Bicycle Journey Progress

The journey begins on April 5th and ends on June 20, 2012

Ride Progress: COMPLETE!
Daily summaries:
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2
3
4
5
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7
8
9
65
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75

segunda-feira, 30 de abril de 2012

Summary of days 22 and 23


Day 22 – 04/24/2012 – Wynne, AR

We woke up a little earlier than usual this day, around 8:30. By 9:30 we had eaten breakfast and were almost ready to go, but I still had to cut my hair. My uncle didn’t want to come along and stayed at the hotel doing things at the computer. I picked up my bicycle without any load and went out searching for a place to have my hair shaved. I found a nice little saloon and had it done.
After I returned we quickly loaded the bikes and started the ride toward Wynne, AR. The first few miles going out of Memphis were fine, no issues. We crossed the Arkansas-Memphis Bridge, and then discovered things were not to go so smooth for long.

Right after crossing the bridge we noticed there was no obvious place to ride on. The way was blocked by stretch of concrete guardrail, and our only option was to cross a stretch of vegetation walking he bicycles through it until we could reach a small service road on the side. When we reached the road we took the wrong way and wasted 30 more minutes trying to find a way to return to where we should be. When we finally did, we discovered the path indicated by the GPS was not paved, but instead covered by gravel. We had to go slowly due to the high load on the bikes, which delayed us. A few miles later things got worse. We reached the entrance to a plantation field and our path became a trail in the middle of the plantation. People were working on the fields, and we were not sure if we were allowed to pass through it. However, due to the lack of options and the fact we were at least 5 miles away of any pavement, we deiced to just move forward. People were looking at us but didn’t say anything, so we kept going. We spent the next forty minutes crossing plantation fields through that uneven sand trail, and then finally reached a paved road we could follow.


The ride from that point on went well. The path was very flat with large shoulders which were at times large enough to fit both of us riding side by side. That way we managed to cover many miles with few stops to drink water or rest. However, due to the delays we had before we were not able to catch sunlight all the way. We saw an unbelievable sunset and took great pictures.


A few minutes later, when we finally got close to our destination, it was night already. We saw fields and trees covered by fireflies flashing all around us. That was an amazing show we could not capture on camera. At times it was like the trees had been covered by Christmas lamps. That was a really great gift from nature.

Next we went to a Walmart to buy our food, and headed to a cheap hotel close by. You know what happened next: dinner, washing clothes, updating the blog and preparing to sleep.





Day 23 – 04/25/2012 – Bald Knob, AR

The day started rough. Right away after leaving the hotel we noticed the wind was very strong. As predicted by the Weather Channel, the winds were coming SW but much stronger than we thought. As we started moving away from the city limits we entered an area where plantations surrounded us on both sides and there was nothing to block the winds. The wind speeds were averaging 30 mph with gusts of 40 mph and, since we were going towards the west, we were being hit sideways.

For a tough four hours period we could not move faster than 5mph, and therefore covered just 20 miles for the first four hours of riding. At times it was really hard to stay in the shoulders. We would use a lot of energy just to stay in the road due to irregularity of the wind gusts. When trucks passed by us a strong wave of air would make us bounce sideways and in order to control the bicycle we had to break almost to a complete stop.


A little further down the road we saw a truck with the writing “Oversized Load” on its back, but didn’t pay much attention. Bad mistake. A few seconds later we were almost hit a by a house. That’s exactly right. A truck carrying one of mobile house was going behind the first truck and due to incoming traffic in the opposed lane it could not move to give us more space. It didn’t slow down either. The house was large enough to use more than half of the shoulder space and its corner passed not more than 10 cm from the left side of my back. Had I been a few centimeters to the left and I probably wouldn’t be alive to write this summary right now.

We stopped to recover from the sock of being so close to a disastrous accident. A few seconds later time to recover was over, we still had a lot to cover. Many other mobile houses passed by us that day, but were not a treat since now we knew about the truck announced its passage, and had time to move away to a safe distance.

We kept moving forward and had covered about 15 miles under those conditions when a strong gust hit me and I couldn’t hold the bicycle on its way. In order to avoid a complete crash I jumped and let the bicycle fall down a small hill on the side of the road. My uncle stopped and helped me pull it back up. Nothing had been broken, so we just kept inching towards the next city.

After 24 miles we reached a city called Mc Crory. We decided to look for something to eat and found a pizzeria called Pizza Plus. There we learned the whole area was under a Wind Advisory. We were actually glad to know about the advisory since that meant those winds were uncommon around those areas. We eat a big pizza and almost two litters of coke, and then returned to the road. Thankfully, the next section of road was surrounded by trees which blocked the winds. We then could go a little faster, and by 8:30pm we arrived to a small hotel in a city called Bald Knob. That was not our planned destination but we decided to stay there.

Before arriving to Bald Knob we passed through a small city called Augusta.


Right upon arrival we unloaded the bikes in the hotel room and went out to get food. A small supermarket was not too far and we bought all we needed for dinner and breakfast. We then had dinner and did all those things we need to do before sleeping. By midnight we were finally turning the lights off.


Dinner is almost ready

Tonight we'll have food for 5 people! LOL






Sunset is awesome!!

This one was nice!




Country coffee house in Whitesboro, OK

We are now in a nice country coffee house in Whitesboro, OK. The name of the place is Kuntry Kitchen. Here we met the cook and his wife, very nice people. We spent about 45 minutes chatting about different topics.

His name is Daniel and she is Dorothy.

Here is a picture we took together!

Really nice people!!




Change of plans

We are here at country coffee house on a place called Whitesboro, Oklahoma.

We decided to analyze our next days and it became clear that going through Clayton city was not a good idea. The roads going out towards West are not straight and we would loose a lot of time in zigzag. Besides, there are no actual cities for about 120 miles... Not even a small one.

So we decided to stay in Talihina, which is closer than Clayton. Our next stop will be McAlester, then Seminole and then Oklahoma City. We're planning on taking a day off there to get to know the place before moving foward.

That's it for now. =)




Rain stopped...

...now we need some coffee! We're 17 miles away from the closest cup of coffee, though. =)





Entering Oklahoma!!

Here we go, now towards the Tornado Alley!!





Thuderstorm is coming!!!

Aaaahhhhhggg....



A tutle!!

=)))

This is a different one!




Starting one more day

Breakfast taken, all set and ready to go!





Just got a new seat!

Made with memory foam =)




domingo, 29 de abril de 2012

Update on our situation

Hi Folks!
I wanted to share some more daily summaries, but this WiFi we're catching here is way too slow to upload the materials we have. I prepared all videos and everything is set, I just need a better connection. Tomorrow we'll try to stop in a place where we can make these updates.

Our next destination is Clayton, in Oklahoma. We're finally approaching the Tornado Alley, so I want to talk a little bit more about that too in my next post.

We're now going to sleep early. Tomorrow our ride will be 75 miles long so we need to wake up early. Else the day won't be long enough to complete the course. Taking the road conditions, elevation data and windcasts into account we are forecasting that it will take anywhere from 11 to 12 hours on the road to get there.

Stay tuned for the updates from the road! =)

Cheers,
Eduardo


In a city called Mena, AR

Check out our hotel room!
Tomorrow we'll wake up early and go for a long ride... It will be 75 miles until Clayton, OK.






Country style!

Haha my favorite juice! =))




Found food, finally!

After 40 miles of just country landscapes and farms we finally found a Walmart with guess what inside?! Thats right! Subway!!



Arrived on Ink

A small city not far from our destination.




Day didn't start well

More on that later... But we are moving foward slowly... Very slowly.



sábado, 28 de abril de 2012

Found a supermarket close by

Thankfully we won't have to go too far to get food tonight.





This small hotel is amazing!

We got the cheapest hotel is find and, for our surprise, it's also the best one so far!






Many dead butterflies

Maybe this is where their migration ends. Today we've seen dozens of these butterflies dead along the way.



Road work

We are now going to cross through some construction sites. Very little space to ride on...




Lunch was good...

...now preparing to keep moving! Ee have about 25 miles of forest ahead of us. =)






Nice view from Lake Hamilton





What an amazing city!!

Hot Springs, AR







Having a nice time in Hot Springs

I really like this city! This is a friendly place and we are having some coffee and a great time in front of a cupcake shop!





Had a good night of sleep

However my body feels broken still. Today we'll take it easier and ride just around 50 miles.






sexta-feira, 27 de abril de 2012

Arrived in Hot Springs

Today we broke all records... Longest ride: 74 miles; longest time on the road: 12 hours; hardest course: 7C.

I'm glad we got to the hotel and will have dinner now =)



In the middle of nowhere




Resting after steep hill

What an inclination! Way too hot, too!





Catfish for lunch!

Nice!

People said this is the traditional dish around these areas... Very tasty indeed.

No vegetarian options and no food for the next 40 miles... Gotta eat now!




Arrived in a big town!

Bigelow, 329 habitants. =)




Nice view of the Arkansas river

I'm not sure what is the name of this bridge but crosses over the Arkansas river.