what I found to be a pleasant day.
rolled out of the motel, the temperature was perfect at
just around 70, and it seemed to stay there for most of
the morning. We were also greeted with a light tailwind
which made the 30 miles to the first rest stop very
have a little difficulty finding the right route out of
town, though. Several of us missed a turn because the
mileage on the route sheet was a little off, but we
quickly got back on track. One rider, however, didn't
figure this out as quickly and the support van had to go
find him to get him back on course. He declined the
offer to be driven up to the rest stop so that he'd be
on track time-wise, so he was in for a long day.
miles from town, I managed to drop my water bottle.
Since Kim was right on my rear wheel, it took me a while
to slow down and turn around, and by the time I got back
to where I thought I had dropped it, it was nowhere to
be found. John gave me one of his extra bottles at the
lunch stop so I'm back to two.
miles later, I had my first mechanical problem - the
flange on the front hub (where the spokes attach) broke
off, causing my wheel to become significantly warped and
making it impossible to ride on. That makes two
catastrophic failures for the SpeedDream wheels on this
trip - they clearly don't stand up to the PAC Tour test.
Granted, the roads we've been riding are not exactly
smooth, but I would have expected better durability.
Fortunately, Doug came by about ten minutes later with
the equipment van and loaned me one of his Rolf wheels.
But then less than 40 miles later, one of the spokes on
this wheel broke. In this case, the wheel was not so out
of true to make it unrideable, so I started limping
toward the second rest stop when Steve came by with the
support van. He gave me another spare wheel which,
fortunately, made it through the rest of the day without
incident. I bought a new replacement wheel from Lon when
I got to the motel.
mid-day, the temperatures had warmed up a bit, but no
where near as hot as yesterday. The winds had also
shifted so we had a bit of headwind, but again, not as
bad as yesterday.
lunch, we had another road-construction problem. This
time, the road was in a bit better shape than the muddy
mess we tried to ride through yesterday, but was still
quite rough. The only somewhat difficult section was
getting around the bridge that was out, but I simply got
off my bike and walked. The road continued to be pretty
rough to the last rest stop which takes its toll on the
equipment and body, but was no worse than the roads we
had for most of yesterday. I'm hoping that we'll see
some improvement in road quality in the near future.
tail winds and cross winds for the last 30 miles into
Austin and the temperatures remained reasonable, partly
because a thunderhead was starting to form to the west.
As I mentioned early, we never did see any rain, but it
sure felt like it was going to for the last half hour or
so of the ride.
Most of the riders got in between 3:30 and 4:30 this
afternoon, so we had plenty of time to relax and get
dinner at the restaurant next to the motel. Let's hope
tomorrow is at least as nice as today.