Friday, June 5, 2009

St. Louis: Work and Pleasure

Took BOB to St. Louis for a work conference early this past week. 375 miles.

Met my friend Tim at Rock Cut Park north of Rockford, IL. I've been in there a few times over the years and Tim and I were looking to cover as much of the trial as we could in 90 minutes or so. First time Tim tackled single track. He did a good job handling the flowing sections, minor grades and short uphill sections. As he was using flat pedals on his rigid bike and didn't have any real experience, the downhills, tree crossings and log piles were somewhat of a shock for him.
I did a header on the backside of one of the log piles, myself. Tim got a kick out of that!
Tim decided to try a small creek crossing where horses had pogo-sticked 6" holes into the soft, wet ground. Tim's front tire dropped in one of those divets and he went OTB. It seems his bike swung down and smacked his calf. It swelled up pretty fast and had a strange bulge over the muscle that had us somewhat concerned. Luckily, we were only 100 yards or so from the finish. Tim's wife is a nurse and with the help of her and their daughter along with ice and a cold brew after a shower, life and the ankle got much better.
After dinner with Tim and his wife, Linda, I took off for St. Louis.
Pulled in the next day after riding till 10:30PM. When I arrived, after checking into my room, I tried out one of the trails, Dogwood, at Greensfelder County Park about 30 miles west of the city. Good stuff. Did a little bit of a different "road" trial to get an hr. in then headed back to the City for a couple hrs. of booth work.
The next day I went about 25 miles west of downtown and tried out Lone Wolf and Gotpeter at Castlewood Park. Hooked up with Wes, an IL guy who just moved to St. Louis. He had been on the trails a couple times before, so he lead the way to what he considered the best stretches and the best direction to cruise the trails. Was nice riding with him and we had good ride with some chatter thrown in. Wes used to ride/race motorcycles, but with some pins in his wrist and an neck vertebrae that had been broken, he decided to go motorless. Maybe the crashes aren't as violent on a pedal bike?
Both trails had nice climbs to enjoy the twisty, fast and flowing downhills without any guilt. A good time was had by all.
For work a Fun walk/run was scheduled one morning. I signed up for the event but ended up taking pics of folks during the race. There was a steady drizzle but the great Arch inspired all to just ignore the weather and enjoy the moment.
These guys normally aren't standing in water but the Ol' Missasip was in flood stage. But, not quite as bad as a couple years ago when I kayaked this section with some friends from MN that were on a 3 year quest to kayak the entire length of Ol' Muddy. That year, these guys barely had their heads above water.
So, walking my HiFi down the long flight of stairs under the Arch it seems the shifter cable bounced loose and landed over a gear in the chain ring. When I got on the bike after descending the steps, one half crank pedal landed the cable between the gear and the chain.

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