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Old 12-29-04, 04:37 PM   #1
zanerokklyn
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Austin, TX to New Orleans, LA: tips?

Hi, folks. Sorry to show up and immediately ask a question; I promise I'll hang around and answer a few later.

I'm about 1/3 of the way into a year-long tour. The next leg of the route will take me along the Gulf of Mexico coast (give or take a hundred miles) to the east coast (US). More to the point, I will soon leave Austin, Texas bound for New Orleans, Louisiana, planning to be well out of there before Mardi Gras madness begins.

Now, I've never been in Louisiana. I have seen "Easy Rider," and wish I hadn't, but there's no going back. I have DeLorme's Atlas and Gazetteer of the state, but it shows very few campgrounds and no bike routes headed my direction. So I turn to you, in the hopes that one or more of you have experience with Louisiana roads and can suggest a way to go and/or a way to avoid.

Are US highways my best bet for spacious shoulders, as in eastern Missouri? Or state highways, as in southern Texas? Do Louisiana's farm roads tend to be paved, as in Ohio, or unpaved, as in Oklahoma?

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance! --Ben
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Old 12-29-04, 05:53 PM   #2
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How about taking the Adventure Cycling Southern Tier (www.adventurecycling.org) from Austin to St. Francisville, then turn south on the mississippi river trail (www.mississippirivertrail.org) which takes you to New Orleans.

You'll need to order the adventure cycling maps, but they have good lists of campgrounds, hotels, and other serices along the route. The mississippi river tour maps are free on the web site, but are basically just route maps.
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Old 12-30-04, 10:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tip! I took a look at the Southern Tier on the Web site, and it seems as reasonable a route as any, though I'm suspicious of the routes my map labels as "scenic" -- I try to avoid hills because I'm pulling a trailer.

Any general tips about what to expect as a bicyclist in Louisiana would still be appreciated. Thanks! --Ben
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Old 12-30-04, 12:30 PM   #4
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For routes from Austin to Houston, you might try the route the MS 150 takes - detailed maps are available at www.bolmanski.com.

For information on routes in Louisiana - contact Pack & Paddle in Lafayette. They wrote the book on touring in La. (literally) www.packpaddle.com
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Old 12-30-04, 01:09 PM   #5
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If you decide to ride the miississippi river tour route south to New Orleans, please let us know how it is. The MRT is pretty new and I'm not aware of any reports on the route. I was in Louisiana over Thanksgiving and saw an MRT sign north of St Francisville so the route apparently is signed down there. The MRT web site has a good cue sheet as well.

I've not cycled in Louisiana yet, but you can expect pretty flat terrain.
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Old 01-03-05, 06:33 PM   #6
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happy new year dude. the ride from austin through east TX on the adv cycling route is awesome, or i dug it anyway. it passes through round top, navasota (good cheap diner, big old pavilion at a country club on your way into town on 105), new waverly, shepherd, thicket, honey island (dude at the general store kicks a**), fred, (into LA now) merryville, de ridder and into old opelousas. you can camp at the park there, you will have to ask someone where it is, its not obvious. south market street, i believe. oh, but the bike shop there is closed, and the roads are busy, so it wouldnt hurt to skip opelousas. nawlins was not something we were intending to mess with at all, so we steered clear. we road state route 10 the rest of the way across the state, it is a good road, from what i remember. good shoulders. that was more or less the case across LA, although i cant speak for the urban areas. RT 190 was a headache come to think of it. we took a wrong turn and did the 60 out of opelousas on it. it sucked. 3 mile bridge w/no shoulder. oh and its too late now, but we found no bike shops from austin to mobile, al. so, um, be carefull. thats the best i can do for you bro, good luck.
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Old 02-21-05, 02:43 PM   #7
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I liked this topic so I am bumping it to the top.
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Old 02-21-05, 03:53 PM   #8
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No mention of crossing the Miss. River bridges. sidewalks, bike lanes, which I doubt
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Old 02-21-05, 07:04 PM   #9
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The Adventure Cycling route crosses the Mississippi River at St. Francisville, LA on a ferry.
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