The destination, but not arrival

riding bicycles
is man’s enhancement with it
we are supermen

On Monday, September 18, I rode through the northern suburbs of St. Louis. Despite the fact that I knew where I was, I couldn’t help but feel like it was just another day on the road. There was nothing about the ride that suggested anything other. Even going through well-known towns like Ferguson didn’t change this. But after I made it to the river trail, riding through the industrial area up-river of the city, I wondered to myself how I might feel once I got to my destination, once I knew I had finally arrived. And a moment hadn’t passed before a break in the trees revealed the Gateway Arch in the distance.

And I laughed. Maybe it was the irony of having just thought about what I might do once I saw my first sign, only to have it appear right then. But I also cried. I was exhilarated, relieved, and ecstatic. It was officially three weeks from when I launched this journey, I had traveled more than 1,000 miles through five states, and I was finally here.

IMG_1165
Photo compliments of Ivan.

I coasted over the rolling terrain for a few more miles before Ivan, and older gentleman and fellow cyclist, pulled up along side me. “Where are you headed?” he asked. “St. Louis,” I said. It’s a strange feeling having the same conversation as I’ve had the last three weeks, only for it to be so different all of a sudden. And so Ivan officially welcomed me to St. Louis, and the end of my journey.

I still had many thoughts running through my head about what still lay ahead though. My plans for once I got to St. Louis were inevitably going to be short, but a mission was on my agenda. About two years ago, I wrote a novel that largely took place in St. Louis, so ever since then I’ve known that I’ve needed to travel to this city to do a little first-hand research before I did a second draft. And this, dear readers, has been the secondary reason for choosing St. Louis as a destination all along. Now that I was in the city, it was time to utilize the bicycle to explore an otherwise foreign city in order to appropriately edited a wildly unfinished novel. I only had so much time, so the city wandering of Andre, my protagonist, had to be mimicked as closely as possible. And in the process, I also needed to visit as many craft breweries as time allowed. The game was on.

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