Just in time for the holiday weekend the weather turned beautiful. Today is sunny, with a high of 73°. Time to get outside!
Last weekend was my first attempt at riding a bike in many years. I passed, but just barely. Tony suggested another ride today, but on the nice flat surface of the Ulysses S. Grant Trail (also known as Grant's Trail), a "rails to trails" route through south and southwest St. Louis County. Since it used to be a railroad track, there's not much of a grade. Hills were my downfall last time, so I figured this ride would be a lot of fun.
Today was the first time we transported the bikes. We were gifted with a trunk mounted rack that holds both, which has to be used on Tony's car (because of the design of my CR-V's rear door). The carrier worked well, although my bike had to go on at a weird angle because I have a woman's style frame without a horizontal top tube.
The entire Grant's Trail is 8 miles long. We've walked on the northern parts of it before, so the plan was to park such that we could ride to the southern end. There's an Applebees close to the 6.5 mile marker that was the perfect place to start. Based on the number of cars in the lot at 10:30 in the morning, before the restaurant opened, we weren't the only ones using the lot.
Grant's Trail is quite interesting. We passed by the Budweiser Clydesdale Stables, Grant's Farm (where there was a long line of people waiting to get in, and an even longer line of cars waiting to park), several parks, and an athletic complex. There were residential and industrial areas and a lot of green space.
I saw people walking, biking, skating, and using scooters. There was even a man using a hand-powered recumbent bike. There were babies in strollers and bike carriers, and pull-behind bike trailers. Kids from small to large were riding, some on tandem bikes with their parents (even a bicycle built for THREE). There was an older woman taking a walk with her hair set in curlers, and another pushing a stroller that contained three small dogs.
We made it to the end of the trail and turned around. Towards the end of the ride I was starting to get saddle sore and my legs hurt a bit. After we made it back to the starting point, we decided to eat at Applebees. However, the bike rack outside the restaurant was filled up, so we put our bikes back on the car and drove around to the front of the restaurant so we could keep an eye on things while we ate. Lunch never tasted so good!