19. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 12 – May 19 – Tulsa to Phelps – 152 Miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

We woke up early to a breathless morning so we took advantage of that and had a quick start. It was the perfect riding day – overcast, cool but not too cool and no wind.

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      The Rainbow Curve Bridge in Kansas is the only Marsh Arch Bridge on Route 66.

Heather took me to the edge of Tulsa so I didn’t have to worry about traffic. Most of the day the the pavement was absolutely clear and smooth so I made some fast miles. We met along the way for a couple of photos and a drink but moved quickly. Heather called me at about 10:30 AM saying the GPS tracker wasn’t working so I stopped and made sure it was turned on. I noticed that sometimes it seems to turn itself off … hmmmmmm.

The wind also picked up in my favour around 11:00 AM and further propelled me down the road. About every hour I dug into my pack for some goo or other energy snack and also ended up drinking about four bottles of water before lunch. Because of the good weather — and a desire to move on down the road — we had cheese and crackers in the van (affectionately known as The Loaf – story to follow) so it was a quick stop and we continued on.

We left Oklahoma to find no shoulders on the roads in either Kansas or Missouri. In Joplin, Missouri I asked Heather to take me through town as the traffic was dangerous – mostly industrial and in a hurry on roads with no shoulders … just the white line between traffic and certain oblivion!

Back on the road in Carthage, Missouri, I headed out at about 4:30 PM with the goal of getting another 35 miles further …  but it was not to be. I went about 20 miles and experienced three close calls. Again, the road had no shoulder and I could tell drivers were at the end of their day. I asked Heather to meet me on the road ahead and called it quits for Day 12.

I felt great today and it was probably the best riding day on the entire trip. Oklahoma was a great cycle and I went from wearing all my clothes the first day, to finally getting back to wearing riding shorts today.

I met a cyclist going my way today and I was amazed at how much faster I was with no gear than he was. He had been out about five weeks straight and commented that with gear, there is only one speed … sssslllloooowwww.

IMG_1907 250A highlight was going through Galena, Kansas and seeing the original Mator for the Disney movie “Cars.”

I am not kidding about the real deal and the women that owned it told me the story about Pixar looking for the perfect vehicle and found the old tow truck that now sits on her property.

It’s now a museum and tourism destination.

 

IMG_1897 250Route 66 was very well marked in both Kansas and Missouri.

I also rode over the Rainbow Curve Bridge in Kansas that was restored and is the only Marsh Arch Bridge on Route 66.

A lovely spot and another unique bit of history encountered on the road.

Tonight we are working on logistics as we are preparing to go through some rather remote parts of Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia. We may not have internet access every night but we will catch up on pictures and the blog entries when we can.

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19. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 12 – May 19 – World IBD Day · Categories: 2016 Ride

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Today is International IBD Day and what a great incentive to ride across America to increase awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis. Crohn’s has been part of our family for the past six years.

In that time we have seen incredible advancements. Doctors have advanced their knowledge and understanding to include nutrition and stress as contributing factors. We have also seen much more integrated research that has increased the options for those with Crohn’s and Colitis.

With research comes greater understanding of the disease and the opportunity for our goal to be realized. The number of people being diagnosed with Crohn’s and Colitis is growing exponentially and that seems to be capturing the attention of researches and medical professionals around the world.

One of the reasons why our initiative is called Great4Life is it represents our goal for our son, Austen, to have longevity and a great quality of life. We thank all of you that have supported and engaged in our journey! For those who would like to support our cause, please click here!

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18. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 11 – May 18 – Yukon to Tulsa – 134 Miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

IMG_1835 440It was an absolute pleasure to start today’s leg of my Pacific to the Atlantic journey from our EOG Oklahoma Office.

It was so great to see everyone and Heather and I really appreciated the support that gave our day purpose.

Although we were only there for a brief period, the day was carried by the well wishes, kind words and very generous contributions. Thank you!

Heather dropped me off at the edge of Oklahoma City so I wouldn’t have to deal with traffic. Still a bit cool but good riding temperature. Today’s route went through small towns about every 10 miles so it really made for an enjoyable ride. The wild flowers on the edges of the road were very nice with reds, blues, whites and yellows.

IMG_1858 700Lots of activity in the small towns I went through and it was great to see so many friendly faces.

A few miles in the ride we stopped at Pops 66 Soda Ranch in Arcadia that has about every kind of soda known to man. There was a massive bottle and it was fun to stop for a photo.

Yesterday and today we did about the same mileage and I had hoped to be further North this afternoon. The wind was straight out of the East so there were no ‘free’ miles.

I had to peddle every one and although it wasn’t a strong wind it was enough to make me have to work hard. The wind was so strong at times that it lifted my helmet off my head and it floated until the wind died down.

From the ridiculous to the sublime – I was peddling down a hill and if I hadn’t been peddling I would have stopped as the wind was so persistent – ridiculous. I looked over to the other side of the road and saw a couple of touring cyclists with all their gear relaxing as the wind was taking them up the hill. The look on their faces as I was contorted over my bike was nothing but sublime. How I wished I was on their side of the road!

bikeWhen peddling into the wind, I use all my energy and tonight I am sore because of the extra work to get down the road. Lots of lactic acid in my knees so I will have to be careful tomorrow.

We hope to be in Missouri tomorrow evening – subject to weather – but it’s about the same mileage as today. If I can get a break, we will push harder to make it as far up the road as possible.

Oklahoma is a huge state and we experienced tail winds, cross winds and head winds. I remember reading journals from other riders and most said they preferred the mountains to the unpredictable winds through the central states.

We are a bit behind in our overall distance goal this week but considering how sore I am there is no question working for each and every mile was required.

I was thinking of the start of the adventure and making my way through LA through the Mojave and then through Arizona and New Mexico. What a great way to experience the landscape. Tomorrow night we will have made our way through five states (we clip the corner of Kansas before we enter Missouri). Only three more states to go – Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia. So far 1,715 miles in total and I suspect we will be a bit short of 3,400 as we have modified the original route to avoid poor road conditions, increase safety and a couple of times we found more direct routes. We are well into the second half of the ride today!

5906414_orig 250My first close call was today … and I was lucky. I was riding on a road with no shoulder so I had to ride the white line.

Although the regular small towns were nice, that did increase local traffic and I am sure I was in the way as many drivers tried to complete their day. Tomorrow I think I will have Heather drop me on the edge of town to reduce the risk.

BTW … if you are a possum (or is it opossum) and reading this I advise strongly that you don’t move to Oklahoma. I have never seen so many flat possums in a couple hundred mile section of road. Stay at home and avoid the carnage!

Thanks again to all my EOG colleagues in Oklahoma – a highlight of our journey and your kindness will get us many more miles down the road to finding a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis!

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17. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 10 – May 17 – Elk City to Yukon – 104 Miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

IMG_1806 250Last night at about midnight, a large storm came through Elk City and there was a tornado spotted to the West. There was so much rain that it came in through the light above our tub. Our top floor room was spectacular and the light show was amazing. It was all over in about an hour but we were up and had a hard time getting back to sleep.

I woke up early ready to go and looked outside to rain and cold. We waited for a couple of hours until the rain had stopped and the roads were a bit drier. Its too dangerous to ride on highways in the rain! Finally we got going about 10:00 AM and it took me the first 24 miles just to warm up. More »

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16. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 9 – May 16 – Amarillo to Elk City – 140 Miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

IMG_1769 440Crazy day today and one of my longest although we only went about 140 miles. Stared out around 8:00 AM in very cold 48 degrees.

I had everything on once again and as I rode my glasses fogged up so quickly that I had to wipe them continually. I kept getting lost because I could only see a few feet ahead as the fog was as thick as pea soup! More »

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15. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 8 – May 15 – Santa Rosa to Amarillo – 123 Miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

img-thingIt was cold! Headed out from Santa Rosa this morning and the temperature was about 46 degrees. I had everything on I owned just to stay warm. I even had a toque under my helmet – that’s Canadian for “It’s really cold, eh!”

I headed the wrong way a put a few bonus miles on before heading back to my road. The first 20 miles was very remote and I only had one car pass me. All bundled up, I had my headphones in and it was like I was on my own world. The winds picked up and moved me along quickly and the terrain really started to flatten out. More »

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14. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 7 – May 14 – Albuquerque to Santa Rosa – 116 Miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

IMG_1717 250 Today was one of extremes. The climb out of Albuquerque was long and included a very cold, stiff wind from the east. It was 48 degrees when I started just after 7:00 AM.

A bit into the ride I was overcome with the flu so had about three hours downtime. By the time I got going again, the wind had slowed down and the temperature was up into the low 60s.

Didn’t matter the temperature today, I had all my cold gear on and this morning I couldn’t keep my ears warm. What a contrast from the day we arrived in Albuquerque and i just about expired from the heat climbing up the hill from the west.

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12. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 6 – May 12 – Gallup to Albuquerque – 152 Miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

What a fabulous day of riding! The weather was beautiful and the scenery breathtaking. While the landscape is relentless, there is more diversity in colour, landforms and vegetation than we experienced in California – a moonscape really. What I am amazed at is how blessed we were to have cool temperatures through the Mojave Desert. I was worried about that and thought I would have to ride at night but I don’t believe we saw any temperatures above the 80s! More »

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12. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 6 – May 12 – How a town got its name · Categories: 2016 Ride

GrantsGrants began as a railroad camp in the 1880s, when three Canadian brothers – Angus A. Grant, John R. Grant, and Lewis A. Grant – were awarded a contract to build a section of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad through the region.

The Grant brothers’ camp was first called Grants Camp, then Grants Station, and finally Grants. The new city enveloped the existing colonial New Mexican settlement of Los Alamitos and grew along the tracks of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. More »

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11. May 2016 · Comments Off on Day 5 – May 11 – Holbrook to Gallup – 136 Miles · Categories: 2016 Ride

IMG_1648 ccLast night after riding, Heather took me back to Winslow, Arizona for dinner – it sure is a treat to have support and someone to dust me off at the end of the day to revive me. We stood on the corner again!

Some days are physically challenging and some are mentally challenging. Today, it was mental … I struggled all day long and really had to push myself. Not sure why they come like that but they do.

Started early today so I could catch some cool hours as the sun has taken its toll on my system. It was a very calm, cool morning and I managed to get lots of miles in before Heather met me for lunch. Because of this flu, Heather suggested I skip breakfast which I did and that seemed to help. More »

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