We didn’t get moving on Sunday morning anywhere near as early as we had on Saturday. Fortunately, it wasn’t quite as hot on Sunday as it was the day before. We eventually got moving and were out the door around ten. Our plan was to ride to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and participate in the 82nd birthday bash for the bridge that was going on that afternoon. We began our ride by winding our way to and through the Park. We saw goslings galore, a green heron and that mysterious aquatic mammal that Anne had seen earlier. Even with a better camera, I still wasn’t able to get a decent photograph of the beast.
We wound our way downtown to the north end of the Arch, only to discover that Wharf Street was underwater. So we had to take a detour, the first of three detours that we had to take, due to various riverfront activities. We cut through Laclede’s Landing and soon discovered that it was far easier to ride on the sidewalks, then to ride on the pavé. Eventually, we got far enough to the north, to get around the flooding. Our next detour wasn’t too bad; we just rode on the opposite side of the flood wall, than we normally do. This detour was due to the construction of the new Mississippi River Bridge. It is well underway. The final detour involved a chipped limestone path that had way too much loose sand for good traction. Combined with having to first ride down off the levee and then back up on to it, this detour was the worse of the bunch. On the way back, we attempted to ignore the detour signs and just go around the barricades. The workmen probably just don’t want bicyclists in their way during the work week and they won’t be there on a Sunday, I told Anne. We went around the first barricade, and were stopped at the second one, but what really stopped us and convinced us to turn around were the Danger-Radiation signs that ringed the work area. I’m guessing that they found another old Mallinckrodt nuclear weapons site and are just now doing Superfund clean-up on it.
We made it to the bridge and spent a good time socializing with our fellow Team Kaldi’s members. Most of them had done the Bicycle Fun Club ride and were now done for the day. We still had another twenty miles to go, to get back home. I listened to a lecture on the history of the bridge. It actually belongs to Madison County and is only leased to Trailnet, for a dollar a year. At almost 1300 feet, it is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. The bridge is pretty much rust colored these days, but there is still green paint to be found on it. Originally, it was painted silver and it shined in the bright Missouri sun and could be seen for miles and miles. During WWII, some bright star thought that it was so conspicuous that the Japanese might bomb it. So they painted it green.
By the time that we eventually threw our legs over our bikes again, there was no disguising the fact that it was hot! We wound our way through the riverfront trail’s detours, but by the time we hid downtown again we both knew that we needed a little something. That something was provided by Gelateria Tavolini on Washington Ave. Anne chose the orange cup, because it matched our jerseys, but it also their largest cup too. It really hit the spot. We got 41 miles.