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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 05-15-08, 10:51 PM   #1
thebarerider
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What would you do?

On Friday, July 18th, I'm going to quit my job. One month later, on August 18th, I start law school. In that time, I want to take a tour around Oklahoma. It will be my first tour, but I won't need to buy much gear. I have the bike and I think my panniers will serve me well. My question is, if you had three weeks (I want to have one week before I start school to hang out at home) what would you do?

I'll be starting out smack dab in the middle of the state, in Norman. I will probably camp most nights, but I might hit up a few B&Bs or motels if I get the urge. It will be pretty hot (temperatures will average upper 90s and many days will go above 100F) so I might like a cold room and a shower sometimes.

I don't really have any specific questions, but like I said, I'm curious what you would do in my situation. I have a lot of ideas but would like to hear from those who have experience.

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Old 05-15-08, 11:34 PM   #2
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Drive to Colorado and ride around in the Rockies.
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Old 05-16-08, 04:47 PM   #3
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Do the Talimena Skyline drive in eastern Oklahoma.
Its really beautiful.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:05 PM   #4
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Agree with valygrl - at that time of year, go up in latitude and elevation, and Colorado's a wonderful choice.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:06 PM   #5
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go up in latitude and elevation, and Colorado's a wonderful choice.
Or northern New Mexico / Southwest Colorado.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:59 PM   #6
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Hey, thebarerider wants Oklahoma!

Sure, it'll be hot, but if you want to tour around Oklahoma in July and August, you already thought of that. It'd be a good idea to have a headlight and taillight in case you get a real heat wave and become a nocturnal bike tourist to escape the worst of it.

I'm really fond of the landscape in southern Oklahoma along the Red River. You'd own the roads down there and have little trouble camping informally if that's what you want to do. Note that there's a finer web of roads just across the border in Texas -- if you don't mind crossing back and forth, you'll be able to piece together a peaceful and fairly direct route.

Following the Canadian and Arkansas Rivers would also be pleasant, if a bit busier and more densely populated. There's a lot of interesting Cherokee stuff to visit in the vicinity of Muskogee, and I have a sense that you might also avoid some of the hottest heat over there.

Whatever you do, don't miss the Anadarko Philomathic Museum!
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Old 05-16-08, 07:45 PM   #7
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Hey, thebarerider wants Oklahoma!

Sure, it'll be hot, but if you want to tour around Oklahoma in July and August, you already thought of that. It'd be a good idea to have a headlight and taillight in case you get a real heat wave and become a nocturnal bike tourist to escape the worst of it.

I'm really fond of the landscape in southern Oklahoma along the Red River. You'd own the roads down there and have little trouble camping informally if that's what you want to do. Note that there's a finer web of roads just across the border in Texas -- if you don't mind crossing back and forth, you'll be able to piece together a peaceful and fairly direct route.

Following the Canadian and Arkansas Rivers would also be pleasant, if a bit busier and more densely populated. There's a lot of interesting Cherokee stuff to visit in the vicinity of Muskogee, and I have a sense that you might also avoid some of the hottest heat over there.

Whatever you do, don't miss the Anadarko Philomathic Museum!
Thanks! I don't have any problem dealing with the heat and I'll never be far away from civilization, so I will always have access to water if I have any problems. I don't want to drive anywhere and the point is kind of to see Oklahoma. I already have lights and all the bike related gear I need.
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Old 05-16-08, 07:50 PM   #8
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I'd start out heading west, probably through Chickasha to Anadarko. You could then go W to Mtn View, Gotebo, and maybe to Quartz Mtn. Start back E to the Wichita Mtns Wildlife area, make sure you go through it and stop at Medicine Park or Meers. I would then head in the gen'l direction of Duncan and make sure you go through the Arbuckles toward Sulphur and Davis. Get some tamales from that shack in Davis and visit the springs there in the monument at Sulphur. I would then push on toward Tishomingo and Durant. Next off toward Antlers, then up to Nashoba and over to Honobia. From Honobia I would go to Talihina and then over the first half of the scenic drive to Highway 259 and then go N to Heavener. You could also go from Honobia to Ocatvia then North on 259 and go back W to Talihina then N to Wister, or go E on #1 to Mena Ark and back to Wister. Hiway 1 is one hilly mother. Grades over 10% and lots of them. It's very steep so you need to have the proper gears. it IS well worth doing however. You need plenty of liquids, there are few places to get any in that area, and it will be humid and hot.
From Wister just find some scenic routes to get up to Tenkiller. Go N on the E side of Tenkiller to Tahlequa. Lastly I would head in the gen'l direction of Bartlesville across the Tallgrass to Ponca City and then back down to Norman. Actually, I probably wouldn't go as far as Ponca, maybe turn S to Pawnee, Cushing and back to Norman. The last place on my list would be NW Okla. If you had time it would be swell, but this itinerary lets you get warmed up for the hills. It really depends on how many miles per day you can handle. PM me for some specifics.

Zagnut.

Last edited by zagnut; 05-16-08 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 05-19-08, 12:40 PM   #9
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riding Oklahoma

I recently discovered the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has detailed maps of county section line roads online http://www.okladot.state.ok.us/hqdiv...unty/index.htm. They are better than Google maps at identifying the paved county roads. Most of the time those roads are pretty low traffic.
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