Day 13 Three states, two flat tires, and one tired dude. 6-27-18
Joplin, MO to Claremore, OK
After riding over 600 miles without experiencing any flat tires, this changed within the first 8 miles of my ride today. I struggled with changing the tire but eventually was able to get rolling again. Shortly thereafter, I crossed into Kansas, and stopped for breakfast. I walked into a small cafe covered in chain grease, dirt, and sweat. My day was just beginning.
I rode all 13 miles of Route 66 in Kansas finishing in Baxter Springs (which is part of the inspiration for Radiator Springs in the movie Cars). At the visitor center, I had the opportunity, along with all of the other visitors, to sign the wall. If you are ever in the visitor center, look for my name on the door frame of the maroon door. Debi and Addy also signed the wall later in the day, theirs is behind the desk of the main office.
I rode into Oklahoma, and eventually met Debi and Addy in Miami, OK for lunch. Once I had a belly full of barbecue ribs, I began riding into the furnace of windy Oklahoma. I struggled for most of the ride and eventually stopped in an elderly ladies front yard for shade. After talking with Kelly for motivation, I decided to head towards The Green Country Cafe, which was only 6 miles away. About half way there, I had my second flat tire of the day! I noticed there was some shade approximately a mile away and began walking my bike towards the shade. I then made the questionable decision to try to hitchhike (with my bicycle). A nice man named Bob, eventually stopped and gave me a ride to The Green Country Cafe. Bob builds swimming pools for a living and said the Heat Index for today was in the 115 degree range! He said he had stopped working, as it was simply too hot.
I made the painful decision to stop riding for the day, and felt terrible about it. I had a giant slice of pineapple meringue pie with ice cream, and called Debi to pick me up. In the truck, we talked about the challenges of this ride and agreed, due to various deadlines, my total mileage might not be 2,492 miles. Even though I missed the miles in downtown Chicago, I made most of them up during those down days in Braidwood.
We will spend a rest day in the Tulsa/Bartlesville area tomorrow, and get to see Kelly and Shannon, who are flying into Tulsa to watch the OSAGE IN'LONSHKA DANCES. Kelly's Dad, Jim, is part Osage and as a family have been coming to the dances for many years. This is a great bonus/surprise that we are all in the Tulsa area at the same time, as we thought the ride would be further along. The silver lining to all these set backs is that we get to be together unexpectedly!
Total mile for the day: 53.5
Total miles on the bike 715