We were supposed to cycle 91 miles into Simmesport today! You remember, we mentioned it on yesterday’s blog and explained that if we didn’t post a blog today there would be no need to panic. We, on the other hand, were slightly panicked about what we might find in Simmesport after last night, when (i) Leroy, South Louisiana’s very own version of Crocodile Dundee, insisted on giving us four separate phones numbers of his friends and family just in case anything happened; (ii) Garrett, who has lived in Louisiana for over 5 years, had never heard of the place; and (iii) a very friendly truck driver we met at breakfast this morning, who looked as if he could change a truck tyre just as easily and quickly as Anthony could change a bicycle tyre asked “Why would y’all want to stay in Simmesport? Be safe y’all”.
Running low on confidence, but full on determination, we finished breakfast, completed our morning stretch routines, switched on the Gamines and set off through the very heavy traffic of Baton Rouge, contending with some bizarre weather systems along the way. Crazy as it may seem, it was hot, wet and foggy all at the same time but Anthony was overjoyed to have the opportunity to utilize his brand new ‘Pimp My Ride’ features: Flashing LED Lights on his front forks… don’t ask. Thankfully, we eventually left the busy roads and made it onto the Mississippi levee route where Anthony took a photo of a supersize Meccano structure: to Kat’s surprise it was a worthy addition to the photo gallery (check it out it’s cool).
… before moving on, here are some interesting facts about Baton Rouge (i) it has the tallest state capitol building in the USA, which we saw shrouded in mist as we made our way along the levee (ii) 99% of people drive to work and the average commute is 22 minutes, which explains the ridiculous traffic (iii) Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal made his first steps at Louisiana State University (LSU) toward earning a $21 million dollar NBA salary, which bears no relevance to our ride but nonetheless is our favourite of the three facts.
So, today’s route was made up of 3 parts. Part 1: cycle 40 miles from Baton Rouge to St. Francisville, Part 2: catch a small ferry across the Mississippi to New Roads, Part 3: cycle 50 miles to Simmesport. With Part 1 completed relatively easily, we arrived at the banks of the Mississippi in fog so dense you couldn’t see the ferry just 20ft in front of you. With images of Stephen King’s novel “The Fog” in her mind, Kat ordered Anthony to walk down to the water’s edge to see if the Ferry was there. Reluctantly, Anthony tiptoed through the fog and never came back…
Kat x (please read previous blog post)