Well, as I say every single time I blog, it’s been a while since I have blogged. But, I will do my best to recap what has happened since Pensacola Beach (quite a lot). I have been lately choosing sleep over blogging, but really I just am a little lazy after biking some miles. Anyway, here are some pictures!
These are pictures of Alabama. The top is us riding into Mobile and the bottom is just a nice pic of the countryside. Overall, the state was quite hilly, and gave us some tough rides, but it was quite scenic!
This is me standing in front of the Mississippi state sign. I am not really sure why I am posing like this, but I did not really know what to do with my hands I guess. This is where the humidity really started getting bad. However, we did ride on essentially flat roads and next to the coast a lot of the time. This did provide for some windy days, though. A picture below is me showing a confused tourist where an unfamiliar object is on the water on a Mississippi beach. Really, it’s just my friend, Kevin.
I am again not sure what I am doing in front of the Louisiana state sign, but I did not know what to do with my hands. The pictures right below that one is us about 30 miles away from New Orleans! Before I post some pictures there, I just want to say that Louisiana’s roads are quite awful. I got my first flat in Louisiana, and there are multiple roads that even a car would get destroyed on due to the inhumane amount of cracks and holes. Anyway, below are some pictures from our rest day in New Orleans!
Although rather dark, this is a picture of my friend, Aaron, and I standing on Bourbon Street! The night we rolled into New Orleans, we made a trip to this famous street and had some fun hanging out here at night. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain, but that did not stop us from enjoying our time there!
The next morning, we went to the French Quarter and hung out there for the day. The above pictures are from there. For brunch, we went to the famous Café du Monde and had some beignets and coffee. Then, we went to the Market Café to stuff our faces with more brunch food. I could barely move after, but we quickly got up and walked around to visit some shops set up in the area. I bought a New Orleans shirt and tried bargaining for some sunglasses (cutting the price down by a whole dollar!).
Later, we wandered around more and found ourselves in the midst of a makeshift jazz band near a church in the area. The second picture above is part of our group in front of that church. It was quite a scenic area! In fact, just in front of that Church are some concrete steps where we ate ice cream and passed out for a nap for about 1 hour.
The last picture is the house of blues in the French Quarter, which was mainly just a cool, jazzy area to walk around in. We really got the whole bluesy, jazz scene in New Orleans, and I honestly loved it.
After learning about some confusion with what we were able to eat for dinner that night, we decided to pay for this dinner cruise (price was cut in half for us, because we were doing the ride for cancer), and have some amazing food and see some amazing views!
I was honestly ready to get out of Louisiana, though. The humidity there was even worse than Mississippi, and it was constantly raining/storming. Our ride from our last stop in Louisiana into Beaumont, TX, turned out to be quite the trek, though! Originally, the day was supposed to be 97 miles until our next host in Beaumont. A long day, but definitely something we were capable of. However, after riding 12 miles past a necessary turn on our route, we were in for a lot more miles! Some decided to shuttle back to our original location in the van, but me, Brad, and Tyler decided we wanted to ride our bikes the whole day. After all, I knew the ride this summer was going to be challenging, there were going to be some unforeseen circumstances, and I was riding for my mom and dad that day! They would noy “cut it short” for me, and anybody dealing with cancer cannot avoid unforeseen circumstances.
So, we gave ourselves about 100 oz. of water each, carried a frame pump, extra tubes, sunblock, and food, and called ourselves “unsupported” for the day. Our goal was to catch up and overtake the rest of the pack.
About 12 miles later, we ended up passing many of the groups stopped at the lunch stop, and astonishingly finished first for the day! We averaged about 17 or 18 mph for the day (which slowed to 15 or 16 mph in the wind), but the final mileage amounted to 118.5 miles, my longest day yet!
Here is the ever important picture in front of the state sign for Texas. I honestly could not believe we were pretty much in the middle of the country.
Here is also a bridge we rode over, which was probably about a mile incline to get to the top! We actually ended up getting pulled over by a cop halfway up, who thankfully escorted us for the rest of the length of the bridge, since bridges like this can be a bit dangerous to ride over.
We finally arrived in Beaumont after the long day to some awesome hosts. It was a Methodist Church, and many members of the church were eagerly waiting outside to cheer us on as we arrived. We ate some great pasta dishes and Blue Bell ice cream, and got free massages from a masseuse who graciously gave them to our aching muscles! They also provided us with beer, snacks, and pure hospitality for the rest of the night.
We set out the next day for Houston, where we also had very hospitable hosts. After quite a hectic day with mechanical problems, we arrived at an Episcopal Church to a member of the Church ready to take us to his beautiful home for a nice shower. It was my first shower in an actual house for quite a while, and boy did it feel nice. We also got a great taste of some good Tex Mex food. They also had Blue Bell ice cream for us! I wish we could have stayed longer there, but we had to keep moving.
The next morning, we set out from Houston. The pastor from the Church blessed our bikes and said a prayer before we left for our 67 mile day with a Houston Fox News reporter and cyclist to Navasota, TX. As it turned out, that was our most efficient and mechanical-problem-free day yet! We did not take too long at the water stops, and ended up making it to our host, a Baptist Church, at around 1:45 PM! We had almost the whole day to go to a bike shop near Texas A&M University, a target to try to unsuccessfully find American flag shorts for our Fourth of July ride to Austin, and even go to a DQ at night for some ice cream.
Today, our ride was from Navasota to La Grange, TX. The ride was beautiful. We again had a prayer said upon us before we left, and we rode through the heart and birthplace of Texas. Here are some pictures:
Today was quite hot. At one point, the heat index was 100 degrees! Yet, it was only 65 miles and we made it here by around 2:20 PM. The hills are now back, though, after a week of relatively flat roads! Yet, in my opinion, hills do make the route a bit more exciting and had at to the element of surprise that one after crossing a hill big enough that it obstructs all view of the countryside behind it.
Well, that’s what I have for now! I’ll try to blog more frequently, but make sure to comment with any questions or anything like that. Thanks for reading!