Ride OKC offers downtown Oklahoma City bike tours and rentals that feature the best of the area’s art, history, architecture, local food, and craft beer. Owners Ryan Fogle, an architect, and Ashley Cooper, a CPA, combine their strengths to create unforgettable experiences that bring visitors and Oklahoma City natives closer to their community.
Ryan took some time to tell us more about Ride OKC:
You were inspired to establish Ride OKC after taking part in biking tours while vacationing. Do you have a favorite tour experience while traveling?
It’s difficult to choose, but I think the tour we did in Rome was our favorite. Our local guide took our small group off the beaten path, away from the bustling tourist sites, so it was more of an intimate and immersive experience. He showed us some ancient art and architecture, took us inside a historic church and we tried food at several family-owned restaurants and bakeries where we even got to meet the chefs. He told us some interesting facts, most of which you couldn’t find in a travel book, and also blended his commentary with personal opinion that came off very authentic. Plus, as an added bonus, we made some new friends along the way!
Ryan, as an architect, what do you think about the many residential and commercial developments that are taking place throughout the metro?
One of the best things about living in Oklahoma City is that it’s a place still in flux. As an architect, it’s exciting to be able to play a part in helping to determine that identity. Design in OKC doesn’t have to adhere to sameness or outworn traditions synonymous with older historic cities, which really frees one’s creativity. We are very excited about Scissortail Park and the surrounding area. The firm I work for, Populous, designed the new Convention Center across the street from the park. Having so many large scale projects in such a close proximity will undoubtedly be a catalyst for very many fun activities.
What do attendees enjoy most about your guided tours?
Our attendees come from all walks of life and ages. It seems like everyone goes away learning something new, even lifelong locals that finish our tours tend to leave with a greater sense of pride about our home. We think many people have forgotten how fun it is to ride bikes, and how easy it is to navigate around a relatively flat city. It’s not uncommon for our attendees to say they haven’t ridden a bike in years, but everyone has been able to finish our tours. Oklahoma City isn’t really seen as a tourist destination yet, so we don’t get many people that are visiting here on vacation very often, but when we do I believe they are pleasantly surprised at how great the culture is here and how much we have to offer. OKC is a very well-rounded city with a great story that’s largely untold.
What role do the arts play in your tours?
The arts play a huge role in our bicycle experiences, without it there really wouldn’t be anything interesting for us to talk about or to show people. Our bike routes are intentionally designed with the arts in mind so that we literally don’t have to go further than a few hundred feet without seeing something notable. One might also consider the craft beer on our Bikes + Brews Tour as “liquid art”, especially once you hear about what all went into the creation of it from the brewmaster.
Why do you support Allied Arts through participation in the OKCityCard Partnership?
One of our main focuses is bringing the local community together. The OKCityCard is a great fit for Ride OKC, since we highlight local art and architecture on our tours. Who knows, maybe some of the proceeds generated from our participation will result in new public art that will give our guides even more things to share. (Side note: the Allied Arts ARTini event was the first date I ever took Ashley on and where we purchased one of our few coveted pieces of original art together.)