Most of the rest of the folks at the rally were either still asleep, or not up for much, when I left the hotel at 7:50AM. First stop was a local motorcycle shop. I needed to pick up a cargo net, just in case. You never know when you'll end up picking up something you need to transport back with you, and I wasn't smart enough to bring a backpack or cargo net from home with me.
After that, I made a quick stop at the Louisiana Mall, on the south side of Baton Rouge. I wasn't shopping for anything in particular...Apple Store. I ended up getting a wireless keyboard, which makes doing these blog posts on the iPad a whole lot faster and easier. Great for me, horrible for you since I'll probably end up typing more.
I was all finished with my shopping well before 10:00AM. The first scheduled group ride wasn't planned to start until 2:30PM. I'd heard there was a road that followed the river from Baton Rouge all the way down to New Orleans. This sounded like a good ride and I figured I could be back at the hotel in time to join up with the rest of the group.
River Road does just what the name suggests. It follows the river. The only problem is you can't see the river. There's a 15 foot tall earthen levee that runs the entire distance of the road. The ride was pleasant, none the less. I got to see some great Louisiana pastures and farms, lots of small town, and a litany of industrial plants that flow along with the river. Traffic was light. The sun was shining. I hardly noticed that it took me over 2 hours to get to a spot about 30 minutes outside of the Big Easy.
At that point, I realized I wasn't going to be making it back to the hotel in time for the afternoon ride. So, I decided to keep heading east. A friend at church had asked that if I got a chance, it would be great to stop in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and take a few pictures of the Presbyterian church there. His wife had been down several times to work on the church after Katrina devastated the area. Off to Bay St. Louis I headed. I was only another hour past New Orleans and I was enjoying the sunshine and the road.
On my way home, I decided I didn't want to take so long on the return trip, so I jumped on I-10 and headed west, back towards Baton Rouge. About 40 minutes into the return trip, it dawned on me that riding 70MPH on the interstate, without a windshield, is really hard work. Fortunately, I met up with US-190, which would take me all the way back to Denham Springs and my air conditioned hotel room (did I mention is was over 80 down here today?) Ah, but the back roads of Louisiana aren't all that different from the back roads back home. I could have been back to the hotel in about 60 minutes had I stayed on the interstate. The return took an additional 60 minutes by taking the back roads. It was a much more peaceful and enjoyable ride, but certain parts of me seems to be complaining about it pretty loudly at this point. Loudly enough that I think I need to get up off this couch and head outside for a good walk around.
I managed to ride over 300 miles today. It's good, introspective thinking time for me. Just what the doctor ordered. Tomorrow is another day, and another road.
Tomorrow is another day, and another road.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad