Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, June 13, 2024 — Houston, TX

The Ped(al)estrian: Bats, burial sites, brew and bingo

By Johanna Ohm     11/15/12 6:00pm

This Week's Route: 


The Stops: 

Waugh Bridge Bat Colony, Glenwood Cemetery, Waldo's Coffee House and SPJST Lodge


This week's route starts on campus and wanders through Houston's Hyde Park neighborhood before crossing Allen Parkway for a fun night out in the Houston Heights. Try this route after school on a Thursday and you will have seen bats and played bingo all before pub night. Total bicycing time for the 11-mile one-way route is approximately 1 hour.


Stop #1: Waugh Bridge & Bat Colony

Getting there: 

From the Rice Memorial Center, follow Alumni Drive to exit campus at the intersection with Rice Boulevard. Turn left on Rice Boulevard, right on Ashby Street and right on Bissonnet Street. Make the first left-hand turn onto Dunlavy Street. Bike from Dunlavy Street to Allen Parkway to access the Buffalo Bayou Bike Path. Turn right on the bike path and Waugh Bridge (stop one) will be at the next major intersection. 4.6 miles, 27 minutes.

What to see: 

Bats! Waugh Bridge is home to Houston's Mexican free-tailed bat colony. Arrive at sunset to witness the flights of over 300,000 bats fleeing their cave-like home for a night of pest-patrol and batty activities. Go on Friday or Saturday evening to talk to "bat ambassadors" from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.


Stop #2: Glenwood Cemetery, 2525 Washington Ave.

Getting there: 

Cross Waugh Bridge and turn right onto Washington Avenue. The cemetery is less than a mile down the road on the right-hand side. 2.0 miles, 12 minutes.

What to see:

The burial site of Howard Hughes, Edgar Odell Lovett and Captain James A. Baker (William Marsh Rice's personal attorney). Houstonians have been visiting this parklike cemetery since the late 1800s. Its location along the bike path and beautiful landscaping make it an interesting diversion for cyclists who want to try biking the rare Houston hill or are seeking to dig up some Houston history. Tours are held periodically, with the next organized tour scheduled for Nov. 24 at 10 a.m. Sign up at www.glenwoodcemetery.org for $10 a tour.

Stop #3: Waldo's Coffee House, 1030 Heights Blvd.

Getting there:

Turn left on Sawyer Street from Glenwood cemetery. Hop on the Heights Bike Trail until reaching Heights Boulevard. Turn right, and Waldo's will be on the right-hand side. 2.6 miles, 16 minutes.

What to drink:

Stop here for a pick-me-up or some musical entertainment en route. Try what Waldo's is known for: quirky flavored drinks like the creme brulee iced coffee. Go on Friday or Saturday for live musical jams.

Stop #4: Bingo in the Heights at SPJST Lodge, 1435 Beall St.

Getting there:

Find your way back to the Heights Bike Trail and travel north until West 5th Street. Turn left, travel 0.7 miles and turn left again at Beall Street. An overspilling multi-acre parking lot in the midst of suburban jungle is a good indication that you have found the right place. 1.8 miles, 7 min.

What to do:

Arrive by 7 p.m. on Thursday nights to buy your cards ($5 for regular, $1 for early-bird) and pick up a lucky marker before the Early-Bird Game at 7:15 p.m. Bring cash. Shiner and Miller beer can be bought by the pitcher for a bargain price, and greasy-spoon style dinner options pair well with both the atmosphere and the beverages. Play lots of games: On a lucky night, winners can bring home a couple hundred dollars.

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