I'm planning a tour this Spring (late March) from Kansas City to Springfield MO. I'm looking for information on the terrain, weather, roads, and the citizenry there....never been in the area; what should I expect?
I live south of Springfield. I've never biked the Springfield to Kansas City route, but I've driven it several times. Terrain-rolling hills. Weather-May seems to be a bad month for storms, especially the third week of May. Main highway has a wide shoulder. I've not experienced it, but I read many bike travelogues that mention Missouri drivers are not real kind to bicycles.
Since you are riding in Missouri, did you ever consider riding the Katy Trail? Around 225 miles from Clinton, Mo to St. Charles. One of the "Rails to trails" projects. Packed limestone surface. No motorized traffic. I rode it in 2003. Had a blast.
Watch out for the sewer drains once you get into Springfield. They were not designed with us in mind... they use metal slats running parrallel with the street and spaced just far enough apart for your front tire to drop thru... each sewer drain forces you to swerve into traffic.
I don't think the James River Expressway allows bicycles but I don't know for sure. I would also avoid Glenstone Ave. The nice thing about Springfield, tho, is it is laid out on a grid pattern and there are several residential streets that run all the way across town. Sunset is one of them.
Hwy 13 north of Springfield is considered one of the most dangerous stretches of road in Missouri.