Day 36: Beaumont to Lake Charles

Day 36: Beaumont to Lake Charles

i Oct 27th No Comments by

Statistics

*Rode from Beaumont, TX to Lake Charles, LA – 60 miles
*Climbed a total of 573’
*Maximum elevation – 88’
*Total time on the bike – 4 hours and 44 minutes
*Average speed 12.9 mph

Commentary

Maybe Larry and Jeff are growing up. Maybe!

Today there was no rain. A little mist in the morning and lots of water from the road, but we were not soaked through. By lunch we were taking off the rain gear and putting on sunglasses. It was a great fall ride in the low lands of Louisiana.

We knew starting out that we would need to ride on Interstate 10 a couple times. While a little nerve racking, it was no big deal and we did not get arrested. (Always a bonus!)

Over the years of bicycling together Dad and I have done some risky things in the name of “we have to get it done”. We biked to our cabin in Irons, MI when I was in High School with no plan. We went “just one more city” in Florida and ended up biking in the dark for a couple hours. We biked in downtown Miami (the worst traffic ever!). We went across the everglades (70 miles) with only a gallon of water. Last year we did turn back because of wind and cold, but went back again the next day. All this was done so there would never be a gap in our goal. “No asterisk!”

Today we closed the gap and have from San Diego, CA to Baton Rouge, LA finished. I am proud, however, to say the there will always be an asterisk in Lake Charles, LA. With 5 miles to go we were bicycling on I10 which was the only way over the lake. We have gone over bigger bridges. We have bicycled in heavier traffic (though not much). And we have biked on 4 lane roads with no shoulder. But never in the combination we faced on that bridge. It took us about 15 seconds to decide that there was no way we were going over that bridge. (It took us another 5 minutes do decide to have Mom and Jeri come get us.).

While there was no decision to make, I was a little disappointed at the time. This is my first asterisk! Today, however, (I am writing this on the 28th) I feel proud. At 70 and 43 years of age Larry and Jeff did not go over that bridge. We assessed the risk and decided that it was not worth it. Maybe we are growing up. Maybe.

P.S. Only 860 miles left! Baton Rouge, LA to Saint Augustine, FL – 85. About 15 days of riding. We will finish this in 2010!

PSS. Texas is done! 4 separate trips and over 1,000 miles. YeeHaw!

Day 35: Houston to Beaumont

i Oct 26th No Comments by

Statistics

*Rode from Houston, TX to Beaumont, TX – 76 miles
*Climbed a total of 775’
*Maximum elevation – 107’ (Minimum -63’’)
*Total time on the bike – 6 hours and 30 minutes
*Average speed 11.7 mph

Commentary

I have been bicycling for 20 years as an adult. If I throw in riding to ODL as a kid to mow the lawn (I hated that job!), I probably have over 40,000 miles on a bike. One would think there was nothing new to experience after this many miles. Wrong!

Today I did something I have never done before – ride in the rain all day. I have ridden in below freezing. I have climbed 10,000′ in one day. I have ridden over 150 miles in one day. But until today I had never ridden more than a couple hours in the rain.

We started today in the mist, within 30 minutes we were in a driving rain that was bouncing off the pavement, and from the end of hour #1 until the end of hour #9 it was an “all day drizzle”. (Do I really have to count this as a vacation day?)

We did have some help. #1 it was not very cold – 70 degrees when we started and 55 degrees when we finished. (I do not think I could do an all day rain at 40 degrees.). #2. Jeri and Mom hauled all our gear and met us twice to let us warm up in the car. Just the knowledge that we could get warm within an hour of a phone call was a big pick-me-up. #3. It was flat as a pancake. Even in Holland we climb more than 250′ in 20 miles.

Before breakfast Jeri and I walked outside and looked around. It was not raining yet – Just a lot of dark clouds. As we stood there looking at the sky a small the sun broke through a small opening. At that time I thought “Hay maybe it will get sunny. By the end of the day I thought about that opening and The Lorax came to mind.

Tomorrow we close the gap! Tonight we are safe and healthy and do not have to sleep in a tent!