06/14/1997 - Plano, TX - Collin Classic - S.French
40 miles 14.5 mph

The Collin Classic is held in Plano about 4 miles from our house. It's the most convenient of the rides that we go on. In the past years it's had about 2000-4000 people. I think it was about 3000 this year (I saw pin-on numbers in the 2800's). Last year the Collin Classic was _wonderful_ with cool north winds. We did 62 miles (100 Km). This year it was very different. Temperature in the 90's, dewpoint in the 70's (very, very humid), little wind. It was generally ok biking until I stopped. Then, wow, the sweat really cranked up.

We met in the morning at the TI Spring Creek site. It's just down the street from John Clark stadium where the ride starts and ends. Alan and D'Ann joined us there. Their spouses, Maria and Don (respectively), couldn't make it that day. We prepared our bikes and biked over to the starting line. People were bunched up at each of the various starting areas with the long distances in the front and short distances at the back. We started in the 47 mile group. We had a hard time deciding on the 32 mile or the 47 mile. We compromised on the 47 mile with an option to cut off the top by turning on Rock Hill Road and only doing 40 miles.

We hadn't waited very long when they announced the start of the tandems and the long distance riders. About 5 minutes later we got to start. As usual we headed west about 4 miles on Legacy then turned straight north on Preston Road for about 15 miles. The ride was over comfortable roads that we all knew very well. We road along and talked and enjoyed ourselves. The police in each city had officers at all the major intersections helping the bikers get through. Very nice, safe, and organized. At Rock Hill Road we stopped and considered our options. The additional 7 miles would have taken us over some pretty intense hills, and our experience last year was that getting back late pretty well guaranteed that we wouldn't get any free food. So we went ahead and turned and cut off the extra 7 miles. The route had been signifantly changed from last year after we hit highway 75. The highway has been under construction and the access roads were inaccessible. So the route turned east and meandered through the country, passing the town of Allen on the east side, then zig-zagging west south of Allen back to the stadium.

Things I remember the most:

  • We stopped at most of the rest stops due to the heat and humidity. We all drank a _lot_ of water and sports drinks in order to stay hydrated. Whew!
  • Anne didn't fall down this time. We passed right through the spot that dumped her last year. No problem.
  • The food at the end of the ride was, once again, very disappointing. They had long, long lines for hot dogs. Mostly they had none, and were cooking them up as fast as they could. But they just couldn't keep up. There were baked potatoes too. But they never had any left when we asked. Finally Heartland Bread Company was giving away bread. They had plenty and so we ate bread and stood in line for Hot Dogs. It was pretty crummy! Where were the food vendors!?!!? We'd have gladly paid to get good food. This is a recurring theme at some of the rides. I think we should plan to leave the ride site and go to a local restaurant from now on. It's easy and guaranteed. Of course we should try to find one that has outside seating :-)
  • At rest stop number 8 we saw Richard B., RonMon, and Lori American. Richard looked really hot. He said "Watch this..." and leaned forward. He tilted his helmet out and water _poured_ off his head. It looked like someone was pouring a cup of water through the back of his helmet! Unbelievable.
  • At that same rest stop they had cooked up some "Beinees" (sp?), sweet, deep fried fat balls. umm umm good! Anne and D'Ann went hunting for the frier, found it, and started eating them right from the kettle!