Today was frustrating. Here are some pictures:

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Sorry, but those are in reverse chronological order. Today I dedicated my day to Ruth Goldstraw, a cancer survivor, and the mother of two friends I went to high school with, Ron and Mike Goldstraw.

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This morning we backtracked about 10 miles to get back on the highway we rode in on. Once we were there, it was ALL uphill. Gradual, but still uphill. I rode with Eric, Simon, and Shawna. We chugged along for a while until I got a flat at mile 24. Disappointed, I changed it quickly and we moved on. Less than two miles later, I had a flat in my front tire AND my rear tire. After all of this I decided it was time for new tires. My gatorskins served me well from Day 1, but after over 3500 miles it was their time to go. I changed my tires, and about 20 miles later I got another flat in my rear wheel. Four in one day and they were all punctures! I don’t understand how I made it through the roads of Louisana with zero flats, but have gotten so many recently. When we were in Santa Fe, NM on Day 45 I threw out my second tube of the ride. Today, less than two weeks later, I threw away my tenth tube. Two tubes in the first 6 weeks, and 8 tubes in the next two weeks. What. The. Heck. Hopefully this nonsense stops because it’s really demotivating and demoralizing.

We rode on, and the ride was really tough. Headwinds and uphills and then traffic was dead stopped. There was a car accident up ahead which did not involve any of our riders. No traffic, including bikes, was allowed through. We had to wait for over an hour.

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A car had rolled, landed on it’s tires, and there were two people taken away in an ambulance with non-life threatening injuries. When it was clear, we biked the remaining 8 miles to our last water stop. This was the hardest stretch of the day because of a really long and semi-not-gradual hill we had to climb. Because of the accident, our ride groups got really mixed up and I ended up with Michelle, Matt, and Simon for the rest of the ride. There was a nice downhill into Flagstaff and we had finally arrived after a long day!

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Here is the GPS route and data for today. Notice the long gap in time around mile 52 where we had to wait for the accident to clear. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/551257542

Our host tonight is Flagstaff Family YMCA in Flagstaff, AZ. We arrived, locked our bikes outside, and ate lunch. We got some fried rice and bread donated with a few Bloomin’ Onions. Afterwards I took a long shower to unwind and then went with Bri to pick up dinner that was donated from Olive Garden. On the way back we may or may not have stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for a beer since it wasn’t dinnertime yet. When we got back, everyone attacked the food like savages, and then we sat around watching TV, blogging, chatting, and just hanging out.

Kevin’s birthday is today! We gave him a cake and then proceeded to eat all of it.

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This was a very special moment between Kevin and Kenny that was caught on camera. They’re so cute! Hah. Anyway, happy birthday Kev!

One other note now that we’re getting midway through Arizona. The map of the US with the red line going through it is a lie. Well… not all of it. We made some modifications to our route and are taking a more southern route through Arizona and California. I’ve replaced the picture with a new one that is more accurate. The old red line is still there, but now we will be travelling along the blue section of the line. I hope this makes sense. Also please ignore all of the placemarks on the map that I forgot to hide when I took the screenshot in Google Earth. If you have to know, the placemarks are all of the places I’ve skiied. If you’re REALLY curious, they are Wisp in Maryland – Whitetail, Liberty, Roundtop, and Camelback in PA – Loon in New Hampshire – Stowe in Vermont – Squaw Valley, Kirkwood, and Heavenly in Lake Tahoe Nevada/California – and Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, and Norquay in Canada (not pictured).

Tomorrow I’ve heard we have a 97 mile ride that is mostly downhill. I don’t know where we’re going, but I hope the ride is easier and less frustrating than today! Also, I think from here on out we will be in Pacific time (3 hours less than East Coast time). Remember to comment! I loved all the comments today from yesterday’s post!

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