Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tulsa Tough: 3JUN2007

This may be my final post about the Tulsa Tough event, though I may provide some links to other related stories over the next few days. Since I didn't attend the kick-off this morning, I missed seeing all those kids on their new bikes. Mike Schooling said it was a very emotional moment, and in some ways I'm sorry I missed it.

Jordan accompanied me on today's trip to a crossroad northwest of Sapulpa, near a bridge crossing Lake Sahoma. We provided mechanical support at rest stop 4, roughly 41 miles into both the metric century and the full century. It's a lovely rural corner of Oklahoma, deceptively close to the city. I don't expect it will stay that way much longer. I sat in my chair, watching a heron wading in the shallows and listening to a couple of hawks. I could hear cars coming from a long way off. It was luxuriously quiet, and I would have fallen asleep quite easily if there hadn't been bike business. Of course, if I HAD fallen asleep, the tiger mosquitoes would have carried me off. Tigers are day active mosquitoes, and they're very aggressive. Jordan and I were sticky with bug spray.

Here's Jordan in the "Chair of Pink". He jumped out of it every time I pointed a camera in his direction.

The lead group came through at about 9:35 AM. Most grabbed water bottles. None of them stopped. Many bottles were dropped in the exchange and we were simply lucky that no one fell. One guy fumbled 3 bottles one after the other. A water bottle lying on the road can put a rider down very easily.

Repairs today were simple and easy. I didn't have to inflate any tires, so the pump sat unused most of the day, though 2 little boys had a good time playing with it. I adjusted a few saddles, tightened some derailleur cables, lubricated chains and pedals, and tightened one bottle cage. Bidness was slow.

After the initial rush, Jordan was bored. He helped to hand out water bottles for most of the time, and I asked him to walk along the road to retrieve discarded ones. “I get to be the trash man!” he complained, though he wasn't serious about it. I told him to walk across the bridge just to see what's there. When he returned, he said, “There's a HUGE snake under the bridge! It saw me and splashed into the water.” I didn't mention water moccasins. I don't think it would have helped.

Mike asked us to take our stock of tires, tubes, and cables down to the next rest stop after we closed number 4. Jordan and I loaded up the equipment and set off a little after noon. The roads are pretty out there, and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive. We dropped off the stores with Tina, then went off in search of lunch.

It was a lovely morning and the mechanic's work was easy. I had a good time and I won't hesitate to do it again next year. There's this little voice nagging at me, though, whispering again and again. “Wouldn't you like to RIDE one of these centuries rather than work?” I have to give that question some careful consideration.



Blogger Fritz said...

Those are some serious tan lines on your legs!

1:44 AM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Leave it to a cyclist to comment on another guy's legs!

5:10 AM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Didya ever thought ya mighta been ROBBED? Nice tool box and Park stand!

8:04 PM  

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