Sunday, July 19, 2009

'Drea On The Levee

I was looking for a new place to bicycle and asked a friend about the St. Louis Riverfront Trail. She said that it was one of her favorite trails but she also advised me not to go in the afternoon because she had seen some shady looking characters.

I stuffed my bike in the trunk and headed downtown but before I went, I did some research (The St. Louis Riverfront Trail).

I wasn't quite sure where I would park but part of Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd. was closed, I guess, after Live On The Levee. I'm glad that it was closed because it led me past the President Casino and to the parking area for the trail.

My friend's words rang in my ears because, as I started out, there was this guy splayed out on the ground like a starfish. I imagine that he was tired because he had about five very full bags of aluminum cans.

I am impressed with the STL Riverfront Trail. The part that I traveled on was mostly paved and flat which did not hurt my feelings. The signage is good and I like the art work and, even, poetry along the way. In fact, the bollards ahead sign amused me greatly. I hadn't even heard of a bollard until today.

I can see why my friend likes the riverfront trail but I can also see why she cautioned me as well. It was reassuring to see other bicyclists along the way.

The first three miles are not very scenic and levee walls comprise the scenery. At some points, it looks like you're looking at the underbelly of the city. In addition, the chemical smell is not nice but endurable.

My goal was to make it from the downtown area to the Chain of Rocks Bridge but by the time that I got to Riverview Blvd. and mile seven, I had to admit to myself that I was a bit wiped out and I needed something in the tank to get back to the beginning of the trail. Although I had eaten breakfast, I should have taken a snack.

There are several rest areas, including one around the three mile point where you can you can fix a flat, get some water or use the restroom. Otherwise, you'd probably have to detour on one the accessible streets like Humboldt, E. Grand or Riverview.

I enjoyed my bike ride, appreciated the declines, loved having the whistling wind at my back and singing at the top of my lungs.

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