Oklahoma Freewheel 2012 Route Announced

Tonight in Tulsa, this year’s Oklahoma Freewheel route was announced and what an exciting route it looks like it will be.  The route will start in the southwest quadrant of the state, and finish in the Northeast quadrant just across the border in Kansas.  The ride will take place on June 9th through the 16th.  Mileage pretty consistent but there are some long days, plus there are two bonus rides including a century ride and a ride to the top of Mount Scott.

The map below is only an approximate route.  You can see maps of the daily routes at the Freewheel website.

View Larger Map

Route Breakdown

Day 0: Frederick to Red River and back. 36 miles.

Day 1: Frederick to Elgin. 75 miles.  There is a 6 mile option to ride the 1,000 foot climb to the top of Mount Scott (elevation 2,464)

Day 2: Elgin to Anadarko. 61 miles.

Day 3: Anadarko to Watonga. 72 miles. There will be a century option for this day.

Day 4: Watonga to Guthrie. 71 miles.

Day 5: Guthrie to Drumright. 55 miles.  Speedwheel will happen in Drumright this year.

Day 6: Drumright to Ponca City. 79 miles.

Day 7: Ponca City to South Haven, KS. 36 miles.

There are a couple of important announcements.  First, accident insurance will be available for the first time. Secondly, and maybe more important, the shower truck will be setup on Saturday. :)

The full week cost will be $175 for adults, $100 for children (6-18).   Registration will be available within two weeks.

Full details available at the Freewheel website.

Tulsa Cyclist Dies in Hit-and-Run Crash

The Tulsa World is reporting that a cyclist that was hit on Saturday in a hit-and-run crash has died:

A bicyclist seriously injured in a hit-and-run collision Saturday has died.

Mowery Funeral Home identified the victim as Bobby Richardson, 51, of Owasso.

A motorist found Richardson in the roadway on 101st East Avenue near 12th Street at about 8:30 p.m., officers at the scene said.

via Bicyclist injured in hit-and-run Saturday dies | Tulsa World.

The cyclist was found by a passing motorist but was unable to describe the car that hit the cyclist.  A silver sedan was seen in the area around the time of the crash, but police are not sure the vehicle was involved in the crash.

Anyone with any information is being asked to contact Tulsa Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS (2677) or to leave a tip online at http://tulsaworld.com/crimestoppers .


Prison Sentence Reduced for Tausha Borland

The Tulsa World is reporting that Tausha Borland, who killed two cyclists in 2009 while driving under the influence, will now serve twenty years instead of the original 24 year sentence:

At a one-year judicial review conducted Tuesday, Kellough modified that sentence to 20 years in prison plus four years of probation.

Kellough indicated that punishment, rehabilitation and protection of the public were factors he considered in reaching his decision.

On the prison term, Borland must serve 85 percent – 17 years – before being eligible for parole or release. She has been in jail or prison since September 2010 and gets credit on her new sentence for time already served.

She also pleaded guilty in 2010 to a misdemeanor DUI and pleaded no contest to a felony count of leaving the scene of the fatal collision.

Kellough originally sentenced Borland to a five-year suspended sentence for the leaving-the-scene offense and imposed a consecutive one-year suspended sentence for the DUI misdemeanor. Kellough did not modify the sentences on those two counts. The new, four-year suspended part of the manslaughter sentence runs consecutively with the six years of probation imposed in 2010.

Defense attorney Allen Smallwood, who requested the judicial review, said Borland has “performed extraordinarily well” while in the Department of Corrections.

Her DOC review report – which recommended that no modification be granted – indicates that Borland has completed various programs, got outstanding job-performance evaluations and been free of negative incidents and misconduct.

In a sentencing memorandum, Assistant District Attorney Erik Grayless wrote that Borland should not be rewarded for “doing what she is supposed to be doing.”

“Just because this defendant is doing what we expect she should do is not cause by itself for a sentencing modification,” Grayless wrote.

via Prison term lessened for woman convicted in bicyclists’ deaths | Tulsa World.

Borland swerved into Christa Voss and Matt Edmonds while driving through Sand Springs in 2009.

Borland will now serve 10 years on probation once she is released in 2030 instead of the original six years.


Oklahoma Gazette on the Oklahoma Bike Summit

The Oklahoma Gazette has written a nice piece about the upcoming bike summit:

A group of Oklahomans is holding the state’s first-ever bike summit in the hopes of making Oklahoma more bike-friendly.

This two-day conference in Oklahoma City in early November, coordinated by the Oklahoma Bike Coalition, will be geared toward engineers, city planners and cycling advocates.

via Oklahoma Gazette News: Pedal power.

As a reminder, the conference will take place on November 4th and 5th. You can register at http://okbikesummit2011.eventbrite.com/.  I will be attending most of the session on November 5th and will be tweeting from the event.

Who's Bike Commuting and Where


I found this interesting article on The Atlantic about the areas of growth in bicycle commuting. While we’ve all seen the large number of articles regarding the growth of cycling commuting, it is interesting to see the geographic concentrations of this growth. Unfortunately, Oklahoma City shows no growth (we sit at a 0.1% so not any room to drop either). However, Tulsa shows 200% growth, though that only represents an increase from 0.2% to 0.6% of the population, but that is still substantial growth.

As OKC expands the city’s bicycle trails network under MAPS 3 into a system that can start to be used for transportation, it will be interesting to see if we can see similar amounts of growth as Tulsa.

Oklahoma Bike Summit

The Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition is putting together the first annual Oklahoma Bike Summit on November 4th and 5th at the Chesapeake Boathouse. This event is the first of its kind in Oklahoma and will feature a variety of speakers and sessions. From the event registration page:

Friday, November 4th

John LaPlante will lead a day-long bicycle facility design workshop. Mr. LaPlante is currently Director of Traffic Engineering for T.Y. Lin International. He has over 45 years of professional traffic engineering and transportation planning experience. He is involved in several national committees and was principal author of the 1999 AASHTO Bike Guide. His hands-on workshop, which includes updates from the soon to be published 2011 AASHTO Bike Guide, will benefit professional engineers, city traffic planners, architects, and anyone who is involved with redesigning the urban landscape on a human scale. Planning professionals can receive 8 hours of CM credit from the American Planning Assocation for attending.

Friday Evening

The Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition will host a reception at the Colcord Hotel. You’ll be able to mingle and visit with our speakers in a relaxed environment. Proceeds will go to the Oklahoma Bicycling Education Fund.

Saturday, November 5th

The Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation partners with Adventure Cycling Association to discuss the Oklahoma Historic Route 66 Bike Trail, the US Bike Route system, and bicycle tourism’s benefit for the economy of Oklahoma. Ultra-cyclist Lon Haldeman, RAAM champion and owner of PAC Tours Adventure Touring will be our featured speaker on Saturday morning.

Mr. LaPlante will lead a break-out session to help bicycle advocates learn how to speak with city planners, and understand the development process when they ask for bicycling infrasture and improving access for bicycles in their communities.

At 12 noon the Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition will hold its Annual Meeting. Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists will be the featured speaker. We’ll conduct a little business, enjoy lunch, and hear from the leading bicycle advocacy organization in the US. All Oklahoma bicyclists and clubs will want to attend!

via Oklahoma Bike Summit – Route 66 – Tourism – Bicycle- Eventbrite.

The events on Friday require registration and have some fees associated with them.  The Saturday events are free but donations are welcome.

I plan on attending several of the sections and will be tweeting from the event.  It would be great to see some of you there.  I want to extended my admiration to the Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition for putting together this event.

Oklahoma Legislative Update

Oklahoma Capital Building Topaz

Photo By: George Thomas

With the end of the legislative session, we now can report on the final disposition of the four major cycling bills that were being considered this year:

  • SB443: Requires bicycle safety questions on the driver’s license exam.
    Passed and signed by the governor.
  • HB2049: Designates Route 66 as the Historic Route 66 Bike Trail.  Originally, the bill only partly covered Route 66, but in the end it was expanded to cover the entire length.
    Passed and signed by the governor.
  • SB487: Would have allowed for  an optional $5 donation during driver’s license renewals to go for bicycle safety education.
    Died waiting for final vote after reconciliation.
  • SB951: Probably the most important bill in this year’s session would have clarified the 3-foot rule and would have increased penalties for people throwing objects at cyclists.
    Died in Senate Subcommittee.

Tulsa Gets New Bicycling Award

The Tulsa World has published a nice article about Tulsa’s latest bike friendly award, this time from Bicycling Magazine:

Tulsa was recently named one of America’s Best Bike Cities by Bicycling magazine – but when it comes to being truly bike-friendly, the city has a little farther to ride, say cyclists and transportation officials.

via Tulsa’s bike-friendliness lauded | Tulsa World.

The story also goes into many of the dangers also faced by cyclists on Oklahoma’s roads including the aggressive drivers we all know and love.