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Old 04-30-18, 02:29 PM
  #626  
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Originally Posted by Scott P View Post
I had an good day one, despite my lack of training. I found a good group of riders and averaged 19.4 mph into Bellville from Waller. The milled roads and rumble strips not only vibrated me, but I found my front skewer had flipped open when I arrived in Bellville That could have been ugly. The hills at the end were murder as usual. I ended up at about a 17.4 mph by the time I got into La Grange. We actually had an RV and tent to arrive to in La Grange, so we handed out some beer and ate some food. Our overnight accommodations were at a youth camp 10 miles down the Express route. The trip back to La Grange was at 5:00 am, so I took a pass. Day two for us was a short 52 miles.

I enjoyed the ride into COTA and I liked the layout better than Austin. Having a tent city for us smaller teams was a great idea. I like having a place to go and grab some post-workout snacks and cool down. The parking situation was a bummer though. That hill was no fun and the mile plus walk was no fun.
Were you on team BEMA or Back Pew? I'm guessing based on your location it was Back Pew? I was at camp Eternal too, with BEMA. I was the guy that took off to race to the finish on the Red Diamondback.
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Old 05-01-18, 10:56 AM
  #627  
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Well, day one started pretty terrible. We started at our team's start on Dairy Ashford south of I-10 at 6:10am and rode up to the actual start at the Omni on Park Row. Never again. We ended up on the back of the start there and didn't actually get to start until well after 7am. Not worth getting up at 4am for. We will either go back to starting at our house and just accept the risk of riding down Clay Road to Barker Cypress, or will start with the team again and turn left on the feeder road and bypass the start line at the Omni next year.

My wife got two flats before the first breakpoint...and it was my fault. She got a flat the previous weekend, and while changing the tube, I noticed the rim tape was in bad shape around some of the spoke holes. So I replaced it Wednesday night...with tape that was apparently too narrow for the rim. 16mm instead of 19mm. It seemed to have covered all the rim holes when I installed it, but when the tire was inflated, it apparently slipped into the hole just enough to expose an edge and wear on the tube. We got that fixed at BP#1, but changing the two flats and then waiting at the BP to let Bike Barn fix my screwup took a while and put us very near the back of the pack.

Once we got going again, things were fine until after lunch, when it started really warming up over the fresh new asphalt. My Garmin showed 95F during a good chunk of the last half of the ride, and sitting in the sun at the last BP, it was showing 106F. My MS starts shutting my energy level down at anything over about 85F, so I just had to slow down and grind out the last 30 miles or so. My wife took more than her share of the pulls for the last 30-40 miles which helped a lot. That lady in Fayetteville with the garden hose spraying riders with water was an angel! I almost turned around and went back to ask her to spray my other side. We finished pretty late due to the slow start and the delays with the flats (I think it was after 3pm), and I just had to sit there with some ice on my neck and head for about 30 minutes to get feeling human again.

Day 2 was short and sweet, and went by really fast. I was still pretty beat from the heat on day 1, but the cool weather was fine and got us to lunch at 9:20am. Took the express route, which was quite uncrowded this year...probably because the park was open finally. I thought the roads were ok past Bastrop...not great, but ok...really loved the tailwind on 535. The finish was somewhat anticlimactic compared to the run-in to downtown Austin...wish they would find a way to get some people out cheering further from the finish line, but not sure how to do that. We finished just before noon...11:50 or so and felt fine...not tired at all.

My thoughts on the finish line are that it obviously needs improvement, but I can understand some growing pains as they adapt to the new location. My overall impression though was that they didn't think their traffic control through very well. They pretty much setup the finish to force the vast majority of the riders and their friends/families to have to cross the finish line at least once, and then didn't have anything approaching adequate control over the crossing zones. They would have been much better off with making the finish line end at a T, with short runouts to the right and left, and the bike corral off the end of either side of the T to allow riders to go to the side their team tent was on. Then, they should have had the parking trams picking up riders and others right by the bike corral instead of down in the middle of the team tents. Better traffic control up in the parking area also would have been helpful to keep the trams running as well. Having cars and the trams trying to use the same roads to move through there was a giant CF that kept thousands of people waiting for trams in the heat for well over an hour. I hope they send out a survey and reach out to the teams for input, because there are lots of ways to make that finish line experience better than it was.

Overall, hard to complain too much though. We got to ride in near perfect weather, with a tailwind, both days, and raised millions of dollars for the fight against MS. What is not to like? Thanks again to everybody who rode, volunteered, raised funds, etc.! Y'all are my heroes!
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Old 05-01-18, 11:12 AM
  #628  
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It was amazing how poorly parking was handled. The VIP lot was at the top of that hill hike? Absurd. Basically all the parking was there. And it was a single lane road getting in and out both ways. No way.
How many completely enormous EMPTY parking lots did we ride past before coming to the finish line? I can't believe those went unused.
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Old 05-01-18, 12:11 PM
  #629  
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My MS 150 ride was great. I was in a good pace line for the 1st half of day 1, then on my own for much of the 2nd half. Got to La Grange at 12:30. Set up my tent just out of ear shot of the big Saint Arnold tent. Had some good beer, some good food (they brought cilantro for the tacos this year!) and some laughs with my teammates. Got to sleep about 8 Saturday night, woke up fresh as a daisy.

Day 2 was amazing. I've never been in the parks before. Beautiful and terrifying. About 50 or 60 Saint Arnold folks grouped up right before we entered COTA and rode in as a grid. That was sweet.

I wasn't a fan of COTA. Too spread out, shower lines too long, traffic and parking problems, out in the boonies.
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Old 05-02-18, 05:36 AM
  #630  
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Originally Posted by Mindcrime View Post
Were you on team BEMA or Back Pew? I'm guessing based on your location it was Back Pew? I was at camp Eternal too, with BEMA. I was the guy that took off to race to the finish on the Red Diamondback.
I was on Back Pew. Team captain and also the team smart ass.
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Old 05-02-18, 08:32 AM
  #631  
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
It was amazing how poorly parking was handled. The VIP lot was at the top of that hill hike? Absurd. Basically all the parking was there. And it was a single lane road getting in and out both ways. No way.
How many completely enormous EMPTY parking lots did we ride past before coming to the finish line? I can't believe those went unused.
If you look at the satellite view of COTA, you will see the parking used by the MS150 was by far the closest lot to the finish line area. Lot C, a paved lot you probably saw on the right on your way in, may or may have been empty when you rode by. This lot was used by many teams to gather together so they could ride across the finish together. There was a virtual little tent city in there for a while, though it was gone by about 3:30.

There are a couple of paved driving pads that you may have mistaken for parking lots along the Circuit of the America's Drive. COTA would probably not allow parking in these areas.

The MS Society put a LOT of planning into the finish line in an effort to provide a good experience for the riders. Obviously, there are lessons to be learned. In fairness, this is a brand new venue, and things rarely go perfectly the first time out. I am sure the MS Society will look at the parking / shuttle issues and do there best to improve things for next year.
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Old 05-03-18, 05:16 AM
  #632  
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If you know people who volunteered, please give them a big thank you for me. We had all the fun while they were working.
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Old 12-24-18, 02:49 AM
  #633  
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Time to bring this back to the top! Who’s registered so far? I finally committed and signed up last week. This will be number 5 for me.
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Old 12-28-18, 09:32 AM
  #634  
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I signed up pretty much on the first day. I'm a captain, so I pretty much had to lead by example I guess. I'm hoping this training season is warmer and drier than last year's.
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Old 01-27-19, 08:05 AM
  #635  
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Thanks for the reminder. I just joined you guys and signed up today.
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Old 01-31-19, 04:33 PM
  #636  
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I had to drop - some family stuff has come up and I won't be around that weekend. Had to contact the MS Society to have them close my registration. Sucks to lose the reg fee but oh well.
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Old 01-31-19, 04:44 PM
  #637  
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I'm signed up. Let's see, this will be ... Green Icon, Endeavour, Art Car, Summer Pils, Lawnmower, six, this will be my sixth MS150.
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Old 02-07-19, 07:06 AM
  #638  
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
I had to drop - some family stuff has come up and I won't be around that weekend. Had to contact the MS Society to have them close my registration. Sucks to lose the reg fee but oh well.
Gonna missed your enthusiasm. Your regular training updates motivate the rest of us to ride.
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Old 03-30-19, 06:43 AM
  #639  
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The Bluebonnet Express is Sunday. It's looking like 15 mph winds from the North or NNE, putting it at a headwind for the middle 30 miles of the ride. It wouldn't be a BBX without headwinds. The starting temps in the 40s is kinda depressing too.
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Old 03-30-19, 10:47 AM
  #640  
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I did the BBX two years in a row in 2014 and 2015 and both years was miserable because of the headwinds for the majority of the ride. Haven’t been back since - not for that reason - but certainly hasn’t made me miss it a lot.
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Old 04-01-19, 09:06 AM
  #641  
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Is it just me, or has the cool weather hung around later than usual this year?
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Old 04-01-19, 08:03 PM
  #642  
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Our friend from the U.K. is in town and he wanted to go to NASA so we did that Sunday. It was cold windy and miserable. I can’t imagine how awful the BBX must have been. Anyone here go?
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Old 04-05-19, 04:00 PM
  #643  
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If anyone is signed up for Gran Fondo, I just got word from their organizing committee the ride is cancelled for this year. The weather forecast for Sunday really looks awful.
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Old 04-06-19, 04:50 AM
  #644  
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Bbx

Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
Our friend from the U.K. is in town and he wanted to go to NASA so we did that Sunday. It was cold windy and miserable. I canít imagine how awful the BBX must have been. Anyone here go?
I wanted to back out of the BBX but my poor physical condition body said "No." Temperature was in the low 50s but with the North prevailing winter wind, it felt like riding in the 40s. With my body covered from head to toe, I rode the 52 miles route. The first 15 miles to the rest stop was relatively easy. On the contrary, the next 20 miles was brutally hard with the headwind, cold temp and no sun. Nobody wanted to pull. The whole time I was thinking "why didn't I take the 35 miles route?"
The finish was really sweet and the ride paid off in the last 12 miles. The sun came out and the 15mph wind was pushing the bike to the finish line like riding an E-bike.

All the intersections were protected by LEOs and I didn't see or hear any problems with Walller County this year.
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Old 04-09-19, 03:13 PM
  #645  
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I was at the BBX. Not on a bike though. I was the rest stop coordinator. I was out there before 5 am and not done till around 6pm. It was chilly, and a bit windy, but honestly not a bad day to ride. I've been through much worse.

Now racing last weekend in Fayetteville... was a complete ****show.
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Old 04-11-19, 10:20 AM
  #646  
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I am so unprepared this year... I have been riding plenty on the trainer on rainy weekends and doing spin classes, but I desperately need some road miles. And guess what...rain again on Saturday and we have to teach spinning class Sunday morning when it will finally be sunny on a weekend for once.
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Old 04-13-19, 05:50 AM
  #647  
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Originally Posted by txags92 View Post
I am so unprepared this year... I have been riding plenty on the trainer on rainy weekends and doing spin classes, but I desperately need some road miles. And guess what...rain again on Saturday and we have to teach spinning class Sunday morning when it will finally be sunny on a weekend for once.
I who how you feel.
I am wayyyyyy undertrained this year so I will swap out of 11-28 into 11-32 cassette. With the cassette swap, I can ride instead of walking on the hills.

Cancelled rides in the last 3 weeks:
R2R-Bellville ride
Grand Fondo
R2R-Columbus
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Old 04-15-19, 04:48 AM
  #648  
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Every year I say "This year, I am going to train more" and approaching my fifth straight MS150, I too am feeling totally undertrained. No hill training (was counting on the Gran Fondo) and the few rides I did do this year were no fun. Bulldog ride was cold and wet, Magnolia Miles was windy and BBX was cold and windy. The only thing that may be going for me is the wife got a Peloton several weeks ago and I've been on that. Our overnight lodging is 10 miles down the Lunch Express route, so a 54 miles day two will help.
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Old 04-16-19, 03:47 PM
  #649  
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See you there again this year! BEMA will be back at the same place too. I'm thinking I'm going to ride from Lagrange to the camp this year for a few extra miles (and because it took 2+ hours to get a ride back there anyways!)

I am bummed that the new day 1 route does not have an actual century option this year, only 95 miles, so I think I need those last few
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Old 04-21-19, 10:09 AM
  #650  
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Hi,

I am a fixed gear rider from Pennsylvania and this will be my first BP 150. It is my 7th year riding for MS. Last year I did 5 rides, all on the fixed gear. I am looking forward to visiting the great state of Texas again and riding in the biggest Bike MS event.

Memorial to Matthew R. Dille

I appreciate any tips on the logistics.

I have never had chicken and waffles. It is not a "thing" in Pennsylvania. I am wondering if it is common in Texas. If so, is there a good place near Katy?

Ride Safe,

Joe
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