I just returned from my first (of many?) bicycle trips to Fontbonne University. I am in the process of enrolling in their dietetics program, though it’s not yet a done deal.
Anyhow, it would have been 15 miles round-trip, but on my way home I went an extra mile out of my way to bypass a stopped-on-the-tracks train (see reality of delay). Definitely farther than I’m used to riding these days, especially in warmer temps, and very full sun on the way home!
The past week has been all about the biking (78 miles total, which is a lot for me these days). Last Thursday, I biked to the store to get some supplies for Saturday.
On Friday, G and I biked to his school for some end of summer school festivities. After seeing him take to this [much too small] bike on the school playground, I joked that maybe we just needed to get him a pink bike.
It was pretty hot when we biked home (he was on the tag-along), but he was a trooper. He took a great nap that afternoon!
Saturday was a scorcher, which made it perfect for the World Naked Bike Ride. I decided that after two years of the blue tutu, I needed to change things up a bit.
“Lady of the Lane” refers to lane control, as I explained to a few inquiring minds throughout the course of the evening.
‘Twas another great WNBR in StL — always sad to see the ride come to an end! We did continue the festivities at a lovely after-party hosted by some friends, where we were joined by additional bikey friends, some who rode, and some who didn’t participate in the ride.
We probably covered 25 miles in the course of getting to the ride, the ride itself, and then back home, and on Sunday, I was okay with having a little bike break.
It wasn’t a complete break, though. On Saturday afternoon, I assembled the Hooptie for Big Blue, and we installed it on Sunday morning (the installation was MUCH easier than the assembly).
Unfortunately, we discovered a big oil stain under the rear wheel — for whatever reason, the internal hub was leaking. I decided riding the bike in that condition might damage the hub (maybe equivalent to driving a car around without any transmission fluid?), so other than a tiny Hooptie test ride, Big Blue is out of commission.
We removed the rear wheel (thank goodness for YouTube tutorial videos!), and I dropped it off at The Hub yesterday. I’m hoping we have it back in time for my family’s upcoming visit — I have big plans for all of us to go on a bike ride, but Big Blue is an important part of being able to accommodate the whole group (five adults and two kids).
On Tuesday, G and I covered a good bit of ground, including a lab visit for routine blood lead testing. He did great and was all smiles afterward.
That afternoon marked G’s first trip to Tower Grove Park (~3.5 miles away) on “Green Bike” (i.e., the tag-along). He was very excited because it also marked his first time riding Green Bike on Kingshighway — we just used it for a short stretch, during which he pedaled along singing, “We’re flying; we’re flying!”
Last night, Matthew and I biked to the second-to-last Whitaker music fest at MoBot. (Next week, we are hosting a Cycling Social ride for the final concert of the season.)
And that brings us up to my morning adventures. I was a might disappointed to arrive on the Fontbonne campus and, after a bit of searching, find this less-than-inspiring bike rack:
You have to weave through parked cars and then traverse the rocky surface to access it.
The longtail might have been in danger of getting hit by car doors. After my appointment, I did stumble across some nicer racks . . .
. . . though clearly they are not expecting too many bicycle commuters. There is a covered walkway to the left in the above pic, and I would love to see the bicycle parking covered as well. Secure, convenient, and well-designed bike parking is an important piece of encouraging bicycling as a mode of transportation.
On my return trip, I was plenty ready to be back home and out of the sun. All was well until I encountered this:
Not only did the train come to a stop, it actually started rolling backwards for a bit (we were also delayed here on the way to G’s school last week). After walking up to the tracks and confirming that the end was NOT in sight, I resigned myself to lengthening my trip a bit. Fortunately, as a savvy cyclist, I had the skills I needed to easily navigate the reroute (east on Manchester to south on Kingshighway to west on Shaw), which included construction-related lane closures and the oh-so-special gutter bike lane on Manchester (I chose the travel lane and motorists were able to easily pass me using the center turn lane).