On Saturday, Kenny, Yao and I undertook the Judy Ride, a charity bike ride where the proceeds go to fund breast cancer research. Scratch that, at 32 mile bike ride along the Riverfront Trail. So, yeah, that was a bit of a stretch for me, but we had a good time with it.
We met at Kenny’s and loaded our bikes up on the back of his Jeep. Right before we left, Kenny remembered to grab his helmet. Phew! It said on the website that helmets were required. I actually bought a lid specifically for this ride. It would have totally sucked if Kenny forgot his.
As soon as we got down to the Arch parking garage, Kenny realized that he had, of course, forgot his helmet. Fortunately, there was enough going on at the starting line that we were able to sneak out without Kenny getting yelled at.
So within the first mile, I felt like I was going to die. After that, it got better. Of course, by then, Yao and Kenny had sprinted off and left me to my leisurly bike ride. This part of the trail had the flood wall to the left and the river to the right. It was pretty flat and a reasonably scenic. The flood wall blocked the view of some of the more industrial parts of town that were not quite as pleasing to the eye (or the nose).
This boxcar also supports breast cancer research.
HI!! I’M BOB! I RIDE MY BIKE!!!
Hey look, shipping containers. These looked pretty neat.
There’s a ton of great vistas of the Mississippi River, this is just one.
Here’s another shot of the trail.
This part of the trail was under construction. This picture is a little crooked because I was trying to make sure I didn’t wipe out.
This part of the trail winds through Riverfront Park. This is the oldest part of the trail, and a little overgrown, but by the looks of things, will be repaved soon.
This part of the trail crossed Riverview Drive and was quite hilly. This picture shows the road and the water purification plant.
Phew! I finally made it to the bridge. This is the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge (the New Chain of Rocks Bridge is just to the north), a former two lane bridge that brought Rought 66 across the Mississippi. It was replaced in 1969 and had sat vacant, attracting drug dealers and other miscreants for years until it was reclaimed and integrated into this trail. Because of this bridge a
masochist cyclist can go all the way from Downtown St. Louis to the Great River Road, supposedly one of the best bike rides in the country.
Look who I found! One of the neatest things about the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is the huge bend in the middle. As I rounded the bend, I saw Kenny and Yao pedaling my way. Turns out that Yao made it all the way to the official halfway point, turned around, caught Kenny a couple miles back, and found me right over the river. We estimated that if Yao did the whole 32 miles, Kenny probably did about 28 miles and I did 24 miles.
Looking out over the river, you can kind of make out Downtown St. Louis. You see the Arch? Yeah, that’s where we started. Looking back from the bridge, it really was kind of astounding that I made it that far. Of course, the ride back was just as strenuous, but I gotta say, I made it all the way. Awesome.