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Head south, young cyclists, for the 2014 Great Escape Bicycle Ride

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The cyclists on the south side of metropolitan Houston must really be getting tired of trekking all the way to Montgomery County or to the Katy Prairie to get seat time for the 2014 BP MS150. Humble, Hockley, or Huntsville - they've all hosted rides so far this year, but at last it's time to head south, young man (or woman). The ride in question is the 2014 edition of the Great Escape Bicycle Ride, to take place near Manvel, Texas, on Sunday, March 9, at 8:00 a.m.

Riders get to choose from among rides of 43, 67 and 85 miles. The sponsors - Pearland Cycling Club - say that the courses are "rural roads with good surfaces and few stop signs and lights." The proceeds will benefit the cycling club, the Texas Bicycle Coalition, Helmets for Kids and the Brazoria County Sheriffs Reserves.

Registration forms are available online at Active.com until March 6. A PDF form can be found on the website, though apparently it's only for those registering at packet pickup or on-site. On-line registration is $40 per person ($45 for tandems) after February 23; walk-up at the site or packet pickup is the same (cash or check only). The first 600 registered riders get a customized Polar water bottle.

If you're going, the start line is at Manvel High School, 19601 Highway 6, Manvel. That's around 24 miles from downtown Houston via TX 288 (the South Freeway). Take Highway 6 east approximately 2.5 miles; the high school is on the north (lefthand) side of the road.

Details to remember: This is a BP MS 150 recommended training ride. As with all RTRs, safety rules will be enforced: helmets are required; radios, headphones and earbuds are prohibited. Sag/Mechanical support and staffed rest stops will be provided. The event will take place rain or shine.

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