It was sad when the great ship went down

Under the Sea

Well that didn’t take long. Saturday, we noticed a new sign on the golf course that we had been walking, announcing guidelines for its reopening. On Sunday, at least that park of the links had reopened to golfers and closing it to walkers like us. Today, the rest of the two golf courses are supposed to reopen for golf.

Fortunately, yesterday we didn’t walk, but instead chose to bicycle. We thought that we had gotten out early enough to beat the heat, but it somehow found us, before we could make it back home. The park was crowded and we didn’t stay.

Bicycling is exercise. Golf is not. At least while using a cart. Before they shut the courses to all golfers, the city tried running them without carts. The few golfers that did walk were so few that management decided to just shut it down. 

The covidiots up the block held their lawn party. Strangers in evening attire traipsed by the house all afternoon. Thunderstorms began popping almost as soon as the party began and for a while their luck held out, but eventually the rain rolled in and all of the dolled up ladies left. One of the local media sites has a list of confirmed Covid cases by zip code. We’ve been holding steady at 29 for a while now. I’ll continue to watch it intently over the next couple of weeks. I’ll be looking for signs of new infections close to home.

We only did our short neighborhood walk today. This was not because of issues with humanity, but rather the twin issues of heat and humidity. It looks like we’ll get rain again this afternoon and every other day this week. As Anne tells me, it will be a good week for the lawn, which is already showing signs of needing to be mowed again and it hasn’t even been a week.

Off to the Races

Friday Night Lights

We bicycled yesterday, but it wasn’t anything like what’s pictured above. That kind of weather is more like today’s. No, it was quite pleasant out, the calm before a weekend full of storms. Oh well, into each life some rain must fall. This picture is from last September, the Friday of Labor Day weekend. Being the unofficial end of summer, this weekend is always packed with festivals. The one pictured here is the Gateway Cup, a weekend of bicycle racing. This is a scene from the first series of races that are held on Friday night. Three more series of races follow each day of this three-day weekend. It always seems to manage to rain for the Friday races, but not usually as much as is pictured here. Normally, just enough to make the pavement a bit slick, adding that extra element of danger, as the cyclists take those sharp corners at 30 MPH, on those skinny tires.

We’ve been attending these races regularly for many years. Photographing them has always been a chore. You are in the dark trying to snap fast moving objects. Not a good combination of conditions for my point-and-shoot equipment. Still, as these two examples prove, even a blind dog sometimes finds a bone. The first one happens to be the only picture that I have sold, albeit to a friend, but even so, it was an unsolicited sale. I went online and had it printed on metal through a mail-order service. It really turned out quite well, better looking than on-screen.

Women’s CAT 1 Race Line-Up

Anyway, back to yesterday’s ride, a ride with a purpose. Our bike buddies, Bill and Mary had planned on hosting a party today, celebrating Bill’s 80th birthday. We’ve attended many of their parties over the years ad were certainly looking forward to this one, but you know, plans changed and the party had to be cancelled. Instead, we were asked to swing by their house and sign a poster for Bill. Being such a nice day and they being bike buddies, we cruised on over to their place via two-wheel means of locomotion. We were outbound, the first time we swung by and met Bill, wished him happy birthday and talked with him a good long while. Unfortunately, Mary who is a college professor, was teaching a Zoom class and couldn’t break free to see us. What was worse is that only she knew where the poster for us to sign was.

We promised to come back and headed over to the park. They live closer to it than we do. For a weekday, the park was relatively crowded, with too many people on the bike path. We stuck to the roads, but even so, there were several too-close encounters of the socially unsafe kind. It might have been safer to travel on less bike friendly streets. After, we had ridden far enough to get our “steps” in and long enough to give Mary a chance to wrap up her class, we returned to their home, spoke with Mary and signed the poster. Mission accomplished! Happy birthday, Bill!!

Who Were Those Masked Riders

Bicycling Themed Face Masks

Smile! We are smiling. Can’t you tell? We can be seen sporting two of the 47 (or was it 51?) face masks that Anne has made over the past couple of weeks. These are our special bicycling themed masks. After taking this selfie, we launched to Forest Park, which is still open, but nothing in it is. Apparently, even the two golf courses are now closed. Previously, the mayor had banned the use of golf carts, which pretty much dried up most of the golfing business, but now the courses too are officially closed. With all of its attractions closed, the park was pretty empty, with plenty of room for social distancing.

We’ve walked almost every day and usually in Clayton. The sidewalks are wider there and so are the streets, plus it is a nicer neighborhood than ours. Getting there involves crossing Clayton Avenue. Normally, a very busy street, but not anymore. Routinely now, as soon as we press the walk button the lights change. It didn’t use to be like that. Today, we just rolled up over the pavement sensors and flipped the switch. There are perks in the new normal, if you notice them.

Next, we rolled down Wydown and into the park. The county has closed all of its parks and while the city might eventually do the same, so far it does not seem warranted. Besides closing Forest Park would be difficult to do. It has a lot of entrances and is surrounded by residential neighborhoods. All the neighbors need do is cross a street and they’re in the park. The only ones we saw in more than just family groups were the grounds crew people.

I do have one very minor complaint. They have closed a few of the major roads to cars, which I like, but the barriers that they have erected don’t have any slots to allow bikes through. We had to dismount and walk around them, all while trampling the grass. It was an inconvenience. Oh well, I’ll get over it. 😉

The park is beautiful now. Everything is in flower. The Redbud is mauve-lous and the Spring Beauties carpet the lawns. We tootled around the park for a while, before heading for home. We did speak with another cyclist, from a safe distance. He recognized Anne’s Michigan’s Lakeshore Tour jersey, which she was wearing in an aspirational fashion. He told us that he is signed up for this August’s tour, but none of us were sure whether that would happen or not. After talking with him, it sounded like he does many of the same organized rides that we have, Cycle Zydeco, Bike MS and the Michigan one.

It was getting warm, by the time we got home again. It may hit ninety today. I fired up the AC, just to test it. Even though it is warm, it is not very humid and still quite pleasant out. Besides, tomorrow night it is supposed to drop into the thirties. Crazy spring weather, AC on one day and then the heat the next.

Little Lamb, Who Made Thee?

Crocuses

Punxsutawney Phil was as good as his word. March has come in like a lamb and this week’s forecast is full of early spring weather. The crocuses are out, the trees are budding and the zoysia is beginning to turn green again. Today was nice enough to entice Anne and I to go for a bicycle ride, but you know what they say about March. In like a lamb and out like a lion or in this case a tiger. Tiger burning bright in the sinew of the night. Apologies to William Blake.

Anne and I took advantage of this warm spell and got out on our bikes. We rode in Forest Park, with most of Saint Louis. On the way back home, we stopped off at Kaldi’s on DeMun, for a latte and a smoothie and to soak up some more sun. 

Spoiler Alert! This week, Knives Out director Rian Johnson released a major spoiler, not just about his most recent murder mystery, but outing all TV shows and movies. He divulged a show business trade secret that will allow anyone to pick out the bad guy, from any line up. Apparently, Apple has no problem with its products appearing on screen, so long as they are portrayed in a favorable light. You can take this to mean that only the good guys can be seen with an iPhone or a Mac Book. Anyone sporting an Android or a PC is automatically suspect and should be given a wide berth.

Evangeline Oak

Evangeline Oak

Longfellow’s poem Evangeline immortalized the tragedy of the Acadian exile from Nova Scotia in 1755. This oak marks the legendary meeting place of Emmeline Labiche and Louis Arceneaux, real life counterparts of Evangeline and Gabriel. It served as a rest stop during last year’s Cycle Zydeco bike ride.

Saturday night, we attended a dinner party with some fellow Saint Louis based Zydeco riders. Our hosts, Phil and Mary are within walking distance. It was a great party, with the long and short of it being that we will be doing this year’s Cycle Zydeco bicycle ride in Louisiana. We still have to sign-up for the ride and make ancillary reservations, but I’ll get on that this week. We might checkout the Gulf Shores area too. For those of you who are keeping score that checks off April, filling our travel dance card until September. I don’t think that any future planning is really warranted beyond that point, at least for now. We are already well on our scheduled way to becoming former Saint Louisans.

In other comings and goings, this Sunday morning, Dan and Britt launched back eastward, to NYC. We really enjoyed their visit and this will leave us empty nested once again. I sent them off with my signature avocado toast in their bellies, wishing them and fueling them both, for their safe travels home. It will be way passed our bedtimes before they make Brooklyn tonight.

With Dan’s departure, I declare the Christmas season officially over. Tomorrow, I’ll take down the decorations, but I think that I’ll leave most of the lights up for a while longer. They look so pretty at night and even though the days are supposedly getting longer now, it still gets dark awfully early and a little more light will help. There are no excuses now, for not plunging into the new year.