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"Secret" Sun and Ski Spring Breakaway set for February 23, 2014

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Far be it from your correspondent to judge, but the Sun and Ski Sports 2014 Spring Breakaway bike ride has to be one of the most poorly-publicized rides in the Houston area. Considering that it's on the BP MS150 Recommended Training Ride list, it's amazing that they can't seem to tell anyone anything more than the most basic information.

Whew. Glad to get that off my chest - and glad I could dig out the real information to share with you, loyal Houston cyclists. The 2014 Sun and Ski Sports Spring Breakaway will take place on Sunday, February 23; with an 8:00 a.m. start. Riders will hit the asphalt starting near the entrance to Sun and Ski Sports on the east side of Katy Mills Mall. Boogie down to the sounds of the on-site DJ for this ride that benefits Southern Elite, a 501(c)3 organization that "incubates" young competitive cyclists.

For this, the tenth year of the event, riders get a choice of three distances: 28, 36 and 58 miles; all passing through the burgs of Fulshear, Brookshire and Katy (you know the loop if you cycle the west side at all).

Registration is available online at Active.com or you can fill out the form on the website and mail it in. Fees are $35 per person or $110 for a family of four; $40 and $125 after February 10 (add in a credit card processing fee for mail-in if you don't use a check). There will also be onsite walk-up registration starting at 6:30 a.m. The first 500 registered riders are guaranteed an event tee. Please note: details on the website and registration form are mutually inconsistent; the worst-case deadlines are reflected herein.

Details to remember: It's a BP MS150 recommended training ride, so expect SAG, medical, staffed rest stops, lots of shouted directions and a couple of officious course marshals. ANSI or Snell helmets are required, headphones are prohibited. Tandems and skaters welcome, riders under age 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

Getting there: Katy Mills Mall is some 29 miles west of downtown Houston via I-10, the Katy Freeway (duh). It's outside the loop, the beltway, and Grand Parkway. Take the exit marked "Katy Mills Mall" (740), turn south, then follow Katy Mills Circle clockwise (left) about a quarter of the way around the mall to the Sun and Ski entrance. There should be plenty of parking.

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