savage24 from KC MO on 4/1/2005 12:58:45 AM:
Hi Karen, I have done the DNR ride every year since 2001! I highly recommend it.
It is a medium sized ride, (300 riders) so you don't spend too much time waiting in line for meals, showers, bathrooms, etc. The shower truck is great! Having a warm shower every day to wash the limestone dust off of your legs is important. I've never had a problem finding a suitable place to pitch my tent. Having the meals (breakfast & dinner) included in the price of the ride is a big plus to me; I don't like being 'nickeled & dimed' all week for food, showers, etc.
(I don't mind helping the local high school booster clubs, but paying
a dollar for a small cup of watered down instant coffee is no way to start the day!)Another great thing about having the meals included is that you don't have to worry about where to eat (except lunch). Sag stops are provided about every 15 miles on the trail with cold water, powdered sport drink mix, and a limited selection of fruit (almost always bananas, sometimes other items).
Riding the trail with a group is not the same as riding it on your own; you miss out on some of the tranquility and peace of being out there by yourself. You will probably not see as much wildlife along the trail either. That is not to say that you are constantly riding among other cyclist, but they are usually not far ahead or behind you. Just like a line of cars going down a gravel road, a group of cyclist will stir up dust on the trail - this is only a problem on very still days with no wind. Sometimes the early sag stops will run out of fruit.
Hopefully other folks who have partipated in this ride in the past and/or are planning to this year will chime in here!