In late February the thaw and wet weather cycle forced me to ride my road and cross bikes more than I desired but here I was, forced yet again to get some 'long-steady-miles' whether I wanted them or not.
Let's start by showing you what I wouldn't see on this trip...
That's the Greensfelder, for the record. Not anywhere close to the location of this episode.
With a goal of 50 miles on a early Thursday or Tuesday afternoon - I don't know - the wind carried me down into a Soulard preparing for Mardi Gras. Hookers at Johnny's set up tents and frat truckers quaffed Bud Light Lime.
Skipping 7th Street, I headed North on 3rd St. - the hell of the East. Broken and severely buckled pavement kept me alert while a headwind increased its volume. Shooting past the Arch, skimming by Hopeville, I settled into a nice rhythmn. I waved to the Hazmat crew that has been diligently working at the radioactive site between the trail and river bank for the past two weeks. I know it's radioactive because they have the radiation symbol... and the guys are in white suits. And big wigs seem to be watching from massive F-350s at all times. This is news that will never make it to air.
Anyway, I said I settled in, right? I did for about 15 minutes until I glimpsed a green minivan rounding just out of site. The flood wall curved to his benefit.
Normally, this is just what we call traffic on the Riverfront bike trail. Fish traffic, heavy machinery traffic, crack traffic, whores-for-crack traffic, rush hour overflow traffic, the trail sees it all.
I found out this was traffic fell under the dumping category.
On top of the levee just past the homes on barges, just far enough ahead the driver kept starting and stopping, obviously trying to set some distance between us. I looked down, grabbed some water and stopped to look at the supreme massive crane at the Alberici yard that must be building the piece parts for the oil refinery up the river.
Well, holy crap, I look up the trail after resuming a steady pace and I see the guy dumping his entire van out on either side of the trail.
Like a small apartment amount.
I rode up to the van and glanced over to him while he sat inside. Smoking a cigarette and looking directly at me, I'm pretty sure he questioned the 'hassle' it would be to throw me in the river.
I think it was going to be too much work.
I rode swiftly on, hoping that he didn't want to ask for directions to the nearest license center so he could get his plates renewed. When I turned around for a look, he has making a U on the levee and headed back to who knows where.
Story Shrink: ..., rode up to the Chain of Rocks, rode past 270 to Columbia Bottoms to check out the Confluence. Checked it out and headed back the way I came, past the Chain of Rocks, past the pimped out Mexican truck with every stick-on accessory AutoZone sold (stick on air scoops??) Rode past some abandoned cycling clothes and helmet by the creek drainage (la la la, I'm not thinking about what happened - they got hot ... and ran the other way.)
Came back upon the mini-landfill and attempted to find out 'who' this guy was so I could turn the info in.
I didn't know this was a new landfill. Otherwise, I would've pulled the BOB trailer with the ground plastic and leachate cleaning system. Now it's just going to drain into the river.
It's not in the picture but there's a box of canned food right over there. Corn, spinach, Chef Boyardee, Rice, Cupcakes (open), all with a light sheen of fry grease on the tops.
He has it on blu-ray now.
Because this is a public site with standards of sorts, I am self-censored from showing the pile of wicky-wicky tapes.
I did find several denied unemployment claim statements that had the same name on it. Riding on for about two miles I saw another vehicle approaching. ugh.
Miraculously, it was a CONSERVATION truck. The female agent took the letter and I told her all I knew. Of course, she asked for details. "Uh, green minivan, don't know the plates, black guy, smokin' a cigarette, didn't stop to ask." Case closed, unfortunately.
The story sounds like it should end bad. But that's just not true. Whenever you get on your bike, if you look around, you can best be assured there is an adventure somewhere looking to stir your interest... or drag you into the river.
Until next time, remember kids, recycle all you can and give the rest to the san man.