Monday, December 28, 2009


She was going to Stonewall, OK in a Ford Focus
Got past that big McDonald's
You know the one they built up on that great big ol' bridge
Across the Will Rogers Turnpike
Took the Big Cabin exit stopped and bought some Gummi Peaches
At that Indian Smoke Shop with the big neon smoke rings
In the Cherokee Nation hit Muskogee late that night
Lindsay tried to make it, but she didn't quite

That's a more PG version of James McMurty's "Choctaw Bingo"and an account of how I came to spend Christmas Eve in a Best Western in Eufala, OK (main drag pictured above). After a rainy trip across Illinois and Missouri, the road got really slick as soon as I cross the Oklahoma state line. It started with driving 50 in a 75 on said Will Rogers Turnpike, but it turned to a road of slush after said Big Cabin exit. After Muskogee, the slush turned to crazy wind blowing snow across the road, and combined with my iced-over windshield wipers, I could barely see at all. So at 9 p.m., I had been on the road for 14 hours and was about two hours away under normal conditions and who knows how long at 25 mph. I finally gave up and spent the night on Lake Eufala (mentioned elsewhere in the song), and was able to make it in time for a slightly delayed Christmas dinner the next morning.

I tell you all this because it's way more exciting than the cycling portion of my trip so far. Obviously, I didn't get to get up early and have a nice Christmas morning ride as I had hoped and the next day consisted of riding as far as I could in one direction before the road became impassible and then as far as I could in the other direction and then back to my parents' house. I think that was about 1:45 of "riding time", although there was a decent amount of walking over icy patches and even the riding was pretty slow. During the ride the hub battery in my Power Tap died, so I'm not sure of any actual data.

Yesterday was sunny and clear, if windy and cold, so I got out for a little while, but I'm not sure how much. Since I'm so far from civilization, I haven't got replacement batteries yet, and I'm a little iffy on trying to open the hub up with a bench vise myself. I'm torn between thinking this is a job best left to Adam and the opposing fact that riding without a display to look at kind of sucks, even if I'm not really shooting for a specific power. Until it's fixed, my workouts will be "ride to such and such town/landmark and back". Today it will be Tupelo.

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