OKLAHOMA CITY — The first riders roll into Will Rogers Park well before 9:00am every Saturday. A storm the night before scared a few people away but not the organizer of this lively party.
“I always tell everyone that the club pays me $50 per rider so people will show up to help me out,” jokes Fred Kamp. “Don’t tell the IRS.”
Kamp may be 84 years old but rain or shine, wet or cold, summer or winter, he’s here to greet the regulars and razz the newcomers. To a new couple who’ve never been on this ride before he suggests, “When we get to a busy intersection lie down in the middle of the street to stop traffic so the rest of us can pass.”
They ride their bicycles through the park, then wind their way east toward downtown Oklahoma City. Fred and a few other old times usually bring up the rear. Their destination is about 6 miles to Northwest 10th and Walker, where for decades now, Fred and friends have pedaled for fresh donuts. “The idea is to entice families and new riders to start in and they’ll talk to the experienced riders that go with us.”
Fred didn’t start this tradition but he sure took to it. For more than thirty years now he’s been this ride’s official host. 6 miles on a flat course might not burn enough calories to cancel out a donut but Fred’s always told people it was close enough. “I ordered a glazed donut and a Diet Coke,” he says. “You burn exactly one donut’s worth of calories,” he smiles.
Some riders leave from Brown’s Bakery and pedal all the way to Norman. Others head out on ambitious rides fo their own. Fred will amble back to the park eventually, but there’s no rush. Kamp says, “You meet a lot of new people and I just enjoy it.” A little time with friends, a little exercise, and some sugar glaze on top are all he needs to get clear through to next week.