The Duncan Banner
For the last two decades, bike riding has become an every year occasion for Oklahoma City resident Les Lange and his family. At events all over the state, Les would ride with his father, brother and sister in what evolved into a family ritual.
Part of the Langes’ tradition has included Duncan’s Dehydrator event, which Les has been riding in for the last 19 years.
And he’s yet to be disappointed.
“I’ve been riding here since 1994. It all started that year when my uncle won a bike as a door prize and I thought it’d be nice to have one too,” Lange said. “It’s a great ride for all bikers. Today the weather was excellent, not too hot like some people expected.”
Enjoying the 25 mile ride, Lange was one of 513 biking enthusiasts who geared up for the 23rd edition of the annual event, which began Saturday on a cool July morning in front of the Simmons Center.
This year’s Dehydrator was missing something it had always hosted before – the race portion of the event was cut for the first time – but added a new element with an 80-mile ride that went past Waurika in the direction of Temple.
“There’s really been very little impact from the dropping of the race,” event coordinator Kent Collins said. “The 80-mile ride was all Pagan Ballard’s idea. It was a great idea because we’re always like a tuneup Hotter Than Hell 100 and if you’re going to do an 100 there, than an 80 is perfect for training.”
Along with the 80-mile, which included about 80 cyclists, the event hosted its regular rides of 10, 25, 50 and 62 miles.
As the main fundraiser for the Duncan High and Duncan Middle School’s band, the bike rides raised about $15,000. Those funds come from registration fees, t-shirts sold and donations, Collins said.
For cyclist Kent Wohler, who began riding last September when his doctor recommended more exercise, the route and the weather made for a memorable 62-mile ride.
“The first thirty miles had some hills, but the rest of it was pretty smooth sailing,” “I didn’t have any real trouble. I had a great time and I’ll be back next year.”