Kathryn and Sybren on the MS-150 ride in 2010. Friendly Spokes was the name of their cycling team.
Leading Ready2Roll Cycling takes enormous commitment by some very special people and Sybren and Kathryn van der Pol are just those people.
Back in May of 2022, the owners of R2RC (Ready2Roll Cycling) placed the comprehensive, fully supported cycling training series up for sale seeking the ideal candidate to take it over. As time passed and without a new owner, it became apparent to Sybren and Kathryn that R2RC was going to shut down. Given the longstanding impressive history and all the good the training series had done for countless thousands in the cycling community, both Sybren and Kathryn agreed that they could not let R2RC go away. In August of 2022, Sybren and Kathryn proudly became the new owners of R2RC.
While they realized that this new commitment was going to be a significant amount of work, they truly love the cycling community, helping others, giving back to the community and were very familiar with working hard and leading by example. After all, they had both just retired from the automotive industry and had settled in Washington, Texas, about an hour outside of Houston and, in a strange way, were looking for a new challenge.
As a longstanding participant of more than 12 years, Sybren was very familiar with R2RC and knew what good it had done, consistently promoting safe and courteous cycling.
Sybren and Kathryn believe cycling has preserved their fitness and given them endless hours of enjoyment. Their vision is that R2RC will provide people not only a wonderful way to train in group rides, but build long-lasting friendships, and inspire all participants to become ambassadors for safe and courteous cycling.
They are extremely charitable and support multiple charities with Multiple Sclerosis being first and foremost. When their daughter was injured after running cross country, the doctor suggested bicycle riding as a means for recovery. So Sybren and daughter Laura took on the challenge of the MS 150 bike ride and successfully completed the MS 150 from Houston to Austin back in 2003. Sybren was then hooked on supporting the MS movement. In fact, as owners of their automobile repair shop, they held an annual fish fry and raised much-needed funds for the MS Society.
Sybren is extremely unselfish and has volunteered his time as a MS Society Ride Marshal since 2005. He has participated in hundreds of charity rides and helped countless cyclists change their flat tires, fix their helmets, and provide encouragement when the going was tough. He is a certified trainer with the League of American Bicyclists. Not to be outdone, Kathryn has also completed the MS 150 multiple times and attributes her success to the R2RC training series.
The couple has been married since 1977 and both have an impressive and dynamic background. Sybren is a first-generation American. His Dutch father was a merchant marine who ended up in the United States unexpectedly during World War II. Assigned to a gasoline tanker that was blown up by a German U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico, Sybren’s father swam below the ship’s ring of fire and spent three days in the Gulf trying to survive. Thankfully, he was rescued by a British frigate. Shortly after the war was over, Sybren was born in New Orleans.
Sybren was always fascinated with anything that moved, took apart and reassembled small machines from boyhood. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans, he moved to Houston in 1976. He worked primarily in the automotive industry and until 2021, he and Kathryn owned and operated one of the longest operating auto repair shops in the area.
Kathryn grew up as the daughter of a naval officer. She traveled extensively including four years in Japan. She studied classics and graduated from Rice University, later teaching high school Latin and history at St. Thomas Episcopal and St. John’s School.
Sybren and Kathryn’s simple philosophy is to always take care of customers, give back to the community and know that the business will take care of itself. This philosophy is exactly what has made Ready2Roll Cycling so successful and they are perfectly positioned for many successful years ahead!
Originated in 1989 in Houston, Texas, the training series began as Marshall Cohen (Conoco Bike Club captain) led a small group of cyclists weekly in various towns west and north of Houston to train for the MS 150. The rides of 10-25 people were rather informal and included minimal support.
Steve Moskowitz got involved in 1994 and immediately leveraged his extensive computer skills, operational expertise and drive for inclusiveness. He dramatically expanded the training series adding many other Houston teams as it transitioned into the ConocoPhillips Bike Club training program and soon had hundreds of participants at the training rides. Rides began to include law enforcement, port-a-lets, detailed maps, rest stops and a significant volunteer presence. Steve welcomed and embraced key individuals in essential volunteer leadership roles who help contribute to the exceptional training series experience.
In 2011, as Marshall and Steve were proceeding toward retirement from their positions at Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips, respectively, they, along with their spouses Jan and Robbie created Ready2Roll Cycling. Their vast experience in cycling, safety, event planning leadership, operational expertise, communications, marketing, project management, and attention-to-detail were all leveraged in the establishment of Ready2Roll Cycling.
Beyond planning and managing operations for cycling events, Marshall, Steve and Jan have a wealth of experience as they cumulatively have ridden well over 80 MS events, and countless other cycling events including Ride the Rockies, Cycle Colorado, Bicycle Tour of Colorado and more.
The four founders with their unmatched experience from their extensive professional careers, community involvement leadership, fitness, and drive for creating exceptional, safe participant experiences established a tremendous foundation for Ready2Roll Cycling.
Our Company joined the Ready2Roll Cycling program as we trained for the BPMS150, all of our employees had such a wonderful experience they requested the training series again. The Ready2Roll Cycling Team is highly organized, has excellent routes and distance for your team to train, including, EMS, Ride Marshals, break stops and snacks. The owners of Ready2Roll Cycling take a vested interest to work with new teams and ensure we are all safe and ride safe. If you or your company is looking for a top notch training series, Ready2Roll Cycling should be at the top of your list.
I had been cycling for only 14 months when I started the Ready2Roll Cycling series. After riding all spring, I know I’m ready for the BP MS 150; I can ride those hills, I can go the distance, I have the confidence to ride in a group with speed, and I am a courteous rider. In short, Ready2Roll is THE group to prepare for the MS, and meet some great people!!
My experience with Ready2Roll Cycling was like a baby elephant getting pushing up by mama’s trunk. The program has a natural cadence and it took me comfortably from a beginning rider (<10 miles per ride) to confident (50 miles+) within my first spring season. I’m ready for the MS 150, and I had a lot of fun getting there. Thanks Ready2Roll Cycling for delivering a top shelf program.
Ready2Roll Cycling provides an amazing training series. The courses are well planned for to optimize safety as well as training benefit. The rides and communication promote a culture of safety and community. Ride support, both volunteer and corporate sponsors is incredible. I am grateful to have access to such an incredibly affordable and complete training series. Thank you!
Ready2Roll Cycling is absolutely worth the investment to prepare for the MS 150. The 12 rides were well structured to prepare for the hills and distance required – especially for me as a first time MS 150 rider. Weekly communications, ride safety and well stocked rest stops are top notch. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.
Whether or not you are training for the MS 150 or just going along for the ride, the series is great for building endurance and speed.
Ready2Roll Cycling does it right! Informative emails so there are no surprises, excellent communication and organization, fabulous volunteers and sponsors, plus we know they care about us and have our backs when we are out on the road. No one could ask for more!
We appreciate the dedication of our Ready2Roll Cycling team! You guys ROCK!!
I have trained with the Ready2Roll Cycling organization (and its predecessor, ConocoPhillips Bike Club) for 8 of the last 10 years. Its preparation, attention to details and experience at organizing weekly training rides is the best and they get better every year. Whether you are training to ride the MS 150 or simply want to 12 week exercise regiment to get into shape, I would highly recommend this training series. The positive energy at the start of every ride is invigorating.
The only Important safety tip missing from Steve’s long emails: Don’t step in an ant pile just before you start your ride.
Thank Ready2Roll Cycling for your awesome training and inputs. This (almost 63 year) Grandpa completed his Rookie MS 150 yesterday. The best decision I could have made is to join Ready2Roll. No way could I have done it otherwise. You guys rock!!!!
Ready2Roll Cycling does such an amazing job! Really impressed with every aspect of their volunteer coordination, ride organization, and communication. Had so much fun volunteering at Rest Stop 2!!!
I did it! 76 miles on Day 1 of the BP MS 150. I had some hills to climb! I had the wind in my face! Ready2Roll Cycling you trained me well! No SAG! Did NOT walk any hills! I climbed them like a boss!
I wanted to thank you, Steve, Robbie, Jan, Marshall and the entire support staff we staging such a wonderful spring riding season. This was my first year with Ready2Roll Cycling and I can’t praise enough the coordination and thoughtful planning that went into the series of rides. What a great opportunity for new novices like myself. My best to all and have a great MS 150.
Thank you for everything you do to make these training rides safe, friendly and enormously satisfying. The leadership, organization, attention to detail and resulting just plain joy in these rides is remarkable. Many aspire to this level of excellence – you all deliver week after week, year after year.
Well organized ride series with full ride support including police at key intersections, and good community relations make this a great way to get in shape for the MS 150.
First of all, I love everything you and your team are doing. I’m not new to cycling, but this is my first year participating in Ready2Roll training. It is top notch! Everything is so well organized and your regular communication is great and informative. When I signed up, I wasn’t sure if it would be worth driving out from Pasadena every Saturday, but it totally is.
I would like to say that last week’s ride was a beautiful example of excellence in organization and coordination. I cannot express how grateful I am to the Ready2Roll staff and volunteers for coordinating this training series. It is pure joy to roll up to an intersection and see a police officer, ready and waiting to control traffic….cars and cyclists alike….to maintain safety for all.
And great to see the SAG drivers, carefully positioned along the route. And also the rest stops (with port-a-potties!) perfectly placed on a quiet road.
Well done, Steve and Marshall, spouses and staff. I am looking forward to this training series!!
This series is always fantastic. It’s so nice to get out of the city and train in some of the beautiful countryside areas that the series takes us to. I’m an experienced rider now, 11 years training for the MS 150, but as a new rider, this series and Steve’s emails really taught me group riding skills and how to do pretty much everything to do with cycling, from how to dress to how to eat to how to stay SAFE. I greatly appreciate it.
“Jan, I appreciate what you and Marshall and Steve and Robbie do to promote safe, fun cycling opportunities for all of us, you guys rock !!!”
It would have been impossible, or dangerous for me (an amateur rider) to get in these routes and miles without the support of the rest stops, police support, and safety volunteer assistance that Ready2Roll Cycling offers.