Big River IV (April 17-25, 2015) - Memphis to New Orleans

Stan & Ann Lebahn

Cyclists came from most of the 50 states as well as Canada and the UK.  We met several cyclists from Tucson who know Bob and Anne Smith.  Our biggest challenge was 6 broken spokes (all on the same wheel) over a 4 day period; fortunately, there were 6 very skilled bike mechanics who kept us on our wheels.  They ended up rebuilding the whole wheel after the heavier spokes were FedExed from Denver to St Francisville.  Daily rides were from 20-60 miles a day with catered lunches along the way.  Using FedEx to ship our bike to Memphis and back from New Orleans turned out to be rather convenient.
Both Stan and I like to do social rides with the Colorado Springs Cycling Club and friends.  We also participate in Colorado charity rides; such as Pedal the Plains, Copper Triangle, Ride for Hero’s, and Tour de Cure. We prefer rides where routes are planned and there is full support in case of mechanical or other emergencies. 
The trip, organized by Santana Tandem Tours, was much more than just a cruise and bicycle tour, it was an adventure. I would recommend this trip to others who wish to experience life on the Mississippi and also ride through the country side to experience interesting southern culture.  As the river was much higher than the previous trips, routes had to be adjusted based on where the boat was able to land; some planned routes being covered by water!  Once we landed in someone’s front yard and another time next to the levee at the largest plantation in the South; Houmas House, LA.
Perhaps the most exciting trip was an approximately 150 bikes on a ten mile “Critical Mass” ride through the streets of New Orleans.   We didn’t have a permit, so one of the local guys - Kenny Bellau (a Katrina hero and elite cyclist) took it upon himself to lead us around his city.  Other Santana Adventures are also available.  More information can be obtained on their website at
Bent Fork - Volume 8, Issue 3 - June 2015

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