With rumors that the heat index would be above 100 degrees today, we warily mounted our bikes after a breakfast of fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and headed off towards Clarkesdale, MS. Hawa and I were sweeping today and after a slow start, her back tire went flat after only 12 miles. That was an indicator as to how he rest of the day would go.
After fixing the flat, we got a call from a girl who'd take the wrong road and was lost. She didn't have a Smart phone and was alone with no idea as to where she was. Luckily, I was able to figure out what her position was with my phone and give her an alternative route to take. I have no idea how Bike and Builders survived without Smart phones....
Today was a 90/90 day meaning that it was a day that was either hotter than 90 degrees or longer than 90 miles. On 90/90 days, we get two lunches. First lunch was at mile 30. By the time we got there, it was already blazing hot and in the middle of the afternoon. Hawa got another flat immediately after lunch which put us further behind schedule. On a day as hot as today, that means a few extra hours in the sun.
We met up with Kendra at the tail end of the group and rode with her for a while. We stopped at this farm store and the people in there were very kind to let us into their air conditioned store. They gave us cold water and ice and were very interested in what we were doing.
After we left there, the wind had picked up considerably and was pushing us in the opposite direction. We fought for so long in the hot wind. It felt like dog's breath against our faces. The sun was so hot that you barely had time to sweat before it was evaporated while made it difficult to stay cool.
Clarkesdale is a depressed town. It is one of the most impoverished places in be nation. Biking through it, it really puts our mission and cause into perspective. Hopefully, our work and our passion for affordable housing will help improve neighborhoods like this one across the country.
Everyone was exhausted today after getting in. Today's ride was the flattest one we have had all summer, yet it was definitely the most difficult. Tomorrow, we have our first century in equally as hot temperatures. There is a 4:45 wake up call so I will be getting to bed now.