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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 21 (19 riding): Total overall distance: 1408.22mi Total distance today: 38.02mi Total time: 3.15.09 Avg speed: 11.4mph Top speed: 25.5mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-That.……cannot be good
-Thank you Mr. Bike Service Man...everything you just said about my bike...was bad
-But it's made it this far!
-It might take a miracle for this bike to complete the trip in one piece
-Do you believe in miracles?? I do!

Today started quite well...I slept in to around 9:45 or so. I enjoyed a nice breakfast of mini-muffins and orange juice and hit the road around 11. My legs felt better than yesterday, although pedaling still seemed just a little harder than usual. I found out why about 20 miles into the trip. Turns out that I wore my back tire down to the bone and it split apart in the center in a 5 inch section. It was continuously getting worse too. It was getting longer around the tire and deeper in the section. The good news is that somehow the inner tube was fine so I didn't get a flat. Also, somehow the tire held up for another 15 miles to a bike shop that had the same tires that I have on my bike. Plus, I am super lucky that this happened now, when I was close to a bike shop. If it had happened at any time in the next 2 1/2 weeks...I would be in trouble. Now on to the bad news. The new tire cost me $70, and I pretty much had to buy 2 so I had a spare in case it did happen in the middle of nowhere. So that was a quick $140. On top of that, the bike service guy, who was really nice and took care of the tire and tightened my brakes for free, told me that he was amazed my bike has made it this far. Apparently I have the cheapest rims you can get and they aren't made for touring or carrying this much weight. Awesome. I thanked him for boosting my confidence and he said it was all "real talk" here. I realize that and I know that I don't have the nicest bike but it has gotten me just about halfway with only a couple tire issues. With any luck, it will hold up for another 1700 miles or so. Fingers crossed. On top of all of that great news, he said I had a strange, back wheel and gear set. So if the wheel does give out, it will take time to find another one like that, and be quite pricey. Fantastic news really.
The only thing I can do is try to take some weight off the back of the bike...and hope and pray it makes it. I can't spend time worrying about it or thinking about it at all really. It either will or it won't...time will tell.

On a side note, I made it to Austin, TX today. I am staying on Hilary's couch tonight...thanks! I spent the later part of the afternoon and the evening touring parts of the city on my un-loaded bike but mostly just by walking. I spent a lot of time on historic 6th street in downtown Austin. It seems like a really cool city and definitely a place I want to come back to...for more than 1 night, with at least a friend or two, and not on a bicycle. I haven't fully decided how far I will go tomorrow. Either 75ish or 95ish. I guess I'll figure it out as I go. There are campsites in each place. I'll be skipping a few hotels to make up for the money I had to spend today, so there will be a lot of campsites and stealth camping in my future. I guess it's about time after all.

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