This weekend, I embarked on a journey through the Acadiana countryside on a bicycle. I attended Bikes, Brews, and Omelettes Two. It is a two-day event where basically you meet up at a designated location to ride as a group for miles and return for beer and food. There are different routes to cycle through. You can ride either 10 miles or up to 109 miles depending on your motivation. And if you don’t have a road bicycle, the organization has plenty to rent.
Saturday, November 2 was Day one. Check-in took place at Taunt Marie’s Restaurant in Breaux Bridge. There was a map of the different routes posted in front of the restaurant. So my daughter and I studied the map (and by study, I mean, we took a photo to look at later) and then ordered a breakfast sandwich from Taunt Marie’s.
This was the first time, I had ever ridden a bike more than 10 miles. Usually, for us, bike riding means, cycling around the neighbor a few laps or riding to snow cone stand and back. I love being outside and being active so I was pretty excited about this road trip. And since I am a runner, I was pretty confident that I had the endurance to ride a long way. I had high hopes. The original plan was to try to complete the 109 route but after talking to a few people, we both probably would have gotten in over our heads. I heard someone say it could take 7 hours to complete. So, instead, we opted to do the 32-mile route.
We departed from Breaux Bridge and headed south toward Saint Martinville. The morning was chilly but the ride was beautiful. We both loved the sights and fresh air. When we reached Saint Martinville, there was a rest station set up behind the church near Bayou Teche. The station had water, chips, and bananas. It was easier than I thought! Besides having to watch out for huge trucks hauling sugar cane, the ride felt safe. Before long, we back in town, eating hot fresh gumbo.
The next day, Sunday, November 3, the check-in point was in downtown Abbeville, the location of the famous Omelette Festival. This festival features a large group of chefs who gather to prepare a 5-thousand egg omelette on a 12-foot skillet. It is a yearly event with live bands, arts and crafts, and a car show.
Sunday’s ride was even better than the day before. We left just before 9 am and traveled through Abbeville’s countryside northward to Milton. The temperature outside was much warmer and there was less traffic. In fact, I regretted not doing the longer route. By the time we made it back to Abbeville, the festival was in full swing. The downtown streets were closed off, families filled the streets and a band was playing music. There were also chefs who were wearing tall white hats busily walking around. The organizers of this event had hot food and cold drinks waiting for us. They served us chicken spaghetti prepared by Cafe 20.3.
I now have a new hobby. Although my bottom was quite sore, I thoroughly enjoyed riding around Acadiana’s back roads. It gives you a sense of comfort that someone is waiting for you at each pit stop and even keeping track of your whereabouts. When we first reached the town of Saint Martinville, we missed our turn and kept riding straight. One of the support trucks caught up with us, alerted us that we were going the wrong way and led us in the correct direction.
This event was organized by LA Trail, a non-profit group that is dedicated to building nature trails, parks, and paths that could be used for hiking, walking, and kayaking. When you participate in events organized by LA TRAIL, you are helping make Lafayette a more active-friendly place to live.