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St. Louis Moonlight Ramble

I was stuck in Cape Girardeau, Mo., waiting for a rebuilt transmission to be put in my van so I could return home to Florida. Brother Mark, who lives in St. Louis, encouraged me to come up for the 48th Annual Moonlight Ramble Saturday night / Sunday morning. It attracts 10,000 riders and kicks off somewhere around midnight.

I told him I didn’t have a big problem with midnight, but that I didn’t like the idea of being on streets clogged with a mix of riders.

He assured me that he had ridden the event several times and that starts are staggered, the streets are wide and the 13-mile route is long enough to let everybody have plenty of space.

Mother loaned me her Mazda

I didn’t bother to even try to see if my Surly Long Haul Trucker would fit in my mother’s four-door Mazda until Saturday mid-afternoon just before the two-hour drive to St. Louis. I figured that her two rear seats fold down, giving access to the trunk, so loading my bike would be a piece of cake.

Well, the seats DID fold down, but the access hole was way narrower than I thought. There was no way I was going to get the bike in THAT car without taking off more than I was willing to take off for a 13-mile gaggle.

Enterprise rental is just up the road

I’ll just rent a car. No big deal. Except that Enterprise closes at 1 p.m. on Saturday and it’s after 3. I put in a call to Wife Lila, who tells me that there’s a Hertz dealer just down the road.

They closed at noon.

I’ll buy a rack

I have a Yakima Kingpin 5 on my van, but it’s stuck in the transmission shop. I don’t trust strap-on racks for good reason. Still, I pulled into Cape Bicycle, folks who wouldn’t steer me wrong. They HAD a rack that looked sturdy enough to hold my LHT, but it cost $149. Too much for one-time use.

How about U-Haul?

College is starting up. They didn’t have a piece of rolling stock to rent me, even if it hadn’t been too expensive. They sent me to Budget. They were closed, too.

At that point, I called Bro Mark and said I was bailing. “When you foul off that many pitches, the next one is either gonna be a strike or a beanball. Somebody’s telling me that I shouldn’t be doing this ride. Even if I could FIND transportation, I have this fear that there’s a tanker truck with my name on it somewhere between Fruitland and Old Appleton.”

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard reward

Mark said he’d document the ride with his iPhone, and that’s what he did. It appears that the Ted Drewes Frozen Custard at the end was the high point of the ride for him. (Either that or he was picking up some product placement payola that he didn’t share with me.)

Moonlight Ramble Photo Gallery

Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to mover through the gallery.

4 comments to St. Louis Moonlight Ramble

  • Mark Steinhoff

    The Moonlight Ramble is certainly a much anticipated ride here in St. Louis. In the many years that I have ridden it (been here in St. Louis for 20 years) I have never had it rain on me during the ride.

    While 10,000 riders on bikes seems like a WHOLE lot of wheels turning at the same time, bikes spread out fairly fast and so you are never swallowed up by bikes. The route is family-friendly and there are NO hills (your definition of a hill may be different from mine, but my definition is, if you have to stand up to crank, then it’s a hill…) and the streets are well lit.

    The volunteers for this event are top notch. They are well informed about the ride and the routes (there is a shorter route for families with young kids or riders who need it) and well posted at all intersections. About the intersections, St. Louis Police are blocking the streets and direct traffic where closing the down the street is not viable.

    People come from all over to take part in this ride and it is a great easy ride for anyone who wants to see the city at night, have the roads all to themselves and experience what it is like to be with 10,000 people on bikes.

    I highly recommend this ride everyone!

  • I have been taken to task by my mother. She wants it known that her car is NOT a Mazda. It is a Nissan.

    Please take note of that. I don’t want to get cut out of the will.

  • This is cool! I’ll definitely put this ride on my list :) Oh, and I’m glad that you corrected your mom’s vehicle type- being cut out of the will is a big deal ;)

  • What a wonderful post. I found your site as a frequent visitor to palm beach, and stayed because I’m a St. Louis native! I look forward to reading more adventures soon.

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