Although you're not supposed to, we decided to draft the cyclist ahead of us since we were riding into a tremendously strong 25 km/hr. wind that was pelting our cheeks with stinging rain. When suddenly she pulled over, we felt obliged to see if she needed help and we discovered that she had a rear flat. "Lucky for you, we are both bike mechanics!" I shouted to her as we pulled off the route. While I took the replacement tube from its packaging, Jackie found a metal sliver in the tire itself which was the cause of the flat. Once we got our draftee and ourselves on the way, we came across another 11 bikes pulled over with flats - thankfully the marshalls were helping all of them.
|The cyclists on the left are giving up and waiting for a bus
One klick from lunch and after five hours of saddle time, I happened to glance in my rearview mirror to discover three SAG wagons, yellow roofbars flashing, bearing down on me. Over a loudspeaker I heard "You over there in the yellow jacket, please pull over. You are going no further!". Once settled in the SAG wagon, it was explained to me that the organizers were planning to close the route because of a severe weather warning.
|A bus full of sweepings
|Wind fatigue sets in
I did the math and figured that I had done the whole second day. Here's how I figure it: last year it took me five hours to do the whole second day route. This year, riding into a 25km/hr. wind, it took me five hours to get to the halfway point at lunch. So if there was some way to measure the energy expended, I think I would have burned more than last year which means I would have more than made it to the finish line. So riding in a SAG wagon made for 60...
|Near unicycle guy