A Request

MS 12 400px days left to go!!

Wheel full 70pxGary Schmidt and I will each be riding for a good cause while we are on the road this fall in addition to all the other reasons to be out long-distance bike touring.  Gary is a long-time supporter of a local food bank near his home in Maryland and is soliciting donations to that worthy cause here [link].  I will be riding in memory of my beloved grandchild Aidan Barnes, who succumbed to an aggressive form of brain cancer before his second birthday in 2011.

Aidan 800px

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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.


Another Roadside Attraction

AR 14 400px Two weeks from today!

Wheel full 70pxGary Schmidt and I will see amazing things every day of our ride- most of them places that would seem ordinary, day-to-day if you were just passing through or driving by.  On a bike, though, moving along at 10 miles/16 kilometers an hour through the open air, everything takes on a whole new feel.  The little waterfront towns, the lines of bluffs, the cotton fields stretching off to the horizon, the great North Woods, the ancient trees draped with Spanish moss… those and so many many more, all threaded together by the silver and brown flow of an ever widening river.

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Spending the Night

Ilinois Master 400pxdays left.

Wheel full 70pxLast year during my 80+ days of riding down the Atlantic coast from Halifax, Nova Scotia and Key West, Florida, I spent close to $5,000 on lodging, averaging a little more than $60 per night.  My stays were pretty much divided between campgrounds and mom and pop/”budget” motels, but nowhere was cheap.  When a Motel 6 is, at $85 a night plus another $5-10 in tax, the least expensive thing going in an area where there are no campgrounds available, what can you do?  I paid these prices because I had been lulled into a false sense of security during my long rides in the 1990s- “Hiker-Biker” campsites in California State Parks were only six bucks and you could find clean older motels that were still around $25.  No more.

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