Giro della Montagna or the Tour of the Hill was a bike ride that I rode and a race event that later I attended, on Sunday. I launched from the house at eight and rode through the Park to the Hill. The Bicycle Fun Club’s event was in its usual place; now know as the Shaw Visual and Performing Arts Community Education Center. Chris and Sandy were there and left shortly before me. I took advantage of the ride’s wrench stand to pump up my tires. One of the wrench stand’s hands was one of the walking wounded from last Friday’s night races. One hand was in a sling and the other wasn’t much more use. He had bacon where his helmet should have protected him.
I past up a couple of really good photo-ops while trying to catch up with Chris and Sandy. One was a famous street in St. Louis, the block where Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola grew up and Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck lived early in his career. (Sorry, Carl) But I was well rewarded for the effort.
I learned the etymology of the bike term, Madison, as in, “Thanks for the Madison, Buddy!” A Madison is an action where one rider places his hand in the small of another rider’s back and propels that rider forward. The term dates from the beginning of the twentieth century when track bicycle racing was big. Bicycle racing events were held in Madison Square Garden. In preparation for these events, a thousand carpenters would descend and in twenty-four hours and for the monumental cost of the day, of $6000, a wooden banked race course was built. Afterwards the track was torn down and the lumber was sold for scrap. That was back in the day when bicycling competed with boxing at Madison Square Gardens.
This year’s Tour of the Hill was altered from its usual route, in order to follow the route of Monday’s Stage One of the Tour of Missouri. We picked up the Tour route at Lafayette Square. Tom and Audrey will get to host two bicycle racing lawn parties this holiday weekend. After we rounded downtown and I got the foggy picture of the Arch, we came upon this art gallery. The art show of interest was called, Spoked! It featured art in a bicycling vein. A lot of the works were really quite good.
I took the long route which circled around on Grant’s Trail. I had packed a bike lock in my bag this time so I stopped at the Grant’s Farm National Historic Site, opposite the A-B Grant’s Farm attraction. The photo of the dark room with this post was taken there.
The bike route took me near the house so I diverted to there for lunch. After lunch I rode back to the Giro della Montagna to watch the bike races that were already in progress. I saw Rob and Edie there. I also saw a wicked bike wreck. The ambulance was just arriving as I was departing. I got in fifty-six miles in this day’s ride.
Carl thanks you for the thought, and assumes you will ride at some future time in the same area and then get the perfect photojournal of the place. The Madison is an interesting term – assuming all are expecting the push.
We always laugh about the term, “pulling a John Anderson,” which refers to stealing an occupied base (which obviously can’t be done safely). I posted that one on a work bulletin board, and our John Anderson took it down.