The first weekend of 2014 to feature two BP MS150 recommended training rides (but not the last…) finishes on Sunday, February 9, with the 5th Annual Bike for Little Heroes. This fundraiser organized by Operation Red, White and Bike benefits the children and siblings of Purple Heart recipients and troops killed in action, presenting them with their own bicycles in honor of their loved ones.
This year's ride moves from its usual November date to February. The festivities start at 8:00 a.m., rolling out from Brookside Equipment in Hockley, Texas. That's near Zube Park, northwest of Houston along US 290. Participants have four distance options of approximately 20, 35.6, 54 and 79 miles; routes follow head north and west from the start. Shorter routes are mostly flat coastal prairie but expect a few rollers on the longer rides as they approach the Brazos valley. When you get back to the finish, get in line for a Boars Head hotdog slathered with chili from the Texas Tamale Company.
Registration: $35 per person plus Active.com's fee. The price will rise to $40 on an as-yet unspecified date. There does not seem to be mail-in registration, but walk-up registration is available (presumably at $40 per person). Packet pickup information is available at the organizer's website.
Details to remember: Bike for Little Heroes is a BP MS 150 recommended training ride. As with all MS150 recommended rides, safety rules will be enforced: helmets are required, headphones and earbuds are prohibited.
Getting there: Take US 290 (the Northwest Freeway) to the Roberts Road/Katy-Hockley Road exit, turn north on Roberts road. Parking at the start is limited, but Zube Park is only a mile or so further up Roberts. The start line is approximately 36 miles from downtown Houston.