Mississippi is flat. And also gives us flats. Four of them to be specific. And one broken spoke nipple. But first I need to catch up on GPS routes.

Here is the route from day 21, our century day from Defuniak Springs to Pensacola, FL. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/527994491.

Here is the route from yesterday, day 23, from Pensacola, FL to Mobile, AL. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/527993606.

And here are some pictures from today:

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There wasn’t much scenery today, but I got a couple of good selfies!

Today I rode for Robin Seifert, a neighbor of the Fusco family. She passed away from liver cancer a few months ago.

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I wish I could say more, but the Fusco named Dana only told me so much…

This morning was pretty normal. We woke up, packed up, and headed out around 7:15 am. The weather was humid but relatively cool all day. Towards the end it got a little hot, but nothing like in previous days. We had all sorts of problems, but made it to our host in a decent amount of time. In fact, we were only an hour behind the first group who had zero problems. Here’s the data and GPS route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/527992947.

Side note: I hope my mom doesn’t kill me, but I figured out how to make my phone broadcast a Wi-Fi network that lets me use the phone’s data instead of the super slow internet found in most of our host’s. (Seriously, it took over an hour to upload 7 pictures to Facebook.) That means I can blog from the computer using the fast 4G data plan on my phone. Woooo! We’ll see how much data I actually use doing this. Sorry mom! But not too sorry. You can’t get that mad at your FAVORITE/only son!

Around mile 11 today we had our first flat. With that fixed, we rode on until Eric had a spoke nipple break. Luckily Aaron had some extra nipples in his saddle bag and we were able to fix it in 13 minutes flat. This includes taking off the tire, tube, nylon tape, getting rid of the old nipple, putting the new one on, putting the tape, tube, and tire back on, pumping up the tire and then truing the wheel. Boom. Done. Then literally 30 feet later, Shawna got a flat. Then another two flats at 17 mile increments. Really unlucky, but consistent! There was a lot of crap in the road today and it was hard not to be constantly running over stuff. I’d guess flats take about 10 minutes to change. As I said before all of these problems only caused us to arrive an hour later than the first group. I think we did pretty well!

My riding group was Aaron, Eric, Kevin, and Shawna. This is us crossing the state line into Mississippi:

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And this me being my usual level of idiot:

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Let’s stay on the topic of idiot Tyler for a little bit. I have a couple more good stories and pictures for this. Today I had to pee but didn’t want to slow our group down so I decided to ride ahead, stop and pee while the group passed me, then catch up to them. I executed it perfectly. I rode ahead about a quarter mile, and then had to catch up to them for about a quarter mile as well. As my group passed, Shawna was courteous enough to snap this gem:

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Lovely! Next up, Heather found a picture in her phone today that she took while we were at a bar in Atlanta watching USA play Ghana in the world cup. Apparently this is my “gawking at the TV so hard I don’t notice my picture being taken from two feet away” face:

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Mmmmm, handsome! How do you like that mug ladies? Pfft. Classic idiot Tyler.

Anyway, we are staying at First Baptist Church in Biloxi, MS and it is HUGE. This place has everything. We were fed a great dinner, after being able to do laundry, after taking hot showers on site, after opening our mail, after a short day in relatively cool temperatures! That’s like… every thing we look forward to on the 4k. All of them! In one place! Of course, I took a nap once we got here, but I think I nap so much that people have started to find it disinteresting to take pictures of me doing so. On the other hand, I still like to take pictures of the slump squad whenever I can!

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And by request, here is a picture of one room in the church we are staying:

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I have to remind myself to take pictures of where we are staying since all I want to do when we arrive at the host is pretty much nothing. Anyway, you can see a pool table, air hockey table, and ping pong table along with couches and a kitchen. Pretty fantastic! You can also see all of our stuff strewn everywhere as usual.

After everyone settled down, and while I was napping, some people emptied out the vans and took them to get vacuumed. I think we’re doing a good job keeping the van clean especially after hearing that last year’s San Diego team had flies living in their van. Fortunately it hasn’t gotten that bad for us yet. After repacking the vans, some people went out to Buffalo Wild Wings. I stayed behind to hang out, relax, and blog. While the slow internet was taking hours to upload a few pictures, I learned some new stuff on the piano from Simon!

Something I haven’t written about is that one of our ride directors was unable to complete our journey to San Diego with us. For reasons I am choosing not to explain, she unfortunately needed to return home. In the meantime, Eric has done a fantastic job at leading our team, but recently came forward and asked that we elect a new co-director to help him out. I’d like to congratulate Michelle on being elected our new co-director! I think I’ve already mentioned this, but before this ride, she interned at the 4k offices and knows a lot of the in’s and out’s of the 4k. I think our team made a great decision! Congratulations again!

All in all today was a good day. I’m happy that we’ve been having some solid back to back good days. I think we’re getting better at this whole 4k thing. I don’t remember if I’ve said this before, but I’ve come to realize that being successful in the 4k isn’t about being able to bike across the country. It’s about being able to communicate and be patient. And I think a lot of us are beginning to realize that which is making things go a lot more smoothly.

Anyway, tomorrow we go 88 miles to New Orleans, LA! We’re even going to ride a ferry to get there! Then we have a rest day so that we can go to Bourbon Street and… I mean… so that we can rest. Yeah. We’re going to rest. Moving on. I love hearing your comments and I promise I read each one so keep them coming! I even respond to a few so be sure to check the little box that will notify you if I respond. Or just remember to come back and look to see if I’ve said something back. Let me know if you want to know more about anything that ever happens, or have any picture requests!

 

 

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