Bicycle Journey Progress

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

Ride Progress: COMPLETE!
Daily summaries:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75

quarta-feira, 9 de maio de 2012

Early lunch... Guess where?




Leaving the hotel!

It's a nice sunny day outside!





Summary of day 31


Day 31 – 05/3/2012 – Oklahoma City, OK

The day was later known as the Fat Tire Drama, Part 1.

We went out of the hotel at 11 because we needed to rest a little bit more that day due to our lack of sleep in previous nights. We had an intense 25 miles under the hot sun. During that time we passed several Native American counties or “Nations”, as they call them. When we arrived to a small city called Shawnee and found a Subway to have lunch. We stopped for about an hour and a half in the hope the temperatures would go down somewhat before we would move on. That, of course, didn’t happen.

Everything was going well until I noticed my front tire was flat. We stopped in the side of a road and fixed it quite quickly, but a small part of the tube got stuck in between the wheel and the border to the tire and it blew as soon as we started inflating it. So we took it out and used the second spare tube we had. This whole thing took almost 45 minutes, but this time it seemed to be holding fine so we moved on.


Not too long after we left we noticed the tire was flat again. We stopped and took the tube out again, fixed with a patch and inspected the tire for anything sticking inside one more time. Again we couldn’t find anything, so we assembled the bike again and moved on. Due to the delay in fixing the tire we arrived in a small city called McLoud around 9pm instead of 7pm as we had planned. We stopped to get something to eat since it was completely dark already and we still had 28 miles to go.

Since there was nothing else to eat anywhere else at that time we agreed to eat some sandwiches of questionable appearance and no expiration date printed on the pack. When we went out of the station, we saw my front tire was flat again.

We unassembled the whole thing one more time and started fixing it. That was when a police car stopped b to check if we wanted some help. We had extra patches and a nice pump which we used to, one more time fix the tire. Again we inspected carefully looking for something that could be causing it to get flat, but found nothing.


We moved on from McLoud and about 10 minutes later a police car with lights on stopped behind us and signaled for us to stop. A police man came out and gave us two transparent safety glasses since ours were sunglasses, not appropriate to ride at night. He said the Sargent that had helped us before had sent them to us. We accepted them, and the police went back to his car. Before leaving, he used the loud speaker on his car and said “looks good!”. That was really funny. Then, better protected, we kept pedaling… but unfortunately, not for long.

About 5 miles down the road my front tire was flat one more time. It was past 1:00am already. We looked for the only source of light coming from a lamp hanging on an electric line and one more time fixed it. This time, however, we found the culprit: a small piece of metal that was hidden in the rubber. We finally removed it, inflated the tube, assembled the panniers and kept moving on. The road was totally dark and hilly, but due to the late hours there was close to no traffic.



 When I least expected a shaded figure crossed the road right in front of us very quickly. I couldn't see what it was at first, but when we advanced a few more meters we passed side by side with it and I saw it was a wolf! Fortunately it was alone. It just looked at us and ran back to the forest without trying to chase us or anything.

About two hours later we entered the Southeast side of Oklahoma City. It was about 3:00am so all avenues were empty and riding at night, despite of being very tired, was very pleasant. We were hungry but there was nothing opened at that time. The only place opened with anything to eat that vaguely approximated food was McDonalds. Due to the circumstances we were forced to eat there.

On our way to the planned hotel we checked several others in the hope of finding one with a similar rate that wouldn’t require us to keep pedaling but all of the were either full or much more expensive.

We got to our hotel at 4:00am. Then we showered, washed clothes and prepared to sleep as quickly as we could. That was quite a rough day, but still I liked it a lot!



Summary of days 29 and 30

Day 29 – 05/1/2012 – McAlester, OK

Before leaving Talihina we dried and organized all our panniers which were wet from the previous day’s rain. In this process I separated everything I could get rid of or haven’t used in the trip p to that point and made a little bag. We then went out and I shipped that bag to a friend’s house in order to diminish the weight I was carrying in the bicycle. We knew the way would go through close to no population, so we also stopped to get an extra sandwich each so we could eat on the road.

The first 14 miles were of flat road. The temperatures were high and I was sleepy, so I was not enjoying the day as much as I could. We stopped to have lunch at a picnic area just before a zone where we knew that we had to cross over two mountains. There we eat and rested for a few minutes in the shade of a large tree.


Once we left the picnic area we started crossing an area of very intense elevation. Long and steep hills extended for more than a mile at times while we climbed up the mountains. We had to stop and walk our bicycles several times.


Once we crossed the first mountain, we made a left turn and started crossing the second one: more hills, more heat and more walking the bicycles. At the top of this mountain we found an old car, probably from the 1940s, sitting on the entrance of a farm. I got close to look at it, but it was almost empty as the windows were broken and people had taken everything they could.
We passed through a small city called Hartshorne. After that the path got flatter and we soon arrived to McAlester with the sun still shinning.



Day 30 – 05/2/2012 – Wewoka, OK

This was a nice day. We prepared our things and started following the GPS. On our way out of McAlester we suddenly realized the GPS was indicating us to go inside a penitentiary. We looked at the gates surrounding the prison area, and the main street that cut it through was guarded by gates, but no one was on its post checking the vehicles. So we decided to go through and try to pass to the other side before anyone would see us to prevent a big detour. We got in, and some people, which I can only assume to be visitors, were attentively looking at us. Everything was going fine until a truck with two cops stopped us and told us to get out of there. We had no other option but to take the detour.


Once we reached the highway we were planning on riding on we progressed without much trouble. The winds were strong so we couldn’t go too fast, but we were moving forward. This day we had a smooth and somewhat uneventful ride, which is rare.



Once we got closer to Wewoka we saw it was getting dark and it was too late to follow 20 more miles to Seminole, our original planned destination. So we decided to stay there. However, finding the hotel was a big problem. There was nothing where the GPS had indicated, so we called the front desk. The girl gave us the directions and we discovered we were still about 6 miles away from it. We made a right turn into a small dark road which was full of bugs flying around. As we moved forward they would hit our faces, get into our noses, etc. Not a very nice feeling.

We then arrived to our hotel. The room was fine, except that it was full of large black crickets. I killed about five of them including the one in my pillow, but in the next day my uncle told me there were others making noises throughout the night.