The start point of the 8:45am Flagpole Ride is the center flagpole on the main quad of the Texas A&M campus, about 50 meters west of the statue of Sul Ross. This ride is intended for cyclists at or seeking a high level of fitness. We try very hard to be welcoming, but this is not a ride for beginners. New riders should know the route and be mentally and physically prepared for the possibility of a solo ride home if they are unable to keep up with the rest of the group. (That said, there are regroups after the more aggressive sections and the group does its best to ensure that new riders know their way home on the off chance that they get so badly separated from the group that they don’t make it to a regroup point before the group has to leave.)
We ride at a steady pace through the “South Dowling” area, eventually reaching Wellborn Rd/2154 at the entrance to the Duck Haven subdivision. The pace hots up a bit along 2154 into Millican, but we strive to ride steady and keep the group together, as the traffic is fast and there is no shoulder to speak of. There is a sprint point before the stop sign at FM 159. After a brief water/refueling stop at the Millican post office we head down FM 159 to Hwy 105. The pace is typically quite high for the stretch between Allen Farm and 105; there is a sprint point just before 105. After a regroup, we turn left onto 105 and ride steady for the four miles into Navasota, where we typically stop to refuel at the Classic Rock Coffee Company. (Mango and wildberry smoothies highly recommended.) After making our way through town we get on (typically busy) Hwy 6 and ride on the wide shoulder for about a mile before turning off onto the northbound bypass, which we ride all the way to Peach Creek Rd. There is typically some variety of tailwind in spring, summer, and fall for this rolling stretch, so speeds can easily average 25+ over the seven miles to Peach Creek. We turn right on Peach Creek and return to town via Rock Prairie Rd.