By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma TenaCity, a family-friendly cycling festival, will make it’s inaugural roll through downtown Oklahoma City Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 5.
Produced by Prodigal, the festival includes three days of Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic bicycle racing through three historic districts. It will also feature the return of H&8th Night Market as an annual event, Fondo city tours, and “Y Without Walls,” a collaborative effort between the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
“This is an exciting time for cycling in Oklahoma City. The USA Cycling Pro Road Tour showcases the premier domestic road racing events in the U.S., and now, for the first time, Oklahoma City has a race on that national calendar,” Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic founder Chad Hodges said.
More than 1,000 professional and amateur cyclists are expected to compete for $45,000 in cash prizes at the 5th Annual Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic, a three-day criterium-style race in Midtown (“The Hub”) on Friday, June 3; in Film Row (“The Reel”) on Saturday, June 4; and in Automobile Alley (“The Shift”) on Sunday, June 5.
“The short course format of the OKC Pro-Am Classic puts speed and intensity at the forefront. There is no feeling quite like standing on an inside street corner downtown, hearing, feeling and seeing cyclists fly by at 30 miles per hour,” Hodges added.
The OKC Pro-Am Classic was founded in 2012 as a one-day race for local amateurs, which quickly turned into a multi-day race on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour national calendar attracting professional racers from around the world.
“We’re looking forward to bringing H&8th Night Market back to the public, and back to its early roots, in a way that directly supports the growth of cycling as a sport and fun mode of transportation in Oklahoma City’s urban core,” said Laura Massenat, co-founder of H&8th Night Market and co-owner of Elemental Coffee Roasters. “The city’s first cycling festival is going to be epic.”
H&8th Night takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 3 between NW 8 and NW 10 along Hudson Avenue, and on NW 9 between Hudson and Walker Avenues, in Oklahoma City’s Midtown district.
Market attendees can watch racers at the Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at a special watch party zone located at Red Andrews Park, 720 NW 8. For more details, visit www.h8thokc.com.
“Whether you are a diehard cyclist, craft beer connoisseur or looking for a health and wellness kick with your family, TenaCity brings all of those elements together for everyone to enjoy,” Prodigal Owner Bob Funk Jr. said. “We’re glad to be part of this event and look to continue its growth for the betterment of our city.”
Pre-registration is available online ( https://www.usacycling.org/register/2016-958) for $35 through May 10 and $40 from May 11-27. Racers may also register for $45 on the day of the race. All riders must present either an annual USA Cycling racing license or a one-day license.
Learn more about Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic at www.okcpac.com.
The OKC Pro-Am Fondo ‘City Tours’ will offer route options for riders of all ages and ability levels, including a 12-mile district tour, a 30-mile mid-distance ride and a 58-mile trek touring the countryside and OKC neighborhoods.
All three routes begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 4 at 726 W. Sheridan Avenue. All routes will end at the intersection of Sheridan and Shartel Avenues. For details and to register online, click here.
On Sunday, June 5 the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City and Oklahoma City Community Foundation will partner to create “Y Without Walls,” a mobile YMCA as part of the OK 5210 family wellness initiative. The mobile Y will be located at the corner of NW 10 and Broadway Avenue
“The Y is proud of our focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility in Oklahoma City over the past 126 years. We are honored to be a part of a unique event that will draw people of all fitness levels and interests downtown to celebrate our cycling community’s evolution and to get health seeking adults and children moving,” said Angela Jones, director of health and wellness initiatives for YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City.
“We will create a Y without walls that will allow families to learn, play and experience physical activities that will inspire healthy habits, just as thousands of our members do every day at the Y.”
‘Y Without Walls’ will include bicycle education and safety lessons, along with prize giveaways, featuring a free bicycle and helmet, provided by the YMCA’s Togetherhood volunteers.
For more information about YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, visit www.ymcaokc.org.
Oklahoma TenaCity sponsors include: Fowler Toyota, Elemental Coffee Roasters, St. Anthony Hospital, Lingo Construction, Claims Management Resources, Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc., Automobile Alley Association, Midtown Association, Midtown Renaissance, Film Row, Anthem Brewing Company, Celestial Cycles, 405 Bicycles, Schlegel Bicycles, Charley’s Bicycle Laboratory and Walker Companies.
Learn more about Oklahoma TenaCity at www.oktenacity.com.