It was the first of what I hope to be many grand adventures. The MS 150, Houston to Austin, 177 miles in two days, and over $1600 dollars raised in less than 48 hours.
Without further delay, let me say thank you, first and foremost, to all of you who donated.
I need to thank Alain Warchilde of Oak Cliff Bicycle Co., for lending me a tire, bicycle bag, and for the packing tips. I was able to throw my bike on a Greyhound Express to Houston, which I highly recommend as a fast, affordable way to make a day trip. The new express routes are cheap, no stops, and have wifi (kinda) and electricity outlets.
I also need to thank Ingrid Seyb, good friend, and Art Conservator for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. After picking me up from the Greyhound station, she set me loose in the museum while I waited for her to finish her work day. It was good to be reminded of how nice it is to see museum collections in other cities, Houston's being one of the best in the country! Ingrid was an excellent host, set me up with an air mattress on her apartment floor, and delivered me to the starting line at 6:15 am the next morning. Thanks Ingrid!
Thanks to OCBC's handsome jersey, (coolest one I saw on the ride if I do say so myself) I met another Dallas native before I ever left the starting line. He gave me a crash course on group riding and I resolved to try and keep up with him for as long as I was able. Before long we had a few guys in a pace line, and where fighting 20 mph headwinds for the better part of 100 miles! (my first century!). I ended up befriending a guy named Axel from San Antonio who was basically a clone of Jeremy Ordaz from OCBC, weird.
It was really moving to see all the people on the roads, ringing cowbells, waving, cheering us on. One town had a giant bubble machine set up in town square. People would blare music from loudspeakers at the end of their driveway, the music slowly getting louder as you approached and then reaching ear piercing volumes for a moment, then instantly drowned out by the wind. While I'm sure it would have been a great experience to be part of a group, there was something really special about being alone on this ride. Still, I was never really alone. All you had to do was open your mouth and you were talking to someone, more often then not, they were happy to talk back, and that's a good feeling.
I rode in honor of my stepmother Angie Montoya, and my father Leroy Montoya, who both drove down with my wife Kristen to see me finish. I wasn't sure how they would ever spot me out of 14,000 riders, but when I came around that last corner, I was looking right at em, and they were looking right at me.
I wasn't able to photographically document my own journey, but two weeks later, my camera and I did find our way to the finish line of the Frisco to Ft. Worth MS150. MS150 Portrait Gallery