Lafayette We Are Here

On Tuesday morning I got up at Oh-dark-thirty to go biking in the Park.  It was still dark out, but I have bike lights, actually I have a bike light system ($$$).  My early morning drill is pretty simple and has been well rehearsed, get up (always the hardest part), go down stairs, get dressed and then just roll the bike out our basement’s walkout door.  On Tuesday, when I flipped on the outside light two beady little eyes were illuminated, they belong to an opossum.  As I stood there in the open basement doorway, I expected it to bolt, but it just continued doing what it had been doing.  I thought about running back upstairs and grabbing my real camera, but since the outside light seemed to be lighting the scene sufficiently, I took the expedient approach and just pulled the iPhone out of my pocket and took the picture.  I should have gone back upstairs, because the picture was no good (crummy iPhone camera) and it eventually took my best monster roar for the opossum to get the idea and run off.  I saw something nasty in the woodshed.  I eventually launched and got 15 miles.  Then the rains came on Wednesday and Thursday, but we really needed some rain.  Friday dawned cool and clear.  The forecast for this holiday weekend c’est magnifique, with highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s and no rain in the forecast.  This will be a rare Saint Louis weekend, weather wise.

Anne and I met Don and DJ at Square One Brewery, on Park, just off of Lafayette Square, on Friday evening.  Lafayette Square is a city park that comprises one city block.  The four streets that bound the square are lined with mid-ninetieth century row houses or in some cases their modern facsimiles.  It is a neighborhood steeped in tradition.  A more recent tradition that has taken the neighborhood by storm is the Tour de Lafayette, the first stage in this weekend’s four stage Gateway Cup series of bicycling races.  With the lapse this year of the Tour of Missouri, the Gateway Cup retakes its mantle as the premier bicycle race in Missouri.  We caught the end of the men’s master’s race before dinner.  Master’s is a nice way of saying old guys.   We saw and spoke with Jim and Diana in between laps of this race. 

I should probably explain to everyone that all of the Gateway Cup’s races are criterions or more simply crits.  The Lafayette crit is just less than a mile around the block.  Racers ride for a fixed period of time, anywhere from half an hour to an hour and then countdown five last laps to go.  Even the masters exceed the posted speed limit and the pros are at least 10 MPH faster.  Look both ways before you cross these streets at night.

After dinner we caught most of the men’s CAT 3 race.  We stopped by Tom and Audrey’s house; they were having their usual lawn party.  We then walked around the block, stopping to photograph the passing riders every other minute (i.e. 30 MPH).  We bumped into Chris and Sandi who should be the ones actually writing this post, because they really follow the bicycling race scene and would really know what they are writing about, but alas dear reader you are stuck with me.  We caught part of the elite women’s race (CAT 1, 2 and Pro) before we left.  I must say that I like fast women on bicycles.