Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Long Ride

Liz and I took advantage of our Staycation with a new adventure. We drove downtown for a bike ride on the Riverfront Trail. I hadn't even heard of the running/biking trail but Liz did some research and figured we could ride to the Chain of Rocks Bridge and back in about a 22 mile ride.

The weather was perfect for a long bike ride. Sunny but not hot with a bright blue sky to accent the scenery we rode past. We parked at the trailhead near the Landing and unloaded the bikes from the Subaru.




The trail heads north along the river and the first few miles are through a more industrial part of downtown. It was cool to have the river on our right and the various factories and plants on our left. We even passed a barge being filled with some kind of grain.

video

The further we rode, the more the trail transitioned to a more residential and tree-lined area. There were a few historical markers along the way including an Underground Railroad crossing. It was a tougher ride than expected because we were pedalling into a strong headwind but we were determined to make it to the bridge.

The Chain of Rocks Bridge did not disappoint. It's open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic and it's a long bridge spanning the Mississippi to Illinois. We rode across the bridge and let the tires touch Illinois before turning around and riding back to the middle of the ridge for a snack.

video


Looking south along the river, we could see the St. Louis skyline and it made the distance we rode seem impressive. It was a gorgeous view but it was crazy windy on the bridge and it got cold quickly so we kept our snack break short and made our way back to Missouri soil.




The ride back was much faster (and warmer) with the wind at our backs. We were only a few miles from the trailhead when we passed a couple walking their bikes. I asked if they were okay and it turned out they were in need of a pump. I had to put air in my rear tire before we left the house because of my last bike 'ride' and I made sure to put my hand pump back on my bike... refilled my CO2 cartridge... and packed a patch kit before we left. I had learned my lesson from my Comedy of Errors.

We stopped and loaned the couple my pump. They were in town for a wedding and had a flight back to D.C. later in the afternoon. They like to ride trails when they travel and rented a couple of bikes from the Landing. Then the lady's rear tire went flat and they had miles to go. They said they thought it was a slow leak and didn't seem interested in checking for punctures so he filled her tire and we all went on our way. I was feeling good about having the right tools when they were needed this time but it turned out I was only kinda helpful. Liz and I stopped to read a historical marker and the couple must have passed us. When we got back on the trail, we saw the couple with the guy riding his bike and the lady jogging with her bike along side him. I asked if they wanted to try a quick patch and the guy hesitated but the lady said they were fine. I guess they weren't in as big of a hurry as I thought.

About two-and-a-half hours after we started our ride, we made it back to the car a little sun tanned and a little wind burned. A stop at Chipotle on the way home for a late lunch capped a nice new adventure. The trail is beautiful and the scenery changes throughout the ride. It's definitely a ride worth doing and we would go again but I wouldn't want Liz riding it by herself. There are long stretches with no one else around and you ride through a not-so-great part of town. It felt plenty safe, but it's a good ride to have a partner.

Monday
Goal For The Day: Bike Ride.
Distance: 23.92 Miles.
Time: 2:09:40. 11.1 mph Avg.
Route: Riverfront Trail to Chain of Rocks Bridge and back.
Conditions: High 70's/Low 80's. Strong headwind heading north. Nice ride on the way back. Beautiful day!

Notes: Over 100 miles on the bike for the blog! It won't be long before the weather gets cold enough to hang up the bike for the season so it was good to get a long ride in.

Daily Miles: 23.92 Miles.
Blog Totals:
  Run - 269.04 Miles.
  Bike - 122.45 Miles.
  Swim - 9,050+ meters.

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