Oklahoma Freewheel Numero Dos


Written by Yours Truly,


   Another great bike tour is underway!  This (as you can tell from the title) is our second Freewheel.  Don't forget, I appreciate hearing back from my readers, even if you read it five years later.  I love to receive feedback!

   As always, I would like to thank the Oklahoma law enforcement for helping to keep the riders safe.


Friday June 8

The Drive

    Well folks, we're off to another start on yet another bike tour.  As usual we were planning to leave when Julie got over to our house but no.  Sadly, we left around 8:45ish.  The drive was actually quite boring but I read my book and watched a couple of Hawaii Five-0 episodes on mi madre's iPod.  We stopped at a gas station for a bathroom break and found that the hand dryers nearly ripped your skin off.  And of course I have some sort of injury.  In this case it is a blister on my middle finger and it puffed up nice and big.  I was finishing our stuff for crazy day and burned myself on the hot glue.  And of course I grabbed the hottest glue gun from the box.  Figures.  When we got to the Motel 6, we found our room while my mom walked Cutter (my puppy that is not a puppy anymore).  We snacked on cheese (extra sharp supposedly) and Wheat-Thins while talking about the apparently very grouchy front desk lady.  Did I mention the orange walls and super boxy modern look of the room?  The look could have been nicer if it was in a cool blue or purple.  I hit the pillow a little early (well, as early as you can get at 1:00am).  


Saturday June 9 

Day 0

The Drive Part 2 &

Frederick to Texas Border-15 miles (routed at 38 for loop)

06/09/2012 Sat Distance 13.4 Average 19.2 Ride Time 0:42 Max Speed 25.7


    Sorry to anyone I kicked this morning.  I am terrible at getting up.  Someone was grabbing my foot or something but I was not happy about that in my early morning fog.  So after managing to drag my behind out of bed, I killed the fly that was bothering everyone all night.  I cornered it in the bathroom and with one swipe of my towel, it lay dead upon the sink.  Actually it wasn't nearly that dramatic but it did take a few good tries to finally corner it.  Before we got on the road I was instructed to get on www.gasbuddy.com but it kept coming up with no results for gas stations in even bigger cities like Edmond, OK.  Pathetic.  Natalie was able to get some results.  How, I don't know.  And that brings me to an irrelevant topic of drawing.  Natalie got the creative "drawing" gene in the family so I'm stuck over here trying to draw a horse and it ends up looking like a platypus or something really weird.  Natalie on the other hand is drawing people better than most by just looking at a picture.  Not fair.  So while I was brooding over that, we went into McDonalds to get our breakfast to go.  It took them forever to even find the blueberries for our two blueberry banana oatmeals.  I actually really like them.   But they had this weird display thing that was probably supposed to look regal or something.  I have no idea.  It looked kind of funny to me.  Julie of course got a jumbo coffee and after seeing her sumo sized thermos, I am totally unsurprised.  You've got to get energy somewhere, right?

Natalie standing next to the weird regal oatmeal thing.

   We hit the road, while fueled by McDonalds.  There were some people by the "WELCOME TO KANSAS" sign, on the Turnpike.  How loco can you get?  This is not some dinky highway where you can get across the road easily.  This is the INTERSTATE!  Anyway, they were taking pictures and whatever else.  Talk about crazy.  Farther down the road there was a huge field of wheat being plowed.  Oh and Natalie wants me to mention it's Donald Duck's BIRTHDAY!  So happy birthday to the worlds most loved duck.  Sorry for those who have that duck-phobia.  Today must be awful for you.

   Later we stopped at a Wendy's to grab some lunch.  Remember how Wendy's is a FAST FOOD restaurant?  No way was this service fast at all.  It took forever in fact.  Well, if 15 minutes was forever but you get my point.  And to top it all off, some lady with her son (or was it grandson?) was snapping about not having her order right, with it minus the fries.  When we got our food, they gave us an extra potato and French fries.  Everything's good now right?  Wrong.  It was so unbelievably dirty in there and my spicy chicken sandwich (I still wish they would make a grilled version) was all breading with a tiny compressed piece of what appeared to be leatherized chicken.  It was gross and there were about a bazillion flies in that place along with the trash cans overflowing.  NASTY.  I'm sure most people have seen the "Wendy's Way" commercials.  That place did not follow Wendy's Way at all.  So eventually mom went to walk Cutter while we hit the bathrooms.  Those smelled like fry grease but without the chicken or fries.  

    Eventually we made it to our destination, Frederick, Oklahoma.  It was a really neat little town.  It had bicycles decorated all over the place, each one unique.  We navigated our way to the crowded check-in area to pick up our packets and t-shirts.  We got to our motel, the Tanglewood, and received the key to our (unfortunately) smoking room.  From there we drove to the Texas border and rode back with a 19mph tailwind.  It was 15 miles and only took around 42 minutes.  

Putting on sunscreen

More messing around with sunscreen

Texas boarder

Getting started

Go, go, go!

We saw this house with tires to hold down the roof.  
We are definitely in Oklahoma...

Welcome to Frederick!

  We all showered and right before it was my turn, Dad harassed Bill.  Now you are probably wondering who Bill is.  He was my blister.  Dad poked him out with a safety pin, much to my displeasure.  Now Bill is deflated but on the positive side, I can type faster now.  So my next adventure today is to take a shower.  I turned on the faucet.  I turned it to cooler and it just got hotter and hotter.  I don't know who hooked up the water in this place but it is backwards.  So after I figured that out, I'm dumping shampoo into my hair when the water got really hot...and then really cold...and back to normal.  Let's just say, I didn't waste any time. 

Me not wanting to have Bill chopped off.

Me caving, finally...

Me squeezing Bill's guts all over dad, as punishment.

    After showering, we all went over to Los Arcos, a Mexican restaurant with a lime green roof.  Only one lady in the entire restaurant was actually doing her job and after around 10 minutes of standing around, she got the table cleared off because no one would do it for us.  Natalie, Mom and I ate the fajitas offered and they were delicious.  Dad and Julie both got burritos of some sort.  It took forever to get the bill paid but only the one lady was working overtime.  Kudos to her.

    After awhile we all piled into bed, as tomorrow is an early one.

   And my ending evening thank you's go to Frederick's finest: the law enforcement.

The Gremlin is stealing the bear known by the name Peach!


Sunday June 10

Day 1

Frederick to Elgin - 73 miles + 5 miles to Fletcher (lodging)

06/10/2012 Sun Distance 78.9  Average 16.2 Ride Time 4:43 Max Speed 39.5


    Good morning!  Actually for me it was an "I must get up" mode.  So after I hauled myself out of bed, I got dressed in my USA outfit, again and slathered on the sunscreen.  After checking to make sure our bags were loaded correctly, Dad went to drop them off at the truck.  Mom took our overnight bags to the motel we're staying in tonight saving us from having to trailer our bags the last 5 miles into Fletcher.  So after we were suited up, we went in search of breakfast.  A church that was serving breakfast ran out of everything but yogurt, cereal, and muffins.  However, there was supposed to be another church selling breakfast.  But where was it, is the question.  We couldn't find it so quickie shop food it was for us.  Dad, Julie, and Natalie quickly found the breakfast biscuits and snatched them up, leaving me with a fat bomb muffin, chocolate milk, and string cheese.  Soon we were off with a rock and roll tailwind and there were only about 3 or 4 cars that passed us during the next 15 miles.  Much to our displeasure, soon we were heading into a cross-head wind.  After a while we were wondering where they put the SAG support stops.  While we were questioning this, a tandem at the perfect speed went by and we were going to draft.  The chain locked up and threatened to derail once but we got it going fine and kept up with the tandem.  And then the timing chain that connected my crank arm to Julie's decided at that moment it was a great time to pop off.  We fixed it and were on our way again but our draft was gone.  

A newspaper dude took this picture as we were about to head out.

Getting started

Wichita Mountains

Some boulders (with character)

Wichita Mountains...up close

    Eventually we rode into a wildlife reserve and not to far ahead was a stop selling bottled water and Gatorade.  The cost was $1 and I took the last of the Gatorade in the jug.  It was clearly made from a powder and was pretty diluted but it was cold.  After talking Natalie into eating a cracker and a Gu, we made our way down the scenic road.  There were a total of 4 buffalo that we saw while riding and bikers were stopping to take pictures left and right.  The park was really nice and the scenery was beautiful.  We found the Oklahoma Freewheel SAG stop (I guess it was but we never stopped) 10 miles from where it was supposed to be.  We opted to wait until a town with some real food not far ahead.  Medicine Creek, the little cove town, reminded me a lot of Fredericksburg, Texas, where we go almost every year for spring break.  It was small and quaint but it had its own spirit.  Deciding we needed some real food, we went into a cafe to eat.  The floor was wood (NOT good for cleats) and it sloped but the Old Plantation Cafe definitely had charm.  We sat down and ordered, Natalie getting grilled chicken on a stick while Julie, Dad, and I ordered the grilled chicken dinner.  The rolls served were melt-in-your-mouth-amazing and the chicken was really good too.  When we ordered the loaded baked potatoes, we got LOADED baked potatoes.  They were AWESOME!  Julie got a huge sweet potato with hers.  When we left, we hit the bathrooms and found that the faucets were kind of like water spigots.  It was a really neat idea.  When we got going, we followed a lake side road and stopped a while later at a Valero for water refills.  

On the scenic road

The buffalo


Julie's happy


I like Mountain Dew...

Chicken on a stick

One extremely loaded potato

In front of the cove hidden behind the trees

The lake we rode by

    Back on the road again, we found that the tandem we were going to draft off of was behind us.  We hopped on and took turns pulling while hoping the huge line of cars behind us wouldn't run us over.  Arriving in Elgin, we located our bags and were photographed by a local newspaper.  We took off towards our motel, the Ozark Trail Motel and Restaurant in Fletcher, 5 miles away.  On the way there, we spotted some alpacas.  This brought back my dream of owning an alpaca ranch.  So we finally arrived at the motel and restaurant.  Well, it is a Mexican restaurant that is not open on Sunday.  Sigh.  And from what Julie said, they have some good reviews.  We checked in and showered and contemplated what to do for dinner.

My ninja towel hair...it's one way to get it dry.

I like meese. (Yes this is the correct plural of moose.  
Think about it: Goose=Geese, Moose=Meese)

    After awhile we walked down the highway to the Wildcat Express for pizza.  It was your traditional quickie shop pizza, Hunts Brothers Express, but it was pretty good.  While it was cooking, we walked to the connivance store next door in search of snacks.  We got baked Lays and Chex Mix.  We walked back to the Wildcat Express and picked up our pizza: 1/4 cheese, 1/4 Italian sausage, and 1/2 pepperoni, black olives, and peppers.  We snacked on our pizza and drank the 7-Up we brought along with the chips, while I worked on my story you are reading now.  Natalie's working on her journal and Dad's laying down.  I suspect everyone will be hitting the beds pretty soon, so an alpaca and llama lover, signing off.


Day 2

Elgin to Anadarko - 61 miles

06/11/2012 Mon Distance 68.9  Average 15.7 Ride Time 4:43 Max Speed 32.4

    You guys should be proud of me, I actually got up on my own!  With the help of my handy dandy alarm on my iPod.  Not that we got much sleep last night...Natalie was coughing like crazy so tonight we came prepared!  Cough syrup!  Much nicer.  Anyway, we road back to Elgin and after some confusion, dumped our luggage on the truck.  Lucky for us, there was a McDonald's in town.  We ate breakfast and decided to cut off some miles by taking more direct route along highway 277.  We rode back to the motel (it was right on the way) only to find all of our stuff gone.  We spoke with the owner and were told she kept it all in a bag because she thought we were not coming back.  With all of the stuff we left, we were wondering where the logic was.  

Just leaving the motel

The view atop a very large hill

One of the police cars following the ride

Another view


A power plant we passed...


   After hitting the road once again, we caught up with a group we drafted for awhile.  As we would find out later, they are staying at the Americas Best Value Inn as well.  We were rocking and rolling with a tailwind for a good hunk of time when we came to Apache.  This was the designated lunch stop, 25 miles out.  We blew past it and continued before we turned into a cross-head wind.  Not as much fun.  At about 37 miles, we stopped to take a break and after we got going again, we found a SAG at the top of a hill, in front of a cemetery.  We stopped again to fill up our empty, hot water bottles.   Later down the road, we made a stop at a quick shop and bought a jug of chocolate milk. I guess we were thirsty or something. After vegging for a little while, we continued on our merry little way to Anadarko. We took turns riding and drafting Bill and Dana who were riding a Paketa. As it turns out, they listen to music while they ride so we were jamming while we went up useless hills  ...and then down to where we were before.  

A movie theater

Another view

This is one awesome paint job for an ice cream truck.  I would buy ice cream from them just because of their paint job. (but I didn't)

    We finally made it to Anadarko and found the fair grounds where the riders were staying.  We got our luggage and tried to navigate to the Americas Best Value Inn.  After many wrong turns, we finally found it.  Never trust MapQuest!!  While we were showering, Natalie took a dip in the pool.  Afterwards we went into town to El Charro, a Mexican restaurant.  They had really good food and our waiter was pretty nice.  While we were eating, a dude with a messed up eye, a tear drop tattoo, along with quite a few others, asked if we were willing to sell our quad.  He was clearly on drugs, or something.  We said no and he left but Dad and Natalie followed him out, suspecting he might take something.  Well this son of a motherless goat decided to steal our front pack.  Dad noticed it missing right off.  Natalie rounded the corner first from dad's sandals coming off and saw him take off down an alley and of course Dad ran down there after him.  Natalie came back into the restaurant and Julie did a ninja leap thing and darted out the door.  I called 911 and was told an officer would be there shortly.  As it turns out, this loser approached Dad after he yelled at him about putting the bag down.  He came at him saying something about "Can I talk to you, sir."  Dad backed up and called the police but was told he had to call this long number to Lafayette.  Are you kidding?  Well, Dad came up by us and after the second search was able to retrieve our bag by moving 5 bags and doing some dumpster diving.  Over 5 minutes later, Sgt. R. Jones arrived.  As it turns out, everyone seemed to know this dude, a complete scumbag that goes up to women who are by themselves and demands money in a threatening way.  Dad filed a police report and we left to go swimming. 

   Tonight I showed everyone the video clip of The Three Amigos (from the movie) with the son of a motherless goat saying.  It can come in handy.

Natalie's ninja catch 

Dad pointing at it

Filling out the police report......That's Sgt. Jones

Setting up our Wizard of Oz for Crazy Day

Natalie and Toto


Day 3

Anadarko to Watonga - 72 miles

06/12/2012 Tue Distance 75.8  Average 15.0 Ride Time 5:02 Max Speed 39.5


    I was reading back over one of the last entries and I realized that I talked about stopping all the time.  So today, I am focusing on the ride.  We started off okay, after eating the free breakfast at the motel and dropping off our gear.  I don't want to for forget to mention, today is CRAZY DAY!  Our theme is the Wizard of Oz!  Dad is the Tin Man, Julie is the Wicked Witch, I am the Lion, and Natalie is Dorothy.  We even have a scarecrow riding on the back.  


Julie is no longer coffee deprived!



Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!

The Cowardly Lion 

It takes COURAGE!

    We thought it was going to be a headwind most of the day but in reality, the wind switched so much it was hard telling what was going on.  We were on a treacherous, hilly (and I mean REALLY hilly), mine-field-of-pot-holes, and death (metaphorically of course) road.  Not that I'm complaining or anything.  Actually I was, for a long ways and my legs felt like fire was dancing across them.  It was even worse than the supposed "non-hilly" route we took to Powell Gardens last year as a training ride.  For those who have ridden there from Blue Springs, you know what I'm talking about.  

    After the torture...um I mean fun...stopped, we took a break at a gas station.  Natalie got a Mountain Dew (which she drank on the road) while I got a ginormous chocolate milk made by TruMoo.  I hate their commercials, but I digress (and no Padre, I do not watch too much TV.  I simply have a knack for remembering good and terrible commercials).  Natalie and Julie ate chocolate ice cream and now you're probably thinking "But Courtney!  Why would you not eat some too?".  That would be because I was too chocolate-ed out.  As Julie pointed out, I drank 880 calories worth of chocolate milk.  Ooooppppsss.  I did not think that chocolate milk would be so many calories.  So after I lumbered out by the bike, Dad messed with the quick release, and we were on our way into an impending storm.  

On top of a hill.  WEEEEE!

The Quadzilla of Oz

This had way too may calories: 880!

More YUM!

    As you could have guessed, we were drenched.  We thought we could out run the storm.  Nope.  Natalie put on a rain jacket while the rest of us opted to go without (not that we had any other choice, all of our gear was in the luggage).  As Julie put it, I looked like a drowned cat.  Thanks for the support buddy.  :)  The rain seemed to finally lighten up after awhile and we stopped to de-drench-ify ourselves.  Dad was wringing water out of his socks along with Julie while I tried to finish drying my halfway dry jersey.  And then it started sprinkling again.  We got back on the bike, Dad not wearing socks, and continued on our way, cold from the rain.  After we went up a hill (one of the very few I was grateful for  ...I mean one of the marvelous hills we had the chance to cycle up), I got my heat back from Mother Nature.  We turned into a tailwind, and picking up our old tradition of singing really annoying (but surprisingly fun) songs, the day seemed to brighten up.  It stopped raining and the road wasn't terrible.  Not to mention, we had the wind at our backs and my mane was starting to dry.  We rock and rolled down a hill and onto a bridge that was under construction before we went up another large hill.  Eventually we stopped again, this time for lunch, at a deli/grocery store.  We bought some buns, horseradish dressing, cheese, turkey, and some soda.  I had an authentic Coke made in Mexico (in a glass bottle and everything!).  Our horseradish dressing was a little lumpy but we didn't think too much of it.  After eating, Natalie was looking at the label on the horseradish dressing and found it expired in December of 2010!  GROSS!  And to think I ate that...*shudder*

Natalie trying to get a rain jacket on.

Julie trying to get the water out of her gloves.

A half drowned lion.

Everyone got wet, even the one with the rain jacket!

My mane of shame.

Padre squeezing water out of his socks.


Don't eat the horseradish!

   We were sailing once again but with not as much help from the wind.  We finally made it to Watonga and checked into our motel before going to get our luggage.  We eventually loaded up our stuff and took showers.  Julie and I did laundry and strung our clothes on chairs, as there is no place to hang up clothes.

    We went to get dinner at a Mexican restaurant but half way there we realized Natalie had not changed into the new t-shirt.  Dad and Natalie turned back to fix this dilemma while Julie and I forged ahead.  When we walked the bazillion blocks (not really it was only about 4) and found the restaurant, we found a sign on the door stating taxes had not been collected and their license was revoked.  Figures.  Going for plan B, we walked down Main Street, trying to find option B for a Mexican restaurant.  As it turns out, it no longer exists.  Plan C was now in action.  We walked back to our motel where just across the street, a Pizza Hut resides.  We ordered a salad and a bbq chicken pizza.  I scored Dad's pizza bones but Julie got Natalie's crust.  When we got back, Dad cleaned the bike and chains while everyone else was winding down.  Tomorrow is another long one.  


Day 4

Watonga to Guthrie - 72 miles

06/13/2012 Wed 77.2 Distance   14.6 Average  5:12 Ride Time  35.6 Max Speed 

    Day four is underway!  We grabbed all of our stuff, dumped it off at the truck and proceeded to find a church selling breakfast.  This specific church we went to was serving either biscuits and gravy or pancakes.  No eggs, bacon, milk, etc.  The price was a little steep, $5 for one person but the food wasn't terrible.  The pancakes weren't the best but with the gravy (according to Dad anyway) they tasted alright.  We left town, the wind at our backs and rolled over the highway roads easily.  The dreaded turn came soon enough and going east with a southeast wind isn't necessarily the most fun.  We drafted off of a couple of single bikes into the first rest stop town.  We were able to (finally) find the convenience store where we filled up our water bottles before going back to the school to use the bathrooms, as there were none at this convenience store.  We ended up having to walk around the building to get to the restrooms even though they were at the front of the school.  


Getting ready to leave the church

A little draft line we had going up until the first stop

This is a creepy name for a cemetery: New Home

    We were on the road again but the miles went by more slowly this time.  Without a draft, the few rises and hills were much tougher to get over and the fact that a lot of the road was flat didn't allow you to relax any on a downhill.  Eventually though we made it to the next town, 15 or so miles out.  We decided to get lunch there, turkey and cheese sandwiches with Natalie going for a chicken salad.  We saw the Burley tandem there along with the Tulsa news reporter, Jason, who interviewed us for a segment on the Tulsa news last year.  After eating left over chips and the sandwiches, we left on a busy road, into the headwind.  That changed soon enough to a crosswind when we turned and with help from the trees, we were flowing pretty good for awhile.  We were noticing that there are many oil rigs in this part of the state.  This part of the ride was also sort of long but the scenery was the same: a few hills (more than before) and a lot of wind.  We managed to stop one last time where Julie got a monster ice tea and I got a "small" ice cream.  No way was this thing small.  And I grudgingly shared.  After this stop, I decided it was a good idea to put my iPod touch to good use and I listened to some tunes after we got going again.

The second SAG town

The third SAG town

A mural in Crescent

Playboy Energy Drink

Ingredients in the energy drink that we didn't actually buy  


My "small" ice cream

Julie and Natalie eating my ice cream

     On one of the hills, we were passed by a blue Santana tandem, with a kid that looked a couple of years younger than me.  They pretty much used up all of their effort to get past us, but once we passed them, we never saw them again.  The ride in was simple, with more hills.  We finally arrived in Guthrie and found our way to the camping site for the tour.  This town is really historic with a lot of the buildings preserved.  After we climbed through the town (this place is hilly) we found our luggage before going to the Townhouse Motel.  We got checked in and showered and looked up where to get dinner.  After deciding on a Mexican restaurant, we walked the hundred thousand blocks to get food.  Just kidding.  Actually walking after a long ride is supposed to be good for your legs because this weird acid stuff builds in your muscles.  Gross.  Eventually we got to the restaurant and noticed no one was there but one table.  Okay... We sat down and looked at the menu and saw there was a "setup charge" for those who did not order an entree.  This also extended to the a la cart menu I was going to order from.  So my $3.50 burrito would be $7.00.  RIDICULOUS!  So we left, chips and salsa ready to pour.  Oh, I should probably mention that they did not have Dos Equis Amber like Dad called to verify they did.  So nice of them.  The owner came out with the regular Dos XX and said, "This is okay right?"  Seriously, this lady had an attitude.  

    We ended up walking down the street to another Mexican restaurant and ate there.  We all had chicken burritos of some sort, except for Julie who ate  enchiladas with chicken and spinach.  We also had sopapillas that were delicious.  When we were finished eating and a couple of us were navigating to the bathroom, we found out that one of the waiter's daughter is bilingual.  Okay, so I don't feel so Spanish-ly smart right now and she's like seven!  SOOOOOO not fair!  When we were finished, we were walking back when we noticed a ring of mushrooms.  That is a lucky circle, if I do recall.  I read it in a book somewhere.  I think it's called a fairy circle.  It's quite interesting.  Anyway, when we got back, everyone jumped on their iPods or computers while Natalie worked on her journal.  Tomorrow is supposed to be shorter but with the hills we are expecting, I doubt it will feel any shorter.


The feast

Dad with his braces is happy...


Fairy circle

Welcome to Guthrie

Old historic building

Old historic building information


Day 5

Guthrie to Drumright - 55 miles

06/14/2012 Thu 56.9 Distance   14.1 Average  4:01 Ride Time  39.7 Max Speed 

    As I expected, the wind would not help us today in our trek to a town east of Guthrie.  We dropped off our stuff at the truck this morning and then went to Braum's for breakfast.  Sadly, I did not get any ice cream.  Instead I decided I needed some real food, hence the biscuits and gravy with apple juice.  Eventually we got going, with a crosswind and lots of hills ahead of us.  I listened to my iPod until our first stop.  By that time, I really needed to get off.  Before that, however, we passed two stops, one fairly close to the beginning of the ride, and the second 20 miles out.  We stopped at around 26 miles at a gas station in Tryon where Natalie got a 260 calorie M&M ice cream sandwich.  OMG!!!!!!!  But I guess I can't complain, with my chocolate milk fail of 880 calories.  Julie got her magic juice, Arizona Ice Tea, this time with kiwi and strawberry.  We picked up Natalie down the street at the city hall, who went in search of a restroom. 

Getting started in the morning

Some dude on a unicycle

    Once we got going again, we experienced a little bit of interference (screech!!!) with the intercom.  We went over the hills, that had softened up, so to speak.  After not too much longer, we were granted a tailwind.  About 3 miles in, we dropped the timing chain that connected Julie's crank with my crank.  After getting to the last crosswind stretch, we made it to Cushing where we stopped at a gas station to grab some water.  Natalie didn't want to eat her granola bar so we took it with us.  We were asked a few questions by a newspaper reporter from Oklahoma City.  A ways down the road, he took our pictures but I was the only one who saw him on the other side of the highway.  After being buzzed by a couple of monster pickup trucks, we reached Drumright.  For some reason the highway patrol presence had dropped way off today.  Once in town, the first thing we did was go down a super steep, really long hill.  Thankfully, we didn't have to up the other side.  

    We unloaded our gear and Julie and Natalie rode with our stuff on the shuttle to the motel.  That meant Dad and I had to climb the monster hill...or did we?  Actually we did, we just took a gentler road.  We made it to the motel and checked in, found our room, and got the bike inside.  I thought this place was laid out weird.  The shower has no privacy and is open to the room and the bathroom is just a toilet inside a closet type thing.  Oookkayy...  As it turns out this place was a hospital once.  Creepy... It would be our luck people died in the room we are staying in.  There were also showers that you could access from the hall which all of us but Natalie used.  She stayed in the room to shower.  The room I took had a little bit of an issue with someone not putting the shower curtain in right so the floor was really wet.  When I got back to the room, Natalie had decided to eat the granola bar that she didn't want.  I was going to eat that  ...sigh  ...no apple cinnamon Nutrigrain bar for me.

This road was really hilly

My expertise in carrying backpacks

This is ridiculous!  A water sprinkler next to a shower...like that's going to catch fire....

    Natalie did her laundry after Julie.  I did mine and Dad's after her (she didn't want to touch my not so stinky shorts).  I wash, Dad wrings them out.  While I was waiting he was wringing out my bra and told me an incredibly lame but funny joke.  So lets see if you can figure this out.  How much water does a bra hold?  ................Answer 2 cups!  Hahahahahaha!  Funny!  You had to be there.  Anyway, we hung them outside and walked into town to get dinner.  We ate at this little diner/antique shops.  There was so many antiques all over the place I don't know how they could keep track of them all.  We ordered a chicken salad sandwich for Julie, tuna salad sandwich for Natalie, and a club sandwich for Dad and I to split.  After what seemed like eternity, we received our food.  I talked Dad into getting malts but getting them was another ordeal.  They got the tickets mixed up and it took a good 20 minutes to get them.  Eventually we got out of there and tried to find out where the Speedwheel bicycle race was being held.  Apparently it was on a truck driving training route, a big concrete circle without any shade.  Deciding this would not be too much fun, we walked back to the motel where Dad pulled a thorn out of my sandal.  Everyone seems to be chillaxing and going to sleep early tonight might be a good idea.

This town had some neat murals

Here's another one

Sharing chocolate malts

Snarfing chocolate malts

    Actually, so much for getting to bed early.  Natalie decided she wanted to play pool.  Okay  ...Julie was talking to her mom and brother over Skype while I beat Natalie playing pool.  WIN!  The first game Natalie stated that I had more balls than her.  Okay, so I may not be so good at this game but what the heck?  It's for fun right?  We played a second game and Natalie hit the 8 ball in  ...double win!  Towards the end of our first game, we started smelling something that reminded me of someone smoking a cigar.  And then we thought it smelled like incense.  After Natalie and I got ready for bed, Dad went back out into the hall to find out what the smell was.  As it turns out, it was the ice machine motor burning up.  And on that wonderful note, good night.


Day 6

Drumright to Ponca City - 79 miles

06/15/2012 Fri 81.6 Distance   16.8 Average  4:46 Ride Time  41.2 Max Speed 

    After getting up with some grumpy campers this morning, we packed our stuff and were on the road, in search of a quick shop to eat at.  We had to ride 7 miles to get there.  It totally figures.  Anyway, when we got to the quick shop we got ham, egg, and cheese breakfast biscuits with grape juice for me, chocolate milk (OMG THE CALORIES) for Natalie, orange juice and coffee for Julie, and an Amp for Dad.  Me gusta.  So, (not getting off topic here) we spent about $26 for breakfast, definitely not as good as Braum's $10 real food breakfast.  

Not too much longer we were on the road, everyone not so grumpy.  The roads were good and we flew through the next two towns and had to make a turn.  This is where it gets interesting.  As we were going down a hill, there was "Caution" spray painted on the road by the route-spray-painter-dude.  Okayy...  The road was falling apart, and not to mention, the hills were not the most pleasant either.  I'm still not complaining  ...I'm merely commenting on the scenery.  After turning onto a different section of the same road, there were some kids, standing on the side of the road cheering the bikers on...Did I forget to mention these kids had orange Mohawks and camo shorts?  They were like little rednecks! :)  Moving on...We came up to a congested rest stop on a narrow road and some dudes stopped right in front of us.  We are a moving, grooving, QUAD!  Don't stop in front of us or you will get yelled at.  The end.  So while we were on the road with "character", we were flying.  Eventually we made it to Pawnee, the last town to get anything before a 30 mile stretch to Ponca City.  We got sandwiches at a quick shop and were out of there pretty fast.  

The bear and Julie

Isn't he friendly?

A hill...with a lot of riders on it

We had to go up that...

    As we were leaving town, a train was going across the tracks.  After waiting for a few minutes, we were on our way.  We were riding on the incredibly rough roads again and passed a couple of SAGS.  We were drafting off of a tandem with a single behind them but they were attempting to shake us.  They did on a hill but we caught up to them and as it seems, they were a very competitive bunch.  After we latched on and the single was leading while the tandem rested, the tandem made a break and we attempted to follow.  We dropped a timing chain...again.  This time it was the one connecting Dad's crank to Julie's crank.  We need some new chains on this thing, as they are getting a little saggy.  We passed them later on while they were at a SAG and never saw them again.  


   We stopped at the 62.5 mile point for a refill of aqua and Gatorade.  Natalie decided she wanted a Zebra Cake, a Little Debbie snack I hate.  They are NASTY!  Dad ate one too and we were out of there pretty fast as well.  We now had a Santana tandem drafting off of us all the way to Ponca City while we cruised at 23 mph.  When we arrived, we loaded up all of our stuff and hopped on the bike in search of the EconoLodge.  We found it easy enough and when we opened up the freezer, we found 7 burgers in freeze wrap containers.  But they were not frozen.  GROSS!  Natalie and I went up to the front desk to show them and their response was the general, "The cleaning ladies must have overlooked that."  And there is also a hole in the ceiling.  The shower (although it is clean) looked dirty because of their fake marble with black/gray swirl stuff occasionally spread around it.  If you're going white marble, go white marble, don't add that extra stuff because it does not look good.

Shadow picture!

The roads were really bad!

Waiting for the train

A bridge we went across

Natalie snarfing a Zebra Cake

We got in early! (Well, at least before 99% of everyone else)

Packing the bags

Natalie relaxing in the shade.

The frozen burgers

Hole in the ceiling

    We eventually got our sorry rear ends over to the school where the "banquet" was.  It was in the high school cafeteria and they served lasagna with salad, breadsticks and cake.  It was actually really good.  We ate with Bill and Dana who ride a Paketa.  Afterwards, we went to listen to the entertainment, an old geezer band.  It was terrible!  I really didn't like the style of music they played; it was about the time era from 1890 to 1940.  Maybe not that old but it was so weird.  They weren't too band for their age and style of music but everyone looked like they were bored to death.  Eventually (it couldn't come fast enough) we made it back to our motel and chilled out for awhile.  Nothing exciting has happened since we have arrived.  Until tomorrow, this is a llama lover, signing off.

Natalie, Julie, Dana

Bill, Me, Dad

The band

People watching

Entertaining ourselves


Julie is having fun

I don't know what's going on here

Getting ready to go back to the motel


Day 7

Ponca City to South Haven, KS- 36 miles

06/16/2012 Sat 39.1 Distance   17.8 Average  2:14 Ride Time  32.2 Max Speed

    This morning we woke up to a dark, rainy looking sky.  The radar on Julie's i-pod verified a vast storm coming in from the west.  After grabbing our gear and dumping it off at the truck, we were holed up in a Valero, waiting for the storm to pass.  After eating breakfast and checking the radar again, we rode 1 mile to another gas station.  We talked to some guy driving a SAG and decided to try to make it across what appeared to be a gap in the storm.  It was sprinkling slightly but it wasn't too bad...and then it started to rain.  Natalie put on a rain jacket but we rode out of the worst of it.  We stopped to hook up the intercom (we put it in the pack so it wouldn't get wet) and get the rain stuff off of Natalie.  The gnats were going crazy and attacking us but once we got on the road it was okay.  We went through a couple of different towns, one called Braman.  I would like to know who decided to name a town that but I'm not going to say anything else...

It's looking rainy...

Humongo windmill blades!

    So back to the ride, at one point we had some dude drafting us, on a flat.  We then decided to try to drop this guy.  We were racing at 30-31 miles an hour for more than 2 miles.  Eventually this guy dropped off and by that time we were really close to the Kansas border.  We had our picture taken by the Welcome to Kansas sign and rode the 3 miles to South Haven.  Mom showed up soon and Natalie and I went off in search of showers.  

    Our total mileage for the week came to 491.8 miles!

    On the way back home, we stopped at another Mexican restaurant.  

    The rest of the drive consisted of listening to music and watching Hawaii 5-0 shows.  


    Another tour comes to a close and in the words of Dorothy, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home."

State line

Welcome (back) to Kansas!

We were trying to teach dad how to do the "captain glasses"

He can't get his wrist back

You know the thing where you essentially flip your hands around from what dad's doing there (next picture over)?

Okay, just do it this way...