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2013 Stampede Comments

I owe you and your whole crew a huge thanks for putting on such a top-rate event.  As Dan mentioned, it was truly a different kind of 1200k where the motto “All for one and one for all” held our group together for nearly the entire ride.  It was like riding in a 4 day, 30 team member fleche ride, except with sleep.  Dan and others were continually performing the challenging task of keeping our herd together at control towns where we would often spread out to several “refueling stations” and on the road where wind and hills would have otherwise easily blew apart the group.  This was hands down the most stress-free 1200k I have done.  It felt like a vacation!  With a great group of people no less! And those Texans sure know a thing or two about hospitality!  This ride will be very memorable for me for a long time to come.  Thanks again, Dan, and I look forward to riding with you and my new Texas friends sometime soon!

-Mike Fox


I really appreciate all of the effort you and Mark put into keeping the herd together and getting so many of us through it that might have DNF’d if we were stuck out alone in that wind.  I feel like people will remember this approach that places more importance on the group than the individual.  I think they’ll tell stories about how we took care of one another over four windy days in Texas.  The legend will spread!

I’ve also found that the best part of 1200’s are the incredible folks you meet.  All the big guns from Seattle (real class acts, every one of them), Paul and Vernon from CO, the Olsen Boys.  They’re all a real inspiration to ride with.  I only just got to know these people, but I already miss their good company.  I also miss the “go, go, go” thrill of living under the 90 clock.

Thanks again for making it awesome for ALL OF US!

-Jeff Newberry


Stampede has become a very different event of sorts. In almost every 1,200 k people ride their own ride and although there are acts of kindness along the way, the motto is more of a take care of “Yourself”. We left the last overnight control with 34 riders, and would have finished as a group if it was not for an accident, that is amazing.  It was a total “Class Act” half the group was crazy Strong and Experienced and they chose to stay with the group and help out rather than finish hours ahead of it.

Thank you again for an amazing experience. I had the adventure I was seeking, and then some!

Please thank all the volunteers from the different clubs for their support and hard work. These people make all the difference.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

-Agnes Gallo


We really enjoyed the Stampede. The riders and volunteers were so friendly and helpful. The scenery was great, the dogs were penned, and the drivers were amazingly patient. A sincere thanks to you and to all who made this ride possible.

Mark Olsen


 Speaking for the riders of The 2013 Texas Rando Stampede 1,200 k and for myself as one of the riders; this year’s Randoneeeeee was by far the most civil and hospitable long Brevet I have ever done, or have even ever heard of anyone doing. The TRS Volunteers were simply “Fabulousooo”. The fact that a rider may have had less than 5 hours off the bike at an overnight control was buffered by The TRS Volunteers having room keys and food ready for them.  The ability to eat, shower and quickly crawl into a comfortable bed, with breakfast waiting for a pre-dawn revile call, made the ride so much more doable. Here goes with some genuine “Thanks”.

  • Thanks to George for another great route with help from Bob Riggs, Stephen Hazelton and Jeff Newberry.
  • Thanks to Pam Wright, Bob Riggs and Vickie Tyer for their work on the Q-sheet.
  • Thanks to Pam Wright for her help with the Jersey design.
  • Thanks to George Evans, Rick Villa and Bob Millay for running “Check In”.
  • Thanks to Bob Hammond, who drove the sag van one thousand miles, unloading and loading our bags countless times.
  • Thanks to Joni Tooke for riding “Shot Gun”.
  • Thanks to our Hill Country Rando – Marble Falls Volunteers, Wayne Dunlap, Denis Kervella, Eduardo Mendes, Scott Taylor and Alain Nimri.
  • Thanks to our Houston Rando – Columbus Volunteers, Bob Riggs, Mark Wooldridge, Mariana Riggs, Ann Stiles, John Riggs, Cathy Riggs and Brannon Oates (AKA Bull Dog).
  • Thanks to our LSR Rando – Crockett Volunteers, Dottie Gibson, Cindy Tyer, Sharon Stevens, Daniel Sanchez (HR) and Bob Millay.
  • Thanks to Da Girls with a plan for the finish line festivities, Kalleen Whitford, Rani Freeman, Stephanie Harnden, Brenda Barnell, and Da boys George Evans and Bob Millay.
  • Thanks to all that helped transport riders to and from the airport, Daniel Schaaf, Vickie Tyer, Bob Millay, and “Ray Ray Da Bus Man” Ray Allen.
  • Thanks to SIR for buying Da Beer
  • Mere thanks is not near enough, but it is heartfelt and genuine, without U’all, this would not have been doable.

-Dan D


Enjoyed a unique grand randonnee experience at the Texas 1200 this week. A rolling pack of around 30 randos rode nearly the entire ride together.  A few riders were off the front and a few off the back, and a crash 45 miles from the end split the group, but otherwise the “herd” rode hundreds and hundreds of miles together.  Although a pack that large was inefficient at controls and other stops, the teamwork and camaraderie displayed in the group provided a joyful reminder of the essential nature of randonneuring.  A wonderful group of volunteers provided great Texas hospitality all along the way.  Kudos to Dan Driscoll and his merry band for what they created.  And thanks to the other riders for a great week.

See you on the road,

-Mark Thomas


I’ll second what Mark posted.  It was a great event which was well-organized and supremely supported by a great group of volunteers.

It was also a pleasure to share the road with such a distinguished group of riders even though my time with the herd was somewhat limited.


Gerry Elam

Gerry Elam – ride report


Report is done (which sometimes never gets done).  http://tinyurl.com/d45gl4w   No captions yet.  Note, most of the rider shots are of the “grupetto herd” out the back. But there is one video of the whole group pulling thru a light in Waxahachie.

I had a great experience in Texas.  Variable, unpredictable weather for sure!  I think a cyclist from TX invented the word “wind”, making sure it came out as a 4-letter word. 🙂  Gotta love that road surface too, especially when the construction crew scrapes it away the day before.  And that road noise from 70mph pickups on chip seal, what can I say?  Just a different set of challenges.

Many good memories.  Treated well by all the local folks.  Loved listening to the ranchers at one of the Subways.  One of the most encouraging moments came in Gatesville, right when I was cooked by the heat and other riders had gone on and there I was, last again at the Shell station, an unscheduled stop.  An elderly African-American couple was getting gas in their older model Lincoln Town car.   Wanted to know what I was up to.  Amazed as most are when I told them.  Since I was in the dumps and realized I had a long way to Marble Falls, I just blurted out to the woman as she was getting into the car, “Pray for me!”.  She said she would do that.  Then as she backed away from the car said, “And since you asked, I’ll pray with you right now”.  She came over to where I was sitting on the curb drinking a Gatorade, took my hand, and prayed with me.  Simple Christ-like kindness … to a smelly, soiled, cooked, white-boy stranger on a bicycle.  That was a blessing.  And, prayers were answered — as I not only made it safely to Marble Falls, but all the way to the end.

Thanks so much to George, Dan, and all the numerous volunteers.  We were treated right nice down thar!

-George Winkert

Highland, MD



Howdy Stampeders,

Here are my pics/videos I took on TRS.  Just wanted to get them out and not wait until a ride rep

Thanks Dan – it was fabulous.  I can only say ‘Thank You’ to George and all the volunteers that put on a great Texas event.  Riding with ‘The Herd’ was wonderful.  Our paths will cross in the future – I’m sure of it.

Be well, be safe,

-Larry Grabiak


Probably once in a lifetime to have that type of event come together like it did.  Thrilled to be a part of it…..magical

-Pam Wright


Thanks to all for all your hard work putting on a great event.  I think this will go down as one of the best American 1200s ever because of you guys.

-Bob Riggs


Stampeders – proud of y’all!  Got ‘er done, nice job, Eh?  See y’all on down the Rando road!  Oink oink!

-Lara and Stephen


Yes, I had a good time. Thank George and crew for great support. I certainly could not have done it without them. I met more people on your 1200 than any other that I have done.

Keep rubber side down,



It was great and my first 1200. You guys set the bar high.

-Barry Benson


I know it is a LOT of work for all of the volunteers, but it would be great if we could have this pre – season training ride EVERY year, especially in this format.  Thanks again, and it was great to be able to ride with you all from Texas – and the folks from SIR, as well.

-Bill Olsen


Thanks so much.  It meant a lot to me and everyone else I’m sure. It was a beautiful and unique ride and I’m so glad I was able to be part of it. Hope to see you on a ride again soon.

-Jan Acuff 


The Stampede was AWESOME!! I had a great time exploring Texas and was amazed at our ability to keep the group working together.  I truly believe I was more able to get to know fellow Randonneurs on the Stampede than on any other 1200K in the past.  It was especially fun for me to watch those who were successful in their first 1200 complete the ride.

You and your fellow Texans sure know how to put on a great ride.

Thanks for all you and the other volunteers did to make the ride much easier and enjoyable for me.

-Paul Foley


It was a great ride and a whole new kind of experience for me.  I had never done a long ride where a big group of riders stuck together.  It was really nice to be able to pass the miles chatting with amazing riders from all over the country

The scenery was more diverse and much prettier than I thought it would be.  I loved the wildflowers, the limestone canyons, and the free-running horses and cattle.  And the kindness and hospitality shown by all the volunteers and local riders was amazing.  Truly, it was all the people I met who made this a great experience.  It is really true what they say about people from Texas being so friendly.

-Kerin Huber


Thanks!  I had a great ride and really enjoyed the camaraderie of “the herd”.  The experience was wonderful.  Thanks again for talking me out of talking myself out of a fabulous ride.

-Joshua C


Your crew put on great event.  The ride to and from the airport was a nice touch and greatly appreciated.  It took care of one of the logistical problems that can make these trips seem overly complicated.  This was my first trip to Texas.  I was really impressed by how friendly everyone was.  I actually thought the drivers were more patient than here.  Next time I’ll get more sleep!  I suffered a bit from the heat and of course I could always train more

-Gary Sparks 


The Stampede route goes through Buffalo, Texas, then out west past a lignite mining area (lignite = low-grade coal).  When I drove through there a couple of weeks ago, one of the huge draglines that they use to strip the dirt off the top of the lignite was in an unusually visible position, so I took this short video.  Quite likely, by the time Stampede rolls around, you’ll still be able to see the boom back in the distance, but not much else.  Plus, you’re liable to be too tired to care by the time you’re there.  So take a look now. http://youtu.be/AHu8oeh4J-g

To give you an idea of the scale, a couple of photos are attached.  In the second blow-up photo, the box with window at the lower right is the operator’s cab.  This machine would make a pretty good-sized 3 or 4 story house.  A dragline like this is probably the biggest machine you’ll ever see that is not floating.

These draglines don’t have tracks like a bulldozer; they are “walking draglines”.  This video shows a similar walking dragline moving.  It’s a slow process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U8pFm06BTo

These draglines are electric, which is why you don’t hear much noise in the video.  They’ll move a power cable around that goes back to the power plant.

And, if you wonder what the heck is a “dragline” anyway, this link explains it:
-Stephen Hazelton