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Katy Connector Route Network

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Katy Connector Route Network

Old 06-10-24, 01:22 PM
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Katy Connector Route Network

A few of us on the various cycling forums gladly help many others with route advice. Over the years, I have created literally thousands of short routes, usually using GPX files in Garmin's BaseCamp after someone has asked for route advice. One of the most popular requests I have received is to connect from various ACA routes to other various routes in the center part of the country.

As a result, a decade ago or so, I created the Katy Cutoff which went from the TransAm (TA) to Clinton, MO to connect to the Katy Trail. Then people wanted to connect to the Katy Trail from the TransAm (TA). I would gladly send them my BaseCamp files providing routes, tracks, and service data but today most people prefer something like RideWithGPS (RWGPS) to get their routes downloaded and shun BaseCamp for a variety of reasons. To help with this I have over the past year or so, been slowly transferring the routes to RWGPS.

After a couple of dozen requests this spring for a route that goes from the TA to TA (both directions) to avoid the Ozarks in a RWGPS format, I created the "Katy Connector Route Network" (KCRN). While the original purpose was to connect the TA to the TA, I saw how easily it would be to expand that route so riders could connect to/from various ACA routes along the way using the Katy Trail as its “backbone”.

The KCRN provides many options to connect to/from various ACA Routes. For instance, the TransAm to the Eastern Express, the Lewis & Clark to Bicycle Route 66, the TransAm to the northbound Great Rivers South, etc. I have broken up the network into 40+ individual routes to give a wide variety of options. You can see the entire eastbound KCRN here https://ridewithgps.com/collections/...z7hdyP1cntdBrT and the westbound here https://ridewithgps.com/collections/...kXD6IyPPcX4pFH . You can also search on RWGPS for “Katy Connector” to see all the routes in both directions. Or to see other public routes a route author may have, click on their name within a RWGPS route they have created.

While I have a vast amount of service data (campgrounds, grocery stores, etc.) on the BaseCamp GPS files, I have not transferred the data yet to RWGPS as it is fairly time consuming. I will start to transfer that data to the more popular routes first but it will not happen quickly. That said, note that all the routes have been researched with a "bicycle touring" mindset, i.e. low traffic counts, services available, less climbing, etc. As a result, these routes may not be the most direct due to traffic or lack of services. Until the services are transferred to RWGPS, Google is still a fairly good option to discover available services.

Please note I highly recommend you still purchase ACA's wonderful maps as these are not meant to replace their maps but complement them if you are seeking an unavailable connector from ACA. While the KCRN may share routes with ACA in places, i.e. the Katy Trail, I feel since the KCRN provides connectors and/or alternate routes not supplied by ACA, I am not "competing" with them. I do not make any money whatsoever from this.

Feel free to comment or suggest changes!

Tailwinds, John
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Old 06-10-24, 02:04 PM
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Nothing wrong with improving/adding to what ACA offers. Experience and local knowledge are usually the best.

Along time ago, I proposed a reroute of part of the Atlantic Coast route outside of Philly because sprawl had created some hairy spots. The route was oft used by my local club. ACA reviewed it and adopted it.

After riding the portion of the Trans Am route east of Twin Bridges, MT in 2016 I proposed a relatively short, benign (and scenic) gravel alternative that avoids 8 miles of shoulderless highway that carries truck traffic from an aggregates facility and doesnít bypass any services. The RWGPS map link was supposedly going to be added to the map addendum. Donít know if it was permanently adopted as an alternative to the original routing.
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Old 06-11-24, 06:57 AM
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I generally think ACA is open to changes. However sometimes, unless they are critical, the may not be able to be done due to mapping limitations, i.e. if the change would create an additional map panel or cause all the existing panels to be redone. I know they redid Bicycle Route 66 a couple of times in Oklahoma due to changes I suggested. Perhaps will all the new digital formats changes will be easier. I personally like paper maps but I can easily understand the appeal of digital maps.
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