For their spring 2011 Geezers Tour, the Geezers latched onto an invitation to go on the “Okies Do UpNorth” tour. The UpNorth tour was organized by Leann Burger. When she lived in Pryor, Leann was heavily involved in bicycling in the Claremore/Pryor area. She had also participated in the Cannon’s OBS Grand Tour in Wisconsin and the Geezer’s Tour of the Missouri Katy Trail. Her husband, Roger became associated with the Manistee, Michigan power company, and they moved to nearby Onekama (O-nek – a- ma). This area is in the North Woods and on the Michigan west coast. Leann was struck with the scenic beauty of the area and potential for bicycling opportunities. They issued invitations to the tour to bicycling groups with which they had been associated. Janice Whittaker coordinated the Claremore/Pryor and environs area, called the Claremore Group (CLMR). Fred Kamp, having access to both the OBS and the Geezers group, coordinated the Oklahoma City and environs area, called the Oklahoma City Group (OKCY). Janice and Fred agreed that their jobs were like herding cats.
There was good cooperation between the groups. Janice provided transportation for Jana Johnston when her ride had to bail at the last minute for medical reasons. Fred provided ride maps and cue sheets to each group. Those participating in the tour were: Gary and Suzanne Cannon (OKCY), Steve and Sheri Hill (CLMR), Karen Jensen (CLMR), Jane Johansson (CLMR), Jana Johnston (OKCY), Fred and Bonnie Kamp (OKCY), Craig and Ellen LaGrone (CLMR), Cary McKaughan (CLMR), Fenton and Linda Ramey (OKCY) , Ken and Jeannie Seidel (CLMR), Larry and Margaret Ann Thompson (CLMR), Janice Whittaker (CLMR), and David Wilkinson (CLMR). Twenty folks.
Leann’s Tour organizing was awesome. There was the equivalent of a mini-tourbook for each of the five days of the tour. They discussed the route, points of interest, places to eat, etc. Leann rode point each day and Roger rode sweep. She arranged for local bike club members to help escort us. The Burgers sure spread the word that we were coming. There were articles in the paper, cook outs in the park with a jazz group playing, and friendly greetings almost everywhere. We were impressed with the people, the scenic beauty, and the contrast with the 100+ degree temperatures being experienced back in Oklahoma. Leann and Roger hosted a pre-tour happy hour and dinner, and a post-tour dessert. At the post- tour dessert we learned that Suzanne Cannon had been appointed Morals Director, and she handed out individual certificates reflecting her observations. The Geezers explained (or thought they did) that while there was no formal tie between the OBS and the Geezers, there were usually enough OBS members on a Geezer tour that a report was submitted to the OBS Pathfinder newsletter.
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