Best Urban Bike Ride - 2007
Russell Boulevard from Grand Boulevard east to Lafayette Square and Soulard
Wheeling through St. Louis on a bike gets easier every year thanks to Bike St. Louis (www.bikestlouis.org) and its partners. Clean and clear routes take you from the south side to downtown, from the Chain of Rocks Bridge to Forest Park to the University City Loop. Whether you're rocking the bike lane down Olive or crunching past traffic on Clayton Road, this city is blooming with beautiful architecture and a plethora of hot spots you can't fully appreciate until you're coasting along, at one with the concrete. With all the bike-friendly corridors in the Gateway City, none stands out like Russell Boulevard. If you catch it at the water tower from the bike lane on Grand and crank eastward (up a slight hill), you'll pedal leisurely in the shade of giant sycamores past the stately nineteenth-century manors of Compton Heights. After a few blocks, slide north on Mississippi Avenue into the Victorian bliss of Lafayette Square and pause for lunch or coffee. Don't quit there, though, because Russell will take you into splendid Soulard if you follow it across Gravois Avenue which is only about a mile and a half from Grand. Both Lafayette Square and Soulard offer dedicated bike lanes and are replete with fine eating and drinking establishments making the Russell route perfect for a Sunday-afternoon excursion or a skipping-work weekday ride.