Saturday, November 6, 2010

Second Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble

One of those lovely rural Texas streams

I am pleased to announce that the Second Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble is on! The route is improved for this year. Unlike last year, which was an "out-and-back" route, this year's route includes an approximate 35-mile loop with a 4.7 mile out-and-back spur from the loop to Rosston, providing a route total of roughly 45 miles.

Within 10 minutes of the start

Because I feel an obligation to possible participants to actually see the entire route beforehand, today was Ramble Reconn day. I think you'll like what we have planned.

Sample surface, your shadow may vary

This year's Ramble is scheduled for Saturday, December 18th. So far, a handful of guys (last year's participants mainly) have indicated that they'd be coming, but I am inviting anyone who wishes to participate to join us.


Those who wish to participate will understand and agree to the following provisions...

1. The ride leaves from my house, which is about 10 minutes northwest of Sanger, Texas.
2. This is NOT an organized event (no registration, no fees, no T-shirt, no sag, and no support). It is simply a group of friends who choose to ride bicycles together. Participants are responsible for themselves.
3. Other than the historic Rosston General Store, which is about halfway into our 45-mile route, there are no services of any kind.
4. This not even close to a race. It is a RAMBLE, which means we ride a pace slow enough for old men (like me) to carry on a conversation. We are cyclotourists, and we don't drop anyone. We might tend to spread out a bit, due to people riding at different speeds and stopping for photos at different places, but I (as your ride leader) will have us regroup at key points.
5. We might stop for a civilized refreshment break at one or more places along the route. Bring a snack, if you wish.

Another stream crossing

The start time and directions to the start will be provided later. This year's start will likely be later than last year's rollout at 8am. I'm thinking (for now) around 10am so that folks driving up from various locations in DFW will not need to leave home so early. That probably means a mid-to-late afternoon finish. So, if you really are interested, block out the entire day on your calendar.

Off the route through private property

A vast majority of the route is gravel county roads. It is rural and is a low-traffic environment. If some of the roads have been recently "maintained" (like today), there will be places where the gravel is relatively deep and challenging for skinny tires. If there is rain before the event (unlike today), there might be a few muddy spots.

A little steep in places

I recommend 28mm tires as a minimum, and will be using tires that are either 37mm or 41mm depending on which bike I choose. I expect a wide variety of bicycle types to be represented, including several road bikes. So, although there are some rough spots, a mountain bike is not necessary.

Old abandoned bridge

Like last year, I'll reserve the right to cancel if I don't like the weather conditions. Although I ride all year long, I'm not what we call "hard core". Generally, I'd probably not ride if it is below freezing, cloudy, and windy. I might not ride if there is hard or steady rain. However, cloudy and drizzle with temperatures in the upper 40s could work. In other words, I don't mind a little cold, or a little wet, but I don't tolerate a lot of either.

Autumn road side colored grass

As I recall, it was about 31 degrees, breezy, and sunny when we rolled out last year. The sun stayed around and it warmed up through the day. No problem.

Last year's refreshment stop still lovely

If you are considering participating in the Ramble, here are a few links to prior posts from this blog about last year...

Although some of the route for this year is different, the spirit of the ride is the same.

One of the rocky places

If you've been looking at the photos in this post, I think you'll agree with me that this year's Ramble has the potential to be a great way to spend the day bicycling with friends through the countryside.

You in?

The way to ramble


  1. I'm looking forward to it. I just mentioned it on Facebook. Hopefully we'll have a good size group.

  2. It looks even better than last year's route! Any catfish on poles along this route?

  3. Actually, Steve, yes. The return trip does still pass by the guy with giant catfish heads on his fence posts. I should have mentioned that. Now everyone will want to join this year's ride.

  4. Just checked. it's 14hrs from Louisville to Sanger. That would mean a somewhat long drive (smirk) and it's the day after semester end, so no cutting out Friday.

    Not going to happen this year, but some day you never know. you only live once.

  5. Meeting some of the great guys down here in the DFW vicinity might be worth a 14-hour drive. If you see a door open up, we'd LOVE to have you join us.

  6. Lookin' forward to it! Thanks for your efforts, Chris.

    Peace :)

  7. Not going to happen for me either, at least this year, but maybe Tim and I can coordinate sometime and make the road trip together. And maybe drag David with us as well.

  8. After reading this post I thought "Gee! this looks like a great ride", but then, after reading the comments and hearing that I might be able to see catfish heads on poles, I thought "Gee! this looks like a GREAT RIDE !" Looks like fun :))

  9. PaddyAnne, there's more than catfish heads to enjoy on this route. If the people from last year any indication, the company will be the key ingredient. I hope you can join us.

  10. Dirt road tours are definitely my thing. If I can be there, I will.

  11. I'm in. Even I can make a 10:00am start.

  12. I'm in, looking forward to it.

  13. I'm in. Do you have a rough idea when the ride will finish? I have to have my kids somewhere by 6 pm.

  14. Pat, I'd reckon it this way. If we averaged 10mph, it would be at least 4.5 hours. Between photo stops, refreshment stops, and touring the fabulous and historic Rosston General Store, we would probably fritter away another hour plus. So my wild guess today would be a 3:30pm to 4:30pm return. Sound reasonable?

  15. Bringing a few up to your ride, 7 of us in our group - looking forward to a nice country ride. See you then!

  16. Sorry I missed it. Would love to participate next year (just found out about this ride today - day of the ride). Sounds fun.

    Kyle Carr

  17. Great Ride, Beautiful Day, Large Turn-out. Wonderful People To Enjoy The Day With. Thanks, Dink