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A rider in Freewheel 2012 stops to take a look at a buffalo in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

Freewheel to pedal from Comanche

Big news rolling through Comanche lately has folks looking forward to June 6.

That's the day riders taking part in Oklahoma Freewheel, an annual cross-state bike trek, should begin arriving in town. By June 8, the official start date for Freewheel 2014, somewhere between 600 and 800 riders, along with many of their spouses, parents, kids and friends, will make Comanche the center of the biking world, at least in Oklahoma.

How did it happen that Comanche was chosen to host the launch of this year's ride?

Freewheel Director Joy Hancock said the tour starts out in a different town and follows a different rural route each year. In the past, it has passed through Comanche and riders were left with positive impressions. The town's unique character and hospitable people also made it a good choice, she said.

"From the get-go the town of Comanche has just been so excited and so eager to make it a success," Hancock said.

Comanche's selection as the ride's start point was revealed at the conclusion of the annual Oklahoma Bike Summit held recently at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa. Comanche City Manager Wilt Brown and Mayor Debbie Hancock, who is no relation to Joy Hancock, were there.

The Lawton Constitution

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