On Saturday, Boeing and the City of Saint Louis sponsored Open Streets 2010. This event opened 6.5 miles of city streets to bicyclists and pedestrians, by closing them to vehicle traffic. Registration started at eight and the ride at nine. I launched towards the Park at a quarter of eight. I quickly arrived at the starting point, the Missouri History Museum, and picked up my t-shirt.
With almost an hour to go before the ride began, I took off and tooled around the Park for some extra mileage. Returning to the history museum, I was approached by a Boeing public affairs officer and consented to being interviewed. Maybe, I’ll end up on the Boeing News Network?
Before the ride began, I got a picture of Saint Louis City Mayor Francis Slay with me. Mayor Slay has a nice blog. I also got a picture of Boeing Defense Systems President Dennis Muilenburg, again with me. I realize that neither of these photographs are particularly flattering, at least of me, but that’s life.
Everyone did a mass start at around nine and with a police escort, we headed off. The police escort lasted to the edge of the Park. At that point our path had been blocked off from traffic. Our route took us past Barnes, through the Grove neighborhood, north on Sarah and then east on Lindell. Today’s header shows some of the Boeing riders cycling up Lindell to Grand. Past Grand, we moved over to Locust and took that downtown to the Old Post Office, the turnaround.
Along the ride, I kept meeting people who I knew from work. The pace of this ride was rather leisurely, so there was ample opportunity for conversation. James and his wife hustled past me, each hauling one of their two daughters in dueling trailers. Rick had a sweet ride, a Pinarello, that looked a lot like the one on the cover of the new issue of Bicycling Magazine, that just happened to come on Saturday. I was jealous of his ride when I saw it on the road. I was green with envy when I saw it on the cover. On the way back to the Park, I met Tom and his wife, who had gotten a later start.
As I reentered the Park, I also reentered the world ruled by cars. Open Streets was a great idea. It was so good in fact, that a repeat performance has already been scheduled. It will be on June 13th. This next event will coincide with a Trailnet ride and bicycle races.
Anne and Joanie were doing a “coffee walk”, the Maplewood Cafe Crawl, around downtown Maplewood on Saturday morning. They got a later start than I and were still walking when I had gotten back to the Park. I orbited the Park for a few more miles, but decided to head for home and await their call.
On the way home, I cruised by Kaldi’s Coffee on DeMun. John G. and Captain Don were lounging at one of the sidewalk tables. I joined them for a cup of joe. They were headed back to Kirkwood and I had decided to make things happen in Maplewood. We rode for a mile before parting ways. Don had sworn me to secrecy. Something about a new Kaldi’s bike jersey. When will he learn? If you want “the blogger” not to broadcast something, you don’t tell him anything.
I hooked up with Anne and Joan at the Bottleworks. We had lunch on the patio. I beat the rain home. I got 33 miles. Now, it is time for a nap.