There are some towns that many consider to be fairly “bicyclist friendly.” Often these tend to be either very small beach towns where traffic is scarce or huge trendy cities where finding a parking spot for a vehicle is a bit of a nightmare. However, sometimes such a city can be a more medium-sized midwest town; such is the case with Tulsa, Oklahoma. While Tulsa may not be considered very “bike friendly” because the streets tend to be very narrow without any room on the shoulder or sidewalk for bicyclists, Tulsa still has made steps towards to promoting bicycling that make it a very attractive spot for the biking enthusiast.
Running around nine to ten miles in length, the River Parks bike trail developed in recent years by Tulsa’s Parks and Recreations department is ideal for bicyclists of all skill levels. Winding along the somewhat scenic Arkansas River and paralleling Riverside Avenue of Tulsa on the other side, this trail is completely separate from the vehicular traffic along this main avenue. The trail follows the river from south Tulsa (near Jenks, Oklahoma) to downtown Tulsa and through this course it goes through a few moderately hilly areas. These hills are comparably quite mild and are perfect for the beginning to intermediate hobby biker. (This course might prove to be a little bit boring for a more advanced bicyclist). Bicyclists along this trail also do not need to worry about running into pedestrian strollers or joggers for much of the trail, due to the cleverly designed path; there are markings on parts of the trail designated for those on foot or those on bicycles, and part of the trail even diverges into two separate forks-one for bicyclists and the other for pedestrians.
For the Tulsa traveler who may not have a personal bicycle, free bikes can be “rented” at a location towards the south Tulsa side of the trail near Oral Roberts University. To check one of these pleasantly pink bicycles out for an afternoon, borrowers will need to swipe their credit card at the check out kiosk. No charge will be incurred on a borrower’s credit card as long as he returns the bicycle within a designated time allotment. Although these bicycles are not the most advanced of pedal bikes, they do have functional foot breaks and filled tires-all the recreational biker should need for an afternoon of pedaling.
Overall, between the opportunity to borrow bicycles and this pleasant biking trail, Tulsa can proudly call itself a fairly bicyclist-friendly city. For the family who wants to enjoy this biking path, there are also many parks with colorful playgrounds along the trail, and a charming outdoor café is located on the waterfront for those endurance bikers who peddle to the downtown end of town. If you are in the Tulsa area, this bike trail is the perfect opportunity for getting some fresh air and exercise for free.