I did my first "Ride My Age" birthday ride, and I survived!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Goofus Maximus, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Goofus Maximus

    Goofus Maximus Too old to be this dumb!

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    I made a day of it. I packed mac-n-cheese, single-serve cinnamon applesauce and a travel-mug of coffee for lunch, as well as another applesauce, a banana, and a mini blueberry pie for later, and rode out to Pere Marquette Park for my 59 mile ride. Along the way, I stopped and had lunch at a park in The Terraces, where there was evidently a once-famous german-born grape grower and wine maker in the era of steamboats. After that, I stopped at the Elsah General Store and bought a bottle of Fitz' Root Beer and a tub of Ted Drew's Frozen Custard (vanilla) and made my own rootbeer float with the now-empty travel mug. The weather in this area has been very nice all week, so I was quite comfortable for the entire trip.

    One thing I was not at all prepared for was the Monarch Butterflies. On my return leg, I swear I saw more monarch butterflies flutter by than I have seen butterflys TOTAL in the past ten years combined. Between Elsah and Piasa Creek, there was literally on of these orange and black flitters every ten feet for at least a mile. I guess the milkweed corridor in the US worked, and now their back in force.

    I didn't take many pics, but here's the few I got.
  2. Scrubbin_Bubbles

    Scrubbin_Bubbles My E-Penis Is HUGE

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    Happy Belated Birthday!!!
  3. JZL

    JZL Ministry of Whack

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    Happy Birthday!
  4. Goofus Maximus

    Goofus Maximus Too old to be this dumb!

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    Here's a more detailed account of my ride:

    I just rode my age!

    59, that is! Miles, not Kilometers! Having packed my panniers with lunch, snacks, and coffee (in a travel mug, hanging out in the little webbing pouch on the back of the pannier), and having two water bottle cages, one with a big bottle of electrolyte-sugar-water, and the other with a regular bottle of just water water, I set out on my (day late) birthday "Ride Your Age" bicycle ride, from my home to the Confluence Trail, which took me to Alton. From there I was on the Sam Vadalebene Trail which runs alongside the River Road. For the first time, I've ridden that trail all the way from the start at Alton, to the end in Pere Marquette Park. Then I turned around and rode back.

    I started at about 11:00am, and rolled back into the house at 6:30pm. My first stop was for lunch at the Clifton Terrace Park, which was a tub of mac-n-cheese bought from the Walmart Deli, a single serve cup of cinnamon applesauce, and my travel mug of chilled (by then, lukewarm) coffee. Clifton Terrace got it's name thanks to a German Immigrant, Louis Stiritz who settled on the town of Clifton in 1850 as a place similar to his old homeland in the Rhine, to cultivate grapes for winemaking. He also built an Inn there in 1874. The Stiritz Wines were very popular in the age of steamboats on the Mississippi. The Park there is in front of the entrance to the old Stiritz Wine Cellar, carved into the rock.

    After I finished Lunch, it was back on the Trail till I hit Elsah. There I stopped to treat myself to some birthday goodies in the form of a bottle of Fitz Root Beer and a small(ish) tub of Ted Drew's Frozen Custard, bought at the Elsah General Store. I sat on the bench just outside the store and proceeded to make my own Root Beer Float (and a mess) in the now empty travel mug... and on the bench... and on my lap... Hey, it was worth it! Fitz and Ted Drew's are both local St. Louis brand favorites.

    Now fueled with many carbs and much sugar water, I now soldiered on, reaching the town of Grafton about 2:30 in the afternoon. I thought about stopping to some touristy impulse buying, but decided that pedals were the better part of valor. Up till now, the trail had been more or less flat, but as I approached Brussel's Ferry, the trail departed from the River Road, and my ride, er, ran into, a section with some serious ups and downs. There were some fairly heavy climbs in 3 places. It was more of a workout than I was expecting at that point, for sure! I reached Pere Marquette Park, and was still going before a helpful cyclist in the parking lot of the Visitor Center stopped me from the stupidity of biking on a hiking trail infamously known as "The Goat Trail". I had evidently reached the end of the Sam Vadalabene Trail without even noticing it. After conversing with the fellow bicycling maniac about his plans to ride up the road called "Scenic Drive", which is a long hard climb with several steep grade sections to the top of the bluff, I turned my bike around and headed back. One of the perils of long bike rides in this time of Covid Caution, is... well... er... the lack of... "facilities". All the regular park and trail "rest stops" were closed. Let us say, by the time I was almost back to Grafton, I could feel the weight of all the water I had drunk on the way... Just when I thought I was going to have to find a convenient patch of woodlands somewhere, I came across a lone portajohn near Grafton Harbor. By this time, I didn't care about the flies I disturbed (blech). I left Grafton feeling "relieved."

    On my way back, I was greeted by the sight of many Monarch Butterflies. I saw more of them in just a few hours than I have all the previous ten years combined. At one point of the trail, near Elsah, I swear that one butterfly would flutter by in front of my face every two seconds for at least a mile.

    I made another stop at Elsah, sitting on a bench beside the trail, and ate my spare applesauce and a bananananana, before getting back on my bike and completing my ride back home. The trip to Pere Marquette Park on the route I used was 58.8 miles round trip, but with the little side trip to walmart and the elsah general store, I eeked out that final .2 miles to make my goal of 59 miles. I didn't take many pictures, and I should have at least documented my great rootbeer float creation debacle for everyone to laugh at. Sorry.
  5. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    Happy belated birthday Goofus.
    Way to go on that ride!
  6. fornik8her

    fornik8her Junior Member

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    Congrats, that is quite a feat