Day 21, 4/16: Oklahoma City, OK to Chandler, OK (53.3 miles)
The first 15 miles out of Oklahoma City on Day 21 were some of the coolest of the whole trip! Glenn, a friend of some of the Pro Bike Inc shop guys, and his son Kyle, a police officer, joined us for that leg of the day. Kyle actually escorted us in his police car through the city and held the traffic so that we could pass through all the intersections without stopping – we felt like such VIPs! We even stopped at a McDonalds for a quick snack/bathroom break and one confused customer asked us why a police car was accompanying us lol.
After Kyle and Glenn left us, the rest of the day was actually pretty challenging despite it being a short 50-mile day. We faced some super strong 20mph headwinds and broke into smaller pelotons to get through it. The rolling hills of Oklahoma continued and became even steeper. There was also quite a bit of traffic on the roads and we noticed tons of roadkill, especially armadillos lol.
Since it was a shorter day, we still got into the First Christian Church where we were staying that night around noon. We recuperated from the windy day with some lunch and also celebrated Doug’s 58th birthday (yay!) with 2 pies from Pie Junkie in Oklahoma City – peach blackberry crumble and bird dog buttermilk pie, both of which were delicious. The afternoon was spent lounging around (it was nice to get in so early!) and playing more Bang. For dinner, crew got pizza donations from not one but two places, plus we finally finished the leftovers from Shamrock. Afterwards, a group of us went to go watch The Jungle Book at a cute little movie theater we had noticed on the bike ride in.
Day 22, 4/17: Chandler, OK to Tulsa, OK (68.3 miles)
Our day to Tulsa was forecasted to have rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon, so we left early in the morning to try to beat the rain. Coming out of Chandler, we went through more rolling hills with strong head/crosswinds (while wearing my puffy rain jacket, I literally got blown backward). After the first rest stop, we started riding as one big group, which was actually really fun as the wind started dying down and we had more people to take turns pulling. Stephen managed to get a flat tire 3 times, and with some teamwork we were able to fix it in less than 5 minutes each time! We started feeling some rain drops in the last 5 miles and raced as fast as we could to the Tulsa Jewish Community Center, where we staying that night.
We rolled into the Tulsa JCC around 1pm, and we heard the storm start literally 5 minutes later – talk about good timing! We relaxed inside with lunch and hot tubs in the locker rooms. One group went out to do some errands and came back with a million bagels and coffee donations – apparently they had stopped by the Old School Bagel Cafe, who graciously donated the bagels they had left at the end of their day. We had a trash bag full of at least 200 bagels, mostly everything bagels along with some blueberry and jalapeno cheddar ones, which was quite a sight. For dinner, we got donations from a pizza place and delicious chicken tikki masala from India Palace. In the evening, we set up the movie projector in the auditorium and watched The Big Lebowski.