A Tale of Two Bike Trails

Two e-bikes on our Rocky Mounts e-bike rack

Do you have bike trails near your home?

Dan and I are lucky enough to have several trails near where we live.

370 Lakeside Park is 4.6 miles from our home. However, there is not a good bike route to the park. So this was the day to use our new Rocky Mounts e-bike rack for the first time.

Terry, my blogging friend, at Radically Retired espouses the philosophy of lifetime learning. Inspired by her post to learn something new every day, on this day I counted using our new e-bike rack as fulfilling that daily mission. The sales rep had shown us how to use the rack, but that was more than two months ago. A quick two minute video on YouTube reminded us of all we needed to know. And Dan’s muscles provided all the strength we needed to have. These bikes are heavy, weighing 60 pounds each. I assisted, but Dan did all the heavy lifting.

Our e-bikes at the pavilion at 370 Lakeside Park with the lake in the distance.
Notice the “furniture” in the pavilion.
I love the chairs with backs.

Once at the park, we did a quick five mile loop around the lake. We had brought our lunch as well as our Rummikub game. We took advantage of the park’s beautiful pavilion to enjoy our lunch and a couple of games. Once refreshed, we rode another ten miles. The park’s trail generally loops around the lake and can be followed out of the park into the St. Peter’s area. It was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon.

On another day, we chose to ride down to the Katy Trail. The Katy Trail is a crushed limestone trail that goes across the state of Missouri basically following the Missouri River. Dan and I are lucky enough that we can ride our e-bikes out of our garage and get on trails which will lead us to the Katy Trail. Then we can ride the Katy Trail to Frontier Park.

Map of the area including the Missouri River, Frontier Park, and La Belle Vie.

The Frontier Park area hosts various festivals and music throughout the year. It is a pretty park with a view of the Missouri River. It is frequented by hikers and bikers as the Katy Trail continues through the park.

A block up from Frontier Park is Main Street, also known as the historic downtown St. Charles area, site of Missouri’s First Capitol. There are shops, restaurants and bars. And a couple blocks down is The Foundary Art Centre. Here, during the summer months, you can find a Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.

About a mile north of Frontier Park is an area known as Frenchtown which is where we stopped for lunch. We chose “La Belle Vie” for our lunch, a charming cafe our friendly neighbor, Sue, had recently told us about.

Our e-bikes at
La Belle Vie

La Belle Vie opened, yes opened, in 2020. Operating, much less opening, a restaurant in 2020 was difficult, to say the least. This cafe appears to be thriving, likely due to its successful mixture of location, atmosphere and delicious food. La Belle Vie offers breakfast and lunch as well as inside and outside dining. Check the website as the hours may be expanded during the summer season. We will definitely go back. And Talia, if you are reading this post, let’s put this on the agenda for your next visit. It’s the perfect spot for some mother/daughter time.

Counter at the cafe with a smiling worker.
Friendly Service
Front Room
Back Room
with patio out back

After our lunch, we rode back home for a total of 15 miles. Our total, so far, on our e-bikes is about 750 miles. That’s over the course of ten months, including the winter months where we didn’t ride at all.

We really enjoy our e-bikes, and we really enjoy living in St. Charles and all that the area offers. I know we are blessed. And every single day, I give thanks to the Lord above for “La Belle Vie.” And I’m not talking about the cafe.

Three rustic candles with a sign in front of them, "It's a Wonderful Life."

25 comments

  1. Your ebikes look like they’re so much fun! The menu at La Belle Vie looks like something we’d enjoy. It’s great to have so many trails close to home! Our hiking/walking trails also allow bikes but it’s seldom that I see any. Maybe it’s because we’re such a small city so all of the paths and trails are within walking distance from almost anyone’s home. Thanks so much for the mention and the link to my blog, Betty! Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Terry. That is great that the homes by you are close to trails. It’s odd to me that you don’t see more bikes. We do love those e-bikes, but we also make sure we walk every day. In honesty, walking is the best exercise. Hope you have a great day, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, Betty, I’ve been everywhere since starting to read your blog about an hour ago! I researched e-bikes after one of your previous posts- that one took me around the block a few times, too!

    But this blog was great and full of lots of fun information. First up was perusing the 370 Lakeside Park website, and then off to learn about the Katy Trail. You will never get tired of that one- 237 miles of biking trails?! Wow.

    And then on to La Belle Vie! I would love this place! I love to study online menus and this one is perfect. I’m inspired to try making the Jalapeno Popper Sandwich.

    I LOVED this piece, Betty- great start to my day. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy, you are so kind. Thank you, and you are more than welcome. I actually thought about you when writing this post. Is there much bike riding there? Could you ride an e-bike all around the island? I would guess there are not any developed trails, but what about riding on the roads? Some e-bikes have really fat tires, so my guess is that would work for the bumpy roads you’ve written about. The e-bikes are really fun. The Katy Trail is great, and in addition to the 237 miles, there is the Rock Island Spur which is another 47 miles. AND there is a campground right where they connect. We hope to camp there sometime and ride each direction. Have a great day in Roatan!

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    • Yes, we love 370 Lakeside Park. If you ever do return to the area, you could camp there! The cafe is very charming. There is a bakery case – which I suspect is filled with delicious treats in the morning. It was nearly empty when we were there in the afternoon. I plan to go there for breakfast sometime. Enjoy your day, and have fun on your travels!

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  3. I am so glad you tried your new car rack and I totally agree, it does count as learning something new. The La Belle Vie looks very inviting, but I wouldn’t want to pay $11 for a grilled cheese. I am struggling with the recent price hikes, especially in restaurants.
    You guys are having a good time and I am thrilled to be part of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. You are very kind to say you are thrilled to be part of us having a good time. I understand the concern about prices. We spend very mindfully. Often when we eat out, we choose a locally owned restaurant where we live or on our travels. I have found these places to be delightful, and I am glad to know I am supporting a local business. I tell you, that bike rack had several moving parts. Thank heavens for YouTube! I hope you are feeling well, and enjoy the coming week!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That was a fun day with the bikes! There are a couple of nice trails where we live now, but we have to transport the bikes there like you did. Minneapolis, where we lived most of our lives, has miles and miles of good trails. There are about 50 miles of connected bike trails that go around the city lakes, along a creek and along the Mississippi River. Where we lived we had to ride through some neighborhoods to get to a couple of different trail systems. I like where we live now, but I do miss the bike trails.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, thank you very much. I hope that my post inspires readers to look around where they live and take advantage of the jewels in their area. And kudos to you for recycling. Hope you have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Our next motor vehicle will allow us to attach a trailer hitch. Then, and only then, will we consider electric or power assisted bicycles (if we are even riding then!). The electric bicycles, as you say, are heavy, too heavy to transport without a trailer hitch with bike rack.

    We have several very nice bike trails within 1 1/2 hour drive of our house. We rode one trail earlier this month. We have more of that trail to ride, so we will return.

    We are leaving this week for vacation in NY. A trailhead for the Erie Canalway Trail is located about 30 minutes from our Airbnb rental. I have picked out an 11-mile stretch. If I am able to ride those 11 miles, it will be the most I have ridden this year in one ride. I doubt I will be able to ride back to our starting point. I am thankful that Bob can make that return trip and bring the car to me, if necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see your posts about your bike riding, and I think that is great! Eleven miles is a lot! And Bob is a good guy to bring the car to you. At the store, I thought the electric lift on the e-bike rack was extravagant, but now I don’t think so. Fortunately, Dan can lift our bikes onto the rack. I am looking forward to reading about your coming bike riding adventures! Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t wait to hear how you like riding them! We absolutely love it! So much fun! We bring them on most of our trips. Have a great day!

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  6. I enjoyed reading about the trails near you and the fun places to stop along the way! I’m sure it is very relaxing to ride the bikes out and then stop somewhere for lunch! San Antonio has many parks with riding/walking pathways and I really enjoy using them. We have over 140 miles in trails and an 80+ mile greenway system, but only picnic stops along the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Sometime in the future, we hope to visit Texas (in the winter) and travel around the state. San Antonio sounds like a fantastic place to ride our bikes. I am glad to know this!

      Liked by 1 person

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