Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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June 9, 2014

More bicycles coming our way — One big bicycle tour just left town as another is not far away from arriving in Pauls Valley in a big way.

This next one is the OK Freewheel tour as literally hundreds of bikers are riding through Oklahoma checking out the sights along the way.

A stop planned in PV comes on Tuesday, June 10.

“These are cycling tourists,” said Erin Creach, PV’s tourism director.

“They’re not racing cyclists for speed. Instead they like to take their time, look around, stop and do some sightseeing,” she said.

“It’s about the experience for them. These are people who want to tour and go see things.

“I’ve had a lot of requests for information from people wanting to know more on what they can do here in Pauls Valley.”

The last bike tour, the Texas 4000, left PV on Friday.

It included a number of University of Texas students biking up to Anchorage, Alaska in a campaign to raise money for cancer research.

The Freewheel tour is set to start arriving here during the mid-morning hours Tuesday.

With this one there are maybe 400 to 500 riders or more taking part in a kind of week-long scenic ride from Oklahoma’s south border up through the state to Kansas.

A big thing is the Freewheel tour hasn’t made Pauls Valley a stop since 2000. Before that it was 1992.

“This is great for our community because there are so many groups who get the chance to help with this event that brings in so many people to Pauls Valley,” Creach said.

Once in town riders will head to the local Wacker Park where many will stay for the night in tents.

Plans are to have an information station set up, while civic clubs are expected to cook up hamburgers with lots of snacks and drinks available to the visitors.

“There will be different organizations there to help out. Cornerstone Church will serve the evening meal,” Creach said.

“We’re expecting at least 400 riders with most of them bringing tents. There will be some who choose to sleep in the rec center for a nominal fee,” she said, referring to the Reynolds Recreation Center.

The Freewheel group will provide $1,000 to help with the costs of the event in PV, Creach added.

Breakfast will be served the following morning as riders then depart PV on their way to the next stop.

Before their departure local officials like Creach are hoping some of them might return to Pauls Valley later on for another visit.

“We hope to educate them on things like noodling,” she said.

“Hopefully they’ll come back for the noodling tournament.”

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