The End of the Road

Tennessee 13 500px

days.  On the 13th, even!

Wheel full 70pxA couple of folks have asked me if Gary and I will be able to cycle all the way to the mouth of the river- the place where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.  Unfortunately, no.  Here’s why.

The End

cue The Doors

LA 23 200px

Wheel full 70pxLouisiana State Route 23 is the road that parallels the Mississppi River for all but its last few miles down the delta.  It ends in an oilfield services town named Venice on the west bank of the river, and then a local road heads out into the bayou a couple of miles/kilometers further west.  And that’s it.  The main flow of the river, as you can see, continues on for for about another 15 miles/25 kilometers to an uninhabited place called Pilottown then splits into three main channels that extend for around another 15 miles/25 kilometers until they finally drain into the Gulf.

Wheel full 70pxAnother interesting thing is that, unless we see it out the window from our plane home as we take off from New Orleans, we will never see the Gulf of Mexico while on our trip.  So close and yet so far.

David

GoPro, Again…

Wheel full 70pxSeveral months into using a GoPro I’m still on the fence as to its utility as a device used for general purpose photography during bike rides. I really like the ability to shoot “on the move,” but that is almost outweighed by the fisheye character of the shots you wind up with, plus the fairly work intensive nature of getting them off the GoPro and onto a computer or handheld in a form that they can be used. It annoys me that you have to hand add geolocation to each photo.

Wheel full 70pxAnyway, the thing I had in mind when I took these shots was to note another drawback and my fix for it. The internal battery in a GoPro- at least a Hero 4 Silver GoPro- literally lasts for minutes- not hours, minutes- of constantly connected use. Then they die without warning. The best accessory purchase I have made so far is two of these “re-fuel” six hour battery backs [link]. They snap right on and are ready to go. Six hours is a stretch- I get about four, tops. But two will carry me through most days. I don’t know what folks who have the newer model GoPro can do- I understand that they are caseless, so these won’t fit. But there must be something like them.

And Wow!! again

Wheel full 70px My friend Jean Aime Bigirimanawho goes by JaBig Chocophile on facebook [link] is on the Dempster Highway north of the Arctic Circle bicycling across Canada to the Arctic Ocean. I first posted about him here [link].

JaBig2

Wheel full 70px He has been on the road a little over a year and has ridden a single speed bicycle all the way from the Atlantic Coast in the Maritimes to the Pacific Coast in British Columbia then north up the Alaska Highway headed for Tuktoyaktuk, an Arctic Ocean coastal village in the Northwest Territories.  He has less than a week to go.  His facebook page is one of the most incredible accounts of a long-distance bicycle ride that I have ever seen.

Wow!!

Wheel full 70px Every so often something happens in the community of touring/endurance cyclists that just has one stopping to catch a breath.  I’m not talking about the incredibly sad events involving injury and sometimes death (the community suffered two tragic losses in the last 10 days when ultra-distance cyclist Mike Hall was killed in a competition being held in Australia [link] and then the legendary Steve Tilford died in an auto accident in Colorado [link])- those are terrible occurrences that just leave you shaking your head, and they seem to happen far too often.  Some things, though, just capture what inspires people to get on bicycles and ride, and ride, and ride.  The story of Montrealer Jean Aime Bigirimana, who goes by the name JaBig Chocophile on facebook [link], is one of those.

JaBig

Wheel full 70px This guy is in the last weeks of a 14 month, 17,500 kilometer/11,000 mile plus ride from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean in Canada.  He is currently cycling between Whitehorse and Dawson in the Yukon on the Klondike Highway and will then head north on the Dempster Highway and then ultimately an ice road to Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories…

…wait for it…

…wait…

…wait…

…on a single speed bike!!

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Wheel full 70px For those of you who live in the balmy south- meaning anywhere south of Duluth, Minnesota- you have no idea what this guy is doing. Here’s the weather right now in Dawson.

Dawson Weather 170407

That’s a balmy day for this time of year up here. And it was still winter when JaBig rode up the Alaska Highway, something that can be a challenge in a car.

Wheel full 70px He’s riding Centuries (100 miles/160 kilometers in a day) on a regular basis.  And he’s had his bike stolen during the trip. And been charged by buffalo. He seems to be unstoppable. His facebook page is well worth an extended look – highly recommended.