Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Last weekend in New Orleans before the Transcon

I had a marvelous weekend in New Orleans. I had a blast riding with my best rando buds. I have ridden more miles with Pat, Steve and Dennis than any other randos. I really love riding with them and this weekend was really special for me knowing that they as much as anyone have supported my crazy idea to ride my bike across America.

I told them first. It was on the New Orleans 300k in March of 2009 that I announced that I was going to do the cross country. At that point, PAC Tour had not finalized the true course and it would change multiple times over the next few months, but that did not matter. Steve and Dennis listened intently as we rode along to Sorrento. I told them worse case scenario is that I would train hard, lose weight, and just become a better cyclist. Well, it looks like I have achieved the worst case scenario and everything else is the gravy!

I completed three rides over the weekend. Friday I did the Crab Shack 100k and then added miles on the levy to get to 101. Saturday, Pat and I met Steve and 3 potentially new randos for a 107k populaire. We added enough miles for me to end up with 98 for the day. On Sunday Steve and Dennis showed up at Pat's and we did the Ponchatula 200k.

For the most part the rides were uneventful. All of the rides are on the levy at one point or another. Right now the levy is flooded and home to more different kinds of ducks and duck like birds than I have ever seen.
I have been able to" identify a couple of them.  The Mississippi overflow is home to wood ducks, black bellied whistling ducks, yellow crowned night herons and many other ducks and marsh birds I still need to identify.  One of my favorites is a dark blue or deep purple marsh bird with a light blue beak.  I can't find this one on any of the bird identifing websites.

My Friday ride was fun and gave me 40 miles of rain - some pretty heavy.  This is the first rain I have ridden in this year!

Saturday, Steve, Pat and I met 3 new randos for an intro to randonneuring 107k ride.  Erin, is getting back into long distance cycling and is an accomplished touring cyclist.  Sharon is new to long distance and cycling in general.  This ride would be her longest ever.  Evan is a young guy that can easily ride long distance and do it fast.  He needs a little guidance to become a good randonneur, but I don't doubt that he is capable of doing the longer rides without a problem.

We start the ride on time and within a couple miles I  hear the most awful sound a cyclist can hear.  Evan went  down!  Fortunately, he hit the edge of the levy and fell into the grass.  He had a small scrape on his elbow, but was not hurt otherwise.  The fall however rolled his tire. 

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