Fort Sill Bike/Tri Club formed for cyclists
July 26, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla.-- Cyclists of all ages and abilities came to the RecPlex July 23, to join Fort Sill's first Bike/Tri Club. About 20 Soldiers, civilians and family members wanted to hear how they could ride together and progress their skills.
"Being military we all know that you move around a lot. So I had to adapt to whatever my friends were doing. I had to do [what sport they wanted to do] if I wanted to hang out with them, but cycling is one of those sports that just stuck with me for a long time," said Art Pack, club founder. "Plus, it helps that I'm an adrenaline junky."
Pack started the group after realizing the post had plenty of cyclists, but no real organization. He reached out to Fort Sill Family, and Morale, Welfare & Recreation and together they came up with a goal:
"Advance the sports of cycling, mountain biking and triathlons through the participation and organized competitive and non-competitive community events for the development of Fort Sill and surrounding areas."
Pack said to do that is simple.
"Bottom line is go out and have fun, enjoy and promote the sport."
The group will have a web page that will allow members to plan and share ride times and organize events. The postings will share a predetermined time, style, location and ability. Pack suggested when a member organizes a ride, they act as group leader for that ride and make sure no person is left behind.
"Try to think of two routes a short route for people who want to turn around, or a longer route for the more advanced. We want to influence the guys to progress and be good, but we don't want to leave out those beginners or those little guys," said Pack.
The members also receive the laws of the road and riding according to the state and according to Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, Fort Sill's commanding general.
"Safety is a big thing around here. If you're a group rider then try and have a small first aid pouch. And then definitely ride with your phones," said Pack.
Members quickly began sharing times and the those interested in triathlons shared upcoming events.
Pack himself rides twice a day every day and welcomed members to join him as he takes his early morning ride or his much hotter lunchtime ride.
"I come back from a lunchtime ride just drenched. There are times you think OK you know I'm going out for a short ride so I don't need that bottle of water, but you have to have it."
Pack and Cara Bell, FMWR Recreation Program manager, are also reaching out to the local community to spread the riding enthusiasm. They are partnering with Lawton's bicycle club and the Southwest Fit Kids Coalition to promote events and create more opportunities for riders.
Pack suggested creating mountain bike trails around some of the ponds on post and around the housing area which would provide easy access for people living on post.
"You drive right out of your neighborhood and right onto a track. And we could even set up a pump track, a BMX track for the kids," said Pack.
Bell said there are mountain bikes for rent from the RecPlex and at Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area.
A new member also pointed out the Warrior Transition Unit has recumbent bicycles for Soldiers who are injured, but still wish to ride
"I do suggest bringing kids, bringing family, wives it doesn't matter what bike they're on we'll design some shorter routes," said Pack.
For more information, call 442-3575.