Urban Velo

I Love Riding in the City – Stu Babin

stuartNAME: Stu Babin
OCCUPATION: Hydrographer

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Houma, Louisiana, the origin of Alan Moore’s {revised} Saga of the Swamp Thing. A story of monsters in the swamp might seem fanatical; however, it’s something I think about constantly as I ride the back-roads here.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel from CA to NYC and spent some time overseas while in the U.S. Navy. Mountain biking in Ocoee, Tennessee, is one place I will never forget, yet I still love riding in the swamps, my backyard, every weekend the most.

Why do you love riding in the city?
We’re primarily flatlanders down here (as near sea level or slightly below), but we have an excellent mix of gravel and dirt roads through sugar cane farm roads along with smooth and rugged asphalt through lonely swamps. In addition, just under a hour drive away, there are superb mountain biking trails in Norco, LA and one of the best urban cycling escapes called “the Big Easy,” the city of New Orleans.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city…Poetry anyone?

I wrote this poem a few years ago about riding treacherous bayous only a few brave will witness…

The Beast
You shouldn’t have come here.

As demons rise from your forgotten memories
volume set to creature overtones of this swamp
and here I ride, half-naked across damp grass watching.
The smell of death always finds me.
Sweat dripping rhythm from the Devil’s breath
sipping the witches brew under yellow eyes
as my skin begins to burn from her disease.
The crow flies bringing cooler wind of change.
And wickedness is his reflection in murky water
as ghosts of harmony slowly disappear,
The beast craves blood.
Discover an unfamiliar place of the same.
Your darkness hidden under stories by others
could turn back now, but you won’t,
it’s too late.
You shouldn’t have come here.


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