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Cycling gave Jennings path to success

Making 60-mile route took dedication, much training

MEERS  Last year, cyclist David Jennings looked up and saw a sign for the Tour de Meers and told himself, 'I'm gonna do that next year.'

"It's been a goal I've had for a long time," said Jennings on Saturday after completing the 60-mile rout in the 29th annual Tour de Meers. "I'll be honest with you it's the hardest ride I've ever done, but I was so excited to be out here riding today."

Since his childhood, the Jennings family has frequently made the trip down from the Oklahoma City metro to the Wichita Mountains to adventure and enjoy family time together. Afterwards, Jennings enjoyed some of his favorite delicacy, peach cobbler from Meers.

Not only was Jennings cycling through the mountains on Saturday, he was also battling adversity uphill. To channel inner strength, Jennings recited renowned Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong's quote, "Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever."

"That's always what gets me through," Jennings said.

Sixty miles is the farthest Jennings, a Moore resident who works as an electrical engineer at Tinker Air Force Base, has ever ridden on a bike, though he did ride 56 last week in Oklahoma City as his final training ride. On that ride, Jennings, 24, didn't wear sunscreen and took home an awful sunburn.

That sunburn led to Saturday's blisters. About 40 miles into the Tour de Meers was when Jennings noticed he had heat blisters all over his arm. To top it off, his front tire was flat, a discouraging feature several other riders discovered with their own bikes throughout the race.

The Lawton Constitution

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