Bicycling Advocates Promote The Sport At Oklahoma Bike Summit

Saturday, January 18th 2014, 4:06 pm
By: Dee Duren

Bicycling enthusiasts from across the nation are in Tulsa this weekend to promote the sport and its benefits for health, tourism and quality of life.

Oklahoma Bike Summit and Freewheel, Inc. hosted a two-day Bike Summit Event at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

Bill Elliott with the Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition said cycling's a great way to keep healthy, see the state of Oklahoma and meet interesting people.

He came to the summit from OKC with goals that included influencing bicycle-friendly legislation and teaching cities how they can become tourism destinations for cyclists.

That was also the interest of Bonnie Winslow, a Guthrie resident.

Winslow works with a transportation advisory board in her hometown and wants to learn more to help make her city a bicycling tourism site.

She thinks helping people realize bicycling is for everyone - not just men on race bikes - is key.

"I love bicycle riding," she said. "I find it adventurous. It makes me feel like a kid again, and I want to figure out ways we can get everybody out there on a bicycle."

It was the second Bike Summit Event. Joy Hancock, executive director of Oklahoma Freewheel, said the summit brought the nation's top innovators in cycling and urban development to share their expertise with Oklahoma leaders.

One of those innovators is Andy Clark, President of the League of American Bicyclists. He noted that the organization recently awarded Tulsa a bronze-level "bicycle friendly" community. He praised Tulsa's Riverparks trail system and events like Freewheel and Tulsa Tough for helping achieve that designation and hopes to see momentum continue to build.

"Ultimately, the safety and enjoyment of cycling depends on both cyclists and motorists sharing the road together," he said. "We're all in this together, and hopefully we can co-exist and have fun while we do it."