HOUSTON - About 10,000 cyclists are spending the night in La Grange after finishing the first day of the BP MS 150. The 180-mile journey between Houston and Austin started early Saturday morning.
In Bellville, Day 1's only break point, was where a lot of the riders took part in an annual tradition: stopping at Newman's Bakery.
Alan Meltzer's first experience at the bakery was back in 1998. He said the temperature was in the low 40s and the rain wouldn't stop.
Dozens of miles in, soaking wet and chilled to the bone, he noticed all the bikes lined up outside the restaurant.
"I thought I'd go in and have a cup of hot coffee. They saved our lives. They let us go in the kitchen and stand by the ovens," Meltzer recalls. "I promised myself that every year, I'd have lunch here."
He's far from the only one.
Dana Clark and Cleo McKinney have completed the race for several years, always making time for a Newman's pit stop.
"The food is good," McKinney says.
She's less pleased about the weather conditions, which include extreme humidity and gusty winds.
"It's making me drift over to the side," she says.
Clark, on the other hand, doesn't mind the strong breeze.
"It's been windy all season. I expect wind. If it wasn't here, something would be wrong," she says. "If it wasn't a challenge, it wouldn't be a ride, you know?"
Sarah Jenkins was all smiles when she rolled up to Newman's, greeted by her family.
"That was the best feeling. To roll over the train tracks and see my crew," she said, describing the day as "beautiful."
As long as the weather holds, Jenkins and thousands of others will continue their track on Sunday.
BP MS 150 is a fundraiser for the National MS Society. To learn more or to donate, click here.