Closing In


As has been my routine on Saturday mornings of late, I took off riding this morning. What a wonderful morning for it! The weather was great at sunrise — about 59 degrees, and no real humidity. That’s a huge departure from normal for St. Louis this time of year. There was no way I was gonna pass this up!

I drove to Augusta [MM 66.4], figuring I’d ride toward Dutzow again. There’s nothing between Augusta and Dutzow, but I knew that a fruit smoothie from the August Bike Shop would be waiting for me when I got back from the ride. Mmm, mmm….

As I started the ride, I actually got cold. That’s weird for me — I’m really into the cold, and I was certainly surprised. Of course, it was a tree-shaded part of the trail, and the temperatures probably dropped five degrees beneath them, still….. I hope that’s not a shade of things to come as the weather cools off. Maybe all this riding is changing my tolerance for the cold. Or, maybe it’s that some of my “insulation” is starting to get a little thinner. 🙂

So I rode. And rode. And rode. And after eight miles, I was just getting comfortable with the ride. Normally, it only takes a few miles to get into the ride. Even with the fantastic conditions, I couldn’t quite get there. I arrived at Dutzow [MM 74], ate my fruit cup, and decided that I was feeling a little more comfortable in the saddle. So why not take on a few more miles? I continued west to Marthasville, a new trailhead for me.

Marthasville [MM 77.7] is the biggest burg (aside from St. Charles) that I’ve visited on the trail. Right next to the trailhead is some kind of grain processing facility, and clearly visible is the post office, ballfields and other staples of small town life. Seems like a nice place, and one I should find out a bit more about.

After stopping for a few minutes, I rode back to Dutzow, had a bite to eat, and rode back to Augusta. And yes, there was a fruit smoothie waiting for me there, and it was yummy.

While there, I was listening to a “real” cyclist and his daugter talking about their ride, and debating continuing to Marthasville. They’d left Creve Coeur park at the beginning of their ride (about 24 miles to Augusta), and planned to take on the additional 12 miles to Marthasville. They talked about how they wanted to put in about 75 miles today. Seventy-five miles! Maybe I’ll be there one day, but, man that’s a bunch of miles!!!!

The cool thing about this ride was that is puts me in the closing stretch of the Katy Trail Challenge. I need about 23 miles to finish, and I expect I’ll finish up Wednesday night with the very folks who put me on this quest. That’s only fitting. Guess I need to bring the refreshments, eh?