GALVESTON — Hundreds of bicyclists will be rolling through the county this weekend, all in an effort to preserve Galveston Bay.
At 7:30 a.m. Saturday, more than 1,000 riders are slated to saddle up in Mt. Belvieu for the annual Bike Around the Bay, a two-day, 180-mile cycle ride to benefit the Galveston Bay Foundation.
Trey Bartsch, spokesman for the foundation, said the hopes are that the ride will raise $300,000.
After leaving Mount Belvieu, the riders will head south and east, eventually taking state Highway 124 south into High Island. From there, they will take state Highway 87 west down Bolivar Peninsula.
“The fastest riders will be to High Island at 10:30 a.m. and the Bolivar Ferry at 12:15 p.m.,” Bartsch said.
When the cyclists get to the ferry, they will get priority boarding for the trip to Galveston.
Once landing, the riders will wend their way along Harborside Drive and across the island, eventually arriving at the Day 1 stopping point at Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd.
“It will take roughly 30 minutes from the time riders land in Galveston to ride over to Moody Gardens,” Bartsch said.
Riders will have a dedicated lane for their use, Bartsch said, and police will be stationed at the intersections of Second Street at Harborside Drive and 61st Street and Interstate 45 to help cyclists safely navigate the areas.
The Day 2 ride on Sunday ride also will start at 7:30 a.m., but not everybody will be rolling out. For the first time, riders have the option of riding just one day.
“Of the 1,050 (registered), around 160 will be one-day riders,” Bartsch said.
The riders will retrace their route back to I-45, heading north to the mainland.
There, they head back to Mount Belvieu, alternating between state Highway 146 and local roads that will keep allow them to ride next to Galveston Bay.
In all, the riders will have to cross three sizable spans — the Galveston Causeway and the Kemah and Fred Hartman bridges.