If it rains on your parade . . .

. . . climb back into bed and let the thunder roll.  Then get up and do some baking.

Sunday morning, the day of the third of four St. Louis Open Streets events, we woke to rain and thunder.  We were scheduled to volunteer as roving route marshals starting at 7:30am, meaning we needed to leave by 7:00am to bike to the volunteer tent.  We woke up early, checked the weather, ate breakfast, and decided that it didn’t make sense to head out into a thunderstorm.  Would there really be anyone on the route anyway?

Tired from Saturday’s long day of gardening, we climbed back into bed to see if the rain would let up so we could venture out.  The rain did not let up, nor did the thunder, not until 11:00am at the earliest, well after our volunteer shift passed.

We rolled out of bed the second time and started in on some baking and cooking: apple crisp, cornbread, and chili — perfect foods for a rainy day.

Though they never officially canceled Open Streets, I’m sure the weather more or less had that effect, which is too bad given the time and work that went into the event.  Also, on the tails of my awesome week at the Pro Walk Pro Bike conference, I was really looking forward to seeing large numbers of people out biking and walking the streets of St. Louis.

There is good news.  We have one more shot at Open Streets this year, the fourth and final event scheduled for Saturday, October 9th.  I’m hoping for some fabulous fall weather and a large turnout.

Open Streets in the heat

Yesterday, I was on my bike for almost five-and-a-half hours, volunteering for Open Streets in St. Louis. Five-and-a-half scorching, 100-plus-degree heat index hours.  It sounded like a good idea when I signed up in April.  Get up at 6am after a late night at Opera Theatre and spend lots of hours out in the sun?  Fabulous idea.

All complaining aside, I enjoyed the opportunity to experience, and help with, Open Streets 2.0 — a great day for bicycling (and walking, jogging, rollerblading, etc.) in St. Louis.

Headed home, a stopped train delayed our trip and increased our time in the elements.  By that point, I had thrown caution (and sun safety) to the wind and removed my t-shirt to prevent death by extreme heat.  Fortunately, we found a shady spot to wait it out.  Eventually, the train passed, and I mustered enough energy to climb the hill and roll on home.  I spent the rest of the day recovering.  Lots of fluids, a shower to scrub off all of the icky sunscreen, some high-quality food (the fact that we made lunch serves as either a testament to our commitment to good food or to our insanity (perhaps heat-induced?)), and a nap — just what the doctor ordered 🙂

The  next two Open Streets events will take place in September and October.  While I hope that the temperatures will be a bit friendlier then, I’ve learned not to bet against St. Louis weather.

Open Streets in St. Louis!

Open Streets is coming to St. Louis, with four events from May through October!  The first Open Streets takes place this Saturday, May 1, from 8am to 1pm.  This great event features five miles of city street from Forest Park to Busch Stadium open exclusively for bicycles and pedestrians (i.e., non-motorized traffic), with lots of fun activities along the route.  Click the image above to go to the official website for more details and a route map.

Sadly, I will miss the inaugural event this weekend, but I plan to volunteer at all of the others.  To sign up as a volunteer, visit the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation website.  View this Trailnet blog post for more information on volunteering and the event in general.