This route took us over there via the Katy Trail. That trail is a great asset for cyclists in this state, and is one of those things that all of us need to log miles on... in life. But let's be honest, once you've pedaled your first 100 feet on the trail, there isn't really anything new. That being said, it's great stuff - which is the opposite of the idea of being a life coach, which is total bullshit. That is, unless your life coach is Charles Bronson, which would be the most awesome thing. Every day, your only goal to reach would be to become more grizzled, and squint more.
The way to start a proper assault on the Katy is to meet at Casa Toscani for crowns and pepper cheese. And with that task completed, we were out and on the bikes, and on the CXmas Course, snapping the minds of pathletes before we knew it:
With only one final hill behind us (the Page Bridge itself) we bombed the gnarly descent to the Katy, past hilarious graffiti, and took a little break. It was there that we found that some people do still care about those memorial benches:
From there, we had a long stretch of gravel ahead of us. I never bring headphones/iPod with me when I ride, instead choosing to flip through my mental music archives, choosing the very best stuff to get stuck in my head. For the next couple of hours, I was rocking out to an oldie-but-goodie, this album:
Specifically, the tracks "Drain the Main Vein," "Ain't No Talkin' With Your Mouth Full" and "Tails Up Heads Down." I was rockin'.
After passing the Chinamen Walking Club, I started worrying about the long, straight stretches of the Katy causing my headset to get that center-notch pitting. Fortunately though, we made it to Defiance, where we would refuel with water and sugar treats, which would get my head right. Orin would be making his 38th pee break. I found it odd that Nico went in after him, causing me to worry that he was going behind Mrs. Toscani's back by meeting teammates in public restrooms:
|"Meooowwww! My favorite band is Insane Meown Posse!"|
It was a little chilly as we rolled back out of Defiance, and if we hadn't had our jerseys and jackets on, we surely would have been blastin' some nips.
Next up was resisting to urge to climb Matson Hill just for the hell of it (because it isn't already hard enough to keep traction with 2.3" tires, let alone 32c tires.) We also resisted a CX assault on Klondike Park, as we rolled past the Power Plant in the background:
|Thank Energor for that warning about the rough Katy surface, miles from nowhere on the trail.|
Parting ways, we continued our party train, spreading karma- wherever it needed spreading. In today's case, it was in the form of lending a mini-pump to a couple of dudes on their third day traversing the trail. They were without inflationary abilities. Tires inflated, we keep moving and soon found ourselves closer to the river than evar before:
And once the Katy swings back down to the river, you know that Hermann isn't too far. Turning left towards Hermann, I was a little bummed that our trip had come to an end, but it was nice to find Boyd's vehicle already parked in town, piloted there by Ms. Boyd, having herself raced the Tour of Hermann. I must say that my t'aint was very much looking forward to the nicely padded bench seats inside. Once on the way home, I was able to remove my stiff cycling shoes, and slip on some more comfortable post-ride shoes that I got from Punch0r. He told me they are gonna be hugely popular, and that he's basing the rest of his career on them. (Thanks buddy!)
You know where to be this weekend. And the weekend after that, be in Jeff City. With lots of chamois cream.
-Casey F. Ryback