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Old 02-18-07, 01:21 AM   #1
cctexas
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West U Warm up - Houston, TX - thoughts

West U Warm up - Houston, TX. Did this ride last Sunday, 2-11. Was up visiting some friends, so I decided to ride it.

The good stuff: roads were smooth and there were no hills (if that's what you are looking to avoid), even though I like the rollers to mix it up. Rest stops were well supported including bike shops doing minor repairs, etc. right there. Plenty of food and drink. Great turnout despite the cold, wet weather. Overall very safe with little traffic.

Not-so-good stuff: Just a flat, boring route. No rolling hills, etc. No one's fault, just the terrain, ya know. Most people I tried to ride with were pretty sketchy, definitely not comfortable in pacelines or willing to do any work, so I just did the job of a mule and pulled around whoever was behind me. I am sure the ride marshals meant well, but a little too "barky" with the orders, you know, like someone who is given a little power and makes too much of it. And big thumbs down for having us sit there in the rain for a long stretch as they rolled out the start in sections. Really wasn't that big of a group, so it could have gone out in one shot or let them out faster. We just sat there and got soaked. Not a great start to the day. Nothing at the end to designate the finish. Everyone just pulls into the parking lot, packs up and goes. Must have been a real downer for some people that never completed that type of ride.

Sorry, won't be going back...
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Old 02-11-08, 09:34 AM   #2
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Sorry to read the experience was bad in 2007. This year's was pretty nice. You can still complain about the route because, well, it's just not that exciting. Not a whole bunch of scenery there, though the southernmost loop that was part of the 60 mile route was (I thought) pretty pleasant. My perception of it all is likely filtered through the weather, which was--in a word--perfect. Comfortable temperatures throughout and there was no appreciable wind until the last 20 miles or so. Even then, not really a huge deal. I'd certainly be willing to do this one again.
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Old 02-11-08, 01:48 PM   #3
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Was registered for the metric, but wasn't able to make it: my wife was sick so I was on duty. The weather did look fantastic. Down here on the coast the fog had rolled in and it was pretty damp in the air. I'll be doing the Gator ride instead. Looking forward to the ride across the bridge. That'll be my first hill...
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Old 02-12-08, 04:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebottle1 View Post
Sorry to read the experience was bad in 2007. This year's was pretty nice. You can still complain about the route because, well, it's just not that exciting. Not a whole bunch of scenery there, though the southernmost loop that was part of the 60 mile route was (I thought) pretty pleasant. My perception of it all is likely filtered through the weather, which was--in a word--perfect. Comfortable temperatures throughout and there was no appreciable wind until the last 20 miles or so. Even then, not really a huge deal. I'd certainly be willing to do this one again.
I rode the 60 mile route. The rest stops were well done by volunteer groups. I had misfortune of a broken cable at mile 15 and thought I would be riding a "2 speed" for the rest of the route using only my front derailleur. I was rewarded at the next rest stop with a decent mechanic who was equipped to handle broken cables. He replaced and adjusted the rear derailleur cable at a cost of $5.

Traffic control support was good for the first 2/3 of the route but was blatantly missing on the last 15 miles or so. I heard one of the scheduled sheriff's dept crew was a no-show. One of the critical turns on the route was not marked. If you missed it (I did), it was bad news leading you through an industrial section of town to the high speed sam houston tollway feeder.

The last leg of the route went up highway 521 and was downright dangerous - heavy traffic, no shoulders and no traffic control. Honestly, this part of the ride was inexcuseable. The end of the ride was a big nothing - no food, no drinks, no support, just a parking lot.

There was a large turnout with a high percentage of inexperienced riders. This is probably a good simulation for the MS150.

I enjoyed the first part of the ride. I must admit my attitude was downed by mechanical problems (also had a flat). But the latter part of the route with its dangers and the lack of refreshments at the end left me with a sour impression. I think I'll skip it next year.

Bob
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Old 02-24-08, 07:20 PM   #5
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I did the ride. It was decent enough, although the guy with the microphone at the beginning was a bit much.

There were a number of inexperienced riders, which gets me used to the MS. The MS-150- Houston-Austin must be the most dangerous event in all of cycling.
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