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Reply to Forest Park vs Katy Trail

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Reply to Forest Park vs Katy Trail
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Mike from St. Louis on 7/19/2020 1:27:58 AM:
Hey everyone. Since COVID has hit, I picked my riding up again. I regularly do ~37 miles at Forest Park at a descent rate, ~16 mph on a hybrid. Wanting to do a Katy Trail ride soon. I’ll be prepared for potential flats and of course the different terrain. Curious how you would compare Forest Park with the hills to the Katy Trail and the terrain difference. What would you recommend for a distance the first ride?

Jerry Whittle from Belleville Illinois on 7/19/2020 1:59:13 PM:
I've found flat tires on the Katy pretty rare. It's still good to be prepared. A hybrid is a great bike for the Katy. You might be a couple of MPH slower due to the crushed gravel having more resistance than the pavement at Forest Park. If you are airing your tires to the max or nearly so, consider reducing tire pressure some. I run 700x32 tires at 75 psi and weigh about 215 lbs. Bring plenty of fluids as there aren't as many options to fill up the water bottles compared to Forest Park. If you can do 37 miles at Forest Park, I don't see why you can't do the same on the Katy Trail. If you have the option, head into the wind so that you'll hopefully have a tail wind on the way back.

brad wilson from st louis on 7/19/2020 3:41:20 PM:
Also bring plenty of calories. I've done rides of 33, 42 and 50 miles on the Katy this year, and each time I didn't bring enough snacks.

Mike from St. Louis on 7/19/2020 7:32:13 PM:
Awesome. Thanks for the insight. Definitely going to wait until the St. Louis humidity calms down a bit but thanks to COVID, I’ve got plenty of time now days. ??

k on 7/21/2020 6:37:27 PM:
Mike, consider something like a 20 mile ride to start, with your turnaround point at a place that offers easily-accessible water (and possibly also toilets). In terms of planning ride length and duration, many folks find that it takes fewer miles on crushed limestone to provide an equivalent to paved miles.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 7/28/2020 2:48:59 PM:
The gravel sucks way more energy out of you than you'd expect. Set reasonable goals, take plenty of water, plenty of calories, a spare tube/pump, and a happy attitude. It's a really nice time. As far as hills, because of the gravel it all feels uphill. :) Besides that, you don't really notice hills.

Chris from Lees Summit on 7/29/2020 10:37:00 AM:
Can't stress enough to bring plenty of calories, especially if riding during the week. Most eateries are only open Sat-Sun.

John Solodar from Chesterfield on 7/30/2020 7:35:59 AM:
Hey Mike. I'm back into biking as well since February. One of my favorite starting points for the Katy Trail is the outlet mall parking lot in Chesterfield next to the Daniel Boone Bridge. The ride over the river is a great start / finish. From there, you can head north / east to St. Charles or make a loop into Creve Coeur Lake. Head south / west towards Weldon Springs and Defiance. You can also head up the Busch Greenway and take the Hamburg trail back down to the Katy to make another loop. Those are some of my regular loops on my hybrid bike.