Mountain Biking Oklahoma

Introduction
Gorp.com

Oklahoma — where the wind comes sweeping down the plain. I was a kid here, and I grew up with all the cowboy and Indian stuff we were taught in school. The history of this state is fascinating, and the early settlers left a legacy rich in hard work and deep-seated values.

That said, they were not mountain bikers. Only recently has there been much of an interest in providing trails suitable to off-road cycling. There have always been rides, but many are on private property or are"gray" in a legal sense. The popularity of our sport in this decade has opened the eyes of a lot of state and city land managers, as well as advertising executives. I suspect that by the time you read this, there will be some new places to ride — places that are only now in the planning stages.

There are some absolutely beautiful places in Oklahoma. Some of the reservoirs and the lands that surround them provide many people with the best experiences they have ever had on camping trips. I have many fond memories of when my dad would take our family camping at Lake Tenkiller or Stanley Draper or somewhere equally cool. I urge you to spend some time off the bike in order to take in as much local scenery and culture as possible.

Try to meet some of the locals when you do ride. That is the best way to score information on trails in the area. Check the bike shops in towns anytime you are nearby, because they always know where the trails are, or at least who rides them.

Okies, as they sometimes refer to themselves, are a pretty hearty lot. They really know how to enjoy their state's outdoor areas, and they like to see foreigners do the same. The state tourist bureau will gladly send you a map of the best on- and off-road experiences to be had here. Just write them and ask. It's free.


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