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End to End and Back in 5 day

I'm curious how realistic is it to do end to end and back in 5 days, I'm wanting to use the Labor Day weekend to jump on the road bike at Black Walnut and ride to Clinton and then ride back all in five days, planning on staying in hotels, so I can pack lightly. Any suggestions or comments that would help me out, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
posted Jul 31 2012 7:49PM - Lucas Seals, Pevely, MO

Hey Lucas,
From where you live I'm guessing you will start in St. Charles (or St. Louis?). The trail is a pretty fast ride on a skinny tire but it is 240+miles. I rode from Clinton to St. Charles (on a fat tire) in 2.5 but didn't ride back. 86mi from Clinton to Rocheport (where I pitched a tent), 101 mi to Marthasville (where I pitched a tent) and the remaining to St. Charles (where I pitched a tent). It's doable but much of it depends on the heat. Make sure you plan your stay and check for water. Rangers don't like campers. 100 mi day fully loaded in high heat is hard, but doable. I was on the Katy this past weekend. Temps to 103 made it tough. Good luck!
posted Jul 31 2012 9:11PM - Jharte, Raytown

A round trip is very realistic if you are a strong rider. But realize that 100 miles on the Katy is not 100 miles on the road, and you'll be doing 5 in a row.

Could I do it? Sure. Would I do it? Probably not. I'd opt for slowing down, enjoying the ride, seeing the sights, and then take the train at least part of the way home. I'd suggest you consider the same and don't rush your Katy experience.
posted Jul 31 2012 10:50PM - ArkyKenny, Farmington, AR

I agree it is very doable. Agree with the comment that 100 on the trail is considerably harder than 100 on the roads. The KATY is about 2-3 mph slower for me than the roads.

Did the one-way version of this the end of June. Clinton to Boonville. Boonville to Rhineland. Rhineland to St. Charles. Used the Comfort Inn in Boonville (as other options closer to the trail were full or too expensive), Dollhouse B&B in Rhineland and Lococo House in St. Charles...returned to KC the next day via Amtrak.

I carried a small handlebar bag, and a pretty small, rear "trunk" pack that set on top of a rear rack that quick released on my seatpost. Worked great. Half the rear bag was taken up by tennis shoes for the evening as I wanted to wear cleated cycling shoes.

Rode a single speed bike and ran 28mm hard case tires with extra flat protection. No flats. No problems. Great trip. Can't wait to do it again.

When I do it again, I will use the 4th day to ride back to Hermann to catch Amtrack in the afternoon. Will be easier than getting to the train in St. Louis.

Good luck with your trip. Sounds like a blast!
posted Jul 31 2012 11:44PM - Anonymous

In June we rode 227 miles of it in one day from Clinton to St. Charles. It should be doable in 5 depending on fitness. If you have the entire day to ride and check out some of the sites then no problem.
posted Aug 10 2012 10:30PM - Anonymous

The "one day boys" (mentioned above) passed me between Hartsburg and Rhineland on their way to a one-day crossing. They were working together and hard at it.
posted Aug 10 2012 11:11PM - Anonymous

I still have openings at my self serve B&b in McKittrick (Joey's Birdhouse mile marker 100.8) on Labor Day weekend. A lot of guests ride from St. Charles in a day and to Hartsburg the next day. I can provide supper and leave you enough snacks for the day.
posted Aug 13 2012 8:21AM - Joey Los, McKittrick, Mo

The one way boys, how many people, when did you leave in the morning and get to the end and average speeds and stopping time?
posted Aug 15 2012 8:13PM - DSD

We had 5 people total with everyone completing the ride. We left Clinton at 5am. Top rider came in right at 15 hours. I was 3 minutes behind him with 15:03. Ride time was 13:19 for me. All the stats are here from my Garmin:


Distance: 226.79 mi
Time: 13:19:28
Avg Speed: 17.0 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,365 ft
Calories: 12,688 C
Avg Temperature: 81.0 °F

Time: 13:19:28
Moving Time: 13:18:18
Elapsed Time: 15:03:24
Avg Speed: 17.0 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 17.0 mph
Max Speed: 23.9 mph
posted Aug 16 2012 1:40PM - Dr.Dover, Kansas City, MO

Awesome. Thanks for the update and the data. I know others want to "smell the roses" but I think the KATY is "big enough" for all kinds of riders. Congratulations.
posted Aug 16 2012 4:14PM - El Toro

Dr. Dover, very cool, thanks for posting. What kind of bike were you on? What was your previous long ride prior to this one? Thanks...
posted Aug 16 2012 8:59PM - Haank, New Haven, MO

Definitely not the way to "see" the Katy Trail, but a great adventure none the less. We were on cross bikes. Cannondale SuperX and ran 35c slicks at 85 psi. Smooth ride but fast on that surface.

Prior ride 3 weeks earlier was the Dirty Kanza 200. 25 miles shorter, but the ride time was nearly the same. Flint Hills gravel and B roads beat you up unlike the Katy that was smooth and fast.

Data for that race: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/185375118

The Katy was a fun test of endurance. I want to go back with my wife and the tandem to smell the roses in a few places and ride the train back to KC.
posted Aug 16 2012 9:20PM - Dr.Dover, Kansas City, MO

Did you paceline it the whole way, or just ride together? 17 mph avg for that long on the Katy is impressive to me. Nice! I've done 150 in a day just for fun, but that was all I wanted solo. I can't imagine doing what you did.

No stops at all? Food? Did you eat and drink on the run the whole way?
posted Aug 17 2012 10:56AM - ArkyKenny

Dover, your Dirty Kanza race is really impressive. 15 mph average, wow. A friend of my wife's did it this year and her blog post sounds like agony. I am not a long distance rider (yet) but have ambition to get there. Longest one-day ride is 78 miles on the Katy. I am a bit surprised you rode 35s on the Katy, I might have expected 32s or even 28s.
posted Aug 18 2012 8:32AM - Haank, New Haven, MO

We had a support vehicle every 30 or so miles. 7 minute stops planned, but we ended up making up a lot of time over what was scheduled so we enjoyed a longer lunch break than planned. We actually got to a point that our lead group was outpacing the second group so we were pinching the support driver just to keep up with all 5 of us.

Each rider had their favorite endurance fuel setup in the van. I kept a feed bag on the bars and snacked the entire ride with nuts, corn nuts, raisins and beef jerky We took time to weigh ourselves each stop to keep track of hydration. Pretty interesting to see body weight changes along the way. Good way to make sure everyone is going to survive too.

The lead group was three. We worked together in a paceline until about mile 165. Then bodies and minds started breaking down and it was each man for himself.

Going back over it on this forum has me thinking that we may need to shoot for the record on the Katy next year. We weren't too far off from what I can tell. Take out some stops,keep the pace a little higher and I think we might be able to pull it off. I guess there is no real official end point other than at Machens. Most record data I have seen shows riders ending up in St. Charles someplace. Hmmmmm......
posted Aug 20 2012 9:44PM - Dr.Dover, Kansas City

Dr. Dover,

Great report! Do you have a blog on this? Pictures?

The big tires make perfect sense to me. I ride a rigid steel touring bike with kevlar semi-slick 37's with 80lb of pressure. It allows me to roll over, not plow through the trail.

Sounds to me like an annual gravel grinder/ Dirty Kanza type Katy ride is brewing??????? Hey all you outfitter organizer types out there: Did you get that?? Maybe call it "The Katy Daytripper". Anyone else on board?
posted Aug 21 2012 8:46AM - ArkyKenny

To ride the entire length in one day is impressive. I've riden many sections of the trail at different times with a Hybrid and 35's. To keep my bike at an avg of 14 with the chat trail is quite a challenge. The loose chat in the center will slow you drastically, as will the cracks that are in the western section. In July I did one 65 mile stretch with a friend, East of Jeff City near Rhineland and we had 5 flats between us. Seems odd that five of you were able to do the ride with no flats. Did you have special tires that don't go flat?
posted Oct 1 2012 2:23PM - Kuhlieken, St Louis

Like the comments above... it depends on what you want to do. We are in the middle of riding the whole thing. Wanted to get from Clinton to Boonville in one day and could have done it in 13-14 hours, but chose to stop and look at the sights. You could easily average 60-70 and still look at sights if you ride all day.
posted Oct 1 2012 6:36PM - denise, wallace

Tags: Clinton, Black Walnut, Lodging, Route Suggestions, Bikes and gear Modify Tags

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