SHHH! IT’S A SECRET!

Road Bike

Well, that is not exactly true, you just may not have heard about it yet….After a 20 year hiatus, Oklahoma Freewheel will be overnighting in Stillwater this summer!  Kudos to a very small but passionate group of people for making this possible.  Without going into a lot of detail I’ll just say this, were it not for generosity of District Bicycles hosting yet another social, it would have never happened.  Thanks District!

Exact details of the stay are still in the planning stages and you’ll be hearing more as they become finalized.  Let’s just say it’s going to be something you don’t want to miss.

Stillwater (and OSU) received a lot of attention with great representation at last year’s Freewheel.  Now that we are a host town, this is the perfect opportunity for you to join in and ride Freewheel for your first time.  Spending Thursday night in your own town is ideal for the first-time participant.  You’ve made it past hump day and can see the end, yet your bed (and washing machine) are close by to give you that bit of comfort you might be needing to get you to the finish.

Also, spending one night at “home” would be the perfect time to invite a couple dozen of your new bike friends over for the evening.

So, jump in, join us, spread the word and invite others to do the same!  If you are intrigued by a bit intimidated, let me know and we’ll get to work alleviating any fears you may have.  From tips to training to encouragement, if there’s a need, our awesome bike community can find a way to meet it.  Just let me know what it would take to get you involved (through the contact box below) and we’ll see if we can make it happen!

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More Innovative Bike Infrastructure for Oklahoma City

Bicycle Lane

Thanks to Bike OKC for a very nice summary of the Oklahoma Bike Summit. This is part two of that summary. Take a close look at their blog for an earlier post on some of the other presentations.

I appreciate BIke OKC’s perspective on the information presented and especially that they focused on ideas that could be easily implemented (low hanging fruit if you will). Dr. Lusk also presented several ideas that would require massive investments…the kind of stuff that naysayers could quickly dismiss as crazy talk.

I would argue that success breeds success….as we get more bikes on the road and the community begins to see the benefit (happier citizens, lower traffic, reduction of parking issues, etc.) some of the bolder infrastructure plans suddenly start to become more realistic.

Ride your bike every chance you get, especially for those short trips around town. Group social rides are great fun but increasing numbers of individual riders are what we really need. It’s also a good idea to have “a talk” ready. Sooner or later someone is going to offer sympathy that you have to ride your bike, or offer you a ride in their car. Seize the opportunity to share the virtues of riding, and encourage them to give it a try.

Originally posted on Bike OKC

Last weekend in Tulsa at the Oklahoma Bike Summit, I attended a presentation by Dr. Anne Lusk from the Harvard School of Public Health.  Her message was that Oklahoma could become home to some of the most innovative cycling infrastructure in the country with a little creativity and great leadership.  I explored the first half of her suggestions earlier this week.  Now, I will present the second half of those suggestions, all of which could be done in Oklahoma City for minimal cost and effort.

Universal Symbols

Universal SymbolsWhen you’re driving down the highway and you need to stop for gas, usually there are blue signs before each exit telling you the types of services available there.  There are universal symbols for restrooms, gas stations, food, lodging, and camping.  Why can’t we use symbols like this along bike paths and bike routes?  This would make it easier for cyclists…

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Bike Love…Sarah

Bike Love…Sarah

Note from Keith:  I started this little series last fall.  The last person I had in the que was Sarah.  Before I could get a picture, she hauled off and moved away on us after graduating.   We finally managed to connect so I could snap this as she was in town one last time.   All the best Sarah!   Thanks for your contributions to our community!

It’s funny how some things that seem so little can completely change the way you look at life.  For me, this happened one day when I had a wild hair and decided to upgrade to a new bike with a fun little Stillwater bike shop.  The ‘wild hair’ turned into a full month of discussion with the bike shop owner over what I would want.  I couldn’t find a pre-built that was exactly what I wanted for the future I hoped to have with my bike, so my local bike artist, Bobby, started suggesting things that I could do with a special-order.  I knew nothing about bikes, but I did know that I wanted a “Forever Bike”:  I wanted a bike where I would never feel limited.  Sometimes, greatness takes a little time.

When the bike parts all came in and Bobby put it together for me and I got on…  I still remember how good it felt for the first time!  All of a sudden, I could easily pedal up hills that used to daunt me on my old bike.  I found that I didn’t want to just commute on my bike, but I wanted to do EVERYTHING with it!!  Biking was no longer a chore to get from one place to another, but instead it became a way that I could easily get around, have fun, and not even realize I was exercising.

Probably the most fascinating part of my experience comes with the fact that I knew nothing about bikes, and yet I ended up with the perfect bike for me!  When I first walked into the bike shop, I didn’t (and still don’t) know ANYTHING about bike parts.  I know you pedal, and it goes.  I know you shift, and it feels better.  I know you have to oil the chain and put air in the tires… but we’re getting close to the extent of my bike knowledge now.  Still though, I used my bike all the time, and my old bike was a hand-me-down from an ex-boyfriend who was bigger in every way than I am, which means the bike didn’t fit at all.

My bike and I have been to a lot of places together now, and I’ve even taken the plunge on a mountain bike.  I think it’s fair to say I’ve got ‘the bug’.  Although I still haven’t done more than about 20-30 mile rides on either bike, I’m now considering it more and more.  Cross-country could be exciting.  Maybe cross-state first?  I might need to learn a bit more about bike mechanics first though (haha, truth!).  I know that my road bike is ready for it though, and it always will be…  Because it’s my “Forever Bike.”  🙂

If you ride in and around Stillwater, please contact me to include your bike love story here. People like to tell me “they can’t write”…ha, if you’ve read what I write, you know that is not a requirement for my blog….I’m just interested in sharing your passion for bikes.  I never cease to be amazed at how the simplest statement can be just the right words someone needs to hear to “step out of their box” and ride a little farther, a little faster, or perhaps even just a little more.  It’s all good!

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