“Bike for the Cure 2023” is a 650 mile bicycle ride, from Corpus Christi TX northeast off the Gulf Coast, and across Louisiana to New Orleans LA.The 38th Annual HDSA is in New Orleans LA on June 1 – 3, 2023. In 1967, Marjorie Guthrie, the widow of famed folksinger Woody Guthrie, founded the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, which in 1983 became the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. The mission of HDSA is to improve the lives of everyone affected by HD and their families. As in the prior 22 rides, the purpose of the ride is to heighten public awareness of Huntington’s Disease and to raise funds for family services and research towards a cure.
Historic Notes on the Route
The ride will start in Corpus Christi on May 27 and end June 1 in New Orleans. Mary Ann and her husband Scott purchased a camper van. Therefore they will be able to have a place to eat and sleep on their way to the start of the ride, during the ride, and back home after the ride.
Corpus Christi is Latin for “Body of Christ”, the Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion. It was founded in 1519. It is now the 8th most populous city in Texas. It is a semi-tropical humid bay which is the 5th largest port in the United States. It is the original home of the restaurant chain “Whataburger.”
Freeport is the home of Dow Chemical. It was the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas. Steven F. Austin resided there for awhile, on his Peach Point Plantation Austin was granted the right to settle in exchange for taking responsibility for settling the area with others. He sold his property to his sister and brother-in-law in 1832. He maintained his original home in Jones Creek. His body was buried in the Gulf Prairie Cemetery. In 1960 it was re-interred to the state capital of Austin.
Galveston is an island city on the Gulf of Mexico. It was founded in 1839 and named for Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid. Glen Campbell had a top country music song called “Galveston.” It is the largest suburb of Houston. Originally it was a part of Spain, then Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the U.S. Confederacy, and the U.S. after the Civil War. The “Juneteenth” Holiday was started in Galveston, where black people had remained in slavery for two years after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Port Arthur is home to the largest oil refinery in the U.S.
Grand Chenier is an unincorporated community in Cameron Parish (counties in Louisiana are called parishes). Population is under 400.
Abbeville is 150 miles West of New Orleans, and 60 miles West of Baton Rouge. Elevation is only 16′. Waters from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina flowed North this far north in 2005.
The Atchafalaya (Uh-CHAFF-uh-LYE-uh) Basin is the largest swamp and wetlands in the United States (20 miles wide and 150 miles long). It’s where the Atchafalya River and the Gulf of Mexico converge. There is an 18 mile bridge across the swamp, part of the I-10 Interstate, between Lafayette and Baton Rouge. No bikes can be ridden across this stretch (have to load bikes into a vehicle to get across).
Baton Rouge is the state capital. Baton Rouge translates to “Red Stick” in French. It’s on the East side of the MIssissippi River, and was founded in 1699. It’s the home of the Louisiana State University.
New Orleans is a one-of-a-kind destination, It was founded in 1718 and named for the Duke of Orleans (France). It is known for around-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live jazz and brass band music, historic architecture, and spicy Cajun and Creole cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. Population is about 376,971. New Orleans was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. Culprit seemed to be faulty design and construction of levees not strong enough for a Category 5 hurricane. Jefferson Parish abandoned the levee-aligned drainage pumping stations. Reverse flow of lake water through the pumping stations and into the drainage canals which subsequently overflowed, causing the extensive damage. Much of the damage from Hurricane Katrina has been remediated, but there are still areas which have not been rebuilt.
New Orleans has a unique geography. It is situated on the South Shore of Lake Ponchartrain, an estuary (partially enclosed coastal body of rakish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it and with a free connection to the open sea.) It was named by explorer Pierre LeMoyne d’Iberville after Louis Phelyoeaux, comte de Ponchartrain. The name Ponchartrain comes from the place in France where a chateau is situated. It is where a bridge (“pont”) crossed the river Mauldre on the ancient route from Lutece to Chartres (“chartrain.”)