Day 23 Tuscaloosa AL

Today was a tough day. Temperatures were fine at the beginning but there was already a stiff breeze coming from E, the direction I was heading to.

I passed the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, a man made waterway which connects the midsection of the country with the Gulf of Mexico for commercial purposes:

There was also a park for recreational purpose connected to the waterway which looked great early morning:

I reached Columbus MS in ok time but I really had to work hard. I took a break close to an old railway composition:

Shortly after Columbus I crossed the state line to AL:

The wind was getting stronger and some wind gusts must have been blowing with 20 mph. I still had more than 50 miles to go and i had a feeling that it could be a long day:

After the state line I saw for the first time cotton fields:

I was cycling on a side road but I had to merge into HW 82. I took a left as indicated but you can probably guess what’s coming, gravel road again. I didn’t want to go back this time and decided to walk the 0.5 mile to HW 82. AL like MS ain’t flat either. It was a constant up and down.

I was slow due to the constant wind in my face and I had to take a break and eat something. Usually I go by with my energy bars but I was depleted and I still had more than 30 miles to go.

HW 82 is no pleasure and in general road conditions in MS and AL are mediocre to say the least. The shoulder had varying size and sometimes there was no shoulder. Not very comfortable when cars pass you with 65 mph or more with little distance. But it is the only connection from Columbus to Tuscaloosa.

I came closer to Tuscaloosa and I desperately wanted to get off HW 82 as soon as possible. But of course when you already have a tough day things happen. It’s called Murphy’s law. About 7 miles before my final destination I had my second flat tire. I was still on the highway and I didn’t want to change my tire on the shoulder. The next gas station was visible and about 0.8 miles away. I changed shoes and started to walk. About half way in, a Ford truck pulled over and asked me whether he could give me a ride. How nice. I didn’t refuse. It was a short ride but I was very thankful. I couldn’t even pick up their names but they made my day.

I changed my tube and charged my phone at the same time and after 30 minutes I was back on my bicycle. I crossed over the Black Warrior River:

I was cruising through Tuscaloosa and I saw a lot of nice buildings. I like the layout of this University town, home to the University of Alabama whit it’s great football program (go Crimson Tide). All of a sudden I was right in front of the stadium which is in the middle of town:

After 81 miles I finally made it shortly after 4:00 pm. A long day! Mentally challenging but you can’t have the elements and circumstances get to you!!

I have to recharge quickly. One more level no grind to Selma AL tomorrow.

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