Thursday, October 4, 2012

STL Bicycle Trails

I’ve had the good fortune of making friends with fellow adults* who like to ride road bikes. This has given me the chance to ride a lot of the trails in and around the city of Saint Louis. Below are some of my favorites.

Forest Park. You always remember your first. This trail is perfect if you’re new to biking or acquired a bike you’re not familiar with—for instance, switching from Schrader to Presta valves. Why? Because if you get a flat, this looped trail only puts you a couple miles away from your car at any one time. Plus, the terrain varies quite a bit in just 6 miles and the Boathouse is close by in case you want to grab a nosh or cold beer.

Grant’s Trail. Got a need for speed? This trail offers a lot of straight-aways that you can flat-out fly on. It also passes by Grant’s Farm in the middle section, so if you’ve got a hankering for a cold beer or some good hearty goat petting, you have that option.

Creve Coeur Park/Lake. This picturesque ride offers a nice flat loop that wends its way through trees and roller bladers. While a little tricky to find at first**, it’s worth it for the ease and convenient parking. There’s also a restaurant where you can rest and get a cold beer***.

North Riverfront Trail. This little-known gem takes you right alongside the Mighty Mississippi (and formerly Tent City). It offers quite a few straight sections and a good hill in the middle. Best of all, you can crack open a cold one as you straddle the Missouri-Illinois border on the scenic Chain of Rocks Bridge.

Katy Trail. I’ve only ridden bits and pieces of this trail, but some friends do an annual trip across a good part of the state and tell me its outstanding****. Plus, it runs by some wineries, so you can always pop in and enjoy a nice cold White Zinfandel.

*I originally wrote “people”, but that made it sound like I rode with 7-year old children. No.
**I’m a City Guy, so it was tricky for me; locals might find it easier.
***Yes, there’s a theme developing here.
****Okay, maybe not exact words.