Oil industry bikers raise millions in Texas

July 2, 2014

The BP MS 150 is a two-day fundraising cycling ride organized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Lone Star Chapter. This ride is the largest event of its kind in North America, and the top fund- raiser for the society, but it’s one of more than 100 Bike MS rides staged around the US. For teams to become “National,” they need to participate in at least four events. (National teams: BP America, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Marathon Oil.)

This two-day, 180mi. journey from Houston to the Texas capitol in Austin, has breakpoints positioned every 8-15mi. and an overnight celebration in LaGrange, Texas.

2014 marks the 30th Annual BP MS 150 Houston-to-Austin Bike Ride. Since it’s a fundraising event, rather than a race, it attracts both novice and experienced cyclists.

Ride Marshals are registered cyclists who act as both Good Will and Safety Ambassadors for the recommended training rides and the BP MS 150. They are passionate about safe cycling, and are trained in CPR, first aid, and bike mechanics.

Team BP – BP became the title sponsor in 2001, furthering its commitment to the MS movement. Team BP averages more than 700 cyclists at the annual BP MS 150, and has raised over US$11 million to date.

Team Shell Cycling – Team Shell is a group of 267 Shell employees, retirees, contractors, friends, and family members who promote employee wellness, safe cycling, and are good ambassadors for Shell in the community.

Mark Poindexter, Team Captain and Sponsor, said the team had more than 50 volunteers, in addition to the 256 riders, and has nearly met its 2014 goal of $250,000. www.shellcyclingteam.com

ConocoPhillips – The ConocoPhillips team was led by Stephen Moskowitz this year, and included 251 riders. What started as the ConocoPhillips training series is now known as the Ready-to-Roll (R2R) series, and Team Shell and others take part in the practice rides. ready2rollcycling.com

Schlumberger Cycling Club – SCC was founded in 1996, has about 250 members, and has been recognized by the BP MS 150 with the Platinum Safety Award. The club organized 14 training rides from January to April, averaging more than 100 riders at each, and had 178 riders this year, with Theresa Hartman as team captain.

Team member Bill Sass completed his 14th BP MS 150. His perseverance and determination to complete the course on a hand cycle is truly uplifting (see p.5). www.slbcycling.com

Marathon Oil – In 2000, 12 employees formed the first MS 150 team, which grew to 101 riders in 2014. The Marathon Oil team went “National” in 2010, and won the National Rookie Team Award that year, for being the largest.

Alison McCaslin was Marathon’s team captain this year, her 9th ride. She told OE that the Marathon team is consistently a Top 25 Fundraising Team, and has raised over $1.4million locally since 2000. Their participation shows how Marathon employees strive to make a difference in their communities, she said. “We ride for those who can’t.”

ExxonMobil – The ExxonMobil Cycling Team has raised more than $4million for the National MS Society since it started in 1999. The team participates in the BP MS 150 because they “want to experience a great, organized ride, and to help fund research, advocate for change, and help people with MS and their families lead powerful lives. We believe in the work they do and want to be part of it.”

Team captains are Joshua R. Lowry and Stephanie Freeman. www.emcycling.com

Industry 2014 top fundraisers include (US$, #riders): Team BP ($1.11million, 655); ConocoPhillips ($461k, 251), ExxonMobil ($365k, 216); Bechtel Cycling Team ($268k, 100), Anadarko ($262k, 168), Team Shell Cycling ($236k), CGG ($225k, 91), Baker Hughes Express ($189k, 166), National Oilwell Varco ($174k, 123), and Marathon ($154k, 101).

Other teams (#riders): Apache (52); BG Group Bike Team (47); BHP Billiton Pedal-up! (36); Team Cameron (91);

Cheniere (6); Diamond Offshore Drilling (27); Team DNV-GL (35); Team DOF Subsea (10); Team Dril-Quip (54);

Team EMAS (19); Team Emergent Technologies (27); Team Energy XXI (56); eni petroleum cycling team (26);

Team EOG (45); Exterran (59); FairfieldNodal (11); Team Fluor (72); FMCTI Cyclers (131); Team Fugro (79);

Team GE (51); Halliburton (107); Team Hess (106); Team KBR (38); Kongsberg (15); Lloyds Register (28);

Maersk Oil (24); Marathon Oil (101); McDermott (4); Team Murphy (22); Team Nabors (32); Newfield Exploration (34);

Noble Drilling (55); Noble Energy (79); Team Oceaneering (85); Oiltankers (16); Parker Drilling (2); Phillips 66 (62);

Precision Drilling (9); Repsol Riders (41); Riley Exploration (15); Team Sasol (12); SBM Offshore (42);

Team Seadrill (20); Team Shawcor (16); Simmons and Co. (49); Statoil (99); Subsea 7 (86);

Superior Energy Services (27); Team TOTAL (81); Team Vantage (21); Team Weatherford (52); Team Williams (23);

Team Wood Group (105); TeamOXY (50); Transocean (72); Viking Oil Tools Cycling Team (4); and WorleyParsons (43).

MS – Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive neurological disease that affects people in different ways, including paralysis, loss of vision, and impaired memory. Living with MS means living with uncertainty.

In its history, the ride has raised nearly US$185million for research aimed at treating and eventually curing MS, as well as services for those living with MS, including scholarships.

Take the ride of your life next year, 18-19 April 2015.