Here are a lot of pictures:

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Today we left our host at almost exactly 7am and started biking towards New Orleans! The ride was really flat and ended up being about 86 miles. Here’s the GPS route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/528909182. We stayed along the coast pretty much all day. We wanted to see an alligator, but all we encountered was a dead one on the side of the road.

Around mile 10, there was a store that was open and we all decided to go in and get Mississippi stickers! We were able to convince the cashier to use her employee discount so that we didn’t have to pay full price! We kept rolling until we had a little bit of a tangle between two of the riders in our group. We stopped and one of Jeremy’s spokes was really bent and loose, but other than that we were okay. With a water stop nearby, we decided just to ride on the bent spoke until we could fix it there. After that, Lisa got three flats. Here’s Lisa and Allison fixing one of the flats while Kenny and I took a nap:

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As you can see, pavement is a viable sleeping location for us now. Today we also crossed into Louisiana! Here’s my team at the sign:

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My team today was Jeremy, Allison, Jackie, Lisa, and Kenny. Here’s another picture of us that I took about 5 miles into the ride:

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So many selfies! I also took a picture of just the boys:

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And of course the girls too:

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Another interesting thing was that the roads were really bad sometimes. When there are cracks in the road, it’s not such a big deal if they’re horizontal. You just bump right on over them. But when they’re vertical, our thin tires can get stuck in them and make you fall. That’s exactly what happened when Kenny got stuck in this crack along the dotted yellow line:

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He didn’t get hurt though. It actually turned out relatively well for a moving fall. We continued biking and eventually ran into some storms about 4 miles from our host. There was a lot of lightning and thunder ahead of us so we had to stop and take shelter while it passed. We looked at a radar map and saw that once it passed, we would have a period of time to get to the host until the real storm started. So we waited for about an hour until we started riding again. In the meantime, we told riddles! Here’s one that stumped me for a while courtesy of Kirk: “A boy is running home. He makes three left turns and there are two masked men waiting for him. Why?” Stew on that one until tomorrow and I’ll give you the answer.

We biked about 2 of the remaining 4 miles until we hit a ferry over the Mississippi river. We were just chilling when Jackie noticed some people awkwardly taking pictures of us. I turned around and started cursing up a storm because THEY WERE MY PARENTS! I was blown away. I was even texting my mom while we were changing flats, just assuming she was at home back in Maryland. Nope! She was in Louisiana the whole time! I didn’t know what to do. In fact I don’t have any pictures of the ferry ride because they distracted me! It really threw me for a loop. I think it took an hour for me to wrap my head around it and adjust to the fact that they were here. My normal routine is: arrive at the host, take a shower, eat, do nothing, blog, sleep. Their arrival definitely threw a wrench in the works! But we went out for a nice dinner together at Drago’s:

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They made me take the selfie because I’ve been getting a lot of practice! Then we hung out with the rest of the riders on Bourbon street.

Today there were a lot of problems. We had flats, spokes break, a fall, and storms, but we put the fun in dysfunctional and I had a great day even though it took us 11.5 hours. We saw this silly sign directing us to outer space:

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We were relieved that at least we were taking the scenic route to the cosmos. We also stopped at a swamp tour business and took a picture with their alligator!

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It was surprisingly stationary and well-behaved! There were also some adorable stray kittens there too!

Our host is Aurora United Methodist Church and we have BEDS! And our rooms are windowless to ensure maximum sleeping for our rest day. This morning I woke up at 10am! That’s super late by 4k standards. We will be leaving momentarily for the city to go out, eat, and watch USA take on Germany in the world cup!

Again, I apologize for posting super late. I know you all love to read my posts in the morning and I hate to mess up your routine. Remember to think about the riddle and comment your guesses to the answer! DON’T GOOGLE IT. That’s cheating. A couple of us were able to solve it on our own with no hints so you can too! Also don’t forget to comment on things that aren’t the riddle! My next blog post for what happened today should be posted soon. I’m going to write it now.

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