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Katy Trail Alternative retun route

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Katy Trail Alternative retun route

Old 03-11-19, 12:12 PM
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TheRef
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Katy Trail Alternative retun route

I'm on my early stages of planning a late spring/early summer trip on the Katy trail. I'm coming from Chicago's suburb and I'll be starting from St Louis leaving my car there and riding West. I still have many details to work out as far as carrying sleeping gear or sleeping indoors and bringing as little as possible. If I'm able to take enough days off work I will ride back but the idea of doing the same trail on the opposite direction is boring so I'm thinking of taking roads and parts of the trail to get another route/perspective of the area.

Has anyone done anything like that (I'm pretty sure someone has)? Should I look north or south of the trail? Zig-Zag? Make straight lines to have the shorter route back? How's the terrain? Are services available off the main trail? Water, food, shelter?
Are locals roads bicycle friendly? I hear a lot of scary stories about pick-up drivers in the south.

If I don't have enough time to ride back one option will be to have my wife drive to pick me up or taking a train back to St. Louis. Are there commercial shuttles available??
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Old 03-11-19, 12:13 PM
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Rough idea of what I'm taking about.
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Old 03-11-19, 12:58 PM
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At Windsor Missouri head north on the Rock Island trail and head to Pleasant Hill MO. From there it is a short pavement ride to the Amtrak station in Lee’s Summit, MO. If you want to ride to Downtown Kansas City for the hell of it there is also an Amtrak station there.
Riding on the road back to St. Louis isn’t too big of a deal. Check out the Missouri state highway traffic volume map or the bicycle map. You can pick your spots.
You wont get hassrassed by one tooth hillbillys.
i have been yelled at by grain trucks during harvest season.


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Old 03-11-19, 01:08 PM
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if you take the train, you need to reserve ahead of time as there is room for 4 bikes per train. just an FYI.

use this site to plan your details for food, water, shelter, etc. https://bikekatytrail.com/planner.aspx
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Old 03-11-19, 03:28 PM
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The roads will be much more hilly than the trail, lots of rollers but nothing too steep.
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Old 03-12-19, 10:03 AM
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It looks like if I want to take the train back it will add one full day riding to Lee's Summit. I also see that Clinton has a Enterprise car rental. I'll explorer the option of renting a car one way to St. Louis.
I'm still hoping to be able to take enough time off to do it round-trip on my bike.
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Old 03-12-19, 10:52 AM
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The train stops in Sedalia as well, which is right on the trail.
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Old 03-12-19, 01:51 PM
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^^This. Or....

I biked the Katy westward to Booneville, then up to Kansas City, then Omaha, Nebraska where I caught AmTrak directly to Chicago. I know you have a car stuck in St. Louis under your current plan but figured you might like someone thinking outside the box.

I enjoyed the trip to Omaha from Booneville. The Steamboat Trace trail is along the Missouri on this route, as are a few other Rail-Trails. Also quiet roads through cornfields. Shoot for Council Bluffs which is across the river from Omaha (cheaper lodging if you have to wait a day or two for the train). Check out the very fine Omaha Zoo, hop the train, and relax back home. The Omaha train station had bike boxes.

Cheers.

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Old 03-16-19, 10:12 AM
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It's looking like it's gonna be a one way on the Katy. A friend offered to drive me to the beginning or pick me up at the end. The wife might drive the other leg which would complete eliminate the need to ride the trail.
Now I need to set a date and confirm which direction I'll ride east-west or west-east, decide the pace and how much to carry.
I could do 3 80 miler days carrying the bare minimum and paying for lodging or 5 days and carrying camping gear. I'll not bring cooking gear and will pay for food along the trail.

What are the must see along the trail? Which towns would have better facilities for camping and which would be best to get lodging?

Still too much to learn and research before deciding on a firm plan.
What are your thoughts on riding a road bike with 25 or 28mm tires? (I've seen you tube videos of people riding road bike set ups with skinny tires)

Last edited by TheRef; 03-16-19 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 03-16-19, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
I
What are your thoughts on riding a road bike with 25 or 28mm tires? (I've seen you tube videos of people riding road bike set ups with skinny tires)
I think the skinny tires are okay EXCEPT for the springtime, which your time frame borders on.
There could be some wet spots that require patience. 35mm tires would be preferred.
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Old 03-17-19, 06:27 AM
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"I could do 3 80 miler days carrying the bare minimum and paying for lodging or 5 days and carrying camping gear. I'll not bring cooking gear and will pay for food along the trail. "

Friendly reminder that 80 miles on the trail is much harder, all things being equal, that pavement. The crushed limestone takes about 15%-20% extra energy, especially if the trail is the least bit wet. It is doable of course, but if your pavement limit is 80 miles, you will be tested doing 80 miles on limestone.

Tailwinds, John
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Old 03-17-19, 09:19 AM
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Please be aware that there is already significant flooding along the middle Missouri River.
The Missouri Basin has a near-record snowpack with spring rains still to come.
There may be long closures of the Katy in late spring and early summer.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...ations-n984086
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Old 03-17-19, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn View Post
"I could do 3 80 miler days carrying the bare minimum and paying for lodging or 5 days and carrying camping gear. I'll not bring cooking gear and will pay for food along the trail. "

Friendly reminder that 80 miles on the trail is much harder, all things being equal, that pavement. The crushed limestone takes about 15%-20% extra energy, especially if the trail is the least bit wet. It is doable of course, but if your pavement limit is 80 miles, you will be tested doing 80 miles on limestone.

Tailwinds, John
Couldn't agree more. We were set on doing 80 miles a day over three days many many years ago but unfortunately the riding conditions were not the best and it was brutal. By adding that single extra day, it was so much more enjoyable where we could actually stop and see the sights and smell those roses.
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Old 03-18-19, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Please be aware that there is already significant flooding along the middle Missouri River.
The Missouri Basin has a near-record snowpack with spring rains still to come.
There may be long closures of the Katy in late spring and early summer.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...ations-n984086
Yeah, ^^This.
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Old 03-20-19, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Yeah, ^^This.
I've been following the situation and doesn't look like early spring will work out well. Specially on a skinny tire road bike.
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Old 03-21-19, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
I've been following the situation and doesn't look like early spring will work out well. Specially on a skinny tire road bike.
I got stuck in Council Bluffs motel for a week during a Spring flood event while on tour. I had just left the Katy Trail under sketchy high water. I had been on the road about one month of a 3-month trip. As soon as they got the Amtrak back running through there I got on it and went home. I planned to do some stuff around the house and continue the trip later in the Fall. This was 2005. You know what kept me from ever finishing that trip? A tramp named Katrina that flooded my house and city. That kept me busy for, hmmmmm, ten years. I am STILL dealing with some of those loose ends to this day. Should have just gone with my instincts and burned the house down and moved. Of course now it seems weather related mayhem is pretty much worldwide.

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Old 03-21-19, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
What are your thoughts on riding a road bike with 25 or 28mm tires? (I've seen you tube videos of people riding road bike set ups with skinny tires)
25s are probably a bad idea. 28mm could be OK. I weight 220 lbs and have used 700x32 tires the 8 times that I've done the entire Katy. I have ridden short sections of it on 25s but it was rather rough.

I just bought a gravel bike with 650bx47 tires which is probably overkill for the Katy, but I'm looking forward riding it there shortly.

One thing that I would recommend is fenders. They really help if the Katy is wet or even dusty dry.
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Old 03-28-19, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
25s are probably a bad idea. 28mm could be OK. I weight 220 lbs and have used 700x32 tires the 8 times that I've done the entire Katy. I have ridden short sections of it on 25s but it was rather rough.

I just bought a gravel bike with 650bx47 tires which is probably overkill for the Katy, but I'm looking forward riding it there shortly.

One thing that I would recommend is fenders. They really help if the Katy is wet or even dusty dry.
thanks @JerrySTL that is helpful information. Now if I can just get from NC to start it is on the bucket list.
Is it camping friendly or should i schedule stops in AIR BNB and stuff?
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Old 03-28-19, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
thanks @JerrySTL that is helpful information. Now if I can just get from NC to start it is on the bucket list.
Is it camping friendly or should i schedule stops in AIR BNB and stuff?
There are plenty of places to camp if you schedule carefully. There are also plenty of B&B opportunities. Here's a good resource for all things Katy Trail.
https://bikekatytrail.com/default.aspx

If you'd like to do a supported ride in mid-June, I highly recommend this one. I'm signed up for my 9 time with this group.
https://mostateparks.com/2019ktride

It often sells out well before May so you might want to check it out soon.
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Old 03-29-19, 07:44 AM
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@JerrySTL thanks i have seen the first link before. I was going to do the BAM on the Katy this year in October but had to cancel due to circumstances. it is on my dream list.

i have checked out the other website you listed and it looks great. It might be what I do for my ride.
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