After about a two-year hiatus, due to the pandemic, we got back on our bikes again. We stopped riding, because we didn’t want to have an accident that landed us in the ER during Covid. Feeling more confident now and accompanied with warmer weather, we decided that it was time to ride. Our planned course was as easy as we could make it, just across the park and back again. I felt a little wobbly when first I mounted my bike, but it soon came back to me, like riding a bicycle. We headed out, crossed the park and headed to the central west end, where Anne had an errand. Afterwards, turning around, we decided to stop for an owl prowl. The front page of the paper featured a photo of this year’s two new owlets. It was a great shot. In the article, we learned that they had been named, Betty and Sidney in remembrance of Betty White and Sidney Poitier, who have both recently passed away. We didn’t see either of the owlets, but we did see Charles, their father. Always a creature of habit, he was easy to find, sitting in his current favorite tree. After searching for the owlets some more, we decided to bag it and head over to the boathouse for some liquid refreshment. It is still only open for outdoor seating, but the weather was warm enough to enjoy that. In fact, it was warm enough to seek shade. We joked with the other patrons that if it is this warm in March, how hot will it be come July? It is scheduled to fully open next month. While sipping our drinks, we watched a seemingly out-of-control controlled burn, across Post-Dispatch Lake, on Wildlife Island. At least there the fire would halt at the water’s edge. Mounting our bikes for the ride home, we both began to feel the aftereffects of our two-year biking hiatus, while we slowly, but surely limped home again.
Today is weigh-in day. Anne lost two pounds this week for a total of more than twenty pounds and I managed to not gain any weight this week, having lost 25+ pounds in total. As a percentage of total weight Anne is way ahead of me and has probably hit her weight goal, while I still have further that I’d like to go. As is our wont, we went out for a celebratory feast after weighing in. After all, we now a full week to account for any excesses on Monday. The humidity has moderated some, making it possible to pleasantly walk outside again. We did the long version of our neighborhood walk, which has Kaldi’s Coffee located on De Mun at about the halfway point.
Anne snagged a table in the shade, although there were plenty still available in the sun. They also now have some inside seating, but it was way too nice not to sit outside. She had a latte and I had a cold brew with milk. We both ordered their avocado toast, which is my favorite version of this dish, the first avocado toast that I’ve ever had and what I have always used as the model for my own avocado toast. Kaldi’s doesn’t use as much avocado as I do, but their toast is extra thick, because it is served on hand sliced bread. They accent the plate with lines of the Siracha with mayo mixed in with it, which makes it a little milder than straight Siracha sauce and gives it nice orange color that looks quite appetizing along with the green of the avocado. They also sprinkle the dish with black sesame seeds, which we joked look like mouse turds. At least I hope that they are not mouse turds. Now that I’ve refreshed my memory with how Kaldi’s makes their avocado toast, I’ll have to revisit their recipe again, because I can see now that I have strayed quite a bit from it over time. I had to bus our table as soon as we each had finished eating, because the sparrows were both fierce and voracious, with no sense of the meaning of personal space.
Well we’re done. This year’s Bike MS ride ended more with a whimper than not. Saturday was great! Perfect weather and even with our limited training this year, we still did well. The after ride party on Saturday night was fun too. We cleaned up on door prizes. But then there was Sunday, which was a bit of a washout. We got up at five and struck the tent in record time, which was a good thing, with flashes of lighting on the horizon and the deluge that began at six. Forty days of practice this summer paid off. We got soaked waiting around for the bike locker to open, but at least the camping gear was dry. We ate breakfast and waited around until seven, when it was pretty clear that they would not be letting anyone go anytime soon. So, we loaded the bikes on the car and headed for home, which we made, with just enough time to off load the Prius and not a moment to spare. It proceeded to rain for most of the morning.
Saturday was fun though. We did the team mass start and for one moment I was in the lead. Then slowly, but surely, they all passed us, along with almost all the other riders. Our route took us down to the river road that parallels the Illinois. We followed it north until Grafton and then veered inland and uphill. It was a killer hill. We both ended up walking it. On the second toughest hill, I walked, but Anne rode it to the top. I learned later that her mantra was, “Don’t puke. Don’t puke.” Which she didn’t. You go girl! We decided that discretion was the better part of valor and quit at lunch, which was conveniently back where we had started. I got my first professional massage, which I am still trying to figure out whether I liked or not. Dinner, then the team party and in bed by nine on a Saturday night. Sounds lame, right? Our team tent was the only one still going, when we left. Being so much closer to Saint Louis than Columbia, the old venue, it appears that most people left in the afternoon and never came back.