Mentor to thousands of cyclists, leader of a team that’s raised millions … and ECD Board Member
There’s only one way Steve Moskowitz could mentor thousands of bicyclists, annually captain a BP MS 150 team that’s raised nearly $6 million, manage a sprawling campus for an international oil company, volunteer for several community efforts and still have time to serve as board member for The Energy Corridor District.
“Late to bed, early to rise and organize!” explains Marshall Cohen, friend and bike riding partner to Moskowitz.
Indeed. Just reading an abbreviated list of Moskowitz’s work and volunteering schedule is enough to tire one out. This is a man who doesn’t believe in spare time.
Each day, long before dawn and well after the workday is done, Moskowitz is immersed in volunteering, stepping up for civic and community organizations – and to extend his love of cycling.
“There’s not one person in Houston who has done more to influence the positive efforts of cycling,” says Cohen, a veteran bicyclist and BP MS team captain for Phillips 66.
If, per chance, you think Cohen is pedaling an overstatement, consider this. For 20 years Moskowitz has helped thousands of riders not only ride, but also ride safer. For the past four years alone – as co-leader with Cohen for their Ready2Roll Cycling program – Moskowitz has organized logistically challenging training rides for 800 to 1,000 cyclists along rural routes nearly every Saturday during the BP MS preparation season.
Then there’s the BP MS 150, Moskowitz’s other passion. He’s been captaining a 350-rider ConocoPhillips team that’s raised nearly $6 million over the years to battle multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease that affects 2.3 million people worldwide. This year’s charity ride will be his 23rd two-day, 180-mile jaunt to Austin.
An evangelist about developing safe riding skills, Moskowitz is a longtime leader with the BP MS 150 Safety Advisory Committee. Their work has greatly reduced accidents for a mass bike ride that involves 13,000 riders.
For those efforts alone, it’s easy to see why the Multiple Sclerosis Society recognized Moskowitz in 2003 with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“He’s relentless,” Cohen exclaims, director of commercial brand lubricants for Phillips 66 and captain of the company’s BP MS 150 team.
“He’s an impressive person, but he’s constantly trying to improve,” says Cohen. “He uses technology, writes a ton of emails, creates lots of lists, always trying to make it more efficient. Steve has 300 people on his team. I have 70 and I’m struggling. I don’t know how he keeps up with it all.”
Their roots riding together began with the long-defunct ConocoPhillips Bike Club. Cohen was keeping it going as a non-company effort when he asked Moskowitz to join on.
About a week after Moskowitz joined, he just took over, Cohen says. They incorporated into Ready2Roll Cycling – now a 2,600-rider, 12-week training program that guides and encourages bicyclists of all ages and abilities to achieve the milestone of riding a bicycle safely to Austin, Texas during the BP MS 150. Moskowitz arranges and leads clinics, writes novella-length weekly email tips and helps organize large rides requiring complex logistics, including working with local communities and police officials.
“Through his lead, we’ll change people lives,” says Cohen. “People find they can ride for their health, they’ll accomplish a goal they never thought they’d do and they raise money for a very important cause, MS.”
When the rides through rural towns west of Houston are done, Ready2Roll goes back and donates money to help locals with their own causes.
“His unwavering commitment to provide expertise and to support others has enabled thousands of dollars to be contributed to organizations and communities like the Boy Scouts, Bike for Mike, Faith West Academy and the town of Chappell Hill,” Cohen adds.
On top of all that, Moskowitz promotes bicycling commuting. He works with a fellow avid cyclist, Clark Martinson, general manager of The District, to facilitate bicycling in The Energy Corridor and rides in The District’s annual Bike to Work Day.
Then there is the annual 3,000-rider Tour de Houston Bike Ride. As a nod to Moskowitz’s vast safety experience, The City of Houston has made him the honorary ride starter.
Tally up the other volunteer work that fills Moskowitz waking hours and you have to ask, “Does this man sleep?”
He is a board director and treasurer for the West Houston Association; Director of Technology and Sustainability for the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Houston Chapter; volunteer for the annual ConocoPhillips United Way bike ride and Ride for Kate; serves on the ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run Steering Committee that manages runner registration data for 15,000 participants; treasurer for his neighborhood PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization); and is a board director for The Energy Corridor District.
Last year, Moskowitz’s volunteer work for his synagogue earned him congregant of the year.
Oh, and he’s been donating blood platelets every two weeks for more than a decade.
“He’s just involved with so many things; he’s a doer, but he also helps guide and lead,” Cohen says. “Steve leverages his creativity and respect for others to make an impact in the community. He consistently has had widespread impact in everything he’s touched.”
Read one of Moskowitz’s infamously long emails written to his protégés in the pre-dawn hours, laced with riding and safety tips and detailing every single aspect of the BP MS 150 ride, and you just might wonder what you could achieve in your own spare time.
Or, as in Moskowitz’s case, a lunch break.