September 29, 2018
We are offering sweet loops of four distances – 25, 65, 105 and 205 miles. Rural roads are paved near towns (sadly) so the longer the ride, the more dirt/gravel encountered. The 25 mile loop is all on pavement. All rides are loops, so you have constantly changing scenery and challenges. Boredom and pain are the two great challenges to human happiness. We will not offer you boredom. Pain is up to you. A good saddle and quality cycling togs will help a ton!
To help you get the idea of how we roll, our partner Ben E. Keith Distributors is providing all adult participants with FREE BEER! Howza!
On a tablet at the base of the Statue of Liberty, a poem by Emma Lazarus is inscribed that says, in part:
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…
Here is your chance to breathe free in a great cycling adventure. Lube your chain, check your tire pressure, fill the water bottles and go! Time to break the bonds and revel in nature. We are super happy to supply El Camino riders with a heaping portion of tasty dirt/gravel adventure.
All routes provide varied terrain. There are narrow primitive bridges, pot holes, animals, loose gravel and other hazards. There are short hills – some fairly steep – coming out of creeks and such. Riders must use caution and care when crossing creeks – speed is not always your friend in those situations, but discretion is.
Types of Bikes to Ride
The course is tandem friendly. Mountain or ‘cross bikes are great. Single speeds should be okay as long as the rider does not mind walking a few steep uphills. Minimum recommended tire width is 34 mm. Road bikes may have difficulty in loose sand/mud sections if tires are below the recommended width.
Saturday Registration and Packet Pickup
Registration for both the 205 and 105 is limited to 300 riders.
By popular demand we will accept day-of registration at no extra charge.
You may register for the 65 and 25 mile options on Friday, September 28 after 4:30 or on Saturday, September 29 before the start time.
Address: City Park, 301 Crawford St.
El Camino registration and tasty snacks and beverages kick off about 4:30 p.m and ends around 9 p.m. Those wanting to carry on later can visit the Shelton Gin Bar or the Pint and Barrel (both right at registration).
Start Times and Location
The 205 en masse start, rain or shine, is at 6 a.m. sharp, the 105 at 7 a.m., and the 25 and 65 riders leave anytime after 8 a.m. On Saturday morning, we wish you a bon voyage at the start and a lead escort out of town. All routes are unsupported out on the road. The Camino205 course closes at midnight. If 205 riders come in after midnight, there will not be anyone there to record your time -but we may be at the Pint and Barrel celebrating!
Saturday Start/Finish is at the same place as Friday registration – City Park, 301 Crawford St. There is plenty of parking, restrooms, restaurants near by and indoor areas (if its raining). We will offer a full catered meal on Friday, at registration, as well as at the finish on Saturday. And there is FREE BEER for all participants 21 and up.
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Benjamin Franklin said it and we believe it.
Course Support (or Lack Thereof)
El Camino riders must be prepared as the ride is not officially supported. If weather warrants, there will be water drops at strategic locations – we will inform you where these are before the start. Don’t call us from the course – we will not come get you. This is a man-up event!
Riders may have their own support team (a.k.a your family and friends), but the support drivers must meet you at either the park in Groveton and/or Mission Tejas State Park. We ask support vehicles to STAY OFF the course. No rider wants to eat dust, which is what happens when a couple hundred support vehicles drive the route. Support vehicles will be routed to the rendezvous points via main highways, leaving the riders in peace with clean air to breath.
How to Prepare
Riders should carry, at a minimum, the following:
- tubes, pump, CO2s, patches, tire boot
- multi-tool, spare chain bits, rag
- Clothing appropriate to the weather forecast – this is Texas – it could be 90 degrees, or 60 and raining.
- lots of snacks, jerky, pemmican, gels and other power food
- two or more full water bottles
- phone/camera/GPS (iPhone or equivalent)
- head and tail lights with batteries to run four hours (for 205 riders)
- 205 riders should consider reflective clothing as well for the final part of the ride
Note: This is a very rural area (also few cars!) so cell phone service is spotty or non-existent in places. Be prepared to take care of yourself and perhaps your fellow riders. Especially if said fellow riders carry cash.
There are several feed stations (aka country stores and gasoline stations) that are along the route. The 205 will also visit Groveton which has stores. Cash is King – carry some. FREE BEER at registration and at the finish, is provided courtesy of Ben E. Keith Distributors. Booyah!