A number of the Ozark Roadies rode the Dam J.A.M. in Pryor, OK on Saturday. There are rides of several lengths available, 30, 50, 72, and 100 miles. Dam J.A.M. is a ride around several lakes and dams in NE Oklahoma including Lake Hudson, Grand Lake, Lake Eucha, and Chimney Rock Lake. It's a picturesque route with lakes, rock formations, forests etc.
We had rain last year, and the longer rides were all cut down to around 55 miles or so. There was severe weather in the area, and the organizers were fearful of having folks spread out on the long runs in severe conditions, a wise move on their part.
Well, this year, we had rain with some isolated rumbles of thunder in the area; however all rides ran as scheduled.
I got precious few photos due to the weather.
In the center is Arkansasgal, esteemed founder and fearless leader of the Roadies. Rodger is to her right.
In the foreground is Ol 'Fuj, loaded and ready for what lay ahead.
Pictured here are Chip (right) and Mike fresh from a successful run at the Hottern' Hell Hundred.
This ride turned out to be OK, but it had its moments. It was cool at the start, but the temp. was supposed to rise to the low to mid 80's, so I didn't bring my wind/rain jacket.
After around 15 miles or so, the rain started. By the second rest stop at 22 miles, I was soaked and not too happy with the decision to leave the jacket on the hanger at the house. Somewhere between the second and third rest stops, my rear dérailleur started to malfunction. It wouldn't shift up or down. Finally I was able to down shift (larger cog) and by a gentle tug on the cable, I could upshift. Having had a chance to do some inspection under better conditions, I believe I have a frayed cable.
After the second rest stop, we had to make a decision on the 72- or 100-mile routes. I looked at Rodger and said, let's go for the 100, and off we went. Most people, those with good sense, opted to take shorter routes due to the weather. Between the second and third rest stops, we ducked in to a Lake Patrol (law enforcement) office at Langley, OK to answer the call of nature. While we were there, I began to shiver uncontrollably as it was cool out, and I was soaked. Rodger had the foresight to bring a jacket. The officers provided me some towels, some hot coffee, and even turned the heat on in their office. Many thanks to these officers for their kindness. Also, while we were there, the heavens opened up full force. One of the officers got on the internet, brought up the radar, and told us, it would be 45 minutes or so until the cell passed. We opted to remain inside.
After the cell passed, we got rolling again, and after a few miles, I dried out and quit shivering. After a while, we began to get some Sun, and I thought life would be better.
During last year's ride, we had a rash of flats on the wet roads, but I escaped with none. Between Miles 48 and 50 of this year's ride, I had three flats!, two front, 1 rear. I suppose this was Mother Nature's way of getting even! I'm glad Rodger opted to accompany me on this ride as I used both of my spare tubes and one of his.
After Mile 50, life finally got better. The clouds were moving out, the Sun was moving in, and we began to make some decent time, at least for us.
So here is something that, earlier on in the day, I didn't think I would see.
We finished the day with 102 miles and actually finished fairly strong. I ate a lot of my own snacks (including honey+granola) plus snacks at rest stops. Also, I drank a lot of Gatorade before and during the ride, as evidenced by a number of stops to answer nature's call. I believe the fuel and fluids really helped us finish strong.
Chip and Mike passed us before we got to the first rest stop. Turns out they hammered through the rain and had a respectable time even having been slowed somewhat by the wet roads and poor visibility. As Chip noted, 'you can only get so wet'.
The century ride, a/k/a the "Whole DAM J.A.M." is advertised as having 6,328.8 feet of climbing. I'm prone to believe that number.