katy trail missouri river

The Pedalshift Project 126: Katy Trail, Epilogue – Takeaways and Final Thoughts

The final part in a series of podcasts on my Katy Trail adventure! After sitting with it a few weeks since my return, I have thoughts on everything about the ride… the heat, the rain, the trail surface, and much more. Where does the Katy Trail stand up to other tour routes in the US? I have some thoughts on that!

Katy Trail Epilogue

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 126: Katy Trail, Epilogue – Takeaways and Final Thoughts (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio

Reach out to the show via email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

Pedalshift Live

Next Pedalshift Live is Tuesday July 10 at 8pm ET!

  • A new tour announcement
  • More on summer overnights I’ve taken 
  • Update on conditions on the C&O
  • More!

Tour Journals Volume 10: Katy Trail, Epilogue

This chapter covers day five of my Katy Trail adventure across Missouri. It started in Hermann, MO and continues to Augusta, MO. If you missed the other chapters, they’re at Pedalshift Projects 118, 119, 121 and 123124, and 125!

I’m a couple of weeks post-ride and that always helps gather my thoughts on what a tour was like… the lows fall into perspective and the highs tend to rise to the surface.
 
Amtrak was an excellent way to handle transportation… yes, it was slower, but it helped transition the beginning and end of the tour in a way that compliments the riding so well. I would definitely do it again.
 
The rides between the train stations and the trailheads were relatively easy, but the St. Louis County side was more “suburban assault” than the west side from Lees Summit to the Rock Island.
 
I don’t have anything to compare this to, but I think my route — thanks to listeners to prod me to adopt it — is the way to do the ride. It maximizes the  west to east ride and only lops off the ends of the Katy. I’ll definitely plan a return trip to finish off those ends though.
 
Heat: this ended up only being a big issue on the first day, but for anyone tackling the trail in the spring or summer, it has to be your first consideration. If you adapt well to hot rides, the Katy is fantastic. If you struggle in the heat, look to doing the ride in the fall. 
 
Heat: [share email from NM listener regarding low carb eating and heat]
 
Rain: Considering the forecasts pre-ride, the weather was substantially worse than expected. I had 2 days that were rain-free, and I was caught in two soakers, one that had me scramble for shelter. Over the years I’ve accumulated the right gear for wet riding, and it takes a load off my mind knowing I can trust that everything is staying dry in my bags, even if I’m soaked to the skin in the saddle. My experience is no rain gear keeps you fully dry, but it helps minimize exposure and lets you ride through most rain. Once you get to that median degree of wet, riding in the rain can be a bit of fun. I’m glad I don’t ride exclusively in dry weather… it would be too limiting. Embrace the rain.
 
Fenders: Fenders approach the level of necessity on non-paved trails for me. They keep muck off you and your bike, and when I see people riding without them in even a little rain, they always regret not having them, to a person. 
 
Hauling food: I love camping and I love cooking, but on tours through places with towns, I’m finding I eat “out” far more than I cook. At some point, I might embrace that and leave the stove and cook kits at home. That might move me to a more “bikepacking” setup. The gear always evolves!
 
Trail surface: I talked about this a lot in the journals… the Katy trail is soft in the rain, and behaves very similarly to the GAP (i.e. slow and frustrating in spots). But it excels at draining… better than any trail I’ve ever ridden on. Considering how much rain we got, I have nothing but good things to say about the trail. Excellently maintained by the state!
 
Missouri: I was pleasantly surprised how welcoming Missouri felt as an outsider. Great amenities, interesting history, beautiful wildlife (birds! turtles!) and super friendly, welcoming people.
 
Where does it rank? Can I offer up two versions on the US bike touring Triple Crown? Arguably the primary would be Pacific Coast, TransAm, and Northern Tier. How about a “2 weeks or less” Mini Triple Crown… Oregon-SF… GAP/CO… Katy Trail. Would love your thoughts!
 

Katy Trail Tour Journal Video Series

Pedalshift Society

Help support the show and join the Pedalshift Society with monthly or one-shot contributions!

Ethan Georgi
Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Josiah Matthews
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Seth Krieger
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Noah Schroer
Harry Telgadas
John Sikorski
Richard Killian
Chris Barron
Brian Hren
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Paul Mulvey
Stuart Buchan
Todd Stutz
Mr. T
Roxy Arning
Nathan Poulton
Harry Hugel
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Ruth DeVorsey
Michelle Miller
Matthew Lewis
Michael Baker
Billy Crafton
Paul Culbertson
Scott Culbertson
Matt Perry
Danielle Jepson
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Bobby Ruple
Roy Evritt
Greg Braithwaite
John Maier
William Cairns
Sandy Pizzio
Richard Patch
Mark Messer
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Dave Roll
Joseph Quinn
John Baxter 
Susan Brewster
And all anonymous and past contributors for helping make this show happen!

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Their latest album may be their best yet. Go get it.

Consulting

[ttfmp_woocomerce_product_grid section_id=”builder-section-productgrid_87″ columns=”4″ type=”all” taxonomy=”cat_consulting” sortby=”date” count=”4″ thumb=”1″ rating=”0″ price=”1″ addcart=”1″ paginate=”0″ arrows=”1″ dots=”1″ autoplay=”1″ delay=”6000″ transition=”scrollHorz” background-color=””]

Tour Journals

[ttfmp_woocomerce_product_grid section_id=”builder-section-productgrid_69″ columns=”4″ type=”all” taxonomy=”cat_tour-journals” sortby=”date” count=”4″ thumb=”1″ rating=”0″ price=”1″ addcart=”1″ paginate=”0″ arrows=”1″ dots=”1″ autoplay=”1″ delay=”6000″ transition=”scrollHorz” background-color=””]

Join Pedalshift Society

[ttfmp_woocomerce_product_grid section_id=”builder-section-productgrid_146″ columns=”4″ type=”all” taxonomy=”tag_pedalshift-society” sortby=”date” count=”4″ thumb=”1″ rating=”0″ price=”1″ addcart=”1″ paginate=”0″ arrows=”1″ dots=”1″ autoplay=”1″ delay=”6000″ transition=”scrollHorz” background-color=””]