NORMAN — Two-wheeled warriors get ready: The 19th annual Norman Conquest Bicycle Tour is set for July 12.
The Norman Conquest hosted by the Bicycle League of Norman was named one of the best rides in America by Bicycling Magazine in its September 2012 issue.
The ride is a fundraiser for the J.D. McCarty Center’s Camp ClapHans scholarship fund. Camp ClapHans is a residential summer camp for children ages 8 to 16 with developmental disabilities. The scholarship fund helps qualifying families offset the cost of camp tuition.
This year’s bicycle event features one new route in addition to the usual family-friendly town tour, the hilly 22-mile ride, the very hilly 46-mile trek and the seriously hilly 64-mile challenge. Chairman Jonathan Mullen said a 10-mile “taste of the hills” route has been added.
The event also has a new 7 a.m. starting time, 30 minutes earlier than in the past. The rides’ start times will be staggered based on the ride route. The 64-mile riders will start first, followed by the 46, 22, 10 and town tour riders. All rides will begin from the J.D. McCarty Center at 2002 E Robinson St.
“The new route was developed in response to our less experienced riders’ request for something more challenging than the town tour,” Mullen said. “These riders didn’t feel they were ready for the 22-mile ride but wanted to sample a little more challenging route. Thus, the ‘taste of the hills’ was created.”
The Norman Conquest “is a ride, not a race.” Mullen said. “We have something for everyone.”
Entry fees for all but the town tour are $30 per rider if received or postmarked by July 5. After July 5, the fee is $35. The town tour is $15 per rider. All entry fees include a hot catered lunch after the ride, a Norman Conquest T-shirt and a “carbo loading” pasta dinner at O’Connell’s Irish Pub, 769 Asp Ave., the night before the ride.
Riders can register online at www.active.com or by mailing a registration form and check to BLN, 2014 Norman Conquest, P.O. Box 721094, Norman, OK, 73072. Bikers also can register from 5 to 9 p.m. July 11 at O’Connell’s Irish Pub or from 5:30 to 6:45 a.m. at the J.D. McCarty Center on the morning of the ride.