Savvy [Tri]cyclist

I spent most of Saturday afternoon on my bike with a fellow CyclingSavvy instructor, ground-truthing the route for the Tour of St. Louis that I will be co-leading as part of our May workshop (details and registration here — please join us for a course that will change the way you think about riding on the roads!).*

Given the gorgeous weather, and the fact that I had the entire day to myself since Gabriel was at the garden, I thought nothing of biking to and from our meeting place (Kaldi’s Coffee on DeMun).  Well, I thought nothing of it until after we rode the route for the road tour of mid-county, by which point I had covered the six miles to our meeting point and the ten miles of the tour.

My body said, “We’re finished now, right?”

Um, not so much, given that I was six miles from home.  I went into autopilot at that point, choosing the most straightforward route and slowly pounding it out, bit by bit.

Unfortunately, I was too tired and zoned to stop and chat with the couple heading the other direction on their bikes, riding on the sidewalk and looking thoroughly distressed about the fact that the sidewalk was ending and they were about to have to ride on the road (the very low traffic four-lane road where they could operate their bicycles peacefully and happily in a lane all their own, in reality much safer than their previous location).

Apparently, my regular weight lifting, intermittent mile or two treadmill runs, and casual bike jaunts with Sir did not prepare me for a 22-miler.  I arrived home a thoroughly pooped pup.

No rest for the wicked, though, as I immediately jumped into dinner preparations (stewed tomatoes), knowing that a [garden-tired] Matthew and Sir would be arriving soon.

Turns out I was not the only one who spent a large portion of the day spinning my wheels . . . .IMG_1716

When I wrote last, I’d completely forgotten that my MIL found a tricycle at a thrift shop when she was in Florida in December.  Talk about a pimped ride: metallic pink with chrome fenders and black streamers, plus not one, but TWO bells.  Someone’s riding in style!  (Someone also received his birthday present several months early.)

*Whatever your cycling experience, this course has something for you, as summed up so well in the course announcement email:

Beginner cyclists will learn why sidewalk cycling increases risk, what Missouri & Illinois laws say about bicycles and cyclists, how to signal and communicate with motorists, practice critical bike handling skills, and proven techniques valuable for a lifetime of cycling.

Intermediate cyclists will discover the importance of intersection integration, how to best handle multi- and single-lane roads, strategies for inclement weather, taking advantage of traffic flow, emergency maneuvers, and much more.

Advanced cyclists will fill the gaps in their own understanding of how traffic works, learn how to better manage traffic on single-lane roads, discover how lane positioning actually helps motorists, and many concepts that are difficult to master through self-learning. “I wish I had taken it sooner,” say many of our advanced participants.


  1. EcoCatLady says:

    I wish I was there so I could take your class!

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Wish you were, too! Looks like the program needs to build a presence in the western states.

  2. EcoCatLady says:

    I actually wish there was more of an effort to educate drivers around here as well as cyclists. There have been a number of really disturbing situations lately that just have me shaking my head. Lots and LOTS of hit and run deaths of both pedestrians and cyclists – one recently where somebody hit a woman crossing the street with 2 kids… the truck hit them, killed both of the kids and even drug the stroller for 2 blocks while fleeing the scene!

    And it seems like every time I’m biking on the streets somebody honks and yells obscenities – “Get out of the F-ing Road!” seems to be a popular one.

    But the city has put enormous resources into building bike infrastructure and developing a bike sharing program lately, so there are LOTS more bikes on the road, which is a good thing. There’s power in numbers, and the more people there are out there demanding change the faster it will happen.

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