By Lynn Key
The Fall Fling was an awesome success. The weather was perfect and Keystone Park is beautiful.
When GW and I first pulled into Keystone, we were excited because it was an absolutely beautiful campground. We arrived earlier then some of our friends so we scouted out an area that had lakefront access and plenty of room for other tents. The only drawback was the fact that the land all sloped towards the lake. Nevertheless we found a nice spot with plenty of room for 2 large tents. There was another spot next to us which was perfect but it was already claimed by a tent which had blown over in the wind and was trying to break away from it’s last stake.
Once set up GW went to get ice. It was at that time he tried to pay for our campsite. While he was at the office he called me to get the campsite number and told me to look at the end of the picnic table. I looked but I didn’t see a number. I walked around it and saw that it said, “picnic only”. Crap. I truly didn’t want to break down camp and start over again. We thought we were lucky when the lady in the office told us we could just stay at that spot. However, shortly after settling back in, the park ranger came by and told us that we were camped right next to an area where rowdy drinking party people would be the next day. He told us we could pick up camp and move to the grassy campsite next to the playground. I still was not ready to move, but with the help of several awesome OBS friends we literally picked up the tent and relocated.
Soon all the campers had arrived. We bustled around setting up camps, as we socialized, amused ourselves by exchanging funny experiences and prepared for the next morning’s ride.
I had always wanted to ride the Tulsa trails, but I never took the time to really look into it. All of the effort of planning was alleviated by the hard work of Jim and Laurie Allshouse, because the next morning Laurie was prepared with all the maps. Jim and Laurie had planned several routes with different mileages. They had come up earlier in the day and marked the routes “FF” with chalk to make sure we wouldn’t get lost. (of course it took me a few turns before I figured out that FF stood for Fall Fling and not for a multitude of other things I came up with) Moni had ridden to the park from her home. She also marked some of the route with chalk as well. Thank you, Moni, your efforts were not in vain.
We rode over the dam and down the dam hill before we hit the trails. The trails were awesome. They went on for miles, around landmarks, next to sports fields, over covered bridges and across the Arkansas River. There were places all along the trail where there were bike racks set up and anyone could ride a bike for free. All you needed to do is swipe your credit card, pick your bike and then return it within 24 hours and your card would not be charged. You could return the bike to any of the several bike stations they had set up along the trail. Of course the bikes caught my eye because they were PINK!
On the way back we took to the road for some of the ride. We still used a lot of the trail, went over the covered bridge, which was one of my favorite parts. We rode by a skate board park where they were having a competition and we stopped and watched for awhile. Then we continued the ride. The wind was at our back and the cloud cover kept the temperatures perfect for our journey home. Our group was large, so we stopped several times to make sure we didn’t get too spread apart. The hardest part of the ride was riding back up the dam hill. It really was quite the challenge.
That night after the awesome pot luck we gathered around. Moni started the conversation by asking everyone to introduce themselves (since we had several new comers) and tell a little story about how each of us got interested in biking. That was an awesome idea. Each person took a turn and not only did we find out how each person gained an interest in cycling, we also learned how OBS helped each one of them along the way. Each of us had a story of how an OBS member had taught us something or helped us in some way. During these personal accounts I experienced a sense of pride to be part of such a friendly and caring group. I feel blessed in many ways, as being a member of OBS has allowed me to meet some of the most wonderful friends a person could ask for and the bonus that we all share the common love of bicycling. RIDE ON OBS.