Sunday, December 4, 2011

Billie Fails To Finish Her First Marathon

Back in October the Rock and Roll Marathon Tour* visited St. Louis. At the time I thought it could be interesting to trace the race route while riding Billie, my SYM Symba. I down loaded the course map, but didn't get around to trying it until yesterday. Oh well, I guess it is good to be busy.

Following the race course turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be. Some of the streets were one way going the wrong way for me to ride on. There were left turns where no left turns were allowed. And, especially, in the Downtown section of the course I had trouble remembering all the turns and found myself stopping to look at the map again and again. It was rather slow going. I suppose if I had a GPS I could have programed in the course and had a voice telling me where to go, but I don't have a GPS and I already seem to have enough people willing to tell me where to go.

I'm sad to report that Billie failed to finish her first marathon. I didn't allow enough time to figure out the course, and we ran out of time.

This was the only photo I took on yesterday's failed attempt. I was too busy figuring out where to go.

But today we were back at it. Being more familiar with the course and having figured out ways around the wrong way streets and no left turns we managed a nice 27 mile urban ride. The course took me by a number of my favorite parks, by one park I'm not so familiar with, and down a couple of streets I'd not been on before. Overall the experience was positive albeit frustrating at times. Truthfully, it was enjoyable enough that I'm hoping they change the course for next year. The website says the map is coming soon.

Today I had more time to take some pictures.

Carondolet Park is one park I've not spent much time with. It is the third largest park in the City and has a boathouse and lake as does Forest Park.
I suspect in the summer there are folks fishing off this dock.

I didn't know there were two lakes in Corandolet Park, but there is.
The course took me through the Bevo Mill Neighborhood.

I even got to ride by one of the historic water towers and the old reservoir.

There are three old water towers in the City. Another time I will get a picture of the other two.
And, I even managed to find a couple of flamingos.

It was dark by the time I pulled up to the garage door.

This is the view from my alley. I'll be glad when it is January.
*click on the highlighted areas for more information.


  1. sounds like a nice ride. the xmas lights are up here as well.

  2. It was a great ride. I couldn't believe how long it took me yesterday to go three quarters of the route. All told between this little project and some errands I needed to run yesterday I figure I was on the bike over six hours. It was a nice weekend.

  3. Six hours on he bike....great stuff, I to though seem to have a problem of people telling me where to go, must be a jealous of the biking thing!

  4. It is amazing how fast time flies when you are riding. whenever I find myself on 2 wheels and it is a sunny day I end up going for a shrt ride that turns into hours in the blink of an eye or it starts to get cold despite being dressed for the weather.

  5. Sorry to hear it, Keith, of course, I can't blame you for not riding the wrong way on streets. Try not to feel too bad, I got lost for the first two years that I lived in Virginia. I won't be the one to give you a hard time over navigational difficulties.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  6. Glad you and Billie were able to back out to do the route.

    Love the new header picture. Santa and pink flamingos, a rare combination,. but somehow it works.

  7. Roger: Heather said she needed to work. I think she just figured I needed to ride, which I did. I had to work on Sunday morning or I suspect I'd been in the saddle even more.

  8. Dar: It's a good thing time flies when I'm riding, heaven know the Symba certainly doesn't :)

    Seriously, I too am often surprised at how long I've been out and about on Billie. Time definitely dilates when I ride and moments melt together into one steady stream of being where I am.

  9. Brady,
    The frustrating thing about trying to follow the map was I knew where I was I just didn't know how I was supposed to be going. Oh well, with a few tweaks I think this course will become a ride I will revisit with some regularity.

    Hope you are thriving in Germany.

  10. Trobairitz: I'm glad you like the header. I thought these folk's yard was a hoot! There is another house that often has a sleigh pulled pulled by flamingos. I must get over that way and see if they put it up again this year.

  11. wonderful idea taking a marathon as a route. They usually go through some interesting areas. And yes, no fair that they get to go the wrong way down streets that we can't. ;) I'm happy that you found some new sights to revisit.

  12. Dear Keith:

    I first read your headline with a bit of dismay, suspecting a mechanical failure. I didn't realize you were on a timed course. Was it a timed course for motorcycles?

    Nice pictures of the parks The windmill looks strange.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  13. Lori: I wanted to see if they really did route the marathon past interesting places and they did. I suspect it is difficult to come with a course that comes out to the exact mileage needed and have some interest. The thing interesting about the Rock and Roll Marathon was them having a band at a number of the mile markers.

  14. Jack: I wasn't being timed. It wasn't even an event for motorcycles. I just thought it might be an interesting ride to follow the route. These are the kind of things one does when one has a small displacement ride. I ran out of time because I had another commitment I needed to honor. I thought I'd left plenty of time, but I was wrong. Oh well.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.