Geared Cyclocross Century!
Greetings to ye fellow Team Seagal fans. Gather round as we share another tale of great adventure and bravery as performed by two of your favorite Team Seagal heroes: Dr. Wesley McLaren and Mr. Nico Toscani. This Journey took place on Sunday December 30 in the year of our Lord 2007. I, Nico Toscani, greeted the day at a hearty 6:30am awaking to prepare for the great odyssey. After much espresso and camelbak filling I departed my residence near the magnanimous Forest Park and headed off towards breakfast: The Hardee's at the intersection Hampton and the ill-fated HWY 40/64. I was atop the newest steel steed in my fine collection; a cement grey Surly Cross-Check. This cycle began life as single speed but with the good Dr's surgical-like wheel building prowess it just recently got its gears, all nine of them. Here is a photographic description of the happy new cycle.
Well, it was 7:15am and I had a fat sack of egg samiches and hash-crowns so I headed over to Dr. McLarens' Office to dine and discuss the rest of the day’s goings-ons. Breakfast was just delightful and was followed up with the Dr's special signature blend of Chinese Herbs, undoubtedly fortified with Tibetan Goji Berries and Asian Cordyceps to keep us strong. If you are ever to meet with the Doctor take with you this warning: do not refuse his prescriptions- it is considered extremely rude in his culture to do so.
Together we left the Dr.'s Office and pedaled off towards the vast unknown in search of our destiny. Our route was a fairly simple one, picking up Midland Blvd in University City and following it west. Soon, we passed under I-270 and entered into Creve Coeur Lake Park off of Marine Ave. Here is where we took our first pit-stop- Check out the Dr's fine steed, the Fuji Cross Comp (on loan from the Shop Minister's permanent collection) leaned up near the restroom in Creve Couer Park.
This was no ordinary bathroom, but rather a member of the revolutionary Missouri State Bathroom Pilot Program (The M.S.B.P.P.). Instead of separate stations for hand washing, soap application, and hand drying this resting stop combined everything into one tidy hole in the wall. After you've completed your business just stick your hands into the hole and without pressing any buttons you receive 1) The perfect amount of soap squirted into your palms 2) A gentle stream of warm water to wash with 3) A hearty blast of hot air from a hidden electric blower. Just amazing technology here folks!
It was easy to traverse the park trails, soon we found ourselves crossing the Missouri River via the Page/ HWY 364 bridge and entering onto the Katy Trail. We were at mile marker 43 when we began the Katy portion of our journey to the west. Trail conditions were pretty damn good. We were able to keep a speedy pace, hovering around 16 - 19 mph on well packed ground. A little trail interference was encountered around MM 57 in the Weldon Springs Conservation Area. It got very swampy and progress slowed but did not stop. We rolled through Defiance and took another pit-stop at Matson Hill Rd. We were at approx mile 38 of our journey; check out the stately Dr. in this photo at Matson- definitely still in good spirits!
Our leisurely ride continued west and became very painful when our eyes focused upon the following street sign.
We left the Katy Trail and turned right onto Terry Rd, the gravel drive of pain and death.
Terry Rd. snakes upwards for almost three miles of steep, gravel rollers until it intersects Duke Rd, The paved reward for all of your troubles. Anyone who has ridden on Duke must leave with a very big smile on their face; wonderful scenery and smooth auto-free asphalt are there to greet all riders. It is here on Duke Rd that we achieved the day's top speed of 37 mph- pretty kick-ass, fun stuff on a cyclocross bike with fat tires!
Here is a photo of the log at which we stopped for a delicious picnic lunch and then some more of the Dr's special Chinese Herb Medley (for strength).
This log was found at the intersection of Duke and Matson Hill Rd. We were sitting there on the log when a group of riders passed us headed east on Duke Rd- it was King Furby and the St. Louis Cycling Club Defiance Group Ride! We yelled for Furby and his crew to join us at the log but alas, they did not hear our cries. Those guys really missed out, take a look at how much fun we had at the log during lunch.
Very carefully we desceneded Matson Hill Rd towards the Katy Trail where we turned to the west yet again. The Dr. and I pedaled to Klondike Park to visit the site of the last Team Seagal NON-race. We stopped at the bottom of the race course to relive the great memories and then climbed the path to the scenic overlook. Here is photographic proof that we did indeed visit Klondike Park.
The Dr. and I entered the Katy trail again, this time heading back East from our furthest point west, MM 64. We made haste on the return, eager to tell the others of our journey. One final stop was made, at a very special bench memorializing an apparent lost soldier. We dedicated our trip to this unknown, made peace and offered up a final gift of Chinese Herbs in his honor. We leave you with this photo of what is referred to as Al's bench; may his special blessing follow you wherever ye go!