The biking tour pedals back to Edmond’s part of the historic road.
Oklahoma is home to the longest drivable stretch of historic Route 66. Over 2,400 miles make up the journey from Chicago to Santa Monica, with more than 400 miles running through this great state. Each year, activities and events occur along the route, which bring in millions of dollars for surrounding communities. Case in point: On Nov. 6, the second annual Cycle 66 will celebrate the nostalgia and heritage of Route 66 with a series of bicycle races and rides as this national landmark nears its 100th anniversary.
Cycle 66 was initially intended to be a motorcycle rally event. State and local officials embraced the concept, but also sought to reimagine “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” for a modern audience. They wanted something more inclusive, and the idea evolved from motorcycles to bicycles. Edmond — an active community with the motto “A Great Place to Grow” — felt like the clear choice to host the event
“I think Route 66 is a big reason we are doing this,” said Jennifer Seaton, director of Visit Edmond and Cycle 66 board chair. “Edmond, of course, is … a popular suburb of Oklahoma City. We expect thousands of visitors to dine and shop at local downtown Edmond businesses.”
Cycle 66 promotes health, wellness and family fun. This year, participants can choose from several rides. From training wheels to tricycles, kids of all ages are welcome and encouraged to decorate their bikes for an exciting 1-mile ride around Edmond. Adults can participate in a 10-mile leisurely group ride showcasing downtown Edmond, the University of Central Oklahoma and many of the community’s best parks.
Intermediate riders will want to clip in for the 33-mile route. Designed for those who enjoy a challenge, this route begins in downtown Edmond and runs south to the state Capitol before returning. The advanced 66-mile course is for those looking to push themselves farther. Riders will get a taste of the Mother Road on a route that begins in Edmond and continues through Oklahoma City, Jones, Luther and Arcadia before reversing course.
This year, Cycle 66 has partnered with local nonprofit cycling organization OKC Velo to help host the criterium, or The Crit. Amateur cyclists will compete on a looping closed course. “The cycling racing world is organized by skill or age with five different skill or age level classes,” said Cycle 66 crit director Tony Steward. “Every skill or age level has its own time on the course. Races are between 30 and 60 minutes, but they are pack races with everyone together in fields of 50 to 100. It’s fast, exciting, and will be happening in downtown Edmond.”
Riders of all age groups and skill levels are encouraged to sign up for the event, and there are no equipment requirements. “This is a ride for everyone,” said Cycle 66 founder Mike Osbourn. “If you want to ride your 1978 bike with a banana seat, you are welcome to do that. Last year, we anticipated 200 to 250 riders, and we ended up with 550.”
Entry fees begin at $10, and registration can be completed until the day of the event. For more information or to register, visit cycle66ok.com.