We were standing at the foot of a 3km long bridge, soaked by the icing rain. It had 2 lanes and no shoulder, but 1 of the lanes was closed for construction. Cars riding at a steady 55mph… OK let’s do it!
As we carefully ventured on the closed lane, we heard a police siren stopping us. And out of the speaker came “You have to ride on the main lane, but go ahead. I’ll stay behind you”. And as we slowed traffic down to a sluggish 5mph, we could hear the officer encourage us in front of the cars “It’s OK, I’ve done this before, just take your time, you’re doing great!”. Now that’s my kind of way to cross the river!
A cruise along the Mississippi, sounds exotic doesn’t it? Like re-living the adventures of Mark Twain on a bike, enjoying the views of the mighty river, the American counterpart of Belgium’s Sillon Sambre-et-Meuse!
Well, the river had a few surprises for us! First, the Antebellum sugar plantations gave way, for most part, to gigantic petrochemical factories puffing smoke and giving the area its distinct smell. Secondly, we faced headwinds and icing rain that made our journey seem even crazier than usual to the locals. “What? You’re going ALL THE WAY to Baton Rouge?? On a BICYCLE???”. The real rewards to our madness came in the form of hospitality, in Gramercy and Baton Rouge, where our hosts could quickly make the day’s endeavor all worth it!