Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bike trip day 1 (almost)

So my journey started in the industrial wasteland of St. Louis's west side. I stayed out there. As it was it was close the Adventure Cycling route west out of town. I had a big loop planned, heading west then south and finally looping back to Ohio.
When my bike came Saturday the rear dérailleur was not functioning, the hotel didn't have a printer and the local bike shops didn't have MO cycling maps and the gas stations didn't even have state driving maps. After consulting a few friends I decided just to head a more direct eastern route homebound.
My day started slow: replacing the derailleur cable, adjusting breaks, repacking everything. Then I headed into the city for amazing (though pricey) raw, vegan lunch. I meandered to a bike shop for a replacement pump and got a coffee so I could go over my route once more.
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I putzed around the arch for a bit and then headed north on the path.
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Except the path around the arch and the one i needed was 0.25 miles from the arch and they weren't connected. After tracking down a ranger, getting directions and the warning 'be careful, it's a pretty rough area' I headed off.
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The trail had nice markers but was indeed rough- full of glass, detours, foul industrial smells- and after missing the turn for the bridge and pinch-flatting, I finally made it to IL!
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I rode down into the city and it too was pretty rough. Darkness was upon me and I couldn't find the trailhead (after searching and searching) so I turned around and headed back to the city. Luckily there was a hotel rear the path that actually had rooms available (the hostel and the other few hotels I called were booked).
Back into STL, for about 45 miles total for the day:

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