Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Staying in St. Francisville

Sorry for the delay in posting this edition. Got in too late last night to update.

Yesterday's ride was a new route for Womantours from Lafayette to St. Francisville, LA. I think riders would agree that the route and roads were very nice. I was driving the sag wagon, so it didn't matter much to me. I did get a public broadcasting radio station in the car, and had air conditioning, so I was a pretty happy camper. Especially when the passing torrential rain storms blew through!

The route was, again, flat except for one bridge over the Atchafalaya river. We also had a 4-mile stretch over a bayou on a bridge which did not have any shoulder and had traffic whizzing by at 65 mph. So, the early batch of riders went across with the van and trailer following them. I followed the rest of the riders. It was really impressive watching them pedaling two-by-two in close formation. These ladies have become such good riders. They've ridden far more than I have, given my sag days and the few days I've ridden in the van, and the miles are reflected in their steady, strong legs!

The day ended with a ferry ride across the Mississippi. Last year the river was too high for the ferry to run, so the riders had to be shuttled in the van all the way to Baton Rouge and then back north to St. Francisville.

Today was flat tire day. One rider had a flat before she left the hotel. Another rider had a flat before the bayou bridge ride. Other riders found road debris in their tires before it became a problem. Shortly before the ferry ride one rider had to replace a tire as well as a tube. She had the notorious Bontrager rim, which we've found is not conducive to on-road tire or tube replacement. It is simply too hard to get the tire back on this rim. We tried and tried to roll the tire back onto the rim, and each time finally had to use tire irons to put the tire back on, which only resulted in two pinch flats. At that point, she and her riding partner decided to sag on in. Was nice for me to have company at the end of the day, but I know they would rather have cycled.

At St. Francisville we are staying in two separate places. The bulk of the riders and the van and trailer are at the Butler Greenwood B&B, which is an old plantation dating to the 1790's. The same family has held onto it all these years. It is a gorgeous facility, with many old trees and nice cottages and is located 2-3 miles from town. It doesn't have internet service or a real big breakfast and its location away from town means riders have to bike in to have lunch and dinner. A handful of us are staying at the St. Francisville Inn, which is in town and has its own gentle ambience as well as a great buffet breakfast and internet. Hard to say which place is better, especially since the kids from hell were in the room next door. Had to go to sleep with earplugs and the air conditioner running full blast to drown them out.

We're here for the day (and unfortunately I think the kids from hell are too). Tomorrow we're on to Hammond, LA on yet another new route for Womantours and I'll be back to pedaling. We were told tomorrow's 87-mile ride has some rolling hills, which will be a welcome change!


Thom said...

Do you still have bugs in your teeth? Aren't you glad you don't have the Marlo hairdo? Talk about a bug trap!
You're doing a great job! Ride like the wind Aunt Nancy.
You missed Ruthie's birthday yesterday. We told her it was her special day and I think she understood. She pranced around like a little Princess all day yesterday. She's back to her goofy self today. So much for quick maturation!
Have fun and be good.

Horseshoe#1 said...

Two questions:

1. Are you there yet?

2. Did the bran ever kick in?

kak said...

How old are the kids from hell? You can really let the imagination run with the old South. Did you ever read the VC Andrews books? Hope the mosquitos aren't biting yet. Did the Mississippi feel like it had strong currents? We're looking forward to you and Peter stopping by altho I know you want to get to VT and be home with your Peter and your puppy. Found some places for all of you on the Big Island - Waimea - cool farmland with horses!! Luv ya, Kak