think everyone remembers their first bicycle. Mine had a cherry red frame, tall U-shaped handlebars, a banana seat that sported yellow flowers and a glittery hot air

balloon sticker on the chain guard. My mom purchased my set of wheels at a garage sale, and it was my primary mode of transportation for years. Before that, it was just my big wheel that took me from one end of the driveway to the other.

My bicycle was my first dose of freedom. I rode to my neighbor’s house nearly every day for several summers. I rode to the convenience store half a mile away to splurge on ice cream, chips, pop or some other junk food my mom would never buy. 

I eventually graduated to a Huffy mountain bike that would last me through high school and some of college. 

More than 10 years ago I got into cycling again, but this time with a pretty aqua blue Trek road bike. I logged many miles on that through multiple Tulsa Toughs, an MS 150 event, several Tours de Tulsa and even a Dam Jam. All these cycling events were small milestones for me, proving to others, and more importantly myself, that I, too, could accomplish this athletic feat. 

After an accident involving me on my bicycle, some gravel and an aggressive pickup truck driver who inaccurately blamed me for being on the road — during a cycling event no less — I decided I’m happier on a trail or in my neighborhood. 

Earlier this year, like so many others, I visited my local bike shop to find a new set of wheels. Today my commuter bike does just that — takes me to work — or to Braum’s for an ice cream cone or to the nearby garden store for a plant or two.

If you’ve recently been to River Parks on a beautiful Saturday or set foot into a local bike shop to look around, you know cycling in Tulsa is more popular than ever.

Soon the USA BMX national headquarters will call the Greenwood District home while enthusiasts and athletes ride at local parks and tracks. Each week mountain bikers hit the trails at Turkey Mountain, and road cyclists venture to city streets and the nearby countryside to put in miles.

After reading the story on p. 41, I hope it inspires you to strap on your helmet, air up the tires and join them for some fun on two wheels.

Also this month we announce the winners of the 2021 TulsaPeople A-LIST, our annual readers’ choice awards. It’s always fun to see who makes the list and add to the festivities with our own editors’ picks. Find the complete list of winners beginning on p. 47.

This issue is bursting with summer fun — from some of our favorite ice cream shops to patio dining to outdoor films, flower picking and at-home parties. I hope you have as much fun reading it as we did putting it together.

As we officially enter summer this month, I hope it affords you the opportunity to finally take a breath. I think we deserve it. And, perhaps, I’ll finally see you around town.

Happy reading.

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