Atchafalaya Gravel Grinder


I’ve been granted the opportunity to leave the comforts of my home for a hotel room in a strange land. While I generally dislike traveling for work, I brought my new bicycle. I motored on over to the Atchafalaya basin to do a little gravel grinding. The largest swamp in the US is a scary place. Not only did I risk my life with the gators and hogs, there’s also a bounty on anyone clad in spandex. Rumor has it that the last cyclist that went into the Atchafalaya received the largest pink belly in the US. So, I’ve risked my life to bring both my semi-regular readers these pictures.


I rode towards Butte La Rose. I had the choice between the paved road and the top of the levee. Levee it was. The top road towards Butte La Rose was excellent. Gravel, but not too sandy. When I finally reached town, I pulled into the public boat launch where the UPS man was “takin’ a break.” Since one of my packages wasn’t on his truck, I thought nothing of it. I checked the time and my GPS as I don’t have a computer on the new bike yet. He came out to talk to me and let me know how far the road went. Questions about riding a bike started to come forth. Since I like bikes, I happily obliged. Then, I realized, the closest I would come to being physically harmed is being talked to death. I was reminded about how much these guys south of I-10 love to talk. I flashed back to my days of working offshore. I needed out of there ASAP. I thanked the UPS guy for the directions and shoved off down the road.


When I used to live in Louisiana, I always wondered what people meant when they said, “I have a camp.” I always wondered what a “camp” is, but I didn’t want to risk the explanation putting me into a state of comatosis. Well, I can now assume what a camp is. The best I can guess, it’s a trailor with a high risk of flooding along a bayou. You then put a sign out front that says something along the lines of, “Dad’s pad when mom’s mad.” These guys on the bayou are so clever.

Now that I was on the paved road and I solved the mystery of what a camp is, I made quick work of the way to the pontoon bridge. The sun was setting, so I turned around and pedalled my little butt of on the way back to the car. I haven’t figured out how to mount my light yet, so I needed to be back before the sun went down.



The next day, I headed north. I was wondering if I would take the paved road or ride on the gravel on the top of levee. Come to find out, it was all gravel. And not good gravel to boot. It was sandy and tough. The Circle A powered through and performed great. About 17 miles in 90 minutes. Slow going!!




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