PAC Tour, Southern Trancontinental 2006

Day 12, Thursday, September 21
To: Erick, OK; 117 miles

Entered Oklahoma! big tailwind again, gently rolling grades
Riding Time: 5:12:44; Avg Speed: 22.0 mph; Max Speed: 41.6 mph

Being among the five in the "fast rider penalty box" today, after luggage load I stood at the back of the Motel Truck, trying to shelter myself from the cold SW wind, watching other riders start. Other penalty box riders, Paul, Dennis and Butch joined me, but Walter was a no show. As Susan was cleaning up from another great breakfast, she saw us and said, "Hey, you guys are all waiting." as if she was pleasantly surprised by our self discipline. By now about 15 minutes had passed and although not all the riders had left, she saw us shivering so she had mercy on us and let us start anyway.

The start was too cold for my three thin layers, but the sun later warmed us to the mid 70's. We had clear and sunny skies all day.

Today's profile was gently rolling with a gradual descending trend all the way to Erick, OK

 

Due east to Oklahoma along historic Route 66.

 

Almost every morning there is something special served for breakfast. Here Susan is preparing french toast - delicious

 

The terrain was mostly flat farmland for the first 40 miles then rolling treeless range land the rest of the way to within 10 miles from Oklahoma, then as we approached Oklahoma there were more trees and smaller farms.

I rolled out with Eamonn, Dennis, Butch, Paul and several others. At about 5 miles Paul had a flat and I stopped to help as everyone else rode on. I diagnosed the cause as a snakebite puncture; the result of running over something with such force that the inner tube gets pinched between the tire and rim. Its called a snakebite because it makes two holes in the tube. Once underway we rode side-by-side on the old Route 66 and chatted.

One of the best parts of this ride is meeting the other riders and learning how this demanding sport has influenced their lives.

At 41 miles, Paul stopped into a colorful coffee shop and I continued on alone until hooking up with Dan at the 58-mile sag and riding with him all the way to lunch at 83 miles.

Dan showing windy it was. He's smiling because it's from behind us.

The wind was directly behind us today and was so strong that at 28 mph there were many times when the apparent wind was dead calm. There were also times at those speeds when a gust pushed on my back and actually accelerated me briefly.

On days like this I sometimes wish we could press on and do tomorrow's ride also. If I were doing this ride unsupported that's probably what I would do.

Dan changing his flat. This was the second flat that I stopped to help fix today. Of course, I'm not helping very much at this moment.

Walther and Eamonn were eating lunch as Dan and I arrived. Dan wanted to take a little more time eating today so I rode out with Eamonn and Walter. We were all in a mood to take it easy today so we just rolled along to the finish.

Eamonn and Walter at 83 miles

We were on historic Route 66 almost all day today. Its road surfaces were mostly in good condition on this segment.

At the 105 miles we made our second state crossing in two days.

We only had one overnight stop in Texas and crossed the panhandle of Texas in a total time of 29 hours and 23 minutes.

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