Day 49: After saying goodbye to my new friends at the Motel 6, rolled down the road to a local diner for breakfast, where I called The Ponca City News. They sent out a reporter to do a brief story on the ride: http://tinyurl.com/767fmj4. Over breakfast, a family sitting near me queried me about the trike and why I was riding. An older gentleman, Bill Stieber, asked most of the questions. Despite our different perspectives on the Keystone XL issue, he seemed to respect the effort I was making. As I was leaving, Bill approached me to hand me a piece of paper with his name and number written on it. He told me if I ran into any trouble down the road to call him and he would be there. This noble act by a total “stranger” gave me peace of mind knowing that someone had my back. This is just the kind of working together despite our differences that America needs to embrace, and that those clowns running Congress can’t seem to grasp. Maybe it’s time for OccupyCongress.
On my way out of town, passed an oil refinery that could soon be pumping tar sands oil, if Keystone XL is not blocked. A little further down the road, got a call from Ron that his derailleur hanger had snapped, putting him out of commission, but a quick call to District Bicycles in Stillwater, run by Bobby & Crystal Wintle, bailed him out. Despite having only opened their doors a week ago, Bobby voluntarily drove 8 miles to retrieve Ron and bring his bike back to the shop for repairs. As this was happening, I finished slogging out the 43 miles to Stillwater, where we decided to call it an early day.
Waiting for my friend, Wayne Walker, to pick us up and shuttle us to his home for a good night’s sleep, we walked down the street to grab a bite to eat at Boomerang Diner, where the manager, Scott Bainbridge, bought us both lunch upon hearing why we were riding.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one of the things I love the most about the American people are their great big hearts.