Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Orleans to Biloxi, Mississippi

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I left New Orleans at about 8:30 am yesterday and made my way out on the 90, which is a nice hwy for LA standards, with a big paved shoulder, not too much traffic and beautiful scenery. It was tough to leave though, I have to admit. I really wanted to stay another week for the upcoming jazz fest and to hang out longer with the cool people I had met there. But, I needed to move on to stay on schedule, which is something I have been thinking long and hard about, but ill come to that later.

At any rate, I was hauling butt out of LA on nice flat roads and, are you ready for this, the first day with no wind in weeks! Yes! I felt like my bike had grown wings with the lack of head wind. Well, my dream of having wings was more accurate than I had thought because I soon felt like Icarus when my rear wheel took a nail clean through the tube, tire liner and tire landing me on the side of the road in the heat, 25 miles from a town in either direction. That was no good. And, in all the fun I was having in New Orleans, I had forgotten to get a spare tube.

So i had to flag down a friendly stranger who gave me a ride to the nearest town...25 miles northwest. Ouch! That is the opposite way I wanted to go. So by the time I got new tubes, replaced them (and of course, it was the rear tire again) and made it back to where I was, I had lost a lot of time.

I eventually made it to Mississippi, over another big, scary ridge with no shoulder. The gulf coast of Mississippi is nothing like i expected. It is very beautiful, but also still very devastated from the hurricane. here is a really strange mix of people here too, for a beach community. I ended up having to sleep in a hotel again because i didnt make it to the state park i was shooting for due to all of the delays i have been having. Oh well, i got a nice sleep and shower and continental breakfast.




I will be in Alabama later today, and there is no wind so far today (knock on wood) and flat terrain, so i should be able to make good time. And here is a MS bridge, they know how to build them right!

One last note, I am considering making a pretty big change in my route plan. I have been thinking about this since New Mexico, but I am just about convinced that this is the right change to make. I am thinking about cutting out the rest of my North American tour after I get to Miami in favor of going straight into Mexico and then slowing my pace. That way, i will have 10 months to just cruise down the pacific coast of Central and South America and really take the time to enjoy myself. It dawned on me when I was in New Orleans and in Austin that I wanted to stay longer, but i felt compelled to leave to maintain a schedule. I am on this trip to get AWAY from schedules! If i try to do everything on the first leg of my trip that i want to in the time frame i proposed, I will be constantly on the move at a fairly fast pace.

I think I will have more fun if i take the pressure down a notch and slow down. It stinks though because I am dying to go to New York, DC, boston, chicago and Yellowstone, Arches, Zion, Moab and the Grand canyon. Those are things I most want to check out in the USA, but, i can also go back to those places anytime from home. I am itching to get to some more exotic locales too. America is great, but it is also my back yard and i am getting sick of riding past one town full of fast food joints and walmarts after another.

My mind isnt made yet, but I am pretty sure that I am going to make my way into Mexico from FL and then slow my pace so that I can spend more time doing things besides riding. I think that will make the journey more enjoyable. The world is a big place! But quality vs. quantity comes into play too when trying to see it. And, I can also fly into New York when i come home, and then ride back to California on my way home.

8 comments:

Steven Andrés said...

Definitely makes sense to change routes - as you mentioned, schedules are for us dumb folk that punch a timecard every day. You're on a self-guided three year tour of the planet - what's the rush? Let me know when you plan on being in Buenos Aires - I've got family there.

LSUtri-guy said...

Yay, No Wind! Boo, Flat tire! Especially because we partied too hard in N.O. for you to remember to get something that important! what a knuckle head!

Anonymous said...

you're making great time! enjoy your trip.. have fun. i agree with the no schedules and pressures.. just go where your legs lead you! keep it up!!!

-maddie may!

danny garcia said...

give me a call bro, 619-929-4136. what day this week will you get to panama city? Im flying nights, but im free after friday night. its cool your close.

eric ossello said...

Biloxi...my mom was born there :)....I think your schedule change makes great sense!!

Thanks for the reads Reece!!

Reecius said...

Hey guys! always good to hear from everyone. Steven, yes I will be in BA, definitely let me know if you have friends, it would be cool to hang out.

Dave, hahah, we got pretty out of control on saturday, i had so much fun, thanks for coming out!

Danny, i will call you today, it would be awesome to hang out again! I should be in Panama Beach thursday though, i dont know if that will work for you,.

Reecius said...

Hey guys! always good to hear from everyone. Steven, yes I will be in BA, definitely let me know if you have friends, it would be cool to hang out.

Dave, hahah, we got pretty out of control on saturday, i had so much fun, thanks for coming out!

Danny, i will call you today, it would be awesome to hang out again! I should be in Panama Beach thursday though, i dont know if that will work for you,.

Anonymous said...

Reece,

The idea of slowing down is a good one in my opinion. Take it slow, chill and appreciate areas you'll likely never be able to return to.

Simon the appraiser