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Today was our last day riding the KATY.
Despite a forecast that predicted rain was likely as we headed west, we managed to stay dry on our ride. That was our goal.
We were quite happy about that after yesterday. Today was basically the same ride as yesterday – only in reverse – Augusta to McKittrick, except once we got back to the McKittrick trailhead we had to ride a couple of miles on the highway, then cross the bridge over the Missouri river into Hermann where we would catch Amtrak to Sedalia and our car.
Today was a great day on the trail. It was in surprisingly good shape after yesterday’s monsoon.
I also felt better and stronger than any of the previous days and we made great time. For what we think was the first time in two trips of riding the KATY – we had a slight tailwind!
We were determined to beat the storm that was headed our way from the west so we rode hard and fairly fast (thank you tailwind) and made only quick stops.
We pedaled for 3.5 hours total today, basically the same distance in the rain yesterday took us 4.5 hours. The difference was the trail surface – it had been like quicksand in many places the day before primarily due to the weight load from our bags we carried on the bikes – and the aforementioned glorious tailwind.
The still fresh memory of yesterday’s slog motivated us to get to Hermann before the storm hit in the afternoon. Once we got close to the McKittrick trail head we did slow up to savor the last miles on the trail. They were some of the prettiest miles, river on one side – bluffs on the other – and a dense canopy of trees overhead. Bike trail perfection.
Once we crossed the bridge into Hermann we locked up our bikes on one of the main streets and headed off in search of lunch. We had about three hours to kill before catching the train to Sedalia so we found a coffee shop, changed clothes and hung out until 5:00. Got back on the bikes and rode the few blocks to the train station.
While we waited we talked with a woman from Iowa who was also taking the train to Sedalia where she would begin her bike ride on the KT.
Once the train arrived they quickly helped to load our bikes into one of the cars, literally threw our bags in behind us and before we could say WTH! – the train was rolling. Our last train ride was in Italy, from Rome to Florence – sleek and fast – this one was – Not.
That’s okay, it got us where we needed to go. Once in Sedalia, we reloaded the bikes and rode the few miles to Maxine’s and our car. We stayed overnight in Clinton before heading home.
In five days of riding the bucolic Missouri KATY Trail we rode a total of about 220 miles – once we upload the data from the Edges we’ll know for sure – not that it matters (at least to me) 🙂
Another post to follow once I’m home and can do it on my actual computer with its full size keyboard. All other posts have been done on my Samsung phone using swype. It worked pretty well and sure beat hauling my netbook with me.
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Today was the kind of day on the bike that pushes you beyond your usual limits. This is not a day I would have chosen to ride – but ride we did.
And right now I’m glad we did. Even during the ride/slog I knew I would finish the ride out, although we could have called for a shuttle and if it had been lightening we would have.
It was miserable at times! Really miserable. The trail was like quick sand in many places and balance was difficult not to mention just pedaling. My left quad continues to hurt and the cold rain made it worse. But enough about that, suffice to say – for a day spent riding the bike – it was pretty bad.
I’m glad we finished the day and the 36 mile journey.
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