Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Into The Wind

Oklahoma By-Way

I managed to get out yesterday for a bit of exercise on the bike. The wind was blowing 20-plus from the south, but I needed the ride, and I was hoping to check another bridge across the Cimarron River. I rode north on the main highway as wind roared in my ears and occasional balls of tumbleweed bounced across the road. Oklahoma is laid out with about 95% of the roads going on cardinal points--north, south, east, and west. Only a few more recent roads, like the Oklahoma Turnpike, run diagonally. The grid pattern makes it easy to keep track of which way you are going, but tedious when trying to get anywhere that lies in an inter-cardinal direction. Going north, I had the wind behind me, and was making great time in high gear. But coming back, Oooo! did I pay for it. I got in at least 16 miles total, but my knees said it was eight miles out and 25 back. On the bright side, it all counts as greater endurance for the canoe.
I never did get to see the river. U.S. Rt. 412 is a main east-west route with a lot of large trucks hauling hay rolls, oil drilling equipment and other wide loads. The bridge across the river there has no shoulder or walkway, and approaching the river on foot through the rushes was a no-go, so I turned back on a parallel dirt road to avoid the heavy traffic on the highway.

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