Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MS150 Houston to Austin 2012

Last weekend saw the annual MS 150 Houston to Austin ride.
A two day charity sportive with about 17,000 entrants.
Having completed the course myself on 5 occasions I was envious of the American Mules especially as my own weekend was washed out with yet more wind and heavy rain showers.
Ever since the environment agency declared a hosepipe ban we have had continuous rain.
I am hoping that they tell us all to buy wellingtons and antifreeze soon so that I may enjoy some more pleasurable riding.
Anyway here is a report by Paddy our US Mule Patron.

The Good,the bad and the Ugly
This year’s MS150 was my best to date. It had nothing to do with the weather, and nothing to do with the extra training we had all put in, but the enjoyment was attributed to the wonderful sense of “Family” and Camaraderie we felt in riding together as a team.


That is part of the “Good”, the other part must go to Direct Energy and our fantastic Volunteers who really showed some of the big corporate oil companies some lessons in how to support both the event and its riders. They really knew how to make their riders feel comfortable and special throughout the ride and after 12 such MS150 events I have to say it will be difficult to raise the bar on Direct Energy.
Most of the Mules rode for the Direct Energy team but there were others scattered around other teams through obligations with their work. We all however wore our Mule jerseys at some stages of the ride to show our unity.


Our Ride started at a middle school on the outskirts of Houston and after a few miles or so we soon got ourselves into a decent well controlled “pace line” with a few of the “Clydesdale Type” Mules battering the 25 mph + winds for the rest of the Train.

Perhaps its time to mention the “Bad”…..? The bad was the fact that after a week of benevolent South Easterly breezes the wind conspired to turn around on the morning of the ride. This created a sobering headwind for the whole of the 98 miles on day 1. This certainly sorted out the wheat from the chaff with the field stretched out across South east Texas. I swear there were grown men with beards and all  “Crying for their respective Mama’s” as they were being blown to almost walking pace. For us teamwork prevailed. We shared the load against the wind and encouraging each other to stay together.
Togetherness is KEY !!!!!!!!





































Our base camp in La Grange could not have been better. By MS 150 standards it was luxury. We had four RV buses strategically positioned in the Texan way to repeal any other teams who might be coveting our hospitality and especially our beer. This incidentally was chilled as cold as an Eskimo's nose.
Although there was no Col Custard we did have a DJ who kept our hearts uplifted with some R&R Music. There were also some unbelievable support staff who ensured our hydration process was full and effective.
As an addition perk, we had direct access to a swimming pool and hot tub. What more could you want.
Lounging in a pool after a long ride with a cold beer is certainly a civilized way to relax after a ride.

Right......... Now for the “Downright Ugly”…..Shawn, one of our stallion riders had been abstaining beer for lent which was continued to the start of this ride. Having made it to the camp in record time quickly he decided that his abstinence period was over. After consuming a vast quantity of Belgium Ale (In support of the Belgium Classics) he decided to show off his dancing moves which were a techno mash up of Austin Powers and Fred A”stairs”. It was wondrous

Day 2 – Was a quiet affair with very little wind. This had us all drooling at the opportunity to ride tempo into Austin. This did not disappoint as the first leg to Bastrop saw us arrive at a time when most civilized folks have their breakfast.
For the rest of the morning saw us enjoy the sights and sounds as we took on a more relaxed pace to the Finish line before noon. We capped the occasion off with a visit to Johnny Mellow cycle shop for Coffee, a picture shoot in front of the capital building…..followed by more beers at the Direct Energy tent.
Saving the best to last.
A great event with $50,000 being raised by the Mule contingent.
 
Well done US Mules you have done us proud.

3 comments:

m e l i g r o s a said...

wow what a great ride+group. go mule team go!
love that santo skull jersey. rad fotos thx for sharing!
oh austin i must visit you again soon +your shiner +your quesow

xxomeli

m e l i g r o s a said...

having a little trouble with the comment/new format but ehre we go (3rd's a charm :-)

awesome job to you and your team/group. congrats, looks like such a great ride.
that santo/skul bike jersey is all kinds of awesomeness <3

much luv to the lone star riders +cant wait to visit austin oncve again +shiner beer +that fine quesow

xxomeli

best hybrid bike said...

Congratulations! This event is fun. I hope I can join next time. I admire your team. I can tell you all have a great time. When will be the next staging?