Rough Final Miles

Blog post for 6-8 July 2021

On July 6 and 7, many semi-trucks, and other trucks, came up-close-and-personal. That dampened the excitement about being close to finishing. There was a wide shoulder, but traffic made it hard to relax and enjoy the ride.

My guess is that quiet roads were rare since more towns show up close to New Orleans, and the Mississippi River only gives enough space for highways, not quiet roads. All that led to cycling on the shoulder of 2-lane highways.

On July 8, I often cycled on a bike path that was on top of a levee. It was fun seeing the Mississippi River again, but still, the ride was less pleasant since many of the sights involved refineries.

Having carried on about parts that weren’t much fun, cycling into New Orleans was great, as the video shows.

Ten years ago, I was starting my first bike tour, across Britain. Since then, I cycled for about 9,000 miles on bike tours. This ride was different. During most of it, I felt certain about cycling back to Minnesota, but I changed my mind in the last few hundred miles. This post gives some of the reasons. The roads were rough, and many miles of seeing refineries don’t give much back for the effort.

After any long bike ride, it takes a few weeks to realize what happened. In that time, I’ll likely remember the better parts of this ride more than the final few hundred miles. But still, one part of this ride was as good as ever. I met many generous strangers. Several are from Minnesota, so I’m looking forward to seeing them soon.

The song for today is slightly predictable.

Sorry for taking so long to add this last post. Life was busy after finishing. I enjoyed New Orleans for a few days, rode an Amtrak to Chicago, and enjoyed Chicago with friends I met while cycling across the US in 2018.