What we didn’t anticipate today was a stress free ride into New Orleans. So when we did a ‘time check’ after completing the 78 miles from Long Beach, Mississippi to our hotel on Camp Street, we were surprised and jubilant to see it was 3:30pm and we had plenty of time to see the sights of New Orleans…more of that later…
So, with the Gamines loaded with the route planned by Anthony the night before, we set off from Long Beach apprehensive about the volume of traffic we would have to negotiate along the busy routes into Louisiana. Even after peacefully cycling 40 miles along coastal roads and beachfront boulevards that on average serviced 4 vehicles per hour, we were determined to ‘keep it real’ and remain prepared for the tsunami of automotive mass we were likely to experience later on in the ride. Even after completing 50 miles and while passing ‘NASA’ and ‘Lockhead Martin’ industrial parks displaying their massive space shuttle rockets and state of the art technologies, we continued to remind ourselves that the 4 cars passing us each hour was just an anomaly. Unable to see the anomaly for what it was, Anthony was beginning to celebrate on the success of the trip, despite only completing ¾ of it at that point, and suggested stopping for a short while to take photos of the rockets and other stuff in the restricted areas, so we could share the experience with you guys. With a cool head on her shoulders, Kat was not fooled into thinking everything was good in the world; every truck driver loves cyclists and US security companies love people taking photos of their restricted areas. She quickly and firmly told Anthony to keep on movin’ unless he wanted to arrive in New Orleans via Guantanamo Bay!
… And then it happened! Just 12 miles left; after 66 miles of perfect cycling. The tsunami of traffic funnelled through the eye of the needle and arrived all around us. If you can imagine cycling from JFK to Columbus Circle at 8pm you now have first hand experience of what our final 12 miles of dodging traffic was like…horrendously scary. Good news is; we worked together and survived the man-made disaster, eventually arriving at the hotel just in time before the heavens opened. We’ re now in the hotel thwarted by the torrential rain. Hopefully we’ll get to see the delights of the French Quarter tomorrow.