Today was a shorter ride, 54 miles. Goodbye Alabama Hello Mississippi! Two states down! We started a bit later. My stride for the first 20 miles was pretty good. I was ahead of many riders. I got into a groove and just kept going. It was a bit rainy at first so I just left my iPod and speaker in the van. There was only one rest stop today and it was about mile 28.
After about 20 miles I could not seem to get much speed up. Even going downhill I seemed to have no ability to go past 8.5 mph. I finally got a chance to pull off the road and check my tires. Sure as crap I was going flat. So for around 6.5 miles I had been pushing along on a soft tire, but not aware of it being flat, mostly due to the mud puddles and wet road conditions. I took a CO2 cartridge and pumped it back up just to get me to the stop. I noticed air escaping from the tire itself. I had a huge gash in the tire. I found the rest stop and flipped the bike over. I was so mad, more at myself for not noticing earlier and working against myself. I found my new tires, but my new tube was packed in my bag, so I used the repaired tube from the previous night. It seemed to hold up and I was back on the road. The problem with a flat early in the day like that is that you wear yourself out and lose your momentum. Glad it was a short day.