The March winds may be howling out there, but you Houston-area road cyclists know that's no excuse for taking a day off! After all, summer and 90-degree temperatures (with a persistent 15-MPH SSE wind) will be upon us quicker than you can say, "Rumpelstiltskin"; so get ready to ride. If you like a bit of company on the road - and who doesn't, at least once in awhile - why not look into the 10th Annual Schlumberger Education Expedition, to be held Saturday, March 23, in Missouri City.
As in prior years, this event's leading sponsor is oilfield services giant Schumberger (hint: it's pronounced SHLUM-ber-zhay). Proceeds will benefit the Fort Bend Education Foundation, which provides grants to enhance the quality of education in the district. Participants may pick a route from 11-, 53- and 79-mile courses, all beginning at Hightower High School in the suburbs southwest of Houston. Organizers say they have designed the routes to "minimize busy intersections while providing a smooth and scenic route." Rollout is at 7:30 a.m.; no word on whether it will be a wave start so get there on time. Organizers promise a "scrumptious" (their word, not mine) lunch after the ride and entertainment at the rest stops.
Registration is available on-line at Active.com or you can download and mail in a PDF form from the official ride website. The fee is $40/person now through the day of the ride (on-site registration begins at 6:30 a.m.). On-line registration closes at 9:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 21; ride t-shirts are guaranteed only to registrations completed on or before March 7. Packet pickup locations are listed at Active and on the registration form.
If you're going, the start line is at Fort Bend ISD Ken Hall Stadium, 3335 Hurricane Lane, Missouri City. That's (about) 25 miles from central Houston along Highway 6, near the south end of the Fort Bend Parkway (that's a toll road).
Details to remember: This 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. There will be SAG support and course marshals bawling "on your left" in your ear. And. of course, the Schlumberger Education Expedition will take place rain or shine.