Giant Clothes Hangers in Cushing

We were recently passing through Cushing, Oklahoma hunting down modern architecture. We were detoured from our mission when we spotted a pair of huge clothes hangers!

They were hanging out (ahem) in front of the Town & Country Dry Cleaners.

Roadside Hangers in Cushing

To witness this exotic site in person rush to the corner of North Cleveland Street and Oak in beautiful downtown Cushing. If you’re traveling along Highway 33, look for OK-18 and turn south. It’s only three blocks off the main highway.

And easy on the starch.

Our Nation’s Birthday on the Mother Road

Biking by the Round BarnTurned out I had a free morning this Fourth of July. Jackie had most of her morning planned with errands to run, visits to make, etc. I, on the other hand, had not a care in the world.

It had been a while since I rolled out the bike for a solo pleasure cruise. It was a beautiful Oklahoma morning and the weather forecast was favorable, so this seemed like the perfect time. After checking the tire pressure I rolled the BMW out of the garage and saddled up. I honestly had no idea where I was headed as I pulled out of the driveway.

After a few minutes I was rolling down I-44 westbound out of Tulsa. I decided to take a tour down Route 66. I exited to Southwest Boulevard and took the “authentic” pre-1973 route of the Mother Road toward Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Just past Sapulpa there is a very old stretch of 66 that includes a one-lane girder bridge paved with red bricks. I was happy to see the rusty bridge is still there, even if it is looking pretty crusty.

1925 Frisco Overpass over Route 66I’d always wondered how old this few miles of the old road really was. Just then I rounded the bend and found my answer in the form of this familiar old railroad underpass. How I overlooked this in previous years is beyond me. The date 1925 on the overpass would indicate the road must be pretty close to that same age!

I bumped along over the aging concrete until it spit me out on the current alignment of 66 near the junction of Oklahoma State Highway 33 outside of Kellyville. I continued on through Bristow and passed a group of baggers outside of Depew. As I approached Stroud I remembered reading there had been a fire at the Rock Cafe. I decided that would make a good place to stretch my legs and have a shot of water while I surveyed the damage.

Ruins of the Rock CafeWhen I got to Stroud I could see the debris in front of the Rock Cafe from a few blocks away. This was no kitchen fire. As I pulled up I could see the historic 1939 roadhouse was in ruins. The fire had completely destroyed the structure and reinforcements had been erected in an attempt to save the native rock walls. While I was gawking the baggers I had passed earlier came pulling up, also looking wide-eyed. Turns out they had no idea there had been a fire and were stopping at the “Rock” for lunch.

I snapped a few more photos of the devastation before continuing west.

Davenport's brick-paved main streetIn Davenport a sign touts their historic brick-paved downtown. Apparently the entire stretch through the business district is listed as a historic site. Good thing because there’s not much else in downtown Davenport. The Oklahoma sun beat down on block after block of empty storefronts. Rumbling along over the red bricks made me glad we don’t pave roads that way any longer.

At this point I decided to continue on to Pop’s in Arcadia for lunch and fuel. The rest of the ride was uneventful (except for nearly hitting the biggest snapping turtle I have ever seen). As I lugged my way back toward Tulsa the heat of the day was catching up to me. Puffy clouds floated over the wide open spaces between each small town.

As I came back through Sapulpa I decided to leave 66 and take OK-97 north where I could catch Avery Drive. That seemed like a fitting finale for my ride- Avery Drive is named for the man known as the father of the Mother Road, Cyrus Avery.

It all seemed like the perfect way to spend a Fourth of July morning.

Can’t Afford to Drive? Ride.

It’s sad that it takes $5 gas to force most Americans to consider being efficient. As Winston Churchill put it: “Americans will always do the right thing. When they absolutely have to.”

Gas is really pretty cheap. But I’ve always kept the price of gasoline in perspective. Consider the fact that you can walk into most any convenience store in this country and drop a buck on a liter of water. Until recently, gas was cheaper than water.

So with the threat of $5 a gallon looming on our dashboard horizon, we collectively pause to consider the options. Apparently many people are considering two wheels instead of four…

Survey shows gas prices cause more people to consider motorcycles
Powersports Business
Friday June 27, 2008

More than one-quarter of U.S. consumers are considering purchasing a motorcycle or scooter, according to a survey released by Consumer Reports National Research Center.

Eighteen percent are thinking of buying a motorcycle while 14 percent are contemplating motor scooters. The survey also revealed that men are more apt to make the switch with most of them being between the ages of 18-34. In 2007, consumers said they would reduce driving when gas hit $3.50 per gallon. That has proven true as year-to-date 20 billion fewer miles have been traveled compared to the same period last year, stated the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The survey was a random, nationwide telephone survey from June 5-8, 2008. Interviews were conducted with 884 adults, ages 18 years or older, who drive a vehicle and whose household owns at least one vehicle.

This is an excellent time to mention Ride to Work Day is July 16, 2008.

Riding my BMW R1150R near Keatonville
Rex rides his BMW for work and play.
Around here motorcycles are typically considered recreational vehicles. But consider the efficiency with which they can move people from point A to point B with no appreciable wear and tear on our roads, using very little fuel and requiring no modification to existing infrastructure. The reduction in traffic congestion alone would seem to have far-reaching economic repercussions. Not to mention less parking space, reduced consumption of foreign oil and fewer carbon emissions.

The practical side of scooters and motorcycles was overlooked while we were filling our SUVs. Maybe now we’ll reconsider.

Resources for the potential motorcyclist…

Video Project to Feature Oklahoma Motorcycling

Several months ago Brad and I decided to start documenting our motorbike journeys more thoroughly. Whenever we set off on a ride we made sure to include a digital camera and/or the video camcorder.

The initial intent was to spruce up the rides listed on Places2ride.com with photos and video clips. After editing a few of the videos (samples are available on You Tube at www.youtube.com/places2ride) we began wondering what would happen if we added in more history, some interviews and maybe a tech tip or two along the way. It all sounded like a TV show we might actually watch!

This is when the idea for Two Wheel Oklahoma was born.

Brad and Rex pretend to be TV hosts!Right now we’re working on a pilot episode for a half-hour television program about motorcycling in and around Oklahoma. The premise is to cover a particular area or road by visiting points of interest along the route. This first show focuses on Oklahoma State Highway 20. We’re also in the process of writing three more that include the Talimena Drive and Route 66.

Once this first one is completed we’re going to work on selling the idea to someone who can get it on the air. In the meantime we’re also looking for more content from other riders who shoot video of their rides in and around Oklahoma, or clubs that have an upcoming event.

We’ve set up a new website where you can find more information and stay up to date with our progress and submit info: www.twowheeloklahoma.com

Drop by and sign up for our email updates while you’re there!