Tag Archives: Bicycling

First Bike Ride of the Year

My employer had a few events during Earth Week and one of them was a presention from a couple people from the The Tulsa Hub (check them out, they do lots of good stuff. They are trying to change lives through bicycling) about basic maintenance on bicycles. I’ve had mine for a few years now and have not done anything so I paid attention and even asked a few questions about several things especially, chain maintenance. I’ve had my bike for several years now and have not done anything besides air up the tires since. So I went to the store and bought the degreaser and the chain oil and got some rags and cleaned and oiled both my bike and Heather’s. Last Sunday I decided to go out for a ride. Heather couldn’t go so I went by myself.

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We live within a mile of a part of Tulsa’s extensive bike path system so I rode my bike from the house over there and made my way east to the Liberty Trail in Broken Arrow paralleling the Creek Turnpike Extension. The Liberty Trail passes very close to my MIL’s house and I have walked over to her house about three times so far. It’s about seven miles so it is not a bad walk at all. One of these days Heather and I will ride our bikes to her house.

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I only stopped to rest once on my leg out. I liked this tree and I liked the water fountain. A miscalculation on my part was not enough water. I brought a water bottle but I thought there was more water available along the path than what there turned out to be. I have a hydration pack that holds 1.5 liters. I might bring that, in addition to a bigger water bottle next time I ride this route.

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And here is a shadow selifie of me at the halfway point. Tired and thirsty.

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I did a little more sightseeing on the way back. I stopped to take a photo of the horse. He (I guess it is a he) walked up to me seeming pretty friendly. He let me rub his nose for a little bit.

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Nice horse but I had to go.

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And I saw this little thing out in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea what it is about. There are lots of roadside memorials in Tulsa in memory of people who died in car accidents but they generally have some information about who the person is.

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Stopped near the end to take this photo. I have taken this shot many times but what I liked about this was that the sun was low enough that the reflections actually illuminated the bottom of the bridge.  Yeah, sorry, I like stuff like that.

Anyway, I got home very tired and thirsty. Just shy of 25 miles. Not bad for an old guy who hasn’t ridden since September. Time to rehydrate with a couple craft beers and a gallon or two of water.

I am linking with “Our World Tuesday

River Parks Ride with Heather

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Heather and I went on a bike ride today on Tulsa’s wonderful River Parks trails along the Arkansas River.

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We started on the east bank and went north a ways. (“A ways” is how we say things in Oklahoma, just so you know.)

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That was about a mile and then we went across the west bank across our brand spanking new pedestrian bridge with emergency call stations every 50 yards or so.

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And then headed down south past the PSO Tulsa Power Station.

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Not as many people on the west side of the river compared to the east side. It is a lot more remote with fewer access points.

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Heather kept the pace up even though she said she said her legs were dead. She teaches Zumba classes a few times a week. I’d be dead myself.

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I injured myself in a Labor Day run but I guess that I’m cured. My knee doesn’t hurt at all any more. Don’t tell Heather or I’ll have to vacuum or mow the yard or something. Can you keep a secret? Yeah, well I can’t either.

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Anyway, we got about 15.5 miles. My garmin shows a half mile less but I didn’t get it started until we started the ride.

You know, I think a 15 mile plus or minus is a good ride. So we celebrated by going to a frozen yogurt place. And then home to watch the Cowboys lose to the Giants. Heather cleaned house because she didn’t know about my miraculously cured knee that you promised you wouldn’t tell her about.

So, what did you do Sunday afternoon.

Bike Ride to Sand Springs and a Blowout

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I was on my own Saturday afternoon. Heather is in Dallas with other fitness instructors learning all sorts of stuff and son Logan at rehearsal as has a small part in musical based on Romeo Juliet (more to come later on that) so I thought what the heck I will ride my bike over the recently reopened bridge linking the Tulsa bike trails with those of Sand Springs. Also, I wanted to use my GoPro camera clone. An SJ4000 that I’ve had over a year and half and hadn’t used much. See it mounted on the handlebars of my bike.

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Here I am adjusting it.

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Us guys know that looking at something sideways always helps with whatever you are doing.

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I finally got it going. It can take video continuously or it can take photos when you hit the button or it can take pics at set intervals. I had it set to take pics every 20 seconds. Once you get it started it just keeps on going.

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So I got to the north end of the of the Riverparks trails and went under the freeway via the new underpass headed to the reopened pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks. The bridge has been closed for several years it seems.

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And here is the bridge, just as narrow as I remembered it. The approach from the south is a lot better with more room but the exit at the far end is still a blind turn and very sharp. Oh well. As a bonus a train was going under just as I passed over. Have I ever told you that I love trains. I do.

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And then across the bridge and then along Charles Page Boulevard to Sand Springs. 

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Past the Tulsa Police Department garage. Lots of wrecked police cars there. Makes me think of the guys who keep us safe. I am totally behind Black Lives Matter but am also totally behind Police Lives Matter also. Shoot, everybody’s life matters. You may notice the photo is tilted. The bicycle mounts that come with the the SJ4000 are not very robust. I might have to invest in something better. They lose position with the jostling and vibration of the ride.

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Oops, I used to ride this route a lot years ago when the bridge was last open. I forgot about the steep climb from the Arkansas River Bottom up the hill. I didn’t have to walk the bike.

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At the top though there were two other bikes and this walker all hit the intersection at the same time so we all turned into walkers. They guy walking said, “What a ***** traffic jam you guys have going on, in a good natured manner. I turned to the left. Going to the right heads you back to Tulsa and you go past back side of the jail and then by the Day Center for the Homeless. Years ago, I took that route and a couple drunk guys outside the Homeless Center were cheering me on: “Go Lance Go!!!” they yelled and pumping their arms.  That was kind of the highlight of my athletic career. I went by there a couple of other times and they weren’t there. You know, fans are fickle. Just ask Lance.

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Hanging a left, the trail is an old railroad bed. So it is flat and shaded in a few places. 

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You have a few roads to be concerned about.

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Oops, the camera shifted again.

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I met a few bikers coming back at me.

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I had a three hour window and so my plan was to turn around after an hour. Give me an hour leeway in case something went wrong. With Heather out of town and having to pick Logan up at a set time after rehearsal I was a little nervous. So here is the one hour point where I stopped the bike and took a little water break. Oh, and don’t worry I wore a helmet. I just took it off during my break.

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So then I headed back and pretty soon the bike was like bonk, bonk, bonk, It is like what? Well the front tire had a little hernia. So I said well, I’ll just ride it until it quits. And then I thought that last time I had a blowout it was on the back tire and I almost lost control. Not good on the front tire. So I got off the bike and walked it and sure enough, POW!!! and it was all over. So, now what?? Hmm, my plan was to stash the bike and get an Uber or a taxi back to my car.

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I didn’t see a good place to stash the bike on the trail so I went under a freeway overpass. 

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So see that white fence leading to a concrete wall? I walked the bike and put it up against the wall. Hidden from traffic and no sidewalks or anything. Best I could do.

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Yep, that is the spot. I didn’t lay it down, I leaned it up so it was all shadowed. I was a little nervous. Then I went across the street  to the Taco Bueno, found out that there were no Ubers available so I called Yellow Taxi. About 15 minutes later, Enrico showed up in the Taxi  and took me back to my car. I drove my car back out to the Taco Bueno and my bike was still there. So I loaded it up and went to pick up the kid with 15 minutes to spare.

Pretty amazing I think. Just think how different things are now compared to when we didn’t have cell phones and apps and all that.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. My camera, with its 20 second timer, took 240 photos and I cut them down to about 30. Digital is a lot more convenient and cheaper than film. Maybe next time I’ll cu cut the interval down to five seconds. The camera is pretty noticeable and I had a couple of pretty female bicyclists smile and wave at it as they went by (surely they weren’t smiling and waving at me!). I passed a couple geocachers looking for a cache. And lots of other people. None of them showed up on the camera.

So, all in all, not a bad day it turned out. I got to visit an area of town I hadn’t seen in a long time, check out my camera, and was able to bail myself out of a situation.

Never Quit is Our Motto

Sunday afternoon and the kid is going to a pool party after church and a friend of his is going to give him a ride to the event. Okay, well the lawn needs mowed, paper work needs to be papered, and house worked needs to be house worked but you know it is a beautiful day so lets go bike riding!! The plan is to go the Blue Rose parking lot on the River and go north and then cross the river and head down south and take a side trip on the Cherry Creek trail. Okay lets go.

Alrighty, I air up the tires and install the bike carrier and load the bikes. Logan’s friend shows up and off they go and so off we go!! We get there unload the bikes put our safety gear on and head off and the about three miles into it, BOOM!!!, my rear tire basically blows up into shreds. Oops, so we walk back to the nearest parking lot. Heather takes off on her bike to the car and meets me at the skate park parking lot. In the meantime I’m doing the Google maps search and bingo, Tom’s Bicycles, where I bought the bike, is open on Sunday.

We head over there and they fit me out with a new tire and a new battery for my cycling computer. (You gotta have all your instrumentation instrumenting if you know what I mean). So we load everything up and head back to the river to resume our ride.  I have a to tell you that I love Tom’s Bicycles. They are a throwback to another era in a great way. They really are interested in getting you up and going rather than marketing a bunch of stuff at you. At the same time, they have everything you will ever need.

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We gear up again and head on down the trail. 

And whoops! guess what, Heather gets a call from the kid. His ride left the party a while ago and Logan needs a ride home. Yep,this was about a half mile into our second ride. 

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So we turn around and head back to the car and head off to south Tulsa. It is obvious that a high power does not want us on the River Trails today.

So we pick up the kid and he is all excited, talking about the party and getting lay out by the pool and the food, yes, he liked the food. Okay okay kid. So we get him home and we briefly think maybe forget it. And I’m looking at the grass that needs mowed, and the paper worked that needs done, and Nah, lets try it again.

And so off we go again, except this time we go the Creek Turnpike trail. Not as pretty as the  Arkansas River, but a lot closer, and hilly, oh so hilly that we have not rode it in years but you know what we could handle the hills. We have 21 speed bikes for a reason. We could handle the cross roads, another reason that we don’t ride Creek Turnpike despite being so close to the house. We ended up with a 14 mile ride and a big sense of accomplishment.

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So we set a family record of three bike rides in the same day. I am not looking to break that record.