James Bright, Managing Editor, email@example.com
Bicycles will rocket through Grady County on Sept. 21 for the first annual "Ride the Rock" event.
Sponsored by the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce, the race will start and end at the Rock Island Railroad Train Depot.
The event will feature four possible routes, a 10 mile fun ride, a 30 mile novice route, a 50 mile intermediate challenge and the 62 mile race known as "The Rock."
The three longest routes will go through town, and then extend in almost every direction surrounding Chickasha proper.
Participants should expect to ride routes that are anywhere from flat to hilly terrain and will include one particularly challenging hill, west of Chickasha, near Verden, which the event planners have dubbed “The Rock”.
“We hope to make this an awesome annual event in which participants look forward to returning each and every year”, said Donna Standridge, the Chamber’s Director of Chamber Programs.
Standridge said the idea for the ride came to her while she was looking for events that act as fund raisers for the chamber that could also double as a tourism draw.
"It hopefully will become something Chickasha will become known for other than the festival of light," she said.
Standridge is aiming for high levels of success with the inaugural ride, hoping that the event will become a yearly self-sustaining enterprise.
"The next step would be to take some of the funds raised by this and donate them to a worthy cause," she said. "We hope it will grow large enough to have it's own board."
Riders will be able to begin sign-in at 6:30 a.m. Sept. 21 and will depart from the depot at 7:30 a.m.
The cost to participate is $30 per rider, and registrants before Sept. 1 are guaranteed a dry-fit shirt, and a post-ride spaghetti dinner. There will be an additional $5 fee for registrations after Sept. 1, and late registrants are not guaranteed a shirt.
Room rates have been reduced for ride participants at the Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Best Western in Chickasha.
Information, including route maps, rules and online registration can be found on the Chickasha Chamber’s website, at chickashachamber.com, or by visiting the Rock Island Ride on Facebook. Interested parties can also call the chamber directly for information, at 405-224-0787.