Oklahoma!

…where the wind comes sweeping o’er the plain and smack into your face.  Someone needs to explain to the prevailing winds what it means to be prevailing.  We’re now 1/2-way into this trip and we’ve seen tailwind twice.   Just twice. Grrrr.

And today it rained.  The human thought it was a pleasant rain — not hard and warm enough to ride without a jacket most of the time.  But, for this bike?  Yuck… mud…. splash… dirt….<shudder />.

So people ask when we tell them that we’re riding across the country, “Where do you ride?  Do you use bike trails?”.  Inwardly we simultaneously  groan and chuckle.  While there are politicians on both sides of the spectrum that understand that building bicycling infrastructure is the best return on investment for transportation money, most, alas, do not.  I doubt that we will see good, connected infrastructure in our metropolitan areas in my life time (and, please recall, I am a steel bicycle and we live a very long time).  Out here in the middle of nowhere, yeah… no, bicycle trails.

So we ride on whatever roads will take us where we’re going.  In some areas there are good farm roads (here in Oklahoma and back home in Wisconsin), but in many areas the only route is the same route the cars have — the interstate.  Then, we ride on the shoulder whether the shoulder is clean or not.

But, today we got off I-40 and spent most of the time on old Route 66.  In many places it parallels I-40, but some of the time we get away from the noise and sameness of the interstate and get to pass through small towns.  Some of the towns are still bustling, some have museums devoted to things Route 66 (or, in the case of one, baling wire), and others found themselves too far off the “new” interstate and have become ghost towns.

Despite the rain, it was an interesting day.  We saw several fully-loaded touring bicycles along the way and a lot of motorcycles following Route 66.  But, the best part?  We got passed by an Edwina-colored motorcycle….. now *that* motorcycle had style!

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