Sunday, December 14, 2014

Candy Cane Lane and other Xmas Lights

 There is a small street in South City that is dedicated every Christmas to decorating to the maximum.  It's called Candy Cane Lane.
 Cares are backed up for quite a few blocks, waiting to trundle through and check out the scene.
 Cool Stuff.
 An archway of lights.
 Hmmm.  Who's that guy?
And then, away from Candy Cane Lane, there is this.  Experience much theft, perhaps?

The Joys of Riding a Little Bike

 I have been saying for a long time that I would get together with some of the old guys and ride BMX bikes.  Since I bought the Redline in 2012, it's all been solo, and mostly at night when I had some extra time.  I tried remembering the last time that I actually rode with someone, and I know it was probably back in 1990 or 1991...and that was probably with Neil Johnson.
It was supposed to be a group of three of us...the infamous Mo-Foo (Maurice), Neil, and I.  But Foo fell ill and it ended up being Neil and I.  We met at Forest Park and rode for an hour and a half.  That is a long damn time on a little bike.  But it was really fun.  We even did a few sprints, which brought back all kinds of memories. 

Next time, I think I will put my SPD pedals on, and I will bribe more of the old timers to come out and ride with us.

Council Bluff Solo Adventure

 Anyone who has taken hwy 21 south and turned on "C" has certainly seen the odd school buildings that look like...well...you know.
 It's a nicely identifiable landmark on the way to Council Bluff.  Why would they build school buildings that look like this?
 I paid my three dollars.
This was the only moment of the day that the sun poked through.  It punctuated the deserted area.  I was the only soul there, with the exception of the Park Ranger who drove through before I set off.  I did two loops, starting from the boat ramp, clockwise.  I always liked clockwise better, as it was the old XC race direction.  23.4 miles later, I was so glad I made the trip.  Trail was in great condition, with only a few creeks to splash through.  I might go back this coming week, but it will be colder.  Then I will probably do the 12-hour Burnin' direction.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sneaking in the mountain bike whenever possible

 The last few weeks have been hell for mountain biking.  Rain and leaves have made it really hard.  I have made some valiant efforts, and lately the only way I have gotten to mountain bike is by hitting the gravelly hills...and not much more.  A couple of times I have gone out to Greensfelder and pretty much stayed off of the normal trail system and ridden the Eagle Valley trail instead.  It's got sort of a gravel road/mountain bike mix going on and as you can see from my bike today, it's pretty okey dokey.  That was after 17 miles and 2000 feet of climbing.  It was really only the creek crossings that gave me the splatter.
There was just a bit of splatter on my clothes.  Nothing a little Tide won't fix!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Eli gets a Limo Ride

 It's always nice to have friends that invite you to birthday parties.  Especially in a limo.
 Why thank you, Sir!
 Whasssssssuuuuup!
 Are you comfortable, young man?
It's good to be a kid these days.

Running Track?

Word has it that the little one is going to run track in school this spring.  Very interesting!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hiking Lone Elk

 We headed out today, not to participate in Black Friday, but to get some fresh air and exercise.  We chose the Lone Elk side of the Chubb trail.  Rex, Eli, myself, and the Beautiful Mrs K.
 At the bottom of the hill from the Lone Elk entrance, we took the cut off under the railroad tracks to do the Castlewood Loop.
 The tunnel is so freaking cool.  I rode through this on my bike the other day when the trail was dry.  Riding a bike today on the trail would have been a mud bath.  Not so bad hiking, though.
 This tricky little creek crossing befuddled Rex.  It was slick as greased moose poop.
 Rex, fixin' to mark the Castlewood Loop post.
 A view across the Meramec River, looking at the Bluffs in Castlewood State Park.  We could see people milling about on the bluffs.
 Another view.  Upper left is the overlooks at the top of Lone Wolf trail.
 A neat view of the cool houses on top of the bluffs above the Meramec River.
 Mrs K caught Eli and I taking in the view.
Rex and I inside the hollow of the big tree at the entrance to the Castlewood Loop.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rosco and Rex

 My boy had a handsome face.  This was just a few days before he passed away.
 Rex was sleeping, but Rosco was ever-tense when he was lying next to Rex.  He just didn't trust the floppy new puppy.
Something has Rex's full attention!  Obviously excited to go for a walk, while Rosco was trying to find an path to anywhere that wasn't next to Rex.  They were only together for five weeks, and by the end of that time Rosco could walk under Rex.

Rosco - Big Yawn

It's nice to come up with old photos of my little pal.  Deanna had this on her phone.  Look how fuzzy he would get when we wouldn't get his hair cut!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Night Ride on the Katy Trail with a Rowdy Bunch

 I never do things like that.  I mean, I never ride my bike just for silly fun.  I'm always riding hard or burning calories...never doing things like riding the Katy Trail at night.  When DJ proposed that we do just that (ride the Katy Trail from Research Park to Defiance and back after work one night), I pretty much knew that I wouldn't go.  I never do things like that.  But I went.  DJ, Jen, Hartbeck, Jer-bear and I met at the trail head at Research Park with the full moon shining.  And it was cold!  Once we hit the trail, the moon was so bright that we all turned off our lights.  It was such an amazing sight.  And we had a blast, too.  Skunks were out in force, and we saw 10-12 of them and I swear Hartbeck was going to get sprayed.  Frozen, we reached Defiance.  The bar we wanted to stop at to warm up and have a pint was closed...so we walked into the OTHER bar.  To say it was sparsely populated is an understatement.  But it was warm and there were refreshments there.
We had refreshments.  And there was a great surfboard above our heads.  And someone told Jer-bear that he looked like an Angry Bird.  Much warmer, we chased more skunks on the way home, and Jenn put the hammer down and pushed the pace to the point that some of us had to stop and pee.  There may have been riders off the trail at one point too, but I'm not sure.  All in all, an unforgettable night.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Redline Proline - Taking me back a Long Way

Every Monday night I ride my Redline for a while before hitting the local school grounds.  After running the stairs, I do three 60 yard sprints.  Then I ride around a few more minutes before heading home.

I know that it is 2014.  I know that my back is old and my muscles are weak.  But tonight was the first time that I honestly felt that my standing-start sprints were as fast as they were when I was worth a damn. 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Sherman Beach, Al Foster, Rock Hollow Trail

 Having ridden the day before at Greensfelder, I needed a more mild adventure last week.  I decided to start at the Sherman Beach trail head and spin down to see the new Rock Hollow trail.
 Riding along the Al Foster trail, I was reminded how cool the area was.  This was a familiar sight: the trestle for the little rail road.  We took the kids there before:  HERE
 I found the Rock Hollow.  A nice little sign alerted me to the mountain bike goodness ahead.
 It's a lot of fun.  Lots of bench-cut trail, outlined in many places by rock walls such as this.  Lots of leaves on the trail meant that I had to watch what I was doing.  It pretty much climbed gradually from the start all the way to -
 - this sign.  Of course, I went a few feet further and it looks like it's going to be awesome with a capital A.  Coming down was very cool, too.  Again, I had to be less than awesome myself to avoid splatting myself because of the leaves.
 Further down the Al Foster, more bluffs.  Somehow, I missed the Bluff View trail, which was part of the reason I rode that day.  Hmmmm....don't know what I was thinking.
 I did reach the end of the Al Foster, which I had never done. 
 I spied a little production crew filming some 18th century movie scene.  If you zoom in on the photo, you can see the actor's top hat and the actress's poofy dress.
 I stopped in at the Wabash rail road.  It was deserted, being a weekday in the fall.
 I was bummed that there were no trains in sight.  I am impressed at how well they maintain this little place.  Super cool.  If you have some little ones, take them there some day.
Before I loaded up the car and the bike, I decided to actually see Sherman Beach.  I have seen old photographs from the early 20th century when Castlewood and Sherman Beach were the places to go to party it up in the summer time.  The beach is actually quite large and could probably accommodate a couple hundred people.  I rode down it a ways until it disappeared into the hillside.

Next time I come out, I'll ride the Bluff View.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Castlewood was cold (but dry!) this morning

There was dust.  The only reason there is splatter on the bike was because I didn't avoid a little bog the size of a trash can lid.  Missed it by THAT much.

The leaves, however, are the stuff of legends.  Not on Grotpeter proper, but Ranger Station and much of roller coaster was carpeted in leaves. 

Halloween - What're you supposed to be?

Harry Potter ninja football player.  Whatever gets the job done, right?