A lazy day in Mobile


MOBILE, Ala. — Tropical Storm Ida, downgraded to a tropical depression, sloshed through Mobile Bay on Tuesday as we took a rest day in our transcontinental bicycle ride to allow the storm to pass.
Taking a day off was a good decision. Ida made landfall in the early hours of Tuesday, and I had been hoping to hear howling winds outside the Days Inn motel where we had holed up. But I was disappointed. Ida passed without my notice as I slept.
Greetings from MobileBut the weather all day Tuesday was nasty, with spitting rain and strong, blustery winds — no day to be on a bike. So I stayed at the motel, updating this blog, reading and napping.
I ventured out of the motel once during the day with riding companion Derrik Maude. We were on cooking rotation and had to shop for groceries to make sandwiches for lunch on the road on Wednesday’s 65-mile ride to Gulf Shores.
The motel is on the west side of Interstate 65. The closest place to buy groceries is a Wal-Mart on the east side of the interstate — not far away as the pelican flies. But in pedestrian-unfriendly America, the shopping trip meant hiking about a half-mile along the interstate service road, crossing the interstate on a very busy overpass with a sign that said “Pedestrians and bicycles prohibited” and then walking to the Wal-Mart through acres of puddled parking lots for the same big-box stores you see all over America.
A shopping trip that would have taken a half-hour if we had a car took more than two hours.

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6 Comments

Filed under Americana, Cycling across America, Journeys

6 responses to “A lazy day in Mobile

  1. Paul Maude

    Hi Jim
    My name is Paul Maude, I’m Derrick’s nephew. I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I love reading your updates, I just finished the Great Divide route in August and reading of your adventures keeps me sane while settling back into ‘normal’ life… I start a new job tomorrow with no new adventures planned. It sounds like some days have been really difficult but it’s good to see you are all looking after each other and getting through the tough stuff.
    Could you please tell Derrick that I hope he’s having a good time as I’m partly to blame for him being on the tour and I forgot to mention all the bad weather he may encounter! I cringe everytime I read about the wet weather and headwinds but if you want rainbows you gotta put up with the rain!
    Good Luck with the rest of the tour, I hope you get downhill tailwinds and sunshine all the way to Florida!
    p.s. Glad to hear Derrick’s duct tape came in handy, I never tour without it.

  2. graeme Maude

    Jim,

    it would appear that the Maude family is coming from every angle. I am sat here in London reading your blog every night monitoring your progress across the States. Please pass on my regards to Derrik my father and say to him that Anna and Pom cannot wait to see him on his return.

    Regards,

    graeme

  3. Jack Z. Smith

    Jim,

    Way to go!!! All the way to Mobile already! Sounds like you’re over the hump now. There won’t be any mountains to cross in Florida. That Rahr’s Blonde Lager, Summertime Wheat, Buffalo Butt or Ugly Pug ought to taste really good when you get back to Fort Worth. And your canine buddy Bailey will be waiting for a good extra-long walk.

    Jack & Nina

  4. Lisa Davis

    Hi Jim! Just did a rare Facebook check and discovered that you’re passing through the same state as me and Bob. Nice to know. If it’s not too late, King Neptune’s is a good place to eat in Gulf Shores. And you must visit the FloraBama if time permits. In Florida, we just discovered great cabins at Grayton Beach State Park, just west of Watercolor.

    Lisa

    • Lisa,
      Thanks for looking at the blog. We spent only three nights in Alabama — two in Mobile waiting for Ida to leave and one in Gulf Shores. I passed by the FloraBama in the morning on our ride into Florida, but it was closed.
      Jim

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