By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: October 2010
Cycle Fandango committee members include (L to R): Dawn Seing, Steve Fischer, Brenda Senter, Mike Guillen, Eric Yost, Tammy Fate, Joel Everett and Tom Mount.
Bicyclists, it’s time to get ready for Cycle Fandango, the two-day fall bicycle tour that follows a scenic route through northeastern Oklahoma’s Arkansas River Valley to the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. The 2010 tour is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17, with lots of good food, camping, fellowship and entertainment in beautiful Greenleaf State Park, south of Muskogee. Major sponsors of Cycle Fandango include the Broken Arrow Convention and Visitors Bureau, Broken Arrow Chamber and Holiday Inn Express & Suites.
Organizers provide a SAG trailer to haul tents, clothing and camping gear. Each rider may bring two bags and load them on the SAG truck Saturday morning before departure. Your gear will be waiting for you when you arrive at Greenleaf State Park. Load your gear back onto the SAG truck Sunday morning and it will be waiting for you at the Bass Pro Shops parking lot when you return.
The 2010 tour commences Saturday morning at 8 a.m. from the Holiday Inn Express in Broken Arrow (Elm & BA Expressway). The first day will cover approximately 70 miles of scenic and challenging bicycling, with one very noteworthy hill. Many cyclists like to slow down on this scenic route and “smell the roses.” You’ll have the opportunity to visit points of interest along the route, including The Peach Barn in Porter and historical Fort Gibson.
Riders spend Saturday night at Greenleaf State Park and have the option of camping out in their own tents, or jumping on a free shuttle to the Holiday Inn in Muskogee. You must make your own reservation if you plan to overnight at the Holiday Inn. Be sure to ask for the reduced overnight rate as a Cycle Fandango participant. Those staying at the Holiday Inn will be shuttled back to Greenleaf Park early Sunday morning for a delicious chuck wagon breakfast prior to hitting the road for the 70-mile trek back to Broken Arrow. The return route is different from Saturday’s route.
Campers will enjoy a refreshing shower at the Greenleaf Park facility following the Saturday ride, and a chuck wagon dinner will be served in the late afternoon at the campsite overlooking Greenleaf Lake.
Both days’ routes are challenging with their rolling hills, but riders will enjoy the scenic vistas and the many well-stocked sponsored rest stops at approximately 10 to 15 mile intervals.
Friday evening, October 15 will feature Ruts & Guts Cyclocross racing, which is not related to Cycle Fandango. Admission is free to spectators. This is highly competitive off-road bicycle racing on a closed loop course visible to spectators. Cyclocross races focus on the rider’s aerobic endurance and bike-handling skills, while combining pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and obstacles that require participants to dismount and carry their bikes while navigating obstructions. Racer entry fee is $30.
Whether you’re riding the Cycle Fandango tour or not, bring your family out Friday evening and enjoy the fast-action, competitive sport of cyclocross bicycle racing. Ruts & Guts will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the wooded area just across the street from the Bass Pro parking lot.
You may register online for Cycle Fandango, and the $75 registration fee per rider includes the two-day bicycle tour, camping at Greenleaf State Park, fabulous rest stops both days, a delicious chuck wagon dinner and breakfast, entertainment Saturday evening, SAG support, a long-sleeve Cycle Fandango T-shirt, and lots of great camaraderie with other cyclists, many of whom come to ride from outside our state. Get ready, get in shape, and visit the website to register now.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.