Category Archives: bicycling

Oh the Places you can go on a Bicycle…..

riding through the jungles, villages and temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia

riding through the jungles, villages and temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Choosing to get on a bike and ride can take you to places you could never imagine, whether it be through the villages of Cambodia, down the winding and twisting road of Pike’s Peak,  through the amazingly scenic Yellowstone National Park, past the rice paddies of Vietnam, or beautiful beaches of Boracay,

beautiful views from the top of the peak in Boracay, Philippines...rough ride to the top, but fun going down

beautiful views from the top of the peak in Boracay, Philippines…rough ride to the top, but fun going down

pedaling away from Buffalo

pedaling away from Buffalo, Yellowstone National Park


take the tram up the mountain if you desire, and enjoy the breathtaking views at the top and the amazing ride down, Pikes Peak, Colorado

it can leave you with a lifetime of happy memories and beautiful photos along the way. Hop on a bike today, See where you will go!  Don’t forget your Oklahoma Cycling Jersey when you set out on your adventure.  It is an awesome way to see the world and get some great exercise all in one package. Riding a bike is developing a lifestyle that can change yours forever. I must give thanks to my friend, Adam at Lee’s Bicycles in Tulsa, who hired me to work part time in his bike shop nearly 6 years ago. I knew nothing about bicycles and hadn’t ridden one in years. Who would have known that little part time job would take me all over the world on a bike. I have had the pleasure and opportunity to see and do so many things in the last couple of years, but adding to the adventures on a bicycle is more than I could have imagined. You don’t have to be a great cyclist, or even have the best carbon fiber frame, you just need  a sense of adventure and be willing to take on all life has to offer on two wheels.  Life is good, tell your friends…..get out and pedal today.

hop on for a spin, this bike belongs to one of the locals....Changdu, China

hop on for a spin, this bike belongs to one of the locals….Changdu, China

through the rice paddies

through the rice paddies, Dalat, Vietnam

past the coconut farms, where you can even stop for some coconut water

past the coconut farms where you can stop for some coconut water, Phuket Thailand

stop for a card game with the locals, they are always willing to teach you a game or two
stop for a card game with the locals, they are always willing to teach you a game or two, near Shanghai China

ride past a man walking his goats in Vietnam

ride past a man walking his goats in Vietnam

stop by one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oklahoma
stop by one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oklahoma

Tour de Bund, Charity Ride 2012

The September Tour de Bund, Charity Bike Ride is nothing like I have ever seen before on any bike ride in America. It was however, a great fundraiser for an organization called Raleigh.

Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai provided water and snacks at the rest stop

I had registered for the ride but it was already full before I got my registration in. Apparently,  a rule in China states that if more than 99 people congregate in the same area, it is against the law.   So, they had to limit registrants.  Several of us who ride frequently with the SISU bike club in Shanghai were asked to be guides for the ride instead.

A guide?  Hmmmm, as I chuckled knowing I get lost pretty easily over here trying to read Chinese signs with their arrows pointing everywhere but the right way.  Guides for this ride were going to be responsible for 7.5 people each as we were told.  Each group would have 15 people and two guides, one lead and one sweeper.  I opted to be the sweeper thinking that might be safer for my 7.5 people.  However, the leader of my group was a colleague who had only been in China for 4 weeks.  So I wasn’t really certain I chose the correct guide position. But what the heck, it is always an adventure in China, no matter what you choose to do. If we get lost, we will eventually find our way to the finish line, courtesy of google maps on our I-phones, well I can’t  figure out the dots, but he will be able to guide us.

The guides met at a local coffee shop on our side of town on a beautiful Saturday morning to get an escort to the start line, which was a good thing because I did not remember how to get to the start line. WHEW, One less thing to have to think about, I can just follow the group. With about two miles to the start, my co-guide had a flat tire on his road bike. Did we have a tube or tire pump to fix it? NO. Was there anyone near who could help? NO.  So he ran along side his bike for the next couple of miles until we reached the start line where the TREK Bicycle employees were setting up their tents and providing support to riders along the route. I think they were surprised they had a flat to change so early in the morning before the ride even started.

As we waited for everyone to get registered Dale and I went to study the map.  I figured we ought to know where to go since we were the guides. There was a huge 3×6 foot map of the route.

We ARE the guides!!

We bent down and tried to remember the route from the pre-ride the week before, but not too much was coming back to either one of us.  We remembered we turned right at the chickens, and we passed the guy scooping eels in a bucket as we rode through the village, but that was about it.

One of the registrants noticed us looking at and studying the map. She was trying to reassure us that “everything was going to be ok and she wasn’t worried about it because after all, they are supplying guides for the ride.” We looked at each other and couldn’t help but laugh as we told her, “We ARE the guides!” Her mouth fell open and her eyes grew as big as baseballs!  We kept studying the map!

It was time for group 5 to start, which was us, 7 groups altogether.  Each group started a few minutes apart. We had about 24 people in our group, hmmmm, that’s a lot more than 7.5 people, and there was about a total of 180 people riding in all. So now not only do we not know the route, we are breaking the law with more than 100 people assembled in a group.  Of the 24 people in our group, two of them were children under the age of 12, which is another law breaker, as kids under 12 are not allowed to ride bicycles except for in their own compound.  Aye Yi Yi….what have i gotten myself into.

Well, the good news is that we lost our group of 22 adults and two kids, so it didn’t really look like we had more than 100

Cyclists waiting for van/motorcyle wreck to clear up. Using my expert guiding skills, I navigated the group around the van and continued on the ride.

people anyway. Dale had taken off with the faster group, while I was in the back with the slower ones. Some of the slower ones were not registered riders, so I did not have to wait on them so I continued on trying to catch up with the rest of group 5.  I stopped and helped a girl who was having problems with her brakes. Yes, my time at Lee’s/TREK Bicycles in Tulsa helped me get this girl back on the rode rolling freely.

This girl eventually joined group 6 so I kept rolling, finally passing the chickens and the eels, and catching up with Dale at the ferry. I asked him where our people were? He said he didn’t know.  I thought he had them, and he thought I had them. Neither of us had our people. We got on the ferry and hoped they were on the other side. We did find a couple of riders from group 5, so we gathered them up and continued on.

We made our way through the oncoming traffic of buses, motorcycles, taxis and so on along side the Bund, which is also a NO-NO in China. Bicycles are not allowed in this area. Finally arriving at the finish line with two people in our group, Dale and myself, we park our bikes with the valet and strolled into the Peninsula Hotel for nothing less than a feast!  There was so much delicious food, fruits, pastries, chocolates, salads, pastas, beef kabobs, pork, you name it,  and it was being served on real china, (I guess that is what they call their good dishes in China)  with real silverware,

Chefs serving delicious foods after the ride

no chopsticks!  The spread was amazing! As we strolled around sampling everything they had  to eat and drink, we saw the  final group leader come in and we figured all of our lost souls in group 5 had made it in as well, we hoped so anyway!

I wonder if they will want us as guides next year?

On our Way to Mount Rushmore……

I can’t even describe our drive/ride to Mount Rushmore!  We drove through Big Horn National Forest located in North Central Wyoming between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone.  The diverse mountainous landscape included glacier carved valleys, rivers, rolling hills, and  moose, big horn sheep, deer, elk, buffalo, and pheasants.  It was amazing!

amazing cut out view of George Washington, taken as we rode by on our bikes

I can only imagine the Rainbow, Brook and Brown Trout swimming in the lakes and rivers.  I wish I had brought a frying pan and fishing permit.  I didn’t have those but I did have my bike.  I asked Eric to pull over and let me out.  I rode my bike down the mountainous road.  I gained speeds of 35-40 mph on my mountain bike.  It was all down hill.  When I reached the bottom I pulled into a little gas station and put my bike back on the rack. I couldn’t describe the feeling to Eric.  It was exhilarating. Limitless.  No Boundaries.  I told him he needed to take the next ride.  After some convincing he decided to give it a whirl.  We pulled over at a scenic pullout at the top of the next mountain and he got out.  He took off and headed straight down.  I drove behind him and took some pictures.  He was gaining some nice speed and at the bottom of the downhill, rounded a corner and OOPS!  all of a sudden straight uphill went the road!!  I couldn’t help but laugh!  I pulled up beside him and took some pictures.  He made some kind of comment about how “fun it was!”  NOT! I went ahead and drove to the top of the mountain and waited for him to get there.  I don’t think he was quite impressed!!!

We discovered a moose in BIg Horn National Forest

As we left Big Horn National Forest, it wasnt too much longer until we reached Mount Rushmore.  We found a campground at the bottom of Mount Rushmore hill and pitched our tent.  It rained!  But this time we purchased a tarp and wrapped our little tent up in the tarp to keep the rain out.  It worked for the most part.  We had a few soggy blankets the next morning.  But again, we threw them over the car to dry and took off on our bikes up to Mount Rushmore.

I noticed some beautiful rocks lying on the ground as we were riding so of course I had to stop and pick some up.  I stuffed them into Eric’s backpack to which he wasn’t too pleased.  But they were small rocks!  It was about a seven mile ride up to Mount Rushmore.  All uphill on our mountain bikes!!!! But when we got there, I must admit, it was the “best deal” of the whole trip.  It was totally free!  Cars and trucks had a fee to pay to park, but bicycles could go in for free.  We locked our bikes up to a sign inside the park and walked around to take in the amazing views.  The history is very interesting and the sight is incredible. It took about an hour and a half to see the whole park, then we hopped on our bikes and headed DOWN the hill back to the tent to pack our tent and head home. This was such an amazing trip.

I highly recommend this route to anybody, either on a mountain bike or a road bike.  I would include some more camping time, especially in Big Horn National Forest.  It was absolutely beautiful there!

a stop along the way to the top of Mount Rushmore

I am so glad I had the opportunity to take in these amazing views before I head to China.

Mount Rushmore view from inside the park

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