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A hot and muggy Houston day did not deter the approximately 100 riders who came out for the 3rd Buffalo Soldiers National Museum ride on June 24. The ride is an annual fundraiser for the museum and began at what will be the museum’s new location in a 1920s-era armory on Caroline Street. The armory has been vacant for many years, and the Buffalo Soldier Association says that they feel fortunate to be able to secure this historic building for the relocation of the present museum.
BikeTexas staff were on hand to assist with the ride, and got their day off to an early start at 5:30 AM to get bikes and snacks ready for the riders. Ride leaders brought an assembly whistle along to signal riders to gather together for a safety briefing before the first wave of riders left, shouting a battle cry, to cover a 65-mile course.
A new feature this year was the Family Ride. Approximately 30 riders set out, led by BikeTexas Staff, Biking Babes, and Texas Senator Rodney Ellis, for a shorter tour along some of Houston’s most beautiful streets, tree-lined boulevards, and past palatial mansions. The ride proceeded to Rice University. The campus itself is quite strikingly beautiful, and the group stopped for photos in the Quadrangle, including the amazing archway. To the surprise of ride participants, university president David Leebron and his wife Y. Ping Sun were on campus and stopped to greet the riders and welcome them to Rice.
After leaving Rice, riders crossed Houston’s light rail line and watched it in operation before heading into Herman Park. The ride through the park was at a leisurely pace and was enjoyed by all. The riders rode out of the park onto Hermann Park Dr, where they were met by courteous drivers even though traffic was busy. Riders turned off onto quiet Caroline St. to head back to the museum, where a large crowd of volunteers and cheering visitors were waiting for riders to return.
All of the participants gave a resounding approval to the ride and thanked the BikeTexas staff for their help with the ride. The staff felt that this was a very rewarding ride: as it is always our goal for every ride to be more fun than the last one for the participants, this was no exception. We hope to see them all again next year with an even larger ride. Ride safe, Soldiers.