When we talk about the best bicycle rides in Texas, no conversation would be complete without mentioning “The Goatneck”. It is a must do for any cyclist in the North Texas area and has become legendary for the riders of the Wheelbrothers.
For this years Wheelbrother experience see below:
The Goatneck is a fascinating tour through the Texas country side with lots of scenery, good rolling hills (especially on the 70 mile route) and great ride support. The ride got its name from an area about 25 miles south west of Cleburne and we interrupt this cycling report for a quick history lesson:
“Clem Pierce (C.A. Pierce), one of the early settlers of this Texas area, was asked to describe the piece of land for one of the legal documents necessary to the transfer. According to legend, he said “It’s just a little ole goats neck out in the cedar brakes along the river.” The name stuck, and goat’s neck eventually became the Goat Neck.” – Steve Bell, Johnson County History Book (Click here: http://www.ldpierce.com/goatnecktx.html for more fascinating reading)
Continue ride report:
2011 was the 24th year of the Goatneck bicycle ride and we had about 8 Wheelbrothers partake in this year’s fun. Like the years before it was well supported and lots of great volunteers came out and made sure riders stayed hydrated, fed and most importantly ‘safe’.
When we arrived in Cleburne, lots of volunteers made sure you got in quickly and are parking in the designated areas. If you got there late you had to park a little further out, so I’m definitely missing the field right across the street from the Baseball field that we were able to park on in years past (Yes, I would be one of those ‘late’ folks).
Registration was a breeze but we’ve heard some folks commented, that they wished for a bag to carry the shirt and bottle in. I suggest putting the shirt inside of the bottle but that’s just me 🙂 ! Another comment I heard, was that this year there were no Small or Medium T-shirts available, which was a bummer since not all folks are built like big Ken, Dieter or Eugene.
The race itself is genius and has lots of great volunteers making sure you don’t miss a turn (yes, we can’t say enough about the folks who came out and suffered STANDING in that heat, making sure we would not lose our way) and the Cleburne Police Department was out in force waving us through intersections and re-routing traffic. As said before, all of the MANY rest stops were well organized and well stocked with cookies, fruit, fluids and lots of shade tents. Medical support was also widely available.
The good folks from Richardson Bike Mart and Spokes Bicycles Shop (Those are the ones I took notice of, there might have been more) were out there giving ride support, fixing flats, derailleurs and whatever needed fixing (Check for Eugene’s experience in the video).
What we love about this ride is that it has something for everyone. If you are a CAT1 racer and want to use this as a training ride, you can do that. Once you are through the initial right turn, folks are flying and the race is on! However, if you are a recreational rider trying to see if you are ready for Hotter than hell, you can do that as well. Actually, consensus is that this ride might be tougher then Hotter than Hell due to the hills.
After the ride we were able to chat with Brad Mead one of the Ride Directors for the Goatneck Bicycle Ride:
Like every year, this years ride was in the TOP 3 must do bicycle rides in Texas and we are looking forward to the 25th annual Goatneck Bicycle ride in Cleburne, Texas in 2012!!!
Please make sure to comment below on your experience this year and send us your pictures and videos from this years ride so we can add them at the bottom.