Wednesday, May 26, 2010
May 26 Dalhart, TX to East Guymon, OK
This really is No Man's Land
The Texhoma Grain Elevators Can Be Seen Eleven Miles Away
Crossing the Oklahoma State Line
Tex of Texas
Another 72 miles and our 5th State
How is it possible to be on a bike, ride for a half hour and at the end of the half hour feel further away from your destination?
When the wind changes and blows against you.
Say you have a 70 mile ride and start riding at 720AM. You think that you are doing OK when at 8AM you are riding 15 miles per hour and have only 60 miles to go. You think that you will be done in 4 hours and will get to your destination at noon. But then the Texas wind shifts and spite of your best efforts you are only going 10 miles per hour. Suddenly you realize that you won't get to your destination until 2pm.
This is what it felt like today riding. It started out with foggy/cloudy weather with a light headwind. I wore my raincoat for the first time. Inside of riding for 45 minutes the clouds cleared and I shed my coat to the van. I was soaked with my moisture because the raincoat does not breath. After the rest stop the winds became relentless from the northeast at 15 to 20 miles per hour. This was the first persistent headwind of the tour. Training on Fort Myers Beach this winter I got caught with a similar headwind when I promised the guys that I would be at the Landings for a team practice; halfway home I stopped at a 7-11 to catch my breath and get a drink and the clerk asked me if I would like to buy a lottery ticket. I declined telling the clerk that I didn't feel very lucky that day. This was that kind of day.
How close to an Oklahoma town do you have to be to see its grain elevator?
This place is flat and it can be boring so while I was riding I placed a bet with my self as to whether the far away grain elevator that I saw on the horizon would be in Texas or Oklahoma. I was eleven miles from the state line and that is exactly where the grain elevator resided in a town called Texhoma.
What is or was "No Man's Land?"
It is/was part of the Oklahoma Panhandle (where I am now) which before Oklahoma became a state in 1907 was not part of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico or Kansas.
Today I saw wind farms, oil wells, electric power lines, huge irrigation systems, cattle auction houses, grain elevators, range cattle, dead snakes and lots of railroad trains.
This is my first time in Oklahoma. What they say is true... Very flat, very windy and very monotonous.
Many of the riders in our tour formed draft lines to cope with the headwinds. I declined because I don't feel safe being so close to other riders. You lose most of the benefit of the draft line if you are more than a few inches off the tire of the rider in front of you. I can't trust myself or the others to be able to react fast enough to avoid potential crashes. As a result I finished this ride quite tired because unlike our days in the mountains the winds on the plains don't give you any time to rest.
Tomorrow we are going to Hooker! Hooker,Oklahoma that is on our way to Liberal, Kansas.
Posted by Bigstu52 at 2:02 PM