Tour de Fire Ant
Saturday October 9, 2010
Unusual circumstances including a recent trip to Europe restricted Christine's and my riding to 16 and 13 miles respectively since the Fort Davis Cyclefest. So when it was time to saddle up at the Tour de Fire Ant, we wisely choose the 45 mile route.
We had looked forward to this ride for some time as we had never been to Marshall in far east Texas, the Piney Woods area, and just knew that it would be pretty country. We were not let down.
The bicycle tour is in conjunction with the city's annual Fire Ant Festival.
By the scheduled start time of 9 o'clock, the sun was shinning brightly, there was no wind to speak of--a beautiful day for a ride.
Two hundred and eight of us lined up for the start. The 100K lead out followed by the 45 and 30 milers. The 10 mile family ride was a nice route through town and started last.
The first 10 miles were into the sun, so one will have to take my word that the scenery was nice as picture taking would not have been productive.
The ride route took us past heavily wooded pine trees on almost every road.
Our route did not take us to Shreveport, Louisiana, but we continued down the road for a few miles before we turned to another side road.
I could not pass up this photo op. Jonesville is even on the Texas map.
And down more of the picturesque route.
We were tempted to follow this side lane as it was so pretty, but discretion won out.
Nearby Jefferson was holding a motorcycle rally, so we met cyclists coming and going all morning.
Eventually we arrived at the area from which the ride derives its name. There are a series of hills, each with a name, and Fire Ant Hill is the longest.
Fire Ant Hill was a long 4% grade which was fine with us, as we hadn't ridden much in the last three weeks.
Then you were rewarded by rolling down the hill.
Two more hills awaited us.
After Freddy Ant Hill, the ants
lead us back to
which lead us to
Note the sponsor on the right side of the sign. At the finish line, there were free pizzas and FREE Michelob beer. I was chosen to be designated driver so Christine had a well deserved lunch.
The ride was outstanding in its scenery and support by the various volunteers. It is a highly recommended tour. And, there is more to see and tour around Marshall. We hope to publish that article in a few days.