Lafayette in the South

20130515-114822.jpg20130511-210839.jpgTour_de_france-201320130813-225355.jpgWinston Salem, NC, May 12, 2014

This year , a small group of 6 Cavaliers de Lafayette chose to ride in the southern part of the US where the Independence war took place. We were lucky as we could not have had a better weather, temperature in the 80s, mild wind , bright shinning sun. Earlier could have been too cold and rainy, later would have been too hot.
On his first journey to Americain in 1777, due to the winds and errors in navigation, Lafayette missed the coast near Philadelphia where he wanted to go, but landed as far south as Georgetown , a few miles north of Charleston, SC.
It would therefore have been nice to start our ride from this town . But logistic constraints obliged us to regroup near Charlotte which has an international airport with direct flights to Paris for Henri ( aka Donald Duck) and me as well as San Francisco for Chris ( aka Chocolate ). Mike ( aka Alpha Bravo Charlie) and Keith and Frank ( aka the Professor) drove respectively from Indianapolis and Washington DC. So we started our ride in Kings Mountain, where a famous battle took place in 1780 between the Red Coats and the Loyalist, against the Patriots.
It is not very well known that the Americans were far from united in their fight to gain independence from the British. History books tend to present the Patriots as a whole people courageously facing up a mean enemies . But reality was far more complex and actually lots of settlers were not ready to lose their life or risk their properties for an uncertain political gain. Even worse, some of them , called “loyalists”, joined the British army to fight the Patriots. This was the case at the battle of Kings Mountain.
Another aspect of the Independence war we discovered during this southern ride is that the Brits as well as the Patriots hired hundreds of black slaves , promising them freedom in exchange. Both armies comprised as much as 25% black slaves . The sad story is that only few of them were actually freed and on both sides many were simply fooled.
From the saddle of the bike we revisit official history…

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