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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Paving the Katy Trail

The Katy Trail should be paved. At least from Augusta to Main Street. Why is it not? Will it ever be? It is unsafe for road bikes to ride on and many cyclists, including myself, will not ride on the Katy for this reason. Let's pave the Katy Trail!
posted Aug 20 2017 6:20PM - Mark G, St. Charles

A couple of years ago, I calculated the cost of asphalting the whole trail at about $20 million. I think that's 10 times more than was donated by the Jones family to develop and gravel the trail originally. While it would be a nice ride, the maintenance costs would skyrocket.

And paving from Augusta to St. Charles would meet with objections from the many, many runners in that section. Most of them prefer the softer surface of the limestone chat.
posted Aug 20 2017 9:43PM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

I've never found any of the Katy to be unsafe on a road bike. And I'd really wonder why it is unsafe for you when a lot of road bike riders ride on the Katy. Maybe some day when you have more riding experience you can join the ranks.
posted Aug 20 2017 9:51PM - Anonymous

Great! You refuse to bike the Katy Trail because it isn't paved? More room and peacefulness for those of us who LOVE the trail without pavement! Have you ever heard of "Pave the Planet"? Not for me! Stay home if you must!
posted Aug 21 2017 10:28PM - avid biker, rocheport

If you feel it is unsafe to ride a road bike on the Katy don't do it. Just buy another type of bike, one that you feel is safe on the Katy.
posted Aug 22 2017 7:59AM - Steve, St. Charles

I've ridden my road bike on the Katy and didn't like it all that much. I also saw a rider on a road bike go over the handlebars when his skinny tires dug into a soft spot near Windsor.

The solution is fatter tires. I've had both a hybrid and touring bike both with 700x32 tires for riding on the Katy. They worked well with my 215 lbs even in the loosest stuff on the Katy.

So get the fattest tires that will work on your bike or another bike. Remember that the proper number of bikes is N+1 with N being the number of bikes that you own today.
posted Aug 22 2017 9:08AM - Jerry Whittle, Belleville

Also, do not inflate to the same pressure you use on the road. Some drop the PSI 10-20 PSI. Usually you can drop more in the front than in the rear. i.e. 55 front 65 rear. YMMV with your weight, tires, etc. There has been much written about this recently. A stiff sidewall tire may not benefit as much as a supple sidewall tire.
posted Aug 24 2017 11:03AM - Ron_S, Overland Park

There are some stretches of the Katy open to horses. While hooves do a number on gravel, the damage can be easily and cheaply corrected. Imagine what hooves would do to hot and/or soft asphalt and how much more costly repairs would be.
posted Aug 24 2017 12:22PM - Vita, Paris, IL

PLUS, the current surface makes us all slow down and enjoy the view! There's lots of asphalt to ride, leave the Katy just as it is.
posted Aug 25 2017 2:53PM - KC, Austin

We enjoy alternating Sunday rides between the unpaved Katy and paved Madison County Trails in Illinois. Both are scenic, and it's fun switching back and forth between the flat, crushed limestone Katy and the faster, but hillier MCT.

Different experiences, equally enjoyable.
posted Aug 31 2017 12:27PM - Patricia, St. Louis

I'd prefer the DNR use its limited funds to make the rail-trail system reach as many cities as possible (i.e. develop the Rock Island others) rather than pave any of the KATY.
posted Sep 2 2017 11:08AM - Paul Toigo, Kansas City

@Biker boy: I know cost is a huge issue, but the greenway trails is spending millions and millions on a 1/4 mile connection over 364 in St. Charles. The funding for the project can be found. As far as runners goes, I doubt there's many running from Main St. to Augusta and back for lunch or to pick up a bottle of wine...

@Anonymous: there is zero reason to bring my cycling experience into question. I have crossed the country numerous times by bike. Well over 10,000 miles worth.

@Avid biker we want more people on the trail not less. And no, I've never heard of pave the planet. Sounds like it's more for cars though...

@Jerry Whittle slipping on the loose gravel is exactly what many cyclist are afraid of. Seeing or even being a rider go over the handle bars is very scary and in this case avoidable with pavement. P.S. I love the n=1 rule. But it's expensive...

@Vita there should never be horses on the trail. Period. Gravel or paved. Horses only make the gravel more dangerous than it already is...

@KC, Austin I can enjoy the scenery at 20mph just as much as someone can at 10mph and see more of it.

Bottom line, cyclists in MO need a safe paved roads where we can get out and stretch our legs. Illinois has hundreds and hundreds of miles of paved trails. MO is falling far behind. Cycling is a rapidly growing sport. Billions spent on cycling every year. Cycling in MO needs to be exploited. Wouldn't it be great to see a Missouri native in the Tour de France?! Without more paved trails for cyclists to get out on, that will never happen.
posted Sep 8 2017 11:10AM - Mark G, St. Charles

It doesn't seem there are many paved bike trails in Nairobi, Kenya yet Chris Froome has won the Tour three out of the last four years.
posted Sep 8 2017 1:38PM - Anonymous

MarkG, I'd much rather spend any state dollars that come our way for the building of the Rock Island Trail. The RIT will help many more people and towns benefit than just some asphalt paving companies. I don't know the source of funds for the Greenway project, but I gotta believe it would qualify for some Federal highway money (and the Katy would not).

The maintenance of an asphalted (or even oil-and-chip) trail the length of the Katy would be astronomical. Here in Illinois, on our wonderful paved trails, the tree roots are pushing up the asphalt in hundreds of places. They would not be noticed on a gravel trail because the gravel flows around them. But on these asphalt trails, they become teeth-chattering bumps and are dangerous. To repair these, the asphalt must be cut out with a saw and then patched. If you ride the Hennepin Canal Trail (105 miles), you will see the result of good intentions (paved surface) gone bad (no maintenance). It would have been much better to leave it in limestone gravel.

No, people are not jogging to Augusta for a glass of wine. But if you frequent the trail from Augusta to St. Chuck, you will see a much higher proportion of runners in that section than on the rest of the trail.
posted Sep 8 2017 5:18PM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

@ Mark G with paving agenda...20 mph on some of the Katy curves will land you in the Big Muddy. But I suppose we just find money for railings and guardrails and lane markings and such while we lay asphalt. Oh wait, that's what a ROAD is.
posted Sep 10 2017 10:20PM - KC, Austin

Tags: Augusta, Augusta Winery, Bikes and gear Modify Tags

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