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Cycle Zydeco

Story Photos by Steve Giordano

Cajun Country in South Louisiana, centered in Lafayette, hosts an annual event called Cycle Zydeco, a four-day bicycle trek covering 176 miles. Pedaling is the hard part and Cajun/Creole food and music are the reward. The bike ride is a rolling festival for 350 people, set at a leisurely pace with plenty of culture stops along the way.

No matter what your legs say after 40 miles, they'll stand up and dance when the music starts — Cajun and "double-clutching" (syncopated) Zydeco.

The 2009 Cycle Zydeco takes place April 16-19 when daytime temperatures are in the 80s. All the better to "Laissez les bons temps rouler!" — "Let the good times roll!" Visit http://www.cyclezydeco.com/ for more information.

Meanwhile, enjoy this sample 11-mile ride from the town of Breaux Bridge to McGee's Landing on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp.


Eleven miles is far enough that you want to select a bike that roughly fits you.
Climb on and see how it feels.
Some adjustments may be necessary.


biking water bottle
Top off your water bottle and drink it all to help moderate the heat and exertion.
Oh yeah, a helmet is essential...
..and it must fit snugly.


So, guys, what's the hang-up here? Let's go already.

Yeah, it's hot. This guy's taking advantage of the shade.

All right, we're on the move!


Wait a minute, just where are we on this map?

OK, rolling again, across the Pont Breaux,

The Breaux Bridge, in the town of Breaux Bridge,


that crosses the Breaux River.
Traffic isn't too bad.
And the road widens just when you want it to.

And sometimes it narrows...
...when you don't want it to.

Here are some differing styles of riding. The no-hands guy in back is taking pictures.

Time for a map-check at the levee.
Riding alongside the levee - supposed to be some kind of swamp on the other side.

Over the levee and what do we see?


Oh, here they call it a basin. OK...
That swamp-thing on the lower log is a 'gator!
Have hope all ye who enter here, but be careful!


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