No news to anyone around here that we’ve had our first taste of the wintery mix that weatherpersons love to predict.  Some of us joked that even studded tires wouldn’t have worked on our recent skating rink type roadway glaze.    That leaves many of us depressed and dejected as our bike(s) sit(s) in storage patiently awaiting better conditions. 

In an effort to sustain cycling bliss, we resort to the trainer, the stationary bike or cycling classes.  Here’s a really hardy reader of this blog, Claire Armstrong, a K-Stater,  in Colorado during Thanksgiving.  Now THAT’S dedication….or desperation…. too much turkey….or way too much caffeine. 

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For those who want to attend the local cycling classes, come to the Pryor Creek Recreation Center MWF at 5:30 a.m. for 45 minutes of fun with Wayne.  (I assure you I’m usually NOT there because that is a beastly hour of the day…night…whatever!)  However, several of the faithful also attend on MW at 5:30 p.m. to spin our stationary wheels with Wayne and Melissa.   It’s a great cardio workout and keeps us fit for the real riding season.  Plus we’re not spinning alone. 

Others are already laying plans for 2009.   For me, planning ahead, marking those dates on my calendar when I’ll be SOMEWHERE on the bike comforts me like lycra tights on a cold day. 

So in the spirit of the season and in an effort to warm your bicycling soul in the midts of the “freezing precipitation, with the 30% change of sleet changing to snow,”  I’m sharing my game plan. 

Chili Bike, Saturday, Feb. 15 Stillwater

Chili Bike requires riders to complete four single track trails (27 miles) in less than six hours.  It’s held regardless of weather conditions on the trail.  Ironically, the only thing that cancels the event is if people can’t get to the start because the roads are too icy.  Plus, they’re ladeling chili for lunch.  Check out the website.  

http://chilibike.org/

The Oklahoma Bicycle Society Grand Tour.    May-June? 2009. 

Planning has begun to revive the Grand Tour which has not been held for the past several years.  The destination is Door County, Wisconsin where bicycling rules, so I’m told, and I intend to find out!   A general date (May or June) is on the table, and specific dates will be announced later.  This is not a camping tour…we go for the creature comforts, but because we have an excellent planner, the price is usually a third what a similiar commercial tour costs.   If you are interested, please visit this website and express your interest so that you get on the email list. 

http://www.oklahomabicyclesociety.com/09_GrandTour.htm

Oklahoma FreeWheel  June 7-13

The route has not been announced, but the options I heard riders discuss last year were on the east side or way out west.  Either way, it’s a great experience, in spite of the unpredictable June weather.  I’m definitely in again this year and encourage you to come along.   Here’s the website where you’ll find a wealth of info regarding the ride past and future.  And to kindle the bicycling fire, a series of FreeWheel seminars are held in Tulsa beginning January 20th, just when we could all use some promise of biking warmth.

http://www.okfreewheel.com/default.asp

Adventure Cycling’s last e-newsletter has a blurb about the PedalPub….an idea first popular in The Netherlands, but definitely an idea whose time has come and to Minneapolis of all places.  What’s not to like about combining two favorite pastimes, beer and bicycling?  The person who came up with this is a bonafided genius.

http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/dining/25562014.html

Here’s the link to the PedalPub website.

http://www.pedalpub.com

And last, but not least, a holiday favorite from our friends at Specialized.  The sounds of a plucked derailleur cable and the twonk of a expertly played spoke can’t help but inspire.  So put that eggnog in your waterbottle, sit back and enjoy.

http://www.specialized.com/bc/home.jsp?a=b&minisite=10029&language=US

Merry Christmas and here’s to Happy Trails in 2009.

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