Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Recap - New Year Resolutions

Well, here we are on the last day of 2009. Time to review how I did with my New Year Resolutions.

1. Drive my truck to work less than 25% of the time. (GRADE = A+)

Year end totals:
Bike = 202
Bus = 18
Truck = 22

Truck driven to work 10% of the time. I have to admit, I am pretty proud of this achievement. Riding to work this often was no walk in the park. I had to endure some pretty nasty weather and overcome my own laziness on many mornings. Never the less, I endured. Reach hand over shoulder and pat myself on the back:-)

2. Complete a Triathlon. (GRADE = DNF)
Dropped in April. I found that as the weather got better, I wanted to ride more and run/swim less. Oh well- it was a decision that I did not regret. Riding more is a good thing - right?

3. Ride at least 6 centuries. (GRADE = D)
I rode centuries in May and June. All was on track and I was looking good. Then Summer peaked and I was so busy, I never could seem to find the time to ride 100 miles at a time. No excuse - I got lazy!

4. Start blogging and create a web site for "". (GRADE = A)
I was able to average 2.25 blogs a week during my first year at this thing. I really tried to focus on the quality of the content versus the quantity. I feel like I accomplished that goal. As far as the web site thing is concerned, I decided to put that on hold indefinitely. The Blog itself takes up quite a bit of time and to be honest, I'm not sure that I really need a web page.

Well - there you have it. When I step back and look at this past year, overall I am very pleased with my accomplishments. it was a good year and I believe 2010 will be even better.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


By the time I started heading home from work, it was completely and utterly dark. I switched on the lights and rode slowly. My pace was not dictated by the darkness. Nor was it incumbent on my physical limitation. I rode slowly simply because that's how fast I wanted to ride. This was my final ride home in the dark for this year. The following day, I would be heading home to Louisiana for the holidays. I wanted to enjoy this final ride. I wanted to look around and take in my surroundings. I wanted to make it last.

As I was crossing a side street, I glanced down it to make sure no cars were coming. As I did, a particular house caught my attention, it was decked out with lights and Christmas decorations. Wanting a closer look, I turned down the street, stopped in front of the house and admired the handiwork.They had
- huge snow globes
- reindeer and a sleigh
- a Ferris wheel and Merry-go-round
- Santa and Mrs. Claus
- snowmen, toy soldiers and elves
- candy canes and stockings
- miles of lights strung to and from, up and down, in and out and amidst it all.
- and finally, the whole scene was choreographed to Christmas carols, echoing softly in the night.

After a few minutes of enjoying the scene, I pushed away and rode on down the same street, making my way around the block and back to my normal route home. Two doors down from the winter wonderland house, something else caught my attention. In the side yard were three small, simple, white figures. One was of a little baby, lying in a manger, the other two, were a man and woman looking over it. While above the three, a single star was suspended in the sky. I stopped again, climbed off the bike, sat across the top tube and let this simple scene touch me.After some time, I managed to pull myself away and climb back on my bike. I rode home even slower. As I did, I pondered Christmas. I love Christmas. I love the whole season. I love the hustle and bustle, the excitement, the activities, the lights, the songs and the time together with family and loved ones.

Yet in all these wonderful things, it is so easy to forget what Christmas is really all about. “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.” For me, this single verse out of the Gospel of John embodies all that the Christmas story is about. Throughout the old testament, there are countless stories of God appearing to man in many different ways. Yet, the Christmas story is different. In this story, God did not just appear to man. In the Christmas story, “God became a man.” The living, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, Alpha and Omega, eternal, all powerful GOD, became flesh and blood and dwelt among us.

One would have thought, that when God came to earth that: He would be raised by royalty, yet his parents were mere peasants. He would be born in a palace, yet he entered this world in a stable, because there was no room in the inn. His birth would be attended by all the movers and shakers of the world, yet the only ones that came were smelly shepherds in the fields nearby.

The Christmas scenes that I had just observed brought all this flooding into my heart and mind. What caught my attention was all the lights and fanfare of the festively ,decorated home. It would have been easy to overlook the simple nativity scene. It didn't jump out at you. It was not displayed in a prominent area of the yard. There was nothing distinct to announce its presence. Yet in this simple, quiet scene, the heart of Christmas is captured as perfectly as God orchestrated it some 2000 years before.

“The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.” My hope and prayer for each of you this Christmas, is that you let Jesus be as human as he intended to be. Let Him into the muck and mire of your everyday life. For it’s only when you let Him in, that He can pull you out.

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Paul and His Magic Rain Suit

We've had a particularly wet Fall this year in Virginia. I finally grew tired of the wet weather keeping me from riding to work, so I broke down and purchased my first ever cycling rain gear.

After much research, I decided upon Shower Pass rain gear. Shower Pass is out of Portland, OR and I figured if anyone knows how to make good rain gear, it would be folks living in the Pacific Northwest. So far I am happy to report that I have not been disappointed with my purchase.However, over the last month or so since I bought the gear, I have learned something special about it that is not advertised on Shower Pass' web site. Not only is this gear water proof, it also has special magical powers to completely and utterly stop rain. I'm not talking about simply stopping the rain from reaching my skin, I mean it stops the rain from falling from the sky.

I have only had two opportunities to use my new rain gear. In both instances:
- the Weather Channel showed a plethora of rain.
- the weather map showed that my immediate vicinity was completely engulfed in rain.
- the weather forecast was calling for a 100% chance of rain.
- when I looked outside, it was a veritable deluge.

Yet - in both instances - the moment I donned my new gear and excitedly shuffled outside to brave the elements - the rain stopped! It didn't just stop for a minute. I mean not a single drop of rain fell for my entire commute. Yet, the moment I arrived at my destination, took off my gear and walked to the window in my office, the rain was falling once again in solid sheets.

Go figure!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm Sorry. I didn't see you. It's my fault.

“I'm sorry. I didn't see you. It's my fault.” That's what he said. I’m referring to the driver of the car that almost ran me over.

I was riding home tonight, through the same neighborhood streets that I've ridden home hundreds of times. It was dark. There were no street lights. That made it even darker. I approached an intersection and saw a car approaching from my right. I had the right of way. He had a stop sign. Yet, I instinctively applied the brakes. It was a good thing I did, because he barely slowed down and pulled out right in front of me. I was riding my Christmas Bike and, literally, was lit up like a Christmas tree.You would have to be as absolutely blind as a bat or as obtuse as a loon to not have seen me – yet he pulled out right in front of me.

One moment I was be-bopping along singing "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" and the next I clinging to my brakes for dear life. I yelled out "why don't you fricking pay attention!" What is it that causes a man in but an instant to switch from singing about the saving grace of the new born King to practically using the “F” word in the same sentence? That is an ethical dilemma and theological debate that I will let rest and probably never pick up again.

“Why don’t you fricking pay attention!” In the darkness, I failed to realize that he had his window down. Lucky for one of us, I kept me expression of dismay and frustration in the semi-rated “G“ mode. Needless to say, I was not prepared for the words that happened upon my ears. In the dark recesses of the vehicle that came within inches of barreling over me I heard, in a gentle, genuine voice, “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you. It’s my fault!"

After my close brush with death, I continued to ride on in the darkness. I felt strange. Here I was clearly in the right of way. I was lit up like a Christmas tree. I was dressed in a bright yellow jacket. Yet, as I and my arch enemy – the dreaded thing called an automobile, went our separate ways, it was I who felt guilty for uttering the word “fricking”.

What’s the deal with that? Could it be that my arch enemy, really isn’t an enemy at all? Is all this just an honest mistake or a legitimate misunderstanding? Don’t get me wrong, there are people who drive cars that are complete “A-holes”. Let’s be honest, there are people that ride bicycles that are complete “A-holes” as well. Yet, tonight’s encounter reminds me that the aforementioned “A-holes” on both sides of the transportation debate, represent an infinitesimally small majority. The rest of us are normal, everyday, “I’m sorry – I didn’t see you – It’s my fault” kind of folks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Christmas Bike

The weather outside is frightful.The fire in the kerosene heater is so delightful.A "Carol of the Bells" is a ringing.I have one more pumkin ale for drinking.

What is the meaning of all this rhyme?
Except to say its Christmas Bike time!

A Christmas Bike
by me

On its handlebars is hung a wreath of greenAround its tubes red tinsel gleamsAngel Bells dangle from the its levers just right.It's frame is accentuated by blinking lightsStockings are hung on its rack with careIn hopes that Saint Paul soon would be there!Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Colonial Trangle Ride - Day 2 - Night

After dinner, I went down to the bath house and took a long, hot shower. I then made my way back to my pitch black campground and crawled in my tent. Under the warm glow of my my light, I poured the second stout.I laid back in my sleeping bag and spent the better part of the next hour reading and sipping. Occasionally, I would look out the tent and thanks to the starlight, was just able to make out the outline of the river as it snaked away in the distance.

It was a perfect evening for camping. It was a perfect setting. All was right with the world. It was one of those moments that you never want to end. Unfortunately, like all perfect moments, they end all too quickly. I took my last sip and my eyes grew heavy. I turned off the Ipod, cast one more glance at the river and fell fast asleep.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Colonial Triangle Ride - Day 2 - Campground

I arrived at the Chickahominy Riverfront Park around mid-afternoon. After checking in, I rode to my sight and couldn't believe my luck. My sight had to have been the best one in the campground. It was situated right at the very point where a small tributary feeds into the Chickahominy River. After setting up my tent I stood in awe of the view.As if the view weren't enough, when I looked to my right or left, there were no campers in sight. It was as though I had this part of the campground to myself. I Poured myself a bit of stout, sat on the picnic table, took out my Ipod to read a while, took in my surroundings and thought to myself, "it don't get no better than this!" In case you were wondering, no, the Swedish Bikini Team did not drop in.

After a bit of reading, I started about the task of fixing dinner. While the chicken jambalaya simmered slowly, I watched the sunset.The sun bid farewell for another day just as dinner was done.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Colonial Traingle Ride - Day 2 - Williamsburg

I arrived in Colonial Williamsburg late morning on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous. I found a place to lock my bike and spent the next few hours walking up and down the main street. Here is a taste of what I saw.

I found a bench outside the Governor's Palace, sat and basked in the sun, nibbling on crackers and beef jerky and observed 18th century colonial life go on around me.

Before leaving Williamsburg, I ventured over to Merchant Square and visited the The Cheese Shop. I knew the temps would be dropping this evening and thought a couple stiff stouts might be in order. I settled on a Stone Russian Imperial Stout and a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

With the stouts safely tucked away in my Panniers, I headed out of Williamsburg for the 20 mile ride to my campground. The Colonial Parkway was closed for construction between Williamsburg and Jamestown, so I jumped on Route 31. This adjoined with the start of the VA Capital Trail and I came across my favorite sign of the trip.Knowing I had plenty of time and the fact that the trail was perfect, I rode at as leisurely a pace as possible and enjoyed the view.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Colonial Triangle Tour - Day 2 - Colonial Parkway

With my campground broken down and bike fully loaded, I headed out for the second day of my micro-tour. I jumped back on the Newport News Park Bikeway.I rode the Bikeway for a couple miles to an adjoining road. I found a break in the fence and pushed the bike through and across a small ditch and onto this country road.I followed this road to the Colonial Parkway. I followed the Parkway along the York River for a few miles.Then it turned inland towards Williamsburg.This section of the Parkway is pretty hilly and it helped me see how I and my bike would perform fully loaded. As I have mentioned before, I have my eyes on doing the Blue Ridge Parkway next Summer. While the tiny undulations of the Parkway, pale in comparison to the mammoth climbs of the Blue Ridge, I thought this little section would give me a microcosmic glimpse of what to expect. Conclusion – I NEED TO REDUCE WEIGHT SIGNIFICANTLY!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Colonial Triangle Ride - Day 2 - I Wish I Were a Eunuch

Men have often times, and rightly so, been accused of being insensitive. However, there is a subject upon which all men, everywhere, are tender, sensitive and sympathetic. That subject of course centers around that part of our anatomy that, well, makes a man a man.

We may not have the biggest or the prettiest, but what we have we've grown attached to and are rather fond of. We do not like it when either our own or someone else's are being abused.

When we witness another man being kicked in the gonads, all men collectively draw a quick breath and in unison instinctively reach for our own, grimace, groan, draw our knees together, and bend slightly at the waist. When we heard about the horrific incident where Lorena Bobbitt severed her husband's TOOL all men slept on their stomachs for a season.

When I look back over the history of mankind, I can't help but conclude that Eunuchs are among the most unfortunate. To be cruelly deprived of that which arguably makes a man what he is, is almost beyond my feeble ability to comprehend. I wonder as to the details of their miserable existence. Not personally knowing a Eunuch, I am left to my own imagination (which I'm sure by now my readers realize is a vivid one). Not only were they deprived of these precious gems of pleasure, but such an offense was cast upon them so that they might attend to the harem of royalty. How cruel is that? I suspect that these young ladies, knowing full well the limitations of these poor, pitiful men; went out of their way to expose themselves and flaunt the more attractive aspects of the female anatomy. In so doing, bringing theses unfortunate Souls to feverish heights of pent up frustrations.

When I awoke on the second day of my bike tour, shivering uncontrollably from the cold, I realized that there is at least one advantage to being a Eunuch. If you ain't got em, you don't have to worry about freezing them off:-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Colonial Triangle Ride - Day 1 - Night

From Washington's Headquarter, I jumped on the Newport News Park Bikeway and rode it around to the campground.

It was mid-afternoon and knowing it would get dark early I set about getting things together. The first order of business was to comb the campground and gather as much firewood as I could find. That being done, I set-up my tent and unrolled my ground pad and sleeping bag. Next I began to make preparations for dinner. One of the goals of this trip was to experiment with my different meals. I'll talk more about that in a separate post. Suffice it to say here, that one of my goals was to cook my dinners using a single pot. Tonight I would have spaghetti with red sauce and pepperoni.By the time dinner was done and all the dishes clean, darkness was descending. I started a fire with my meager supply of firewood. Once the sun went down, it was amazing how cold it got and how quick it was in getting there. I boiled some water and made a cup of hot cocoa and stood as near the fire as I could. Slowly sipping the hot drink and surrounded by the warm glow of the fire, my world had truly become small and cozy. Just the way I like it.

Unfortunately, it wasn't long before the drink and firewood were deplenished and the cold was immediately there to remind me of the bigger and crueler world around me. It was dark. It was cold. The fire was dying. I had no place to sit. Though it was still early (7:00 PM), there was but one choice left to me, climb in my tent.

I put on sweat pants and a couple shirts and climbed into my sleeping bag. I took out my Ipod Touch on which I had downloaded the Kindle App. I starting reading "The Worst Journey in the World". This is a true story about a group of British explorers in the Antarctic. They were trying to be the first to reach the South Pole" As I lay there in the warmth of my sleeping bag, I thought about how apropos it was on such a cold night to be reading of such an adventure. The trials I would encounter would pale in comparison to what these brave men went through and the price they would ultimately pay.

I read for an hour or so and my eye lids grew heavy. I turned off the Ipod, slid further down in the sleeping bag. My world had become small and cozy again. I smiled and fell fast asleep.

Colonial Triangle Ride - Day 1 - Lunch with the First Pres

As I rode around the battlefield roads of Yorktown, I decided to stop and have lunch at "General Washington's Headquarters".

It was from this area that George Washington conducted the battle of Yorktown. He had two tents set-up. A larger tent that he used for meeting with his staff and a smaller tent which served as his personal lodging and office space.I sat on the grass and partook of my crackers and cheese, beef jerky and dried fruit.To think, I could literally be sitting and eating in the exact same spot where George Washington sat and ate. Wow!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Colonial Triangle Ride - Day 1 - Yorktown

Having survived the near gale force headwinds, I arrived in Yorktown mid-morning.For the next few hours, I thoroughly enjoyed being a bike touring tourist!

I walked up the earthworks that were erected for siege warfare. The sun was out, the temperatures were mild and it was an absolutely gorgeous day. I sat down and looked out over the battlefield and pondered the precarious position that the British found themselves in. At their back was the York River and at their front was the French and American Forces just capturing redoubts that put them in point-blank-cannon- firing-range.I then rode into the historic town of Yorktown. Some of the houses still bare signs of warfare.I ventured over to the Grace Episcopal Church and walked around the adjacent graveyard. I found the grave of General Thomas Nelson, Jr. He died at the age of 50. Yet, in what we would consider a short life, I couldn't help but think about all he had accomplished. He was the governor of VA. He fought in the Revolutionary War. He signed the Declaration of Independence. Just as his grave announces, "He gave all for liberty." I wonder the mark my life will leave?I then went for a ride on the battlefield roads.Along the way, I stopped by Surrender Field. The place where the British forfeited their arms and surrendered to the combined French and American forces. As I stood there looking out over that field while a recording of the event echoed in my ears, it wasn't hard to be transformed back over 200 years.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Colonial Triangle Ride - Day 1 - Wind

On every tour a little wind must blow. Considering how this trip started, it would be more appropriate to say "...a lot of wind must blow." On Friday morning, I finished packing my bike and was ready to head out around 8:30 AM.I faced a 20 mile ride to Yorktown, all of which was directly into a very stiff wind. When you couple the facts that my bike was completely loaded down, the panniers were sticking out a mile and I was sitting relatively straight up, the going was slow to say the least. If it wasn't for the traffic buzzing by, I probably would have adopted the sailing maneuver of tacking.

I was exerting an appreciable amount of energy but was barely able to maintain 10 mph. Tooling along at a snails pace gave me plenty of time to think and equate this ride to real life. Difficulties are a veritable part of life. We cannot escape them. They blow into our lives without warning. They inflict pain and retard our progress. What are we to do? If we tried to shelter ourselves from them, our world would become very small indeed. If we turned around every time we encountered them, we would never get to where we need to go. In real life, just like in bike riding, no matter how steep the road, no matter how hard the wind blows, no matter how much it hurts, no matter how tired you are, the only option is to put your head down and keep pedaling.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Colonial Triangle Ride - Prelude - Where You Heading?

Where you heading? That's what the attractive blonde asked me when she saw me with my Bike Friday fully loaded for touring. Our paths had crossed at the start of the Colonial Parkway in Yorktown, VA. Since Yorktown is the Eastern most start of the Adventure Cycling Transamerica Trail, I'm sure she more than half way expected me to respond that I was heading to Oregon or some other distant destination. You can imagine her disconcertedness when I responded, "I'm just out for a weekend ride!" She smiled a gorgeous smile and responded, "Oh - that's nice!" That's what she said with her mouth, but her eyes bespoke a different story.

I could tell she was torn, here before her, stood straddling his bike, a veritable hunk of a man that any woman would consider herself fortunate to have. Yet, she was puzzled and considered it wholly ridiculous that someone would go through all the trouble of fully loading their bike with clothes, food, shelter and bedding only to spend the weekend. In an instant, she concluded that I was a complete and utter DORK!!

This short interchange got me to thinking. Why is it that bike touring should be limited to those few fortunate souls that possess the means or the courage to walk away from the daily grind? Why can't us normal, everyday, working folks that have families and responsibilities, jump on our bikes and get away, even if it's for a day or two?

This past weekend, that's exactly what I did. I took Friday off work, loaded my bike down and headed out for a three day weekend/bike ride/MICRO TOUR!! I'll tell you all about it in upcoming posts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

$&#@!* CARS!!!!! - #3

Yesterday as I rode home I had another close encounter with cars (that's plural). When you commute to work these kind of encounters are unfortunately, inevitable and too frequent. It is possible to minimize these encounters by riding carefully, obeying the law, signaling your intentions and carefully choosing your route. However, as this story will demonstrate, despite your best intentions and your meticulous planning, --it happens.

I was riding slowly (10 mph) through the neighborhoods. It was still light out, but the sun had set and darkness was quickly descending. I was less than a mile from home as I came upon a small intersection and noticed two cars, in succession, were approaching from a side street on my right. With my superior cognitive skills, I immediately ascertained that we would all reach the intersection at the exact same time. I clearly had the right of way, but instinctively began to lightly touch the brakes until I made eye contact with the older gentleman that was driving and was certain he saw me. We never made eye contact and sure enough, he pulled out right in front of me. I hit the brakes to keep from T-boning him and that was when he noticed me, flinched and kept going. I simply turned my palm skyward and shrugged my shoulders as if to say "hello - open your eyes - pay attention". I wasn't angry, because in his defense, it was starting to get dark, the streetlights had just fired up and I should have probably switched on my front light. Recognizing my culpability, I handled the encounter in a cool, calm and collective manner.

It was the second car, immediately behind the first that really caught me off guard. I was still recovering from the aforementioned near miss, when I looked over and made contact with the young lady driving the second car. I expected to receive a knowing and sympathetic glance from her relative to the obtuseness of that first driver and my superior bike handling skills. She smiled kindly and then pulled out right in front of me!!!! I was shocked and appalled. She saw me. She made eye contact. She smiled. She knew she had a stop sign. She knew I had the right of way. She witnessed me almost getting smashed by the first car. YET - despite that plethora of information - SHE PULLED OUT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!!!!! Needless to say, my reaction to this sweet, young lady was not nearly as innocuous as that of the first encounter.

After swerving to miss the second car, I turned around and watched them both drive away. I turned back towards home, reached down, turned on my lights and rode on.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Dichotomy of Commutes

My commutes to and from work yesterday could not have been any more different.

Yesterday morning, I donned my new Showers Pass rain gear. The sky was filled with dark clouds, the roads were wet and slick, the rain fell relentlessly and the wind blew a gale across the James River.

Yesterday evening, I tucked my rain gear in my bag and rolled up my sleeves. The sky was clear as a bell from horizon to horizon - setting up a perfect backdrop for a beautiful sunset. The temperature was in the low 70s, the roads were nice and dry and the wind blew softly across the James River.

Note that I said the commutes could not have been any more different, but I refrained from labeling one as more preferable than the other. The simple fact of the matter is, I enjoyed them both equally for what they were. I believe that is but another advantage of commuting by bike.

In a car, one is isolated from the whims of mother nature. In a car, one deals with the elements by the turning of a knob or throwing of a switch.

On the other hand, when you ride a bike, you are directly exposed to those elements, they literally smack you in the face. There is no escaping them. You are forced to contend with them each and every pedal stroke.

On the surface, it would be easy to conclude that having to contend with the heat or cold, wind and rain, is but a hassle. However, from a bicycle seat, one learns to not only accept them as a part of life, but you get to know their intricacies and grow to appreciate them as well.

PS - The Showers Pass gear worked like charm. I stayed nice and dry and the ventilation was just enough to keep the perspiration to a minimum.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Ride Down Memory Lane

Last month I drove home to Cameron, LA to help take care of my Mom who was scheduled to have surgery. I got there a few days before the surgery and on one of those days, I found time to get the Bike Friday out and go for a little spin.

It was strange pulling out of our street onto the main highway, heading into town. It was strange because in all the time I was growing up and all the miles I logged in riding my bike, I never ventured outside of our neighborhood. I wouldn't dream of pulling out on the "Highway" with all the traffic. From my parents driveway to the main road is a whopping 0.2 (2/10) miles. Today, that distance seems scarcely worth jumping on the bike, but the funny thing is, when I was a kid, I thought it an epic journey. As I stopped at the end of my street to check for traffic, I held a certain level of apprehension at pushing the boundary of my childhood and pedaling onto the "Highway". As it turns out, I traversed the 1 mile stretch of "Highway" into town and was passed by a grand total of 2 cars.

Upon reaching town safely, I got to thinking. I wonder how many things in my life today I've distorted in mind and made bigger and more important than what they really are? Will I look back on this stage of my life in 20 years and scoff at the trivialness of these burdens that I currently bare?

Anyway, once I got to town, I began a ride down memory lane. I rode past the remains of Bolo's Shrimp Shop where I worked as a teenager, unloading boats and icing down there cargo.

I rode past where my Dad use to dock his shrimp boat.I watched crew boats as they headed toward the Gulf of Mexico and remembered some of my rides on similar boats. More often than not they involved leaning over the rails chucking my cookies. I never did have what you call sea legs.I rode to the Jetties, where I occasionally came to fish, and looked out over the Gulf.I rode over to the "Ferry" where my Paran was the "Diesel Mechanic" for so many years.I rode past all kinds of places in town or more accurately stated, places that use to be in town.
- The ice house with the huge Mural welcoming visitors.
- Bailey's shrimp house where we use to buy beer.
- The fire station where as boy scouts we would slide down the brass pole.
- The barber shop where mom use to take us to have our hair buzzed.
- Cameron Food Market where every time we went mom would buy us our favorite cereal.

The list goes on, but I don't have pics to share. Thanks to Hurricane Rita, these places are either gone or in ruins. They've all been replaced with the tell tale signs of a town struggling to rebuild and survive. I opted not to take pictures of this struggle, partially out of respect for the proud inhabitants of Cameron and quite frankly because the memories are painful enough without the poignant reminder of pictures.

If in the event, you harbor any doubt that this ride actually ever occurred, I am confident that this last picture will erase all it.You know you're riding in South LA when you count alligator among the road kill!