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Oklahoma Freewheel Coming To Hollis Oklahoma Freewheel, the states’


premier cross-state cycling event, will begin their 2015 event in Hollis, Oklahoma on Saturday, June 6th. Approximately 400-500 riders will descend upon Hollis bringing their bicycles, tents and support vehicles plus lots of enthusiasm and excitement to experience rural Oklahoma. Oklahoma Freewheel is a week


long bicycle tour in early June across Oklahoma. Te route changes each year, but typically begins near the Red River, Oklahoma’s southern border with Texas, and travels north to end just across the Kansas state line. Tis year the cyclists will be traveling west to east starting in Hollis, Oklahoma and ending in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Te tour ends each day in a host


town. Each host town provides entertainment and food for riders, as well as information about all the local sites to see. Tis year’s host towns are Hollis, Frederick, Elgin, Lindsay, Ada, McAlester, and Poteau in Oklahoma and Fort Smith in Arkansas. Volunteer drivers offer support


along the route each day to transport cyclists as needed due to mechanical problems or injuries. Tey also carry water and generally have a floor-pump handy for those repairing a flat along the route. Typically sixty percent of cycling


participants are from Oklahoma. Registration thus far for the 2015 event also includes cyclists arriving from Texas, Kansas, Florida, California, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. Plans are under way in Harmon


County to welcome the cyclists. Upon arrival to the city of Hollis, participants will be greeted by a welcoming committee that will provide them with a city map and infomation as to the events of the day and evening. Lunch, homemade ice cream, cold drinks and assistance with their luggage and tents


llis 334


IT’S NEVER TOO LATE


Hollis Native, Susan Nell Collier, tells of her “Leap of Faith”


Never tell yourself it is too late


to become a cyclist. On my 55th birthday I found myself overweight, depressed and physically unfit. Driving down a street in Searcy, Arkansas I spotted a bicycle shop and made a spur of the moment decision to stop. I did not know it at the time, but that split second decision would change my life.


will be the first taste of hospitality the riders will experience. In addition to the scheduled route,


many cyclists will choose to ride the short distance from Hollis, south to the Red River and west to the Texas line. Tis will provide a unique experience of being able to touch Texas both on the western and southern borders of Oklahoma. Freewheel tradition is to say “I rode across Oklahoma starting in Texas”. Te evenings events in Hollis will


include a meal prepared by Hollis residents, Kent Rollins and wife Shannon, through their Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon catering service. Kent has made numerous television appearances including: PBS, QVC, Food Network’s Trowdown with Bobby Flay, Chopped Grill Masters and Chopped Redemption, and NBC’s Food Fighters. Kent also cooks out on the range for working cowboys, and his popular recipe and story contributions can be enjoyed each month in Western Horseman Magazine. Entertainment will be provided for


the evening by a well-known Hollis band, SlowBurn. They are a very talented group and always provide great music. Everyone is encouraged to come out to the Hollis City Park and enjoy a fun evening. Te uniqueness and beauty of the


Freewheel Oklahoma event is not only the ride but also meeting people from all walks of life. Tese cyclists love to hear your stories and enjoy sharing theirs. Join us for our week long tour


Daily mileage and elevation gain breakdown


across Oklahoma this June 7-13, 2015. Registration is STILL OPEN.


I walked out of that bicycle shop an hour later


the proud owner of an entry level road bike, a pair of padded cycling shorts and a brand new hot pink jersey. Having no clear idea how to start this new venture I struggled to devise a plan. I began riding around my small Arkansas delta


town a mile or two at a time before advancing to country roads. Before I knew it I was riding ten miles at a time. Ten came my first organized event, a 20 mile route with lots of hills. I cried half the time I was riding! Since that first frustrating event of 20 miles, I


have ridden tours in Arizona, Utah, Florida and Louisiana with my most memorable and rewarding experience being Oklahoma Freewheel 2014 from Comanche, Oklahoma to Caldwell, Kansas. When I boarded the bus for Comanche I did not


know any other riders and I thought "What have I gotten myself into?”. I felt an acute sense of fear and panic. Seven days and five hundred miles later that "fear" had been replaced with self confidence, new friends and an overwhelming appreciation for the physical beauty and authentic, kind people of rural Oklahoma. To make a long story short, four years and


three upgraded bicycles later I am now 30 pounds lighter, physically fit and embracing all life has to offer. Having ridden seven to eight thousand miles since that day I took the "Leap of Faith" shows me that having the courage to try something new and out of one’s comfort zone is worth the rewards. See you in Hollis Saturday, June 6th!


For more information check out Oklahoma Freewheel at www.okfreewheel.com or find us on Facebook.


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