Cyclists, put on your riding shoes because the CareFlite Paluxy Pedal in Glen Rose will be back on Saturday, Oct. 5.
The ride will start at Glen Rose High School at 8:30 a.m. and the meandering paved route will take riders through scenic views, gentle hills and challenging climbs.
There are four different routes on the Paluxy Pedal: a 29-mile route, 38-mile route, 53-mile route and 60-mile route, with the 53 and 60-mile routes taking riders to the top of the wall, a 3/10 of a mile stretch with a hill grade of almost 19 percent at its steepest.
“We’re very famous for the wall,” Keith Smith, member of the committee said. “People have a goal of actually riding up the wall. It’s like one of our draws to people. Over the years we’ve had to change our route but no matter what, we have to keep the wall.”
A new ride was added this year as well called “Gotta Love Gravel.” This ride will start at 6 p.m. Saturday night as well and will take riders on a scenic gravel ride through the towns of Morgan and Meridian.
“You can do road in the morning or ride gravel at night or you can just do the gravel. We just added that that night because it’s kind of become a popular thing in cycling,” Smith said.
The gravel ride will start at Katy Park in Walnut Springs and riders will have the option of choosing between a 35-mile or a 50-mile ride. This ride will also end with great food and the famous Crazy Water from Mineral Wells.
“We give pizza after the ride, which is kind of unique and that’s kind of a neat thing. We have Crazy Water this year so hopefully that works out. They’re going to come down and set up a booth this year so I was pretty excited to make that connection,” Smith said.
A new addition was added to the Paluxy Pedal event last year called Find Rex. At Dinosaur Valley State Park, the exhibit features a dinosaur that moves. The dinosaur was placed on the course and riders were encouraged to take pictures with Rex, with the winner earning a prize.
“Last year we gave away a night’s stay out at Rough Creek Lodge. People are always looking for Rex out on the course,” Smith said.
Smith has been riding for around 25 years and he said one of the things he loves most about cycling is getting the chance to meet people from all walks of life.
“It is a very close-knit group of people. If you do something like that, you get to know people. You’re all suffering together,” he said with a laugh. “I got people I only see once a year. I go to a ride and then I know them and then they’ll see me again in a year. We call it family reunions at these rides. There’s people from all over the nation. I got a guy that has a bike shop in Illinois and I'll pop in and do a night ride with him when I'm on my vacation so it’s that common bond that is kind of unique.”
Smith said he knows some riders who started their love of cycling when they were in high school.
“It’s kind of like one of those things that gets ya and then you just do it for the rest of your life,” he said.
To participate in the Paluxy Pedal, registration is $40, with proceeds benefitting the LDL Educational Resources Foundation, supporting education, health and environmental projects for the people of Somervell and adjacent counties.
“Glen Rose is the place to come ride,” Smith added.