STILLWATER, Okla. — Sally Asher is the media coordinator for FreeWheel Stillwater, a local committee organizing events and amenities for Oklahoma FreeWheel’s Stillwater stop.
1 What is Oklahoma Freewheel?
Oklahoma FreeWheel is an annual bicycle tour in June that goes from the Texas border to the Kansas border. The tradition began in 1979 with a few hundred riders and has grown to more than 500 riders with support crews, stopping in a predetermined town every night. This year, for the first time in two decades, the tour will spend the night in Stillwater on June 12 and ride out on June 13.
2 How many cyclists participate?
Last year, about 600 riders participated and this year we are expecting between 700 and 800, which will result in a huge economic impact for Stillwater as these riders, their support crews and event staff arrive in town. These people will arrive hungry and be looking for food, drinks and entertainment, and are willing to pay for it. On average, most FreeWheel participants are prepared to spend $35 per night in a stopover city, and some are willing to drop $100 a night.
3 Where will they stay and what will they do in Stillwater?
We are working with the city to set up camp grounds around the downtown area to accommodate tent campers, as well as find a large indoor facility for cyclists who prefer to camp under a roof. The proximity to downtown will enable participants to wander the area and enjoy the restaurants and bars, as well as bring more attention to our budding downtown district. It's also close to landmarks like Eskimo Joe's and The Hideaway.
4 Are there any special events associated with their stopover?
In addition to the FreeWheel stopover, Stillwater is the location for this year's SpeedWheel, a criterion-style race about a mile in distance. The route will be on a closed-circuit course downtown, and will last from late afternoon into the evening. This will bring riders who wish to specifically participate in the race, as well as spectators and families, to the city. Tulsa's SoundPony bicycle team is hosting the race.
5 How can people find out more about Oklahoma Freewheel?
People who want to find out more about FreeWheel can visit www.okfreewheel.com, and can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the Stillwater stopover and SpeedWheel event. We look forward to seeing many of you out there!