On Sunday, March 27th, the journey home continued from Madrid. It had been a reasonably safe journey with a low rate of serious problems... until now. I was about 13 kilometers from home when I heard a loud "POP!" and came to a stop. Not surprisingly, the sound had come from the back tire popping - I guess it was a good thing we decided to turn back when we did!
I continued riding along on the straightaway, and was even able to get up to 70 kph without any problems... until the last two kilometers. I had to make one turn before the final stretch into town and the flat tire didn't handle it well. For the last few minutes I found myself swerving all over the road... but still making progress at 50 kph! As I pulled into town some guys sitting out front of one of the bars started laughing and then stood up in surprise pointing excitedly at my back tire. I nodded in response, shrugged and continued on my way to my mechanic amigo - Luis. Luis took one look at the tire and shook his head disapprovingly - it was, of course, completely bald.
Over the next couple weeks I worked and recovered from the predominately successful journey around Spain while Luis worked on replacing the tire.