2011 Katy Trail Report
Read about our 2011 KATY Trail fully self-supported bike tour.
Red line is our route.
We decided to ride the Katy from west to east because logistically it made the most sense. Plus, typically the wind blows from west to east this time of year and we looked forward to riding all week with either no head wind or if we were really lucky – a tail wind. Every cyclist’s dream.
We arrived in Clinton the evening of Thursday, May 6th. It was an easy drive taking us just over 5 hours. The bikes were safely tucked inside and had pizza and drinks in tow so no need to stop.
Pre-ride lodging was at the Hampton Inn in Clinton. We couldn’t stand it so we rode around a bit in the parking lot just to test things out. We cleared it with the hotel then took the bikes up to the room via the elevator. I really wanted to ride mine through the lobby.
We left Clinton early in the morning and headed out into the wind and cold. It was cloudy but rain was not in the forecast. We decided to ride through downtown Clinton before catching the beginning of the trail. This was the way we rode the entire trail – taking our time, enjoying the sites.
Stopping when the mood struck us.
There were many moments that stood out.
Sunlight filtering in, birds leading the way.
Endless miles of spring flowers along the Trail.
Miles of trail alongside the wider-than-I-expected Missouri River.
Recognizing on day one that we had significantly over packed and actually sending as much stuff as we could cram into a large duffel home via UPS. Nice, helpful people at UPS store in Sedalia.
Briar Rose Inn in Jefferson City – their warmth and hospitality. The huge suite and beautiful antiques. Dinner at Arris’s. Our very early start to avoid the thunderstorms. The lunch they packed that saved us.
Appreciating the lifestyle of small towns. The kindness and friendliness of the people.
Augusta – wine tasting and hill climbing. In that order.
Spending the evening walking around Augusta in place of eating. Hoping we would find something open. Of course we didn’t.
Condor and Traveler’s home for the night.
Mix of feelings about starting out on our last day.
The couple from Michigan riding a tandem recumbent. Just starting their ride. Exuberant.
My butt’s growing fondness for the Brooks saddle.
Father and son walking the Katy Trail.
Those beautiful indigo buntings.
The HUGE tree just before St. Charles.
George and his buddy at Katy Trail bike rentals in Defiance and their help with Mark’s cleat and pedal. Great ice cream. Good prices. Nice people.
Feeling stronger on the last day than the first.
Want more info and pictures on riding the KATY Trail? Read the posts about our 2011 self-supported tour of KATY –
Condor and I are ready for the Katy Trail.
I have had a helluva time to say the least getting my fit on the bike dialed in just right. Condor fits me, in that I bought the right size frame, but there are several different positions you have to get just right or you will suffer. Only so much suffering is allowed in bike riding, unless you get paid to ride.
Long story, but won’t bore you with details that wouldn’t make any sense anyway. Saddle change was the crux of the problem, but after numerous adjustments I think we are good (she said hopefully with fingers crossed).
I changed out the stock saddle to a legendary Brooks Saddle. The B17S to be exact. Condor is just the type of bike that a Brooks was made for. Plus, after learning about *Anne Mustoe and reading her books about her legendary bike tours and the comfort of a Brooks, I had to have one.
Looks like a classic doesn’t it. I think it’s beautiful.
You know what though, the truth is that it feels like I am sitting on a board. A seriously hard board.
The idea with a Brooks is you have to break them in… guess what you break them in with? You guessed it, your butt. Actually my butt. I’ve been told by various Brooks owners, (a club for people that can endure pain I’m thinking) that it takes anywhere from 100 to 1000 miles to “break them in”. I think they mean, break me in. Sigh.
But, being the woman I am, and liking the looks and functionality of a Brooks, I’m sticking with it. At least for now.
I am so committed to my Brooks, (you’re probably thinking I need to be committed) I will be sitting atop her while I ride Condor all across Missouri (could be come to known as Misery) along the Katy Trail.
I did my final tweaking (until I need to tweak again) of the Brooks today. We are good to go.
Wish me luck.
*Anne Mustoe’s bike was named Condor, in honor of her I named my touring bike Condor.
Sunrise on the Katy Trail
This coming week Mark and I begin our excellent bike adventure; our first ride on the Katy Trail.
The Katy Trail extends 225 miles across Missouri covering most of the state. We’ll ride the length of the trail from west to east, beginning in Clinton, MO and finishing in St. Charles.
We’ll break the ride up into 6 days of biking which should make for a very doable pace with plenty of time to stop and enjoy the surroundings and visit the many wineries and towns along the way.
Much of the trail follows Lewis and Clark’s path along the Missouri River. The Katy Trail is part of the Rails to Trails Conservancy which is an organization devoted to building a nationwide network of trails utilizing former rail lines.
One of the best parts about riding the Katy and the rails to trails system in general, is that it allows us to ride our bikes on an off the road trail and not have to compete with cars for our little piece of turf.
When on the road rule #1 for cyclists is: Cars always win. It will be a welcome relief to not have to contend with that.
The downside is I just read tonight that the biggest threats to cyclists are: severe weather, poison ivy and snakes. Any one that knows me knows what I think of threat #3. Yikes! As far as the other two go, it will be just like being at home.
Another plus, no camping and no carrying our own gear. Because this is our first tour together we splurged and used a company that will transport our luggage (although we will carry a few things on the bikes) and arranged lodging (for the most part in B & B’s) in the various towns we will be staying. So not exactly roughing it.
We are very excited to be just days away from starting our bike tour.