|This weekend Nichols Park will be buzzing with off-road vehicles and motorcycles as OCCRA, the Oklahoma Cross-Country Racing Association holds a two-day race series.
Nichols Park will be closed to general use during the two days with over 1,000 riders and spectators scheduled to arrive.
Racing will start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on several off-road courses. The courses wind through some of the hilly, wooded area on the east and south part of the park.
Racing will continue throughout Saturday for several classes and age groups. The Saturday activities will include three twilight races starting at 6:15 p.m. and ending after 8 p.m.
Sunday will see racing start at 8:45 a.m. and wrapping up with a motorcycle race after 1 p.m.
Spectators can go to the racing with admission at $10 per carload.
On March 9, 1984, OCCRA was officially registered with the State of Oklahoma as a Not-for-Profit Corporation.
Cross-country/hare scramble type races are run over a variety of natural terrain courses. These tracks range from tight woods to open desert-like conditions. The various tracks riding skills by offering rocks, trees, hills, open stretches, creek crossings, double jumps, mud, dust, roots, off-cambers and other natural and man-made obstacles.
This complements the diverse rider, and keeps the circuit unique.
Long course tracks range in length from five to 15 miles and are setup for both motorcycle and ATV. ATVs race on Saturday and motorcycles race on Sunday, in alternating heats (A/B). Each class races for 1.5 hours. The race begins with a dead engine start and each class starts one minute apart.
A separate short course is setup for mini racers. The mini racers battle it out for 20-30 minutes and include several classes for motorcycles and ATVs. Racers as young as 4 years of age can participate.
In preparation for the event, the park welcome sign at the north entrance received a new coat of paint by volunteers Saturday. The workers are part of the Nichols Park Restoration Project headed up by Vernon Britt. During the day, project members received donations ranging from cash to materials and even refreshments. The group has spent numerous hours painting the old bath house as well as cleaning up the area around the swim beach. More work is planned in the coming weeks.