Dough Rollers

Dough Rollers
Want to Ride With the HCD? email us at Hillcountrydoughboys@gmail.com

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Mighty Wind

After several rides that almost made the Blog cut, here is one worthy of the written word.

HOUSTON TO AUSTIN. STRAIGHT UP. STRAIGHT THROUGH.

Self discovery is elusive. This blog will not deal with self discovery in any meaningful sense, so take comfort. No Eat, Pray, Love moments allowed. NO. this is more important. We're talking about the bike.

For ME, the MS-150 offers an opportunity for self discovery. In 2006, this ride was an imposing monster. Two Days of mileage greater than any single ride I had ever done. It was EPIC to complete! A Badge of Pride. Before I drag you further into boredom, please note that:


  • The MS-150 is a very touching, emotional experience. Those impacted by the deadly disease line the roads, and their cheers and gratitude make me verklempt then, and now. 
  • Completing the ride is truly an accomplishment. Particularly if you are not an acolyte in the Sacred House of the Bike.


From 2006 through 2012, a group of us did the ride. In that time we rode next to guys in chicken suits, unicyclists, and gladly drafted off some of the fastest recumbents on the road. (they dropped me in 2007). However, as time marched forward, my two-wheeled love affair deepened. Old epics became commonplace. Like any Beatles song. You know what I mean. Yeah they are good. But the magic slowly slips away, until one day you just change the channel.  Over time, the waning allure of the ride was finally outweighed by its logistical nightmare. Camping in LaGrange. [Ugh.] Waking up at 4:00am to eat, then standing in line for two hours just to get on the road. [Double Ugh.] We skipped the ride in 2013.

For a number of years our group of two-wheeled silverbacks theorized about doing the ride from Houston to Austin straight up. No stopping in LaGrange. First Reaction: crazy talk! 170 miles in a day? The last 70 unsupported? No way. Insanity.

Time passed. Miles logged. Mountains (some figurative, some literal - Mt Evans) climbed. Insanity morphed. Or the sane lost their senses.

2014 - Let's do the MS150 in a day

Riders - ME, Ullrich, Dykes and Eardie.
Director Sportif - Veej

Veej volunteered to SAG for us on the back half of the ride, making the mission possible. Winds came from the SE, promising 2014 as a near perfect year to roll the Single.

PreRide Dinner at Carmelos
Great carbo load. Determined that I was riding with 3 aggies and a graduate of the Sentinel. Both of those schools crank out lodes of fanatics. Perfect for this ride! (just don't start talking football).

5am Saturday - Rise and Shine, Work to Do! 
Cold Kolaches, Coffee, Chamois Cream...Finally rolled out at 6:17am. 17 minutes late, but still in pitch blackness. The first hour and a half of the ride was off the grid, as no one bothered to load the course. Our lack of certain direction generated some anxiety. Soon enough we were on course and hauling with a wicked tailwind. Through 2 hours, we were averaging 21.0 mph.

Eardie off the front

NOTE - Most MS150 riders are not leg shavers. Which means we passed SO MANY people. One guy almost crashed as we passed him. Startled out of his mind, he screamed "F&$CK!! - let someone know when you pass 'em!!!" Dude, at 15mph, you are gonna get passed by EVERYBODY. Get used to the sensation.

Hooked up with a couple of pacelines, but let each go after realizing they were pushing to 100. We had a little further to go. Eardie is clearly too strong for our bunch. His frequent turns at the front typically resulted in gapping our steady state tempo. Sorry bro!

Lunch time

The ride got really fun after LaGrange. Dropped our lights off with Veej, who thought of everything. Food, Snacks, Drinks. Lunch at the Buescher State Park entrance was a lifesaver. Wheeling thru the park was eerie. Burnt Pines on all sides, the ride was completely different than the shaded canopy of suffering from years past. At the park exit, there was Veej. Ice cream at the Park. I was as happy as a little girl.

The best tailwind of the day was on 969.The most wind was generated by the Doctor. Prodigious. In total, we managed the effort pretty well. No real max efforts left enough in the tank for some spirited climbs up punchy East MLK. Jeff Spicoli's grandson offered to race us on the way in. He was utterly turnt, so I think he was joking.

No mechanicals in the 163 miles of riding. Kind of amazing. We finished at MLK and Congress to great fanfare. Ok, it was Veej. Beers awaited. Like I said, Veej thought of everything!

So what self-discovery occurred?

  • We are no longer part of the wobbletotter fabric. But we once were WT's, make no mistake. No shame in it, but there will be no return to those days of neon and bento boxes. 


  • Everyone's chasing someone. On this day, we were all chasing Eardie. And Eardie was chasing....? I dunno. Maybe the memory of his last encounter with Rey. 
  • Never pass up a postride brew. 


German Selfie