Bike to my Lou, my Darlin’

This is not some slodgy old Saturday post and I don’t mean that magazine. We rode out to face life, grabbed it with both hands and then held on with all our might. Trailnet’s group rides are not scheduled to start for another two weeks, but they did today. This season’s inaugural ride was entitled, “Bike to my Lou”, hence my original title.

“Bike to my Lou” began and ended at the Old Post Office Plaza. We rode the ‘long’ route, which was 16 miles. It was a mass start, no drop ride. It was family friendly. Griffin’s bike messenger/pizza delivery crew led the ride. They were emboldened by police backup. Basically, we ruled the road.

We toured downtown, sweeping to and fro through the city center. We ventured as far south as Soulard and then headed west to Lafayette Park. I saw Audrey in her front yard. Heading north, we made it to Crown Candy and the old north side. Afterwards, we cruised west to Grand, before returning to the start.

One of the advantages of Trailnet’s community rides is that you get to see parts of the city you wouldn’t normally see. In the last twenty years, I’ve only seen Crown Candy on these rides. Saint Stanislaus, the rebel parish, was on our route. One of the messengers pointed out a fallen down building, as a Paul McKee property (near North 20th and Saint Louis Ave.), the so-called ‘savior of the north side’. Between Saint Stanislaus, the Catholic Church and Paul McKee there are some shady land deals going down.

Riding together and staying together offered more opportunity for conversation than the normal Fun Club ride in rural Illinois. Anne and I had our fair share of conversations, but we also overheard a few too. Anne was speaking to a woman, who said that she had never been up in the Arch. The US Park’s ranger on Anne’s other ear gasped in surprise. The woman had to apologize that she had only been in town for two weeks. Passing along the foot of the Arch, a young woman called out to her significant, “I’m not gonna be ignored, Dan!” I mentioned that I was listening. She detailed the Alex, “Fatal Attraction” connection to her quote. I increased my cadence. A man asked his other, why had she shed her sweater? She said to better air out the arm pits. I redoubled my effort.

Wiki has this song originating in the early American western expansion. Eastern Protestants frowned on dancing. Skipping became a way to dodge their prohibitions. Wiki has lou as an Americanization of the Scottish word loo, which means love. I like that Saint Luv. We got 38 miles today and I’m beginning to feel them. Here is a great performance of the original song, followed by my lyrics.

Bike, bike, bike to my Lou,
Bike, bike, bike to my Lou,
Bike, bike, bike to my Lou,
Bike to my Lou, my darlin’.

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