When Ann Walton sat on the saddle of a Schwinn bicycle 15 years ago, her memory was flooded with the good feeling of riding a bike again. She had ridden regularly as a young woman, but she forgot the feeling of freedom that comes with riding a bike until she began pedaling on the Schwinn, which belonged to a client of her personal training studio.
“It felt like there could have been a book written about me called A Girl And Her Bike,” Walton recalls.
Now a spin instructor and director of St. John Siegfried Health Club, Walton still shares her experience with others who may have forgotten what freedom feels like on the saddle of a bike.
Bicycling today is a popular and growing hobby among Oklahomans. Whether for fun, for health or for stress relief, residents are strapping on helmets and taking to streets and trails for fun and for exercise. The culture surrounding cycling is also growing in Tulsa. With the annual Saint Francis Tulsa Tough event bringing thousands into downtown to celebrate the sport each June, the interest in cycling and demand for the latest and greatest technologies in gear and equipment have never been greater.
It was with this in mind that Oklahoma Magazine looks into the culture of cycling. We talk to several cyclists who take to the pedals for various reasons. We also explore what is being done to make Tulsa a more bicycle-friendly city and discuss Tulsa Tough and the culture surrounding its descent onto downtown Tulsa each year. – Jami Mattox