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texag

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Reply with quote  #1 
Is this the Category for Texas rides?  I did the 2017 Red River Riot this past weekend.  My first gravel grinder.  I stopped at 35 miles this year but learned a lot in the process.  My pacing was off and the hills and wind took their toll.
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tim.bikeparty

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Reply with quote  #2 
i had wondered the same thing, being in Houston.  i'm guessing the answer is "yes"
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babylou

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim.bikeparty
i had wondered the same thing, being in Houston.  i'm guessing the answer is "yes"

I'm wondering too? Also any good rides you can suggest in/around Houston? I do the Addicks damn ride a lot since my office abuts it.

Gig'em texag
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tim.bikeparty

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Reply with quote  #4 
i am brand new to gravel (and fairly new to houston) so i don't know any good rides, but i follow a group called "houston gravel grinders" on facebook who go out pretty much every weekend and are a wealth of information.
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annierid

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Reply with quote  #5 
asd
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babylou

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim.bikeparty
i am brand new to gravel (and fairly new to houston) so i don't know any good rides, but i follow a group called "houston gravel grinders" on facebook who go out pretty much every weekend and are a wealth of information.

Doh! I'm not on Facebook or any social media. I tell F&F I'm too busy living life to the fullest to bother telling other people what I'm doing or to spend time watching others live.

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texag

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Reply with quote  #7 
In the DFW area Spinistry puts on a few nice Gravel Grinders.  Seems to be about one a month. 

As far as Facebook - around here at least it is just about mandatory. All the local clubs - Road, Mtn, Gravel - use FB as the primary communication method on rides.
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tim.bikeparty

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Reply with quote  #8 
i agree.  i've considered deleting my FB, but it is too crucial for events/rides/etc, at least for now.

you can always make an account just to keep up on rides, there's no requirement that you have to have any friends [wink]  you could event use a fake name maybe if you don't want everyone searching you out and trying to connect? (though fb cracks down on spam accounts pretty well, so you might get flagged?)
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tim.bikeparty

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Reply with quote  #9 
there is a document on FB about houston area routes, though if you want to ride with other people you'll have to figure that out on your own

Quote:

This document provides links to some gravel and forest road routes in the broad Houston metro area. Users are recommended to abide by the following:
  • These routes were drawn, not logged. They may not exactly mark turns, roads or trails.
  • You use these routes at your own risk and liability:
  • There is no guarantee the routes are in rideable condition or even on public roads
  • These routes may or may not put you on private land and pipeline/utility corridors; if so, you are at fault.
  • Riders may encounter dangerous wildlife, dogs, downed and falling trees, high water and during hunting season, occupied deer blinds and armed hunters. Riders may also run out of water. Best practice is to toggle through the various map and satellite layers and make your own route, looking for problem spots that may need to be routed around, and looking for water sources like campgrounds, churches and stores.
  • You are responsible for yourself. Nobody is responsible for your safety but you.
  • Don’t be such a roadie.

Sam Houston National Forest

Be aware of hunting season(s). General season is typically Nov 1 - first week of January with bow season in October. Wear orange those months! Also, it is illegal to ride on the Lone Star Trail, other hiking trails, and designated Wilderness Areas (with a capital W) or Scenic Areas. If you end up on one of those trails, you have to walk your bike. Many people have worked hard for more trail access with the forest service; do not break that good will, as it will make new trails more difficult to establish.
Huntsville State Park
  • 33 mile - this route has a back entrance to Huntsville State Park. Around mile 25 requires some hike a bike and bushwhacking. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/67086...
  • 38 Mile "Baby Bella" - there are several hike a bike portions on this route that are difficult to navigate. The turn off Eveyln Lane around mile 4.2 is not exact. You will get to the end of a fence on the east side; the turn is around this location. If you hit the house with dogs you've gone too far. It is not well marked and difficult to find. You'll probably hit the dogs. Miles 12-13 is sketch. You will be walking your bike in many places, fording a steep walled creek and getting lost even with a GPS. The meadows all look the same and it is difficult to navigate. No services are on this route. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/10772...
  • 67 Mile "Killer Karolyi" - same initial instructions as above with more mileage and a gas station at the edge of Lake Livingston to refuel. This route tends to lose GPS and turn by turn directions may not work right. It’s better to just zoom out on your screen and visually navigate. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/69704...
Double Lake Recreation Area
Forest Service Ranger Station
  • 52 Miles - Sam Houston "Half Century". There is water available at the Stubblefield campground, which this out and back ride passes twice, yet people have somehow ran out of water. Before copying a GPS route you should scout the route online for possible water sources - campgrounds, churches, and stores. You should know how to read a paper map before downloading a gpx file. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/54800...
Stubblefield Recreation Area
  • The Revenuer. This 58ish mile route takes you through Richards and north out of the forest. On the return off of Bath Lane, you turn left and must walk a short section onto the Lone Star Trail. You MUST walk; riding is illegal and total trail miles in the forest are now capped due to a lack of funds. No new trails can be built unless old trails are permanently closed. So if cyclists break the law, we’ll lose our goodwill and possibly existing mountain bike trails to other recreation types. After a few hundred feet you’ll turn right (south) onto a very old logging road that doesn’t look like a road, more of a thinned forest. You’ll have to hike and bike for a half mile or so until it opens up. The GPS coordinates in this route aren’t exact because I know this path; I didn’t actively log it. You have to look closely. Otherwise you have to walk 1.5 miles of the Lone Star Trail to get out. During hunting season you may want to modify the route to stay on Possum Walk Road. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/1804...

Chappell Hill

Park at the town square or BEHIND (not to the side of) the Shell Station/Burger King.

New Ulm

Park next to the Industry Bank (in New Ulm, not the one in Industry!). There are no restrooms in New Ulm. Take a bathroom break in Sealy.
  • 35 Mile - several areas will be several feet under water during heavy rains http://ridewithgps.com/routes/64825...
  • 55 Mile - the "single track" through the park on Lake Fayette is not logged, just approximated so the total mileage will be slightly off. Between miles 45 & 46 there is a river crossing that is not rideable and may not be passable during high water. You can walk across if the water is low. Your shoes are coming off or you are finding another way around it. Drinking water is available in Fayetteville around mile 40. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/75045...
  • 35 mile Willow Springs - takes you over a super cool bridge. You may also see zebras. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/1161...

Bellville

Park at Clark Park.
  • 34 Mile Bellville route. More can be added towards Chappell Hill. Stop at Newman’s Bakery or the Bellville Meat Market when finished. Beware the sand miles 5-8. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/1740...

Davy Crockett National Forest

Start from Ratcliff Recreation Area.
There endless routes. There is no such thing as “the Chappell Hill route” or “the Sam Houston route.” These routes are too short? Make your own damn route. I prefer to ride further but not everyone wants to. These are just examples and you can stitch them together with other routes and roads. Several hours were spent designing most of the above routes, using multiple maps and road layers and flying through on google earth, or using google street view for when the dirt roads intersected major roads to verify the road on the map layer was actually a public road. Sometimes the road on google map is public and becomes a private road. I’ve also utilized quantum GIS and Department of Interior Public lands geodatabases to ensure these routes are ok. This is why you shouldn't just copy a gpx file online, because copying a route can get you into trouble. Not every road on google maps is an actual road, and GPS leads people astray all the time. GPS also reduces your hippocampus and may cause early onset dementia. If you use one of the above routes, please review them prior to your ride to understand where you are riding. And please, don’t go to my profile and take other routes. I dislike getting emails that a route I drew but never attempted, or attempted and failed, didn’t work and I ruined your day and risked your safety because I didn’t change the default from public to private, and because you don’t know how to turn on the satellite layer and zoom in to scout using the available information. This happens once a month. You are responsible for your own adventures or misadventures and safe navigation.
h/t Dave Marchese, Kevin Highfield, Jim Mackey, Alejandro Ramírez and others who have contributed in the entirety or to segments of these routes.
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babylou

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Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks! I'm going to consider the secret FB account. Now maybe Texas can get listed in the heading for Central United States category? Heck with nearly 10% of the US population maybe it should get it's own category?
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