Cycle Zydeco – April 30, 2011

Today our weather was overcast and we had a light mist or rain for much of the ride.  At least I didn’t sunburn for the third day in a row.  We rode to the town of Mamou, LA for our lunch stop.  The Mamou Athletic Boosters prepared poboy sandwiches and baked goods.  After a quick bite we went across the street to the famous Fred’s Lounge.  It is a bar that’s been open since 1946.  Fred is now deceased and his sister, Tante Sue, took over the business.  It is only open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm.  They host live Cajun music and dancing and  broadcast a radio program live from the bar.  There was a great band playing and the place was absolutely packed…….wall to wall people.  We ended up staying there a little longer than we should have and had some minor difficulties making our way to the next town.  I stopped to take a picture along the way, couldn’t get one foot unclipped from my pedal and tell over into the ditch.  Fortunately it was just soft grass, so no injuries.  We passed by numerous crawfish ponds on our ride today.  I talked with a local about how they raise them and it was very interesting.  They drain the ponds (more or less a flat farm plot with a small dike around it to hold water).  They plant rice on the plots and flood them with water.  They stock the plots with crawfish,  After breeding, the crawfish burrow down into the ground on the bottom of the plots.  They drain the plots and harvest the rice.  They flood the plots again and the crawfish emerge out of the ground and feed on the rice stubble.  When the females emerge they have their young.  They mature in a fairly short time and then are trapped in submerged traps baited with fish or a manmade bait.  We ended our ride in the town of Eunice, LA and were treated to a crawfish boil at the American Legion.  It took a little time to get the hang of peeling them, but they were very good.  We went to the Liberty Theater for “Rendez-Vous des Cajuns”.  It’s a Grand Ole Opry/Prairie Home Companion type of show featuring Cajun music.  The show is broadcast live on a local radio show.  The theater was packed and there was lots of dancing going on.  A couple from the Kansas City area who originally met on the ride, got married on stage during the show.  After the show, we went back across the street fof a group dinner.  Our mileage for the day was 39.8 and we climbed a whopping 164 feet of elevation.



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