Creve Coeur/Bangert Island Mini Epic
After driving all the way to Durango and back, I was looking for a ride that didn't involve much driving. The closest trail to me turns out to be at Creve Coeur Park, and I hadn't been there since the workday in the Spring. Now that Bangert Island is above water, and clear, I figured, why not ride both of them?
We started at Creve Coeur and rode that. Brian, Glenn and others have done a nice job getting the rest of the section open to ride after the small turnout at the workday. What's there now is about a mile of twisty, fun singletrack with lots of switchbacks, turns and drainage crossings. After the Fall workdays, there will be around 3.5 miles of singletrack there!
Next, we headed down the steep gravel road by the Corporate Picnic site, and rode down to the lake. Went around the lake, over to the bike path that leads across the Page Avenue Extension to the Katy, and took the Katy to Bangert Island.
This was my first time at Bangert. Knowing only that it was an island that is sometimes underwater, or cut off from the mainland, I didn't really know what to expect. Surprisingly, there was more variation in the terrain than I expected. Don't get me wrong, it was only a few feet here and there, but it's enough to have allowed the designers to give the trail some flow throughout most of its length, rather than just being a flat ribbon as in the picture. Evidence of being underwater is also everywhere, with driftwood, and a layer of dried mud covering most things. Hats off to the GORC St. Charles County Crew for the fine addition of another 2.5 miles of singletrack to our area.
Then it was back on to the Katy to retrace our route. The ride ended up being about 25 miles; a mixture of dirt singletrack, pavement and the Katy. It was a different kind of ride than using the Katy to link Lost Valley, Matson, and Klondike, and a nice change of pace. I rode it on a cyclocross bike and pulled my son in a trailer except on the singletrack, when we traded off riding and babysitting, so you could pretty much ride these trails on any kind of bike you like, when they're dry.