Bike Trip Day 12 – 7/31/11 – Woodward, OK to Watonga, OK

Start:  Woodward, OK

Finish: Watonga, OK

Weather:  100 degrees, sunny

Bike Time: 7 hours

Miles:  76

Distance to date: 834

This was the most uneventful day of the trip; riding from early morning to early afternoon through the landscape of a Hollywood Western with a mid-morning break for barbeque and a cinnamon bun at the My Way Café in Seiling.  The first half of the ride was glorious, the second half scorching hot.  Every few miles I took a short water break under the scant shade of a roadside tree and coasted on those rare occasions when a cloud threw the blacktop into shade.  Being Sunday morning, I had long stretches without vehicles, just my own quiet on the road.  As I travelled south and more trees appeared the cicadas nesting in them chirped along the breeze.

At one point I stopped at the crest of a rise and looked back towards Woodward.  To my surprise, the wind turbines I passed yesterday were still in full view across the horizon – over 50 miles away!

I arrived in Watonga by two, a dusty oil town without so much as a motel with a pool or Internet access.  But my room at the
Watonga Inn was quiet and cool, so I took comfort in that.  Outside my room is a pair of giant azaleas where more cicadas chant.  First one, then another, building to a shrill cacophony.
It is deafening.  Until, without notice or reason, they fall silent together.  The silence rings louder than the noise, until they start up again.

A few people have asked what I carry.  My organization is simple; I travel lighter than any other touring cyclist I have
met.  I have the two smallest waterproof Arkel saddlebags (aka panniers), which clip on to the heavy rack attached to my rear wheel.

I hang my ‘dry’ pannier on the chain side of the bike. It includes my netbook and mouse and all my clothes – one pair of microfiber pants, one pair of microfiber shorts, one black nylon t-shirt, one Columbia sunshade collar shirt, two pairs of rinsable underwear, and five pair of cycling socks.  I wear my cycling shorts, bright yellow shirt and NewBalance 835’s when I ride, but picked up two additional cycling shirts and a Courage Classic T-shirt in Denver, which I don’t need but carry anyway.  At the top of the pannier, easily accessible, I keep my baseball hat and rain poncho.

My ‘wet’ pannier hangs on the dismount side of my bike, where I can get at it during the day.  This includes four zip lock bags –
one each for toiletries/first aid, snacks, maps, and bike repair items such as tubes, lights, chain lube, patch kit, universal allen wrench, saddle soap and rag.  I also keep two one-liter water
bottles in this pannier plus my book and camera and phone chargers.  I keep my sunscreen and my active state map in the open pocket of this pannier.

The back of every cycling shirt has three pockets.  I keep my wallet, camera, phone, bike lock key, and lip gloss in those
pockets.  I have two more one liter water bottles mounted on my bike, as well as my lock, tire pump, and odometer.

That is all there is to it.

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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3 Responses to Bike Trip Day 12 – 7/31/11 – Woodward, OK to Watonga, OK

  1. Sherri McCutchen says:

    Ride on!

  2. Paul Lewis says:

    Interesting how much gear you’re riding with (by necessity, of course). All that weight and all that distance and all that heat. As my people say — oy veh!

    • It feels like a lot of drag,and yet I am carrying less than anyone else I have seen! So far, i have too many clothes, but as it gets cooler (if it gets cooler) I will need them.

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