On Saturday morning, I got up bright and early and rode my bicycle to Keysor Elementary for the Bicycle Tour of Kirkwood. This was an event planned and sponsored by Trailnet, and was part of a larger project which seeks to (a) educate school children and parents about safe riding (and encourage more of it) and (b) share information about Complete Streets efforts in Kirkwood. While I don't have any small people of my own, I wanted to support the effort and energy and be part of the group. So I rode to the school and had a complimentary banana while I waited for our first ride.
The original plan had been to do a five-mile ride, but there were so many little-little kids (some still on trikes) and a lack of available police enforcement meant that streets were not closed for the event. So instead, we did two rides: a one-miler and a 2.5-miler. Both were very slow and steady so everyone could participate. They were fun! I moseyed through streets I was less familiar with and had a nice chat with the Trailnet staff who were coordinating the event and leading the rides. I found that after the ride, though, I wanted to ride more, so I rode with a couple of volunteers toward Grant's Trail and separated from them to continue on to the trail as they headed home for the day.
I decided to use the opportunity to put some miles on the bike while there's daylight for it, and to finally take more photos of the trail. Since I ride Kirkwood to Mehlville and back again, most of the trail photos are from the trip toward Mehlville, and then I tried to get some more detailed shots and signage pics on the way back. I should have had more to eat, though (I'd had a couple granola bars and the banana, as well as several bottles of water) -- by the time I was slogging up Sappington Road to Big Bend, my legs were toast and I was starving. I hadn't really planned to ride nearly thirty miles that day, and hadn't eaten for it. Duly noted. I should plan to stick some granola bars in my bike bag just because. I had the biggest meal after I got home!
For me, the trail never disappoints. It can get busy around Grant's Farm, and certain entrance points with larger parking lots, but because I mosey (generally 10-13 mph), I just don't find it that hard to negotiate the other users on the trail. I can see where, if your goal is to get your miles in and barrel through at 20mph, you'd have issues, but (a) that's not the right place for it, and (b) it's against the rules to go too fast, so...
Anyhoo, largely without comment, here's the photo-tour of Grant's Trail.
|There's a playground near the Kirkwood Trailhead.|
|Restrooms and a waterfountain - these were operational on 9-27, but not 12-1, FYI.|
|Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.|
The trail smelled alternatively damp (green) and sort of rotten (brown), and, as you can see from the photos, was stuck in between the lingering flowers of summer and the first color changes of fall. It was warm - mid-80s - and I suspect we'll get scant color on most of the trees this year as some trees are already going brown and dropping leaves in a clatter whenever the wind blows. Still, I so enjoy that this trail passes businesses, woods, bridges, highways, and horses, and is all within miles of my home. Because of it's proximity (and resulting accessibility), it's probably my favorite. Perhaps another time I can photo-tour Creve Coeur Lake, but I find that trail much busier and more dangerous to do without directing full attention to errant pedestrians and folks renting bikes (who may or may not know how to use them).
Daylight Savings Time ends in just over a month (November 2). There are just a few perfect riding days left. I hope you (and I hope I) can make the most of them.
Cheers and happy riding!