A Roller Coaster Day in Oklahoma
We rode from Weatherford to Purcell OK today. The route looked good, and the forecast was sunny with a light 5-10mph SE wind, so we would have a mild headwind. Compared to previous days, I’ll take it.
The elevation profile looked easy, though it contained a secret. The route has 5000 feet of climbing over 112 miles. What does that really mean to non-cyclists? If we started at sea level, we would have made it as high as Denver. In the rolling terrain of Oklahoma, where most of the hills seemed to be 100 feet high, we rode up at least 50 of them, or one every other mile. That gets a little old. So the elevation map looks okay, however all those little bumps hurt!
After the last few days of bumpy, poorly paved Rt. 66, we started off with 17 miles of pretty good concrete. I could almost see driving the route, except that it is barely wide enough for two sedans, little less two modern pickup trucks. Not only is it missing a breakdown lane, but actually has a raised shoulder so that if you nod off while driving, you will be pushed back into opposing traffic. Not cool.
We did go by a little fairgrounds in Hinton with a small Ferris Wheel, but no roller coaster visible. Here is a shot of Lynn and Marci coming up a hill. You can see the long straight road heading to the horizon.
We had the usual animal activity. The buffalo were too far away to capture, but this rattler posed for a shot.
Most of the cows ran away when we approached so we had to sneak up on them.
Lunch was by the side of the road. Oklahoma’s finest thought we were blocking visibility at the intersection so we all picked up the entire cookout, tents and all, and moved it to the other side of the street. You can see the cruiser parked in the background.
I noticed that my rear tire looked worn, even though it had just 2 weeks of wear, which is about 1500 miles. A half mile after lunch, I got a flat and had to use my last tube. At the next water stop I pumped it for good luck, and by the bottom of the next hill, hiss, down it went. So I bought a new tire and a few tubes from John, the always helpful PAC repairman. Maybe I should have been riding this instead.
Now we are at a very worn out motel that looks like a place you go to check in but never check out. We made the most of this by getting sandwiches from Subway and fresh food from the Walmart next door and having a little al fresco dining experience. Here is Lynn and Jim – note the towel tablecloth.
The one good thing about the motel is that they don’t have a lot of double rooms, so Jim and I each have singles. Last night I snored so bad that he yelled at me, threw a pillow at me, and finally got up and hit me with a pillow. Only fair as I did the same thing to him last week. Now we can have some peace and quiet.
PAC Tour trivia time. One of the riders works at Industrial Light and Magic and has created special effects for Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek 4D, Iron Man, and the first Star Trek reboot.
Lastly, here is a shot from earlier in the week, two cowboys making a binding agreement, photographed by our NYC judge.
Please support my ride to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
P.S. Check out Jim Salvie’s blog