John from Ashland, OH on 4/3/2005 9:36:40 PM:
We had a very pleasant Katy trail experience. We are very gratefull to the State of Missouri for supporting the sport of bicycling and for making a trail like this available to the public...for free.
We were very impressed with the Sadalia depot. Definately a must see. Stop by the little bike shop along the trail in Defiance. The proprietor is very nice, helpful and grateful to cyclists. Another good place is the Trailhead Brewery in St. Charles. I could go on and on about positives with our ride, but I would like to address some issues that will affect whether or not we would return.
The big one - the trail needs to be paved. I know big $$$. The poor trail conditions in several areas just makes for a long frustrating ride. The softness of the trail in certain areas was hard to deal with. Ever pedal in sand? It's not fun. Working my tail off for 7-8 mph is demoralizing and then coming to a complete halt when I stop pedaling. Got a great workout though.
Next are the horses. Stay off the trail please. If anything is going to ruin this trail for sure it's horses. Ruts and poop, not a good thing on a bike trail.
Maintence equipment - also a problem with ruts. We encountered several sections where someone drove a tractor on the trail when it was wet and by the time we got to it, we were riding on a washboard.
Dust - Well, we rode 290 miles on the trail and my bike is filthy (we did some backtracking).
Paving the trail will no doubt be expensive and it will create a whole new set of challenges, but I just cannot see ever coming back to ride it again until it is paved. Where we live in Ohio, there are a lot of paved trails and they are thriving. We ride them often and spend $$$ in the communities. Take a look at the Little Miami trail in southwest Ohio. It is a long trail 70+ miles and it is totlaly paved. It is nice.
In closing I'm glad we rode the trail, we met a lot of nice folks and I would not discourage anyone fro