The third annual Ennis FFA Lion Pride Bike Ride left from the Ennis High School parking lot at 9am, Saturday, October 23rd. The weather was cloudy and drizzly, with a little southerly breeze that made the first rolling hills a little tougher when we made the first turn to the south from Hwy 34.
TJ and I were planning to ride the 35 mile route because we both needed to be finished around 11am, and I thought the ride started at 8am instead of 9am. Since it started at 9am, we opted for the 20 mile route, and went straight through without pausing at the 10 mile rest stop.
There was a railroad crossing about 5 miles into the ride that proved hazardous in its rain-slickened condition, as a rider fell just before we got there. He was okay and continued on, but ride representatives hung around warning the riders about the slick tracks. We all know we should be more cautious in the rain, and things like rail road tracks, storm grates, and even painted road surfaces command an extra level of care.
The smooth roads with little chip seal and the outstanding organization of this rally make it one of the best ones we attend all year. I hope participation continues to improve as the years go by. The FFA works very hard to make this a great rally, and the hamburgers at the end of the ride were great. I will participate in this rally for as long as they continue to offer it.
On a very sad note, one of the participants in the rally this year collapsed about 15 miles into the ride, and he did not survive. One report said he had left the road complaining of chest pain, and collapsed when assistance arrived. My sincere condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to his family and loved ones.