July 16, 2013
This statue of St. Louis Cardinals great Stan "the Man" Musial at Busch Stadium is but one of many sites Julian Hadley visits on his tour of the Gateway City, titled St. Louis Solo On A Single Speed. He also pedals past the Gateway Arch, Bob Cassilly's Cementland (where Julian once worked alongside the visionary sculptor), Soulard Farmer's Market, the old Lemp Brewery complex, Union Station, and more.
"My love for bicycling is about the journey more than the destination," writes Julian. "As a bicyclist, I feel it is my duty to spread the word about the benefits and cost savings of riding a bicycle. I chose to do my first overnight to show a more diverse view of bicycle touring than the one I currently see. As an African American male, I don't find many others who share my passion, but I would like to inspire others, young and old, to get outdoors on a bicycle and discover the world around them."
Julian's day of discovery in the saddle was long, and he wound up camping "at the most comfortable location that I know of: my own backyard. I wait until darkness has fallen completely before setting up camp. After dinner I put on my remaining clothes and hat and slip into my bivy. The hum of distant aircraft and memories of my day carry me to sleep." His adventure was published on BikeOvernights.org on July 8.
This week's post was written by newly certified bike mechanic Charles Maxey, who recently completed a two-week course at the United Bicycle Institute in Oregon. His adventure takes place along the route of Southern California's Mount Lowe Railway, which ran 1893 to 1936, serving a resort area on Echo Mountain. Writes Charles: "One could take the railroad to various lodges in the hills. In the late 1930s the resort and all of its locations were burned to the ground. In the 1960s, the remains of the buildings were further destroyed by dynamite.
"There were many informative signs along the way interpreting the history of the Mount Lowe Railway and the area's resorts. I felt like I was on my own guided tour. During my ride, I would think about what it must have been like to live in that era and vacation in the mountains so close to Los Angeles. It was a bit eerie to think that I was riding along a railway from the late 1800s. It felt so close, yet so far away in time.
"... my camping location was amazing! I had a view of Los Angeles and beyond. And the nice-sized tree worked out great, providing shade to keep my food, my drinks, and me cool. But most of all, it may have kept me safe from what a nearby sign had warned me about: I was entering an area where bears and mountain lions are common."
Top 3 photos by Julian Hadley; bottom 2 photos by Charles Maxey.
MICHAEL McCOY compiles the organization's twice-monthly e-newsletter Bike Bits and organizes the Bike Overnights program. From March 2009 through January 2012, Mac wrote the weekly column Biking Without Borders.
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Great story by Julian Hadley on the bikeovernights.org site. Great to hear about an adventure taken so close to ones home.