• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

FM 149, Tx.

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,292
Location
Huntsville
#1
What: At one time, FM 149 was one of the best rides near Houston. It runs through parts of the Sam Houston National Forests as it winds it's way to Anderson, Texas. Recent years of logging have seen the forest thinned and the pavement distorted under the weight of the heavy vehicles. The pavement is still relatively smooth, but it undulates quite a bit which makes for a bouncy ride in places.

:tab If you are just looking for curves, the best part only runs for about 15 miles or so between Montgomery, Tx., and Richards, Tx. There are lots of nice curves and slight elevation changes. It can be run safely at a fairly spirited pace. However, in the last few years, as its popularity has risen, there have been more accidents and general hooliganism and the local LEO's and Highway Patrol have stepped patrolling of the road. As of late Feb 2003, there are indications that most of the road is about to be repaved :dude:

:tab There are two curves of special note on this road. As you head North out of Montgomery, you will pass a petting zoo on the right. Shortly after this, the road will climb slightly, bend into a right hander and start to drop down into a left hander. Right in the middle of the left hander, the pavement has a nice dip in it. Apparently, this dip wigs people out, they stand up their bikes and shoot off the road into the ditch. I see bikes down on this curve fairly regularly, cruisers and sportbikes alike. If you are prepared for it, there is no reason why it cannot be taken at fairly extra legal speeds :wink: It is immediately followed by another left hander of about the same speed.

:tab The second curve is a decreasing radius left hander. About 10 miles North of Montgomery, you will pass FM 1375 on your right, then FM 149 bends to the West briefly. It then turns North again and you pass a small church on the left. Right after the church you will enter what appears to be a gentle lefthanded sweeper that can be taken at high speed. Just beyond your vision as you enter the curve, the road makes a sharper radius and tightens up. This is the other place where I have seen a lot of accidents. The run off is a wide ditch and then barbed wire fence :| Again, if you know about it, it can be taken a pretty high speed. I'd go easy the first few times until you get used to it.

Typical curve in the Sam Houston National Forest
FM149-1.jpg


:tab The rest of the road is still great fun, but there aren't any more really bad curves. Although, right before you reach Richards, you will go through a fast left hander sweeper, then a right and cross a short low bridge. You will come upon a railroad crossing immediately followed by a ninety degree left turn, a short straight followed by a right hand ninety, another straight as you go through town, another right handed ninety, a short straight and then the last left handed ninety. All of those ninety degree curves often have loose gravel in them, so be warned.

:tab Between the two right handed nineties in Richards, there are two places to stop. Thr first is a defunct gas station on the right, Richards Grocery. It has a small grill and is pretty good if you want fast cheap food. The second is actually a gas station, PT's Pit Stop. It has a picnic table out front under some large trees. It is a popular spot to stop and chat with other riders about the riding so far. They also serve food and have a grill. Watch the right handed ninety right after this stop. Heading West it is not bad, but coming back East it is a decreasing radius curve and eats bikes on a regular basis.

:tab Once you leave the West side of Richards and head for Anderson, the road straightens out mostly and there are lots of rolling pastures. In the spring time, some of these pastures are covered with Blue Bonnets and it makes for a really nice ride. The best time for this is late March thru late April. If you want to see the Dogwood trees back between Montgomery and Richards, you need to ride in March.

Where: Get your map. Find I-45 heading North out of Houston and look for Conroe. Head West out of Conroe on Hwy 105 to Montgomery. The first main intersection has a Texaco and Diamond Shamrock and will be FM 149 and Hwy 105. Turn North (right) and you are on the start of the ride. A popular start and stop for this ride is King's Cafe.

Designation: The state road designation is FM 149. It is know locally as the Montgomery Trace. To riders in the Houston area, it is also known as the Forest Ride.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Messages
1,893
Location
Bryan, TX
#2
149 is still a good ride, but it's a bit crowded for my tastes on the weekend. The best time is on a Monday.

I grew up in the area so I don't know a lot of the road numbers, but don't neglect the roads just south of Richards. Turn south at the post office and right on the next paved road. It's a pretty area with plenty of wildflowers and some good hills.
 

scratch

Inactive Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
4,699
Location
Houston
#3
Good write-up, Scott. I haven't ridden that area in a couple of years. The next time I'm out on FM 3090 I might head down that way.

___________________________

Hey, 10-95 - haven't we met somewhere before? There was this ride I did with a guy on an identical Sprint RS last September... :wink: Here's a hint: my handle used to be "millenium" at the Cycle World forums. Good to see ya.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,292
Location
Huntsville
#4
Well, I was just down there this evening (4/25) and they have begun the dreaded tarring and gravelling. They are not doing a real good job either. When it gets hot, it is going to be a soupy rocky mess. Right now there is quite a bit of loose gravel in the center of the lanes and along the center line. They claim to have swept it when I stopped and talked with them about it. Unfortunately, they are taking it all the way down to the South end of FM 149 beyond Montgomery :angryfir: It will be a while before I can have fun on that road again with any confidence in the pavement.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,292
Location
Huntsville
#5
:tab They have finished laying down the new gravel. It seems they did do a decent job of sweeping off the loose stuff. Although, there is still a considerable amount at the intersections. Maybe my little chat actually convinced them?! Who cares, at least the surface is relatively clean. In cool weather, I think you can trust the surface. As it gets hotter and the tar gets soft and starts oozing around, the gravel will slide, ripples and slick spots may form. The acid test will be this summer. Hopefully, the road will survive relatively unscathed.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,292
Location
Huntsville
#6
Update as of 7/21/03

:tab Great news!! They have repaved the entire road with two layers of asphalt from the county line out by Richards all the way down to Montgomery and beyond. It is so incredibly smooth now that it is really really hard to keep the speeds sane :twisted:

:tab The few miles of FM 1791 from 149 up to the Walker country line has also been repaved. They are currently working on FM 1375 between FM 149 and I-45. It is in really bad shape right now because of the amount of 18 wheeler traffic trying to avoid the weigh station on I-45 :evil:
 
Top