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Clinton to Hartsburg, March 17 & 18 2006
Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/19/2006 06:40 PM
I just returned from the trail on a ride from Clinton to Hartsburg. It was a good time but too cold and the wind was in our faces the whole time. Three of us rode from Clinton to Sedalia the first day. I was suprised at how good the trail was. It was cold and the wind was in our faces and it made it a hard ride. We stayed at the Hotel Bothwell as we always do. It is very nice. The next morning we left for Hartsburg. It had very hard, steep grades. The wind was in our faces and the trail was soft in a few long places. We had a waffle at the hotel before we left and expected to get something fruther down the trail. By the time that we got to Rocheport we were out of gatorade and needed something to eat. We were very weak. We were told that Abigail's was open and they had good deserts. She wouldn't serve us. She said that they don't serve anything from 2 to 4. There were still

several customers in her place when I went in. I told her we were hungry and very week, but she didn't seem to care. She had pieces of pie in her display case that she could have wrapped to go but they weren't offered. One of my friends went back in to ask if she would fill his water bottle. She did but he said that she acted like she didn't want to. We found some gatorade at the antuque store next door and left Rocheport. My friends and I are clean cut men with familys and we range from ages of 43 to 63. I will never understand why someone with a business in a tourist town that makes much of its income off cyclist would treat cyclist with such disregard. This was the only bad thing that happened on the ride and we decided not to let her ruin our trip. We will just spread the word about Abigail's. We spent that night in Hartsburg at the Globe Hotel. Jeanette was very nice and we had a good nights rest. The total of the day was 78 miles. It was too far for one cold day with the wind in your face. The next time I will try to split it up into 50 mile days.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 03/20/2006 09:53 AM
I'd mark that one up to experience Mike....and plan ahead better next time. It looks like you passed an opportunity to refuel with drink, etc. when you were in Booneville and then expected someone to take care of you later because you didn't plan well. Did you offer to buy the pie or just expect her to read your mind? Come on now....how about some personal responsibility here!

I'm not defending the worker at Abigails...she may have been rude. But she has the right to run her business with the hours that she sets and I doubt that she can read your mind when you want pie. More times than not....Ask and you shall recieve.....Don't ask and you get to blame someone else and complain later.

I imagine there is a lot of money that comes to Rocheport from cyclist like you and I. I would also guess that there is alot of money that comes to town from those who have never been on a bike. I've spent money in Rocheport as a cyclist. I've also spent money there as the parent of a college student at Central Methodist up the road. Ex MU basketball coach Quin Synder had been known to eat at the Trailside Cafe...probably because Rocheport is a quiet getaway and a short drive. I don't imagine he rode his bike from Columbia in his dress clothes. Go to the Bistro on the hill and see how many patrons are wearing bike garb.....not many. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy the idea that Rocheport needs to cater to me as a cyclist as if I provide "much of" their "income."

It sounds like the bad thing was your lack of planning for an off-season ride.....not the hours or service at Abigails.

Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/20/2006 11:03 AM
I asked for anything to eat. That meant anything. This is my 4th time to ride the trail. It was planned but I didn't plan on not being served. As I said, I explained to her that we were hungry and weak. She apparently didn't care. There wasn't any mind reading necessary.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 03/20/2006 11:20 AM
Their hours are posted on this site as:

Hours: Lunch W-Sun 11-2, dinner W-Sat starting at 5:00

Reservations required for dinner

Part of the trip plan should be survival (Plan B)and/or arrival during open hours. It appears you planned on someone serving you outside of their hours. Thats a planning problem.

Off-season....peak season (when things may be booked or sold out) plan ahead.....have a contingency plan. It's not always someone elses fault.

Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/20/2006 05:30 PM
I never knew that I had to do micro-research into every business along the trail. I was raised that you don't let people starve. If you have to bend the rules to help someone you do it. I respect their business hours but you help people in need. It is apparent that you are friends or family with these people. I only know about mine and my friends experience with them on the 18th of March. Enough said. This was my 4th ride on the trail since 2001 and they have all been good experiences except this one. Enough said. You can have the last word.

Best to you.

savage24 from KC,MO on 03/20/2006 06:37 PM
Mike, I'm sorry you had an unpleasant experience in Rocheport. I agree with the point that Trek Biker made that businesses have the right to set their hours, but it sounds like the person at Abigails could have handled it a little better by suggesting some alternatives for you and your freinds. I highly reccommend Les Bourgeois Wineries bistro; it is worth the climb up the hill, and I've eaten lunch there several times while riding the trail. It is shame someone in Rocheport did not direct you to it.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 03/20/2006 07:07 PM
I am not related to anyone in Rocheport or friends of Abigail folks. I just fail to see that poor planning on my part or yours needs to be blamed on someone else.

We are all human and we make errors in judgement that causes ourselves folly. When I do....I own it instead of blaming someone else that I don't know.

Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/20/2006 09:11 PM
Thanks savage 24. I will be going through Rocheport within the next month. I will take your advice. Sounds like a good place. I will pass the word. Thanks again.

Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/20/2006 09:27 PM
You are right Trek Biker. We shouldn't have come to their door expeciting something to eat or drink. Even though we had hit our sugar low. I am sure that at Christmas when you see homeless you blame it on them. I will plan our trip better next time. I just never realized that there were people in Missouri that would turn people away. I will pray for you.

savage24 from KC,MO on 03/20/2006 10:07 PM
Mike, Just don't go to Rocheport on a Monday, as many businesses are closed (including the bistro). If you are going to be on a bicycle there are two ways to get to the bistro: There is a private trail from the Katy that leads up to the bistro that has lots of switchbacks and is too steep to ride - there is a bike rack at bottom at the Katy trail where you can lock up your bike. I prefer to ride the main road south out of town up the hill to the bistro - it is very steep at first and some people will walk there bikes but once you get around the first curve it levels off a bit and is not so bad.

Ray (webmaster) on 03/20/2006 10:14 PM
You've all made some valid points, but I'm afraid this is about to degenerate into a flame war (some might say it already has), so I am going to close this topic. If you have something that really needs to be added to this discussion, please send to me directly.

This serves as a warning to trail riders that it's a good idea to be over-prepared, especially this time of year when many businesses are still closed for the season or operating on limited hours. You can't always count on a particular business being there for you, unless you have called them ahead of time and gotten their assurance that they will be open at a certain time. Some have even been known to close early if business is slow. Again, this is less of a problem in May-October.

And hopefully this discussion also sends a message to any business owners about the impact of one small act of customer service - an opportunity to either earn a customer's loyalty and have them tell the world how great you are, or to earn their scorn and have them tell the world how bad you are.

Sorry to hear about this low point of your ride Mike, but hopefully the rest of your trip made up for it.

This thread is closed to any new comments

KatyTrail Hiking
lazy eddie from springfield mo on 03/20/2006 08:43 PM
I am interested in pulling a Forrest Gump and fast hiking the Katy trail. I have some experience doing ultralight hiking and I am looking for advise from anyone who has done this,or advise from anyone who thinks I have lost my mind? Do you know any one who has done this, what is the fastest it has been done etc...

Places to Camp in Clinton?
Crizlow from Conway, AR on 03/20/2006 11:19 AM
Has anyone found a place to camp near Clinton? I have a group of 4 riders that are starting in Clinton, and plan to camp the whole way.


sbikes from KCMO on 03/20/2006 05:33 PM
The City of Clinton has a lovely community center, just across the street (more or less) from

the trail head. Call them and ask if you can camp on their grounds. I was able to do that a

few years ago, then you have access to public bathrooms and showers. It worked out well. I

don't have the numbers any more, but I am sure if you searched on City of Clinton you could

get the number from City Hall. Finding places along to the trail to camp can be challenging,

but doable...I did it. Have a great time!

St Louis to the trail
Karl from Kansas City on 11/17/2005 12:49 PM
Much of the discussion on getting to the Katy in St louis mentions going from Kirkwood. I think it is 20+ miles. What about taking amtrak to the union station and then taking the metro train to the airport? All of the amtrak schedules I see arrive late in St Louis. I would rather have a short drive on the night I arrive (Stay at a local motel near the airport) and hit the trail early with a short bike. Comments?

Jason from St. Louis on 11/21/2005 06:37 PM
The metrolink trains only run a generally east-west route that ends at the airport, so you would probably have to take the bus. I have not ridden the busses here - I understand some/several of them have bike racks. It is about 20 miles from Kirkwood to St. Charles - you are best to find a cab that can take a bike, a shuttle service or a buddy.

Mike from o'fallon on 11/22/2005 06:04 PM
Metrolink DOES run from Union Station to the Airport, but I don't know an Airport-to-Katy route.

Jason from St. Louis on 11/22/2005 08:42 PM
Sorry, read Kirkwood, not union station :(

Jason from St. Louis on 11/22/2005 08:48 PM
Again, apologies Karl. It may have taken 4 days for someone to answer, but at least it only took 24 hours for someone to prove me wrong. Hopefully your question is answered ;)

Matthew from Kansas City, MO on 03/20/2006 04:38 PM
I planned on doing that. I mapped out this route:


I ran it by some friends but did not ride it. We'll be going from Kirkwood after all, thanks to Amtrak's trailer policy.

Kirkwood Amtrak Station to Trail
Roland from Denver on 05/01/2004 02:05 AM
I'm interested in getting dropped off at the Kirkwood Amtrak station for a one-way trip west, and I was wondering about the best way to get from there to the trail. Is it a safe ride or is getting a shuttle the way to go?

Ray (webmaster) on 05/01/2004 11:46 AM
I put together a page discussing this issue - click here for details. I'd love to get feedback from anyone who has ridden from Kirkwood (St Louis County) to the Katy Trail.

Paul on 09/13/2004 12:51 PM
I did the opposite in August 2004. That is, I rode from the KATY trail to the Amtrak station in Kirkwood. From the Page Bridge and Creve Coeur Park Connector Trail, I took the following roads:

SE on Marine Ave.

Straight on Westport Plaza Dr.

Straight on Craig Rd.

Left on Olive Blvd.

Right on Mosley Rd.

Left on Ladue Rd.

Right on Spoede Rd.

Right on Clayton Rd.

Left on Geyer Rd.

Left on Argonne Rd.

Except for the long, steep hill on Marine Ave., this turned out to be a pleasant, fairly quiet ride. In addition to the hill, Marine was pretty narrow, twisty, and busy. Much to my surprise, no one honked at us and most vehicles passed in a courteous fashion. However, I would only recommend this route to very experienced riders.

sharron sussman from Julian, California on 11/15/2005 10:51 PM
I'm planning to ride the Katy in early May & want to take Amtrak from LA to (near) one end of the trail and back to LA from (near) the other end. Haven't got any decent maps yet, not sure which Amtrak stations would work best for this approach. I'd rather ride 20-30 miles on bikeable roads than wait around for a local connector train. I'm bringing along a Bike Friday NWT folder w/suitcase trailer & don't want the hassles of sending my bike-in-a-suitcase through airport security, or I would consider flying (but where?)

Any suggestions gratefully accepted & considered. Thanx, Sharron Sussman, Julian, CA, sharronsuss@earthlink.net

ET from Columbia on 11/16/2005 04:08 PM
My thought would be to do Sedalia for the west end and Kirkwood (see above) for the east end. You would end up missing out on the Clinton to Sedalia section, which is probably the least scenic part of the trail anyway (I like it, too, but it's a more agricultural/prairie area). The Hotel Bothwell is a reasonably priced old restored hotel that is an easy ride from both the Amtrak station and the trail, if timing works out such that you need to stay in Sedalia one night. There is a good Italian restaurant in the hotel, but it is closed Sunday nights.

RhonaLococo (Lococo House ll,Bed & Breakfast) from St. Charles Mo. on 12/20/2005 12:08 PM
Lococo House ll, Bed & Breakfast is three blocks from the St. Charles Trail Head ----- we provide shuttle service to Amtrak Station in Kirkwood ------ you can leave your car here ride the train, to the chosen desination of your choice and then ride back to your car ----or you can ride train from your destination to St Charles and then we will shuttle you to train station and you can ride back to your vehicle ----- or we can pick you up at the Airport ---- the choices are yours --- we only require you stay with us one night ---- either coming or going ----- and a small shuttle fee, we have a quaint Old Town St. Charles, which will provide you with entertainment and many restaurants to choose from ---- give us a call or look us up at www.lococohouse.com

Matthew from Kansas City, MO on 03/20/2006 04:25 PM
I've mapped out the second route in gmaps. Is this the shortest one of the options? I assume that avoiding the traffic has recreational cyclists in mind. I commute by bicycle, so a bit of traffic doesn't bother me. I need to get off the train around 3 and get about 40 miles of trail down before dark, so I'm hoping to get there as fast as possible with a reasonably safe route in mind. The route to Creve Coure is 16 miles.

Clifton City
Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/19/2006 06:50 PM
My friends and I stopped in Clifton City the 18th of March and the honor system refigerator isn't stocked yet. You can go up the hill to a metal building on the left and there is a door on the side. It doesn't look like a business but it is a garage and they have drinks.

JY from GLEN CARBON on 03/17/2006 01:09 PM
We will be taking the train to Sedalia, but want to start riding from Clinton. Does anyone know of ways to get to Clinton without having to ride to Clinton and then double back to Sedalia? Thanks

frank from festus on 03/19/2006 03:38 PM
j y, check on some shuttle services. check this web site. it has pret near eveything you need. happy bikin and be safe. frank

Disabled beginner with lots of questions
antlerz from small town missouri on 02/01/2006 09:47 AM
Hi All,

My wife and I are new to the Katy and I myself am disabled and will use a elcetric assisted bike, It is a Huffy Luna comfort bike ( you can stop laughing now) Are helmets required? Will that bike be good enough for a 10 mile round trip.? It is for exercise and to get outdoors so I am not a bike fanatic by no means and have not ridden a bike in years but to follow doc's orders ride a bike.. any helpful thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated. Who knows maybe it will be a miracle cure for me..thanks

Antlerz around Portland MO.

Ray (webmaster) on 02/01/2006 11:17 AM
I've heard many people say that cycling helped them overcome or better cope with illnesses or disabilities - I hope this will be your experience too! The Katy Trail is very handicap-accessible.

Helmets are not required, but they are highly recommended if you consider your brain worth protecting. True, there are no cars to worry about, but in theory you could end up butting heads with a tree if you accidentally waver off the trail, or a cyclist coming from the other direction who's not paying attention.

Just about any bike will get you 10 miles, but you might want to start with a very short trip just to make sure all the moving parts are working as expected and won't leave you stranded at the 5-mile turnaround point. And to gauge your own comfort on the bike, to make sure you're up for those first 10 miles.

One useful approach is to go 2.5 miles in one direction, turn around and go a full 5 miles (2.5 past the trailhead where you started), and then back to the trailhead. That way you get in a full 10 miles without ever being more than 2.5 miles from your car.

I'd also highly recommend you carry a spare inner tube. If you don't know how to change a flat tire, bring a wheel into your local bike shop and ask if they'll show you. It's easy to do, and good to know - especially if your disability would prevent you from walking back to the car in the event of a flat.

Good luck, and enjoy the freedom that cycling will bring you.

The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 02/01/2006 12:55 PM
....AND Antlerz...remember that regardless what bicycle you're on, you are on a bicycle. There are plenty of elitists out there and don't let them bother you...you are doing the right thing both for your health as well as fitness and enjoyment. You may wish to do a search on your computer and look up "recumbent bicycle, and/or tricycle" and you may see something that piques your interest. Everything else....what Ray (Webmaster) said... Kindest Regards...Mark of the Dalton Boys

antlerz from small town missouri on 02/02/2006 07:29 AM
Thanks for the replies, I am sure we will both learn to love riding a bike again. Getting outdoors is what it is all about and having fun. Hope to see all of you someday on the trail..


bryan from Springdale, AR on 02/05/2006 07:46 PM

First of all, let me applaud your efforts. Biking is a wonderful, low impact exercise (provided you don't hit a tree!) & will bring you many hours of pleasure. 4 years ago, my wife & I were both getting very overwieght, my BP was up,etc. I'm 6-0, almost 50 years old, & got to 265. In any case, just on a lark, we bought a tandem from walmart for just under $300. I can tell you, it's the best money we ever spent. We started riding mostly just to have something to do. We live out in the country, & its exactly a mile to our mailbox. It took us 4 tries to make it round trip. But we kept trying, & even got a couple of singles to ride when one of us couldn't go. Since then,between the singles & the tandem, I've lost 50 pounds & my wife even more. 2 years ago we upgraded to better bikes. She rides a Fuji Odessa & I a Utah. The Odessa cost less than $250 & the Utah was slightly more. We've put over 1500 miles on them without any repairs.

You might look at one of these as an upgrade someday (ain't nuthin wrong with your huffy if it does what you want it to do). I mention it only because they have better wheels & such & will handle life's little accidents better. I wadded up the front wheel of a cheap bike once jumping down off a 6 in. curb.The Fuji never has any trouble with that spot & has survived 1 truly spectacular crash with no damage.

We both wear helmets, fingerless gloves, (if you fall,it will save your palms),& carry a small tool kit, a spare tube, & plenty of water, a snack (granola bar, etc) & a cell phone for emergencies.

happy trails!


The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 02/07/2006 11:15 AM
Bryan & Spouse - My heartfelt compliments to you both!!!! You both are what cycling should be all about....its not what you ride so much as you ride. Remember...when in doubt, ride your bike, or tandem, or recumbent etc. Enjoy the Voyage.....Mark of the DaltonBoys

antlerz from small town missouri on 02/08/2006 07:16 AM

Thanks for your inspiration, I hope to achieve what you and others have done.

I have found this site very encouraging and looking for some warmer weather.

My electric assist should be here any day now can't wait to give it a spin.

thanks to everyone.


Bryan from Springdale, AR on 02/10/2006 05:25 PM
Mark and Antlerz, thanks for the kind words. Hope you enjoy many years of riding. I guess I should have introduced her, my wife's name is Carolanne, by the way. As of yesterday, we have offically booked our first two nights for our spring break ride. We are going to start in Hermann and ride west. Kids are going to drop us off one weekend and pick us up the next weekend at where ever we get to.

Happy trails.

The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 02/14/2006 11:07 AM
After the trip write in and let us know how it went. Regards.....Mark of the Dalton Boys

bryan from Springdale, AR on 02/28/2006 08:54 PM
Only 2 more weeks to go till the big ride.

Antlerz....is your bike working out ok? Have you been able to get out and ride much? The weather here has kept us indoors more than I like, but oh well...I don't ride in ice and snow!

Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 03/01/2006 07:20 AM
Bryan - when my brothers and I were two weeks out from our KATY ride it may just as well have been two weeks before Christmas!! I'm happy for you and jealous. Regards........Mark of the Dalton Boys

bryan from Springdale, AR on 03/18/2006 12:12 AM
Well, finally, the big day is here. We leave in the morning, bound for Hermann. Yeah, I know the forecast ain't so good, but oh well. Instead of shorts and tanks, we've packed sweats, windsuits and thermal underwear.

WOO-HOO!! I'll report in when we get back.


West to East
Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/16/2006 06:56 PM
Five of us will be on the trail this weekend. We will start at Clinton about 1:PM, Friday March 17. Spend the first night at the Hotel Bothwell in Sedalia. The next night at the Globe Hotel in Hartsburg and the last in Marthasville at the little house. It is going to be COLD. Hope to see someone else out.

savage24 from KC,MO on 03/17/2006 04:22 AM
I don't imagine it will be crowded. :)

advice on tires
frank from festus, mo on 03/10/2006 07:39 PM
after reading this forum for quite some time now, there are obviously some serious bikers out there, so i am askin for help. i have a raleigh bike with 1"-1 1/2" wide knobby tires. have rode the katy numerous times as well as some other tails. not into mountain biking at all. no problem with flats. have been told by some pretty seious bikers that i need narrower tires for ridin, it would make pedaling much easier. i question the narrow tires on the katy's surface. was told it wouldn't matter.

any advice from anyone out there!!!!!!!! i needs some advice on this!!!!!! thanx loads in advance.

you can hit me here or at my e-mail. cleo-beo@earthlink.net thanx folks and happy bikin. frank

savage24 from KC,MO on 03/11/2006 09:37 PM
Hi Frank,

I'm not sure if I qualify as a serious cyclist (I wear a $5 reflective safety vest instead of $75 cycling jerseys when I ride on the road). I think you are wise to question the narrow tires for the Katy. If the primary purpose of the bike is casual riding on trails and around town, I would buy tires with a smoother tread, but I would not go narrower than 1.25".

MLH from Overland Park KS on 03/12/2006 08:54 AM
I definitely don't qualify as a professional on the subject but based on several combinations that I have tried and observing what others are using on the trail, it seems that 700 X 32-37mm tires offer the best combination of relative puncture resistance, low rolling resistance and comfort. Most road bikes don't have clearance for tires over 28mm, which is problematic if the trail is wet and/or soft or if you are carrying extra weight such as bags etc. Thus the bike choice would be a touring, cyclocross, and most hybrids. I have emailed you an article regarding specific tire choices.

Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/12/2006 05:55 PM
I am going to ride the trail from Clinton to St. Charles this coming weekend. The 17th - 20th. This will be my 4th time to ride on the trail. On my mountain bike I used a continental Goliath 26x1.6. This tire is slick on the bottom with small knobs on the side. Now I am riding using a continental contact 32mm. It is wide enough so that it won's sink so bad in soft spots but still small enough so it won't have so much drag. It is also supposed to be practically flat resistant. One of my friends is using a 35mm tire. It is very practical too.

Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 03/14/2006 08:16 AM
Frank - What the last three respondents said...can't add to, or take away from any of their observations. enjoy the voyage....Mark of the Dalton Boys

sbikes from KCMO on 03/16/2006 06:18 PM
I have ridden the trail a lot for many years and love it. I rode with knobby tires my first

year on the trail and my personal opinion is that knobby tires are just overkill for the trial.

I ride a Trek mountain bike with Kevlar messenger bike tires, Panaracer brand, 1.25 inches

with smooth tread and never had a problem. But, I am a roadie at heart and ride for

speed. I love riding the trail because I can zoom along without worry about cars and

rudeness. The trail between Clinton and Booneville is larger rocks, rougher surface and I

have had no problems. Between Marthasville and St. Charles most of the trail is hard

packed and last time I was there saw lots of road bikes. I would never take my road bike

out on most of the trail.

Regardless, the trail is great...have fun!

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