Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May 3...Tebbetts, MO to Bridgeton (St Louis) MO

100.0 miles in 8:57....average speed....11.2 mph....max speed...20.1....elevation gain...479 ft....descent 515 ft... Total trip miles 1596.1....total elevation gain 32,481 ft. Average trip distance....21 riding days @ 76.0 miles.

I slept pretty good after staying up sorta late, but got out the door at about 9:15am. It seemed like a tailwind was blowing, but it switched around for the first four hours to my face, then to the side, then a tail, etc.  Sometimes I was out in the open getting the benefits or the drawback, but more than half the time, I was in a tunnel of trees, so the wind, even though I could hear it, wasn't getting to me. It finally settled into a nice tailwind for the second half of the trip.  The weather started out in the 60's, and got into the eighties, so I had some time with my shirt off, which I like. The trail, for the last two days is just so dusty, my skin was filled with grit, my bike was covered, and my clothes were a mess. That will be one benefit when I get back on the road.
The first half of the ride was really quiet. There was a stretch where it was supposedly the longest stretch between stops or towns on the whole trail. I actually saw more turtles on the path than I did people. I did have to pull my bear spray for two big geese, who were protecting their babies walking on the trail. They were going to take a stand, and I've seen a mother goose go crazy and attack before, so I decided that I wasn't going to get bit by a goose. They put on a good show, but hightailed it when I got close. The babies all scampered off the edge of the path, the parents then flew off, so I holstered the spray, and continued on my way. I saw three snakes, salamanders, and lots of cardinals, before I started to notice the lack of wildlife. That's when I knew people were near by. Things picked up near Marthasville, which was over 50 miles into the ride. For about ten miles before I hit Marthasville, there was a stretch of terrible surface on the trail, washboard bouncing, and barely repaied washed out areas that really slowed me down. Twice, I had to get off and walk, because I didn't want to break a spoke. There were lots of people from there, all the way into St Charles, where I got off the trail. The river came and went from sight, just like yesterday. There were lots of creeks and swampland when there wasn't cornfields. There were lots of freshly planted field, which probably made up over fifty percent of what I was looking at on my right. To my left, was always a variation of hills and the famous bluffs. There were great trail side cafes along the way, especially in Augusta, with lots of bikers pulled over and partaking. The biggest party I saw was in Defiance, where it looked like about a thousand motorcycles, bicyclers, ( not many cars), and a live band rocking out 'Cryptonite' so I stopped and listened for just a minute.
 I saw maybe ten guys who were headed in the opposite direction, some solo, some in groups of three, who looked like they were on a long distance tour. Everyone else was just out enjoying the weather, and their destinations seemed to be those trail side bar and restaurants. As I got near town, I googled a Motel 6, and it turned into an adventure in itself to find the place. I ended up crossing the Missouri River, following a multi use trail along a lake that was really busy, then riding on some pretty main roads that fortunately were empty on a Sunday evening. I then went through an industrial park that included the training facility for the St. Louis Rams, and finally came upon the motel. I have to admit, I rode around the parking lot once or twice to get the odometer to hit 100 miles so I could have back to back century rides. Never done that before, and my legs feel pretty good. The secret this trip over last, is better hydration, and vitamin and mineral supplements that I bought in Phoenix, and I now have to swear by. I ate an omelet at a Bob Evans for supper before settling in, and getting ready to really change gears for tomorrow. From three days of country roads, trails, and desolation, to St. Louis metro traffic. Here we go!

On this section, I saw more turtles that people!

Standing rock

About the standing rock

Some of the many streams coming out of the hills

Artwork on a silo, honoring the ownership group of the trail

Heading towards the river - things got rough in spots because of runoff

Fertile farmland in the river basin

More bluffs (notice the arch near the trail)

Defiance, Missouri afternoon concert near the trail

The trail went around a recreational lake as I searched for my motel in the St Louis suburb of Bridgeton.

Training home of the St Louis Rams




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