By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: September 2010
Mass start features riders heading west from Gazebo Park on Main Street in downtown Claremore.
Fall in Oklahoma brings about the opportunity for some great bicycling. One of the most organized and most scenic rides in northeastern Oklahoma is the annual Dickens of a Ride in Claremore on Saturday, October 2. Sponsored by Claremore Main Street, Dickens of a Ride attracts riders from Oklahoma and surrounding states. Cyclists have the opportunity to select from rides of 30, 50, 62 or 100 miles, plus a Lazy Lake Loop for beginners and kids.
Longer ride routes begin at Gazebo Park, located at the intersection of Muskogee Avenue and Will Rogers Boulevard. These ride routes head west through the scenic countryside of Claremore and Oologah, back to the Claremore Lake area. The routes also cover the countryside east of Claremore through scenic rolling hills and then loop around to head back west to Claremore and the start/finish area at the Gazebo, where riders will enjoy a scrumptious lunch furnished by Claremore Main Street and Walke Brothers of Claremore. A lunch ticket is only $5 and may be purchased at the time of registration.
Other 2010 Dickens of a Ride sponsors include RCB Bank, Grand Bank, Walmart, 1st Bank Oklahoma, Pelco Structural, Boom-A-Rang Diner, Melton Sales, QuikTrip, and Bike-About Bicycles.
A hearty Boom-A-Rang breakfast special will be available at the diner beginning at 6 a.m. for only $2.99. This new day-of-the-ride special consists of one egg, two pieces of bacon or sausage, toast or biscuit and gravy, and hash brown potatoes.
Register online at www.downtownclaremore.org. You also have the choice of printing a registration form, filling it out, and mailing it in with your check. The simplest way to register is online with the credit card of your choice. The first 100 registrants will receive a free long-sleeve Dickens of a Ride commemorative T-shirt. You may also wait until the morning of the ride to register.
There will be several sponsored rest stops along each of the routes, and they will be well supplied. In addition, there will be mechanical and SAG support provided until 5 p.m., just in case any rider encounters a problem. Riders are required to wear ANSI, CPSC or Snell approved helmets and must obey all traffic laws.
Registrants may pick up registration packets at Bike-About Bicycles, 300 W. Will Rogers Blvd. in Claremore, on Thursday, September 30 until 8 p.m. You may also pick up packets the day of the ride beginning at 6 a.m. at the Gazebo in the park.
Please note that riders under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult who is also on a bicycle and riding with them. Riders under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign a release form. Dickens of a Ride will go on rain or shine, and there will be no refunds. For more information, call or go online.
When you participate in Dickens of a Ride, you’re supporting the programs and projects of Claremore Main Street, Inc. You’re helping fund preservation efforts, economic development and special projects including planters, trees, benches and public art. This really is one Dickens of a Ride. Hope to see you there with your bike on October 2.
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.