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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
First Time Rider on Trail

I will be riding the Katy Trail for the first time, between Weldon Spring and Defiance. (the shortest route) What do I need to take with me? (water, I know) But how do you carry money safely? How long would it take me to go 6 miles round trip? I'm inexperienced. What is there to do on the trail. I want to make the most of it. I appreciate everyone's ideas.
posted May 21 2009 11:44AM - Tina, Lincoln County

There are many bike add-ons that hold things and can be found at sporting stores. They often just velcro and/or clip onto your bike. Otherwise a lot of running/biking shorts have zippered pockets for $$/credit card/cell phone. How long it will take to do 6 miles depends greatly on how experience you are, whether you are going for speed/exercise or for sightseeing, etc. Could take 1/2 hour to an hour? Maybe a little more if you stop for water breaks, etc.
posted May 21 2009 2:27PM - Wendy, Des Moines, IA

Some riders wear pocketed shorts over their bike ones since dress is more casual on the trial. You'll be surprised how well you'll do there.

Watch for birds on that stretch, esp red cardinals and fat indigo buntings. In Defiance, one can see old architecture, antique tractors, and a great bike shop. Also, two places to cool down or chow down there. Fun.
posted May 21 2009 8:31PM - jd, gkc

And some people don't wear bike shorts(ie. spandex) period, because they don't want to look like a fool.

As another poster stated, you can get a carrying case that has velcro straps to attach to your bike to carry money, tools, cell phones, etc.

Unless you are in really bad shape, 6 miles is nothing on a bike. However, it is probably wise not to get to far from your vehicle until you know what distances you are comfortable traveling.
posted May 21 2009 10:10PM - ss5, saint louis

The bike shop on the trail in Defiance will have everything you've forgotten. We stop in
every weekend just to say hi to the 2 cats and a dog that run the place (and to get ice
cream!) There is also a restaurant across the street that opens at 9 for breakfast and
stays open for lunch.

And to add to the animal count above, we saw 2 deer right on the trail and several blue
birds this morning. There are also several Historic Markers along this stretch and pretty
rock formations worth stopping for pictures.

There's also a rest stop in Matson with bathrooms.

posted May 22 2009 1:59PM - Anonymous

Thank you everyone for all the great ideas. I feel a lot more at ease about going. I'll be tickled to go just 6 miles for now. I'm looking forward to the ride. Thanks again.
posted May 22 2009 3:35PM - tina, lincoln county

Tina, I suggest that you start your ride in Defiance rather than Weldon Springs. The trail head [parking] is right off the highway and easier to find than Weldon Springs trailhead. I also have read that because the Weldon Springs trailhead is somewhat secluded, cars have been broken into there.
posted May 23 2009 10:18AM - Gary, O'Fallon

ss5, please don't be rude. Spandex is necessary to avoid chafing on longer rides, but
not necessary for beginners.

According to the bike shop in Defiance, the break-ins last fall were probably kids. I
haven't heard of any problems this spring. However, don't leave items in plain view--
that seems to be the cause.

There is a sign on 94 for Weldon Springs trailhead, and it's our favorite stretch from St.
Charles to Jeff City. However, if you miss it--you will end up in Defiance. Not an official
trailhead, but nice place to stop (restaurant, bike shop).
posted May 24 2009 7:41AM - cunninghamair, O''''Fallon, MO

If you just have to have spandex, you can get spandex underwear, you don't have to wear it on the outside.

I have been on many "long rides", never have wore spandex with no chafing, so your condescending comment about "beginning riders" certainly doesn't apply here.
posted May 24 2009 4:22PM - ss5, saint louis

I would imagine that most folks that wear bike shorts (spandex) do so because of the benefit the padding, etc. provides and don't really worry about the fashion police thinking that they look foolish. On the trail, road riding, etc. spandex bike shorts are of great benefit. I might think otherwise of seeing someone at Busch Stadium in their riding shorts....perhaps they would look foolish. But maybe not so much considering all the crotch scratchin, bubble gum juice spit'n, over paid kids on the field.
posted May 25 2009 11:11AM - Trek

Tina, you should wear whatever you're comfortable wearing and not worry about what other people think of your fashion sense. ;-) I rode several 30-40 mile days on the trail a couple weeks ago & wore loose shorts over my spandex the first couple days, but had some chafing so I shed the outer shorts for the last 2 days -- much more comfortable, although I admit it's not my favorite style, considering my skinny legs. ;-) If you're not used to long rides, it's best to pack multiple styles of shorts & switch if you get uncomfortable.
posted May 25 2009 12:07PM - Brian L., Wichita

Tina - As others suggested, I'd park in Defiance just to be on the safe side.

I always carry a pack around my waist with ID, $, cell phone, Mace, etc. Even for a short ride take either water or better yet a sports drink such as Gatorade.

Wear whatever's comfortable. If you build up to longer rides you'll see the need to wear spandex or biking shorts which have padding, especially on the Katy where you spend so much time on your saddle.

posted May 26 2009 12:09PM - Speedy

Hi Tina, Go and have fun. Wear whatever you want but don't wear jeans. Loose shorts, capris, or spandex bike shorts are all great options for a shorter ride. I prefer water over Gatorade - all your drinks will get warm and warm Gatorade is not tasty. You might like to try the ride from Defiance to Augusta sometime. About 7 miles and food to eat at both ends. Take a couple of snack bars and carry cash/card in a fanny pack or a bike bag. I always take my cell phone too, and wear a helmet!
posted May 26 2009 3:57PM - Debbie, Augusta

Tags: Jefferson City, Augusta, Defiance, Weldon Spring, Matson, Augusta Winery, Restaurants, Lodging, Water, Animals and Plants, Running Modify Tags

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