PAC Tour, Southern Trancontinental 2006

Day 17, Tuesday, September 26
To: Arkadelphia, AR; 89 miles (I rode 95 miles)

Last of Ouachita, then rural South
Riding Time: 5:31:07; Avg Speed: 17.1 mph; Max Speed: 39.5 mph

The start was a cool 50°F and clear then warmed to the upper 70's.

Rolling terrain as we left the Ouachita Mountains and enter rural South

 

 
PAC Tour vehicles at Lime Tree Inn in Mena, AR The map of progress at the start of today's stage.
 
Historic building at first SAG stop.

 

Today was a good day for recovery given its short distance, moderate climbing and a sore legs from yesterday. For most of the morning we rode in a rolling valley between two ridges in the Ouachita Mountain range.

The French orginally included this range as part of the Ozark Mountains, however, the Ouachitas are distinct in two ways. They were formed by geologic uplift and run east and west instead of north and south (the only mountain range in North America with this orientation). The Ozarks were created by erosion of the surrounding sediments.

At about the 45 mile point we bid farewell to our last mountain range of this tour.

Eamonn and I on rolling hills near the small town of Alpine, AR (at about 60 miles)

 

Although I took a scenic detour, my total mileage fell short of 100 miles, so my personal record of consecutive 100-mile days is set at 16.

Steve Rawiszer and his track bike. Note it only has a front brake (no rear brake). Fixed gear, single speed (49 x 19)
 

Steve, in fact, pedalled every inch of yesterday's torturous climbs. Frankly there wouldn't have been any shame in walking up any of those climbs and certainly not for a cyclist on a single speed. He confessed that had he not been a member of an organized tour, he may have been tempted to dismount and walk the steepest pitches, but his pride kept him going. Way to go Steve!

Walter at DeGray Lake and dam Steve getting a photo of us at the dam.
 

Our first full in Arkansas was relatively easy given our relaxed pace. Tomorrow should be more of the same.

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