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We did the Katy Trail.

Old 10-31-18, 09:29 AM
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Imabmwnut
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We did the Katy Trail.

All of it. 237 miles. We also did the Rock Island Spur. 46 miles. My lovely wife and I did the Katy. 14 riding days with 3 rest days. So 17 days total. We did basically 25 mile days. We took 2 vehicles and shuttled them as we went along. We had 2 days that temperatures were in the 90s,the rest was mid 70s. We took our hardtail mountain bikes with racks and trunks. The first 5 days we camped then stayed in hotels the rest of the trip. Except for the weekend days the trail was mostly empty. Saw turkey,deer,a few snakes and lots of turtles. My wife did an excellent job of planning our days and our stays. She's the best riding partner ever. I think I did pretty good for a 59 year old man that had radiation and chemo for lung cancer two years ago. I'm cancer free and have been busy being an old retired guy. Just thought I'd let yalll know. Have a good day unless you've made other plans!
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Old 10-31-18, 01:49 PM
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Sounds like fun. I don't have two cars to shuttle but I would like to find some way to ride from B&B to B&B with my car catching up.
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Old 10-31-18, 02:36 PM
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Terrific!! Especially the cancer free part!

Congratulations to your wife and you for finishing.

I have the Katy Trail on my list too. My challenge is getting back to the start. I guess it might just mean retracing the route and riding back??? Maybe starting in the middle and doing two out and back rides?

My best option might might be to have my wife drive along while we’re traveling out that way.
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Old 10-31-18, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Terrific!! Especially the cancer free part!

Congratulations to your wife and you for finishing.

I have the Katy Trail on my list too. My challenge is getting back to the start. I guess it might just mean retracing the route and riding back??? Maybe starting in the middle and doing two out and back rides?

My best option might might be to have my wife drive along while we’re traveling out that way.
Amtrak,s river runner goes along most of the Katy, they also carry bikes. Many people use this as transport, although it doesn’t cover the entire trail usually with some backtracking a route can be sorted out.
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Old 11-01-18, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Imabmwnut View Post
All of it. 237 miles. We also did the Rock Island Spur. 46 miles. My lovely wife and I did the Katy. 14 riding days with 3 rest days. So 17 days total. We did basically 25 mile days. We took 2 vehicles and shuttled them as we went along. We had 2 days that temperatures were in the 90s,the rest was mid 70s. We took our hardtail mountain bikes with racks and trunks. The first 5 days we camped then stayed in hotels the rest of the trip. Except for the weekend days the trail was mostly empty. Saw turkey,deer,a few snakes and lots of turtles. My wife did an excellent job of planning our days and our stays. She's the best riding partner ever. I think I did pretty good for a 59 year old man that had radiation and chemo for lung cancer two years ago. I'm cancer free and have been busy being an old retired guy. Just thought I'd let yalll know. Have a good day unless you've made other plans!
Cool. I went Rock Island Line then Katy last June. It was about 15 degrees hotter than normal. Great accomplishment after going through medical treatment. Keep riding.
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Old 11-01-18, 06:39 AM
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I did it back in 2012 as an organized, fully-supported group tour (Road Scholar). We didn't do the whole thing, but started in Sedalia and rode to St. Charles in 6 days, with the longest day 50 miles as I recall. Of course, since all our gear was being transported and we were staying in hotels and B&Bs, we didn't have the overhead of finding a place to camp or stay, getting meals, etc. We had left our cars in St. Charles before being transported to Sedalia, so when we got to the end we could just pack up and be on our way.
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Old 11-01-18, 06:44 AM
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I'd never even heard of the Katy Trail until just a couple weeks ago when I was out in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania and a guy from Missouri who just happened to be staying in the same motel came up to me in the parking lot as I was getting my bike ready for the start of the unPAved Susquehanna race and he just started talking: "You ever ride the Katy Trail? You should come down and try it!"
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Old 11-01-18, 07:22 AM
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Which way did you go? East to West or West to East?

I've also heard that it tougher than an asphalt trail because it's crushed limestone. Was it significantly tougher? I know it's all virtually flat being a old rail line. ChooChoos don't like hills any better than I do.

I would like to do it but would have to do it in 3 or 4 days, that is IF I can convince my wife to shadow me in the car and go ahead to arrange a room - she doesn't ride.
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Old 11-01-18, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
I know it's all virtually flat being a old rail line. ChooChoos don't like hills any better than I do.
Maybe the Katy is flat, but there are trails out west that are not. The Mickelson Trail in SD has several noticeable climbing sections, including one north to south that is about 4.5 miles with close to a 3% average. I started at Engelwood and rode to Hill City for the night then on to Edgemont. Here is a trail profile:

https://gfp.sd.gov/userdocs/mickelson-trail-map.pdf

The NorPac Trail in MT and ID also has noticeable climbing up to Lookout Pass. Did it last year east to west up to the MT/ID border. Was sick of gravel by then so I took I-90 down from the mountain rather than stay on the trail. Average grade is about 1.78% for 14 miles, but there are steeper sections in the 2%+ to 3%+ range. Very pretty though. Saw an elk on the way up.

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Old 11-01-18, 12:16 PM
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maybe stash the car at the end and call an Uber with a van to hitch you back to the start?
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Old 11-01-18, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Which way did you go? East to West or West to East?

I've also heard that it tougher than an asphalt trail because it's crushed limestone. Was it significantly tougher? I know it's all virtually flat being a old rail line. ChooChoos don't like hills any better than I do.

I would like to do it but would have to do it in 3 or 4 days, that is IF I can convince my wife to shadow me in the car and go ahead to arrange a room - she doesn't ride.
We did it west to east. The surface is limestone or crusher dust as some call it. It is rutted in places that when they dry and get hard they are kinda rough. That's why we took the mountain bikes with the wider tires. Yeah it's heavier and more work,but we're newly retired so time wasn't a factor at all. We put quite a few miles on our vehicles. That was the most time consuming part. The trail starts about 250 miles from home so it wasn't a long drive to start. Coming home............. little bit different.
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Old 11-02-18, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for the ride report. The Katy trail is on our list!
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Old 11-02-18, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Which way did you go? East to West or West to East?

I've also heard that it tougher than an asphalt trail because it's crushed limestone. Was it significantly tougher? I know it's all virtually flat being a old rail line. ChooChoos don't like hills any better than I do.

I would like to do it but would have to do it in 3 or 4 days, that is IF I can convince my wife to shadow me in the car and go ahead to arrange a room - she doesn't ride.
First of all, congratulations to the person who started this thread. The Katy Trail is an unmatched experience. I rode it with a friend in 5 days this last May; our spouses came along and drove from stop to stop. I took a hybrid/gravel bike with 35mm tires, and it was more difficult than concrete or asphalt; instead of being able to average 13-14 on this bike, I was pushing it to keep an 11-12 mph average. I would not have taken my 23mm Bianchi.

But do it. Here's a link to my ride report, complete with music...
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Old 11-03-18, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post

My challenge is getting back to the start.
There are numerous shuttle services:

https://bikekatytrail.com/planner.aspx?chkShuttle=on
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Old 11-04-18, 04:34 PM
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There's a blues song called "She Caught The Katy" by Taj Mahal. Albert King also sings it. "she caught the Katy, and left me a mule to ride". I never heard of the Katy, until I learned the song recently.
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Old 11-05-18, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Which way did you go? East to West or West to East?

I've also heard that it tougher than an asphalt trail because it's crushed limestone. Was it significantly tougher? I know it's all virtually flat being a old rail line. ChooChoos don't like hills any better than I do.

I would like to do it but would have to do it in 3 or 4 days, that is IF I can convince my wife to shadow me in the car and go ahead to arrange a room - she doesn't ride.
It's a little more difficult than asphalt but for the most part it's pretty well compacted. 70 miles took about the same effort as a road century ride. The Rock Island Spur is pretty loose. I use 700x32 tires inflated to 65-70 psi and don't have trouble. The bike and I weigh about 270 lbs total. Next year I plan on putting 700x35 tires on my bike for an even more comfortable ride.

The Katy Trail is not totally flat. From Clinton to Boonville is hilly although rails-to-trails hilly. From Boonville to St. Charles is flat. The easiest way is from West to East as (1) it's more downhill especially if starting in Clinton, and (2) you are more likely to have tailwinds heading east.

If you would like a supported ride, I suggest the Katy Trail Ride put on by Missouri State Parks. I've done it the last 8 years and it's very well run. Below is the 2017 ride which should be similar to the 2019 ride.
https://mostateparks.com/2017ktride

jppe: The ride above includes a bus ride either to the start or finish for something like $70 more.
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Old 11-06-18, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
There are numerous shuttle services:

https://bikekatytrail.com/planner.aspx?chkShuttle=on
Whoa....the shuttle prices are okay for a group but are expensive if you’re single. Not knocking the prices as the price schedule looks appropriate and you have to cover costs. Maybe I’d just park midways and do two out and backs, or talk the wife into another week of sagging.
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Old 11-06-18, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post


Whoa....the shuttle prices are okay for a group but are expensive if you’re single.
Not surprised. It's a long drive. Looked at prices for the GAP years ago out of curiosity and they were expensive. Met a couple in SD who had gotten a shuttle for part of the Mickelson Trail. They wouldn't say what they paid, but the husband said it was a lot.
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