Neither Flooding Nor a Heat Advisory Nor Copperheads and Sweat Bees Shall Deter Me from my Weekly Bike Ride

With today’s heat index forecast to be bumping 105 degrees, I headed out for my weekly bike ride on the Katy Trail bright and early today. 

But – first things first- I made a stop at Panera Bread for coffee and a Bear Claw.  Last week when I visited Panera for my pre-bike coffee, a fellow geezer hollered from the patio that the restaurant was closed. 

“Go through the drive-thru and then come sit on the patio!” he advised.  This week, I hit the drive-thru first, got my coffee & pastry, and proceeded to park and head for the patio. 

As it turned out, the dining room was open and I had the patio all to myself. Usually, I am with my friends Tom, Daryl & Scott. On this day, a funeral, a vacation, and work demands shelved my fellow riders.

Nourished and hydrated, I hit the trail alone. The air was still cool and the trail was not crowded.  A text from my wife offered one possible reason bikers were scarce.  It was a news article with a headline announcing the cancellation of Missouri’s Bicentennial Katy Trail ride across the state due to flood damage.

What would the rugged pioneers who settled Missouri two hundred years ago say about a bike ride being cancelled because of a little flood damage?

I imagine their first question would be “What is a bike?”

My 21 mile roundtrip ride from the North Jefferson Station to Hartsburg and back was not immune to flooding as the following video illustrates.

I know – I made this look easy. I have had my share of experiences on the Katy Trail. Also, I was emboldened by the fact that my friend Tom and I rode thru this same stretch of water last week when it was twice as long and twice as deep. Tom went first. Not because I feared for my safety. I let him go first just in case there was a deep hole where the trail had washed out. I did not want to exceed the 18-foot depth that my iphone is guaranteed to be waterproof and void my warranty, assuming it was transferable to whomever inherited my phone after I drowned.Waiting to greet me on the other side of the water hazard was a representative of 0ne of the three species of venomous snakes found in Missouri.

Mr. Copperhead seemed surprised to see me emerge from the flooded area.

And -as if that wasn’t enough for a single bike ride- when I reached the trailhead at Hartsburg I was swarmed by Sweatbees feasting on the perspiration I had generated making my way to Hartsburg. I managed to take a picture of one. There were at least a dozen but they are so small and so fast it was beyond my photographic skill to capture two of them in the same picture.

One of the sweatbees hydrating on me

The ride back to my truck was uneventful, save for me pausing for a (very short) break at a mosquito filling station. And for one other thing I found strange.

Very strange.

I’m sure there are a million interesting tales that can be told of adventures on the beautiful, normally less hazardous, Katy Trail. But I sure would like to know the story behind this scene I encountered on my ride back to my truck.

Im no detective, but it appears to me that a one-legged unicyclist had a very bad day. If you have a better idea, leave me a comment.