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Old 07-14-2010, 07:32 PM   #19
Exile OP
The Mundane and The Magic
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Sojourning
Oddometer: 219

Oklahoma started out very nice since it had just rained, until we realized the roads were just getting flatter, and aside from the first day, it has been almost 110 degrees the last two days which is like riding in front of a giant blow dryer. It's actually cooler to have the face shield down...

So we stopped for a little break and got bored quick.

I was thinking it was going to be a whole lot of this...

Farms and barns...

But then one of them had these.

And soon we were making great time through the gravel roads of OK, making up lost time. A nice cool morning ride followed by a cooler clouded afternoon as the rain clouds moved in.

The day ended late as we got back on track with our nightly stops. Mike, Ryan and Tavis went to the motel that Sam had marked out, while Chris and I continued on to Wah-Sha-She state park in Hulah, OK. And what an amazing place that was. We camped right on the lake watching the sun set and a lightning storm roll in.

The next day through the big OK wasn't as exciting and didn't end well for all. Mike, Ryan and Tavis got off to a late start, while Chris and I were out with the sun.

And then we ran into this.

We probably should have heeded this...

So we went around.

And came to this. Later we learned that Oklahoma has had a lot of unseasonal rain for July...

We got an email from a group that is pacing us by a week that hit this part of the trail after 5 inches of rain overnight. One guy, I am told, burned out his clutch trying to get through the wet clay. I suppose we were fortunate. We saw their tracks later on.

Now for the sad part. As we left Tennessee, there were six riders. We are now down to three. After losing Paul on the first day, Mike and Ryan were in an accident yesterday. Since Chris and I left with the sun, we got into Alva, Oklahoma around 3:00pm after booking it through the miles of straight gravel roads. Mike, Ryan and Tavis were still 95 miles behind us. After getting within 5 miles of Alva, Mike hit a rutted area of road that he could slow down for. He made it through then stopped to signal the others to slow down. Ryan was already navigating the rough ground in Mike's dust, and came out right behind him. Ryan crashed into the back of Mike's bike and broke his arm in a weak area in the fall. Ryan's front rim was bent with a flattened tire, and Mike's rear end was slightly tweaked. Medics took Ryan to the medical center in Alva and patched him up until he can get back to IL.

We are sorry for the loss of two more great riders from our group. These are the risks we take when we ride though. Mike and Ryan plan to finish the second half in time. Good luck to you both.
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Exile screwed with this post 01-22-2012 at 01:56 PM
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