In Wheeler District, you should expect to find a number of key features: A great community. Great local food and beer. And.. wheels. Not just the famous and historical Ferris Wheel.
200 of them to be exact. Every Tuesday in the spring and fall. I’m talking about the annual bike race held in Wheeler District since 2015.
A Community-Wide Cycling Event
Not only is Wheeler District located at the nexus of the Oklahoma City bike trail network, but – since the summer of 2015 – the district has been the spot for Oklahoma City’s premier cycling festival: the Wheeler Criterium. The event is hosted on Tuesday nights starting in the spring and ending in the fall. Spectators are invited to line the streets to cheer on the competition.
Wheeler Crit brings in about 100 racers annually gearing up for big races across the country.
The streets of Wheeler District are reserved for racers each night of the event as they cruise the track in preparation for the competition. Once the race begins, participants race around the predefined path in the neighborhood as fans, spectators and Wheeler District homeowners cheer them on.
Wheeler Criterium founder and Wheeler District business owner Chad Hodges started the event back in 2014. Chad’s vision was to give local cyclists the opportunity to compete without having to travel far from home.
“It’s our goal to make racing more accessible,” Hodges said. “Traveling to distant locations to compete isn’t always an option, so we decided to start the Wheeler Crit right here in Oklahoma City.”
The event has been held in Wheeler District ever since.
As the built environment develops, members of the cycling community are brought in to contribute to the layout to make sure the area is accommodating to cyclists.
Ashley Terry notes in a recent VeloCity article, “When we were getting into the nitty gritty of street design, we invited Chad Hodges out to help look at the design. He provided suggestions to keep cyclists safe, ensuring the curbs and corners were constructed at proper angles, and the street materials were cycling-friendly.”
Hodges adds, “It’s been really nice to partner with the Wheeler District. The whole process has been really thought out.”
Not only is Chad’s passion for cycling exemplified in Wheeler District the founding of a premier cycling event, but the district is also home to Hodges’ bike shop, Capitol Co-op. Now cyclists and visitors alike will have a place in the district to have their bicycle serviced and shop for bike accessories, activewear and nutritious snacks.
The new bike shop, Capitol Co-Op, opened its doors in the Wheeler District on March 22 – just in time for the start of the 2022 Wheeler Criterium season.
Capitol Co-Op has big plans to service the Wheeler District and surrounding community, offering a variety of bike accessories and nutritious snacks. Additionally, the shop has partnered with Rapha to offer local cyclists comfortable, quality activewear.
Wheeler District is a walkable and bikeable community, and Capitol Co-Op seeks to provide support for cyclists of all ages and experience levels.
“We’ve always wanted to be a part of the Wheeler District,” Capitol Co-Op owner Chad Hodges said. “Cycling has played a significant role in my life for many years, and I’m excited to share my passion with others, especially with us gearing up for this season of the Wheeler Criterium.”
2022 Wheeler Crit Season
This year’s Wheeler Crit event covers two separate seasons: March 22nd to May 24th and July 26th to September 27th.
Races will be held on Tuesday nights at 5:30 PM. Races will be broken into four categories: C race, women’s only C race, B race and A race.
Join the Event!
Where should I park?
The best parking is in the parking lot east of the colorful Terrace Homes.
What should I bring?
Spectators are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Depending on the weather, umbrellas, hats and/or gloves may be suitable.
How soon should I arrive?
You are welcome to come stake out your spot as early as you’d like. It is suggested that you arrive well enough before 5:30pm so that you have time to park and scout out the perfect spot to set up a lawn chair and watch the race!
The streets will be blocked off before 5:30 for the safety of the cyclists and spectators.
Whether driving or strolling, please stay aware of the cyclists who are warming up! If you see a rider rounding the corner and you think you can make it across the street in time before they pass – just remember – they have been training for speed!
Watch for the Corner Marshalls carrying orange or blue flags. They will let you know when it’s safest to cross the race course.