February 2013

“What a day for a daydream, custom-made for a daydreamin’ boy!” So sang the Lovin’ Spoonful in the 60s. If you’re not familiar with this song, listen to it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCotUwReUDs. Ah, yes, it’s that time of year when daydreaming about springtime rides pushes back the cold of winter and brings joy to the heart. Sometimes a year’s worth of rides are planned in the winter in anticipation of the warmer weather ahead. And that’s what we’ve done. Read on for a year’s worth of bicycle riding opportunities coming to your hometown in 2013!

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But before spring comes winter. And as I sit here writing this column in the middle of February a major storm is bearing down on St. Louis. It promises snow and ice. One of the great things about these types of storms is that it forces life to become much more slow-paced and relaxed. It’s easy to lie around the house and read a good book when the ground and the roads are covered with ice and snow. These storms give you a great excuse to not get much done!

But what to read? Decisions, decisions, even the snow and ice can’t help you avoid all decisions. So here are some suggestions to help you make your decision about what to read:

  • Cycling Past 50by Joe Friel. Friel lays out the case for remaining active throughout all your years. He gives evidence that the natural physical decline that comes with aging can be dramatically slowed by maintaining an active lifestyle.

  • Across Asia on a Bicycleby Thomas Gaskell Allen and William Lewis Sachtleben. This book, written by two Wash U. students, was originally published in 1894 and was out of print until recently. It’s also available online as an e-Book. An excerpt from the preface should whet your appetite: 

    “The day after we were graduated at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., we left for New York. Thence we sailed for Liverpool on June 23, 1890. Just three years afterward, lacking twenty days, we rolled into New York on our wheels, having ‘put a girdle round the earth’.” 

  • Bike Snobby BikeSnobNYC. While I don’t advocate being a bike snob, this book is a collection of hilarious observations about bicycling from a guy who claims that bicycles are one of the Truly Great Inventions because they pass “the Amish test”…the Amish shun most modern inventions (electricity, phones, cars, etc.) as being frivolous, but they embrace bicycles. 

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But all things will pass and so will winter. In fact it may have passed by the time you read this. And whether it has already passed, or will soon pass, the 2013 ride calendar remains the same!

Along with several oldies but goodies, there are two new rides coming up this year that I want to highlight. Right now both are in the planning stages so there aren’t a lot of details to report except the dates and the general theme:

  • 4th of July bicycle race down S. Florissant – imagine S. Florissant cleared of all traffic with a huge crowd filling the sidewalks, waiting for the parade to start…and here comes a pack of bicyclists zooming up S. Florissant, trying to be the first to reach January Wabash Park. Start training today!

  • Saturday, September 21 – one of the large Trailnet rides will be coming to Ferguson. These rides typically draw 100s of bicyclists from all over the St. Louis area. It’s an opportunity for us to show off our town by playing host to the St. Louis bicycling community. 

What else?

  • Tuesday, April 16 and Saturday, April 20: Cycling Savvy classes. Learn how to ride your bike safely and confidently.
  • Saturday, May 11: Bicycle camping demo at the Ferguson Farmers Market.
  • Saturday to Monday, May 25-27: Pedalers Jamboree.  Overnight bicycle camping trip from Columbia, MO to Boonville, riding along the Katy Trail.
  • Sunday, June2: Sunday Parkways! Come out and play!
  • Saturday, June 8: Ride starting and ending at the Ferguson Farmers Market.
  • 4th of July bicycle race down S. Florissant: see above.
  • Sunday, August 4: Sunday Parkways!  Come out and play!
  • Saturday, August 10: Ride starting and ending at the Ferguson Farmers Market.
  • Saturday to Sunday, September 14-15: Overnight bicycle camping trip at Klondike Park. Another opportunity to experience a bike overnight. This ride will also be the Farmers Market ride for September.
  • Saturday, September 21: Trailnet Ride in Ferguson
  • Sunday, October 6: Sunday Parkways!  Come out and play!
  • Saturday, October 12: Ride starting and ending at the Ferguson Farmers Market.
  • Sunday, November 3: The Twilight Ramble. 1, 5, and 15 mile rides on a Sunday afternoon. The 15 mile ride will start at twilight, circle around Ferguson, and finish in the dark!

More details on each as the rides gets closer. I hope to see you on some of these rides!