Texas - Rockwall Hot Rocks Bike Race
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Thoughts from any one who has ridden this one please.
Anyone going this year?
08-08-08, 10:00 AM
Haven't done it. Interesting that they call it a race and offer prizes but it's not USCF sanctioned. There's not much else going on this weekend so I expect the hotshots will be there and hammering hard. Have fun, stay safe!
Well now I can speak for myself. This really isn't all that bad of a ride. There are absolutely some r e a l l y rough sections of boulder and seal from Josephine down through Royce City. Nothing that would ruin your wheels or anything, but it is definitely going to challenge your stamina. But there are also plenty of fast smooth sections of road too. I can see why folks have said that Hot Rocks is a great prep ride for HHH. It did start to get a little hot towards the end of the ride. Most of it was in the mid-80's today though which was fine with me. I wouldn't really say that there are hills on this ride but there are several sections where you pick up a lot of elevation changes from non-stop rollers. You fight the prevailing wind a lot heading out on the long course but then pick it up for a nice tail wind back in to the finish. I saw about as gnarly a crash out on the road as I have ever seen up in the pro group just a few miles into the ride. Lots of carnage, including bike and rider air time. Some busted bones apparently too. Definitely some messed up bikes, cuts and scraps all around. I heard that what was left of the same pack crashed again later when one of the riders over cooked a turn. Other than that, it appeared to be a pretty uneventful ride for every one else.
The venue is terrific, easy access and plenty of volunteers to get you into two huge parking lots, shade and food tents, and several area bike shops to handle repairs and sag support. The rotary volunteers are awesome. They definitely are not just there to take your money. The work hard to make it a good experience and I was impressed by how well they have this ride down. It reminds me of the Mesquite Rodeo Ride, but without all the tank traps and unpaved roads.
The rest stops were really friendly and had all the bases covered, especially porta-potties, plenty of shade, ice and bananas. The traffic support from the police was very noticeable and effective too. I only saw one officer who seemed to be stuck to front seat of his car at one of the lighter intersections. At the dangerous ones, they were marked on the map, marked with caution signs ahead of time to warn you along the route and the officers there were not messing around. A car would have had to run over one of them to even get close to the riders. There is definitely one long stretch of road that is rougher than single track. But the roads are also in really good shape, no pot holes, gravel or tire eating seams. We did have to share with traffic but the folks in the area were patient and played nice. I didn't have any trouble finding riders who would group up with you and share the work, or leave you alone if you wanted to ride your own ride. At the end of the ride there was plenty of food and ice cream to top it off. Plus the t-shirt and water bottle are actually pretty cool with the ride's flaming wheel logo. I'll be back for this one for sure.
See you in Wichita Falls all. :thumb:
08-10-08, 12:03 PM
Rule, glad you enjoyed the ride. That stretch from Hwy 6, south into Royse City, past the old stadium (FM1177, I think) is one rough momma, makes my hands numb.
TX Bike Rider
08-10-08, 01:39 PM
Glad to hear that it was a good ride. It sounds like they paid attention to all the negative reviews they received last year. If more people give it good reviews, I may consider riding it next year. For now however, I think I'll plan on riding the Melon Patch Tour again.
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