Oklahoma Freewheel 2013 Route Announced

The Oklahoma Freewheel has announced their 2013 route with a return to eastern Oklahoma after a couple of years further west.  This year will start in Idabel and finish in Joplin, MO after crossing some scenic and a bit hilly terrain.  Total mileage is between 458-509 miles depending on the optional routes.

Route Breakdown

Day 0, June 8: Idabel-TX Border      41 miles

Day 1, June 9: Idabel-Antlers              68 miles

Day 2, June 10: Antlers-Talihina        62 OR 73 miles

Day 3, June 11: Talihina-Warner       68 miles

Day 4, June 12: Warner-Tahlequah  58 miles

Day 5, June 13: Tahlequah-Pryor      60 OR 100 miles

Day 6, June 14: Pryor-Miami                64 miles

Day 7, June 15: Miami-Joplin, MO   37 miles

 

As mentioned earlier, Adult registration starts at $295 and $195 for youth 6-24.  Registration is available now at http://www.okfreewheel.info/wps/2013-2/registration/.


Oklahoma Freewheel Announces Price Increase, Route Announcement Tomorrow

The Oklahoma Freewheel has announced the registration fees for this year’s ride which will start at $295 for an adult (from $175 last year) and $195 for riders under 24 (up from $100 for riders under 15 last year).  They list the benefits for the price increases as follows:

One of our first steps is to make FreeWheel THE premier bicycle tour in the country. The better our event and the more people we can bring to our host communities, the more everyone wins. A key way to do this is through awarding grants to our host communities to make their towns more bicycle friendly so they can continue to attract cyclists long after our ride in June is over.
Based on your feedback we are also making some big improvements to FreeWheel 2013. Here are some of the changes you will see:

  • Upgraded shower truck.
  • T-shirt included in registration fees for all week and half week riders.
  • Youth designation (and price) expanded to include young adults up to age 24.
  • Option of registering for and riding in a single stage.
  • “Teams” composed of groups of 5 or more may register for a full week at a discounted price.
  • An on-line only registration process for your convenience. Registration will be online ONLY, but there will be no additional credit card processing fees.
  • FreeWheel “scholarships” to be awarded to up to 5 lucky participants.
  • A new and improved website (to be unveiled at the route announcement).
  • More and better signage.
  • Helpers to load luggage onto the semi-truck in the morning.

The Oklahoma Freewheel route announcement will be tomorrow at 6:30 PM at Joe Mamma’s Pizza in Tulsa.


OSU Cyclists Upset at Bike Lane Removal

OSU cyclists are upset that the university has removed all bike lanes on campus:

Cyclists on campus are hoping to find a solution to the now non-existent bike lanes.

Oklahoma State University recently removed all bike lanes on campus in hopes of creating a more shared campus, according to an article in the O’Colly on Sept. 26.

Trevor Steward, president of the Oklahoma State University Cycling Club and off-campus SGA senator, said he plans to meet with a group of university faculty and staff later today to discuss some concerns that the OSU cycling community has about the removal. The meeting will include Lee Bird, OSU vice president for student affairs, university architect Nigel Jones, Mike Buchert, director of Long Range Facilities Planning, and others.

The OSU Cycling Club was never notified or contacted for consultation concerning the removal of the bike lanes, Steward said.

“This is (the students’) university,” he said. “We should have a say in how this campus is run and looks.”

(via OSU Cycling Club looks to solve bicycle lane issues – ocolly.com : Osu)

More disturbing, apparently the University is encouraging the very dangerous practice of riding on sidewalks:

The O’Colly article encouraged cyclists to ride on sidewalks and outlined campus plans for shared sidewalks instead of bike lanes.

Riding on sidewalks is very dangerous because of obstacles like pedestrians, driveways and crossroads, Bruer said.

“It is just as dangerous, if not more, than riding on the road,” he said. “Most cycling communities have realized that it is dangerous to ride on sidewalks.”

Bruer also noted that the University of California-Berkley is advising OSU on adopting a campus without bike lanes.

“UC Berkley is not a recognized bike-friendly campus,” he said. “We are getting our advice from a campus that is not considered bike-friendly.”

(via OSU Cycling Club looks to solve bicycle lane issues – ocolly.com : Osu)

 


Stillwater Forms Bicycle Committee

Stillwater has formed a standing bicycle committee in an attempt to improve their bicycle friendliness:

Stillwater has taken another step toward becoming more cycle-friendly.

The Stillwater Bicycle Committee was officially established Wednesday night, following the tradition of other bike-friendly communities across the nation.

Jim Bruer, committee member and Oklahoma State University academic counselor, said this is a necessary step in promoting cycling in Stillwater.

“One of the main things you need to be approved (as a bike-friendly community) is to have a cycling committee like this,” Bruer said.

(via Stillwater Bicycle Committee established Wednesday night – ocolly.com : Osu)

This is a step Stillwater is taking in order to join Norman and Tulsa as Oklahoma Bicycle Friendly Communities as ranked by the League of American Bicyclists.

 


Tulsa Duathlon Honors Fallen Cyclists

Fleet Feet Sports in Tulsa is organizing a duathlon this Sunday to honor cyclists Christa Voss and Matthew Edmonds:

A duathlon organized by Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa will take place Sunday to remember Christa Voss and Matthew Edmonds, cyclists killed by a drunken driver while riding their bikes on Oklahoma 51 near 161st West Avenue on June 9, 2009.

The race benefits the Edmonds & Voss Memorial Fund, which has supported the families of Voss and Edmonds as well as benefiting drunken driving prevention and the Tulsa Zoo fund, among other causes, according to event coordinator Kate Critchfield. The race includes a 5K run, a 30K bike ride, and another 5K run.

via Duathlon Sunday will promote cycling safety | Tulsa World.

The ride starts at 7:00 AM on Sunday July 15th from Riverparks Festival West (23rd and Jackson Ave).

There is no race day registration, but you can register online at https://www.signmeup.com/84447 and in person at Fleet Feet Tulsa Blue Dome.  Full details available at: http://www.fleetfeettulsa.com/event/christa-voss-du-july-15/


Oklahoma Climbs in Bicycle Friendliness Rankings

The League of American Bicyclists has increased Oklahoma’s bicycle friendliness ranking from 43rd in 2011 to 35th this year. Even more impressive to note is that in 2008, Oklahoma was ranked 48th. According to the League, this steady improvement is due to increases in “infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.”

“We are encouraged to see significant progress,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “But, as the scores clearly highlight, there’s much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and funding. We look forward to working with Oklahoma to improve conditions for people who bike for transportation and recreation.”

You can see Oklahoma’s full report here and compare us to other states here.

 


Tulsa Touts Their Trails

Tulsa is doing a little bragging about their bicycle trail system and on paper, it seems well justified.  Unlike the OKC system, Tulsa’s seems well designed for both recreation and transportation which is a big bragging point.

It connects neighborhoods to downtown and that’s not the case in many cities.

Since 1999 the system has grown from just 25 miles to about 100, with a lot more trail work being planned.

via KTUL.com – Tulsa’s Channel 8 – News, Weather & Sports – Tulsa Is A Leading City When It Comes To Bike Trails.

I’ve never cycled much in Tulsa, what are your experiences?  What are they doing right and wrong and what could we do better here in OKC?


Art Bike Tulsa Opens Today

The Oklahoma chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society opened their Art Bike Tulsa show today at the Williams Tower Two lobby.

Art Bike Tulsa 2012 is an installation of colorful, uniquely-designed bicycles that have been transformed by local artists to raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis and the MS society’s annual bike ride/fundraiser.

via KTUL.com – Tulsa’s Channel 8 – News, Weather & Sports – MS Society “Art Bike Tulsa” Preview.

The installation will be available to the public through May 20th (Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM).  From May 21st through September 21st at the Tulsa International Airport.


Mick Cornett Asks House To Support Walking/Bicycling Funding

OKC Mayor Mick Cornett

Mick Cornett, Republican Mayor of Oklahoma City along with Eugene A. Conti, Jr., Secretary of Transportation, N.C. and Steve Heminger, Exec. Dir., Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission have written an editorial in The Hill urging the House to reconsider many of the controversial measures in the current transportation bill including the removal of funding for both walking and bicycling initiatives.  After thanking the House for restoring funding to public transportation and asking for an effective bridge repair plan, the editorial goes on to ask the House to restore both Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancement funding:

We also would like to see House leaders restore dedicated funding for programs that make local communities safer for bicycling and walking. Given what a tiny share of the transportation budget it represents, we can’t see any advantage in killing these programs. But we see a lot of good in continuing to help towns revitalize their Main Streets and connect neighborhoods to make it safer for kids to walk or bicycle to school, getting some exercise in the process.

Many of the more dangerous roads for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists alike in our communities are federal-aid highways. House leaders have said fixing these unsafe conditions is a local problem, or a frill we can do without. We strongly disagree, and we urge them to restore dedicated funds for this purpose.

via View from beyond the Beltway: Pass a bipartisan transportation bill – The Hill’s Congress Blog.

I take it as a personal relief to know that there is real support for walking and cycling in OKC city government.  While I don’t always agree with how the city implements and maintains its cycling and walking infrastructure, I think the mayor and city council should be thanked for being dedicated to the process of making Oklahoma City a better place for active transportation.


Authorities Seek Driver in Hit-and-Run Crash with Cyclist

State Troopers are seeking the driver of a vehicle who struck a cyclist just west of Cement, OK last night:

The crash occurred at about 7:15 p.m. on U.S. 277, just west of Cement.

Troopers said Josh Steven Henderson, 17, of Chickasha, was riding his bike west on the two-lane road when the vehicle, also traveling west, hit him and caused him to veer to the right. The vehicle fled the scene, troopers said.

Henderson was airlifted to Oklahoma University Medical Center with leg and head injuries. He was listed in good condition late Monday

via Troopers Seek Driver In Bicyclist Hit-And-Run – Oklahoma City News Story – KOCO Oklahoma City.

You can reach Division G of the Highway Patrol at 580-353-0783 if you have any information.

Troopers have currently listed the lack of proper lighting on the bicycle as the cause of the crash.