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Old 02-21-07, 04:33 PM   #1
yeamac
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Anyone know roads west of Houston/Katy? Brookshire/Sealy to Bellville

The weather tomorrow is suppose to be awesome and I want to start some moderate hill training for the MS150. My team ride this Saturday, which I cannot do, is Brookshire to Bellville. This is part of the Rhodes Stadium route of the MS150 that takes Hwy 359 NW from Brookshire, then turns west on Hwy 529 to Bellville.

I had planned to do this route Friday, a day earlier than the team, but there is a chance of rain on Friday, so I was able to adjust my work schedule so I can ride this on Thursday (02/22).

On last weekend's training ride I was talking with a guy who said those roads have almost no shoulder, so it is better to ride in a group instead of solo.

Looking at the map, instead of starting at Brookshire and riding these shoulderless roads, I could pass up Brookshire on I-10 and keep traveling west to Sealy. I can park at Sealy and take Hwy 36 up to Bellville, and then would probably head west on 159, which is suppose to have some moderate hills. I believe 36 is a busier road, but as such, it should have a wider shoulder to ride on.

So if anyone has any feedback as to which might be the prefered route, Brookshire-Bellville or Sealy-Bellville, I would appreciate it. I am looking to ride 60 miles total with moderate hills, so will go out and do 30 and then turn around. If the start/end of my ride is flat that is fine for now. Plus I don't want to drive out too far like to Fayetteville or something but would like to stay as close to Houston out I-10 as I can.

Last edited by yeamac; 02-21-07 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 02-21-07, 05:55 PM   #2
froggmann
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This may be farther than you want to go, but check out http://www.lagrangetx.org/visitors/bikelagrange.asp
When I get ready to do hill training that is where I go. Katy, Brookshire, Sealy, ect have some small rollers but not really worth it if your want big hills like we will face after lunch on Saturday.
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Old 02-21-07, 11:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggmann
This may be farther than you want to go, but check out http://www.lagrangetx.org/visitors/bikelagrange.asp
When I get ready to do hill training that is where I go. Katy, Brookshire, Sealy, ect have some small rollers but not really worth it if your want big hills like we will face after lunch on Saturday.
Thanks, that website is great. I'd much rather have routes that have maps that are known to be good for cyclists.

This weekend I want to start with gentle rollers but do want more heavy duty stuff later in my training, even if I have to go a little farther. My team has a route that starts in Bellville and is suppose to be 52 hilly miles. I may just end up doing that one tomorrow.
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Old 02-22-07, 02:41 PM   #4
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If you want a bikeable shoulder, Hwy 36 from Sealy to Bellville will work. It's about 30 miles. I haven't done it myself. I've been on some of the back roads off of 36 in that area. The traffic on the alternate roads is light but it's fast and there aren't bikeable shoulders.
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Old 02-22-07, 10:24 PM   #5
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Late last night I found this map on the ExxonMobil team website that starts at Bellville and makes a loop.

http://www.emcycling.com/graphics/ma...lvilleloop.gif

It has 30 or 52 mile loops. I had planned to do the 52, but since I left about an hour later than I planned, once I got there I decided to do the 30 mile loop (since it was my first time for hills). I am glad I did not start at Brookshire because I drove back that route, and all of 529 has no shoulder, which is no good. 36 was very good -- 2 lane road at 70MPH, but nice, wide shoulder.

If you look at the above map, I didn't take Old Highway 36, which was more of a back road in disrepair, but choose to stay on 36 to 497. Then after several miles on FM2754, I ran into road contruction. The entire road was tore up and they were working on the road ... it was one lane and now dirt/gravel. Would have been OK on my mountain bike, but not the road bike. So there was another paved road that went off to the right that was not on my map, but I took that anyway. After a mile or so I came across this big hill, then the road started to narrow and get in worse shape, so I decided to turn around and just ride up and down that big hill a few times. Once I coasted down and in a tuck got up to 32.2 MPH just coasting! My fastest pedal down the hill was 38.5MPH. It wasn't that long of a hill, but one of the steepest I had come across and had to use my granny gear just to get up it at 9MPH.

When I made it back to Bellville I decided to go out 159 west. That road also has no shoulder, plus it is fairly rough -- not looking forward to riding that stretch on the MS150! After about 1/2 a mile I turned around and just decided to call it at day at 27 total miles. Next time I will probably check out Fayetteville and do some of the suggested routes around there.

Bellville, Fayetteville, and LaGrange all look like good places to get in some hills if you live south/west of Houston. Routes near I-10 (like starting from Brookshire or Sealy) and closer to Houston will just be pretty flat. I am glad I drove all the way to Bellville (just over an hour) instead of stopping short and getting in flat miles.
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