Story and map provided by MyCityBikes.org with assistance from Cooper’s Bicycle Center
This summer a hometown day trip by bicycle is a perfectly affordable “staycation.” When you ride a bike, the streets that you typically drive on are completely transformed. You’ll experience “America’s Friendliest College Town” from a whole new perspective, and take it in with all your senses. It’s also a fun way to get the entire family off their phones and video games, and outdoors to spend quality time together. So take a cruise through these 5 bike-accessible Stillwater destinations on 2 wheels.
All that’s required for this day trip is a bike, a helmet and a taste for adventure. Make sure you’ve got air in your bike tires and your helmet straps are adjusted so that it fits your head snugly. If you’re not sure how much air goes in your tires, check the My City Bikes Stillwater app for a guide. It’s also a good idea to have front and rear lights on your bicycle, and use them day and night. Don’t be afraid to wear bright, summery colors on your ride. The more visible you are the better, and bright colors are always best.
Make sure that you charge your phone and bring a wallet with your ID and some extra cash for emergencies. Remember, when you bike it’s not as easy to “run home” if you forget something, so you want to make sure to be organized before setting out on your adventure. If you don’t have a bicycle, Cooper’s Bicycle Center is a certified beginner-friendly bike shop with the My City Bikes public health alliance with plenty of options for every kind of rider.
Now that you are prepared let’s get started!
Stop #1: Aspen Coffee
Start your bike tour at the local coffee shop for a bite to eat and a cup of coffee.
Route (1.45 miles): From the Aspen Coffee Drive-Thru, located at the corner of Duck and Maple, make a left onto W Maple Avenue to head east. Then make a left onto N Husband Street/N330 Road. You’ll pass Stillwater High School on your left just before you make a left turn onto W Franklin Lane. The Oklahoma WONDERtorium will be on your right.
Safe Biking Tip: N Husband Street/N330 Road is a designated bike route, which means that there are not bike lanes but there are signs along the street reminding cars that bikes share this road. On this or any street it can seem safer to ride on the sidewalk, but that can actually increase your risk of an accident by 180% according to a study by Watchel and Lewiston! The safest place to ride is on the road, to the right side of the street, riding in the same direction as traffic.
Stop #2: Oklahoma WONDERtorium or Boomer Park
If you’ve got little ones with you on your journey, a stop at Oklahoma WONDERtorium will provide an action packed educational experience. If you’re interested in a more natural setting, kids and grown-ups alike can take the bike path between the WONDERtorium and Boomer Creek to Boomer Lake. Here you can bike around or take a break at the Boomer Lake Picnic Pavilions. Ride south on the bike path to return to the route and continue to your next destination…
Route (1.9 miles): From the WONDERtorium make a left to head east on W Franklin Lane. Turn right onto N Husband Street/N330 Road heading south. At W Maple Avenue make a left, then a quick right to continue on N Husband Street/N330 Road south. Make a right onto W 3rd Avenue. You’ll pass St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on the right, turn right onto S Knoblock Street. Hideaway Pizza is located on the corner of University and Knoblock across from the Campus Fire Station.
Safe Biking Tip: Know when to “take the lane.” When turning on a bicycle, taking the lane can make you more visible to cars and safer when making your turn. Taking the lane means riding in the middle of the car lane instead of to the right. This is actually a safer place to be when making a turn because you’re less likely to be in a car’s blind spot. As you approach a turn, find a safe opening in the flow of cars and merge into the center of the lane with your bike. This is “taking the lane.”
Stop #3: Lunch at Hideaway Pizza
This Stillwater staple has been around since 1957! The atmosphere is perfect to kick back and refuel for the rest of your bike day adventure.
Route (4.9 miles): From Hideaway Pizza make a right onto W University Avenue and follow the street around a curve to the left. Make a right onto W Miller Avenue, then a left onto N Duck Street. Turn left onto W Hall of Fame Drive to enter the beautiful OSU campus. Follow W Hall of Fame Drive through campus and follow the road as it curves to the left. Make a left onto W 9th Avenue where you can ride in the bike lane. At S Duck Street make a left, then a right onto W 7th Avenue. Sheerer Museum of Stillwater History will be on the right.
Safe Biking Tip: Ride wide. Some areas on and around campus have on-street parking. A driver may not see you approaching as they open their door, so “ride wide” of the cars to help avoid a collision. When riding by parked cars, allow 3-4 feet of space between you and the line of cars. This makes you more visible to people in the cars, and will keep you clear of doors that open unexpectedly.
Stop #4: Oklahoma State University Campus
Oklahoma State University was established on Christmas Day in 1890. Since its founding, OSU has graduated more than 240,000 students! The beautiful campus houses the iconic 60,000-seat Boone Pickens Stadium – home to the Oklahoma State Cowboys – and the largest comprehensive university union in the world. Stop for a self-guided tour (http://bit.ly/osu-self-guided-tour), or continue on the route for a scenic ride to your next destination, the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History.
Stop #5: Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History
This destination is monumental inside and out. The beautiful historic building was built in 1928. Inside you’ll find a fascinating history of Stillwater and surrounding communities. History buffs will love the antiques and fascinating facts about the area’s history, dating all the way back to 1889.
Route (0.682 miles): From the Sheerar Museum make a right onto W 7th Avenue, then make a left onto S Husband Street/N330 Road. Turn left onto W Maple Avenue to arrive at the tour start point.
For more information about getting started with local biking and how to bike safely, visit mycitybikes.org/oklahoma and download the free My City Bikes Stillwater app created in partnership with local bike shop Cooper’s Bicycle Center.