Ah I have fallen behind again and I’m so sorry! The past few hosts did not have Wi-Fi so I haven’t been able to update you all on my journeys but I will catch up soon enough!
Day 27: How many flats can Team San Diego get in one day?
The answer: One too many. We were on the road at 7 am to leave New Orleans, LA to head 103 miles to Baton Rouge, LA. When we left, there was a steady drizzle and we had to be extra careful right from the start. I was riding with Eric, Taylor, Matt, and Haley and our host was on the outskirts of New Orleans so leaving the city was not too difficult. I wish our day could have been just as easy as leaving the city, but it was not the case. About 10 miles out on our trip, Eric took a a little tumble off of his bike after we crossed some train tracks. There was no serious injury except for a little scrap on his elbow so we were able to get back on the road again after making sure everything was OK. By the time we reached the first water stop, it was still raining, but had let up a little bit so riding wasn’t as difficult as before. Also we were able to hop onto a really nice bike trail that ran right along the Mississippi River! It was pretty cool seeing the industry that relies on the River for their needs, although I can say the smell that accompanied them wasn’t too appeasing. Since the bike trail was off of the roads, it was nice to relax and not have to worry about vehicles trying to pass us. The trail lasted until the second water stop, and by that time it had stopped raining and the sun was shinning for us. It was a pretty uneventful day until we reached our third water stop for lunch. It was right underneath of a huge bridge we had to go over to cross the Mississippi River and reach our destination. After lunch, we jumped up on our bikes to conquer this mighty foe.
Unfortunately for us, the bridge may have won the battle against us. You see, there are metal grates on the bridge to allow the water to escape when it rains, however, these grates had large gaps between the interlocking teeth so you had to go over it at the right angle. If you don’t hit it at the right angle, then your tire will hit the bridge hard and cause a flat. Myself and 7 other people couldn’t accomplish this, which meant that 8 people got flats going up it and only 1 whole team was able to safely traverse the bridge. It was a little funny because we have this huge group of cyclist on the shoulder trying to repair these flats as quick as we can, while traffic is going by wondering what on earth could cause such a hold-up. Needless to say, we walked over the those grates on our way down the bridge after repairing those flats. After the bridge, it was essentially a straight-shot to Baton Rouge on a local highway, so we were praying nothing else would happen. This again wasn’t the case as we had gone about 18 miles when Matt got a flat. It caused a little delay, but we were able to get back on the road and head to the next water stop. As I have said before in previous posts, everyday is a race against the weather, and today we lost. After travelling a few miles down the road, we see storm clouds rolling in and knew it spelled trouble. The wind was picking up and the rain had started when we saw lightening and heard thunder and were forced to find some shelter to wait out the storm. We had been on the road for about 10 hours at this point and daylight was going to be running out. The storm passed over us and we set out for a faster pace in order to make it before nightfall. Tragedy struck me though as we were 9 miles away from the host when I broke a spoke in my front tire. It’s not a repair that can be done quickly, so I was forced to be picked up by the van. The whole team made it to the host safe and in good mood too because someone had generously donated $500 to a local restaurant near the LSU campus!
Although I had made it really far this day, it was very disheartening to make it so close to the host, but only be stopped short by a problem like this. I had only gone 92 miles, however I knew the next day would bring more adventure and excitement, as this wasn’t my last ride ever. I wasn’t the only one with bad luck, because the roads caused 27 flats in total for the whole team in one day! That causes some major delays and major money that people have to put into buying new tubes. I’ve been fortunate and only have to go through 3 tubes on this entire trip, but others have gone through about 10 so far. The key, I think, to this trip is properly maintaining your body and your bike, because lets be honest, we are biking ACROSS THE COUNTRY (AHHH!!). I can’t believe I have made it this far and it isn’t without all of your love and support. With that little note, I have some good news for you all, we added 2 mail drops! So if you want to send any goodies or what not, here are the addresses:
Austin Texas: July 4th and 5th
Rider Jeremy Palmer
4k For Cancer
10312 Dianella Ln
Austin, TX 78759
Clovis New Mexico: July 12th
Rider Jeremy Palmer
4k for Cancer
Living Water Community Church
2801 E Llano Estacado Blvd
Clovis, New Mexico 88101
Thanks everyone who decided to read this whole post as I’m sure it was quite the novel.