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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Trail Safety

I'm planning to ride the trail from Clinton to St. Charles this summer and wanted an idea of how safe the trail is for a woman biking and camping solo.
Tips would also be great appreciated.
posted Jun 9 2009 10:11PM - mj

sorry--I meant to say "Tips would be greatly appreciated." ;-)
posted Jun 9 2009 10:13PM - mj

There will be long stretches were you will be riding alone.... If you are the adventurist type... go for it.. Otherwise I would recommend a biking partner.
posted Jun 10 2009 8:29AM - Anonymous

I'm male and have ridden sections of the trail alone and never felt unsafe. I might have felt different if I were female. I think as a rule the trail is safe. We've met solo women many times on the trail, so I think that its not out of character to travel alone. As you should everywhere.....be cautious and enjoy!
posted Jun 10 2009 8:50AM - Trek

I've had quite a few single female riders stay at my B&B and camping and all discuss having a very positive experience on the trail. Enjoy yourself.
posted Jun 10 2009 10:42AM - Doug, Bluffton

I did an end to end ride solo/female but stayed in B&Bs and motels along the way. I never felt threatened or unsafe as far as humans go. My only problem has been an occasional (very occasional, just 3 times in past 5 years) dog along the way. I carry spray with me just in case. Be aware of your surroundings including watching for occasional dogs or wildlife on the trail and you should be fine. I'm hoping to get a couple of overnight rides in this season where I do camp solo. Let us know how your ride goes! As far as tips....never pass up a chance to fill your water bottles even if you think you don't need to, you may not have cell phone reception in all areas, and don't try and do big miles everyday...make time to just enjoy the ride and scenery and relax on one of the many benches, especially along the river just to sit, watch and listen to the river roll by.
posted Jun 10 2009 12:22PM - MAH, Blue Springs, MO

I am female and did my first end-to-end solo trip two years ago. I wanted to camp, but since I had never ridden over 10 miles at one time prior to my trip, I decided to opt for B&B's to make my load lighter. I will pass along what I learned. First, pack light. I threw everything for the entire week in a small dry bag and bungeed it to my bike rack. Bring minimal snacks and restock as you ride through towns. Second, listen to your body. Actually, ignore your body and DRINK LOTS OF GATORADE (or electrolyte replacement drink of choice). Even when you don't feel thirsty, drink. My first two days were brutal because it was 104 degrees and I didn't drink enough. I took an unplanned layover in Boonville because I was afraid I was having a heat stroke. I started the next day with a new hydration plan that worked wonders for me. I filled my camelbak with a weak solution of gatorade and drank small sips CONSTANTLY until I reached St.Charles. That slow, steady intake of gatorade had me flying down the trail in 100+ degree weather with not a care in the world. Pack the powdered stuff and you can just dump it in your camelbak when you fill up with water. Third, be aware of your surroundings. I had one experience where the trail runs along hwy 94 where a motorist had some bizarre behaviors that concerned me. I had phone numbers for the sheriffs department of every county along the trail that I got somewhere on this website...I'd recommend any solo female to have them handy on the trail. I didn't have to use it, but it put my mind at ease just to have them. You will find that as you ride the trail, you will develop your own little community. The people you meet will keep an eye out for you...and they'll tell people THEY meet to do watch out for you as well. The Katy Trail has an absolutely amazing community of riders that will take you under their wing. If nothing else, you'll have a newfound faith in humanity by the end of your trip. Enjoy the ride!
posted Jun 10 2009 8:41PM - M, Glasgow, Mo

Thank you so much for all the wonderful tips. I was planning to pack light as if going on a backpacking trip and the above comments confirmed that this is the best way to go. Also, I feel more at ease about taking the trip solo. Perhaps I'll have the honor to meet a few of you out there.
MAH, I'd be happy to update you all on how I do.
posted Jun 13 2009 12:03AM - mj

Tags: Clinton, St Charles, Boonville, Benches, Lodging, Camping, Water, Weather, Animals and Plants, BikeKatyTrail.com, Running Modify Tags

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