On Saturday night, after our little tour de Taste of Maplewood, we discussed doing the Bike the Bridges ride. The only problem with the Bike the Bridges ride was that it started at 8:30 in the morning. Although our sprits were willing, our flesh was weak; we launched promptly at ten, on our own version of the Bike the Bridges ride.
We rode through the Park, took West Pine to SLU and then rode through the campus, which was as quiet as you might expect on a summer Sunday morning. From SLU we took Locust downtown. We passed the Fountain on Locust, an ice cream parlor on the way and made a note to ourselves to try to stop there on the way back.
We passed this interesting neon sign for Bee Hat Lofts, Bee Hat Bee Cool. I think that the Dubliner is a restaurant/bar. I don’t know what paper dolls is all about? Just before we got to the Riverfront Trailhead we saw this Cat-Mobile. I think that it is affiliated with one of the casinos. I wonder if its tongue moves when it drives.
Arriving at the south Riverfront Trailhead, which is just north of the Arch, we encountered a surprise. A new Robert Cassilly installation is being constructed there. Cassilly is the sculpture who has created and is still creating the New City Museum, Turtle Park, Cement-Land, etc., all landmarks about town. This new installation is just outside the old Laclede Power building. It is somewhat reminiscent of Turtle Park as the picture above shows, but there are other elements (not shown) that seem more like what is going on at Cement-Land. This commission is the next step into turning the Laclede Power building into a visitor’s center for the trail.
We headed north on the Riverfront Trail to the McKinley Bridge. We crossed over to Illinois. Today’s header shows the Arch and downtown Saint Louis as viewed from the bridge. At the eastern terminus of the bridge we met up with a conclave of other cyclists. A larger older group of cyclists were asking a younger pair of cyclists about the route up to the old Chain of Rocks Bridge. The prospect of two to three miles on Route 3 deterred them and they turned around. Anne and I pressed on regardless. Honestly, it was not bad at all. Traffic was very light, there were always multiple lanes and there was a wide shoulder too.
After a few miles, we turned off onto a bike trail that eventually got us up on the east side levy of the Chain of Rocks Canal. This is the Corps detour around the Chain of Rocks, a rapids and the first obstacle on the Mississippi. We saw several egrets, but they were too far off to photograph. I did see this as yet unidentified bird. It was about dove sized, light brown in color, it had a single white stripe running from the base of the tail down the center of its tail. I flushed it from some tall grass as I was ascending the levy.
We took a Cliff Bar break on the Chain of Rocks Bridge and then crossed back into Missouri. In North Riverview Park we saw some goslings and a Great Blue Heron. We passed Bob Cassilly’s Cement-Land and I noticed these large stacked trays. Think john boats only larger. I don’t know what they mean, but I can’t wait to find out. Anne saw a turkey, but I was too much of one to turn around.
We returned to the southern Riverfront Trailhead and headed west, towards home. We passed the New City Museum, Cassilly’s Magnus Opus. The wall relief that I have entitled, Naked Women Feeding Egrets, is on the back side of the New City Museum building.
Continuing west, we did stop at the Fountain on Locust and it is a treasure. Anne and I each tried one of the signature ice cream specialties. They were both most excellent. They also offer ice cream martinis, something that I had not ever heard of. We may will have to investigate them further.
Almost immediately after leaving the Fountain, we bumped into John G. and Dawn. They were refugees from a Kelly ride. We rode back to their starting point at the DeMun Kaldis. Forty-five miles is what we got today.