November 16 - New Orleans

Tomorrow, the bike trip to Key West begins!

I am curled up in my bunk at the youth hostel. I've spent most of the evening sitting in the courtyard chatting with other hostel guests. As you might expect, there are Australians in abundance, plust a Scot, and a guy from Kentucky who was annoying everyone else. I told them about running into Australians above the Arctic circle. They liked that, so I told them about how I am a member (#512) of the Sourtoe Club. They were appalled. I went to bed.

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I came down on the train. It was cool. It took 27 hours.

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I left yesterday at 6:00 pm Eastern Time and arrived here at 8:00 pm Central Time. I feel very rich when I take the train. It's not that the train is posh, even though I had a sleeper car room. It's just such a luxury to have nothing to do for a whole day. So I spent all day working on the web site.

The train is very great for bike riding. When I made my reservation, they said the bike has to be in a box, and they can sell me a box for $10. I decided to go to the bike shop and get a box out of the dumpster for free. My recumbent will fit into a regular bike box just fine, but I have to do a lot of disassembly. I have to take the seat off, which is a pain.

Well, I messed up and the box from the bike shop was too small. So Sunday I got lazy and went to the train station and bought a box. I discovered that the Amtrak boxes are huge! They intend for you to leave the wheels on the bike and roll it into the box. All you have to do for a regular bike is take the pedals off and turn the handlebars sideways. For my bike, I have to remove the handlebars and pedals, take the boom out, and remove the front wheel. This only takes about five minutes!

Then I realized there is no way giant bike box is going to fit in any vehicle which will be available on Monday afternoon. Definitely not in my MINI.

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I decided to ride the bike to the train station, and buy another box. No problem. Here is the required shot of the sad little dog watching me leave.

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Putting the bike into the box at the train station was a breeze. This is so much easier than flying.

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The only bike riding today was about a mile from the train station to the hostel. The bike is going to need some adjusting of the load. I am not happy with the stability. I have to get more weight lower and farther forward. I'll see what I can do tomorrow morning. I only have to go about 60 miles tomorrow.