headwinds

we left in the morning a little early, the goal ws to beat some of the persistent headwinds that we have encountered.
they are a steady 15 mph out of the east and have been slowing us down and burning energy. the winds were early as well,but it does keep it cooler as we had no cloud cover. you can really smell the gulf as you get close and it was really nice riding, good pavement as we watch the gulls dive for food. a late lunch and then some of the toughest riding of the trip. the 12 miles to douphine island over the 10 mile bridge. we caught the ferry to fort morgan and were met by tom and louise flickenger who will start with us this morning.
we say good bye to joel press, margaret tumas, david tenney and jim colley. my sincere thanks for their humor and good cheer over a tough stretch.
we will be in florida by the end of today.
be well,
steph

Alabama!

the day was typical, head winds and rollers, we are a little behind and we had two goals today, making it to alabama and put 50 miles behind us. after a slow morning it started to flatten out and joel,david,hodge,margaret(cousin)and i started to make some ground. we rolled into alabama about 430pm on great pavement, called it quits at 6pm, had a beer to celebrate both a new state and margaret’s bday.
have a chance to make fla tomorrow but need flat pavement and tail winds.
be well,
steph

3 day review

been a busy few days. let me bring you up to speed. 3 days ago kevin brown, tim jenkins, john mcclinden, greg smart, turner stephen, jamie cowie pulled out after lunch. i thank them for all their support. we rode into a hot afternoon and were joined by joel press. we finished in a baptist church parking lot, set up shop, and had a few cold ones. john benedetto, his friend chris, tom wiscomb, john olvany, and ken mctammany headed home.

2 days ago, the goal was to get to mississippi. my cousins kathy and margaret had joined us, and we were met by rollers and hot weather. we were also joined by jim colley, mark florian, and john palmer. the riding was fun, the pace slow. we had one scare when jenna weyman got clipped by a pickup truck. no serious injuries, but a front wheel and a helmet are on the sidelines. the end of the day lost the weymans back home, and john palmer back to new orleans. highlight of the day was lunch in the barn.

yesterday we started early. the rollers continued. the weather very nice, and the scenery beautiful. the roads are relatively empty. we were making good time, but ran into a dead-end bridge. it turned us back and put us in a detour, and we came up short of our goal for the day. we were joined in the afternoon by my friend david tenney.

update on timing: i am a solid day behind itenerary and would now push my finish date back at least one day. we are 20 miles out of vancleave. hope to get to alabama today, florida by wednesday, but again, losing time. estimated miles to completion: 620 miles.

be well, steph

a couple of great days

yesterday was a great day, weather perfect, it was going to be lonely as we had said goodbye to all our fellow ridders. around 430pm kevin schrier and jay costly, buddies from home pulled up and we crossed the mississippi river with a police escort, our goal was to get northeast of baton rouge as big crowd coming in that night and we wanted a clear takeoff spot in the morning. we rode till 745, covered 54 for the day and made up for some lost ground.
big group in that night, lincoln did a great job of getting everyone ready, we motored out to our take off spot and 14 of us lifted off. no shoulder, heavy traffic, but that improved as we got to the country. we had a midmorning break at a watermellon stand, never tasted sweeter. weather hot and humid with heavy cloud cover. lite wind. lunch was under our tent, buffet stlye, new arrivals as we finished lunch and now 17 of us pushed out.
weather was dicey and lightning was close so we took cover, waited for a break and pulled out again. the rain came, i mean epic, we were riding into a firehose, had trouble keeping eyes open. some took cover, others road, i have never seen rain fall like this. lincoln had packed a few bikes in and pulled forward to cover the riders on the road. to make a long funny story short, tom wiscomb was left behind, driving rain storm, rural nowhere, no money, dying cell phone, wearing spandex when not a good place to wear spandex. we eventually got him…………..but you have to have him tell the story. dinner was a terrific cajun feast compliments of kevin brown.
my sincere thanks, everyone loved it.
we are still moving northeast trying to reconnect with our orginal route, hope to get there today, lots of miles to go.
be well,
steph

wild two days

we left lafeyette la. headed to breaux bride with 4 fraternity brothers, bo jones (and son), mark walker, tom merriall and mike pheiffer. it was great to see these guys and we did an easy 20 mile loop into town with a stop for picnic lunch. we met mike Leonard from the today show and then road to the edge of an inland lake for a little swap tour. our host was 77 years old, a real character, so after a little moonshine, beer and tour we finished with 10 miles to hotel. that night we were treated to some serious Cajun hospitality at the home of a friend of mikes, live music, great food and new friends. my friends chris hurley and mike mertz caught up to us that evening as well. it was a late night.
we left the next morning in good spirits, goal was baton rouge, turned into worst riding day of trip. we were only a few miles into it when we hit a levy with a dirt and gravel road, very tough for trike. the lightning strikes came while the rv was still with us so we took cover. the rain was drenching, the road turning to mush. the worst of that passed and we agreed to move on, the rv would turn and meet us where pavement started, we thought a few miles away. we were on our way, the drenching rain came again and never left, the rv was stuck in the mud and unknown to us pavement was 20 miles away. it took 9 hours through pouring rain to get to the road.
we loading up, 40 miles to hotel, beer and pizza in lobby. we said our goodbyes as everyone moving out, special thanks to dale for all his help and to all my buddies who helped get me through that epic day.
be well,
steph

this image doesn't do the gravel mud rain storm levy road justice.. the footage is a bit more revealing though!

loving la.

yesterday was a blast, we were joined by bill ross and gordon montgomery, friends from home. we backtracked 7 miles and started on a warm day with great clound cover. we had many friendly honks and a comfortable morning.
our route had many turns but we navigated well, lunch was a great picnic although we did it in sun as the shade meant going closer to trees and we were running into snakes. tom got a great shot of a water maccosin, hope we get that posted.
traffic was light, scenery was great, we rolled 47 miles. beers were cold and we started just as the heavens opened up, our timing was perfect, the rain was warm.
today bill, gordon, parker,dale and i drove to breaux bridge for breakfast, a cool town we will ride to tomorrow. we lost tom,louis,bill,jeff early this morning and bill, gordon and my son parker to airport. i just chilled the rest of day, we have some route adjusting to do and get ready for push to fla.
be well,
steph

eunice la

we were joined this morning by jeff malhorn, tom willsey, louis wilson and bill walker. we had a big storm last night so it was much cooler this morning, we backtracked 40 miles to where we left off, it was a bit of a late start, a headwind, but good karma got us going. an early flat and a bad bearing on a wheel were the only things that slowed us down. our picnic roadside lunch included a visit by the cheif of the elton police dept. he asked us to stop by city hall and say hello to the mayor, we said goodbye to colin and hunter hall. we had a nice visit with the mayor, she was very proud of elton, pop. 1261.
our goal was to roll into the hotel but a late afternoon storn nixed that. we pulled up 7 miles short of hotel and will restart there in morning.
be well,
steph

DeRidder hospitality

our rest day ended with a dinner hosted by our friends at amerisafe, our team was graciously presented the key to the city by the mayor of deridder.
it was a very special evening and our thanks to our host alan bradley and our friend john potter who put us together. we were joined during the evening by colin hall and his son hunter.
this morning brought us back to amerisafe headquarters to start where we left off, all 200 plus employees were there to see us off and after a prayer we were lead out of town by a police escort, we were humbled by their hospitality.
we are taking a detour to breaux bridge la. to meet our friends at the today show, we will met them on the 11th.
we rolled south then turned east, weather threatening, we did a solid 40 miles and picked up. we are staying in eunice and will ride here tomorrow.
my son parker joined us and more friends expected tonight.
be well,
steph

catching up

today is a rest day in deridder la. rv cleaned thanks to dale, trailer cleaned by lincoln, we ran hard for 8 straight days and are frayed. lincoln and i visted with local tv reporter, watched ourselves on 6 oclock news.
two days ago dale, dave, brad and i rolled out after our cajon dinner, lots of heat and the humidity is here to stay. we had a small town police escort through some busy areas and made great time, closing in on la.
yesterday was a long haul, we agreed to shoot for deridder, 60 hot miles away. nick weir was back for his second 1 day ride and off we went.
we left texas at 2pm, took photos and lost brad and dave to vernon, our great friend at the parking spot.
we had a very special treat as we rolled into deridder, new friends at the insurance co. amerisave greated us at their headquarters, we truely enjoyed the special treatment and removed the texas flag and put on mardi gras beads.
it is official we are in la.
we are going to detour south and will update itinerary.
be well,
steph

the day after

we moved a bit slower this morning, a little hesitant as we pulled into sharon’s cafe where we had left off. we unloaded bikes, the stereo quiet.
we knew we had dodged a bullet. dale brought us together for a prayer and we headed out. the weather was hot, it got over 100 degrees, humidity was high and we were all sluggish. we met a couple of riders from houston training for an ironman, had a late lunch, said goodbye to todd and russ.

Mark & Jerry after Gumbo, Texas style.

it was dale, lincoln and i after lunch, it seemed cooler, traffic lite, breeze on our back and flat, we clicked off some miles. we had a dinner with jerry sanford, a new friend who brought us a great gumbo dinner, jerry is part of a cycling club that found our story on line, true southern hospitality.

good friends brad rendell and dave wright have arrived for a few days, tomorrow we should roll into sitsbee tx, our last night in texas.
i am guessing about 1200 miles to go……….
be well,
steph

Just in case you didn't know, Steph talks to all the horses we pass