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Sedalia to St. Charles in October

My husband and I are taking the train to Sedalia and then riding our bikes to St. Charles. We have rooms in Sedalia, Hartsburg and Herman. This is our first long ride and we are looking for suggestions/recommendations for this ride.
posted Sep 10 2017 4:24PM - Anonymous

What kind of suggestions are you seeking? Places to eat, types of bikes, places to visit?
posted Sep 11 2017 10:23AM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

This is a travelogue that I wrote from one of my Houston friends, who wanted to ride the Trail. My original Word document included photos, which did not paste into this reply, so that's why some of the text, which are photo captions, may seem out of place. We are riding during the last week of Sept 2017, and this will be our 8th "end-to-end" trail ride. I am 63 and an avid road cyclist.

The Katy Trail – The Whole Enchilada

It’s a great ride, and there are countless options open to riders.

First, here's a bit of background. We began riding the Katy Trail about 15 years ago. We started with short rides with family and friends from Missouri. My wife and I are from Missouri, so we have always had a base of operations, and we could combine a trip on the trail with visits with my brothers and sister. Our first rides were based from Franklin, where we camped at the Katy Roundhouse Campgrounds.

Everyone would arrive during the evening on Friday, and after a big breakfast, we would ride to Rocheport, which is just ten miles to the east. Rocheport has numerous B&B’s antique shops, a winery just a couple of miles further east, and burger café/bike shop (this year the café bike shop was closed/out of business). Most of our group stopped for lunch and shopping, and then they returned to Franklin. Some of us biked further and went on to Columbia or to Easley before returning to the campground. We spent Saturday evening at Franklin, and Sunday morning we broke camp.

After the first trip I was hooked, and I bought a hybrid bicycle. Since my wife’s mother lives in Knob Noster, which is only about 30 miles from the trailhead in Clinton and about 20 miles from the trailhead in Sedalia, I started riding the Clinton-Sedalia segment every time we visited my mother-in-law. After several solo trips, between Sedalia and Clinton, I talked my brother into riding from Clinton to Franklin on the Friday before our annual family Katy Trail ride. This laid the groundwork for what came to be our annual Katy Trail Ride – The Whole Enchilada. Seven years ago one of my brothers became an empty nester, while my other siblings became more involved in high school and collegiate athletics. I proposed to my empty nester brother that we ride the whole trail. Our wives were more interested in riding short segments, antiquing, and visiting the wineries. They were more than happy to let us ride, while they provided any SAG support. The first year, they were almost bothersome, and they called often to check our progress. Of late, they are riding more, but by themselves, while Paul and I travel at a faster pace. They like to stop and visit the numerous wineries. Originally, Paul had trouble obtaining enough vacation to do a four-day, so we rode the whole trail during a span of three days.

The Trail attracts us because of its history, and especially its railroad history. My brother and I like trains. I am a geologist, so there are things for the geologist to see. We also enjoy cycling and the out of doors.

Our ride itinerary has become an annual routine. We ride every year during the 3rd or 4th week of September. Those weekends correspond to my grandson’s and son’s birthday, so it allows us to celebrate with them before or after we ride. The trees are starting to turn color, and the scenery can be very beautiful. During this time of year, the Missouri weather is variable. This last year, the temps were in the low 90’s by afternoon, and during other trips, our starts have had temps in the upper 40’s before climbing into the upper 50’s or lower 60’s.

During our last seven trips across Missouri, we have had rain of varying duration and intensity during each ride. This year the rains began just 3 miles from the end of our ride. It poured, but by the time we reached the Boat Landing in St Charles, the rain had stopped. During one ride, a front pass
posted Sep 13 2017 8:49AM - K Brand, Missouri City, TX

Hey K - I enjoyed the beginning of your travelogue, and am sorry that the forum can't accommodate the size of the whole text.

If you send me the Word document (contact info at http://www.bikekatytrail.com/contact.aspx), I would be happy to add it to the Trip Reports page at http://www.bikekatytrail.com/trip-report.aspx - photos and all.

Happy trails
posted Sep 14 2017 6:47AM - Ray (webmaster)

My husband and I rode the Katy Trail for the first time last year, at the same time you plan to go this year. We caught the train in Sedalia and got off at Kirkwood, then had a shuttle from the train in Kirkwood to St. Charles. From reading all of the previous replies last year, it was highly suggested not to ride across the bridge in STL as the traffic is horrendous. With that being said, we broke the trip down into five days, as we are in our late 50's, and planned to have a good night's rest each leg of the trip. We stayed at the Country Inn in St. Charles the first night, which gave us a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the history of the town. They were kind enough to let us keep our bikes in our room. Each place we stayed along the trip allowed us to keep our bikes in our room. The first leg of actual riding was from St. Charles to Washington. We stayed at the Super 8 and it was nice as well. The second day we went from Washington to Hermann and stayed at a GREAT B&B called Captain Wolt's Home. We left real early, before breakfast was served, and the owners left us a wonderful breakfast in the provided refrigerator, to fuel us for the morning ride. The Third day was from Hermann to Jeff City and we stayed at the Double Tree. It was quite a distance from the trail, which was our mistake in being first-time riders, and I'm sure there was something closer in proximity. The fourth day was from Jeff City to Boonville and we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. Much to our chagrin, the trail at that time was closed, and we took an extreme departure from the trail and it was a nightmare, but we made it. The last leg was from Boonville to Sedalia and we felt, as first-time riders, this was the most grueling of the distance; incline, against the wind. We learned a lot on this trip and we are planning to do it again, but in reverse. It was beautiful, the history is amazing, and the mosquitos are horrible. I would suggest taking bug spray. The minute we stopped along the way, we were covered in them. We planned our trip by the available places to stay that were in close proximity to the trail, except for Jeff City. Hope this is helpful and if you would like to chat about our first-time experience, I would be happy to do so, just respond to this message and we will get in contact.
posted Sep 18 2017 10:36AM - Cathy, Cave Springs, AR

Tags: Hartsburg, Sedalia, Route Suggestions Modify Tags

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