DAY 48   JULY 14   55.4 MILES

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
                                                Yogi Berra

Today was an easy ride.  Only 55 miles with very few hills and a soft, southeasterly wind which assisted all the way to Glasgow.  Wish we could have had that wind yesterday.  

With the shorter distance, most of the others slept later this morning.  I arose at my regular time because I wanted to arrive in Glasgow by noon to locate a barber.  It was very easy pedaling and I rolled into town slightly ahead of my estimate.   The group is staying in a local church but I found a fairly new hotel nearby.

Today's road was good in most cases but occasionally, there would be a large black patch which covered the entire road including the bike lanes.  It usually would continue for about 100 to 200 feet.   

About 20 miles east of town, there was such a patch with an area of extra gnarly gravel in my lane.  I swerved in time to easily miss the gravel but I failed to see the beginning of a new rumble strip.  It was obscured by the black asphalt sealer from the large patch.  It caught my front wheel just right (or just wrong) and pitched the bike over on its side, scratching my left knee and elbow.  It also bent the front wheel slightly.  However, after loosening the front brake, I could finish the ride with the slightly wobbly wheel.        

As you are aware, I have been considerably disparaging in my remarks relative to the rumble strips.  It is only fair that they gained their revenge.    

There are a few scratches below my knee, on my elbow and a couple of other places but I am fine.  We replaced my wheel with a spare and have ordered a new one from a bike shop in the town where we will stop 2 nights from now.  At this point, we have covered over 3,000 miles and have only 1,200 to go.  Both the bicycle and myself are anticipating the challenge.  

Tip:  Drink before you are thirsty.  In hot weather you should be consuming 2 water bottles per hour.  Dehydration is one of the primary contributors to fatigue.