To put an exclamation point on my trip to Springfield, Missouri, I finished up with a ride along the fabled Rt. 66 and a tour of downtown. This town is certainly proud of the fact that it is the birthplace of Rt. 66.
Springfield’s main thoroughfare, Glenstone Avenue cuts right through and was an ideal place to begin. I pedaled south through a really cool scene of old time motels and businesses that are reminiscent of days gone by. Old fashioned food trucks, which are all the rage these days, littered the route for the first few miles.
Once I reached the center of town, which is an old, but trendy city, I stopped for a few photos and pedaled aimlessly around town, taking in the sights and enjoying an easy ride at a pedestrian pace. I even stopped for a coffee break.
The ride back was just as easy with loads of old time landmarks and retro styled eateries just begging you to take that road trip in an old convertible. I will definitely drive a portion of this route some day as I am a sucker for nostalgia.
Back on the road again. I could have been sent to a lot worse places. Nestled in the Ozark Plateau, Springfield, Missouri is a city with a population of 167,000. Small in stature, but rich in cycling culture. Technically in the South, Springfield is a bit warmer than Pennsylvania.
On Sunday, I pedaled right out of the hotel and onto Glenstone Avenue. Busy, but rideable, I took Glenstone to Division Street. and climbed up passed the airport to S. Farm Road. A couple of miles off the main thoroughfare and I was transported to farm country. Honestly, it got pretty rural. Once I passed the Kansas Expressway, traffic was almost non existent, which made for a sweet morning ride.
Monday morning was more of the same. with little time to ride, I jumped out on Glenstone and turned on Commercial Street (C-Street), a trendy restaurant district that has seen better days. I picked up Division Street and again, climbed passed the airport and out to S. Farm Road. A loop over to E. Farm Road and back into town.
Today, I decided to sample the local culture. During the week, I saw a flyer for the Tour de Crawdad, a charity ride that starts and finishes in downtown Springfield. They offer rides to suit any ability. 25 miles, with very little elevation. 40 Miles with about 1,600 feet of elevation and 60 miles with 2,700 feet. I opted for the 40 mile ride. At 7am it was 40 degrees with a light rain. The host, Mother’s Brewery, was the perfect staging area for the event.
The rain did not hamper the ride. Traffic was light and as soon as we left downtown, I was back in farm country. I did not pay attention to the well marked course and ended up a little further out on W. Farm Road. About 8 extra miles. Oh, well, I needed the additional work. Once I figured out that I was lost and found my way back on course, I started to see riders again.
The trip down to town was relaxing. I enjoyed the gentle decline all the way to the finish line. At Mother’s, the feast began. All you can eat Crawdads and 2 free Mother’s beers were included. You can’t ask for more. If your in town in April, this is a fun ride with lot’s of local culture.
What’s Playing (What am I listening to while writing or what dancing around in my head while riding), today – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils – It’ll Shine When It Shines
My Ritchey Breakaway road bike has been sitting in its suitcase for over 6 months now. After my St. Louis trip in September, I opted for my folding bike for a 4 city southern work trip. Then I took my Kona Honky Tonk on a few trips that did not require air travel in late October and early November. Then, my company restricted travel during the holiday season as COVID-19 was seeing spikes all over the country. A few Winter trips to northern cities, blanketed in snow helped keep the Breakaway bike tucked in it’s safe place for a few more months.
With a trip on the horizon, I decided to give the Ritchey a tune up and get better acquainted with my travel companion. By late morning, I was pedaling out to Rt. 739 on a beautiful Easter Sunday ride. At 56 degrees, the sun was out with little wind and traffic was light. I wanted to make sure the bike was dialed in, but I also wanted to add some distance in my feeble attempt to get some fitness.
As I turned right on Rt. 6 (the Pennsylvania State bicycle route), I realized that this was going to be that ride where everything starts to fall into place. My legs felt good, my breathing was there and I felt like I could pedal all day. Another right on Rt. 434 and back to 739 and before I knew it, I was pulling into my driveway. A good time was had by all, well maybe just me. But, I can’t wait to hop on the bike again as days like these are addicting.
What’s playing (what am I listening to while writing or what’s dancing around in my head while riding), today – Billy Joel – Scenes from an Italian Restaurant