Tag Archives: Bicycling

Skywatch Friday – Horses and Skies

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I went on a bike ride the other day after work. I took a trail alongside a rural turnpike that has lots of hills and if I am lucky some good skywatch shots. I found these horses, they were not too friendly so I just have photos of their rear ends.

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Headed back, some clouds showed up and threatened rain. It didn’t.

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Another uncooperative horse in a pasture. We have had lots of rain and the grass is high and green.

I had a good outing of about 16 miles of some nice hills and good scenery. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – Tour de Tulsa 2019

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So Saturday morning found me in Tulsa’s Tour de Cure, a benefit ride sponsored by the Tulsa Bicycle Club. They have five rides varying in length between eight and 101 miles. This is a ride rather than a race. So there is no competition or awards or any of that. I’ve run literally dozens of runs but this was only my second ride. There starting gun. Everybody is just standing around talking and then they start going.

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Today’s ride was a ride of left turns in traffic starting right away. At least the first one we had traffic control with the police. The rest of them we were on our own.

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So we cruised down Southwest Boulevard (aka Route 66) for a bit, taking up both lanes.

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And then turned right over the railroad tracks and got on Avery Drive heading west past the refineries, trash to energy plants, oilfield fabrication shops. Avery Drive is a popular ride for bicyclists which is great but some of them get run off the road or hit every few years but angry or distracted people. My prayer was just to survive it.

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No worries though. The motorists were courteous and gave us lots of room. So I’ll live to ride it another day. My problem is that I ride almost exclusively trails on my own. Roads make me nervous.

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I got stressed when Avery drive ended and we had to do two left turns to negotiate the very busy high 97 and 51 intersections. No choice but to get in the left turn lane and ignore the freight truck behind me, twice.

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So after all that we got to a rest stop. Time to get something to drink and a snack and rest a little bit. That’s me, the fat guy with the white over blue shirt or jersey.

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And here is my old bike. You don’t see too many hybrid bikes on rides like this. Or bikes with rear view mirrors and a bell. Don’t you laugh at me!!

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And then back to it and we ended up winding our way through downtown Sand Springs. I was able to keep a few riders in front of me and they seemed to know the route because I didn’t see any obvious course markings or signs or anything.

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And we ended up on the Katy Trail that went most of the way back to Tulsa. No more city streets except the last mile or so.

The end is pretty low key. Since they don’t time or have awards, you just end your ride. Get something to eat and drink and go home.

I really enjoyed myself. Thank you to the sponsors, and organizers, and the army of volunteers who make these things happen.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Spring Skies in Tulsa

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Spring stepped up this week after weeks of cold. And so I took my bike on the RiverParks Trails after work. Here is a shadow selfie of me on my fifteen year old Giant at work.

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A little sunset action on the west bank of the Arkansas River.

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A view of the soon to be demolished Pedestrian Bridge. The powers that be decided we needed something fancier to fit in with our new Gathering Place Park.

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Same bridge only behind several varieties of redbuds. The white variety is actually still a redbud. Or so I am told.

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More redbuds!! And my old bike. People make fun of my bike because it is very old and heavy and not sleek and I have a bell and a mirror on it. They say get something newer and faster. Why, what is my hurry?

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And Monday, the Tulsa Drillers were playing an 11 am game. Well by gum, I have lots of vacation and a flexible type job so after clearing with my boss I went down a bought a ticket right behind home plate and watched me a baseball game!! No better way to spend a day. Actually if my son and wife with me it could be better. But they hate baseball, so never mind. You like my seat? The guy with the radar gun was six seats to my right. And then I went back to work after watching about six innings. I love daytime games.

Skywatch Friday – July Time

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A scene from a bike ride. I don’t really remember where. I go all sorts of places these days and I have my cheap trusy gopro clone clicking photos every 20 seconds. I only keep literally about 5 to 10% of them. A two ride is 360 photos. Typically 5 to 10 are keepers. The lens is terrible but I love the sky.

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Another photo from my gopro clone. This one is along the creek turnpike trail. Nice views, and hills, followed by hills, and then more hills.

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This photo is from the archives. I took it last year and I don’t know where. Nice sky though.And a dominating planter. It looks like a parking lot and I don’t know where.

Sorry, I am kind of boring. I have the back from vacation, back to work, its hot and humid blues. I ride my bike a lot though.

How about you? How is your summer going? How is your winter going to the many great bloggers who live in New Zealand and Australia?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Fitter and Fatter in 2018 Edition

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This is part of the Liberty trail, paralleling the Creek Turnpike for miles and miles.

It has been hot and humid here lately. Since I quit running I’ve been trying to replace the calories I spent in running with other things like bicycling. I love biking but it burns a fraction of the calories that running does for a given amount of time. I’ve been also taking stand up paddleboard classes and weight lifting classes. So far it is not working too well. Oh I am getting stronger alright and more fit but fatter as well by a slow an inexorable amount. I am thinking that I might have to start the most  effective exercise of all.

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We are getting rain and lots of sun, so everything is still lush.

Pushaways, you know where you push away from the table and eat less. Eating less is the most effective weight loss tool there is. Running only burns about 150 calories per mile or the calories in one slice of cheese or one beer. I’m trying to prove the first doctor I went to see wrong. She said, you know, for you, weight loss is an option. I’ve seen a million of you guys. You get injured, you quit running, and then get really fat, and can’t do anything. Believe or not, I loved it. I didn’t love it so much that I went back for more abuse (that I paid her for). I  got another doctor. He told me my “tread was think.” So I just quit running. I walk, bike, elliptical machines, weight lifting classes, and walk a lot.

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I rode by this freshly mowed pasture, where often I see horses and I got a bad allergy attack. Everything was hurting especially my eyes. So I turned around and went back home. Everything turned out okay. Strange.

Biking has turned into my first love though. I love exploring and going different places and taking pictures.

How about you? What is going on with you?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Shadow Shot Sunday – Shelter from the Sun

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It’s getting hot here in Oklahoma and so shade is at a premium.

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My favorite pedestrian bridge has a quarter mile of shade across the Arkansas River.

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And how about a shadow selfie of me riding my bike?

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At work we have a fancy ramada that provides partial shade. Partial shade doesn’t cut it when it is really hot. I used the hyperspektiv app to give it a glitchy look. I love glitchy.

I’m linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

My First Bicycling Event – Tulsa Tour de Cure 2018

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Saturday morning I participated in my first ever bicycling event, The Tulsa Tour de Cure , a fund raiser for the the American Diabetes Association. It is a ride, not a race and so the vibe was friendly and loose. I’m okay with friendly and loose.

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So no race, means no timing. The announcer said lets go and everybody kind of moseyed out. I waited and moseyed out pretty close to last.

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There they go! We had a police escort the first six or seven miles which was handy. We were on two lane city and county roads with lots of stop lights and the police waved us through the lights.

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About eight miles in we came to the first rest stop. And did I need it. The weather was hot and sticky so I downed a bottle of water and several cups of gatorade and a half of a banana and off I went again.

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The ride was hilly and windy. It took me a while to get used to riding on the road and having cars and trucks passing me. The drivers were cautious and there was only one that I thought got a little close for my comfort.  I pretty much do all my riding on trails which is great but after a while you want different routes. If I decide to ride roads I’m going to get me some front and rear led safety lights. Many of the riders had them and it really made them stand out a long ways away in broad daylight.

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I finished and had another bottle of water and a snack and then a couple of cold beers. Lunch was catered by Naples Flatbread and it was great. I had a turkey guac wrap and it was good. The finish came just in time. I have never cramped during a foot race but I felt it coming on during this event along with a general just feeling zapped. And my butt hurt big time. I’ve had biking shorts before and they don’t seem to help.

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And here is the shirt. I used a cartoon app that opens up in selfie mode. For some reason it does a mirror image. Oh well.

So this place hit all the buttons for a great event.

Great cause – check
Multiple events – check – they had various bike rides and a run and a walk. Something for everybody.
Support – check – the Broken Arrow police were plentiful and very helpful. Their were several trucks patrolling the course and I noticed that they hauled several riders in who were having problems with the heat.
Facilities – check – lots of tents for shade and portapotties
Rest stops – two of them with water, gatorade, snacks.
Friendliness – lots of gabbing going on.
Beer – check!
Food – check
Extras – check – they had a guy who could really sing perform the National Anthem and the Muskogee Creek Tribe provided a color guard. That was very cool.

So a great event. Thanks to the American Diabetes Association, the volunteers, the fellow riders, sponsors, and everybody else associated with the event.

Here is a relive trace of the run. Relive is very flattering because their videos are designed to meet the one minute Instagram video limit so it makes one look like he was hauling butt the whole way and doesn’t reflect the struggle into the winds up the hills. I love relive.

Relive ‘Tulsa Tour de Cure Bike Race’

And here is the Garmin version showing the struggle up the hills, into the wind, the dawdling at the rest stops, the extreme gearing down.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Riding the Osage Prairie Trail and Checking out Movie Locations

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Earlier this week, I took my bicycle up to Skiatook, Oklahoma and rode about ten miles of the Osage Prairie Trail. It is on the roadbed of the now defunct Midland Valley Railroad. Being an old railroad, the grades are very easy and the route very straight. I love it though because you ride through old farm and ranch country away from the roads. Sometimes I see deer and other wildlife and always lots of birds. The other night there were lots of birds, no deer, but a couple of snakes crossing the roadway. Hmm, a thought just popped into my head. How come snakes always go across trails and never along trails? Let me know if you have the answer. Okay I’ll get back on track.

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The trail goes right through the town of Sperry. So what you say?

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This is what. This a former shooting location for the movie “The Outsiders” based on S.E. Hinton’s book of the same name. A coming of age novel set in Tulsa in the late 50’s-early 60’s. It was shot in Tulsa back in the early 1980’s. I don’t think it is used for anything these days. Check the image here.

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Right across the street is another shooting location for the film.

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So much for Hollywood. A little further along I come across this scene of a workover rig on an old well well. The rig has been up for quite a while and I am not actually sure they are working on it. Most activities in the oil field go on pretty much 24 hours a day. The way oil and gas wells are, if you lose a day’s production, you don’t make it up until the back end of the of well’s life which could be years away because you can’t double up to make up so producers end up being pretty demanding with their service providers. Speaking as a service provider.

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The trail has several grade crossings of local roads. Best to slow down before you get there so you don’t get run over. That would ruin my whole day. I don’t know about you.

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I passed a big group of people walking on the track. I love that kind of stuff. You know, getting out and actually talking to each other and exercising. Great stuff.

Relive ‘Biking the Osage Prairie Trail’

A video of my little almost 20 mile jaunt.  Be thinking about me Saturday. I am participating in my first biking event. A 24 mile race. I expect to finish dead last in my big heavy cruiser bike. My goal is finishing.

Shadow Shot Sunday – Evening Ride to Sand Springs

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I am really enjoying riding my bike. I couldn’t do it Monday or Tuesday because I had to pick the kid up from work and Wednesday Heather and I went to the Alison Krauss – Willie Nelson concert. (Heck of a show those two put on I tell you.) So Thursday was it. I have a go pro type cheap clone that I mount on the handlebars of my bike. I had it set to take a photo every 20 seconds so above is an action shot of my filling my water bottle. You can tell from the long shadow of the tree that it was already getting late in the day.

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The winds were supposed to pick up from the north so I opted for an east west route to Sand Springs and back on the MK&T trail. A converted railroad line. Straight as an arrow and easy grades. It doesn’t get much use and has several road crossings but they are easily crossed.

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Here is a sign shadow, with a lens flare.

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And here is an action shadow selfie of me pressing the crosswalk button like a nerd. A bicyclist who knows what he is doing just goes out there in traffic. I plan on living a few more years and I am hoping that being a nerd furthers that cause.

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And an extra long shadow selfie on the trail. Below is a brief video of my ride.

Relive ‘After work ride to Sand Springs’

So what have you been up to lately?

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday