There was new snow on the ground again this morning with more forecast for the rest of the week. I check the forecast for Texas and Louisiana and am pleased to see that temperatures are predicted to be in the 70’s during the day and merely down to the 50’s at night for at least the next week. There is some rain in the forecast and according to the Adventure Cycling map I just got on the mail, Louisiana receives on the average in February and March as much precipitation as this part of Idaho gets in a year. Since my hammock and sleeping pad will travel strapped to the sides of my rear rack I decided I better address the probability of them getting wet.
After brushing the snow off the car we made our way to the Army Navy store where I found some compact and lightweight dry sacks of the perfect size. Since I already have a waterproof compression sack for my sleeping bag, I think I am all set in the riding-in-the-rain department.
The remainder of the afternoon has been spent developing a reasonable schedule so that I could book a hotel room in New Orleans and a flight home. That and reading Sue Gray’s account of her ride on the same part of the Southern Tier earlier this month in some abberantly cold weather. My last two tours have been sort of aggressive from a time allowed standpoint, especially last year, when I did 850 miles in 11 days of riding for an average of 77 miles per day. This year’s route is about 700 miles and I figure I can do it comfortably in 12 days which averages to about 58 miles a day. As an extra cushion I am allowing for one rest day, with zero miles, and one day in New Orleans to get the bike packed and ready to ship back.
We are leaving for Austin on Wednesday. I still need to pack my bike and get it to FedEx tomorrow in order to feel comfortable about it getting there before the end of the week. Stacy flies back home on Tuesday March 1, my first day on the bike.