Q&A with Chris Moura
7/18/23, 2:30 PM
Q: Why did you decide to go on this 430-mile bike journey as a rider (or driver)?
A: I first decided to ride this 430 mile journey in January of 2015. Our bingo program had ended and we needed to replace the income. I talked with my late wife, Teresa, and we decided to tap into my love for cycling and start a GoFundMe for the ride. It is as simple as that.
Q: What/where was your favorite view?
A: My favorite view is at the end of the first day into Carpenteria. Just before we get into Carpenteria there is a bike path along the highway that is literally just above the water. Spectacular! This contrasted with highway 101 traffic is a very cool moment. All the Big Sur views are crazy beautiful as well.
Q: What was the funniest thing you heard/that happen on the ride?
A: The funniest thing that happened on the ride was the ascent of Hecker Pass from Watsonville into Gilroy. I decided to distract everyone from the pain in their legs and did a running commentary up the 31 minute climb. I used my many years of watching the Tour de France with Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin to try to keep things light. It worked, the climb went by very quick and everyone was laughing. Good times!
Q: Where was your favorite place you stayed on the ride?
A: My favorite place to stay is in Santa Barbara at Mitch and Mary Moore's house. I have been staying with them for 6 years. They are such amazing people, so kind, generous and loving. I mentioned that we had 7 people in 2 cars this year and Mary said, "Wow that is a lot of people...but we will gladly welcome them all!" It is such a great time there, we get in after lunch, take a nap, visit for a few hours, have dinner and then sleep. Beautiful house, beautiful people!
Q: What is your favorite refuel/SAG snack?
A: My go to refuel is cherry Pop Tarts. Can't beat them. My pre-race food in college was a liter of Diet Coke and 6 Pop Tarts. Yes, I know, that is a horrible meal, but I never ran out of energy and always felt strong at the end of each race no matter how long. Superstition and I are as one.
Q: What was your biggest challenge?
A: My biggest challenge was getting the two first timers (Eric and Rob) to Oak Grove. I wanted them to enjoy their ride and hopefully want to do it again. I talked with Steve and Mike to make plans based on how things were going.
Q: What motivated you to continue when you felt like giving up?
A: I always think of the band kids in band camp when I am tired or frustrated. They push themselves beyond their limits mentally and physically for 6 days.....this ride is 6 days.....we push ourselves mentally and physically..... kind of a cool symmetry.
Q: What strengths of your other teammates did you grow to value during this experience?
A: I valued Steve's strength, Mike's perseverance, Eric's motor and experience and Rob's commitment during the ride. Each had a different role and they were amazing.
Q: What does "showing up for your team" mean to you (professionally, personally, athletically, etc.)?
A: "Showing up" means to do your part regardless of your current mood, mental state or physical condition. We pick each other up, hand on back and help when needed, we celebrate everything whether big or small and there are no individuals.
Q: What is one weakness you felt you were able turned into a strength?
A: My fitness was a little weak this year. I was able to ride myself into shape by the end of the third day. Meaning, my endurance and breathing improved as I became more fatigued.
Q: Please state the full name you'd prefer to use for publication; your title, occupation, or other identifier; and what background connects you with the band/Moura.
A: I think you know this :) Chris Moura is the band director for all the band programs at Oak Gove High School, including the marching band and color guard.