Amar Mohite is new to the Oak Forest neighborhood and therefore new to one of its beloved traditions.
But riding a bicycle is old hat to Mohite, who has taken the lead in creating the route for Le Tour de Oak Forest. The community bike ride around the subdivision is back after a one-year hiatus forced by COVID-19.
This year’s family-friendly event, scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 9, will feature a 9.1-mile route that starts and ends at Hope Episcopal Church, 1613 W. 43rd St., while meandering through the parts of the neighborhood that are both east and west of White Oak Bayou.
“We are very excited about it,” Mohite said. “I did the ride a couple of times with my kids. It should be a fun ride.”
The cost for this year’s Le Tour de Oak Forest is $15 for individuals for $40 for a family, which covers event T-shirts for each rider while also helping to fund the Oak Forest Homeowners Association’s annual contract with S.E.A.L. Security Solutions. Registration will be accepted until the day of the event, but Mohite encouraged interested community members to register online ahead of time, through ofha.org or directly at https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/MTIzNzMx, to ensure everyone in their family gets a T-shirt.
Le Tour de Oak Forest started in 2012 and is the brainchild of resident Lucy Fisher Cain, who at the time was the security chair for the OFHA. The event was designed to help community members get to know their neighbors and become more familiar with their surroundings in an attempt to combat crime.
“A lot of times we see our community when we’re walking around our neighborhood or driving in or out to work. Being on a bicycle gives you a very different experience,” Mohite said. “We’ll go by a number of parks, so it’ll be a good way for the community to see other parts of the neighborhood that they may not go through on a regular basis.”
Le Tour de Oak Forest is a “social” ride as opposed to a race, Mohite said, but riders are encouraged to practice social distancing and will be spread out at the starting line.
And with Halloween later this month, participants also are encouraged to decorate their bikes. This year’s event is being held in the fall, whereas the last Le Tour de Oak Forest in 2019 was held in June.
“We are encouraging kids, parents, whoever wants to, to decorate their bike,” Mohite said. “We’ll see how many people do it.”