On Saturday, Anne and I went for a bicycle ride in the park and for the first time in months we were able to ride up our street, instead of on the sidewalk. MSD paved our road on Friday. Yea! On our way, we passed what looked like a derby party. It was only noon then , so I imagine that there were more than hammering hooves there by race time, some six hours later. It was a delightful ride that we celebrated on the way back, with cool libations from Kaldi’s coffee. Our ride around the park was certainly no race, but we did manage by the end of it to win, place and show. It helps that we set our own race parameters.
On Sunday, after Anne unwrapped all her birthday loot, she had a hankering for something sweet to eat. We decided to visit that French café in downtown Clayton for some crepes. Driving over there, we marveled at all of the new construction occurring there. I guess, it has been a while since last we visited. As it turned out, the crepe place was no longer there and instead there was a Vincent Van Doughnut in its place. That worked. Their donuts are huge. Mine was too much to eat all at one time and brought half of it back home.
Afterwards, we hiked over to our own local Lindbergh Drive, not to be confused with the Saint Louis encircling Lindbergh Boulevard (US 67) with a similar sounding name. The annual Richmond Heights Art Fest occurred there today. There we were able to score some crepes at Holy Crepes! I had their Crepe Tragedy, so names because it included gyro meat, but I thought that they should have named the dish, Crepe Fear, because it sounds so much cooler.
Another day, another bicycle ride in Forest Park and another sight on which to remark. Clang, clang, clang went the trolley! After years and years of planning, preparation and anticipation I saw the Loop Trolley operating today, twice. Banners along its sides say that the trolley is currently operating only in test mode, but testing should soon lead to operating. As I said, I saw the trolley twice, about half an hour apart or in my case, once around the park. That means that this car made the roundtrip journey along its 2.2 mile track that runs from the U City loop to the History museum, as pictured above.
Red Tulips in Forest Park
When we moved to Saint Louis, we first encountered Our Own Oddities. This local Sunday special was featured in the comics section of the Post-Dispatch. This strip always seemed to me to be similar to the syndicated Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. It frequently featured unusually shaped fruits and vegetables, such as a potato that resembled Richard Nixon. In addition to freakish produce the strip also featured peculiar local trivia, like a woman who lived at 1919 Montgomery St. and was born at nine o’clock on August 19, 1919. The paper discontinued this feature years ago, which is unfortunate, because I have some new entries.
I rode in the park this morning and while riding I encountered two noteworthy scenes. The first was a man on the bike path. This man was holding a log in his hands. This log had been cut to fireplace length and was about 8″ in diameter. He was holding it out in front of himself, with both palms pressed against the two flat ends. But what made this individual even more unique was that he was dragging a car tire behind him, laid flat on the path, by a rope around his waist. His homemade exercise regimen certainly set him apart from all us others.
The other scene of note was encountered while rolling past the Grand Basin. A dozen new moms were working out, each with their new baby in its stroller facing them. I guess that watching mom gyrate in front of them, must have been soothing or at least entertaining for the infants. It would have made a good pic.
Not to be outdone, Anne witnessed her own oddity, while walking home from school. We are not alone here, while suffering under the ministrations of the sewer district. There are many other streets that are also undergoing the same uncrossing of the waters that we are. While Anne was walking by one such site, she observed a driver attempting to exit their driveway. MSD had trenched out the road in front of the house, such that when the car exited the driveway, it first dropped into the dugout section of the road. Thump! Then it attempted to climb back out again and ran into an even steeper wall along the road’s centerline. Whump! Some back and fill ensued, eventually leading to the car’s escape, but not completely, because it had lost a bumper in all of that bumping and grinding.
Lime Bikes in Forest Park
I discovered half-a-dozen Lime Bike bicycles today, in Forest Park. There were sitting on the path between Pagoda Circle and the Visitors Center, under the blossoming Bradford pears. I had heard that this kiosk-less ride sharing service was coming to town, but it was still a surprise to see them just sitting there. A lock immobilizes the rear wheel, which with their app and a credit card can be unlocked. The first ride is free. There is also a lojack system that tracks the bikes. Almost a hundred of these bikes were distributed around town.
I hadn’t been expecting the bicycles, when I stopped to checkout the blooming trees. The above photo is just the latest example of this shot, which I have taken again and again. I thought that I had missed these flowers, while we were in California, because normally them bloom at the beginning of April. They are late this year, but then so is spring this year too,
It was a day to get militant. It was a day to get out. It was a day to bike. It was a day to get out and be militant about biking. I started the day, by cycling in Forest Park. Normal for me, this is my exercise cycling. Later, Anne and I walked over to attended the grand reopening of a neighborhood bike shop, Mesa Cycles, now under new management. It appears to be a Specialized outlet now.
Later still, we hit Immaculate Conception for Trailnet’s annual chili dinner kickoff.
There, we ended up politicking. We dined with the Maplewood mayor and spouse, Barry and Deni. It was delightful. Our longtime friend and cycling enthusiast Sandi joined us. She is running for a seat on Maplewood’s city council. I volunteered to help her on election day. Which means that I only have to pull a twelve-hour day, as opposed to Anne’s fifteen that day.
Anne’s Gulf Sunset
We made it to the Gulf Coast in time for sunset. It has been an action packed day. We actually bicycled today. Our first time for 2018. I know that that is pathetic, but it is what it is. We traversed the Florida peninsula, while skimming the top of the Everglades. We ducked down into the park at Shark Valley. The park was open on day two of the government shutdown, but there were no park service employees to be seen. Fortunately, the concessionaire there was up and running. Their store was open and more importantly, their bathrooms were open too. The tram ride was running and they were renting bicycles. We rent two and then it was off to the races. We set a blistering pace on our fat tired, coaster braked beach cruisers. It took us an hour to ride the first mile. Let’s just say that it was a target rich environment. We made the next six in two hours, but we set such a blistering pace that we did the last eight in 45 minutes. That last part may not sound like much, but we had a headwind and it was uphill too. Younger riders complemented us on our passing speed. It was 81 ºF when we finished.