A Stay With Family and St. Louis, MO
October 2, 2015 – Day 29
Clarksville, MO – Valley Park, MO 83 miles Total miles 1,855
Weather 65 degrees, partly sunny cross/head wind
We got up very early about 6:00am to be on the road as soon as the sun came up- boy was it cold when we got up. We wanted to get going early so we could make it to our dinner date at 5:00pm with Aunt Lolly – Peter’s dad’s sister who lives in the St Louis area. We got everything packed up ate a cold breakfast – didn’t feel like starting the stove and headed out. The first 16 miles were just to get back on route – we had a bridge out and had to stay 5 miles off route. We actually never it to Clarksville, MO and just headed south as soon as we got back on Hwy 79. The first forty miles of our ride were thru rural areas; but soon we were in the outer suburbs of St Louis and dealing with high traffic, disconnected bike lanes and paths and genuinely tough city cycling.
We finally made it thru the cities of St Peter and St Charles which were very nice suburban cities with lots of nice parks and bicycle paths and trails. After lunch in St Charles we had about 20 mile to go to get to Aunt Lolly’s house in Valley Park. We did not have good maps to get there so were following Goggle Bike on Peter’s phone to get to her house. The ride went pretty well but Goggle Bike really is not the best and frequently put you on paths that are barely paths and don’t connect well with anything.
Thankfully we made it to Aunt Lolly’s with about an hour to spare – had time to clean up before we head to the Community Building for a nice relaxing dinner with Lolly and her oldest daughter Carol. Lolly lives in a really nice senior housing community in the St Louis area, which provides meals and activities for their residents, as well as several different levels of care.
October 3, 2015 – Day 30
Valley Park, MO – St Louis, MO. 24 miles Total Miles 1,879
Weather 53 degrees, overcast, rainy, windy
We slept in a bit later, enjoyed a nice breakfast with Lolly and left for St. Louis by 10:00am. The 20 mile ride into the city was fun, although challenging. We had good directions from MapQuest Bicycle function which we printed out before we left. It was interesting traveling into the city on secondary local streets and seeing the changes in the neighborhoods as we moved closer to the city. We also traveled thru a University, commercial areas, industrial areas, parks etc. As you would suspect the condition of the neighborhoods varied greatly but all were clean looking and really not to run down looking.
We finally made it into the city after a very cold ride – between the wind and rain we both were pretty chilled and of course hungry. Even though we only traveled 20 miles it took us about 2 hours to get to St Louis due to the city riding. Our first stop of course was the Arch and then a local brewery – Morgan Brewery for lunch. We then needed to decide where our ending point would be for the day and decided to stay in the city and do some more exploring and take the trip to the top of the Arch. So glad we stayed in the city – very nice city and lots to see and do.
The ride was a cold one – between the wind and rain we were happy to get off the bicycle and take a warm shower and then go out and explore the city.