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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tour de Mule Day One

At 7 am we set off from Houston to Natchez to start our next ride 'The Natchez Trace' to Nashville, still stiff from our past two days riding. Our Mule team consisted of Myself, Paddy, Ted Hicks (our Team manager), Adam Miller and Kenny Rhame (see below).
Never a more motley group I have seen, Phil


Our hire van was suitably liveried to create an air of both importance and professionalism, something we would never achieve with our cycling prowess.
It took about 8 hours to get to Natchez passing through Louisiana swampland and over the great Mississippi into Natchez. I am lead to believe that the film deliverance was filmed close by and I certainly had no inclination to purchase a canoe.

When we got to Natchez we quickly got changed, got on our bikes and completed 18 miles to lossen off our legs.
My first impressions of this cycle route was very favourable. The road surface is as smooth as a pool table and the gradients were certainly cycle friendly. The road was generally quiet with beautiful and often breathtaking views.
After our cycle ride was completed we stopped at a local street side Crawfish eatery.
It was my first real experience in this local delight and this was a place used by locals which is a good sign.
After a crash course in the extraction of crawfish meat, I was surprised how something so big could produce something so little. Although I like the taste and the local preparation, the cloud of spice filled steam could compete against any Icelandic volcano in bringing airports to a standstill.
My lips felt like I had snogged an illuminated light bulb.
As the crawfish experience was just an aperitif, we left to find a local restaurant nestled on the banks of the Mississippi, and right next to an old paddle steamer
We were all tucked up in bed by 9.30 pm ready for some real cycling. Prior to lights out, I caught Kenny doing some secret training in the corridor.
Oh heady days

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