Katy Trail Home | Mileage Chart | Towns and Services | Trip Planner | Comment Forum | Events | Shirts/Merchandise | Maps

Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
First to ride both RIT and Katy?

I just completed an end-to-end-to-end ride of the Rock Island and Katy Trails. I started in Pleasant Hill, rode to Windsor, to Clinton, and then to Machens. Five days and ~300 miles. Just wondering if that had been done before in one ride?
posted Jul 5 2017 9:26AM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

I know some people who came close last month. They did the Missouri DNR Katy Trail ride but started in Pleasant Hill instead of Clinton. Also I don't think that they went to Machens. You may be the first!
posted Jul 5 2017 5:25PM - Jerry Whittle, Belleville

BB you appear to be the first. Next instruction is to post any evidence or if not done, take a nice selfie or short video preferably with the same gear worn at each terminus. Then send a link of all to us, your favorite cycling fans, on the forum. Congrats and pat yourself on the back.
posted Jul 6 2017 7:23PM - Anonymous

Thanks, I do have proof. I used MapMyRide to record each segment in order to (hopefully) get Ray more precise elevation measurements for the website, especially at the Western end. Even doing elevations in 1/4-mile increments means keying in about 1,000 data points, so it will be a while. :)

I also did something that I would highly recommend to all long-ride adventurers -- I downloaded and ran "RealTime GPS Tracker 2" on my phone. It allowed my extended family to see in real time on a map where I was, my speed, etc. It worked well enough that a couple of them surprised me and met me at trailheads.
posted Jul 6 2017 9:30PM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

Congratulations on your ride. I’m doing the exact same thing starting on 7/21. Also, thanks for the info on ‘RealTime GPS..’
posted Jul 7 2017 7:25AM - Champ, St. Charles

Congrats!!! Any other tips you can give on the ride? Got the GPS Tracker 2.
posted Jul 7 2017 7:44AM - DT, STL

Are the elevation changes so dramatic and frequent that 1,000 data points are needed to depict the changes on the trail? Seems a bit overkill for an old rail bed.
posted Jul 7 2017 8:12AM - Anonymous

Other tips (as I mention in another post) -- take lots of water for the Rock Island section. There is no water at any of the trailheads (or you can plan to stop at the store in Chilhowee). Because of the "newness" of the Rock Island, expect to go a couple MPH slower. The Katy felt like smooth asphalt after riding the Rock Island.

Also, consider taking a USB charger for your phone. When you lose cell signal, your phone burns a lot of battery searching for a new tower. You don't want to be caught running out, and all the carriers have gaps somewhere along the way. Verizon is weak around Windsor, and seems to have reduced coverage from McKittrick to Dutzow (which was not an issue a couple years ago).

@Anonymous, don't worry, I will convert them to simple graphs! :)
posted Jul 7 2017 5:16PM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

I'm not worried BB. Just didn't realize that the trail had so many dramatic elevation changes that would require 1,000 data points. I figured there were few elevation changes beings it was an old rail bed and those that were there were minimal. No worries.
posted Jul 8 2017 11:59AM - Anonymous

Hey BB!!

I plan on riding the Rock Island in a couple weeks. Starting in Collinsville, riding to Amtrak downtown Stl, then on to Lee's Summit and riding to Pleasant Hill. How doable is the ride from Pleasant Hill to Windsor in a day? I average 30 - 40/day on paved trails and roads, but I want to make it to facilities before the end of the day. Lee's Summit adds about another 15 miles or so, I understand, so I'm looking at maybe 50+ to Windsor? A rough trail can make 50 seem like 75. Great job on your accomplishment, BTW!!!
posted Jul 10 2017 12:25PM - Awol Comp, Collinsville

Adding 15 miles for Lee's Summit would bring you to ~62 miles to Windsor. I did the whole Rock Island in a day, but started in Pleasant Hill. I like to start early in the summer (5:30am), but we had thunderstorms until 7:00am on the day of the ride, so I did not start out until 8:30. Rolled into Windsor around 4pm, despite adverse trails conditions (see other post). The most difficult part of your ride would probably be Lee's Summit to Pleasant Hill, not the trail itself.
posted Jul 10 2017 2:31PM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL


Thanks for the insight. Interesting post about the RI. Will take it all under advisement. Amtrak won't get me to Lee's Summit until after 2, so I might be looking at staying in Lee's Summit for the night and tackling RI in the morning, unless I can find a place to hang a hammock between the RI and Katy.
posted Jul 11 2017 5:32PM - Awol Comp, Collinsville

Tags: Windsor, Clinton, Machens, Pleasant Hill, Rock Island Trail Modify Tags

Home | Katy Trail Mileage Chart | Towns / Services | Trip Planner | Forum | Events | Katy Trail Maps | Merchandise | Advertise | Contact Us

Follow trailhub on Twitter
By using this website, you agree to the Terms and Conditions.
This information may not be copied or reproduced in any way.
© Copyright 2018 BikeKatyTrail.com. All rights reserved. BikeKatyTrail is a registered trademark.