For the last few years, I’ve wanted to attend the Pedaler’s Jamboree in Columbia, MO. This bike ride is on the MKT and KATY trail, every memorial day weekend. On Saturday the riders leave Columbia and make their way the 32 miles to Boonville, MO. Along the way there is live music to stop and enjoy. In Boonville that evening there are more live bands, and then on Sunday the riders head back to Columbia, again enjoying live music along the way.
This year, Mr. Ink and I were able to attend. It was very exciting for me. To be honest, I had anticipated that the bands would be local, and only marginally good. That was not the case AT ALL. The bands were fabulous, and the trail was flat, and it made for a great weekend. The ride brought out all types of riders, which was also great fun. In addition to the great music, there was fabulous people watching to be had.
We started out rather late, as it was raining on our ride over and we didn’t feel the need to start riding in that. However, we drove through the storm and out the other side. We got on the trail and it wasn’t many miles before we saw a random stop with a bunch of local friends who had traveled to the ride too.
While there, it began to rain, so we decided to ride on after donning rain jackets. We wanted to make it to Rocheport in time for William Elliot Whitmore.
In Rocheport, my feet looked like this:
Thankfully, I have fenders, so unlike many people on the trail that day, I lacked the telltale grey stripe up my backside. Our bikes were pretty dirty too, as were our faces.
But, our mood was high, and there were smiles all around. And we were there with plenty of time to see William Elliot Whitmore, up close and personal.
After the show, everyone got on their bikes and rode away, so we stuck around to meet him. And then off to the KATY roundhouse for Dirtfoot. Not only was Dirtfoot our favorite show of the day, being as it was very different than most of the bands available to see, very punky, but it also had such characters!
This guy was hoola hooping all over the place, in quite shiny shorts. In fact, there were a ton of hula hoopers, but not all of them were right out front constantly.
Then there were those in costume, fighting each other.
After Dirtfoot, we cruised on through to Boonville, where 5 more bands were playing. However, we only saw a small portion of SHEL, after we got showered, changed, and had a picnic dinner in the hotel. Then we saw about a song from the headliner, but we decided we were just too tired to even deal with being out anymore, so we called it a night quite early.
And up early the next morning as well, where the day dawned hot and humid. We headed back to Rocheport to see Old Salt Union, which was a band I was impressed with when looking them up. Great musicians all, and a fun show.
The characters were out again, and I was glad because I’d been trying to get a picture of this helmeted character all day Saturday. He wore his helmet through every show, and on Saturday had a rubber lobster pinned to his jeans.
Sunday he was sporting a rather long plant from his helmet as he danced with random people.
After the Old Salt Union show, we decided we were rather tired of the music, and ended up climbing up the bluffs to a winery off the trail.
I am not going to tell you that the wine was good, but the walk was absolutely beautiful, so it was worth it despite the humidity.
Id’ say that this ride was completely attainable for anyone who wanted to give it a try and has a bike appropriate for a rails to trails type trail. (A road bike in the rain would have been a miserable thing.) The trail is very flat, so the challenge is simply the miles. It was nice to be on a ride where all levels were clearly included, and there were so many children in trailers or tagalongs, or riding on their own. The event was pretty fluid overall, the bands didn’t exactly start on time. So, if you are trying to maintain a certain schedule it might not work perfectly. In the end, we picked a few certain bands to see, and then concentrated on getting there for those shows. It worked well. I often tell newer riders that when riding an organized ride, you ride the day you get, not necessarily the day you want. That was certainly the case with Saturday. Riding in the rain really isn’t something I love, but thankfully it was warm enough to stay enjoyable. But, to some extent, these types of rides are a gamble. You sign up, and hope for the best. We may not have had the best, but we had good enough weather to make for an enjoyable day.
Conclusion? I need a helmet like this: