Monday, February 27, 2012

Grant's Trail Riding

Two weekends ago I took a trip to Boston and did Zero swimming, biking and running. It's been difficult getting back on track especially when I decided to do a ~4 mile race on Saturday that was about 45 minutes away. The race was too interesting to pass up since it was completely underground in a Sand Mine. More on that later when I stop being lazy and edit the video I took.

I'm trying not to complain but I don't understand what some people are thinking.

Yesterday, I decided I needed to do a 2 hour bike ride and ride at least 30 miles. Since I'm still fairly new to the area and have no idea what a safe bike route would be around here (STLBiking has a thread devoted to biking accidents with cars), I didn't feel like waking up at 6 for a group ride and I haven't put new pedals on my road bike, I decided I would just ride on a trail even though it would be crowded since it was in the 60s.

Grant's Trail is about an 8 mile trail through St. Louis. It's a nice trail but the only problem is there are 6-7 major streets one has to stop at. I figured this would be good since I haven't been riding outside much and to give my butt a break from my seat. Grant's Trail get it's name from Grant's Farm (I think). The trail runs right by Grant's Farm. For those of you that have never been on a tour of the Budweiser plant in St. Louis, Grant's Farm is where the Budweiser Clydesdales are kept.

The other problem with this trail is there are so many people with out helmets, people that like the ride side-by -side and seem like they're not paying attention by riding on the wrong side of the line and look as if they're going to veer into you. There is always one a-hole on the trail and this one seemed to hang around me the whole time.

If there is something I'm missing about trail riding etiquette someone please tell me. Is it common for someone you've passed to get right in front of you at a stop light so you have to pass them again multiple times? Is it okay to block both sides of the trail when you stop to talk to someone? How about drafting on a trail? I was a bit surprised that this older guy kept up when I hit 30 trying to lose him. (I suppose when I've been riding for more than a few years I'll have no problem doing this.) When I saw his shadow after about a minute I slammed on brakes and he finally went around and I didn't see him again. I don't understand why people ride like a-holes on a busy trail. Considering he was wearing a full kit you'd think he should know better. Or maybe because he was wearing a kit and riding on the trail I should have known he would be a dick...I swear he cut off the trail at one point and then took main roads back to where I started and waited for me.

Some of the other interesting things I saw...

A tandem bike attached to a baby trailer with high and low rear pedals attached to a vertical chain so this guys kid could ride.
A guy wearing a kit with no helmet.
A woman riding fast and weaving in and out of people with no helmet.
Lots of rollerbladers.
People WALKING on the wrong side of the trail...really? You'd think they would figure it out when bikes are constantly coming at them.

And one interesting creepy thing the g/f saw back in the fall on this trail...a guy with a baby trailer that had dolls in it.

On the bright side I got in my 30 miles in about 1:55 including all the stops...I need to remember the auto-pause. I'd say about 10-12 miles were actually on the aerobars and man was it windy.

1 comment:

  1. Uh... things sounds like they've changed. It was like you entered the twilight zone!