"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Friday, September 23, 2011

Biking the Katy Trail - Part 1

We're off!!!  (Drue, Peggy, Ardell)
I left Franklin Saturday afternoon for the "epic" bike ride.  First stop was Henderson, KY to visit/spend the night with David and Barbara Lionberger.  It was great seeing them and they fed me well.  Sunday I met Ardell (my older sister) and Drue (my college roommate and Ardells's former boss) in Sedalia, MO to get ready for the ride.

For those not familiar with the Katy Trail it is the longest rails-to-trails conversion in the U.S. and stretches from Machen, MO to Clinton, MO.  More information can be found here (Katy Trails State Park).    The section from St. Charles to Machen just opened recently and we did not ride that small portion.  Our ride from Clinton to St. Charles, MO took six days and covered 225 miles!!!  By bike:)  The surface of the trail is crushed limestone.

High point on the trail.
Headed down the trail (crushed limestone)
Day 1:  Clinton to Sedalia.  We spent the night at the Hampton Inn in Clinton on Sunday night and started riding Monday morning.  We were nervous to say the least - reality was setting in:)  Three 60 somethings riding our bikes over 200 miles??  What were we getting ourselves into?   We left Clinton at 8:10 a.m. and arrived in Sedalia at 12:30 p.m.  Our total ride was 38.38 miles!  We were amazed - the road was packed hard, the weather perfect, and we just flew into Sedalia.  We all had separate rooms at the historical Hotel Bothwell.  After napping, we headed back to Clinton (my car was in Sedalia)  to pick up Drue's car and then ate at Ryan's Steak House.

Mileage for the first day.  Personal best.

School House B& B, Rocheport, MO
My steed:)  Loaded and ready!
Old signal along the trail.
Day 2:  Sedalia to Rocheport.  After parking the cars at the Sedalia Trailhead, we headed for the trail about 7:30 a.m.  This was to be our longest day of the trip but we were still pumped from the great day we had Monday.  The morning's ride included some really long inclines - not very steep but we knew:)  We had decided to take our time and stop for lunch along the way.   The Palace Cafe in Boonesville was recommended at the Visitors Center and we headed there for the best burgers ever.  After loading up on ice, we started pedaling.  First thing we had to cross the Missouri River - on a long scary bridge.  Eyes forward and keep pedaling!!!!  The afternoon's ride was long, long, long!!!  The pedaling was doable but it was really hot - this stretch was out in the open with no shade.  Very draining!!!   At the very end of the day, we had to ride through a really dark tunnel.  Another scary moment.  (Note to self:  get lights on your bike!!!)   We stayed at the Schoolhouse Bed & Breakfast in Rocheport.  Wonderful!!!  It was a converted schoolhouse and was beautifully decorated.  Ardell caught a ride to the (only?) restaurant and brought food back to Drue and I.  We were too tired to move.  I think we were all asleep by 8:00 p.m.  We are beginning to realize how naive we were going into this adventure!

"Road Angel" alias "My Hero" alias "Andrew"
changing my flat tire.  I took notes!
Day 3:  Rocheport to Jefferson City.   The day started with a delicious breakfast at the B&B about 9 a.m.  By the time we got to the trailhead, it was 9:45.  The rain started at 9:50 and it rained ALL DAY LONG!!!  We rode 37 miles and 35 were in the rain - cold, wet, miserable!  You really have no choice except to keep pedaling.  One of our many breaks was at mile 17 - my front tire was flat.  After using one of my CO2 canisters to fill it, I road as fast as I could until it was flat again:)  Repeat!  Repeat!  Front tire was finished.  Still being naive, Ardell rode ahead to check for a bike shop in the next town (about a mile or two) while Drue and I started walking.  A young couple rode by and asked if we needed help.  Still naive and thinking there was a town a short distance away, we told them we were okay.  When they saw Ardell, she told them we could use some help changing my tire.  Our first Road Angels!!!!  We all stopped at a "off limits" pavilion to get out of the rain and Andrew gave us a tire changing lesson while he changed my tire.  I had all the equipment just had not ever actually used any of it.  (Note to self:  take a bike maintenance course).  The silver lining?  We met Sara and Andrew and spent some fun times with them along the trail and celebrating in St. Charles.  We finally reached Jefferson City around 4:00 pm and were met by Randy to shuttle us to The Briar Rose (B&B he and his wife own).  He also took us by a bike shop where I had my front tube changed and we stocked up on some more CO2 cannisters, etc.  Fortunately, there was a sports bar right across the street for dinner.  That was about as far as we could walk:)  Another in bed by 8:00 night!!!!
Sara and Andrew - we liked them so much we
just "adopted" them.  They are in the process of riding from
Oklahoma City to NYC!!!

No comments: