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Reply to Katy Trail to Downtown St Louis Directions

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Reply to Katy Trail to Downtown St Louis Directions
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Butler from Columbia, MO on 7/17/2005 6:03:05 PM:
We will be biking from Columbia to St. Charles on the trail with a group of Boy Scouts - about 10 of us in all. We would like to visit the Arch. I have looked at the suggested routes to the Arch from the Katy Trail and I would appreciate any comments about current conditions for the suggested routes to downtown via the Page/364 bridge and if, in your opinion, these routes are suitable for 13 to 18 year old riders who are strong but not experienced in city traffic. Some leaders have done city riding but the boys have not. We would like to make the ride to downtown on a Sunday morning to minimize traffic considerations. Thanks for any information.

Ray (webmaster) on 7/19/2005 3:28:46 PM:
Planning for Sunday morning is a great idea - traffic will be very light. The earlier you can get started, the better. Downtown especially will be deserted on a Sunday AM, except during football season; Rams "tailgaters" flood downtown early in the morning on game days. Early-day Cardinals games will also generate some morning traffic, but not too bad until 1-2 hours before game time.
The worst part of your ride will be coming out of Creve Coeur park, going up Marine Dr. It's a very steep hill on a 2-lane road, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 mile, and without a shoulder. And I mean steep - many will probably want to walk it, though of course that's dangerous on a shoulderless road. Once your boys get past that hill, everything else should be a breeze.
Katy Trail to downtown St Louis is about 18-20 miles. Add 3 more miles if coming from downtown St Charles. The ride will be more hilly than what you experienced on the Katy Trail of course, but will get progressively flatter (kind of) as you roll towards downtown.
As a scout leader you already know this but I'll say it anyway: do not attempt this without a good, detailed St Louis area map. It's very easy to get off-course, and a good map can save you untold time, distance, and aggravation.
Have a great trip!