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 a 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.

12 thoughts on “Rough Final Miles

    • Thanks Dave. Looking back, the most unsafe moments were when I got in the middle of many semi-trucks loading a barge, and in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis. It’s not often that a bunch of semi trucks feel similar to suburbs, but for a cyclist, they feel similar.

  1. Awesome! That was so much fun – and very interesting – going along for the ride in these blog posts. But will there be a photo of you dipping your front tire in the Mississippi River like how you dipped the back tire in at Lake Itasca…? 🙂

    Karl

    • Thanks Karl, happy to hear you enjoyed the virtual ride. I meant to take a picture dipping my front tire into the Mississippi at New Orleans, but like many of my plans on a long ride, that plan changed. When I got to New Orleans, I enjoyed the city instead of finding a quiet place by the river.

      • That’s understandable. I’m looking forward to your next adventure. But I suspect that won’t be for a while considering you just got back from this epic journey… But please take me – all of us – on your next “voyage of discovery” when you do decide to hit the road again. 🙂

    • Thanks George. I enjoyed reading your comments. I’ve been meaning to ask, how’d you come across my blog? My apologies if we met in person. I meet a lot of people while cycling, and I have a poor memory for names.

  2. Glad you made it to your destination safely! It was fun following along your adventure. Pretty amazing trip!

    • Thanks Dennis, I enjoyed sharing the ride with you, online and in person. I also hope you keep cycling. If you ever keep a blog or other record of your trips, please let me know. If you use RideWithGPS or Strava, my username is CycleWriter. Maybe we can connect there.

  3. Steven
    Thanks for bringing us along on your ride. Glad to know you make it to the end, safely. Enjoy all that summer has to offer. Happy and safe travels.

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