Saturday, April 14, 2012
De Ridder to Opelousas LA April 14 2012
I wanted to get an early start today as it was 92.7 miles according to the route sheet and the forecast was for wind out of the SE at 20 mph. We are headed SE so it was looking like it was going to a tough day. Bubba had warned the group last night about conditions and was offering to sag people to any of the sag stops or all day. He even booked us into the Comfort Inn tonight as he thought we would need a good spot to stay after such a hard day.
My goal was to leave by 7:00 Am and as I rolled out of the parking lot with Ken it was 6:51. Ken was joking that we had 9 minutes to hit a Starbucks. There were no Starbucks so we kept rolling. There was no wind so I was pressing Ken hard and by time we were getting close to the first sag stop at the 20 mile mark Ken said that I was wearing him out and I should leave him at the sag. I knew that he was right and if I stayed with him I would wear him out and he needed to pace himself.
By the time we got to the first sag the wind was howling down at us and I knew it was going to be a tough day. The things going for us were that the road was almost dead flat and was relatively smooth. Although there were sections which had a lot of perpendicular cracks which made for a bumpy ride. The wind was just coming almost straight into our face most of the time. It would vary from about the 10:00 o’clock to the 3:00 o’clock position. If there were trees along the road side it would really help.
There is some thing new along the way and that is crawfish ponds. They look like huge muddy lakes which stretch out and cover entire fields. There are lots of pumps which pump the water into the fields which are surrounded by dikes. It looks like the crawfish are harvested with these flat bottom boats. I am sure we will see more of this as we go.
As we sitting at the last sag stop Pat who is this tiny little lady pulled out and was shouted at by three rednecks in a pick up truck. She shouted right back at them and the truck jammed on its brakes and started to back up. We were out of seats and on the run. Pat stood her ground and the rednecks backed off and sped away. Good work Pat!
At any rate I spent most of the day in the drops grinding away and didn’t see much of what should have been a very nice ride. However I did make it in!! Yahoo!