Day 21, Tour 10 Wllburton to Holdenville, OK

Arriving, in intense rain, at my motel room door

It was a good ride today, at least until I got near my destination and was rescued from very intense rain at the front of a huge storm system that had flooded parts of Oklahoma City this morning. I didn't find out about the system till mid afternoon and, even when riding next to an obviously intense storm late this afternoon, had no idea that it was the same storm. Thanks to a kind man from Holdenville, I didn't have to suffer much because of my ignorance.

I did not sleep well last night. Partly that was because my body was beat up from yesterdays hard and hot ride. I pushed my self near some limits climbing those hills, and it, especially my upper body, was sore. However the main problems were caused by my extreme fatigue and the air conditioning unit in my, quite nice, motel room. That room was great for just about everything but sleeping while exhausted ;-{. The problem was that the airconditioning unit, which turned the fan off when it was not cooling, periodically blew cold air across the bed. I was too exhausted to fix this by blocking that airflow. As a result a periodically woke up chilled, but too groggy to do anything about it, until 6 AM when I finally turned the airconditioning off. Then I fell into an exhausted sleep till about 7:45.

I fixed breakfast using my supplies and the coffee maker in the room and worked on yesterday's web page / ride report till about 9:30 then I checked out and rode a short distance to McDs for the least expensive Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes and a senior Coffee of the trip. Then in my grogginess, I proceeded to knock over the, lidless, cup of coffee and make a big mess. After we cleaned that up, they brought me another cup. After my second breakfast, I was feeling a bit better, but still decided to take the simpler route of riding US 270 most of the day instead of backroads.

Riding US 270 west from Wilburton with a great tail wind
I was cruising at 15 to 20 mph

The end of the fast flat riding

Getting back on OK 1

Riding was remarkably fast most of the day because the wind was from the east and later the northeast. Strange winds for summer in Oklahoma, and the only sustained tailwinds I've had on this trip except when going north. I cruised in my big ring - first time I've done that except going down hill - for about seven miles before US 270 headed up a ridge. Even including the climbing at 5 mph, while sweat soaking my head and upper body, my average speed while moving for the first 15 miles was over 13 mph.

Fast riding on a great shoulder
But I didn't take images when the shoulder was dirty and the traffic was heavy ;-{

And there were some significant hills ;-}

I rode through Hartshorn remembering stopping there for lunch when I rode from Talihina to Holdenville three years ago, and through MaCalester remembering how riding through it sucked three years ago - expressway riding with multiple overpasses, no shoulders, and lots of traffic. This year I made my first stop at a Dollar General just before MaCalester and then crossed the street to a Sonic for a lunch of pineapple milkshake and coney dog with chilly. Dairy Queen does both of those things better, but I didn't se any Dairy Queens today.

After MaCalester, there are a few miles of fancier road way which end at the Indian Nation Turnpike. Then it is back to two lanes with good to excellent shoulders. I was cruising in my big ring again on that section, but it gets hillier after that. Interestingly, I remembered riding most of the hard hills on the repeated part - after I got back on OK 1, of todays ride - but few of the fast section. Hills make for intense riding ;-}.

Heading north on US 75
That blue ahead is storm, not blue sky

I stopped to eat in Calivin. Things were looking quite threatening there, but they had been just that ominous 15 miles earlier and had cleared up. I hoped to eat at the same restaurant I had eaten supper at 3 years ago, but it was gone. The other restaurant - The Store Cafe was open and doing a good business, so I ate there. Then I headed north on US 75 planning to ride to Holdenville. The weather had improved a little while I was in Calvin, but things were not looking good as I rode north. When I started heading big thunder booms, I started hoping someone would stop to pick me up ;-}.

Tomorrow, I head west again, Jim Foreman will meet me between Seminole and Norman OK.

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