Day 16 Purcell to McAlester OK

Coming around second base

In the words of my very patient roommate, we are in the third week of the PAC Tour, which is like rounding second base. We have passed the halfway mark, and still have more work.

Today was supposed to be relatively easy with only 3500′ of climbing, compared to yesterday’s 5000′ and tomorrow’s 7500′. Before I started this tour, I would not have said that any day with 114 miles is easy.

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People are riding all sorts of contraptions. A recumbent bike is very comfortable, but does not climb well as you can’t stand up. Likewise, it is harder to climb with a tandem bike as coordinating two people is a real challenge. Not sure how these riders did.

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It was a cool morning, Monday in the real world.Carol and Dennis Tumey got to ride together – normally he is working while she spends the day on her bike.

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Oklahoma no longer looks like dry dusty Texas and now has a more wooded feel, and we passed through several horse farms.

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We also passed a nice herd of goats, protected effectively by dogs so this was the best shot I could get.

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We stopped at a grocery store in Konawa to use the facilities, and what was parked out front? S2K! Joy said she had 171,000 miles on it and had just replaced the convertible roof. Always nice to meet a fan.

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Before long we were headed to Ada. We passed by several oil rigs, both classic and modern.

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The landscape is looking more like New England with leafy trees providing welcome shade, grass and low bushes, and even some poison ivy to make me feel at home. The squashed armadillos are the only discordant note.

At lunch my team of Lynn, Jim, and the other Jim needed to make one more pit stop, just as Jay was headed out. He is a tall guy, broad in the shoulders, and punches a huge hole in the air that just pulls along anyone who is behind him. I wanted to ride the Jay Train! For three miles I chased him, little Elenore, and Herb, before catching them. Now the view in the Jay Train is fairly boring as you squeeze between the rumble strips on the right and the white line on the left. Hit the strips and your bike vibrates with an electric intensity that pops the bottles out of your frame and twists your handlebars. Too far to the left and you are mixing it up with pickups and semis, who do not appreciate people with Lycra shorts in their lane. And you need to keep this balance at 18-30mph.

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The final rest stop was at 92 miles. Here you can see Jay in front of the Stuart Hotel / City Hall. On the last leg of the Jay Train I even pulled a few miles, but he did the fast work.

2015-09-28 P1020016 Jay Stuart

Tomorrow we enter Arkansas!

Please support my ride to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Chris Spear

P.S. Check out Jim Salvie’s blog