Memorial Park Trail Run – Purple Route

Park:                      Memorial Park Mountian Bike Trails – Purple Route
Location:                6501 Memorial DR Houston, TX 77001
Trail Length:          1.63 miles
Level:                     Intermediate

Memorial Park – Purple Trails – Trail Run Video

Satellite Image of Map

Memorial Park Purple Trail Map with Elevation

Memorial Park official layout

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Memorial Park Mountain Biking Purple Trails located inside the 610 loop:
6501 Memorial DR Houston, TX 77001 . This is a Intermediate Level Trail Run.

I rank trails into three categories. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

Beginner Trails are under a mile, usually only gravel, asphalt or concrete.

Intermediate trails are over 1 mile in length, and under 3 miles. They consist of gravel, asphalt or concrete.


Advanced trails are over 3 miles in length or are off road trails that are not paved, usually used by mountain bikers. The terrain of these trails requires trail running shoes and focus on the ground is essential.

Memorial Park is New York’s Central Park for Houston. It’s huge, it has a golf course, a driving range, a fitness center, a swimming pool, play grounds for the kids, pick nick and BBQ grounds, tennis courts, a 3 mile jogging course, mountain biking trails, horse back riding trails, volleyball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields and a rugby field all in one place. It’s the best park to get out and see thousands of people all doing different things enjoying the wonderful weather in Houston!
I use the mountain biking trails for my intermediate to advanced trail runs. Memorial Park has over 12 miles of mountain biking trails.

Today we’ll be looking at the purple trails that are behind some of the baseball fields.


A Word of Caution, please remember that these trails are intended for use by mountain bikers, so always use caution when running in the trails, and always give bikers the right of way, they move much faster than your usual jog and will be out of your way in no time. When you hear some bikers, pull over to the side and let them pass.


The purple trail is 1.67 miles in length. It’s a wonderful run through the wooded area of memorial park. You will experience a wonderful feeling of being lost your first few runs. Every Time I’m out there running, it feels like I’ve left Houston and I’ve gone to an enchanted forest. It’s excellent for stress relief.


There are two or three technical hard parts in the trail where you do really need to watch your step and be careful. This is why I’ve ranked this trail as intermediate. It’s a good idea to have some good trail running shoes for better traction and stability.


Otherwise the run is very easy with a few terrain changes, from soft sand to hard dirt and a bit of broken up concrete. There is a few wooden bridges / overpasses. There is one scenic overlook were you can stop to take a breather and enjoy the beautiful bayou below, then get back to your run.


All in all, this is one of my favorite places to run because of the variety. There are serveral more trails and it’s very easy to plan out any distance you want without ever getting bored with the scenery.


This is a must run for anyone wanting to get into running, or anyone that is into runninng that has not run this route.


For more information with map layouts, please click on the links above included in the blog.

Trail Running – Houston

Park: Nottingham Park
Location: 14205 Kimberly LN, Houston, TX 77079
Trail Length: 0.75 miles
Level: Beginner

 Nottingham Park Trail Run Video

Nottingham Park Trail Map with Elevation

Nottingham Park official layout

Nottingham park is the perfect park for beginners, or those with kids that will enjoy the park while you jog.  The trail is only 3/4 of a mile, which gives the beginner a nice scenic loop with several workout stations along the way.

I’m the kind of runner that does not enjoy running loops and try to get in at least  a 3 mile workout, but this park is special because of the workout stations.  To complete 3 miles I need to run the loop 4 times.  That gives me a chance to stop at each station 4 times so I end up with 40 pull ups, 40 site ups, 40 dips and 40 push ups.  That’s ideal for me. 

There is also a wonderful place to start or end your run that has all the workout stations.  It’s actually a kid fit center with a small rock climbing wall, but has all the pull up bars, push up bars, sit up station and it also has some monkey bars.

The park also has two tennis courts, a 12 hole disc golf course, a huge playground for the kids right next to a wonderful water park.

There are a few tables for picnicking as well.

Please watch the video above for detailed images of the park and make it out for a run.

Bicycling Essentials #1 — Bike Shorts

I used to think bike shorts just made you look cool, and weren’t necessary for anything other than enhancing the aerodynamic-ness in competitive cycling.  That is completely wrong!

Bike shorts are mandatory if you are going to be riding a bicycle for any length of time longer about 5 minutes a day.  Why, you might ask?  Well, remember in high school anatomy when you looked at the human skeleton, and mused over the usefulness of a tailbone?  I am still wondering what the use is, and haven’t figured it out; however I have figured out what happens when you put 250+ pounds on your tailbone!  The next week after your first 5 or 10 mile ride, you walk around all day like John Wayne, having to carry around a doughnut pillow to work in shame.  I am serious folks, bike shorts are an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY!

But which bike shorts to pick?  Because they range in price between $20-100+, it is sometimes hard to pick out the exact ones you need without spending too much money.  My first pair of bike shorts two years ago was in the lower range, I think about $30-35.  They were functional, had a thin pad, and were useful on rides up to 5 miles without a great deal of pain.  The first time I used them on a 15 mile ride, I was sore for about 2 days.  If you are truly using a bicycle as a recreational activity, once a week or month for a shorter distance, these should work ok.

For the caliber of training Anna and I are trying to perform, with a daily requirement of at least 10 miles, we had to kick up our bike short choice up a notch.  TJ and the guys at Sun & Ski suggested that we use the Canari Elite Gel Cycling Shorts ($59.99).

When I first put the shorts on, I noticed that the pad was indeed very large and marshmallow-like.  I was a little apprehensive because I thought maybe the pad was TOO large (again, I was used to a thin layer of padding).  When I was driving my car to Memorial Park, I constantly noticed the pad between my legs. Anna and I were commenting to each other beforehand “I just don’t know about these shorts”.

It’s been over 3 months since I’ve touched a bike, and as such, I usually ride about 5-7 miles just to get my pelvis acclimated to the bicycle.  The next day, with my old bike shorts, I used to be sore for at least a day.

This time, it was different.  Anna and I rode 10 miles on an unfamiliar bike, and the super pad worked!  I was not sore immediately afterward, nor am I sore the day after!  While I am not a fan of lounging around in these shorts due to the awkwardness of the large pad, the extra amount of money spent on bike shorts, if used on any ride longer than 5 or 10 minutes at a time, is defintely worth it!  Go Canari!

Bicycling Essentials — Introduction

Yesterday evening, Anna and I rode at Memorial Park for about an hour, testing out our new bikes.  I’ll post the video later today or tomorrow so y’all can see our initial nervousness about getting out of our confort zone to ride the new MS 150 bicycles.

This is a first of a series of blogs entitled “Bicycling Essentials”, which will share tips, advice, and stories on the bicycling sport to amateur and aspiring bicyclists.  For intermediate or advanced cyclists, this will not be rocket science.

While I am fairly new to cycling as a sport, I think it’s important to share the “what you REALLY need to succeed” products.  I remember buying my first bike, the sales person suggested all of these bells and whistles in addition to the investment in the bicycle itself.  As any good consumer tries to do, I went in with the explicit intention to only buy the bike and nothing else.  As an intermediate or advanced cyclist might tell you, this really isn’t the mindset needed for a purchasing a bicycle.  After a few days, one of two things happens: 1) those customers usually burn out on cycling because they don’t have the accessories required to truly enjoy cycling, and their bikes sit in the garage for years to come; or 2) the customers have a bad cycling experience with the bike and come back to buy any and every accessory possible.  I was customer #2.

So, in the coming weeks, I’ll examine the necessities and accessories Anna and I are using in training for the MS 150, giving honest appraisals of usefulness, as well as skill level required to see benefit in any of the products we use.

I think it is extremely important for all Sun and Ski customers to be as educated as possible about the sport of cycling.  Fairly green in the sport myself, I think it will be a fun adventure that we can all embark upon, learning and sharing experiences at the same time.

Please save the dates of January 23-24th to attend Bike U at Sun & Ski, which is a catalog of free topical courses covering everything from beginner safety rules to advanced topics.  But more on Bike U on a later blog….

Wayne’s Bio – Sun & Ski Sports Cycling Slim Down

I graduated from Cypress Creek High School in 1996 with the explicit intention to wear a suit and tie every day of my life and make millions of dollars (like my idol at the time, Bill Gates) complete with a Hiram of Playboy Bunnies, by the time I was 30. I set off to earn a Bachelor of Business degree in Management Information Systems at the University of Texas in Austin. I had the time of my life! I was a Resident Assistant at a dormitory (of course I was the “Cool” RA), and a member of the top ranked UT Speech and Debate Team. I know that sounds nerdy, but it taught me to think on my feet and make stuff up to future bosses to make myself look good.

I am from a close-knit Catholic family, which has always been very important to me. I have two loving parents, who have been married for over 38 years! My two older brothers combined were my all-power nemesis growing up, but now they are some of my best friends. My mom, regardless of where she worked, always made sure she was home by 6 to cook dinner. I used to remember when eating out was a treat, and eating in was boring. Now, I wish things were reversed in my life, as a home-cooked meal is hard to come by. Dad taught me good old fashioned values, both personal and financial. “Gas”, he said “will never be above one dollar. If it is, I’ll just walk!” As of now, dad drives a truck.

My hobbies include going to Best Buy every 3 months to figure out what new useless gadgets are on the market, surfing the internet, and card and board games. I am usually unable to find anyone who would prefer games over a movie or bar-hopping, but when I do, I have a blast playing. I tried amateur stand-up comedy a few times, and even got booed the first time I ever attempted it. That didn’t stop me, though. I continue to write new material for performances about once a year. I have friends all over the country, and enjoy meeting up whenever possible. It’s funny, because the closest friends I have are the ones I see 3 times a year, but are the ones I can most easily start a conversation with.

I currently work for Waste Management in Downtown Houston in the IT Department as a Systems Deployment Coordinator.., but don’t ask me about exactly what my job title means… I think its random words put together to form a glorified title to make me feel better about myself to justify paying me less. No, I’m kidding. Unlike most people my age, I have been at the same company for almost 7 years, and every day is a new challenge and adventure. Almost everyone I work with is my friend, inside and outside of work. It’s a great work environment fit for me.

I met Anna 6 years ago through a mutual friend. We became close about 2 years ago, when she said we needed to be more active. I purchased a Haro bike from Sun and Ski Sports and began riding immediately. My first time out at Memorial Park, we rode 10 miles. And I felt that 10 miles in my groin for the next week. I always thought the bikers wore bike shorts because it made them look cool, not because they were padded. Boy was I wrong! I went back to Sun and Ski, purchased bike shorts and a Camel Pack, and I was good to go. Anna and I rode in about 5 bicycle rallies that Spring, and continued to do so the year after. Unfortunately, we never exercised outside of the Saturdays for those rallies, and never rode in enough rallies to lose a significant amount of weight.

This year, when I turned 30, I took stock of my life, decided it was good, and wanted to continue living life. I don’t want potential health ailments relating to obesity to take my life away from me. With Anna as my work out partner, I look forward to conquering my weight demons and living a healthy, active lifestyle. We have decided that we will do whatever it takes to ride in the MS 150. It’s a remarkable cause for charity. Every mile pedaled equals not only a healthier heartbeat, but valuable dollars to research the cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

I became aware of the disease from a friend’s daughter, who was diagnosed with MS 4 years ago at the age of 19. Steph lives a healthy lifestyle, is a good person, and still she has the random disease of MS. She began riding in the MS 150 3 years ago, and is a true champion for the cause. Steph does everything she can with medication, exercise, and diet to fight the effects on a daily basis. Her resilience is, and will always be, an inspiration to me. I hope that, with the help of Sun and Ski, I can both lose weight as well as raise money for a great organization to help the hundreds of thousands of Americans living with MS.

As you can tell from my biography, I have always wanted big things in life, just not a big waist. I didn’t get that million dollars, nor am I followed around by “hot chicks”, but I would not change a minute of my life. I am, after all, funny and fat. But I really want to be fit!