Tour of Missouri

Team Columbia leading the peloton up Russell

Ah, Labor Day, time for me to celebrate my now thirty years of professional works and enjoys the fruits of that labor.  That being said and Monday being another work day let’s quickly move on.  I still appreciate the holiday though.

John called and asked when, not if, mind you, but when I was riding down to watch the opening stage of the Tour of Missouri.  We agreed to meet-up at the DeMun Kaldi’s just before noon.  We rode downtown to Keiner Plaza where the day’s start/finish line was held.  We arrived just in time to catch the last lap of the last race of the Gateway Cup.  I saw Kubie in the crowd, but then lost her.  We then backtracked to the Tap Room for lunch.  I had the fruit and cheese plate and John had the meat and cheese plate.  The pair of dishes made an interesting juxtaposition.

Returning to the Tour we positioned ourselves for the start opposite Bucsh Stadium.  The racer’s started off slowly.  We started repositioning ourselves after the race convoy passed.  Tracing our way backwards through the race course we quickly re-met the peloton as it crested Chouteau (see today’s header).  We made it to Lafayette Square and Tom and Audrey’s before the peloton passed again.  I was at Tom and Audrey’s for their Friday night soirée.  Monday’s race made it a two-for.  Tom and Audrey had set up a big screen TV, with internet connection also, in their tiny front lawn.  It was such a major draw in their neighborhood that the local TV station that was broadcasting the race filmed them watching the race on TV as the race went by.  John and I stayed there for three turns of the course, by the race riders. 

We repositioned to Russell and Mississippi for the fifth circuit.  This put us at the top of the longest climb of the stage.  I must say at this point that the police and the civilian guards were less friendly about riders like John and I on the course then in past years.  The peloton is preceded by about fifty vehicles, most of them with sirens and flashing lights.  It is also followed by an equally large convoy.  But within the confines of the race course this moving caravan is relatively compact.  In past years it was convenient and quite possible to bike along the course in the eighty percent downtime.

John and I moved further down Russell to the actual king of the mountain point, for the sixth circuit.  We moved down to Broadway for the seventh, eight and ninth circuits.  At this venue we could watch the racers coming and going within a circuit.  We danced on our pedals and made it back to Keiner Plaza in time to see the end of the ninth circuit.  Once more around and the first stage of the Tour of Missouri was history.

I got thirty miles.  We had a lovely Team Kaldis’ pot luck at the Millers.  So is it next weekend that we have to ride one-hundred and fifty miles?

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