The crew arrived in New Orleans today! I’m really impressed. Two riders who had never done a multi-day day tour like this just hopped on bikes and rode across a big chunk of the country. Hopefully it inspires other people to get out there and experience some of the fun. It’s such a cool way to travel. All in all the ladies pedaled 532 Miles… enjoy a final day wrap up from the crew below.
From Liz: Thinking back on today is almost a blur. I was so set on arriving in New Orleans today it was difficult to focus on taking in the sites. We got an early start this morning in order to finish early in New Orleans. It was still hot by 10am. Emily got a bit sunburned. The last long stretch of the day we spent on the Mississippi Trail, a lovely little paved trail that runs along the Mississippi River. More
This morning was actually chilly. It was wonderful, but a bit windy. After the first 9 miles, we had warmed up enough to loose our jackets.
While tossing over my jacket to Phil, I lost my balance and couldn’t get my foot unclipped. I toppled right over. I landed in perfectly soft grass so it was hilarious. It kept me grinning for hours. I put my chain back on and we pressed on.
From Phil: I got to sleep in all the way till 8:30 today. We crashed at our friend Abigail and Josh’s last night. I was awakened by Liz jumping up and down on our air mattress until I got up. We got dressed and walked to a local coffee shop for some cold brew and cookies.
We drove out to Baton Rouge to go check out the city and a visit local bike shop. The shop was half bike shop and half machine shop; it’s a good mix of city bikes and new and mid school BMX parts. I could tell the shop owner was into making custom frames. 16″ Strider style bikes, some 20″ and 24″ creations filled the shop. More
From Liz: Today was a hot one. The first half of the day Emily and I spent on our own. Unlike most days, we did not have longer than a 9 mile stretch on any road. The area we were in felt very desolate. We would go miles without seeing another car or person. It felt like a movie desert.
We rode past a number of crawfish ponds and ended up on another dirt road today. It was the roughest we’ve been on yet and was mostly gravel for 3 miles or so.
From Phil: Going down the frontage road on I-10 in Louisiana is like going down one big, long bike path. Today’s ride was pretty straight forward. Not a lot of twists and turns just one long quiet frontage road. It’s pretty nice. You can really ride your bike a long way without having to get on a real highway. Lots of people are nervous to ride their bikes, but you can really find a bike-friendly route. I think only one car has honked in anger (jealousy?) this entire time.
From the campsite, we passed through Lake Charles, Louisiana. I split off from the girls for a few hours to check out what the city has to offer and visited the only bike shop in town.
From Phil: The day started out sunny with lots of twist and turns in the road.
Within the first 5 miles, Emily wrapped her chain around her sprocket. I’m sure someone reading this has gotten chain suck. That’s when your chain gets wrapped around the front chain rings and wedged all in the bottom bracket. It was a mess but lucky it didn’t break. After fixing that we moved on. More
From Phil: Sleeping in the tent last night was tough. It was warm and humid from all the rain. Luckily bugs didn’t really get bad until we woke up and started packing up the van. I ate candy for breakfast and the girls made healthy hummus wraps for themselves.
We headed out and it began raining again. Luckily it was just a light drizzling mist, with overcast skies. The national park continued to grace us with its tall green trees as we continued east.
The rain died down and I stopped by a donut shop to grab the girls some treats for the road ahead. The most consistent thing about all the towns we have gone through in East Texas is that there is always some sort of breakfast donut spot. They all offered the same plain, chocolate and sprinkle options, and terrible drip coffee (fine for dipping donuts in). We stopped on the side of a quiet road and ate the sandwiches I picked up from the same donut place. More
From Phil: After all the rain and the end of Day 1’s ride we decide to check-in to a hotel so the girls could shower and sleep in a warm bed. We woke up in the morning refreshed with the sun shining. The day ahead was looking up. Weather was warm and steamy as the water dried up.
If you happened to work in a bike shop and have ever ordered a Fairdale there’s a good chance you spoke with Phil Bailey. He works at our in house distributor Full Factory Distro. Over the next 8 days or so he is leading a bike ride from Austin to New Orleans. Liz Mckibbon and Emily Ermer will be doing the pedaling while Phil drives the Fairdale van as a support vehicle. Having a support vehicle is such a rad addition to a trip like this. Someone who can carry the food and camping gear and of course be there if anything should go wrong. Also, Phil will be able to race ahead and visit some bike shops along the way spreading Fairdale, Sunday Bikes, Odyssey and G-sport everywhere he goes!