The temps may have dipped below below 60, but the humidity stayed steady hovering in a very St. Louis-esque 90-150%, making sure to keep our arms sensuously glistening with sweat in the moonlight as we climbed up every Missouri Mountain in our sights.
We managed to put together quite the Murder as we met at Los Casa del Crotch-O a little earlier than last year, at about 10pm. Setting sail from Porto del Ryback, I was joined by the following posse:
-Gino "Let's Wake Up Steve Friedmann" Felino
-Nico "The Best Birthday Gift This Year Was Penis Free of Poison Ivy" Toscani
-Samuel "Wicked Witch of the West" Axel
-Jonathon "Quintuple the Size of Last Year's Tires" Cold
-Orin "Last Minute Entry" Boyd
-Cock "Wearing a Jacket With Shorts" Punch0r
-John "This Is How I Spend My Vacation" Lake
-Emily "You Mean We're Only Doing One Lap?" Korsch
-Hunter "Dark Horse Singlespeeder"
-Tyl0r "I've Reproduced" Bicknese
Notably absent from this year's ride: Tom "Ask Me How My Cycle Is Doing" Marsh, and Jack "Tubed Meat Specialist" Tagg0rt.
Embarking through the lit-streets of South StL, we took a path up Gregg Road in honor of Gino, passed Little Chinatown (formerly inhabited by Lt. Col. Austin Travis, Stoveward P. Stovington III, DA9SPDR, and Jerkward) and then westward down Clayton to Conway, where we enjoyed quiet, car-free county riding until we passed 141, where we experienced a cloudburst that was enough to have us seek shelter in the St. Luke's parking garage for a little while:
By this point, both Tyl0r and Axel peeled off, either being called home for familial duties or because water might speed up the melting process. We pressed on, out on Wild Horse Creek Road (although it would be Wild Glue Creek Road if I had any say in the matter) and took a quick "Leroy" onto Old Eatherton, where our course would merge with the Death By Hills course for a few miles. This means an ascent of Orville, and a lovely ride over the smoothest surface this side of the ass of the boys being held in Criss Angel's Pit of Anal Despair. We zigged and zagged until we found ourselves heading southward on Strecker until we reached Hwy 100. At this time of night, the usually-murderous stretch of 100 was as docile as the doped-up boys in Criss Angel's Pit.
Our sights were set on an exhilarating night-time descent of Woods Road, but before getting ripped on that, we had to stop at the On The Run for some more Talent Juice. We found that the rain we had experienced earlier had most likely been a spot shower, as we were experiencing wonderfully dry pavement. And the only thing to make the night-time descent of Woods even more awesome was being able to pass right by the entrance to Bartizan. Quickly juking onto the bike path, we marched towards the Al Foster Trail where we would see our only gravel for the night, as we would turn up Zombie Road (now known as The Rock Hollow Trail) where I treated all the youngin's to some spooky ghost stories of old Zombie Road urban legends. The (wo)man-train choo-choo'd up the 2 miles of climbing until we pooped out onto Ridge Road, where Gregward had the great suggestion to make a mini-detour up the road for a viewing of Downtown StL from 30 miles away. Unfortunately, we were unable to see through the haze of the night. If onlywe were like The T-800:
Bummed out but not crushed, we mot0red down Pierside, and then onto Kiefer Creek, which was the one fucking road that did not have a less traffic on it at 3AM as opposed to during rush hour. Taking the "easy way" to Big Bend by climbing up New Ballwin instead of Ries Road, we chuggalugged passed Tagg0rt's house and then onto Sulphur Springs, which deposited us right onto the Valley Park river path. This brought us to the one big effort we had to contend with: the "apartment climb" at the base of Marshall Road. ascending that to Big Bend, we went to Old Big Bend/Craig Road, and made the Leffingwell connection to Grants Trail, and yet another QT.
Riding Grant's Trail at 3:30AM may be the best time to do so, as we did not see a single roller blader, recumbent, ElliptiGo, RowBike, Treadmill Bike, or shirtless ski-blader. It was pretty awesome. We found our way around through some neighborhoods, and into Jefferson Barracks Park, for a little connection to the new trail that goes behind the other pit of despair. This left us to wo-man-train up South Broadway (where we were unfortunate enough to pass by a recumbent after all) to the arch, for a vague, cloudy sunrise:
|What does accomplishment taste like, Jerkward?|
The end was in sight. By this time, some of our t'aint-al regions were feeling as though someone had given us the "minivan:"
|Note the preferred pavement tire of Nico: 35c Panaracer T-Servs.|
Our spirits were clinging to life, though our bodies were crawling into their metaphorical pajamas. Meanwhile, someone's baby had crawled out of it's diaper and left it behind:
We snaked our way up MLK, through SLUH, were glad to be with friends through the Central West End, and made a small arc through Forest Park, before funneling through the Hwy 40 Tunnel. At this point, we parted ways with Hunter and Kitten Bottoms, and we set our sights finally for a traversing of The Hill, and back into the "arrivals" area of the Crotch Airport.
Our t'aints were very glad to be back in dry clothing, having been marinating all night from the rain we'd gone through. My body felt pretty funny - like 6-finger-kid-in-a-Mi-Ranchito-wall-painting-funny:
|Beer and orange juice on the same table.|
I know that the Brothers-Jerk and B-Squared would be jealous of our escapes from up in Seattle, but I can only hope that, even though we aren't keeping very good tabs on his ass, that the Tropical Depression Mason does not revert back to his fruit-booting ways - admittedly being a reformed roller blader.
What a great adventure.
Now, in other news, we have a great announcement to make. We are officially adding Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, NM as an honorary sponsor. Or rather, we would like to honorarily make ourselves an honorary sponsor or supporter of this company. Please read:
We would like to start a process to suggest a site for this new, proposed slaughterhouse. We are thinking somewhere in the vicinity of, or located within, Greensfelder Park. Imagine. An old, less-sure-footed horse snaps his leg somewhere while riding some super-muddy Greensfelder Trails, and is somehow dragged out of the woods. Normally, a broken leg for a horse results in that horse getting shot in its long face. Why not put this horse to good use and feed it into the supply chain for this new business?
Besides, I'm all out of tire glue, and I need to install new tires for this coming CX season.
-Casey F. Ryback