Oklahoma Bicycle Society: The Early Years

by Jim Nelson

1974 — President Kristi Gray. Grand Tour June 1-9 555 miles OKC – Enid – Ponca City – Stillwater – Tulsa – Muskogee – McAlester – Ada – Shawnee – OKC. Gov, David Hall started the ride and declared June 9 Oklahoma Bicycle day. 2nd annual Greater Oklahoma City Century Run 9/8/74 fee was $2.00. 50 mile distance was added. 200 entrants. OBS membership: 250. Gene Hall & Red Callaway were observed at night without helmets. Helmets, gloves & clipless pedals were discovered, however the use of helmets did not appear to be a common practice.

1975 — Pres Red Callaway. Grand Parks Tour 600 miles. Tour Dir. Joe Griffin, Sat. 5/31/75. South steps of State Capital to Okemah – Arrowhead Lodge – Robbers Cave – Wister State Park – Greenleaf State Park – Checotah – Seminole – OKC. Gov. David Boren declared the week of the tour “Bicycle Week”.

1976 — Pres. Red Callaway. “Oklahoma Grand Tour” June 5-13 start at State Capital – Seminole – McAleste r – Antlers – Valiant – Hugo – Stewart – Lake Murray Lodge – Pauls Valley – OKC. Tour Dir. Owen Sutter. More people discovered helmets, but not accepted by all. 9/12 National Century run – 100-50-25 miles Lake Overholser – Red Rock. Registration was $2.00.

1977 — Grand Tour start 6/4 Tulsa – Oklahoma City met at Stillwater 6/5 – Enid – Ponca City – Bartlesville – Miami – Pryor – Muskogee – Tulsa – Oklahoma City. 700 miles. Tour Leader: Bill Schindler of Tulsa. 9/24&25 OBS Annual Century – 25-50-100-200-300 completed in loops around Lake Overholser lap counter sticks were handed out (tongue depressors). Completion times had to be within 3-6-12-24-36 hours for LAW Patches 6 riders finished 300 (Bill Sullivan, Red Calaway, Gene Hall, Bill Graves, Carl Jones, and Tony Scott)

1978 — Pres. Bill Lavallo. Grand Tour nine days 600 miles. Coordinator: Carl Jones. Began & ended in Tahlequah. Tour went throu Ark-MO-Meno, Ark was only town mentioned in newspaper. Fridayland – club within a club. Gene Reynolds & Red Calaway et al: Mention of the fall Century. Helmets becoming common. 13-cent Bicycle Stamps issued.

1979 — First Freewheel 6/10-6/16 431 miles. Texas side of Denison dam – Tishomingo – AdaSeminole – Okmulgee – Sand Springs – Bartlesville – Chetopa – Kansas. 250 riders. Nothing in scrap book, but menu from “Hobo Joes” in Sherman, Texas signed by 1979 Grand Tour Participants (39 signatures). Most expensive meal $10.75 – least expensive $2.70.

Click here for a list of past presidents.
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This is a scan of the very first OBS Pathfinder newsletter. The hard copy was provided by OBS member, Darl DeVault, who just happens to have an article on page 3. Adobe Reader is required to view these files. If you don’t have Adobe Reader, get it here free.

Click here for a look at the very first OBS Pathfinder (September, 1973)

OBS Streak History