Of course it had to be 77 miles, but I could have gone for 77° too. This heat is straight up Wu-Tang*
Shoutout to Talking Heads and WTC on the playlist today. Much of my day was spent on the levee bike path out of NOLA. Fantastic paved path built on top of the levees along the Mississippi River. What a novel idea to put a path along a previously engineered and existing green space. If only Buffalo could take note and do the same along, let’s say, the Olmsted Park system – rather than the current highways that have occupied that truly unique space since the 50s.
Met a fantastic man name Dale in Lutcher Louisiana, he’s got an awesome spot for touring cyclists out there. I stopped by to escape the midday heat but didn’t stay. I feel like the first day out should be one of the toughest, and 50 miles before lunch time wouldn’t cut it. Plus I wanted I sleep outside. Nonetheless, the back of his man cave spot has one of the most impressive bike repair setups I have ever seen. I told him I’d probably be wishing I had access to it in the next few weeks. We talked about his days of riding, about Louisiana history, and about his retirement plan – which involves enough private land to allow him to ride around in his tractor with a shotgun wearing nothing but a straw hat. Quite an interesting and awesome guy, and he even has a map that designates New York City as a secondary city – gotta love it.
It only took me about 2 miles to have a car pass me way too close, but it did take 60 miles before I saw a confederate flag. I’ve been considering keeping count, but that might prove futile in a matter of days. (I saw a total of 3 today, which is less than I’ve seen riding through North Tonawanda, NY – a city which was clearly never in the confederacy.)
Built my own castle for the night in the backyard of another awesome bicycle tourist named Adam. The subculture that is humans who ride bikes long distances never ceases to amaze me – the coolest people from across the globe end up with so much in common when that’s the starting basis. Adam is big into bikepacking, a term I’ve only recently learned about. He tells me the distinction mainly lies in the fact that it’s more off road than standard bicycle touring, which tends to be on paved roads. Really nerdy shit. While I enjoy sleeping in a tent as opposed to hotels, hostels or garages, I wasn’t sure how into bikepacking I’d be until I browsed through some of his books on the subject and discovered the phenomenon that is the packraft – an inflatable boat that u can bring on your bike and make the journey both land and water-based. Absolute tits! I may have yet another thing to spend my well earned money on.