By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: October 2009
Riders make quite a spectacle on Claremore’s Main Street as they head out of town for rides of 30 to 100 miles during Dickens of a Ride.
One of the most well-organized and fun bicycle rides in which you’ll ever participate is scheduled to commence on Saturday, October 3 from Gazebo Park in downtown Claremore. The annual event has rapidly become a favorite of Oklahoma bicycling enthusiasts because of the great planning that goes into making it happen, the beautiful rolling hills encountered on the ride around Claremore, the scrumptious lunch sponsored by Walke Brothers Meats, the great door prizes, and the free Kids’ Bicycle Rodeo sponsored by the Claremore Police Department Bicycle Unit. And, October’s weather is usually a welcome break from the heat of Oklahoma’s summer months. All in all, this is truly a “Dickens of a Ride,” as the event is so appropriately named.
If you are one of the first 100 riders to register for the event, you will receive a reflective Courier bag with a multi-use folding bicycle tool, plus lots of other goodies. You may obtain a registration form by going online to www.downtownclaremore.org. There will also be lots of door prizes awarded to riders by random drawing. Riders will want to remember to check in at the Gazebo when they complete the ride to see if they were one of the selected winners.
Dickens of a Ride will begin at Gazebo Park, located at Muskogee Ave. and Will Rogers Blvd. Your selected route of 30, 50, 65, or 100 miles will take you through scenic country vistas surrounding Claremore including Claremore Lake, areas north and west of Claremore, Oologah and the dam. The ride begins at 8 a.m., and each of the ride distances will end at the Gazebo, where for $5 riders can enjoy one of the tastiest after-ride meals ever. The Claremore Masonic Lodge will be serving breakfast beginning at 6 a.m., also for $5.
A free Children’s Bicycle Safety Rodeo for kids 6 to 12 years will be conducted in conjunction with event activities. The Safety Rodeo is sponsored by the Claremore Police Department to promote bicycling safety skills. The Rodeo will be based at Claremore Lake and will last approximately one hour. It is guaranteed to be a fun time for all with lots of games and activities. Best of all, two lucky kids are going to win the boys’ and girls’ bicycles to be given away as door prizes. Helmets are required for the Safety Rodeo. If a child does not have a helmet, one will be provided while supplies last. Participants will also join the Lazy Lake Loop Fun Ride. The families registered for the fun ride will ride with the mass start from Gazebo Park. Once they arrive at the pavilion at Claremore Lake, the Rodeo begins around 9.
Dickens of a Ride will host eight rest stops along the routes, and each will be well supplied with power bars, fruit and delicious homemade treats. Local organizations volunteer to host each rest stop.
Sponsors of the event include Claremore Main Street, RCB Bank, Walke Brothers Meats, Amazing Melton Sales, Pelco, Gatorade, Grand Bank, QuikTrip, Bike-About Bicycle & Touring Shop, and 1st Bank Oklahoma.
Dickens of a Ride supports the programs and projects of Claremore Main Street. Now would also be a good time to mark your calendar for their other upcoming events, Crazy for Crafts Fest on November 6 and 7, and Dickens on the Boulevard on November 21 and 22.
Call (918) 341-5881 or visit www.downtownclaremore.org for more information on the Dickens of a Ride bicycling event.
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.