An unbelievable ride!

I was getting bored with my normal lunchtime ride, so I thought I’d get out in the morning before work. It was hard getting up at 4am, but I had to be at work by 8am and wanted to get in at least 50 miles. I got dressed in the dark while the wife slept, wolfed down a short stack, and hit the road by 4:30. The roads were surreal, lit by the full moon with no traffic and ribbons of fog along the creeks. It was cold, too, with temps in the upper 40s, but I dressed in my summer gear because I knew I would heat up on the ride. I rode over to Babler and started out with some hill repeats – 10 times up the big hill into the park in the big chainring. I started out in the 25 and each time up popped it into the next harder cog, so by the last time up I was grinding my 53×12 – man that was tough! Afterwards I needed some recovery so I just cruised easy around the loop inside the park a few times before heading out along Hwy BA towards 109. There was still almost no traffic, so I was able to “take the lane” along 109 all the way to Clayton Rd before heading east in towards Chesterfield. I did get passed by this one guy driving a Jaguar – he didn’t move all the way over to the other lane when he passed me, so I flipped him the bird and yelled a few choice words – I don’t know what makes people behave so poorly, but I’m sure I taught him a lesson. On Clayton, that downhill stretch before Strecker was awesome – I had a slight tailwind, so I started jamming until I spun out in my big gear, then tucked in and held ~50 mph until I crossed Strecker and started heading up the climb to Valley. I felt like I still needed some more strength work, so I left it in the big gear starting the climb and mashed at 20 rpm – my thighs were really burning by the time I hit the top of the hill. That toasted me for a while, so I kept a nice 25mph tempo along Clayton until I got to Warson. I kind of took it easy down through Kirkwood and along Big Bend until starting to head back at Delmar. I stuck to the main thoroughfares so I could keep the speed up – I really wanted to break 20mph avg speed for the ride. The darkness and lack of traffic also helped – I was able to sail through most of the stopsigns and not worry about being caught. On Ladue after passing Price this dog comes zooming out of nowhere at full speed – he’s big and looks like he means business as he cuts an angle towards me. I started sprinting hard, but he closes fast. Just when he’s about to reach me, BOOM – he hits a fire hydrant and bounces off like a rag doll. I turn around to check it out – he’s out cold. Serves him right, I’ve got no sympathy for the mutt! I amuse myself with the ironic possibility that he regularly pees on that very hydrant. Late in the ride I started seeing a few other cyclists. None of them were wearing proper team kits, so I just ignored them. This one guy was even wearing MTB shoes and had his stem flipped up – what a dork! He smiled and gave me a wave – like we really have something in common! Doesn’t he see I’m wearing Assos! I used the final climb back into my neighborhood for one last strength training opportunity. It’s a 16% grade but only a quarter mile, so again I just kept it in the big chainring. When I pulled into the driveway, the computer read 53.2 mi at just over 2:30 – not bad. I still had almost an hour to shower and get to work on time – what an unbelievable ride!

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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7 Responses to An unbelievable ride!

  1. Patrick says:

    Boy, you’re an ass…you’re the type which makes me change my wave to the bird! 😉

    I was checking out a route from Belleville to Columbia the other day (broken thumb, sleeping yungun) when I came upon a dog who ran out after me and tried to attack me…keep in mind that this was in my Volvo wagon, not my bike, so note to self: take off velcro from my frame pump and keep it handy! 😉

  2. Daniel B. says:

    Sounds like one of those rides where everything is just clicking! Can’t beat those… I take it you were running lights? I don’t mean running traffic lights, but using NiteRider type lights, rather?

  3. Fingerbang says:

    Hell yeah! You’re my hero. I like to mug people just to feel alive. (This is probably all too true!)

    Totally sarcasm free, I got that same sort of feeling riding at night at Council Bluff Lake last weekend. Riding at night can be really peaceful and invigorating at the same time.

  4. SPC Deal says:

    How long is the hill on Babler that you did the repeats on?

  5. Anonymous says:

    That was the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

  6. Anonymous says:

    bravo about the dog and fire hydrant.

    why so harsh on fellow cyclists?

    i had the same attitude in reverse once: after having worked my ass off to stick w/ a team mate (we were both wearing the same kit) on a tour only to have he and his “15 year friend” give me the slip at a rest stop.

    I say: if you have allegiances greater than those to the team’s uniform you’re wearing, please; don’t wear the uniform.

    Happy Thanksgiving,


  7. Anonymous says:

    are you kidding? you have to be, right? about flipping off somebdoy becasue they dont give you the lane, ignoring people because they dont have team kits?

    so if those are a joke, so is the part about looping Babler to catch your breath, and going 50 on Clayton…

    Ah, now I get it ‘an unbelievable ride’ -the whole thing is a spoof through and through. Now wait a second – you didnt really go to France, and do the Etape w/ Mikew either, did you? I’ll never believe anything written here again.

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