Trail Rider from Los Angeles on 7/5/2005 5:33:25 PM:
Well, our trip went off very well. We rode from the St. Louis airport at 2:30. The short (12 mile) ride from the airport to the trail head was one of my worst road riding experiences. St. Louis drivers are very aggressive towards cyclists. I'm glad I don't have to ride there on a regular basis. We stopped in Marthasville ~7:30pm, and were able to get cold beer at the baseball stadium because they were having little league games. We showered for $5, and prepared our own meals. We set up camp across the street from the ball fields next to the cabin. The next day was our long day, 78 miles, and we stopped in Hartsburg, where we stayed the night in Volunteer park, again preparing our own meals. People were super friendly here. The next day, we stopped in Pilot Grove, anoher great place. We ate at Jon El's BBQ. It's really good food. We swam in the town pool, and stayed in the city park. We finished the ride the next day, heading into a stiff headwind most of the way. My favorite part of the trail was between Boonville and Clinton. My least favorite is a tossup between Rocheport to Franklin, and Sedalia to Clinton. Both were tough sections. We didn't see many through riders, and rarely saw anyone riding East to West, but all in all it was a great time. Thanks to this Web site for the food and water listings. It helped a lot. We were each drinking about 2 bottles every 10 miles, so we had to refill often. The trail heads got better the further West we rode.