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Riding in the rain

Alex on 5/3/2021 9:41:29 AM:
Hi, I am planning on riding the Katy next week but as of now it looks like it will be a week of scattered thunderstorms. I'm OK with a little stop-and-go to wait out passing storms, and will ride though rain if it's not too heavy, but I'd like to know what the trail is like during and after the rain. Does it get messy and slow you down a lot?

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 5/3/2021 9:55:06 AM:
It gets softer and does slow you down some. You end up with plenty of trail silt and grit on your bike, and on your legs and back. It's not sticky mud, and it washed off easily, but it does get on you and your eqt.

 
Jerry Whittle from Belleville on 5/3/2021 10:04:17 AM:
One word: Fenders. I put them on all three bikes that I used on the Katy. I've been stuck riding in some heavy rain and my fellow riders had the "skunk stripe" up their backs. One guy even had about an inch of mud in his center cycling jersey pocket. However it usually isn't all that bad where the trail is packed down like around Columbia and St. Charles. One year it hadn't rained in quite a while and the trail was really dusty. I think my bike picked up a static charge as there was a pretty thick coating all over the frame. That was during the first 2 days of the trip. Then it rained. That limestone dust stuck like concrete and I had trouble getting the stuff off after the trip. That's when I started putting fenders on my bikes. As far as speed when wet, I used 700x32 tires minimum and don't have any real problems except where the trail has been repaired or in one case where there had been a mudslide recently.

 
Alex on 5/4/2021 4:04:44 PM:
Thanks for the suggestions -- and fenders sound like a great idea.

 
Thomas B Lee from Naperville on 5/5/2021 10:20:15 PM:
I just finished my West to East ride on May 2, 2021. YTour best bet is not to ride if thunder storm is in forecast as there are very limited places where you can seek refuge once you are on your way until you get to the next old train station. As for the trail condition when it rains, most places are not paved, but the trail drains very quickly. One day it rained a lot over night but in the morning it was ok to ride without problem. I didn't see puddles or muddy parts on the trail. I have a hybrid bike.