Thread: Ms 150
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Old 05-03-19, 08:45 AM
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MS150 weekend

First of all, glad to hear everyone had a good, safe ride. The weather was just about perfect this year. If it had not been quite so hot in the afternoons, I would have called it perfect.

The finish line was much improved this year, though some comments above indicate there is still room for improvement. The nice weather and shorter distance on day two (66 miles vs 75 in downtown Austin), put the turtle across the finish line a little after 4:30 (most years in downtown the turtle finished around 6:00). Most of the folks on the ride live in Houston, so it is nice to get an earlier start towards home.

This year, I still heard several comments lamenting the move from the Austin finish line to Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Some folks are mad at the MS Society for moving out of downtown. It appears many folks don't really understand why the move was made, so I thought I would take a minute to try and explain. If you come across others grieving the loss of downtown Austin, maybe you can explain it to them.

The reason we no longer finish in downtown Austin is best explained by this:

The street going left-right at the bottom of the picture is MLK Blvd. The grassy mall running up the center is/was Congress Ave. The parking lots where so many of the team tents were set up will have buildings on them. Simply put, the area where we had the finish line is not there anymore, or will be gone soon. You can get more info here: Capitol Plan

The MS Society did not just decide to leave downtown. The City of Austin / State of Texas told them that 2017 was the last year the MS150 would be allowed to finish at the Capitol. Thus the move to COTA.

The downtown Austin finish line was pretty iconic. I can't think of a more visually appealing place for a finish, but one had to be found. It had to be big enough to accommodate the finish line and all the team tents, trucks, buses, and everything else necessary. It has to be between 65 and 80 road miles from La Grange, available on the MS150 weekend, the roads had to be suitable for bicycle traffic, there had to be suitable places for break points along the road, and the route had to be approved by law enforcement.

The MS Society looked at a lot of places, and COTA was deemed the best option. If anyone can think of a better place, I'd love to hear about it. No sarcasm in that. I don't think COTA is as good as downtown, but I know of no place better that we can use. If you know of such a place, I would really like to hear about it.

Last edited by Tanstaafl; 05-03-19 at 03:38 PM.
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