By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The eighth annual Tour de Trykes will be Aug. 17 and will feature some of the top cyclists from around the state and surrounding area.
“It encompasses a bicycle tour, which is an endurance event of distances from two miles up to a distance of 62.5 miles, a 100-kilometer race,” Donna Wall, chairwoman of the event.
There is a two-mile fun ride, which is a family friendly event. There also are rides of 14 miles, 26 miles and 42 miles, in addition to the 100-kilometer event. Tour de Trykes starts at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 17.
Later that evening, professional riders will take to the streets downtown for the third annual Criterium.
This is the eighth year for the Tour de Trykes and the third year for the Twilight Criterium. The event was begun by Enid Noon AMBUCS, and proceeds will go to various AMBUCS projects in Enid, purchasing of AmTrykes, physical therapist scholarships, building handicapped ramps supporting the Miracle League and improvement at ABC Park.
There are 333 riders registered for the Tour de Trykes, and 96 registered for the Criterium. Criterium chairman Tim DeClerck said he hopes to see 100 to 150 register for the Criterium, and 400 riders for the tour.
“The tour has grown 10 percent a year, and the Criterium has increased 30 percent,” DeClerck said.
Enid is the only bike race in Oklahoma scheduled that weekend, he said.
“I expect riders from the state and the region to be here,” he said.
In the past, riders have come in from other states, including Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and Kansas.
“We hope they will be here overnight and see what a welcoming community Enid is,” DeClerck said.
Twilight Criterium races begin at 5 p.m. Aug. 17. The course is a figure eight with eight turns, one uphill and a flat finish in downtown Enid. Registration begins at 4 p.m., with pre-registration available online at USACycling.org.
Tour de Trykes received a $4,500 grant from Visit Enid for the event, which brings people to the city. Information for the race is distributed online, through Facebook and through cycling publications.
The bicycling population is exploding in Enid, DeClerck said. He said the trail system constantly has people biking on it, and he understands it is the intent of the city to mark popular bike routes so drivers will know they are sharing the road with bikers. That proposal was requested by a group of local bikers, including Police Chief Brian O’Rourke and City Commissioner Tammy Wilson, who also was active in its design.
While Tour de Trykes is an AMBUCS event, DeClerck said it is done with the help of the city of Enid and law enforcement. Assistance comes from police departments in Enid, Waukomis, Lahoma and North Enid. Race organizers also are assisted by Enid Amateur Radio Club and Cimarron Chapter of American Red Cross.
“The Criterium brought lots of spectators last year, and most of the downtown merchants also supported the event, through our partnership with Main Street Enid,” he said.
“This is one of the neatest events downtown Enid has seen in a long time. Bikes going by at speeds up to 25 and 35 mph, going around corners and up hills. We haven’t seen anything like that. It’ an opportunity for everyone to come together and show off,” DeClerck said.
This year, a BMX show will be at the Enid Events Center. In cooperation with the Enid AM AMBUCS, the Monster BMX Team will perform at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Aug. 17. Event center General Manager Keller Taylor said the BMX team is a natural fit with Tour de Trykes and Twilight Criterium.
For information or to register for Tour de Trykes or Twilight Criterium, go online to www.tourdetrykes.com.