Helen’s longest day

Heln, her TT-R 50 and the Subaru Forester

Helen relaxes after a long ride

I took my 7 year old daughter, Helen, to go ride at St. Joe State Park in Missouri. It was her first time there. She has only ever rode on grass or clay. I knew riding in the lead tailings (sand) would be a new, and possibly difficult situation for her.

Helen picks up her TT-R 50

Picking up her own bike

Helen in her off-road gear

Helen in her gear

Sure enough, the first time we hit soft, deep, dry sand, she fell down. She would go maybe 10 yards and eat it, over and over again. Wow, was she frustrated. We had a huddle. Eyes up. Feet down. Don’t try to steer unless the gas is on. Go! And she went, and it was all ok. We rode all over the tailings and the flat trails, and she had a good time. She even learned to navigate the deep soft sand. By lunch, she was happy again, and feeling good about herself.

Helen rides across the tailings


Helen rides on sand easily

Helen got the hang of it

Helen gets a positive appraisal from her dad

Yeah! Way to go!

We snacked, and went back out to explore some more. Helen tied out the North end of trail 100, climbing some steep stuff, and then coming back down. That was probably her biggest adventure on the steep stuff. Then we meandered through the sand back to the parking lot. Sadly, we meandered a bit too long, and through a bit too much soft sand. By the time we reached the car, her arms were sore, and she had had enough. We need to spend about thirty minutes less on the sand next time. Duly noted.

Helen has a sanck in the back of the Subaru Forester

Snack time for Helen

Helen leads towards afternoon adventure

Helen leads us to adventure

Helen and dad rest on the trail

On a new trail

Helen heads up trail 100

Into the woods

Helen heads back down the trail

Going back down is scary!

Helen is skeptical that dad can make it up the big hill

Helen thinks dad cant make it up that big hill

Dad climbs the big hill

Dads gonna show her!

But she did a great job! If there’s anything harder to ride on than soft sand, I don’t want to ride on it, and she wasn’t falling at all by the end of the day. I’m proud of that girl of mine.

Note dad's foot in the tumble

Bonus crash footage


Expo Bound

I took a break from work today to go pick up my race packet for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon. I noticed right away the early blooms on the trees. It’s starting to look like Spring.

Riding from driveway

Spring has sprung

The Fitness Weekend expo was at the Chaifetz Arena. It took me just about 20 minutes to get my race number, shirt, and program.

Chaifetz Arena

Lots of runners at Chaifetz

I hit a little bit of tight traffic on the way home because of road work on I-64 near the Poplar Street bridge.

Downtown St. Louis

Spring made it downtown too

Construction on the elevated section of I-64

That's why traffic is all backed up!


Home again

I took a look at my shirt and race number once I got home.

commemorative shirt and race bib

The reason for my trip

Threefer Madness

A beautiful day after so much dreary wet and cold weather. I rode lots of motorcycles today. Three big ones, and one tiny one.

I started out by installing a FMF Q4 silencer and Powerbomb header on my ancient old YZ426F. The stock exhaust was tooth-rattlingly loud, as my neighbors would be willing to testify. Not so this tasty aftermarket setup! It sounds like a brand new, modern 4 stroke now. Lovely!

FMF Powerbomb

The Powerbomb header


The Q4 Silencer

FMF Q4 and Powerbomb on a 2000 YZ426F

Doesn't it just look quieter?

Just as I was finishing up, my brother John called me and invited me to meet him at Moto Europa. I took the Kawasaki, as it was a very nice day.

The Gateway Arch

Over the river

Busch Stadium

Game time at Busch Stadium!


Across the SLU campus

Z1000 at Moto Europa

At Moto Europa

When I got there, John was filling out the forms so we could take their new Triumph Tiger 800XC for a test ride. He’s been interested by this new bike. We both rode it through the strange landscape of midtown.

Mark Oldham and John Jones

Mark at Moto Europa gets us ready to ride

Tank of a Tiger 800 XC

Put a Tiger on your Tank

Tiger 800 XC

The Tiger 800 XC demo bike

It’s a great machine. It has the best transmission and clutch of any Triumph I have experienced, it makes smooth power, and it handles sharp as a tack. But it’s not a good ergonomic match for me, unfortunately. I’m just a little too short to really enjoy it.

John Jones on his Speed Four

Parting ways - John's Speed Four is a beauty