First off, I am lucky that I get to write this report. I almost didn’t get to go on the most awesome ride of the year, a Katy Trail ride from JC to St. Charles, two days, camping in Herman drinks and good times with good friends. I was so excited on Tuesday when they announced that I did not have to work at all on the weekend.
Jim, teammate and CEO of The Monster Bicycle Company (and the largest sponsor of The Other Guys racing team) called out anyone and everyone to join him on a journey across this great state to end up in St. Charles.
Ride, camp, ride some more….is there a better way to spend the last really warm weekend of the YEAR…I don’t think so but ask Lukas Lamb, he opted to hang back in JC for…..pumpkins and brazilian dancing?
I found out Kate was coming into JC on Friday night via train, and would be riding out of Jeff with us. Since it was rare that we all got together without a race going on, I decided to have a bit of a shindig on Friday night in the Man-cave. There were adult beverages consumed and stories told.
Friday night was cold enough to have the wood stove burning in the cave, wet and windy, but the forecast held true for once. Saturday, the cycling gods were smiling down and brought us 70ish degree temps, pushed all the clouds away and made the wind as still as a sleeping baby (not one that’s teething). The final tally of riders to Herman was Jim (riding from Columbia), Bob, Kate, Isabel and me. Isabel was so excited to ride; she wouldn’t even get out of the trailer for a picture.
Bob was going to be self supported, as he wanted to try and hold everything he needed for one night of camping on the bike, which he did successfully..…respect!
The ride quickly turned into a game of who can get the most flat tires…except Bob and I were the only one playing. Luckily Bob won that battle with 4 flats in one 40 mile ride. I only had one, which I changed when we stopped to check out the Tebbetts KT shelter, so it doesn’t really even count. When we made it to Mokane…we stopped for some food, water, and Starbucks double shot espressos.
Fueled by java and a turkey/cheese plate, we pressed on to Hermann. The rest of the ride was pretty routine…beautiful weather, talking about the beautiful weather, smiles, riding bikes… couldn’t get any better. Then a very unexpected emergency stop. We were rolling along at a decent pace when Kate and I were forced to an instant halt as Jim yelled “CHOCOLATE!!!” There was an unopened Hershey bar on the trail that Jim couldn’t leave behind, or slow to a leisurely stop to get. We all emerged unharmed, and I got to test how well the disc brakes really worked on the Vaya…they work great btw.
During one of Bobs flats, Isabel and I hung back to keep him company, and saw the most amazing thing ever. A giant white tailed buck, at least 10 points, may have been 20, ran at a full gate directly toward us from a patch of woods. I was speechless, well ok, I could only say “dude” repeatedly. Bob finally gets the point and looks over, just in time for the deer to stop 30 feet away, turn around and go away in a majestic trot. Later on he was seen jogging the Katy Trail for exercise. This sighting would overshadow everything else for the rest of the day, well, until we get to Herman anyway.
As we approached Rhineland, I was started to get gassed, pulling Isabel in the trailer forty miles was more demanding than I thought, but we only had a few miles left. Also Bob flatted again, so I had some rest time. We aired him up in McKitrick and rolled onto highway 19, where he went flat again. This time, I had to get Isabel off the road, so Kate and I left Bob and Jim to fix the tire. We finally reached the campground to rendezvous with my wife Jessica and son Ethan, Bobs fiancé Cara, Janie (the other half of Monster Bicycles). We were also hooked up with a really sweet campsite and firewood…thanks Uncle Pat!
After a late night by the campfire, everyone seemed to sleep fine, and woke up to a fairly brisk morning. After getting campsite put away, we headed to Rhineland for breakfast…only to ruin it by meeting Adam. He had to work Saturday but met up with us for the ride from Hermann to St. Charles. Sunday’s riders were Jim, Kate, Adam and I. Bob decided to “hang out” with Cara for some relationship maintenance, and Isabel stayed back with her Mama and Ethan.
Sunday was going to be about pushing some miles…make a few stops, and head to one of two locations in St. Charles. We rolled out of McKitrick about 10:45, and for the most part I think everyone was feeling ok…despite Jim riding 80 miles the day before, Kate riding a mountain bike 40 miles, and me pulling the trailer 40 miles. There were lots of talking going on, mostly about how awesome the ride had been. We stopped at the Dutzow Deli for lunch where I had the juiciest chicken breast covered in bacon and cheese I’ve ever had and watched a good portion of Sweet Home Alabama.
Back on the bike and rolling down the trail…one of the next stops we made was where I had another amazing sight. As I was zipping up my shorts…I heard water splashing down on the river…looking through the brush I see ANTLERS! I can’t believe that I saw another huge buck. It swam across the Missouri River, walked up the river bank right in front of me and decided to take a jog down the Katy Trail heading away us. I tried to hurry back on the bike to give chase, but it didn’t happen…he disappeared.
We came into Defiance, where they have a nice bike shop on the trail. Kate had been talking about ice cream for a while, so I just had to get a snickers ice cream bar, and it was glorious. In Defiance…we met up with our friend Jim Davis. He was cruising on a really cool old Murray road bike codename Gold digger and was going to ride out the next 20 miles or so with us.
After Jim D peeled off, the rest of the ride was uneventful, just grinding out the rest of the ride, dreaming of the yummy eats that awaited us in St. Charles.
Janie had prepared us awesome salads, burgers, pickles and cookies (if you’re into that kind of thing). She even picked up the drink of the weekend, Angry Orchard Hard Cider. If you haven’t tried it…do so…it’s delicious. It was a great weekend to be on the bike, but then again, aren’t they all.
Here are a few other pictures from the weekend: