Race Across Texas
What is it?
Where is it?
The ride begins in Texarkana, AR and ends in Tucumcari, NM. Total mileage should be around 850-900 miles. As of 6/1/14 the route between Ladonia, TX and Tucumcari, NM has been verified. Some minor changes will be made for safest travels through some of the cities but this will have minimal impact on the mileage. Routing from Texarkana to Ladonia is pending status of the NETT trail later in the year between those cities. We have dirt roads mapped out for any sections of the NETT trail that are deemed unsuitable by 10/1/14.
Segments 1 & 2 Texarkana, AR to Farmersville, TX (sponsor TBD)
Scenic and historic whistle stop route transitioning from East Texas/Arkansas pine forests into rolling grass lands and finally skirting the edge of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Terrain will be primarily flat when on the NETT (rail grades stay around 1-2%), but dirt and country roads can have some rolling hills.
Total mileage TBD but should be around 175 miles. This is anticipated to take 2 days. Texarkana to New Boston will be primarily dirt roads and lightly traveled paved roads. Plan A is to follow the NETT converted rails to trails from New Boston to Ladonia as much as possible. We know it won’t be 100% connected at the time of this ride. We have optional dirt roads mapped out just in case. Cities and amenities will be updated for these segments no later than 10/1.
Texarkana, AR – All amenities – Mileage to next stop TBD
Next Stops TBD
Farmersville, TX – Convenience stores and local restaurants. No hotels – Mileage to next stop 51
Segment 3 Farmersville to Johnson Branch State Park sponsored by Oak Cliff Bicycle Co.
This segment will be our most “civilized” segment which goes through several small communities/suburbs and probably has the most pavement of any segment. While the dirt roads aren’t continuous, they still make up the majority of the mileage. Linking them together means we do bypass most stores and restaurants in these areas.
Folks familiar with McKinney/Plano/Frisco will be surprised how close these areas are to an adventure like this. This segment finishes up through the densest swath of the Cross Timbers forest that still remains in Texas. Total mileage is just 84 miles. Segments 1-3 also make up our 3 day mini RAT for folks who don’t have time available for the whole thing and need to stay close to the Dallas area. We also have a 3 day mini RAT for the last 3 segments.
Farmsville to Gunter = 51 miles
Gunter, TX – Convenience stores, local cafes, no lodging – 14 miles to next stop
Tioga, TX – Convenience stores, local restaurants, hotel – 20 miles to next stop
Johnson Branch State Park – State Park amenities – 33 miles to next stop
Farmersville to Johnson Branch State Park
Segment 4 Johnson Branch State Park to Lake Arrowhead State Park sponsored by Mad Duck Cyclery
Now we start getting into where Texas meets the West. Native American history and folk lore is around every bend and beyond each rise. Once you cross I-35 you are likely to see more coyotes and turkeys than cars (except for when in town). The terrain is almost always gently rolling with very little flat. A few of the climbs will make you grunt, but it’s just Texas hills.
Be sure to stop at Fischer’s market in Muenster if you need to load up meats, cheeses, colaches and strudel. Total mileage for this segment is 121.
Johsnon Branch State Park to Muenster = 33 miles
Muenster, TX - Motel, grocery, fast food – 12 miles to next stop
St. Jo, TX – Convenience store, DQ – 17 miles to next stop
Nocona, TX – Motels, Fast food, Local restaurants – 37 miles to next stop
Henrietta, TX – Hotel, Convenience store – route bypasses town but intersects with these amenities – 23 miles to next stop
Lake Arrowhead State Park – State Park amenities – 25 miles to next stop
Johnson Branch State Park to Arrowhead State Park
Segment 5 Arrowhead State Park to Copper Breaks State Park sponsored by TBD
Welcome to desolation. Grit and determination will be needed to push on through this mostly flat segment. Not even 2000 feet of climbing over almost 120 miles…my calculator reads under 17 feet of elevation change every mile. Don’t let that fool you though, the elevation change all happens at a few key spots. You’ll want the flats back after those.
There are some nice and scenic stretches, but for the most part this segment is a warm up for mental fortitude to push on through. There are a couple of nice payoffs for pushing through. A good sized town (Vernon) where you can spoil yourself with a sit down meal and maybe a nice hotel if so inclined. And Copper Breaks State Park sure is a purty spot after pushing your way through a lot of dust and sand.
Copper Breaks is the place where the stars at night are the biggest and brightest in Texas. It is close to unique in that there is almost zero light pollution in the night skies there. On a clear night the sky glows and lights the ground from the amount of stars in the sky. It’s amazing if you’ve never experienced zero light pollution before.
Lake Arrowhead State Park to Holliday = 25 miles
Holliday, TX - Convenience store, DQ – 57 miles to next stop
Vernon, TX – All amenities including Walmart (no LBS) – 36 miles to next stop
Copper Breaks State Park – State Park amenities – 49 miles to next stop
Arrowhead State Park to Copper Breaks State Park
Segment 6 Copper Breaks State Park to Caprocks Canyon State Park sponsored by TBD
This is the segment that has a little bit of everything thrown in the mix. A long, paved climb to start things off that turns into a zig zag charge through crop lands on fast hard pack. Prevailing winds from the south will give you a tail wind the whole time which should make the trip into Childress go pretty fast.
The terrain changes a bit going into Childress with some rollers and twisting roads instead of flat pastures. Childress is another opportunity at civilization including a Walmart if you forgot something in Vernon. Plenty of hotels and restaurants as well. Roll out of Childress for a bit of the same type of terrain and head towards Estelline and the converted rail line that takes you to Caprock Canyons State Park. It’s almost all up hill for 35 miles but it’s all railroad grade…so it can’t be bad…right?
Be prepared for stunning views and a very unique slice of Texas. This will also be the first segment of our second mini RAT for folks who can only spare a long weekend but still want to travel to see new stuff. Copper Breaks State Park is only 3 hours from the D/FW airport.
Copper Breaks State Park to Childress =49 miles
Childress, TX -All amenities including Walmart – 20 miles to next stop
Estelline, TX – Convenience store – 32 miles to next stop
Turkey, TX – Convenience store – 9 miles to next stop (highly recommended to refuel here if low)
Caprock Canyons State Park – State Park Amenities – 23 miles to next stop
Copper Breaks State Park to Caprock Canyons State Park
Segment 7 Caprock Canyons State Park to Dimmitt, TX sponsored by TBD
Don’t ask for the map for this one yet, we are keeping it under wraps. Suffice it to say this is the climbing day (with some wickedly fast descents too) with the most magnificent views of the trip and a ton of history thrown in. If we don’t chew you up the first half of the day the push to Dimmitt will be mentally taxing. Welcome to the high, flat plains of Texas…you’ve gotta push through another day and a half of constant uphill grinding (how can it be flat and uphill??) 125 miles of beauty and misery will test all who try it.
Caprock Canyons State Park to Quitaque = 23 miles
Quitaque, TX – Convenience store – Could be over 70 miles to next amenities, 23 miles to next stop
South Plains, TX – No known amenities, maybe water somewhere? – 35 miles to next stop
Kress, TX – No known amenities but it’s a town so there may be something? – 12 miles to next stop
Tulia, TX – Motels, fast food, convenience store – 33 miles to next stop
Dimmitt, TX – Fast food, local restaurants, convenience stores – 23 miles to next stop
Segment 8 Dimmit, TX to Tucumcari, NM sponsored by TBD
This is it, the final segment. Another 125 mile day and it’s tough. Miles upon miles of the flat, but uphill Texas plains…but you are almost to the end so you have to keep pushing, right? There’s a good sized town 23 miles in. They have everything…you could even rent a Uhaul and head home early instead of plodding through the plains into New Mexico for another 75 miles…only 75 miles from there to past the State line and then another 25 or so to the end of the line. There may even be some nice payoffs a bit earlier if you can keep it going.
Dimmitt, TX to Hereford, TX = 23 miles
Hereford, TX – All amenities including Walmart – 76 miles to next stop
San Jon, NM – Convenience store/Truck stop – 25 miles to next stop
Tucumcari, NM – All amenities including Walmart – END
More details will be added as we complete scouting trips throughout the year.
We have two basic divisions (solo and 2 person teams). We offer various levels of support within those divisions as well. Basically riders will pedal across the State from checkpoint to checkpoint at whatever pace they desire. The route intentionally goes through State Parks about every 120 miles and we are attempting to make sure that riders never have to go more than 50 miles without hitting a sizable town and/or State Park. We will provide GPS downloads of the course as well as access to downloadable .pdfs for maps and cue sheets but navigation is the riders’ responsibility. The course WILL NOT be marked. The State Parks will be considered check points and we will include others as well. Please note, all riders are responsible for arranging transportation back from wherever they finish the ride. We will not be providing return home transportation. We will not provide any on course SAG support either.
Will essentially follow “Tour Divide” type rules. This ride is meant as a training ride for people who wish to conquer the Divide some day. Self supported means self supported and self directed. Everything you need must be carried on the bike or purchased along the route. You can mail care packages to yourself ahead of time to be picked up at a post office. No outside assistance is allowed except what is commercially available to all other participants as well. No sleeping on a friend’s couch or having somebody shuttle parts to you. You can sleep in hotels or camp along the way. Bring your own food and/or buy it along the way. You will have to hit all checkpoints for an official time to be verified. You are welcome to camp at the State Parks but you must pay your own way for entry fees and camping.
This is the option for people who want to concentrate on the pedaling but not deal with the logistics of getting supplies from Point A to Point B. We will shuttle your basic supplies from State Park to State Park and arrange for your camping at the parks. You can travel light on the bike and not worry about if you have a camping spot waiting on you or not. You are still responsible for your own food and drink along the way. We will pre-arrange group camping at each of the State Parks along the route for two nights only. “On schedule” means riding 110-120 miles each day to get to each park. We will also arrange camping at the same parks for the following night for riders who are behind schedule a bit. Any rider more than one day behind schedule will have to make their own arrangements from that point forward.
A team is 2 people working together however they see fit for a bicycle to navigate the entire course. It can be treated as a relay team who alternate time on the bike(s) or it can be a solo rider with a support person/vehicle. 2 person teams will have access to our pre-arranged camping spots as well. Support vehicles can only meet up with riders at designated spots (TBD), no follow cars allowed.
We definitely understand that a trans Texas route will be more than many people are ready for just yet. Obviously riders are welcome to go as far as they can and then call the ride at whatever point suits them. We also have a designated min RAT for people who don’t have the time available to do the whole course are just don’t feel they are ready for it. The short route goes from Texarkana to Johnson Branch State Park and includes camping. It will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 miles. The plan is to camp one night on the NETT between Texarkana and Paris (day 1). Ride from that camp site to Farmersville (Day 2). And then from Farmersville to Johnson Branch on Monday (Day 3). This one could just be treated as a 3 day weekend for folks short on vacation time.
Early Bird Registration is now open. Solo – self supported Early Bird spots are already sold out but regular priced spots are still available. Early bird spots are still available for 2 person teams and short route riders. The text below is just our notes from earlier in the year as this was coming together. Also, if you are disappointed by missing out on early bird pricing for Solo Self Supported we have a reward for you reading all of this. Use diskount kode reader to save $25 on a solo entry (limited to first 5 who actually read this far).
This is a work in progress as details are developed.
(1/23/14) Today is kind of our birthday. 1/23/10 was our very first event, the Red River Riot. Spinistry was around a few months before that, but we hadn’t found our identity yet. The rains that fell that day just as the race started pretty much clamped down our Long, Hard & Dirty mantra going forward.
We’ve always said that we wanted to give people memories and have stories to share. The last couple of months have really driven home to us our responsibilities along those lines. It’s on us to make sure that the events we put on are worth your time and money. We have an obligation to provide unique events that aren’t for everyone but allow your accomplishments to be appreciated by all.
This means that sometimes we have to go outside our own comfort zone and push our limits a bit. Today we are announcing a new Spinistry event for later this year. It’s definitely not for everyone, and we have lots of details to sort out between now and November, but this one will be memorable for all who are involved…be it 1 person or 111.
On 11/1 we will launch the Race Across Texas. It will start Texarkana and end somewhere in New Mexico near the Texas state line. It will take us most of the year to define the exact route so please be patient with the generalities at this point.
The route will be mostly dirt roads and we will make a point to find tough sections. We are considering outside support and relay team options but solo/self supported will be the premiere category. The total route will probably be 800-1000 miles. We are announcing it as early as we can so that folks who are interested can make plans for the time away from family, work, etc.
11/1 is a Saturday so it’s a full weekend, plus 5 weekdays and then another weekend as the planned time frame for participants to complete the course. Again, we have almost no details at this time but they will start coming in on a regular basis. Feel free to post on this thread if you have any thoughts or questions. We will put up a dedicated web page over the wekend – K
(1/24/14) Our first pass at the route comes out at 865 miles, 25,000 feet of climbing according to ridewithgps. Hope to start scouting some of it next week.
(1/25/14) I’m thinking we’ll have two main categories with a possibility of a shorter category for people who want to try out the bikepacking experience.
Current route is 865 miles with 25K of climbing per Ridewithgps.com.
Solo, self supported category will essentially follow Tour Divide type rules.
2 person teams will take their own vehicles on the route. Team/vehicle support is only allowed at predetermined rest areas. The rider that starts the day must finish the day on the bike. Riders can alternate days however they wish or the the second person can be full time support for a “solo” rider. We will set up/encourage a way for 2 person teams to hook up with true solos to shuttle them back to DFW (plan to accommodate 3 people/bikes for the return trip).
We will have some sort of random checkpoints thrown into the mix but it will primarily be on the honor system. Solos can go whatever pace they want but the current route does allow overnights at State Parks from the third night on. Nights one and two would overnight along the NETT. State Park to State Park ranges from 110-130 miles so some riders will have to find an in between spot if they can’t do that pace on a daily basis.
Current legs look something like this (high potential for change, changes could be significant as details come together):
Texarkana to Farmersivlle -188 miles. Night one will camp somewhere along the NETT. Night two everyone (except true racers) stops in Farmersville. Use the first couple days as shakedown days.
Farmersville to Johnson Branch State Park – 82 miles a shorter leg for riders still finding their rhythm. People can pedal further if they feel strong and camp/stay somewhere else. Muenster would be a 120 mile day, Lindsey a 110, Valley View a 95.
Johnson Branch to Lake Arrowhead State Park – 120 miles
Lake Arrowhead State Park to Copper Breaks State Park – 115 miles
Copper Breaks State Park to Caprock Canyon State Park 115 miles
Caprock Canyon State Park to Next Camp – 124 miles
Next camp to NM – 125 miles
There seems to be more interest in this than I was really expecting so I’ll probably be speeding up the route verification process. Current plan is for us to pre-arrange group camping/access for two nights at each of the parks. First night is an “on schedule” night, second night to allow for folks who might lose a day along the way. Start training now (even casually) and all will be fine.
Not sure of pricing yet, but we are going to try to keep it as low as we can without shooting ourselves in the foot. There will be a good bit of cost associated with scouting the route(s) and insurance for multi day events does take things into a different arena. Current guesstimates are something like this:
Solo unsupported (no pre-arranged camping/lodging/100% fend for yourself/Tour Divide type rules) $75ish early, $125ish regular.
Vehicular Team Riders $125ish per person early, $200ish per person regular (includes camping/park access).
Mini trip solo (Texarkana to Johnson’s Branch Sat-Tue) $75ish early, $125ish regular
Again, this is a very rough draft at the moment but we do want want to keep you in the loop as far as what we are considering. Let us know if we start going off base.
(1/25/14) There have been several who have asked about routing the course West to East instead of East to West. Historical wind patterns actually support our SE to to NW route: The wind is most often out of the south (28% of the time), south east (17% of the time), and north (14% of the time). The wind is least often out of the west (5% of the time). We actually simulated the route based on this past November which only produced one day with any head winds. There were several days with substantive tail winds.
This is a test map. Please ignore.