I thought riding west to east meant a tailwind most of the time. That’s been my experience both times I’ve crossed the U.S. on a bike before, but it has not been the case the last few days. We have had a pretty stiff and steady headwind from Houston all the way to where we are now, Opelousas, Louisiana. Thank goodness for the Road to Discovery van! Can you say “motor pacing?” I’d forgotten how much I love it. I remember back in the early Orlando triathlon training days when Julie, Kathy, and I used to squeeze behind Coach Robb’s minivan, with the back gate up, and motor pace all through West Orange County. Fun and fast.
The road quality here in Louisiana has been mostly terrific. Except for the one time the Tom Tom routed us through some crazy dirt and gravel roads. I swear, the standing water on both sides of the trail was moving. Then, we saw a work crew with a sign that said “Danger: Radiation.” I finally resorted to the (almost always) trusty iPhone to get us back on pavement.
Our riding days are between 70 and 140 miles, and we generally start before the sun comes up. Greg has Road to Discovery events and media interviews in the afternoons and evenings, so we like to get an early start. Plus, it’s MUCH cooler and lots of fun to ride in the dark. We have had cloud cover the last two days, so that’s made the 90+ degrees more tolerable. It’s also allowed us to add in short runs at the end of the day. Our run in Houston made my head explode (almost), but today was as good as running in Lousiana in July at 4 pm could be.
Tonight, we are in Opelousas, about halfway between Sulphur and Baton Rouge. We stopped at the “Daily World” for Greg to do an interview. Surprisingly, it’s a daily newspaper. The reporter, who’s also a student at the University of Louisiana, said, “It’s a little town, so when something little happens, it’s big news” or something like that. It made me laugh. Being at that newspaper and in the Lake Charles city hall earlier today brought back great memories of when I first got into reporting. Every day was so exciting, and the learning curve was a rocket trajectory. Fun times.
The next couple of days should be really fun. More motor pacing, hopefully, and we stop in Baton Rouge, where we should get to meet the LSU tiger, Mike, then on to New Orleans. Laissez les bontemps rouler!!!