The Astros hosted "Bike to the Ballpark" on Sunday, with fans riding to Minute Maid Park from selected locations five and 10 miles away. Participants received a complimentary water bottle, bike valet service during the game, a bike inspection and a gift bag with various "green" items.
In attendance for the 5-3 win over the Reds was one group of friends who bike to every game: The Biking for Baseball team.
Rex Roberts, Steve Lunn, Adam Kremers and Chase Higgins are biking 11,000 miles across North America this summer to promote mentorship programs, hitting all 30 Major League parks along the way.
The group hosts a youth mentoring event in each MLB city, and they spent Sunday morning teaching baseball with 30 Houston-area kids and volunteers at Settegast Park. The first hour of the event was devoted to fielding, baserunning and "how to hit a home run," with an hour-long game after.
"[There are] a lot of encouraging moments," said Kremers.
Sunday's event was particularly special because it was the first baseball experience for many of the young mentees.
"At every event, there are one or two who have never played," Lunn said. "But today almost half of the kids had never caught a baseball before. They were catching it with the hand they are supposed to throw with, so we had to show them how to catch it. So that was pretty cool."
-- Rachel Frey