Jan 19, 2023 - News

Tour de Houston comes early in 2023

An overhead shot of hundreds of cyclists kicking off the 2019 Tour de Houston

Photo courtesy of Richard Carson

It's almost time for the Tour de Houston bike ride through H-Town.

Driving the news: The annual ride will be slightly earlier than usual this year, taking place Feb. 26 instead of in March or April due to the Final Four being in town, according to the mayor's office.

  • The route will run from downtown through the East End, then south toward NASA with several stops along the way, including the Houston Botanic Garden.
  • Riders can choose to go 20, 40 or 60 miles depending on their ability.

Why it matters: Registration fees — at $45 a pop — go into a fund controlled by the Houston Parks Board and help reforest some of the city's barest parks and green spaces.

Details: This year, the funds will be used to plant 1,000 trees in Houston's Glenshire Park during the city's Arbor Day celebration, as well as nine other smaller neighborhood parks.

  • "[Glenshire is] a park that has a lot of invasive trees, and we've gone in and removed a lot of trees," Houston city forester Jeremy Burkes said. "We're going to come back in with a host of native trees of mixed species that should enclose that park and give it a more foresty feel."

Yes, but: Some of Houston's most underserved communities are often devoid of shady trees and could use some help.

  • "What we've seen is a lot of areas that don't have trees also don't have a lot of available planting space," Burkes said. "Instead of a curb-and-gutter situation, where there's a curb, a grassy planting area and a sidewalk … they have an open ditch. You wouldn't plant trees in an open ditch."

Between the lines: Tour de Houston is less a race and more a showcase for some of the Bayou City's greatest features, as well as a good reason to get on a bike.

  • Even Mayor Sylvester Turner is expected to join on an e-bike.

If you ride: To sign up, visit the Tour de Houston website.


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