Today was the Alabama Bump n' Grind Pro XC Tour cross country race. It was hot and humid and close to sea level...Let's just say that I'm not real used to any of those conditions, especially the sea level or humidity!
The race started off fast on a paved road and I was able to get a decent spot as we hit the 1st singletrack. At that point, I pulled back just a bit so that I wouldn't over-do it and crack and just settled in to race. I lost a few places because I was being cautious, but going into the 4th lap (of 5) I started moving up again. Unfortunately, half way through my 4th lap, I noticed that my rear tire was going flat so I stopped to inflate it (thanks Genuine Innovations for the BigAir!). After catching the guy who had passed me when I was re-inflating my tire, I had to stop a second time to add some more air. And then a 3rd time and a 4th time. At which point I was out of air (pretty good for 1 BigAir though, huh?). Then my tire went completely flat and started falling off the rim, so I was forced to stop riding. At that point I was about 4 KM from the finish and had to walk the rest of the way or be counted as DNF ("Did Not Finish"), so I chose to walk. It took me about 30 minutes, but I did finish even though I got passed by every other person who hadn't been pulled from being lapped. I lost more than 20 spots because of the flat (I finished 49th), but that's bike racing...
Overall, it was a successful race and I had a blast, but I wish I hadn't flatted.
Here is a video of me packing my bike back up (23 minutes, even faster than unpacking):