Zach Ellis and Steve Cordes cruise into Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area at the conclusion of the Tour de Sill Sept. 23, 2021, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Riding the 48-mile route, the duo said they use road cycling to build up for area mountain bike races.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Zach Ellis and Steve Cordes cruise into Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area at the conclusion of the Tour de Sill Sept. 23, 2021, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Riding the 48-mile route, the duo said they use road cycling to build up for area mountain bike races. (Photo Credit: James Brabenec) VIEW ORIGINAL
Thomas Thompkins, a retired Army staff sergeant from Lawton, relaxes with his daughter and grandchildren, and friend, Sheila Relf (right) after his 27-mile ride. He said he will probably ride the 2022 Tour de Sill and will prepare for one of the longer routes.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Thomas Thompkins, a retired Army staff sergeant from Lawton, relaxes with his daughter and grandchildren, and friend, Sheila Relf (right) after his 27-mile ride. He said he will probably ride the 2022 Tour de Sill and will prepare for one of the longer routes. (Photo Credit: James Brabenec) VIEW ORIGINAL
Staff Sgt. David Miley, 364th Training Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, came up for the tour with his son, Maverick, age 3. Miley said they did the 27-mile loop with Maverick holding the map and letting him know how far to next rest stop.  This year's tour also offered 37- and 48-mile loops on post.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. David Miley, 364th Training Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, came up for the tour with his son, Maverick, age 3. Miley said they did the 27-mile loop with Maverick holding the map and letting him know how far to next rest stop. This year's tour also offered 37- and 48-mile loops on post. (Photo Credit: James Brabenec) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Sept. 28, 2021) – Eighty-four cyclists turned out for the second edition of the Tour de Sill Sept. 25, at Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area.

Versus last year’s fog and wet roads, this year’s ride offered good visibility on 27-, 37-, and 48-mile routes.

Riders ranged from youths to senior citizens with a good number of riders not connected with the military.

“It was a great event for people to come out, get some good exercise, and enter into fall,” said Angelina Morlock, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation special events coordinator.

The three routes were colored coded with arrow markers at intersections to keep riders on course. Periodic rest stops offered water, energy foods, and other amenities. Paramedics from Kirk’s EMS of Lawton were onsite to treat any injuries.

Paramedic Linda Pledger said about three hours into the tour they had yet to receive a call, but were ready if needed.

“We would provide care for the injured person and have another unit come to transport them to a medical facility if needed,” she said. “We will stay here in case someone else gets injured.”

A Facebook search for area rides connected Tina Whitten with the Tour de Sill last year, otherwise the Shawnee, Oklahoma, resident probably wouldn’t have been here. But, she returned and completed the 27-mile route.

“It was hilly and gave me a good workout,” she said.

Cycling is a new activity for her having just picked it up last year, but she definitely likes the lack of traffic on post compared to rides near Shawnee.

“It’s beautiful out here, and I get to enjoy what God created,” she said.

Command Sgt. Maj. Kelvin Ingram, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery, rode the tour again, but then he’s a regular after duty hours cycling Fort Sill’s smooth asphalt roads. If frequent flyer miles were available, Ingram would be the spokesman as he tallies about 100 miles a week.

“I’ve been riding most of my life and have always been an avid mountain biker,” he said.

Ingram rode for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, a nonprofit he supports.

Riding in “killer bee” cycling uniforms with the Base Camp team name on their jerseys, Zach Ellis and Steve Cordes own Basecamp Adventure Outfitters in Medicine Park. The pair completed the 48-mile route in 2 hours, 29 minutes.

“There’s a lot of elevation out there. We did 2,000 feet of climbing today, which is lot for Oklahoma,” said Ellis.

Cordes said they like to do road rides as they help build up their endurance to do upcoming mountain bike races. People interested in off-road cycling, such as the F5 Endurance Race on Nov. 20 and 21, can visit the duo at their shop or on Facebook.

At age 66, Darrell Stowe, a retired Army sergeant first class from Fletcher, Oklahoma, looks fit enough to do another field training exercise, but then he said he’s been riding since 1992.

“I do as many of these as I can,” said Stowe of the 48-mile circuit he completed in about two hours.

Riding on post frequently, Stowe said the roads are in good repair, and you get to see things out here, such as a lot of wildlife.