Day 56 hammond to slidell ~ an american cyclearama ~ arkansas gas prices

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Today wasn’t the big miles day I’d envisaged, but it brought about it’s own set of challenges so I’m happy with what I ended up doing. The day was really split into two halves. The first consisted of the initial 26 mile ride to Covington and the Brooks bike shop located therein. gas you up The second constituted the remaining miles, 27 of which were on a designated bike path (YES) on which I passed a total of 5 other cyclists. On a Sunday too. I had two very near misses which freaked the hell out of me and brought forth the kind of Dockers language that probably should have stayed on the ships. There was rain too and the ongoing saga of my fricking back tyre raised its ugly head again. Yes, there’s alot to pack in today.

My first thought this morning before climbing back onto my bike, was how much of a pleasure it is to climb back onto my bike. At the end of the day sure I’m happy to get off it, but I’m always happy to get back on it again the next day. Whatever sort of a day I’ve had. I think this is partially to do with control. When I’m on my bike I am constantly moving forward, but when I’m worrying or thinking about the journey I sometimes feel as though the journey is slipping away fro me. electricity quotes by benjamin franklin I have said a few times, to a few different people ‘I just get up and ride my bike’. Ultimately that’s all I do. And I’m definitely the happiest when I’m doing it.

I know you should never wish miles away, but I was keen to get the remaining 22 miles on Highway 190 done and dusted. I don’t like this road with its appearing and disappearing shoulder. And I don’t like the speeds that people do on it. About 19 miles into the ride I had my first close call when someone passed me at speed, taking me completely unawares. This guy seemed more intent on driving over me than keeping himself out of a courtroom on a manslaughter charge. Talking to Danny the other night, he said the situation with regard to how cyclists are perceived over here has changed since drivers started to be jailed for manslaughter and reckless driving. Danny is a Florida native remember and has been touring in this country for a long time. electricity prices by state He has also been run off the road and is familiar with the small mindedness of a small number of people who deliberately go out to harm cyclists. I’m not saying this guy who nearly hit me was trying to harm me, but he had ample space to drive in, I was very visible and it was on a clear road. Then why drove so close and at speed?

Just after that little incident I noticed my back tyre was losing air once again. Partially to see what was going on with it and partially just to calm the hell down I pulled into the next gas station. When I saw the tyre was losing air quicker than I thought I had a clear choice. Attempt the ride to the bike shop and figure out how to fix it, or change it there and then. My decision was partly informed by the fact it had started to rain about 10 miles back and I didn’t want to put another tube in for it to instantly deflate. I topped up the air with my last remaining air canister and went for it. Fortunately the tube held the air ok and I got to Brooks bike shop a relieved man.

I had phoned the shop prior to arriving and I knew they didn’t have the tyres I wanted so I needed another plan. What I eventually did, was swap the back and front tyres around, leave the tyre liners in both and replace both tubes with much thicker rubber puncture proof ones. Owner Patrick let me do all this inside his shop out of the rain and I was very grateful for that. I think I came up with the best solution under the circumstances. It just remains to be seen if it works. I also got myself 4 more gas canisters to help me out with those roadside puncture repairs when time is of the essence.

The second half of the day’s riding was pure magic and is the only reason I am able to report a reasonable mileage today. A very cool 27 miles on the Tammany Trace bicycle path, which meandered through wooded areas, swamps and saturated lowland terrain on a very nicely paved surface. I passed only a handful of people in that time. b games 2 Being completely devoid of other traffic and almost totally empty, I was able to switch off much more than normal. I also felt that I was seeing the real Louisiana. Even though it was raining today, humidity stayed at an eye ball melting 85%. When it wasn’t raining it was so humid that I was sweating. Everything was always damp from something. And when you stopped the mozzies were on you. gas dryer vs electric dryer They must love it here, like a dream holiday for a biting insect. Yesterday when I was fixing my puncture, I felt something on the back of my neck. Because it felt quite big I thought it was a clothes tag or another hangy offy thing, so I casually brushed my hand over it. What it was in fact was a huge mosquito which I had inadvertently rolled into a ball and killed. I’ve read that the mosquitoes here will drink 4 pints of blood and steal your shoes just for a laugh.

The bike path was something that Danny put on my radar and I’m very grateful for that. I would never have found it and it was a joy to ride. The swamps are amazing and I took alot of pictures of them, but I do find them quite menacing. They just feel so heavy. Everything is drenched in mucky water which insects skit across the top of. As you raise your camera up to take a picture you hear the familiar high pitched whine of a mosquito’s wings. There is absolutely no respite it seems and I do not know how you could live amidst this without it driving you nuts. I’d love to know what sort of fish they pull out of these swamps.

I arrived late into Slidell and this is where I had my second close call. Ironically enough I stopped as soon as the bike path finished and joined the road to turn on my bike lights and to start wearing my bright orange jacket for higher visibility. I still nearly got driven over. electricity 24 hours It’s unbelievable. I partly blame myself for this last one though. I always said I wouldn’t ride at night or in low light. Because of the earlier tyre shenanigans I arrived later than expected and at 5pm the light was already quite poor. I decided to bail into a motel. I was wet from the rain and drenched with sweat from the humid ride. I was definitely ready to stop.