Initially as a way to get around campus, biking became a passion for Allen Kuo. As a daily routine before going out to train for the MS150, Allen cleans his bike, a 1987 Centurion Ironman Expert that is one year older than he is.
Waking up at 7am Wednesday mornings, he rides approximately 35 miles through East Austin where there is low morning traffic and the weather is nice and cool.
His daily diet becomes an important factor as he trains, especially in the week before the ride, and consists of home cooked pasta with ground beef and cheese at least once a day to provide energy as he rides from Houston to Austin.
Final inspections are necessary before traveling to Houston where the start of the MS150 will take place. Besides checking the tire pressure, other things that are inspected include making sure that the chainring teeth are not worn out, the brakes are aligned, the rims are true, the derailleur is aligned and shifting smoothly, and checking to see if the chain needs to be lubed.
After waking up at 5AM on Saturday, Allen unloads his bike at his team’s starting point and makes final preparations before starting the two day journey to Austin. Putting together his bike and meeting some of his teammates for the first time were among the morning preparations before starting that ride.
Before beginning the journey, Allen focuses mentally on the task before him. With determination and his adrenaline pumping, he is without a doubt that he will be able to accomplish this task.
87 miles to La Grange from Houston, the course includes mostly flat land with some small hills. Bikers stop roughly 30 miles into the course at Bellville for a lunch break before traveling 60 miles to La Grange. With the roads crowded with 13,000 riders, it was hard to pick up speed, and he often has to dismount from his bike due to accidents.
With 67 miles to the finish in Austin from La Grange, Allen starts out early and arrives at the lunch break at Bastrop. His gloves are very important when cycling; they provide much needed comfort and protection from calluses and blisters that can quickly develop without them.
151 miles from his start in Houston, Allen finishes in Austin early Sunday afternoon with an average speed of 24mph. Being familiar with the roads coming into Austin, he knew he was close to home as he rode on Manor Road and through campus to the finish.
After finishing the MS150, Allen calls his mom to share his excitement of what he had just accomplished. After crossing the finish line, Allen said that he was neither tired nor sore, but felt a sense of accomplishment after completing the goal he set 9 months ago.