Anyway, so as you may or may not remember, due to you having probably been listening to some mall-core Linkn Park bullshit, this last weekend was mammorial/memorial day. Few of us worked, and so that calls for an epic ride when two days off in a row were happening.
So a quartet of us were recruited from Team Seagal HQ to launch an overnight assault on the town of Hermann, on a mission of peace. And peace pipes full of Chinese herbs. Well, pipe - singular. HQ gave us the plan - to set forth on a bro-core man-train down the KittyKaty Trail, with mandatory stops at the delicious Augusta Brewery for some Tannhauser.
Titward put forth the idea to meet in Brentwood - however, in retrospect, I feel as though he may have meant that he would like to meet Brent's wood. So it was, we were able to leave precisely after the rain stopped and pretty much avoid all rain on the way out. We threaded the needed of mid-county roads on the way to the CCP (Not to be confused with ICCCCCCCCP north of Wentzville) where we would traverse the Page Bridge, snapping the wrists of many shirtless fuit-booter dudes and aero-bar hybrids in the process.
Turning onto the Katy Trail, we seemed to reach the Hwy 40 bridge relatively quickly, where we got to see the progress of the construction and the forth-coming bike-ramp. From there, it wasn't long before we reached our first actual pit stop, at the Defiance Bike Shop, where we rested the legs, decided on the San Pellegrino over the Tab, and listened to the karaoke band around the corner:
From there, we pressed on, our sights on Augusta, where we would me the lovely Mrs. B and company for food and stuff. The trail had been relatively low on the dusty scale thanks to the rain earlier in the day, however the humidity was on the high end of the St. Louis Humidity Scale, which means that wet clothing set out on a line to dry will actually becoming wetter. So by the time we reached The Augusta Brewery (a mandatory Team Seagal stop any time we are withing 5 miles of it) we were sweatier than a fat, shirtless Juggalo in his tent trying to have sex with the ham-beast of a girl he met in the line for the port-a-john at The Gathering of the Juggalos. Despite our outward appearance, we were able to cool down with the proper beverages:
From here, with the sun well beyond its mid-day crest, we saddled up our steeds, and pressed on. The scenery became very pretty in the waning sunlight, which was pleasant, even if the trail was surprisingly soft and splattering:
As our shadows grew longer, I was wishing for more chamois, something like Designing Women-style shoulder pads:
|Nice and thick padding|
We managed to choo-choo all the way to the Hermann cut-off without having to destroy our night-vision by turning on our headlights. Hopping onto the Hwy 19, we rolled into Hermann, and set our internal GPS destination to Wings-A-Blahzin', only to be let down when the bartender told us the kitchen had closed like an hour ago. Truly, a crushing blow. No other restaurant was open any longer at this time of night, so we ultimately settled for some Casey's pizza, which was brought back to the City Park, and partially crushed. Camp erected, showers taken, sleep attempted.
The next morning, we had a meeting at the round table, and decided to return to the homeland on pavement rather than the Katy. Matt "Rand McNally" B set on determining our best route home, which turned out to essentially be the route from previous years' Vino Fondo from Hermann to Washington. (Strava Heat is an amazing thing.)
So our two days would be near polar opposites - Sunday: straight, flat, gravel, no traffic. Monday: twisty, HILLY, paved, and with varying degrees of traffic. And what better way to start off the return trip than with a slow, long climb up Hwy H (as seen previously at the Tour of Hermann, Loop 2) which is made even slower by having 20-30 pounds of crap on your bike. I realized that it would be a a long day of suffering uphill, especially with chasing my lean and mean traveling partners all day, so I had to set my internal soundtrack early on. Flipping through my the 300 CD changer in my brain, I selected a truly under-appreciated gem of the mid-80's thrash golden years and hit play:
Riding out of Hermann, as anyone who has done the Tour of Hermann of the Vino Fondo knows, the roads never stay flat for long. In fact, you are generally starting off each climb hoping to carry the momentum from the last bombin' downhill as far up as possible - and when my full rider/bike package is surely in the 275 lb range, that momentum doesn't carry it too far back up the hill. I did manage to hang out for a minute though:
Not long after that previous photo was taken, we found a roadside snack - baby venison:
By the time we reached Washington, we were even sweatier than the day before, having climbed more in the first 5 miles than we did the entire previous day. So it was time for a drink and a meal. This being Memorial Day, we found only one place open, and it just happened to be the Washington outlet for The Augusta Brewery. Perched on top of the hill overlooking the Missouri River, there was a great breeze, great beer, and low-key atmosphere under their covered porch area.
Our pit stop could not have been timed better, as we watched some ominous clouds roll in from the west, and as the rain started, it went from a light drizzle to "BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES! MAN THE HARPOONS!" in about 24.3 seconds. The river scene was a near white-out:
Once the lightning stopped, we pressed on, taking some even hillier roads on the way past Labadie and St. Albans, Can't say I was regretting having lugged my fenders all the way at that point. However, having been locked down in Washington due to the storm for a while, we got old-school-Tour de France hydration-style:
We sobered up quickly, considering every fluid that went into our bodies went directly out through our pores, especially when grinding out the long hills of West County:
Riding east, we made our way towards the easy, direct route into town, Clayton Road, and I got to dispense great information about oversized apple fritters to Matt B. We eventually all split up ways, happy to rest our t'aints - particularly TakeMeDownToPizzaTown, who rode the entire way with a heaping backpack full of shit for camping overnight.
We all know that this wasn't as cool as doing the DK ride this past weekend, nor were any of us super cool on fat bikes, but 85 miles there and back loaded down, and my legs are still tired.
So if I can leave you with a parting advice, remember this: opinions are like your sweaty crying dick - keep it to yourself.
Here's the totally hard fucking core Garmin link http://connect.garmin.com/activity/508258476
-Casey "Firecrest Stomach" Ryback