This 2005 Tour starts in Paris, Texas

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Can't afford to see the conclusion of this year's Tour de France in Paris this year? The Bartlesville (OK) Examiner Enterprise suggests riding the Oklahoma FreeWheel, which starts in Paris, Texas, this year.

The 400-mile, week-long ride is now in its 27th year, making it one of the oldest in the US. It goes clear across the state, beginning June 12 in Paris, Texas, and finishing in Caldwell, Kansas. Some 1,000 riders are expected.

The cost is just $80 for adults ($90 after May 1), but riders are responsible for feeding themselves at the host communities. More information is available at Oklahoma FreeWheel or the Bartlesville newspaper article. Also, Bikin' Bis lists more than 30 other week-long bicycle rides here.

And yes, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, TX, is topped with a cowboy hat.

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