Stillwater News Press

July 2, 2013

Cyclists prepare for annual Tour of Payne on Saturday

By Chase Rheam
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Riders will take to the streets to see the sights and sounds of the county on Saturday.

The Red Dirt Pedalers will present the 19th Annual Tour of Payne bicycle tour, which is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. from the Payne County Expo Center.

A press release states the event will feature 16-, 34-, 60- and 101-mile routes through several communities, including Stillwater, Perkins, Ripley, Cushing and Mehan.

“The 16-mile route is a reasonable route for somebody who hasn’t been riding for a while, but has ridden,” said cyclist Mary Cash. “It’s a good first event for people.”

That particular route features one rest stop. However, those more experienced may choose a longer set of miles.

“There’s something for everyone,” she said.

This year, the Tour of Payne has a new beneficiary in the United Way of Stillwater.

“United Way is a great operation that supports Stillwater and the money does stay here,” Cash said.

In addition to the Stillwater United Way, the event also benefits Operation Christmas, which provides gifts to families in need.

The Red Dirt Pedalers will donate 20 bicycles and helmets to Operation Christmas.

More than 300 bicyclists from Oklahoma and surrounding states are expected to ride in the event, the release states.

“We already have 175 riders, so I think we’re going to make our 300 this year,” she said.

Registration is $30 and can be completed the night before the event at the Payne County Expo Center from 6-8 p.m. A free pasta dinner and entertainment will be provided.

Riders can also register the morning of the event from 6:30-7:30 a.m. A free barbecue lunch will be served at the expo center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with entertainment from Road House Gypsies for returning riders. Cash said they are looking toward another great event.

“It gets better every year,” she said.

For more information, visit www.reddirtpedalers.org.