Mountain Biking in Missouri – Chubb Trail

This past weekend I finally got out on some dirt this year, after doing some training laps for 4 or 5 weeks around my neighborhood. It was good to be back in the saddle and off cement, but it was a short but interesting ride…

The technical section of the trail isn’t too bad when you are in top form, but I clearly was lacking my normal balance and drive, which made the descents harrowing and the ascents brutal. The large rocky “ramp” section up was too much to even try. However, I didn’t crash, I had a lot of fun, and I eventually hit my stride on the flats down by the river. After dodging poison ivy for several miles, trying to say out of the mud bogs -this section was recently flooded- and even finding a bridge out, I had to turn around because I knew I wouldn’t make it back to the car before it got dark.

And then something happened that I couldn’t have prepared for; I got stung by a wasp! As I was happily pedaling along, minding my own business, a wasp flew into my half-open mouth – causing me to instinctively close it. This apparently made it very angry and it stung the inside of my lip. Fortunately I am not allergic to bug stings, but I was fairly alarmed as the inside of my lip swelled to the size of a small super ball. The ice in my camel back had long ago melted and I had nothing but water to apply to keep down the swelling…all my sting ointments in my first aid kit were for external use only!

So I did the only thing I could do, which was pedal. I was about 5 miles from the car, but I was able to catch some pavement for most of the return trip. I felt like a goof with a big swollen lip, but there were no spectators out in this part of the world – so I made it back with my pride. A stop at Quick Trip for some ice really helped the swelling and by the time I got home my wife didn’t even notice it until I said something.

If I learned one lesson it was the need for some sort of cold technology in my first aid kit to use to reduce swelling in emergencies such as this. You just never know what is going to happen around the next corner!

Sadly -or maybe fortunately- I didn’t have my camera with me to document the event.

Kids of Today – Odd Thoughts While Biking

Earlier this week I was pushing the pedals up a big hill near my house and just thinking of random thoughts to pass the time. I wasn’t going very fast as I wasn’t in any hurry. I begin hearing a strange sound and look back over my shoulder to see a golf cart loaded with pre-teens chugging up the hill behind me. There were probably five of them, with a pair standing on the back like they were guarding the president or something. I’ve seen this cartload of kids driving all over our neighborhood and just have to wonder if these kids ever get any exercise.

Then, as if on cue, another little girl comes in off a side street riding a motorized razor scooter. For a minute we were all on the same street heading up this hill – and I couldn’t help but wonder if I was a kid today if I would also opt for the easy route of those fun rides or if I would have suffered up the hill riding a bike. “When I was a kid” we didn’t have anything but our muscles to get around town…

Looking at my watch I noted that I am officially “old” in the cosmic sense of the word. Our triad broke up, each to our destinations.

Sports Tourism – Tour of Missouri Bike Race

This was the second year of going to this race here in St. Louis, and where last year was well hyped and well attended – this year we had to contend with Hurricane Ike going through the morning of the race. Thus, attendance was much lower, part of the race course was truncated due to flooding, and it rained a bit in the first part of the day. Despite all that, my dad and I still had a nice time seeing this race.

One of the biggest side effects of seeing all this enthusiastic bike riding was that it reignited my passion for biking.  Over the last few weeks since this race I have been riding locally to try to get back into good enough shape to hit the trails again.  In fact this weekend I have plans to actually find some dirt!  Thank you Tour of Missouri!

The race itself is a great experience for anyone interested in biking.  There is a lot of excitement, booths, and of course the hip bike-friendly people who show up for these things.  We will definitely be coming back next year, and doubly so if Lance Armstrong finds his way here.

Tons of pictures on my photo site.

Tour of Missouri Peloton

Tour of Missouri Peloton