Saturday, March 5, 2011
Wow how a day can change. I got a 6:40 start under a severe weather advisory for winds gusting to 35, fortunately from my back. What a way to start; a great and fast ride off the base then along the shore. However, when there were cross winds on some of the sections, they were a challenge with being blown into traffic and having to lean into the wind. On one very high causeway crossing I was being blown toward the side railing and peddling up hill so steering straight was just not possible, so when cars went by I had to stop. It was either being in traffic or near the railing and I am really afraid of heights. The route had me taking a ferry across the southern Mobile Bay. At a Visitor Center I learned the ferry is not running due to winds. So now it is the Adventure Cycling Alternate route up to, around the north of, then through the city of Mobile. My arrival into Mobile was late afternoon, rush hour, Friday night and during the Mardi GRAS celebration. Oh yes it started raining at 3:00. For rain I have pannier covers and total rain gear. I covered all except I did not wear the rain pants. Then with darkness approaching, I'm still peddling west out of Mobile, and I called Michele to search for a motel while I kept peddling. I find a motel and go in and the lady answers the phone and says "I think he is standing right here"! So after 93 miles of hard peddling, some of the last miles into the wind, and now darkness, Michele and I find a hotel. That is the first time in either of my bike trips I've called Michele to help. These are my problems but I was out of daylight! I had spent part of my previous day off planning the next several days and I never considered the ferry not running. You just never know out here! At the visitor center I ran into another cyclist on the same route. He was a retired Naval Officer living in MD and a USNA graduate one year prior to me. What a small world! After we parted I realized we were in the same USNA Company when I was a Plebe (freshman). His plan is to use 70 days, mine is 35 (I'm already behind). After being cut off with a car turning right in front of me and several honking horns, near the end I was riding through the deserted dock areas of Mobile. Looked like a place where criminals would go to get rid of the evidence. A truck stops right in the road in front of me and a man gets out and waits for me. He wanted to make sure I was OK and knew were I was going, wow. So........the saddle battle seems to be at a draw right now. To bed for me; tomorrow's ride looks to be in very heavy rain, yahoo!
Posted by Dan at 3:31 PM