And for how much has been going on lately, we would like to extend a laurel, and hardy apology for our lengthy hiatus of porsting on this blorg. But today, mainly on special request to Punch0r, I'm going to chronicle Sunday's goings-on.
Nearly all of us (Except Mr. Roland Sallinger, good man that he is) had to miss Hermann CX, however some of us (myself included) had to go and drink a lot on Saturday night on account of my looming nuptials. So waking up in time to make it to Hermann in time for some racing on Sunday was a tall order.
That left open the option for a long ride, leaving mid-day from South City. Holy shit. I met with FrozenPizza at the Store that Sells Only Jerkwards' house in Dogtown. Our plan: to leave, and then return, having reached triple digit miles. And since we left around 1:30-2, we made sure to bring lights. This was sure to get our juices flowing even faster for an all-out assault on the Burnin' competition. (FYI: Just because Snurb broke nearly every bone in his body like 1-2 months ago, his mustache has reached its fighting weight - which means only one thing. The top of the Burnin' SS podium will be defended.)
Back to our heroes.
We set off up Midland, quickly achieving escape velocity. As we dropped down Marine Road into Creve Coeur Lake Park, we heard the sound of a whip cracking. I immediately thought of the salesman who sold Homer the snow plow using a whipping sound. But then I looked to the right, and there was whip-cracking contest happening right before our eyes. We all were staring in confusion trying to figure it out, but as we merged onto the bike path, we quickly were snapped back into reality - when riding the Creve Coeur Lake path, you need to be on full alert - it is the land of shirtless rollerblading badasses, wind-bladers, and triathlete wannabes. Fortunately for us, PizzaTown has recently installed a bento box on his bike, so we were pretty confident that we would be accepted by the locals, and they would grant us safe passage to the other side of the Page Bridge.
We did manage to pass over into the St. Charles County safely, but not before seeing the smoothest and most rhythmic roller blader we've ever seen. (Shirtless, of course.) We also were passed by a true human centipede of a triathlete paceline. These dudes were all in their aerobars/restbars, and they were definitely pacelining. I was hoping to witness one of these:
Anyway, we dropped onto the Katy, and this time went north, with our sights set on the end of the line in Machens. Passing the Family Arena, we got to witness another cool contest - autocross in their sprawling parking lot! Very cool stuff. I'd never ridden north on the Katy past downtown St. Charles. I quickly found out that it ends up being relatively twisty and with much more up-and-down, compared to the rest of the trail - definitely a plus. Our man-train plodded along, always keeping the pace strong, and before it, we hit the end, which was pretty underwhelming:
We were on a route that had previously been traversed by our own Toscani and Boyd, on a recent vampire century on the night of Hurricane Isaac, so we knew we were in good hands. This route, after leaving the Katy, went through miles and miles of nice, quiet farm roads, as we pointed our handlebars at the Hwy 67 bridge into Alton. Not long before reaching that bridge, we saw yet another fun community activity - an honest-to-Energor tractor pull. Using normal, everyday tractors. I didn't take any photos, because I got the feeling that the fat dudes in overalls already didn't like the less-fat dudes in spandex stopping to watch.
So we kept moving, and were treated with a nice view of Alton (if there is one):
We stopped at the last gas station for provisions, and then headed across the bridge in the bike lane which, for a cyclist, was only slightly better than no lane at all. Whatever. We were back up on the levee and riding back south in no time:
As we returned to pavement from the gravel levee trail, I was able to hear the faint sound of three t'aints rejoicing in unison. However, that would be short lived, as we passed through the outskirts of East St. Louis on the way towards the McKinley Bridge. Passing underneath the arch, avoiding the horse piss and shit all over the ground, we turned briefly up Chouteau, and made a quick stop at this nearly forgotten church, which has the most ominous statue out front:
It'sNotDelivery and Toscani made it evident around this time that their legs were made of pure Quantanium, as I was unable to answer their impressive accelerations over the bridge, down the River Trail, and then all the way down Broadway. 90+ miles in with our lights on, I was just watching their blinky tail lights from a distance. To better paint a picture, while I was passing the entrance to Bellerieve Park, those two jerks were already passing (and thankfully not turning into) the entrance to Sister Mary (You're Alright) Charles Park.
We thankfully regrouped and rode up River Des Peres Road, and made a stop at Walgreens for actual frozen pizza, right before getting back to Casa Croach, where we drank the rest of the Hamm's that I had previously bought at Quicktrip:
|That's fucking cheap.|
We relaxed well, having ticked over 100, and enjoyed the recent rain that our region has received, which allowed us the luxury of riding dozens of miles on the Katy Trail and other gravel, with hardly ANY dust at all. Oh man. September's century: done.
Now on a side note, as this cyclocross season gets underway, you might end up having to suffer someone as they complain about how hard (or easy) the day's CX course is, or how it doesn't suit their style. I would like to offer some advice - that you simply tell them to:
|that's good advice.|
Don't forget to come to The Gateway Cross Cup. Since there is a decent chance that you don't know anything about it this year, it is at Heman Park again, and it is on Wednesday, September 26th. Don't fuck this one up.
-Casey F. Ryback