Today's ride was from Silsbee, Texas to DeRidder Louisiana. For me, it was the most relaxing day of riding yet. Only 75 miles long and no chance of rain, according to the forecasts. So no hurry to rush out.
The morning started off nicely. As I stepped out of my room at 8 am, ready to find a good breakfast, the manager of the hotel came by and asked if we need breakfast or coffee, that she was just getting ready to close it down. They start early here! I took her up on the coffee and next thing I knew she came back with power bars and juices for us to take on the road. That was a nice touch!
We couldn't find a close breakfast place and we were right next to McDonald's so we decided to give that a try. First visit to McDonald's on this journey. I believe I will be remembered there for a while.
I ordered an egg sandwich with no meat. The young man taking my order turned away then came back and asked, "no Canadian bacon either?" I replied no bacon, just egg and cheese. He looked puzzled.
Next I tried to order a latte without any flavoring. He looked even more puzzled. "No milk?" I don't think it would be a latte if it had no milk, but I didn't say that. Instead, "Yes, with milk but no flavoring". He turned away then came back. "do you want sugar?" I said no thank you. By then everyone was looking at me. I I don't think they see many cyclists dressed in full cycling gear that early at McDonald's. At least I wasn't wearing my helmet with a GoPro camera on it.
The food and coffee were surprisingly good, and soon I was off.
I was in no hurry and it felt good to just ride and be in the moment. I saw an interesting advertisement for real Texas bar-b-que and stopped to take a picture. I'll have to try their food some day, not sure about the service!
"Good food & Mean Women" ?????
The roads were great, the traffic light, and at least early in the day, it was still cool. We stopped for lunch near an abandoned factory and saw a beautiful plot of wildflowers with butterflies having a field day (no pun intended).
The only real excitement of the day was a record three dog encounters. I survived all three although the pit bull one gave me the biggest scare. It prompted me today to find out how fast can a pit bull run. Despite my power surge, he was running a diagonal and gaining on me. Fortunately he responded to a cease and desist command from his owner...
Power output went from 170 watts to 958 watts pretty quickly. Nothing like proper motivation....
Here's a few screen shots of dog number 3. He was just a mini pincher and I don't think he had a chance. Plus Dennis was right there ready to run interference!
Another highlight was rolling across the state border and entering Louisiana. This makes it State number 5 for Heart Across America!
As I was getting closer to DeRidder, storm clouds were moving in quickly. At that point, I wouldn't have minded a good soak as the day had become very hot and humid. But I wanted to play it safe so I pressed on a bit harder.
Clouds moving in from the East
Oops, now they're over me...time to press on
Phew..it's behind me..and De Ridder is just about a mile away!
Tomorrow is a rest day and I'm looking forward to it. Then we press on to Alexandria and the adventure continues!
A bit about DeRidder, Louisiana: DeRidder was named for Ella de Ridder, the sister-in-law of a Dutch railroad financier. Her family originally came from the small town of Geldermalsen in the Netherlands, where she was one of 13 children. She ran away from home at an early age and was presumed dead by her family, who only recently discovered that she had traveled to the United States. The town was named for her by her brother in law, who brought the first railroad to that area of Louisiana.