That's what we're having here in St. Louis. It's up to 74 degrees and breezy. The sun is shining and the sky is blue.
This morning was cooler and less breezy -- perfect for a bike ride.
Across the river, just outside of Granite City, Illinois, is a network of bike paths that stick mostly to the floodplain of the Mississippi River and wind in around the small towns on that side of the river. It's a beautifully maintained set of trails which husband rides often. I've been too incapacitated to ride them, but on the 2 month anniversary of my surgery, the weather cooperated and I was ready.
Hubster is an inveterate cyclist and knows the trails and bike paths in the area well. He chose this set of Illinois paths for my first long ride because they're so well maintained and because they're flat. We started here, at Horseshoe Lake State Park on Horseshoe lake. The lake is actually an oxbow lake, or part of what was once the Mississippi river's channel. The river runs closer to the Missouri bluffs now and this lake is just a remnant.
See? That's St. Louis across the lake.
This set of bike trails sticks mostly to the floodplain which is wide here, and floodplains are flat.
Did I mention the trails are flat? Flat is good when you aren't so confident of your stamina. Which I am not.
See Horeshoe lake at the bottom of the map? We actually got a bit past this marker for a round trip total of 13.6 miles, with a few photo-op stops along the way.
See what a perfect day it was?
The sights included:
- a covey of quail;
- a gaggle of geese;
- a solitary snake;
- lots of butterflies;
- fish jumping;
- a snowy egret;
- lots of sun flowers and thistle and black walnuts;
- a recumbent tandem (hubster says they're for old people, but I thought it looked really cool).
The trails take you through everything from trailer parks to farm land to city parks to state parks. They used to be railway rights of way and I think that cities and states are making this kind of trail all over the place using former railway beds. Do you have any in your neighborhood?
Hubster rides almost every weekend and has cool biking togs which include very visible shirts and shorts with a gel insert for ... um ... comfort.
All I have to say is that I'm acquiring gel insert shorts for myself before the next long ride. That's the only part of me that got tired. ; )