Friday, May 9, 2008

Underground Railroad Route Report

This is the first report from our friend Deb Milano, who is riding with a group of cyclo-tourists on the new Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, which begins in Mobile, Alabama, and ends in Owen Sound, Ontario. Look for more updates in the next few weeks!

Hi All, checking in on May 9 from Mobile, Ala.
I'M HERE! Once again, it is good to put the planning behind me, and arrive in Mobile ready to ride tomorrow morning. I flew in yesterday, checked into the Battle House Hotel, which is a lovely old hotel, originally built in 1852. The hotel burned to the ground in 1905, was rebuilt and has been renovated recently. 27 of us have met here at the hotel; coming together to embark on a 5-1/2 week bike adventure along the UnderGround Railroad.

The women who have gathered are from all over the US and a few from Canada, and a woman from Australia. Most seem to be in 50's, some 60's, but too early to start asking ages. Today we spent a couple of hours in an orientation session: introducing ourselves, going over rules of the road, logistics etc....
Most importantly, time was spent checking out our bikes, making sure they survived being shipped down here, (mine came through with flying colors - thanks to Century Cycles).

Did some exploring yesterday and today. It is in the mid-to-upper 80's and sunny. Greater Mobile is a large city with a population of approx. 200,000. However, we are in the old downtown area, which seems small, a combination of old and new. Definitely a city which has seen many reincarnations over the last 300 years. Last year on the XC ride, I was in this area, but a little further south on the Bay, where we had a rest day at Dauphin Island. Tomorrow, we will be up early and riding out of Mobile. We will cross Mobile Bay and slowly ride out of the city and on into rural Alabama. I am anxious to get on the road, get into a zone, and pedal on up to Canada.

Ready to hit the sack now, good-nite to all!

Click the sight below to follow my journey thru pictures, be sure to click each event, as there will be more that just one picture.

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