Saturday night was a fun one. Kenny and Krissy were in town for the weekend to pick out bridesmaid dresses for Krissy’s Sister’s wedding (congrats, Katie D!) and instigated a trip to the City Museum. Now, as Jen, Katie and I had already made plans for the Moonlight Ramble, Jen wasn’t sure we’d be able to cram that much fun into one night. Thankfully, Kenny wore her down and off we went to the City Museum, or as I like to call it: The Happiest Place on Earth.
We got there around 9pm and stayed for approximately 2 hours (as we had to get on to the ramble) but we were able to climb in, on, and around many of the wonderful attractions. Jen even found a new tunnel in Monstrocity that we hadn’t noticed before:
Well, technically, Kenny found it, but was too big. And no trip to the City Museum is complete without several trips down the Big Slide:
Click here for a full set of pictures. Totally awesome.
After that, we got our stuff together and made our way to the Soldier’s Memorial for the start of the Moonlight Ramble. No sooner had we found our way to the checkin table, than we run into Mike and Clara:
The amazing thing here is that Mike is leaving the next morning for a weeklong hiking and camping trip. The next day, I spent it prone in front of the TV watching the Olympics, trying to recover from the night before. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves…
The turnout for the Ramble was HUGE. It was so cool to see so many biking enthusiasts in one place. To give you an idea, it took us 45 minutes just to get to the starting line. Thankfully it opened up pretty quickly after that. While the wait was a little annoying (it was past my bedtime!) it did afford us the opportunity to get this cool picture:
That’s a lot of bikers.
Once we got underway, the biking was fun. It started out pretty flat. Here’s us going north on Tucker (12th St.) headed towards the Mullanphy Emigrant Home, one of the major beneficiaries of this year’s event:
Next mission, hack together a handlebar mounted tripod for my digital camera. That would have been so nice.
We rode up 12th, circled around by the MEH (on or near Cass Ave.), then headed back down to MLK and took that out to Jefferson. It was pretty flat through here, a nice warmup. We headed west on Market Street, and then we merged onto Forest Park Parkway in Midtown. This part of the route had gradual hills going both up and down and was still a pretty leisurely, yet slightly exercisey ride. We took the Parkway all the way to Lindell (where there was an overcrowded rest stop) and turned into Forest Park right then. It was amazing to feel the difference in temperature that came about as soon as you passed under Kingshighway. While the weather was perfect for a bike ride, it was probably 10 degrees cooler in the park. That was OK though, because Forest Park is very hilly. The toughest hill was the climb to the Art Museum. Fortunately, at the top, I used the opportunity to take a picture of my favorite image of St. Louis as an excuse to catch my breath:
From there, we rode around the zoo and back out the park, retracing our path down the Parkway, onto Market and back to the Soldier’s Memorial. The 17 Mile ride took about 1 hour and 45 minutes, although we weren’t exactly pushing ourselves — partly because there were so many other riders and partly because we wanted to enjoy the experience. How often do you get to ride around downtown St. Louis at night and not worry about getting run over or at least panhandled?
It was a beautiful night for a bike ride, but afterwards, we needed some sustenance. To Uncle Bill’s! I must say, I’ve never been there before midnight, and I’ve never been disappointed with the food:
Yum! Click here for the full set.
After that we took our sorry asses home for the night, sore and tired and ready to sleep. A great night to be sure, but on top of that, we knocked off three things from the STL101 list:
75. To ride the third- to first-floor “Monster Slide” at City Museum, wholeheartedly.
81. To show up for a midnight movie at the Tivoli—or a midnight bike ride at the Moonlight Ramble.
Not sure if I’ve ever done a midnight movie at Tivoli…
93. Pecan pancakes at the original Uncle Bill’s on Kingshighway at 3 a.m.
We figured the Original Uncle Bill’s would be too packed, but this was a nice substitute. It was definitely 3 am.
All in all, a successful evening. Thanks to Jen for organizing, Katie for accompanying, and Kenny for convincing.