TWFG Gran Fondo Texas TMCO, Montgomery TX
AKA Houston Gran Fondo
After a two year absence, the TMCO Gran Fondo returned to Houston in 2016. This originally started from the Houston Oaks Country Club, near Waller. They tried to move the ride to The Woodlands area, but routing difficulties and road construction conspired against them in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, they were back with a new route and new start location, the Montgomery ISD football stadium.
The Montgomery football stadium is the same location used by the Continental Classic Ride (later called the Plane Great Ride). This was a great ride, with part of the ride going through the Sam Houston National Forest. The Plane Great Ride (PGR) is no more, but the Houston Gran Fondo has essentially brought this ride back. It covers a lot of the same route as the PGR, but in a counter-clockwise direction. There are some nice rolling hills through the trees. The route continues on to the West as far as Anderson, TX (100 mile loop). There are shorter options available.
Rest stops were well organized and stocked. Bike repair was available at most (if not all) rest stops.
The after ride lunch in 2016 was not as good as it was in past Gran Fondos. Hopefully they will up their game for future rides. I had a chance to speak to the Ride Director after the ride. I told him it was a really good ride, but if they are going to continue to use the same start line as the Continental Classic ride, their lunch has got to be more awesome than a grill shaped like a jet plane! Those familiar with the Continental Classic will remember they cooked hot dogs and burgers in a grill shaped like a 777 jet.
It was a good ride in 2016. I expect it to be even better in 2017