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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    2,559

    After Thanksgiving Tour

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    I did a 3-day post-Thanksgiving bike tour on the Katy Trial in Missouri. I'd gotten laid off a couple weeks ago and was planning to visit my parents in St. Peters, MO for Thanksgiving, so figured I finally had time to ride the Katy. Besides, I could visit my parents for several days, get away for a few days, and then tolerate another short visit before flying back to Massachusetts. I made a reservation on Amtrak for Sat 11/26 from Kirkwood to Sedalia, arranged 2 nights at B&Bs and a hotel in Jefferson City. I decided to skip the 37 miles from Clinton to Sedalia, the westernmost part of the trail, because there was no easy way to get there and I thought 3.5 days in late November would be enough.

    Left on the 9:45 am Amtrak train with my bike and panniers. The conductor carried my bike on board and leaned it against the wall at the end of the car. After a pleasant 3 hours, I arrived in Sedalia. It was raining and probably in the low 50s or upper 40s. I put on my rain gear and headed off, navigating by map through Sedalia until I found the trail heading east. The trail was in good shape for an unpaved trail in the rain. I had a flat about 1 mile down the trail, which taught me LESSON NUMBER 1: carry your pump inside your panniers on a rainy day when riding on sand/dirt/gravel. I had my RoadMorph mounted behind my seat tube, and though I usually use fenders which would have kept the spray off, I'd left the fenders behind because they are extra trouble to pack. When I pumped the pump the first few times, muddy water came out. The pump did work well enough to fill my tire, but felt like it had sand inside and the gage didn't work.

    After a 25 mile ride in light rain, I arrived at my BB in Pilot Grove. Put my bike and wet gear in the laundry room and helped myself to a brownie that the owner had left for the guests. I was there alone for awhile until 2 other guests arrived, and later the proprietor dropped in for a visit. She and her husband stayed about an hour to chat. I woke up at 3 am and remembered that I had left my gloves outside on the porch, so went out and got them and put them on top of the heater to dry. In the morning I was fixed a hearty breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, oatmeal, and fruit. The rain had stopped over night though it was chilly - maybe upper 30s when I left and probably low 40s most of the day.

    My next day had some gorgeous scenery. The Katy crossed the Missouri River in Boonville and more or less follows it all the way to St. Charles. The river bluffs were gorgeous, as was the river and occassional wetlands. Wildlife was abundant - deer, turkeys, hawks.
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    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    My second day was 60 miles on the trail, plus 3.5 miles on the spur into Jefferson City for my hotel. I had a great morning enjoying the scenery. Rode 34 miles the morning, and stopped in McBaine for lunch. The choices were hamburgers or fried food, so I ate fried shrimp and french fries. Though I had enough snack food with me for lunches, a heated building was more inviting for a long break. There was one young deer on the trail who couldn't get off the trail for awhile with the river on one side and bluffs on the other, and the poor deer had a broken front leg that flopped when it ran. It moved down the trail ahead of me in spurts until it was able to get off into the woods. Other wildlife included a skunk who sat on the side of the trail and watched me ride by, a racoon who took off when I got close, and a squirrel who dashed past my front wheel at high speed. The last 20 miles were tiring and I was stopping for short rests every 3-5 miles. The spur trail into Jefferson City was well-marked and included a 3-tiered square ramp up onto the bridge.
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    Last edited by DebW; 11-29-2011 at 09:15 PM.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    I talked to my parents that night and found out that my mom had been feeling poorly, so considered aborting my trip the next morning and catching the train from Jefferson City back to Kirkwood. But in the morning my mom said she was OK, so I continued biking. Headed off about 8:15 in 36 degree weather. It stayed pretty cold all day. Encountered about 6 cows on the trail at one point. They saw me and ambled off the trail towards the road which was nearby. But before I could pass them, a car drove down the road and they moved back onto the trail and started walking down the trail in front of me. I didn't fancy riding slowly behind herd of cows so I got on the road for 1/2 mile get in front of them. I was just warm enough with 2 pairs of booties over my shoes, but changed socks at lunch time and that made my feet happier for several hours. LESSON NUMBER 2: dry socks keep feet warmer. Another bar and grill for lunch, but this time I got a bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

    At the grill I got a phone call saying my mom had fallen and was going to the hospital for an x-ray. As my dad has Parkinsons and dementia, he shouldn't be left alone, so all very worrying. My mom arranged a ride for me home from my B&B that evening. As my phone battery was low, I had to keep turning the phone off and turning it on again when reception was likely to be good to call my the B&B (left message) and my driver (left message) and my dad (who said Mom's hip wasn't broken). LESSON NUMBER 3: always bring the phone charger. I rode on to finish my 67 miles and was taking short breaks with snacks, water, and gatorade all day so didn't get too fatigued, but was looking at a 5 pm finish as the light faded and the temperature dropped. Hit the B&B about 4:45 and found out that the proprietor hadn't gotten my message and was cooking me dinner, and my driver was in town (I'd actually ridden right past her). So with appologies to the B&B, I left about 20 minutes after I arrived. I missed the last 40 miles I had planned to ride, but that mean I can keep my promise to the B&B owner and go back sometime.
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    Last edited by DebW; 11-29-2011 at 01:36 PM.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    I recognize that last picture as a place my DH and I stopped for a food and potty break on our Katy Trail end-to-end tour this past September.

    I'm sorry about your mom; I hope she's doing better. It sounds like the trip was a bit of a mixed bag. I commend you for the miles you did each day. The trail, while flat, can be tiring in my limited experience.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    I hope your mom is starting to feel better. Thank you for posting the pictures and the lessons you learned. At some point I want to do something like this.

    DebW and IndySteel, did either of you have problems with dogs on the Katy? My assumption is this would be more of a problem on rural roads passing in front of their "territory" (their front/side yards) than on a rail trail or tow path. Not that it couldn't happen there...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    Wow, Deb, that sounds like a hard trip. It sounds stressful. I hope you're parents are okay.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
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    Slacker on wheels.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Thanks for your concern. My Mom is OK, though a somewhat sore hip and stressful situation with my Dad's dementia.

    I didn't have any problem with dogs. One squirrel came within inches of hitting my front wheel, and I was warned of crashes caused by squirrels. The cold weather and short daylight made the tour more challenging than it might have been, and many services along the trail were closed for the year, but still a nice tour.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    I hope your mom is starting to feel better. Thank you for posting the pictures and the lessons you learned. At some point I want to do something like this.

    DebW and IndySteel, did either of you have problems with dogs on the Katy? My assumption is this would be more of a problem on rural roads passing in front of their "territory" (their front/side yards) than on a rail trail or tow path. Not that it couldn't happen there...
    Only one dog gave chase in six days of riding. Squirrels and snakes are a bigger issue. We saw a Copperhead eating a squirrel btw!

    To me, the biggest issue along the trail is a lack of services--food, mostly--in some areas. Three of our B&Bs provided a bagged lunch, thank goodness. We might have otherwise had to take would we could find, which was often fried or convenience store food. This holds true for some of the towns where we stayed as well. I had to laugh when we stopped at a convenience store in Booneville. I asked if they had any fresh fruit. "No," she replied, "but we have pizza." Uh, not similar but thanks! Anyway, it put a damper on the trip because I underestimated how hard it would be to get a decent meal. The B&Bs had wonderful breakfasts, but I don't want to eat a heavy meal at breakfast before spending the day on the bike.

    I hate dissing the Katy because I know a lot of people really love it, but it just wasn't my favorite vacation.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    Only one dog gave chase in six days of riding. Squirrels and snakes are a bigger issue. We saw a Copperhead eating a squirrel btw!

    To me, the biggest issue along the trail is a lack of services--food, mostly--in some areas.
    At least I missed the copperheads by riding in cold weather. I agree about food on the trail. I would have carried lunch food and eaten it rather than bar and grill food if the weather had been warmer.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,260
    Wow, Deb, you are a trooper! I'm in St. Louis and have the poorest excuse for not doing the Katy... delicate road bike. I really need to get something slightly tougher and take to the trails! Thank you for sharing
    Help me reach my $8,000 goal for the American Lung Association! Riding Seattle to D.C. for clean air! http://larissaridesforcleanair.org
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,099
    It sounds like an adventure! We have considered doing this, or part of it, but I am not sure if my new bike could handle the surface. I definitely would need different tires, although from what I remember, the surface looked pretty hard packed. I was in the area in September, a few years ago, and the weather was really nice.
    Hope your mom is doing better.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Thanks for the great share. Glad the parents are okay , hard when they have issues and there is nothing you can do but keep riding, then again, riding certainly cuts down on the stress.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    It sounds like an adventure! We have considered doing this, or part of it, but I am not sure if my new bike could handle the surface. I definitely would need different tires, although from what I remember, the surface looked pretty hard packed. I was in the area in September, a few years ago, and the weather was really nice.
    Hope your mom is doing better.
    I was pretty happy to be on a touring bike with 32 cc tires. Yes, it's generally hard packed, but there are enough twigs, leaves and what not, plus some rutty/rough areas to warrant wider tires. Fenders are nice, too.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,260
    September is absolutely beautiful in this part of the country. Warm, even hot, but not too hot. Love it!
    Help me reach my $8,000 goal for the American Lung Association! Riding Seattle to D.C. for clean air! http://larissaridesforcleanair.org
    http://action.lungusa.org/goto/larissapowers

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Quote Originally Posted by Reesha View Post
    September is absolutely beautiful in this part of the country. Warm, even hot, but not too hot. Love it!
    Yeah....that's what assumed, too. Our mid September tour of the Katy was mostly cool, with one day of a cold rain, two days of sun and three days of overcast and cool. You know what they say: Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

 

 

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