PAC Tour, Southern Trancontinental 2006

Day 21, Saturday, September 30
To: Meridian, MS; 131 miles

Brutally rough roads
Riding Time: 7:27:00; Avg Speed: 17.6 mph; Max Speed: 35.2 mph

After a cool start of 55°F it warmed to 85°F under clear skies.

Rolling hills with some short and steep climbing.

 

As you can see we went more south than east again today.

 

Due to the very rough roads, today was the least fun day of the tour. My hands and feet were numb from the vibration and I felt like I was abusing my bike. Riding under these conditions is no fun. My energy and enthusiasm for riding drained away as the day wore on.

On most days there are a few rough patches that are quickly forgotten, but today we were on very rough chip seal surfaces virtually all day. Lon said that riding in the south is hit or miss, and that these roads had a coarser stone. Additionally, chip seal roads get smoother with time and these roads were recently resurfaced.

The surface of choice appears to be chip seal on the small secondary roads that we used, but on the larger state roads (that we were on only briefly) were smooth asphalt.

I would much prefer to ride the asphalt state roads than these chip seal secondary roads any day of the week regardless of the traffic volume.

Church at our second SAG stop near Edinburg MS. It was chiming 10:00 AM as I took this photo (at 49 miles)

 

Brett working hard on the front of our group with Eamonn following. This was taken at 120 miles on the out skirts of Meridian MS.

 

We truly had international foursome going from lunch to the finish with Brett (Australia), Eamonn (UK), Walter (Switzerland) and me (USA). With the roads beating us up badly, we soldered on to "get this bloody thing over with".

In the end, Dennis was first in today, with our group second and Butch arrived no more than a minute or two later.

Brett, Walter, me, Butch, and Eamonn at the finish. Dennis, me, Eamonn, and Brett enjoying our post ride shakes.
 

At 149 miles tomorrow's ride is the second longest of the tour. Let's hope the secondary roads are better in Alabama.

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