The BP MS150 is not a race, and it doesn't pay homage to the person on the titanium megabike. The MS150 people couldn't care less about a participant's ride, or even if he rides it. And according to Daniel Murphy of Houston's West End Bicycles (a shop known for its inventory of bikes that cost five figures), the race is the most enjoyable cycling event of the year, regardless of its lack of racing-circuit high energy.
"We enjoy watching the different styles of the different types of riders," he explains. "The racer types come by early and don't stop; then you get the intermediate riders that dress right but might not be in as good of shape; later in the day you get the tennis-shoe crowd or smoking crowd. I hate to pigeonhole or categorize people, but there are so many types of riders."
Despite the eclectic mix and the verified presence of cigarette-smoking cyclists, Murphy suggests that bikers train at least a little before the ride.
"By not preparing properly, you can ruin cycling for yourself and really pay for it on Monday," says Murphy. "When you overdo it, you might burn out because it was just too painful. It's a great sport if you do it in moderation."