Story by Darl DeVault, Contributing Editor
One of the state’s most family-oriented organized bicycle rides began on a clear morning after rain overnight Sunday, September 11, at Mitch Park, in Edmond. The event is one of the few in the state that allows seniors to ride with their grandkids over 12 years of age in what many term a Grand Event.
The ride offered 27, 40 and 64-mile courses starting in the 280-acre park. The Oklahoma Bicycle Society Streak has evolved into a family event using one of Edmond’s premier parks as a base. Edmond’s Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant provided all registered riders a free lunch after the ride.
The ride was moved back to its normal September date because organizers moved it forward last year to avoid conflict with the Red Bud Classic bike ride that had moved later because of COVID-19.
Organizers emphasized the Streak is not a race, and they were proud the ride was back to being later in the year when it was cooler temperatures. Riders could check their names against the posting of the lucky registered riders winning the 15 door prizes offered by local sponsors.
Again, the ride has been going on for so long that seniors have come to see it as an opportunity to help introduce their grandkids to an organized ride. Adult riders accompanied youth riders (ages 12-18).
Multiple rest stops with restrooms were open until 1 p.m. on the hilly 100K, 40- and 25-mile routes. The ride had not used the hilly courses in 15 years, taking the riders east of Edmond into the hills. The previous course, much flatter, went west around Piedmont.
“The course this year is not my idea of a family-friendly ride, which is how they market the Streak,” said longtime area rider Larry Floyd of Oklahoma City. “It was almost all uphill or downhill, and the road surface was like cobblestone in the parts of the course. The old route west toward Piedmont was much more fun and family-friendly.”
Ample fluids and snack foods were available at the rest stops. Several local bicycle shops and volunteers provided SAG (Support and Gear) support.
The first 250 riders received event T-shirts, with more than 260 people riding that morning.
Proceeds from the OBS Streak supply helmets for kids who receive bikes from the Salvation Army Buck$ 4 Bikes program for Christmas.
The OBS is a not-for-profit group dedicated to the promotion of bicycle safety. It supports bicycling in all its forms and the furtherance of the sport by defending the rights of bicyclists. The OBS is active in working with the city, county and state governments as well as other organizations to improve cyclists’ safety and rights and promote the construction of recreational trails and designated bike paths on streets and roads.
OBS organizes weekly rides all year for riders of all levels. See their website for more information about their activities: okcbike.org.
For the latest news on the club activities, upcoming rides throughout the state, and to further the enjoyment of bicycling, the club has an online monthly newsletter, The Pathfinder, available on the website. The club asks seniors to consider joining the OBS to learn more about how to help keep bicycling safe.