Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 23.... Bicycling from Dalhart, TX to Guymon, OK

E72.56 miles in under 7:00...elevation climbed...344ft...descent....1194 ft... Maximum speed...22.1
Total trip miles...851.98...total elevation climbed...22,738 ft.
I was awakened very early by housekeeping, and I told them to go away. I woke up at 8:30, but yesterday it was 7:30 because of the time zone change. It was cold, humid, wet and cloudy from last night's rain so I wanted to sleep in and get a later start. The forecast was for the wind to change to a tailwind as the day went on, and the clouds were supposed to break up after noon. 
I felt like I was riding in a relative urban jungle today, passing through three towns before settling into the fourth town I came to. The first 32 miles were cold and cloudy and the wind was just a slight hindrance. The terrain was very flat, US54 was pretty nice, with a great shoulder, and very little chip seal. There were really no scenic highlights, just ranches and farms, irrigation rigs and grain silos. The first town I came to at that 32 mile mark, Stafford, was basically just an intersection, a huge grain storage facility, and a few businesses. There was a Subway, so I stopped for lunch, and watched the clouds start to break up, and I was certain I saw the flags at the Subway showing a tailwind. 
The next town, Texhoma, was twenty miles away, and after stripping down one layer, I enjoyed some sun and a little help from the wind, and passed the time waiting for another train to go by so I could wave and get the engineer to blow his horn at me. At least six trains blew at me, and I saw several more on the train tracks that run parallel to US 54. Texhoma, was another town just like the last, only with a little downtown area off to the left of the main road. The state line, of course, was right in the middle of town, hence Texhoma. The grain storage in town was for wheat, so that must be a big crop that is not in yet. Once in Oklahoma, there were several wind farms of about 15-20 wind turbines each, and also some old school oil rigs, not all cattle and farmland like in Texas. Guymon was only another twenty miles down the road, and there was one more town, between Texhoma and Guymon,  which included OkÅ‚ahoma Panhandle University. US 54 was nice with great shoulders in Oklahoma, the only difference being a median strip, so it was just like an interstate. The grass had also been mowed in the median and along the road, so it seemed less wild than the stretch in Texas. The wind really kicked up on this stretch, and it didn't give me as much of a push as I had hoped. It was a side wind, hitting 25-30 mph on occasion, and it just slowed me down and made it tough to steer. It felt like someone was hanging on to my panniers. The last five miles took forever, because I could see the town, but it seemed like I just wasn't getting closer. I finally pulled into the Pioneer Motel, which is a real craphole by the way, and promptly couldn't get out of my clips before tipping over in the parking lot. Nice. Just a little blood and nothing broken on the bike, fortunately. 
I spent the evening changing my back tire, because I noticed some pretty nasty slices in it when I stopped for a picture back in Texhoma. I had a hard time getting it right, so I'm going to go to a tire shop, or the little bike shop in town, if it's open, to get the tire to seed properly, and get the correct inflation. The little emergency pump that I carry just isn't going to get it right, especially without a pressure gauge. I had two pieces of pizza from a Loves gas station for supper, then found out that the shower didn't work, so I took a washcloth bath for the first time in forever. My progress tomorrow will depend on how long it takes me to get the right tire seed and air pressure in the morning. Can't wait.

I didn't get a chance to go into town because of rain.

A blown over rail car says volumes about the wind!

US 54 is all farming and ranching

These huge grain storage facilities are the center of every town

Big Tex?!  I have no idea why he was across from a silo!

Cattle roamed the range as well as populated feed facilities

Entrance sign to a farm town

Not a bad thing!

One of dozens of dead coyotes that I've seen in Texhoma

Texhoma!

Wheat storage in Texhoma


The state line was in the middle of Texhoma

I would have eaten a steak here if I was staying in town!

Never heard of this University!


Time to change tires!

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