Saturday, June 23, 2007

257 Miles, 5 days

June and I rode across the state of Missouri! Wow.

This trip on the Katy Trail was great fun. Great people, fun riding, amazing scenery, interesting stops, challenging days.

We left Clinton, MO on Monday morning for a short 39 mile ride to Sedalia, MO. SAGs (support stops with water, power aid and bananas...lots of bananas...) every 7-12 miles. This was my favorite part of the trail. It has a very gentle incline with some fun gentle downhills, a little climbing then a little fast! Very pretty, shady and cool.

We camped in Sedalia in a little park in the rain...light rain but humid and sticky. June reminded me how to play Gin Rummy and then promptly kicked my butt...reminded me a little of playing with the Bates's the scoring that confuses me, 5 points, 10 points, 15 points, whatever. The tent stayed dry but everything felt damp and musty. Not much sleep with the excitement of the first night and a train every few hours.

Day 2 we rode from Sedalia to Columbia. Our longest day and the toughest part of the ride for me. Mile 45 came in the middle of a long sunny stretch of rough gravel. I was struggling and it wasn't until after a cliff bar and some power aid did I realize I'd run my body out of fuel. I haven't bonked like that since my competitive rowing days.

June needed some work on her bike so we lunched in Rocheport at the Trailside Cafe and had the BEST hamburgers! The bike shop next door got June's bike working and we headed out to the spur into Columbia. A nice weekend trip from KC would be to drive to Columbia, ride the MKT spur to the KATY and the west to Rocheport, some wine a nice B&B and back the next day. Beautiful views of the river as we rode along the bluffs. June had her hardest afternoon riding up into Columbia. The loose gravel made the going slow on her bike with the wider tires.
We camped again on Tuesday after eating dinner in town at a nice brewery. Made some friends and they joined us for some rummy after the riders meeting...the girls soundly defeated them but boys cheat, you know...slept like logs even though we were on the ground.
Wednesday was probably the nicest day. Cool and overcast with little wind, perfect for the 57 mile ride to Mokane. We caught the hotel shuttle and slept in beds...and decided that we really weren't all that crazy about camping.
Thursday promised to be hot and sunny as we rode to Augusta. Fueled by some of the best french toast ever we headed out. Long stretches in the sun and a two hour wait for a hamburger when all three hundred of us stopped for lunch at one of the only food stops along the way made Thursday a very long day.
After showering in 3 minutes and 52 seconds (a bet made on the bus) we caught the shuttle back to the camp in time for dinner at the local church. The riders meeting was accompanied by wine and some great music and our friend Mike joined us after riding from St Charles.
Another great night in a hotel and we rode the last stretch. It didn't take nearly long enough. You'd think after 220+ miles we'd be glad to be off the bikes but we all were a bit sad as we rode into the St Charles depot. They bussed us back to Clinton and we were home Friday evening.
ANYONE can do this ride. There were 83 year old riders and one 6 year old. It's very well supported and very fun. We will ride again next year!
I'll have more pictures up on Monday, having some trouble with my card reader...don't forget to check back.


Mike said...

Lots of fun!! I'm already planning to do it again next year.

Anonymous said...

Okay.....I'm impatiently waiting for the last chapter of this story...and the fate of our feathered friend...

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