#30DaysOfBiking – Day 1: Getting a Little Car-Lite


So a little over a week ago, we gained a new driver in our household in the most terrifying of forms, a 17-year-old adolescent. However, she hasn’t driven through anyone’s front doors nor driven into any area lakes, so I think she’s doing fine. Grace and I had talked about getting another car to keep the status quo, but in the end we really didn’t want another vehicle to maintain and pay for and after my car free experiment a couple of years ago, I think we made the right choice.

Of course, this meant handing over Dominique, my happy little Mini, to new hands. So far she has taken good care of Grace, though I’m not sure Grace loves standard transmissions as much as I do. Of course, having two cars shared among three people probably doesn’t count as being car light, but for Oklahoma it’s a big step and will take a bit of getting used to.

Like today, where I rode to work while still suffering the lingering symptoms of the cold I picked up this weekend. You would think that riding a bit sick would be truly dreadful, but I have to say I found the opposite to be true. No, I didn’t break any speed records and I was panting quite a bit, but it is amazing what a few endorphins will do to make you feel a bit better.

Of course, we will see how I feel tomorrow when I face the cold rain that is being predicted . . .

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Stolen Bike Alert: GT Series 4

A Blue and White GT Series 4 bicycle was stolen from a garage last night in Bethany near Lake Overholser.  Here is a detailed description of the bicycle.

Blue and White GT Series 4 with full Shimano 105 group set, Mavic Aksium Race wheels with light blue Michellin Kromion tires. white and silver Fizik Arione seat., black and silver Serfas seat bag with Blackburn light. 2 white Arundel bottle cages. White Cateye dual wireless computer, silver Shimano 105 clipless pedals. Blue bar tape.

Below is a photo of a similar bicycle, not the actual missing bike:

If you have any information please contact Kevin at 405-408-3090.

Day 21 (6/23/2012): The Final Ride, Tour de Cure (62 Miles)

So after a weeks worth of rest, I felt more than ready to tackle the last ride of this Oklahoma trek by riding in this year’s Tour de Cure. It was great feeling of accomplishment to see this fundraising effort coming to an end. It was also great to see a bunch of the other Freewheel riders back from their rest and ready to go, like Sharon who completed her first Freewheel this year and is already ready for more:

Sharon the Machine!

The ride was a great one and while a bit challenging, it wasn’t really too tough after the mileage of the previous two weeks. I was finished by noon and with a 14 mph average on a touring bike (with all the racks still attached), I was happy with the pace.

And the trek is at an end.

In reflection, this whole trek overall has been a wonderful success and a fantastic adventure. The only failure is that I didn’t quite make it to my 800 mile goal due to that missed day early on in the ride. However, in the last three weeks, I rode 794 miles which I have to say is close enough! :) However, in raising money for the ADA, all of you made the goal and then some. Together we raised $1525 for this great cause. My thanks go out to all of you for your generous contributions! Now I’m going to take a little break, whew!

 Ride Details

Day 14 (6/16/2012): Ponca City to South Haven, Kansas (37 Miles)

The last day started off beautifully. The weather was predicted to be clear with a strong south tailwind with storms moving in for the afternoon but long after I would have gotten into South Haven. With Grace being so kind as to pack up camp, I was out on the road by 6:30 and was setting a good pace. However, it wasn’t long into the morning until it quickly became clear that the weather people had gotten their timing wrong.

Stormy Skies

With darkness like that coming at you, you certainly can feel an urge to hunker down. However, there wasn’t much lightning with this storm and most of it seemed to be staying to the South and so I decided to press on. I can say I certainly doubted my decision when I looked back after the front had passed over and this was my view:

Darkness Overhead

However, while it certainly did rain and fiercely, it really wasn’t too bad and I was glad to keep going and stay warm while making progress. After about a half-and-hour the rain died down a bit and soon after than the wind switched back to the South and I started making great time again. Before I knew it, I was at the Kansas border ready for the obligatory state sign shot.

Kansas Border

Of course, not everything could go that smoothly. Just a mile or so further down the road and within sight of the water tower at South Haven I got a flat on my front wheel. But after hunting down the little piece of wire that made it through my tire, I was soon back on the road and to the finish line in no time.

Freewheel Finish

After a hot shower and a thorough exploration of the pastries on offer by the good people of South Haven, I was refreshed and happy.

Freewheel Feeding

Grace and I sat comfortably until Moni arrived, who we had offered a ride back to OKC. Soon enough we were on our way and while I would miss the joy of being out on the road, I was thrilled at the prospect of some time back home and with Grace. Till next year . . .

Ride Details

Day 13 (6/15/2012): Drumright to Ponca City (78 Miles)


Today was a pretty day of rolling hills, trees and fields and river roads. However, it was also the longest ride of the trip and it was a hot day to boot, so it certainly wasn’t an easy day. Realizing that the main part of my journey was coming to an end, I rode with a certain amount of vigor and confidence. Therefore, I was relieved when Dennis’ rest stop appeared as the last stop before the destination.

Dennis' Rest Stop

Dennis is sort of a Freewheel legend. He rode Freewheel frequently in the past when he wasn’t doing long treks to Alaska. These days he follows us along the route with his remarkable reststop caravan which carries everything cycle tourists could possibly want including shade, restrooms, oatmeal cookies and all the ice cold water and gatoraid you could drink. He always holds the last stop on the way into town and it is always a relief to see his stop in the distance.

I made my way into town and was searching for a nice camp spot when Grace spotted me and took me to the already partially assembled camp site, now that’s a treat. After a shower, we headed off to get the end-of-the-trail meal. We spent the rest of the evening sitting in the shade, watching the world go by and listening to the bluegrass concert going on in the park. A perfect last evening for Freewheel.

Ride Details

More Photos Below

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Day 12 (6/14/2012): Guthrie to Drumright (55 Miles)

My decked outbicycle for Flag Day.

Today was Flag Day so it was only appropriate that I deck out the bicycle as much as possible. However, today was also the day of Freewheel that I had kind of been dreading all along, and like most things that we dread, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had thought. However, the ride certainly was hilly and hard, evidenced by my lack of photos for the day. However, they were mostly rollers which really aren’t that bad once you get your rhythm setup properly.

Soaking up the AC at the public library and catching the kids show.

I actually got into Drumright much earlier than expected and had some time during the the heat of the day. The good people of Watonga had turned the small public library on main street into a Freewheel support center with cold water, wonderful A/C and free wifi. It was an offer I couldn’t possibly refuse. However, they also still held the kids story session with a fabulous local story teller, clown and balloon art master. Being that this was a Freewheel event, it quickly became a full participatory event with a rider being roped into singing some great kids songs while wearing improbable head gear. Even I, as a bearded weirdo, got pulled into the act:

I got sucked into the act.

I eventually left the comfort of the library in search of food and ended up at a local Lebanese steakhouse where I dined with a Tulsa English professor and cycling advocate who caught me up on the world of cycle advocacy and politics.

With an enormous amount of food in my belly, I got to bed early and while we got hit with a really heavy thunderstorm at about 3:00 AM, I was able to sleep well through the night.

Ride Details