of fun.
This event, which benefits the food bank and the aspca, will continue to grow and give increased support to those agencies which desrve all the help they can get. Finally, kudos to the route planner, rally organizers and the volunteers who staffed the rest stops and SAG. The Mineola Metric Century is now in my top 3 faves !
I am 44 and have been cycling for about three months, so I did what any sane person would do and selected the 100k course...hey why not! This was my first group ride/rally/race. Made the rookie mistake of going out way too fast before I realized I would never make it up the first series of hills (mountains?) unless I slowed down. Stopped at the 20 mile rest stop and each one after that. All volunteers were extremely friendly, as were the riders. Started leg cramping at 50 miles, and was in the pain cave for about 4 miles before feeling slightly better. Had a gigantic smile on my face the last two miles as I realized there were no more hills to climb and the enormous surge of endorphines rushed through my brain. Probably not the best ride for a rookie with all the hills, but I had a real sense of accomplishment that I finished under my own power (averaging 15.0 mph not counting rest stops). I will do it again next year, after I have forgotten all about the pain in my legs.
This ride was awesome!!! Don't miss this one next year.
I am originally from Kentucky and the trees and hills reminded me of home.
I rode the 100k. The ride around the lake was beautiful. All of the volunteers were great and very friendly!!
I too was disappointed that those of us who preregistered didn't have our packets with OUR Tshirt size set aside. That's one reason that you preregister. The staff and volunteers were very pleasant and helpful. I signed up for the 35 mile and soon found out what a brutal course it was with all of the hills/mountains! I had just ridden a 36 miler in Marshall 2 weeks before this one in Mineola. My hats off to all of those who finished the ride. I personally like to ride thru or past a sign that says 'Finish' so that you know when the true end of the course is. The scenery was stunning and beautiful however. I doubt that I will do this ride again next year.