Tag Archives: Bicycling

Bicycles, Bridges, and Skies

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I went on a ride on Tulsa’s Riverparks trails the other day. It was hot but I had lots of water and you know when you ride you make your wind. I stopped at the Gathering Place and checked out the new pedestrian bridge under construction. It is going to be done sometime next spring. I’m looking forward to it. It has it’s own web site here.

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Here’s the old bridge from the other side of the river here. It was a railroad bridge up until the 60’s or so and then was later converted to pedestrian bridge. When the Gathering Place was done, the city suddenly decided the old bridge was unsafe and proceeded to tear it down. Many of us felt a little played but I’m not too upset. I think the real reason was that the low water dam just downstream was obsolete and was being replaced. I think the construction of the new dam would destabilize the old bridge. So that is why I’m okay with the new bridge plus it will tie-in better, than trying to make the old bridge work, to the Gathering Place on the east side of the river.

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Also looking across the river is Tulsa Power Station. An old natural gas powered electric generating plant still in service. It hardly ever runs.

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From the other side of the river looking downtown here is where I worked for years before I retired.

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And of course I have to take pictures of construction equipment. This is working on the riverbed. It looks like they are putting up structures in the river. The construction site is protected by a huge cofferdam as the bridge and the new dam are built.

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And about a mile upstream is one of my favorite views, looking at the arches on the 21st street bridge.

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And five or six miles downstream photos of some of my fellow bicyclers. This woman has an ebike. They are pretty popular. I know people of average fitness that can go 50 or 60 miles on them. They’d be nice to have but I like something that doesn’t plug in.

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And a conventional road bike. Lots of really in-shape people on the river!

And here is my bike. A hybrid type with a big soft seat and big tires. I’m looking for a smooth ride.

I’m linking to Skywatch Friday. Come join in!!

Skywatch Friday – Outside Time!

I got it all on this week’s post, Gardening, Hiking, Bicycling, A Plea for Help, and a Musical Finale! Are you ready? Lets get started!!

Earlier this week I went to Turkey Mountain. We’ve had a lot of rain and they want people to stay off the trails when its muddy. Kind of like your Great Aunt Grace telling you to stay on the plastic runners. Or at least that’s what my Great Aunt Grace would tell me. Anyway I first checked the Monarch Waystation. Lots of green stuff there and few blooms.

I’m no butterfly but if I were I guess I would be digging into whatever these flowers had to offer. My botanical ID skills are woeful. I do know that these are yellow blooms. Enough Gardening, and now Hiking!!

And then I got back in my car and drove up to the upper parking lot. Ordinarily the I would have gone up the trail but I was rationing my energy because the temperature was over 90F and the head index was almost 110F. Anyway, I started down the Snake Trail to go explore the NW side and see if there were any new trails out that way.

The Snake Trail is pretty decent. When I take first time visitors to Turkey Mountain, before the new trails were started, I took them on Snake because it was relatively flat and not very technical (in other words breaking your ankle was unlikely). Turkey is going to have a mixture of old and new trails. The terrible erosion prone, non sustainable trails will be blocked off to allow the ground to heal.

I got up close to the YMCA and headed east and soon came to some new trail that I had not seen yet. So I jumped on it and went a couple hundred yards or so and saw that it was not yet open. I thought it looked a little rough. Anyway I got off it and got on a parallel old trail.

I emerged on what is called the Powerline Trail and went back to the parking lot. Powerline is difficult. It gets kind of technical and really steep and has several false ridges. I guess you could call it Heartbreaker as well. It is in full sun which makes it extra fun on a hot sunny day. But hey I made it. I guess you already figured that out because I wrote this post.

And now the Bicycling Segment!!

Thursday morning, I got up, skipped yoga and took my bike out on the other side of the Arkansas River to ride the paved trails. That hill you see on the other side of the river is Turkey Mountain. Don’t be giggling or laughing at the Mountain. We don’t have too many in Tulsa.

On the south end of the RiverParks trails is a Native American Tribal owned casino. The trail squeezes in betweenn casino and the river. Somebody, maybe the tribe has been doing some “Riparian Mitigation” on the riverbank and it is bearing fruit. I never noticed these trees before. I love it.

On the north end I stopped at the south end of the Gathering Place. With better weather people are taking their toddlers there and they let the kids migrate into the bike lanes. I don’t blame them, they are new to the trails and don’t understand. Anyway, when the new people I just cut my ride short and go back. Better than risking hitting somebody. But I stopped and smelled the roses

Do I look like I need help? Well I do!! Come volunteer at the Tulsa Ironman race on May 22nd.

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Last year I volunteered on the running segement on Sunday afternoon. It was fun and easy. I just handed out water and gatorade to the racers for several hours. These men and women are amazing athletes. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition gets paid for the volunteer hours they provide to the event. Check here to get more info if you are interested.

And the musical section of this mess of a post. Featuring a hot mess herself, Miranda Lambert. I got her new album Palomino and am loving it. She is a good singer and has quite the sense of humor.

That’s about it folks. I guess I had some sky photos in here somewhere. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in!!

Skywatch Friday – Different Ways of Catching Rays!!

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Sunset a few weeks ago captured with the drone.

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And an opposite sunset looking to the northeast

I’ve rediscovered “tiny planet” apps. They take a photo and wrap it around itself.

I went on a bike ride on a glorious, windy, sunny, kind of cool Wednesday. I took the Katy Trail from Tulsa to Sand Springs to avoid the mobs of spring breakers on the RiverParks trails. It’s an old railroad that has been converted to a trail.

And a vantage from a high spot.

And turned 45 degrees to the refinery across the Arkansas River.

A late afternoon skywatch shot. After weeks of boring skies I’ve been busy.

A sunrise early in the morning.

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And the old drone pilot himself.

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We had a full worm moon on Wednesday with just a very light screen of clouds in front of it. I love full moons.

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I am continuing to do jigsaw puzzles on my ipad. I love them. I love this Caribbean scene.

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And this street scene. It takes me days to do these things. I don’t mind though it is very relaxing.

Anybody else getting their vitamin D on. I love being outside so much.

I’m linking to Skywatch Friday. Come check it out. Lots of great posts from bloggers all over the place.

Skywatch Friday – The Sun! At Last!

The cold, sleet, ice, and snow went away so we have been able to go outside and it is liberating. I’ve been on a couple bike rides. I’ve been retired for a year and a half and I still feel guilty taking off on a bike ride in the middle of a weekday afternoon. Most days feel like the first day of summer vacation when I was a kid. They days are just full of possibilities.

Oklahoma history is different. One of my recent bike rides took me by this old cemetery in the middle of suburbia in south Tulsa. It is the Rentie Grove Cemetery named after the family that owned the property. The Renties were freed black people who were slaves owned by Creek Indians who brought them along to Oklahoma when the Creeks were forced to leave the southeastern Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears.

We’ve been taking on our dogs on daily walks during not too bad weather. We have a one mile route that takes them by many of their “friends.” They and the friends give each other a good barking. A side benefit is good views of the skies with trees. Yep, powerlines but hey that’s part of it.

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With the better weather I’ve been launching the drone more. This is a sunset at 50 meters.

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And this was another day with a lower elevation. No, I wasn’t spying on the neighbors. I just liked the view of the sky.

I’m crazy about Route 66. It’s quite a history of the country and Oklahoma has more Route 66 mileage than any other state. This is a sculpture installation on the Riverparks Trails called “Where East Meets West” showing the conflicts between the old and the new, horse drawn wagons vs new fangled gas powered cars.

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I am seeing a ton of homeless people in Tulsa these days. From what I understand it is a nationwide thing. I don’t have any answers but am glad to know that Tulsa is decriminalizing homelessness. If you call the police non-emergency line they will send out people to try and get people services rather than just rousting them out or putting them in jail.

My mother-in-law gave me a camera that my father-in-law owned. It is a 1960’s model Pentax SLR. It doesn’t work but I took it to a good camera shop and the guy said it looked like it is stuck mid-cycle. He was going to have the mechanic look at it and give me a call let me know if it can fixed.

I’m hoping it can. My father gave me his Canon film camera from the 60’s and I love the feel and heft of it and the action is smooth as silk. I have high hopes for this Pentax.

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I finished another jigsaw puzzle on my ipad. I’m really slow at these things and I love working them and love the finished photos. When you finish it the puzzle lines vanish and you can save the image.

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I am thinking and praying for the Ukraine.

That is it for this week’s Skywatch post. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Check it out!!

Closing Out 2021

I love the time between Christmas and New Years Day. The days leading up to Christmas are all in a rush especially if somebody in the family gets ill. Afterwards you can relax a little bit hopefully. I took advantage of one bright, sunny, day and went on a bike ride.

One of my favorite trails is alongside a turnpike on one side and fields and farms on the other. I ran into a mutt and jeff combination of horses.

You got the little one, all cute and fuzzy.

And the older one, both looking for something better to eat than the dry grass on offer.

I got to the end and rested a bit in the shadow of a billboard.

When I came home, this guy was waiting for me. iNaturalist tells me that this is a Coopers Hawk. He was using our mailbox as an observation perch. We have lots of squirrels and bunnies in the neighborhood and he was looking to eat one of those cute little critters.

Hey you know, cute little critters don’t live forever and hawks have to eat to right?

Are you on instagram? If so, are we following each other? My handle is @yogiab. These are my top nine posts for the year. I love instagram.

Do you live close to Tulsa? Come join in the First Day Hike and Scavenger Hunt on Turkey Mountain. It was supposed to be New Year’s Day but we postponed it until Saturday, January 8th from 8 am to 5 pm. Check out this facebook post for the details. We are hiding the above repurposed jewel boxes for people to find. They are going to have various Turkey Mountain stickers and key rings to find. There are also going to be a bunch of tee shirts hidden on the trails for people to find.

Do you like the cd cases. I repurposed them and designed and printed new covers and the liner notes are the Leave No Trace seven principles. I hope that I am not spoiling the surprise. The RiverParks Authority posted the photo on their website so I figured I can post my own photo on my site.

That’s about it for now. I wish everybody a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2022. Take Care!

I am linking with the following memes. They are all fun so check them out!!

Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen.

Shadow Shot Sunday 2 hosted by the Magical Mystery Teacher.

And Our World Tuesday hosted by Lady Fi

Our World – Beaching Good Times

Heather and I are on vacation this week. We are down in Orange Beach on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It’s our happy place.

Here’s my bride during our bicycling adventure at Gulf State Park. We rode 16 miles and it was great. Hardly any other people and some great trails.

It has three really nice lakes with marshes and it is incredibly gorgeous.

It’s also a great alligator habitat. We saw this momma and two babies chilling out by the trail. There are also “several” types of venomous snakes according to Park. Two years ago I went geocaching at the park while wife and son went parasailing. I had a great time but my head was on a swivel looking around.

We are right next to a beach bar. No bull, they had a rodeo last weekend. The condo was full of cowboys. They are the most polite people you will ever meet. They also like to party hard.

Saturday the beach was hopping between the cowboys with their hats on in the water and a bunch of happy, good natured people celebrating their football teams, LSU and Alabama seemed to be the most popular and playing incredibly loud tunes on their speakers that they actually rolled out across the beach on wheels. They also were celebrating their favorite presidential candidate.

Sunday, we basically had the place to ourselves. The cowboys went on to their next rodeo and the partiers went back to work and school.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Join in the fun.

August Skies in Oklahoma

I have a mish-mash this week. Many of the photos are from my Go Pro Clone so the quality is not that great. I set it to take a photo every ten seconds during my bike rides so I get hundreds of photos and keep only a few per ride.

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I went riding on the Arkansas River Trails her in Tulsa. They have this huge flag at 61st street and I love it when the breeze makes it fly full. That happens a lot here in Oklahoma. Are you familiar with the musical Oklahoma! you may remember:

“where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. And the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet. When the wind comes right behind the rain.”

The wind blows here all the time, rain or no rain, wheat or no wheat.

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School is starting and so not very many people on the trails except old retired guys and moms with their babies.

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I always feel like I am in a cage going across this bridge. If I see somebody coming I stop and let them come across. After my head on bike collision last year, I know the unthinkable can happen.

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Went past one of the two Holly Frontier refineries here in Tulsa. I’m a chemical engineer by training and so I love the TST’s and LRO’s. (Tall Shiny Things and Large Round Objects). So you are now a chemical engineer also!!

Hey, here is a decent photo. I went on another trail south of Tulsa the other day. Only about 10 miles round trip but that is a decent length for me.

The same trail went across a revamped pedestrian bridge. It was so cool and up to date. I read that “Love Locks” are a pain for many places but here they have designed a couple Love Lock stations. I love responsive stuff like that.

They had seating and covered areas and built in musical instruments for kids. I thought the whole thing was marvelous.

Later I went to Mad Dog Liquors in east Tulsa. In addition to being a liquor store it is a graffiti permission zone. The liquor store part of it seems to be closed (again) but that doesn’t stop the taggers. I love this work. If you look closely you can see it has a pipeline motif. I am trained as a chemical engineer but I spent a bunch of my career designing, building, operating, and doing commercial things with natural gas pipelines. You know what they say, “Nothing finer than a pipeliner.” Actually only pipeliners say that. That doesn’t mean its not true though, right?

And so time to end this mish mash mess. I’m linking it up with Skywatch Friday

Garden Shadows & More

Late afternoon recently capturing the , getting the Garden Bee Shadow

Early in the morning, caught the photographer stealing a photo of my wife’s flowers.

Cycling the River Trails

And just for grins, my earliest “shadow” tagged photo, from 2008 of some bicyclists on the River Parks trails in Tulsa. Sorry for the fuzzy shot. It is from my intentionally crappy but fun Takashi 521FX camera.

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The Takeshi can also do negatives. Here is son on a swing in 2010.

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And finally a self portrait of the photographer in action.

I’m linking with Magical Mystery Teacher’s Shadow Shot Sunday. Come join in the fun!

Bicycle Riding the Osage Prairie Trail

Wednesday morning I loaded up the bike and drove to Skiatook about a half hour so north from Tulsa. There is a north south rails to trail called the Osage Prairie Trail that runs from just north of downtown Tulsa to a couple miles north of Skiatook. I always ride from the north end.

It was in the high 50’s when I started out with a pretty good breeze. I am glad that I brought a jacket. I started out going out and back the two mile segment north of Skiatook. It is a lot easier than what it used to be because their is now a pedestrian crossing with a light. Getting run over would ruin my whole day.

Very soon I was in some nice counryside, woods and meadows.

And some swamps. You can tell it has been raining here lately. There are several geocaches along the route and a few I have not found yet. I am not really wanting to wade in shin deep water to find them though.

Lots of cattle grazing on the route.

I loved the high thin clouds. After a short while it warmed up enough and I took my jacket off.

When I think northeastern Oklahoma, this is the kind of scene I think about.

The right of way for the trail is that of the old Midland Valley Railroad which was constructed early in the early 1900’s. It reached down into the oilfields around Tulsa and prospered for a while. They languished during the Depression. The railroad no longer exists. This is one of the original bridges.

I passed through the little town of Sperry and stopped at and old gas station what was used for filming a scene from the move “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. They shot at locations all over the Tulsa area and I have tracked down many of them along with the new Outsiders Museum here in Tulsa. Check it out here.

I finished up at about 18.6 miles. There were no hills but I am kind of out of shape. I had fun though. It was like a two hour moving meditation and I was totally in the moment enjoying the wind and sun on my face and the bucolic scenery passing by. I came to and woke up at the country road crossings though. Don’t want to get run over at this point in my life. It was a fun two hours.

I have made several other posts of the Osage Prairie Trail over the years here, here and here if you are interested.

And then last night I noticed there was a little color in the sky at sunset so I launched my drone and snapped a few pics.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday, come join the fun!