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The Way We Were…

The Way We Were…

MEEEEEMORIIIIIEEEEESSSSS LIGHT THE CORNERS OF MY MIIIIIIIND…

 

Misty water colored memories…..

Yeah it’s the sappiest song but this is a sappy post. You’ve been warned.

Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were.

I started this blog way back in 2013 when I was a mere young and spry 46 years of age. <heavy sigh…> so young…

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we, could we

Well a LOT has changed in the past four and and a half years. Our world kinda’ turned upside down in 2014. Things got crazy in Ferguson, MO that year. I’m not going to talk about all that here because this blog is about BICYCLING. But we ended up moving from Ferguson to a lovely historic neighborhood in old St. Charles and a beautifully restored historic century home. We are surrounded by bike trails here and only four blocks away from the Katy Trail (a dream come true for us). So in so many ways our lives have improved immensely.

Memories may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember we simply choose to forget

But it broke our hearts a little bit when we left. We still love and miss so much about Ferguson. We worked so hard to make it a bikeable, healthy great place to live. And our friends who remain there continue to work tirelessly to improve that amazing little community. I believe Ferguson will continue to be a wonderful town full of many wonderful people. There will always be a little bit of Ferguson in my heart…

So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember the way we were.

So the post below is my original About Us page from way back in 2013. So much has changed now that most of this original bio is no longer true and I’ve rewritten it. But I didn’t want to just delete the old stuff because I always want to remember…

The way we were…


Elsah201308

Weekend bike trip to Elsah IL in August 2013. 100 mile round trip in 100+ heat index. Fun times! Thank goodness we were staying in the nicely air conditioned Maple Leaf Cottage and not camping.

Well hello there! I’m Blue Tapp Scheffer. My husband, Craig, and I are bicycling nuts from Ferguson, Missouri. Just in case you’re interested and have a lot of spare time to kill, here’s a lot more info about our bicycling addiction than you probably ever wanted to know…

Our cycling habits fall into four categories… commuting, day rides, weekend trips and longer bike tours. Here’s how it all pans out:

On The Streets

Our daily cycling consists of commuting. Craig cycles to work at Boeing every day (7 mile round trip) and since I’m a self-employed website developer (at Blue’s ArtHouse Graphics & Web Design) working from home and don’t have to get to a job somehow, I cycle to the bank, post office, grocery, doctors appointments, meetings with customers, to visit friends and family, and to any other place I can get to on my Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike. Yes we do bicycle on the streets with cars and I’ll be discussing that quite a bit in this blog.

Bicycling on Caye Caulker Island, Belize in August 2012. No cars on the entire island, a cycling paradise!

Bicycling on Caye Caulker Island, Belize in August 2012. No cars on the entire island, a cycling paradise!

Day Pedalers

For fun we do a lot of day rides around Ferguson and on the many off road trails around St. Louis. The St. Louis area is fantastic for recreational bicyclists with hundreds of miles of paved off road trails in the area and just across the river in Illinois. And due to the amazing efforts of the Great Rivers Greenway, more and more trails are being built around here all the time. The master plan is an interconnected network of off road paved cycling trails along greenway spaces throughout all of St. Louis and St. Charles Counties which also connect to the massive trail system already in place in Illinois. So for St. Louis folks the fantastic news is that bicycling around here just keeps getting better and better. Eventually Craig and I will be able to hop onto the Ted Jones Trail less than a mile away from our house and cycle hundreds and hundreds of miles around St. Louis all on dedicated trails. (For info about trails, here are some very helpful websites: Regional Bikeways of Metro St. Louis, Missouri Bicycle Maps and Routes, Trailnet, MCT Trails.)

KlondikeBike2011

Annual Klondike Bike from Ferguson to Klondike Park on the Katy Trail. This is from 2011.

Weekends on Two Wheels

Next on the adventure list are our weekend bicycle trips. We try to do at least three or four of these every year. These trips usually begin from our doorstep and end with us camping or staying in a bed & breakfast 50 miles or so away. Then we cycle back home the next day. We are unsupported tourers so we carry all our gear on our bikes with us. This blog includes descriptions of our gear and bicycle setups if you enjoy reading about those sorts of things.

Cycling in sunny Sanibel, Florida in February 2013.

Cycling in sunny Sanibel, Florida in February 2013.

Touring Adventures!

Once a year we embark upon our biggest adventures — longer bicycle tours! So far we’ve cycled the entire Katy Trail a couple of times and cycled the C&O Canal Path and the Great Allegheny Passage in the fall of 2010. In October 2013, we packed up and flew to the Czech Republic to cycle from Prague to Vienna on a supported tour with Vermont Bicycle Tours. In September 2014, we’ll be doing a self supported 206 mile loop around Chicago.

Craig will be retiring from Boeing in 3 to 5 years and my job allows me to work anywhere I can get a cellphone signal. So watch out world! We plan to travel all over the place on our bicycles then. In the meantime we’re doing as many overnighters and multiple day trips as Craig’s vacation time allows… More to come!

PedalersJamboree2011

Pedalers Jamboree on the Katy Trail in May 2011.

Warm Showers

We cannot speak highly enough of the Warm Showers organization for touring cyclists. If you’re not yet in the know, Warm Showers is a website that connects touring bicyclists with hosts all over the world. Touring cyclists can find people willing to host them (and provide a “warm shower” and possibly food, a washing machine, and maybe even a beer and a good conversation or two) in areas where they will be passing through. Often Warm Showers hosts are also touring cyclists and become Warm Showers “hostees” when they tour as well. Craig and I have been Warm Showers hosts for several years and have met some of the most fascinating folks from all over the world. We used Warm Showers to find a host for us and our car during our COGAP tour in 2010. I’ll be posting about cyclists that we host on this blog from time to time.

Weekend trip to Pere Marquette State Park in spring of 2010

Weekend trip to Pere Marquette State Park in spring of 2010

Other Stuff…

When we’re not on our bicycles, Craig and I are on our two (four?) feet pounding the pavement running. We head up the Ferguson Running Club, a loosely knit group of about 20 runners who run together around Ferguson every Saturday morning all year round. We also participate in local running competitions together. Craig and I completed our very first FULL MARATHON in April 2013. We’re also into eating healthy, organic, locally grown food which is made much easier by our amazing, award winning Ferguson Farmers Market. So yeah, I guess you could say we’re kinda’ health nuts. But ya’ know what, it feels so GOOD to be healthy!!

Cycling the entire Katy Trail in October 2009

Cycling the entire Katy Trail in October 2009

Changing A City

Our little hamlet of Ferguson is a pop. 30,000ish suburb on the north side of St. Louis with an old small town feel. We’ve got the good fortune of a progressively minded city council and since 2008 little Ferg has been splashing across new waters in healthy, sustainable living. Our Live Well Ferguson initiative began as a collaborated project with Trailnet to support healthier lifestyles through active living and improved dietary habits. Since then, Live Well Ferguson has exploded with events (an annual twilight 5K/10K, Sunday Parkways, a twilight bicycle ramble), projects (community gardens, Eat Well Ferguson), and even city policy changes (Complete Streets, Form Based Code, Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan). Numerous healthy clubs have sprouted up including two clubs that Craig and I are involved in, the Ferguson Running Club and Ferguson Cycling Club.

Yep we've even chiseled our bicycle love onto our bodies. Here are our cycling sprocket tattoos that we got to celebrate our 10th anniversary in December 2012.

Yep we’ve even chiseled our bicycle love onto our bodies. Here are our cycling sprocket tattoos that we got to celebrate our 10th anniversary in December 2012.

I’m harping on about all this because a decade ago, Ferguson was a waning old town in a disparaged area of St. Louis. Now due to the courageous forward thinking of some of our city council members and residents, Ferguson is becoming revitalized and exciting. Our humble little town has made national headlines for some of our initiatives and won national awards. It’s been fun and surprising to observe how much of a difference Live Well Ferguson has actually made. I’m out there every day walking, running and biking and I see more and more people doing the same. We’re just a normal little town and if we can do it, ANYONE CAN!!!

You are still here?! Thank you for reading!!

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