Previous Rides


The first Bike Ride Across Texas took place in May 2013 with a 864-mile route from El Paso to Texarkana. Initially slow to get organized, the ride pulled together with generous help of Biketown in Abilene with loaned bicycles.  When a number of individuals and organizations offered lodging for the team during the journey, it made the ride a sure thing.  The nervousness and apprehension of the ride dissipated as we headed out of El Paso and over the mountains on our route east.  Great people, wonderful stories, and lifelong memories will forever make BRAT1 a special ride. (WheelBrothers article)


While originally intended as a one-time event, the success of the first ride led us to begin planning a second trip before we even completed the first.  With a new crop of enthusiastic students, the May 2014 route went from Brownsville to Liberal, Kansas.  This 925-mile ride introduced participants to landscapes and challenges that were quite different from those of the first ride.  Strong winds, both favorable and unfavorable, and the hills of the Texas Hill Country provided cyclists with many challenges and victories.  Riding an extra 40-miles beyond the Texas border took us to our end point in Liberal, Kansas.  A wonderful and challenging ride, BRAT2 was truly enjoyable. (WheelBrothers article) BRAT3

With a number of ups and downs on student commitment to the ride, BRAT3 ended up with two students in the workshop class and eight other people (HSU-affiliated and others) along on the ride.  Starting at Surfside Beach and concluding in 825 miles later in Texline, BRAT3 was the shortest of the three routes so far.  Despite that, cyclists ended up with huge miles completed.  We spent more days riding as a group than leapfrogging along the route.  The rain that had been hammering the state for weeks disappeared for us and temperatures never made it above 90 degrees on the entire ride.  We were amazed by the friendliness, hospitality, and generosity of our hosts along the route.  We saw new parts of Texas and reveled in crossing the finish line after eight long days of pedaling.  Looking forward to BRAT4! (WheelBrothers article)
BRAT4 - Mexico to Canada

We did it!  After flirting hard with the idea for a ride to Canada with BRAT3, we pulled together an effective team of planners and organizers for BRAT4.  Working well as a team for the entire school year, the five students planned a ride from Del Rio, Texas to the border with Canada just north of Grand Portage, Minnesota.  Three days in the vehicles and 15 days on bikes (with one rest day in South Dakota) led to a border-to-border (1,830 miles) ride from Mexico to Canada.  With 10 total team members, everyone worked together well to make for an excellent cycling adventure.  We were once again amazed at the generosity and hospitality of new friends met along the route.  We are looking forward to seeing how the next ride unfolds. (WheelBrothers article)
BRAT5 - Mexico to Canada  (U.S. Route 83)

We did it again!  After a successful ride from Mexico to Canada in 2016, a new group of students decided to try a similar ride straight up U.S. Route 83.  The team started in Eagle Pass, Texas and rode 45 miles before turning north onto Route 83 at LaPryor, Texas.  Once on 83, the team traveled 1,550 additional miles to the border with Canada north of Westhope, North Dakota.  The eight team members shared cycling responsibilities across the 15 days on bicycles.  Once again, we were fortunate to have very little rain along the route.  We met so many nice and gracious people along the route and enjoyed seeing new parts of the country--at 15-20 mph on bikes. (WheelBrothers article)


BRAT6 was a first in many respects.  It was our first cold-weather ride, first from north to south, first to be planned in one semester, and first with our NEW TRAILER!!!  Riding to remind people about the continuing needs for hurricane relief efforts along the Texas Gulf Coast, the route was 720 miles long from Farwell (technically, we started in Texico, New Mexico) to Surfside Beach.  Eight team members completed the ride in seven full days plus a morning on bicycles.  Although it was somewhat chilly for the first few days, it probably won't be our last winter ride.  (WheelBrothers article)

KATY TRAIL - Bike Ride Across Missouri

We first learned about it on BRAT3.  The Katy Trail is a 240-mile converted rails-to-trails path across most of Missouri.  In typical BRAT fashion, we decided to ride an extra 55 miles on roads to make it a true Bike Ride Across Missouri.  Six cyclists took the HSU Suburban and BRAT trailer to La Cygne, Kansas on June 2, 2018 to begin a 295-mile ride to the Mississippi River at Portage des Sioux.  The six days of cycling across Missouri was pleasant and relaxed.  At 50 miles per day (on trail bikes), we had plenty of exercise each day.  It was a wonderful ride and one that we will undoubtedly do again in the future. (WheelBrothers article)
BRAT7 - #LiveLifeLikeCooper

Our original plan fro BRAT7 was to ride from Carlsbad, New Mexico to Quintana Beach, Texas during the first week of January.  On the day that we were to rendezvous in Abilene to drive to the starting point, our region experienced an ice and snow storm.  We decided to cut off the fist two days of cycling and start in Abilene instead. 

As part of our ride, we met with youth groups and churches to tell the story of the life of my nephew, Cooper Potts. Cooper was killed in an ATV accident on September 2, 2018.  As a 16-year old, he lived a full and happy life. He also lived with the assurance of eternal life. We used the ride to encourage young people to live, laugh, and love big.  Our trip concluded at the Potts' house in Katy with more than 50 of Cooper's friends.


BRAT8 - Red River to Rio Grande

Our ninth ride (and eighth ride across Texas) took place January 4-10, 2020.  We rode 560 miles from the Red River north of Quanah, Texas to the Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park.  We once again had fabulous weather with one day of strong headwinds.  The BRAT Century Club gained four new members on the first day's ride from Quanah to Hamlin.  We were again overwhelmed by the gracious hospitality of our hosts at FBC Quanah, FBC Hamlin, FBC Sterling City, Eastside Baptist Church (McCamey), and Marathon Baptist Church (Marathon).  Riding through the beauty of Big Bend National Park at the conclusion of BRAT8 was a highlight.

We rode to honor and support friends and family members who've been affected by cancer.  We raised money for the Abigail Arias (Officer 758) Foundation and carried the names of friends and family with us each day as we rode.  BRAT8 was a meaningful and memorable ride.




Previous Routes

El Paso, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Kermit, Andrews, Abilene, Graham, McKinney, Mt. Vernon, Texarkana


Brownsville, Premont, Uvalde, Leakey (HEB), Abilene, Paducah, Wheeler, Liberal, KS

Surfside Beach, La Grange, Belton, Brownwood, Abilene, Jayton, Plainview, Vega, Texline


BRAT4 - Mexico to Canada - Del Rio, Junction, Abilene, Seymour, Duncan, Enid, Augusta,
Clay Center, York, Watertown, New London, Brainerd, Two Harbors, Grand Marais.


BRAT5 - Mexico to Canada - Eagle Pass, Leakey, Eden, Abilene, Paducah, Wheeler, Liberal,
Scott City, McCook, Thedford, Valentine (Mission), Pierre, Herreid, Bismarck, Minot, Westhope.


BRAT6 - Farwell, Lockney, Jayton, Abilene, Comanche, Briggs, La Grange, West Columbia, Surfside Beach


KATY TRAIL (MISSOURI) - La Cygne, KS, Clinton, Clifton City, McBaine, Portland, Augusta, Portage des Sioux


BRAT7 (#LiveLifeLikeCooper) - Abilene, Early, Gatesville, Giddings, Edna, Quintana Beach


BRAT8 - Quanah, Hamlin, Sterling City, McCamey, Marathon, Big Bend



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Leadership Studies Program - Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts - Hardin-Simmons University
 2200 Hickory Street - Abilene, Texas 79698 - - 325-671-2172