The Demise of the Riverfront Trail?
So what’s up with the St. Louis Riverfront Trail? Did GRG (Great Rivers Greenway) run out of funds to keep it maintained? I’m not sure myself. All I can say is, I refuse to take my Diamondback Insight RS or Raleigh Sojourn on it. I take my Motobecane 300HT mountain bike!
Is the detour just north of the Arch permanent? It seems so. It’s been like that for over a year. Now cyclists (on week days) are forced to contend with possible tractor-trailer traffic. I don’t blame the truckers. They have a job to do & it’s not an easy one. I know…I’ve done it myself. Drive for hours & hours through the middle of the night just to wait in line to unload. What a life. (???) At least these “bottom hopper” grain trucks don’t take long to unload. But they (the truckers) must contend with a fairly tight “S” turn. That means placing the right front fender of the truck out far to the right so that the trailer can clear a fence on the left rear corner. A vehicle that can extend 70 feet long (or more) isn’t exactly known for its maneuverability. Now the cyclist(s) have to squeeze between these mammoth sized rigs while still making sure the truckers see them at all times. It can get a little tight to say the least.
What about the other detour further up the trail? The words “dirt & gravel” and “road bike” are not synonymous…especially after a rain shower the night before. A two hour ride can result in an hour of cleaning your bike after the ride. My question is…couldn’t a finer grade of gravel been used – much like that found on the Katy Trail? That would provide better drainage and a smoother, safer ride.
But my “pet peeve” remains the potholes and areas filled in with course gravel. Sometimes they are not clearly marked. An inattentive rider could easily be on top of one of these areas before he/she knew what the heck was happening. Is there a way to permanently affix a warning (orange) cone or a stake in the ground with an orange flag on it?
I’m on the bottom (southern half) of the trail quite frequently. With my bad back & arthritic knees, a good ride for me is about 20 miles. From my apartment to a rest area on top of a small hill on the trail & back home equates to 18.5 miles. Close enough. Toss in any additional rides needed to complete errands & I’m well over 20 miles for the day; sometimes closer to 30. Don’t get me wrong…I love the Riverfront Trail. It’s far less congested than the trail through Forest Park. You won’t find many (if any) joggers with their headphones on wandering all over the place. I have yet to see anyone walking their dog on a long, extendable leash – with the dog going who-knows-where. It’s the early morning solitude & peace I love. But at the rate it’s going, how many more years until it’s just another abandoned site on the city’s north side?