Get ready to roll again.
The annual Norman Conquest bicycle tour is set for July 10 at the J.D. McCarty Center for children with developmental disabilities.
The ride starts at 7 a.m. and will begin and end at the center at 2002 E. Robinson St.
This year’s ride will have a few changes to accommodate a shorter planning time for the event and pandemic protocols, said Todd Hamm, president of the Norman Bicycle League and chairman of the event. The league hosts the annual ride.
For one, there will not be a registration fee, but participants are encouraged to donate to the center’s Camp ClapHans program. Camp ClapHans is a residential summer camp for children with developmental disabilities ages 8 to 18. The Bicycle League of Norman has been a donor and supporter of the camp since 2008.
Routes available in this year’s ride are the 22-mile, 50-mile and 66-mile courses.
“We’ll have rest stops along the way and service support,” Hamm said.
Riders are not required to wear masks during the event but Hamm encourages them to bring them if they go into convenience stores along the routes that may require masks.
Hamm said organizers pared down the event since there was uncertainty about whether the public event could take place this summer. League representatives got approval from the city of Norman in April to host the ride and have been working with McCarty Center officials on safety measures for the event.
This is the 25th year of the Norman Conquest but Hamm said plans are to celebrate that milestone in 2022.
“We’re going to save that for next year where we can have T-shirts and a meal and the whole nine yards,” he said.
Hamm said he’s heard from previous participants who are excited that the ride will return in July.
“We were just really wanting to have it this year. It’s so special. It’s a great cause for the J.D. McCarty Center, and the ride has grown throughout the years,” he said.
For more information about the Norman Conquest, visit the league’s website at www.bicycleleagueofnorman.com or the group’s Facebook page.
The league supports and encourages the growth of recreational bicycling in and around Norman by organizing ride events, supporting bicycle safety and educational activities, participating in local government planning for improved bicycle access and emphasizing the healthful and social aspects of cycling, according to the website.
The McCarty Center is a pediatric rehab hospital that specializes in the care and treatment of children with developmental disabilities from birth to age 21. The hospital provides medical care and physical, occupational, speech and language therapy for children on an inpatient and outpatient basis.