PAC Tour, Southern Trancontinental 2006

Day 14, Saturday, September 23
To: Paul's Valley, OK; 111 miles

Quartering tailwind and headwind, gently rolling grades, stage win #4 (3-way tie)
Riding Time: 5:33:21; Avg Speed: 19.9 mph; Max Speed: 37.7 mph

The start a cool 57°F, but the sun, as usual, warmed us to the mid 70's. We had clear and sunny skies all day despite the forecasted 60% chance of storms.

Rolling for first 75 miles with a slight descending trend to Paul's Valley OK

 

Heading SE avoids congestion of Oklahoma City OK.

 

We ate breakfast indoors today in this nice Microtel Inn

 

At 43 miles in Anadarko, OK. This area has many small oil rigs like this one.

 

Eamonn liked my plan of alternating intervals of fast/hard riding with and slow/easy riding today. We agreed that we would go hard up hill and easy down hill. The rationale for this is preparation for Monday's monster climbing day to Mena Arkansas. It has 11,700 ft of climbing according to Delorme's Topo USA topographic mapping program. The idea is to ride hard today, then ride easy tomorrow to recover for the big day on Monday.

My second reason for pushing the pace today was the forecasted 60% of strong thunderstorms. I even carried a my rain jacket for the first time in a week. Those storms never materialized and the weather was cool and dry all day... purrrrfect.

Walter preferred a more steady pace, however, so we passed him going up and he passed us going down. The three of us rode the first 68 miles to lunch together.

At 54 mile SAG stop in Cement, OK.
Around these parts when strangers roll into town the locals ask "What y'all doing?". When Lon said we're on a cross country bike tour from San Diego to Savanna Georgia her reply was "Why?"

 

Eamonn on rolling hills outside of Cement, OK (at 55 miles)

 

Road sign in Ninneka, OK.
When I saw this road name I quipped, "Do you think they make Dell computers here?" Eamonn's reply was, "I suppose the only chips they've seen around here are potato chips."

 

Eamonn, Dennis and I leaving the lunch stop at 68 miles in Ninneka, OK. We went on to win today's stage.

 

The four of us (Eamonn, Dennis, Walter and I) rolled out of lunch together and after letting our full stomachs empty some, picked up the pace to a fast tempo. The winds were sometimes a quarting headwind or tailwind of 15 mph in this section, but with the cover of the surrounding trees it didn't seem as much of a factor as in the highly exposed high deserts and western plains.

Walter wanted to take it a easy for the rest of the day, so let us go with about 15 miles remaining and we went on to take today's stage. I think most of the riders took it easy today and will likely do so tomorrow also out of respect for, and possibly fear of, Monday's signature day.

Dan and I remembered Anne Marie at dinner tonight. This would have been her 45th birthday.

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