Grand Boulevard Historical Bike Tour – July 18th – 2015

Posted by on Jun 4, 2014 in Annual OBS Tours | 4 comments

Did you know that in 1935, there was a loop around OKC named The Grand Boulevard? Well it is still there ( mostly ), and on July 18th you can ride the loop at the 6th Annual Grand Boulevard Historical Bike Tour. We leave from Stars and Stripes Park ( Lake Hefner ) at 8 am. There are 3 distance options:

  • 5 mile family ride
  • 17 mile intermediate ride
  • 35 mile full loop tour.

Along the way there will be mini-history stories explaining why OKC built this road. Hope you can join us!

Click this link for the Detailed Route Map or the Map my Ride  route map:

Important Notes:

As will all OBS rides, You will be riding at your own risk. Wear a helmet.
Obey all traffic laws – including stop signs and traffic lights.
We will have SAG vehicles following. If you have a problem along the way, there will be a phone number to call for help.

If you choose to ride the 35 mile loop, be sure you can ride that many miles.
It will be hot. You should bring 1 or 2 water bottles. Fill at least one with Gatorade or other electrolyte sports drink. There will be re-fill locations.
Sometimes cyclists get flat tires, so be prepared with 1 or 2 extra tubes for your wheels. Your local bike shop can get you the right size. Learn how to change a flat.
Wear and bring sunscreen, as well as some money for snacks.

 

The story of Grand Boulevard.

OKC 1889

OKC was opened on April 22, 1889. In one day the population grew from zero to several thousand.

OKC 1890

Within a few month’s, the entire central part of the city was built up with homes and businesses. There was no provision for parks or recreational facilities.

OKC_April 22 1907

Statehood occurred in 1907. By then the population was 50,000, and OKC was the fastest growing city in the U.S.  City leaders wanted OKC to be as prominent as other big cities such as Kansas City or New York, but without a great park system, OKC would never be seen as a great city.

Bill Dunn

So Bill Dunn was brought to OKC in 1910 to design a park much like he had done for Kansas City.

Since there was no downtown land available for a park like Central Park of NYC, he developed a plan to have 4 parks, one at each corner of town, with diagonal roads to each one from downtown, and a loop road to connect them all together.

Map

This loop would be named “Grand Boulevard”  Click here for hi-res map

Grand Layout

It would have a central speedway for fast cars, and outside lanes for slower horses and slower cars.

Railroad Tressel

Here is his design for a Santa Fe train trestle over the Grand Boulevard ( Near present day Chesapeake Energy ).

 

 

Woodson Park

Here is Mr. Dunn’s plan for the SW park – Woodson Park

 

Lincoln 2

Lincoln Park – Northeast corner

Lincoln 3

A postcard photo of Lincoln Park Lake.

Trosper_Park

Southwest Park – Trosper Park

The actual construction of Grand Boulevard was delayed from 1910 until 1935. Why?  Come to the bike tour for this, and more.

 Want more details? Click here for the complete story.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the info. I plan to be there as I need to cycle as much as possible this summer. We are going on a bicycle tour along Canal Du Midi in France ( http://www.relaxbiketours.com run by an Alabama couple living on the Canal Du Midi ) in October, so got to get them legs moving. These parks are something to be proud of.

  2. This a great story Bill E. Gives a brief story to the history of the road, area, reason and name. Like the the drawings by Dunn of the bridge crossing the speed way. – Kendra Jones

  3. Will this bike tour be offered again in the near future? I have a scheduling conflict. Please let me know.

    • We hold this ride every year, usually in June. Hope you can make it next year!

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