Day 16: Ada to Moore OK - 75 miles
I started today early - I was hungry and the restaurant was open at 6:30 AM - and ended it early, about 4:15 PM, at Jim Foreman's house. In between there was some pretty good riding, although not a good as in the more rural parts of Oklahoma. I had breakfast at 7 AM and was on the road by 8 AM, early for me. Note that unlike most tourists, I read email and post my ride reports after breakfast and before I leave. I had an additional delay today as I had to stop and pump up my front tire which had gotten soft overnight. Sigh. At least it is leaking slowly enough that I didn't need to pump it up during the day's ride. Actually, it is good that I had these problems now. It could have been dangerous to discover my pumps defective hose out in the desert part of my route!
Highway OK 3W goes from Ada to Asher, a distance of about 25 miles. The middle 25 miles does not have much (6 inches at best) shoulder and the traffic, although light was a bit of a pain. 3W runs NW which was OK since the wind was pretty strongly from the south or a little southwest. Riding wasn't bad, but it was a bit tense at times. The worst time was when a large log truck carrying telephone poles passed me into an oncoming car. The truck gave me at least two feet - still a bit close at 65 mph - but the poor car must have had to drop his outside wheels off the road to avoid a collision. This kind of driving, while not directly threatening to me, made this section sometimes less than enjoyable. Fortunately, there were only a few big trucks and drivers were generally polite. 3W also had some enjoyable hills and curves and, most of the time, was enjoyable riding.
I stopped for a second breakfast at Asher. It was neat: I was riding along wishing for a good pace to eat another breakfast and, when I looked up, there was a perfect place. My second breakfast was very good and the service was very friendly. A nice place just south of Asher, a mile or so after 3W gets a shoulder again. When I left Asher heading west on OK 39 to Lexington, there was no shoulder, the road was quite (Oklahoma standards!) hilly, and the crosswind was pretty stiff. Despite these things, I enjoyed riding this section more than riding on 3W. Part of this was due to an almost total lack of pushy drivers, part was due to the hills, and I'm sure the good second breakfast also contributed.
OK 39 That white dot is Lexington Prison's Water Tower
I stopped at the only country store (Roy's Food and Feed or something close to that) between Asher and Lexington for a coke and candy bar. It was very pleasant sitting in front of the store looking across the road at a sign for a camp run by a Pentecostal church. The store got quite busy while I was there - people buying food, gas, and feed - and several folks spoke to me. One told me about the fellow down the road with relatives in Washington state and who had made numerous bicycle trips to visit them.
Riding on into Lexington meant riding past the maximum security prison at Lexington. An impressive facility- I wouldn't want to incarcerated there! I could see the Prison's water tower from ten miles away. The prison's double row of fences is topped with and partially filed with rolls of razor wire. The cell block windows are slits like in a fortress, and the whole air is one of great 'security.'
In Lexington, I stopped at the Dairy Boy for an excellent milkshake and a hamburger, then I headed north towards Nobel and Norman on US 77. This was easy riding because I now had a 10 to mph tailwind. I stopped again in Nobel (10 miles) for some Powerade - it was quite hot today and I was riding with the wind - and to call the Foremans to let then know when I was arriving. Then I rode on through Norman and, only getting lost once, to the Foreman's home in Moore.I'll be interrupting my trip here for a month while I visit friends and go home for several weeks. Day 16 should follow exactly a month from now as I continue my ride from OKC to Portland OR.
US 77 heading north to OKC