PAC Tour, Southern Trancontinental 2006

Day 20, Friday, September 29
To: Winona, MS; 114 miles

Still in Cotton, spirited riding second half
Riding Time: 6:18:43; Avg Speed: 18.2 mph; Max Speed: 31.1mph

After a cool start of 46°F it only warmed to 74°F. We had perfectly clear skies all day.

Pancake flat until 55 miles then rolling hills to the finish.

 

Today's 10-15 SW wind was quartering headwind to crosswind all the day. As you can see we went more south than east.

 

In the morning I was in a picture-taking mood and in the afternoon Eamonn, Walter and I visited several groups that whipped up the pace, providing a tough aerobic (and at times anaerobic) workout. Although this was harder than I planned to ride today, I felt like I needed it to maintain my speed for the coming days. Tomorrow I'll hold back and rest for the Sunday stage, which at 149 miles is the second longest stage of the tour.

Here it is! Two miles from the border we found the welcome we were looking for.

 

Beautiful Moon Lake; 3 miles north of Coahoma MS (at 9 miles into today's ride)

 

Cotton processing facility Rig that packs cotton into large blocks for transportation (such as the two shown here).
These two photos were taken just a few of miles NW of Belen MS (27 miles point)

 

The folks in Mississippi are really friendly. Today several construction crews, passing vehicles, and passersby at our SAG stops smiled, waved and asked us where we were going. Real southern hospitality - really appreciated.

Eamonn outside of Rosie's Kitchen Just like Oklahoma, when the locals see lycra clad strangers roll into town on fancy bicycles they stop and ask, "What y'all do'in?
At the first SAG stop in Belen MS (29 mile point)

 

Just after the hills started at around the 55 mile point, we (Eamonn, Walter and I) were joined by Don and John Newton and together we started pushing aggessively all the way to lunch.

After lunch Eamonn and I left just ahead of a large group so we could use the restroom (bushes along the side of the road) and not lose too much time. While stopped, several groups passed us. Eamonn was back on his bike before me and I told him not to wait. After chasing back to Eamonn we believed Walter was behind us so initially we slowed. After a few minutes passed with no sign of him we wondered if Walter was, in fact, in one of the groups ahead.

Suddenly Eamonn set a murderous pace and, with me fast on his wheel, we caught and passed a foursome that included the tandem. Eamonn then passed solo rider John Newton who hopped onto our train. On each hill, both climbing and descending, Eamonn steadily closed the gap on a strong 7 to 8 rider group.

When we finally caught them, sure enough, Walter was there enjoying the group's fast slipstream. That's a cycling friendship for you, enjoying your company one minute, dumping you for a fast wheel the next.

This strong group of riders made for a spirited end to another great cycling day. Some of the riders here were Ken, Ned, Don, Peter, Eamonn, Walter, John Newton, James, Donna, Walt and I.

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