Just because you're training for the BP MS150 and have carefully transcribed every one of the recommended training rides to your calendar doesn't mean there aren't other rides out there. A case in point is coming up Saturday, March 23. You could always skip the Schlumberger Education Expedition and head for the hills - Chappell Hill, that is, for the 9th Annual Head for the Hills bicycle ride.
This ride, sponsored by the Washington County Rotary Club, is hosted by the Chappell Hill Volunteer Fire Department and benefits PolioPlus and Helping. It's another chance (after last month's Tri-County Hill Hopper) to get some terrain under your belt before the big ride in April, not to mention rolling down quiet country roads that have a good chance of being lined with wildflowers.
Riders get to pick from three courses; 26, 43, or 62 miles (metric century). All courses start in "downtown" Chappell Hill at the intersection of US 290 and FM 1155 and head north toward the Brazos River. The first wave rolls out at 8:00 a.m., followed by the other two courses at 15-minute intervals. If you're game, you can register on-line at BikeReg.com or print the PDF from the ride website and mail in your registration, both for $35 until March 21. You can also register at packet pick-up (Northwest Cyclery) on March 21, and walk-up registration at the start will set you back $40 per person. Wicking poly T-shirts are guaranteed for the first 200 riders.
The Rotary Club is also selling raffle tickets for a weekend in Brenham with lodging in a B&B, restaurants, entertainment and - of course - Bluebell Ice Cream. The VFD will be selling a post-ride lunch.
If you're going, Chappell Hill is on the way to Brenham and is about 65 miles from central Houston along US 290, the Northwest Freeway.
Details to remember: The usual organized ride safety rules are in rules will be enforced: helmets are required, headphones and earbuds are prohibited. The ride will feature full SAG support, rest stops, and mechanics. Head for the Hills will take place rain or shine.
Oh, yeah: in case you couldn't tell from the name, there are gonna be hills out there!