After last week’s Oklahoma ice/sneet stuff, and the weekend thaw, some of us are getting antsy to get out.  As a matter of fact, we got so antsy Saturday that Wayne took us on a trip down the California coastline in our Video Cycling class.  If you move the resistance control on the bike to correspond with the terrain that is projected, you kind of get that hilly feeling!  We had a full house at 7:30 a.m. and the Beach Boys soundtrack made for a great California workout.   (Round, round, get around, I get around….) Wayne will continue Video Cycling at the Pryor Creek Recreation Center until we can move outside to the real stuff.  The other destinations for future classes include the Virgin Islands among others.  Sure makes the winter bearable.

Okay…clean your chains, squirt some White Lightning on your derailleurs and get out your calendars because I have some definite dates for 2009 cycling tours, rides and related events.  It has to get warmer sometime, doesn’t it?

Tour of Missouri

I’m starting with a spectator event first.  The third annual Tour of Missouri  is scheduled for Sept. 7-13.  The UCI  upgraded this year’s event to a 2.Hors category race which means it is one of the top five-ranked cycling events outside of Europe.  Last year it attracted Team Columbia, Team Garmin-Chipolte, Liquigas among others.   Spectators can get unbelievably close (handshaking distance) to racers like Christian VandeVelde, George Hincapie.  Floyd Landis has announced he will race this year (hopefully clean!).  And there’s all sorts of speculation about Lance.  

This year the race begins near St. Louis and dips south before heading northwest towards Kansas City.  Check out the website and make plans to attend some part of the event.  I’ve been both years and it really is fun.  If you go to St. Louis to see it, make sure you catch the Gateway Cup, the largest amateur cycling event in the nation.

Oklahoma FreeWheel

In a 2008 post I described my first OK FreeWheel experience.  In late January, the host cities and route were finally announced for 2009.  We’re going to western Oklahoma June 7-13.  That’s a part of our state I’ve really not explored much, especially southwestern Oklahoma.  We start in Duncan, then on to Anadarko, Cordell, Cheyenne, Thomas, Fairview, Alva and end in Kiowa, KS.   Maybe I’ll see another rattlesnake on the road again!  For more info, here’s the website.  Anyone who is interested in carpooling or sharing rides for drop off and pick up, let me know and we’ll see what we can arrange.

Oklahoma Bicycle Society Grand Tour

I’ve also mentioned OBS Grand Tour, this year in Door County, Wisconsin in May 18-22.  Jane Johansson and I are signed up.  Membership is required to go on this tour, but OBS membership is only $20 a year!

OSB is still getting the statewide cycling calendar together.  As soon as those events are posted, I’ll relay those that are close.

Spring Fling Claremore Sprint Triathlon

I’ve talked to several folks who are ready to try a sprint tri.  Here’s two websites for the popular Spring Fling on Sunday, April 19 in Claremore.  The first URL is the flyer describing a workshop for “newbies” and those wishing to train for a sprint tri.  Tulsa Area Triathletes are conducting the workshop/training sessions in Tulsa.  The second website takes you to the general info page on the event.  My training has consisted of doing a brick (two of the three events back-to-back)  The swimming is kicking my $%*(^&, but I’m able to do a lap now without gasping for air.

And TAT members are getting cranked up for the bike portion of their season by doing a called ride this weekend, Feb. 7 Tulsa to Skiatook.  You probably have to be a member, but that is easy to do.  Check out their website at

Other confirmed dates at this time include Tulsa Bicycle Club”s, Tour de Tulsa, May 2.  Choose 22, 48, 61 or 101 miles.

Also Tour de Cure in Tulsa which supports American Diabetes Assocation on May 16

I happened across this intriguing ride on the Kansas Cyclist website.  History buffs will enjoy the Border Raiders Tour June 20-27.  Starts and ends in Lawrence and includes Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri covering 500 miles in eight days.  Looks FUN!

And, of course,  Pryor’s  D.A.M. Jam will certainly be held the first Saturday after Labor Day this year, as always.   

Warmer weather can’t be far off, so on the next nice day, get that bike out and prepare it for the road.  Spring will be here sooner than we think!  If you know of other 2009 events, please post a comment. 

And we end with this post’s bicycle quote.

“The bicycle had, and still has, a humane, almost classical moderation in the kind of pleasure it offers.  It is the kind of machine that a Hellenistic Greek might have invented and ridden.  It does no violence to our normal reactions:  It does not pretend to free us from our normal environment.”  ~J.B. Jackson