Tag Archives: Bicycling

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

Skywatch Friday – Mid May 2018 Edition

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Well May is well on its way and it has certainly warmed up around here and it is about time.

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I apologize but I am going to bombard you yet again with a barrage of action cam shots from my bicycle rides. I have ridden over 200 miles this Spring. I do it every chance I can. I love it and it is a lot easier on the knees than running was. It is not near as good for cardiovascularwise. It is hard to get your heart rate up.

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Heather has joined me a lot also. She teaches Zumba and other exercise classes so often times she rides after teaching two or three classes and she is still ready to ride a bunch of miles.

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On one of my rides, I got to the literal “End of the Trail.” Most trails end a little more gracefully than this. The end at a road or something. Oh well.

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Lets get out of the sun for a little bit and head to Tulsa’s beautiful Woodward Park. The azaleas were in bloom recently. The park’s shrubs got freeze damaged a few years ago so they are re-establishing the vegetation and doing a very good job of it in my opinion. It is not up to what it used to be but it is on its way.

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I know nothing about flowers, and blooms but I know what I like. It was opportunity for me to practice what I learned about depth of field and making have a “soft” background.

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More practice!

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The season doesn’t seem to last too long and the strong winds that we have been very hard on the blooms.

What have you been up to lately?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday!

Shadow Shot Sunday – Riverside Ride

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This Friday was my 9/80 day. I work 80 hours over nine days and get every other Friday off. I love it!! Been doing it for years despite criticism at work sometimes for taking off all my 9/80s. Yeah well duh. Anyway Heather and I wanted to go on a bike ride today. For a while it seemed like the very air was conspiring against us but it all worked out and we loaded up the bikes and headed off to the River Parks. Then, my bike had a little problem. A problem with the brakes. Believe me, if you are having a problem with your bicycle you do not want it to be your brakes. So I spent about fifteen minutes trying to fix them and suceeded. Yeah!!

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And here is my very patient wife. All ready to go, waiting on her husband.

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And off we went! First down a very nice rails to trails path that cuts through a very nice area of midtown Tulsa.

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And then because of some park construction we got out on a street. It was a beautiful, sunny, cool day, with hardly any wind (8 mph is hardly any wind in Oklahoma, just so you know). As you can see we had some nice shadows all day long.

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And then we got to the RiverParks trails. We love them. They have separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians

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Heather led the way back to the car.

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We got back to the end and had a reward. There is a brewery taphouse on the trail so we enjoyed a craft beer before the ride home.

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Last Skywatch Post of April 2018 – Osage Prairie Trail

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Last week I took my bicycle up north of Tulsa to the “Osage Prairie Trail” a rails to trail project  that starts in north Tulsa and goes to Skiatook, way out in the country. I started in Sperry and went about five miles north to Sperry. The trail is deluxe, asphalt paved and well maintained.

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I got some geocaching in on the way. How do you like my stylish outfit? I found that garish yellow top at Walmart for about seven bucks. Don’t feel bad if you don’t like it cuz I like it just great! Along with my mismatched socks. Where’s the law that says your socks have to match? There isn’t one, I already checked!

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I love this bridge across Bird Creek.

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I got to Skiatook and everybody in town was taking an exercise class.  I felt like jumping in myself but they were just finishing up. I love community stuff like that. Except community sounds like communism. We don’t like communism here in Oklahoma, so I am glad I didn’t join this communistic exercise program. People need to be in there own homes watching Fox News and checking you know who’s twitter feed. Not out in the sun getting skin cancer and getting to know your possibly leftist, immigrant, non gun owning  neighbors.

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Enough about politcs. How about some cows? These are my wife’s cousin’s herd out in western Oklahoma. I love the calves especially. I always name one of them “Little Brisket.”

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I went riding along the Arkansas River after work earlier this week during a pretty day. I am loving riding my bike this Spring!!

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And it is Azalea season here in Tulsa. Here is a house in midtown that I just love. Look at the blooms, and the windows.

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And I have a volunteer gig with the city of Tulsa picking up “litter on a stick” signs. I’ve picked up 17 so far. Within days of getting trained, me and my fellow 61 volunteers picked up over 500 trash signs off city rights of way. I’m all official now. I have a city ID Badge with my photo on it and some “cop gloves” to help protect from sabotaged signs. (Not yet in Tulsa but apparently in other cities the people who have put out litter on a stick signs have superglued razor blades to the wire frames.” The gloves will come in handy for geocaching also. On my bike ride on the Osage Prairie Trail I went looking for a cache called something like “In the hole” and I found the hole in the tree and as I went to inspect it, a snake slithered out! So as we say in the energy biz, I plugged and abandoned that cache, figuratively. I am just glad that I didn’t stick my hand in there, even though the slithery critter did not appear to be poisonous.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday this week.

Springtime Skywatching

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After a long winter of short days and featureless skies we are having lots of skywatchable skies these days. The longer warmer days means that I am outside more and we are having a little weather and unfortunately the many grass fires in western Oklahoma adds a tinge to the air here in northeast Oklahoma.

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On the advice of my doctor I have quit running and am riding my bike a lot. So far over 200 miles this year. (I am not bragging, I know several bikers who more than that on a weekend.) Most of the time when I am riding I have my Go Pro clone camera working. I alternate rides between video and stills.

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It is very low fidelity with medioce specs but I don’t mind.

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Another bicycle selfie. I always try and save one from each ride.

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Anyway I am sure enjoying being outside in the fresh air. And some of the trails allow me see some rural Oklahoma scenes. I posted this photo in Instagram. Speaking of which, if you are an instagrammer consider following me. I’ll follow back. My handle is @yogiab. You can see a little of my feed in the right sidebar.

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I took this with my cell phone. I spent some time trying to make it look better but you sometimes you just have to go with the plain version. Not that it is a great or even good photograph, I just like the contrast during the golden hour between the building and darker sky.

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I even had a geocaching opportunity on one of my rides. I didn’t find it but I found this cool “Posted, Keep Out Signs. I don’t know why the sign is so high in the air. I have a feeling that if I could figure out how to get up to the sign, that is where the cache might be. I know the guy that hid it and he is evil. I didn’t spend too much time looking for it I needed to get back to my car before dark.

How about you, is the weather changing good or bad for your Skywatching?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Bike Ride on the River Video

I have not run since November last year when my doctor advised that I limit myself to just 5K’s and other short runs. He told me that my “tread was thin” and to take it easy. So I have walked a lot but not run. Instead I am riding my bicycle a lot more. At least once a week if the weather is halfway decent.

Here is a video I made of a recent ride up and down the Arkansas River here in Tulsa. A distance of about 15.5 miles. The entire ride probably took about an hour and a half but my off brand gopro ran out of juice so I probably got about 10 miles in. I edited it down to about 6 minutes and you can speed it up even further by hitting the gear looking “settings” icon on the lower right corner of the video, clicking “speed” and you should be able to double the speed and halve the time.

Video is a lot different from photo files. Mainly in the size of the files you use and how long it takes to upload. I record the videos in 3 minute segments in my off brand go pro and then splice them together with iMovie on my cell phone. It takes a while to move the files from the camera to the phone, and then from the phone to YouTube. I am figuring out that speeding up the video speed earlier in the process can speed things up. IMovie can only speed it up by two. I’m experimenting with an app called Splice that can speed it up by a factor of six. Not all videos need to be speeded up but I am trying to create a time lapse effect.

Anyways I know watching six minute video is painful so of course bail out anytime. If you have any helpful hints that would be great.

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.