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.
July 6: Even with a wide shoulder, many miles on these roads wore me down.
July 6: Later, the roads got rougher.
July 6: On rough and busy roads, I cycle on sidewalks to stay safe.
July 6: I still enjoyed the trees in Red Baton, otherwise known as Baton Rouge.
July 7: More fun trees
July 7: 58 miles with 217 feel of ascent. I climbed 10x that much on previous days. Louisiana is flat..
July 7: I finally found a nice bike path.
July 7: Until the bike path ended.
July 7: Lots of coal, one of the sights for the day
July 7: More traffic
July 7: Another nice bike path, on a levee
July 7: And this path continued.
July 7: Sights of the day
July 7: I looked forward to some quieter roads when this showed up.
July 7: My detour took me on a busy bridge for miles, over a bayou
July 7: Similar sights
July 7: Loading a big boat
July 7: The tug boat and barges are similar to those in St. Paul, but the river is much wider.
July 7: Entering the outskirts of New Orleans
July 7: A cyclist named Hannibal pulled up
July 7: Finished my 2nd trip across the US
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.