It was a stormy day in New Orleans today, but I had bike plans with my new riding buddy, C. C. works at a bike shop in town, so I met her there, where she used her wily salesmanship to sell me my first pair of special shoes to go with Jack’s clipless pedal system. I feel like such a grown up! I was scared to fall, and C. promised me that I would, and that she’d laugh, but I was a natural. Well, at first, anyways. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We then went for a ride along the Mississippi River levee bike path. I always ride solo, so I was a little bit nervous that I’d be too slow, or not be able to go far enough, or wouldn’t know exactly what to do about the part where there was another person and another bike near me. But we just flowed on up the path, and the new shoes make the pedaling feel more effortless, and unlike my sneakers, they didn’t hit the crank and or slip off the pedal. I felt downright speedy. We stopped to discuss the ride and turn around at the Huey P. Long, where I snapped this picture of the bridge from the vantage point of this picnic table. Now, I’m not at all sure who would want to sit here and picnic with this view, but that’s what always gets me about the Mississippi–it is a beautiful, but it is also so, so ugly. Just like most of New Orleans. I took some swigs of water, got back on the bike, and promptly had my first fall with the clip-ins. Good to get it out of the way, I suppose, and it tore off the last bit of scar tissue from December’s fall. I just got right back on the bike and pedaled home, almost, but not quite missing tonight’s downpour. I was a soggy, bloody mess by the time I got to N.’s place for pizza and basketball, but I was feeling pretty darn good.