Best Of 2000

Best Urban Bicycle Ride: Downtown

Get off those overcrowded Forest Park paths and see the city. Don't be afraid of cars. With judicious timing and route selection, you can meander just about anywhere without going elbow-to-fender against motorists. On weekends and anytime after 5 p.m., downtown makes for good riding, especially when there isn't a football or baseball game in town. From the west, take Delmar Boulevard, Lindell Boulevard or Olive Street into the heart of the city. With room for on-street parking, these thoroughfares also have plenty of space for cyclists. Head south on Broadway and cruise past Busch Stadium. If you're thirsty, the Broadway Oyster Bar, which lets you bring your bike into the outside courtyard where you can keep an eye on it, is an excellent stop. After the Oyster Bar, head into Soulard and just tool around. If you've got carrying capacity, shop for dinner at Soulard Market. When it's time to head back, Pestalozzi Street, which takes you past the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, is a good choice that leads to Tower Grove Park. Ride west through the park and take either Kingshighway back to Delmar or jog over to Arsenal, which eventually intersects with McCausland, another main north-south corridor that links up with Delmar and isn't as unfriendly to cyclists as it may appear on first glance. Follow the rules of the road, stick to the right and practice defensive riding, and you'll be fine.

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