Old 01-08-19, 12:29 PM
20+mph Commuter
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
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Originally Posted by teacherlady View Post
We are in the early stages of planning a trip from Houston, through Louisiana to the Mississippi, up the Mississippi to St. Louis, and then along the Katy Trail to Kansas City. We expect to leave in late March, and have to finish by late May. My range is about 50 flattish miles a day maximum for trips over a couple of days. Is it possible to do this trip without camping? I expect there will be plenty of services along the Katy Trail, but what about the rest of the trip? The rural roads mostly don't have shoulders according to Google Maps street view. Are the motorists mostly bike-tolerant if we are polite? How afraid do I need to be of dogs? How difficult is finding drinkable water? Will it be reliably above the mid 50's in the daytime on the Gulf Coast by late March and as we go north? Can anyone point me to good trip accounts? I haven't found much on CGOAB.

Thanks for any information you can give me.
(retired) teacherlady
I have biked from New Orleans to St. Louis, then west on the KATY for several days before following the Missouri River north to Omaha, NE. I mixed camping with cheap motels. I kept it really laid back and averaged about 50 miles per day easily but I have always felt that having the ability to crank out an 80-100 mile day if necessary sure relieves a lot of stress worrying about making the next town. Basically I took the Natchez Trace Parkway to the northern end, then made my way to Land Between The Lakes where I took that road north. Crossed the Missouri River on the Tolu/Cave-In-Rock Ferry to get from Kentucky to Illinois. This area was VERY hilly. Using an old Adventure Cyling Map combo of "Grand Rivers" and "Underground Railroad" routes to get across the Mississippi River at Cape Gerardeau on their new bridge. From there I made my way to Washington, Missouri where I crossed the Missouri River on a frightening bridge to the north bank and the KATY. Rode the KATY to as near Kansas City as I could, then took back roads the rest of the way to KC. Then up the east bank of the Missouri to Omaha where I caught a train to Chicago, then back to NOLA.

I didn't find the route any more frightening than the other 30 states I toured through. There was a ridiculous heat wave in early May when I did the trip so I stayed in hotel/motels a lot more than normal. I did this trip in 2005, so my old maps may not be so accurate any more. I will find them and post them here or get them to you digitally somehow if you want.
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