Rider magazine asked our two good friends David Andreas and John Puerner, who are participating in the 20th Anniversary of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, to keep us posted on the ride’s progress with a daily blog. Each entry will cover the previous day’s events (or perhaps the two previous days). Here’s their report from the sixth and seventh ride days on Thursday, May 8, and Friday, May 9, 2014.
At just 291 miles, today’s route from Beaumont, Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana, is our shortest day. We had a fuel stop in Broussard, Louisiana (near Lafayette) and enjoyed a small snack of Wendy’s Snack Wraps to tide us over until the mid-afternoon arrival in New Orleans.
The NOLA escorts were fantastic, blocking off the intersections in the city and the I-10 lanes for us. After negotiating a hotel ramp to the seventh floor level, we were ready for some good times in the Big Easy.
Everyone was anticipating our time in New Orleans to be “too much”–too much food, too much drink, and too much fun! As we walked about the French Quarter we could see many of the riders in their Coca-Cola shirts, partaking in the pleasures of New Orleans. We were on our own for dinner, which meant gumbo and beignets for most of us!
Throughout the evening, the football fans (like us)–and of course, Herschel Walker–couldn’t help but check the television screens to see what was happening in the NFL Draft. We had an early start for Friday’s ride to Tallahassee, Florida, so we all got in early…NOT!
Racing Electronics sponsored today’s ride from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Tallahassee, Florida, all on I-10. While several of our rider family celebrities needed to leave the Ride in New Orleans due to working commitments, we were happy to have Donnie Allison join us for our final stretch.
We were expecting a little rain as we left the hotel, but were lucky to only hit a few showers after our first fuel stop in Slidell, Louisiana. By the time we arrived for our second fuel stop in Daphne, we were ready for a lunch of fresh Firehouse subs–and surprise Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches, too. We moved with deliberate speed to our third fuel stop in Bonifay, Florida, and arrived in Tallahassee for our last night on the road.
The scenery from New Orleans to Tallahassee varied from busy ports to rural towns and mature pine forests along the Interstate. I suspect we all are looking forward to our route through northern Florida tomorrow, with the final leg on A-1-A to Daytona Beach. Total mileage for the day, 388.
David Andreas and John Puerner