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Monday, July 5, 2010

Flying Cyclist - Austin, New Orleans

Austin Texas is to cycling, what Florence is to Art. For many cyclists, the only reason for going to Austin, no less Texas, would be for an opportunity to drop in at Mellow Johnny's between pro tours and hope for a glimpse of Lance Armstrong. Granted you won't likely see Michelangelo pedaling around Florence, Italy, but you might actually glimpse Lance in Austin.

Ben, the Flying Cyclist claims not to have seen any professional cyclists during his overnighter in Texas. Unfortunately, the Flying Cyclist doesn't have much choice regarding which cities he rides in. The only real choice is whether or not the bike actually gets to come along. But if you have to get dumped somewhere, then why not in the back yard of the best.

Here is the Austin, TX report...

Here are a couple shots from Austin, TX - taken with my phone so they aren't the best. The first couple are of the plane ride. We had 2 seats out for other luggage so I was able to take my bike without disassembling it - more than can be said about getting it to the airport in my Escort.

The last ones are from the airpark that we flew into north of Austin. In the one showing the airpark sign you can see the ramp behind it, then the runway, then some driveway/taxiways to some of the homes. I could handle that.

The last one shows priorities:

the plane is in the garage and the truck and FJ are in the driveway.

Next stop - New Orleans

Here is the only picture I got in New Orleans. It was taken on the Algiers Ferry. The ferry is a free ride across the Mississippi River from Canal street over to the historic Algiers Point (hence the name I would guess).

As a side note, on the return ferry ride, I was reprimanded by the nice lady from the DOT that opened the gate to the ferry for riding my bike on the ramp to said ferry. I guess that is what the sign meant that said 'Walk Bikes Across Ramp'. It was essentially a metal grate bridge about 400 feet long that was rather difficult to walk on while wearing cycling shoes. So, lest I forfeit my free ride back, I dismounted. As I tripp-trapped across the bridge, my cleat caught on the grate, something shifted, and I heard something splash in the water below - not good. The entire plastic sole that the cleat attaches to had come off my shoe. Fortunately I was able to grab it before more than one car ran over it, but I now had an equipment problem. Could I ride with one cleat functioning and one in my bag or would I forget half way back that the left shoe was not clipped in and take a spill? My answer came as an answer to another question I had asked for the last 15 miles - why did I bring the bag with sandals, shorts, shirt and more? So I changed to the sandals to justify carrying them along. Better than taking a dive on Bourbon Street.

Thanks Ben. Keep us posted.

Oh, and what about a little $15 multi tool to help with those cleats in the future? That would have been way better than compromising your style by wearing sandals with spandex. Next time make sure you have knee high white sport socks if the sandals are employed again.

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