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The third annual Cycle 66 presented by Mercy rolled into Edmond on November 5, 2023 and benefitted from 70-degree weather and 696 riders! Cycle 66 has enjoyed rapid, sustainable growth and registration has grown by an average of 40 percent since 2021. In addition to organizing urban/rural cycling tours with 1-mile Kids’ Ride, 10-Mile Route, 33-Mile Route and 66-Mile Route, a fast-paced Crit and a Celebration 66 festival, Cycle 66 donates all registration fees to charity. “Giving 100% of fees to charity makes Cycle 66 a true community partner,” said Jason Duncan, Cycle 66 Ride Director. Registration fees in 2023 totaled $26,300.

The Cycle 66 board recently voted to donate to three local non-profits: $18,750 to Bike Club OKC, $6,250 to Oklahoma Route 66 Association and $1,300 to Velo Cycling Club. All nonprofit recipients volunteered at the Cycle 66 ride and celebration and have core activities that match the Cycle 66 mission – promoting healthy lifestyles and Route 66.

Bike Club OKC currently operates in four schools and teaches students about safe cycling and STEM while focusing on the ABCs (attendance, behavior and coursework). Alyssa Cozzens Lutz, president of Bike Club OKC, said, “The partnership with Cycle 66 marks an exciting opportunity for Bike Club OKC to further its mission of transforming lives through cycling.” In its six years of changing lives, Bike Club OKC has served over 400 students.  With the support of Cycle 66 Inc., Bike Club OKC is eager to expand its life-changing program into Edmond Public Schools. This expansion will provide even more students with access to the benefits of cycling, fostering health, community, and personal growth.

Velo Cycling Club had the idea of organizing a Crit after seeing the first Cycle 66 in 2021. Watching racers speed around downtown Edmond is entertaining throughout the day and encourages cyclists and supporters to eat and drink in Downtown Edmond. The Crit (amateur athletes racing on a closed course in downtown Edmond) grew by 50 percent from 2022 to 2023. The Crit also earned designation as the Oklahoma State Championship for the Crit @ Cycle 66, a USA Cycling-sanctioned criterium race in 2023. Tony Steward, owner of The Bike Lab and Cycle 66 Crit Director, said, “We will use the $1,300 donation to organize local cycling clinics that are educational for the community.”

Rhys Martin, president of Oklahoma Route 66 Association, is thankful for the generosity of Cycle 66. “$6,250 will help us open a new public-facing office, which will allow us to visit with travelers directly and educate them about Oklahoma’s 400+ miles of Historic Route 66 and make sure they visit the rich communities that make it a special place.”

Last year, out-of-state registrants comprised 16 percent of all riders. More than 150 local volunteers welcomed cyclists and their supporters. Cycle 66 partnered with Downtown Edmond businesses to drive foot traffic to our local restaurants and shops. Robert and Lori Black, owners of Evoke and Twisted Tree, said, “Our restaurants were hopping with cyclists and the awareness that Cycle 66 brings to Edmond is priceless.”

The 2024 Cycle 66, presented by Mercy, ride is set for Sunday, November 3, 2024. Cycle 66 is dedicated to organizing an annual cycling event that promotes healthy, active lifestyles, Route 66 and Oklahoma while giving back to the community.

Cycle 66 is governed by Cycle 66, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Visit www.cycle66ok.com and follow #cycle66 and @cycle66OK on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.