Today we reached the end of the line in Machens, Missouri. No more Katy Trail. We rode the Katy from Clinton to Machens with a few detours in between. We had some great trail; we had some really rough trail. We had shade; we had sun (maybe too much sun). We saw towns that are no more; towns that are dying; towns that have found a way to thrive. We met some great people along the trail; we did not meet any not so great people along the trail. We had the pleasure of riding with and dining with three great guests of Timberline and 2 leaders. Overall….a very good trip.
- Best city: St Charles. It was charming, a little touristy with a long downtown and the humans claimed amazing food.
- Most unexpected: Kansas City. The humans really enjoyed there day and the bike infrastructure and the trail along the river was top notch
- Least interesting trail section. Clinton to Sedalia. Flat farmland and really rough surface. But, start in Clinton so you really appreciate the rest of the trail.
- Best trail segment. Ooo…hard to say, but several sections had trail with the river to the right and tall, interesting limestone cliffs to the left. Shady. Cool. Wildlife. Awesome.
- Best Wine. Lost Creek Winery. Cycling friendly flight with one wine better than the other. Of course after climbing their 18% gradient driveway it darn well better have been good. I am a plodding Clydesdale, not a mountain goat.
- Best Beer. Schlafly Brewing in St Charles. The Chai Stout was off the charts.
- Tire size. I rode 35mm — the “light hiking shoe” of off road tires. We’re thinking of taking me down to some “trail runners” at 32mm for the next trip. We can get some comfy tires that will do well on road and light gravel and offer a little better protection against glass. Edwina’s “stiletto heel” tires at 25mm are not the choice for these trips, but her tires have better flat protection. Sigh….we want the best of both worlds.
- Worst Climb. Yes, even on a trip as flat as the Katy. The Katy may be flat but it follows the river which means building your town up on the bluff and out of the flood plain. In Alton the brick road from the river read 25%…no, I did not carry the humans and their panniers to the top, I demanded they push me up.
Tonight we sleep in Alton, Illinois and will catch the Amtrak tomorrow at 7:30 to begin the train ride home. A transfer in Union Station in Chicago to the Hiawatha and we’ll be back in Milwaukee before nightfall. I am promised a new chain, a thorough wash and an overhaul before the next stop…Penn Station, NYC.