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antlerz from small town missouri on 2/1/2006 9:47:07 AM:
Hi All,
My wife and I are new to the Katy and I myself am disabled and will use a elcetric assisted bike, It is a Huffy Luna comfort bike ( you can stop laughing now) Are helmets required? Will that bike be good enough for a 10 mile round trip.? It is for exercise and to get outdoors so I am not a bike fanatic by no means and have not ridden a bike in years but to follow doc's orders ride a bike.. any helpful thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated. Who knows maybe it will be a miracle cure for me..thanks
Antlerz around Portland MO.

Ray (webmaster) on 2/1/2006 11:17:24 AM:
I've heard many people say that cycling helped them overcome or better cope with illnesses or disabilities - I hope this will be your experience too! The Katy Trail is very handicap-accessible.

Helmets are not required, but they are highly recommended if you consider your brain worth protecting. True, there are no cars to worry about, but in theory you could end up butting heads with a tree if you accidentally waver off the trail, or a cyclist coming from the other direction who's not paying attention.

Just about any bike will get you 10 miles, but you might want to start with a very short trip just to make sure all the moving parts are working as expected and won't leave you stranded at the 5-mile turnaround point. And to gauge your own comfort on the bike, to make sure you're up for those first 10 miles.

One useful approach is to go 2.5 miles in one direction, turn around and go a full 5 miles (2.5 past the trailhead where you started), and then back to the trailhead. That way you get in a full 10 miles without ever being more than 2.5 miles from your car.

I'd also highly recommend you carry a spare inner tube. If you don't know how to change a flat tire, bring a wheel into your local bike shop and ask if they'll show you. It's easy to do, and good to know - especially if your disability would prevent you from walking back to the car in the event of a flat.

Good luck, and enjoy the freedom that cycling will bring you.

The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 2/1/2006 12:55:12 PM:
....AND Antlerz...remember that regardless what bicycle you're on, you are on a bicycle. There are plenty of elitists out there and don't let them bother you...you are doing the right thing both for your health as well as fitness and enjoyment. You may wish to do a search on your computer and look up "recumbent bicycle, and/or tricycle" and you may see something that piques your interest. Everything else....what Ray (Webmaster) said... Kindest Regards...Mark of the Dalton Boys

antlerz from small town missouri on 2/2/2006 7:29:36 AM:
Thanks for the replies, I am sure we will both learn to love riding a bike again. Getting outdoors is what it is all about and having fun. Hope to see all of you someday on the trail..

bryan from Springdale, AR on 2/5/2006 7:46:34 PM:

First of all, let me applaud your efforts. Biking is a wonderful, low impact exercise (provided you don't hit a tree!) & will bring you many hours of pleasure. 4 years ago, my wife & I were both getting very overwieght, my BP was up,etc. I'm 6-0, almost 50 years old, & got to 265. In any case, just on a lark, we bought a tandem from walmart for just under $300. I can tell you, it's the best money we ever spent. We started riding mostly just to have something to do. We live out in the country, & its exactly a mile to our mailbox. It took us 4 tries to make it round trip. But we kept trying, & even got a couple of singles to ride when one of us couldn't go. Since then,between the singles & the tandem, I've lost 50 pounds & my wife even more. 2 years ago we upgraded to better bikes. She rides a Fuji Odessa & I a Utah. The Odessa cost less than $250 & the Utah was slightly more. We've put over 1500 miles on them without any repairs.

You might look at one of these as an upgrade someday (ain't nuthin wrong with your huffy if it does what you want it to do). I mention it only because they have better wheels & such & will handle life's little accidents better. I wadded up the front wheel of a cheap bike once jumping down off a 6 in. curb.The Fuji never has any trouble with that spot & has survived 1 truly spectacular crash with no damage.

We both wear helmets, fingerless gloves, (if you fall,it will save your palms),& carry a small tool kit, a spare tube, & plenty of water, a snack (granola bar, etc) & a cell phone for emergencies.
happy trails!


The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 2/7/2006 11:15:03 AM:
Bryan & Spouse - My heartfelt compliments to you both!!!! You both are what cycling should be all about....its not what you ride so much as you ride. Remember...when in doubt, ride your bike, or tandem, or recumbent etc. Enjoy the Voyage.....Mark of the DaltonBoys

antlerz from small town missouri on 2/8/2006 7:16:33 AM:
Thanks for your inspiration, I hope to achieve what you and others have done.
I have found this site very encouraging and looking for some warmer weather.

My electric assist should be here any day now can't wait to give it a spin.

thanks to everyone.

Bryan from Springdale, AR on 2/10/2006 5:25:37 PM:
Mark and Antlerz, thanks for the kind words. Hope you enjoy many years of riding. I guess I should have introduced her, my wife's name is Carolanne, by the way. As of yesterday, we have offically booked our first two nights for our spring break ride. We are going to start in Hermann and ride west. Kids are going to drop us off one weekend and pick us up the next weekend at where ever we get to.

Happy trails.

The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 2/14/2006 11:07:40 AM:
After the trip write in and let us know how it went. Regards.....Mark of the Dalton Boys

bryan from Springdale, AR on 2/28/2006 8:54:40 PM:
Only 2 more weeks to go till the big ride.

Antlerz....is your bike working out ok? Have you been able to get out and ride much? The weather here has kept us indoors more than I like, but oh well...I don't ride in ice and snow!

Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 3/1/2006 7:20:44 AM:
Bryan - when my brothers and I were two weeks out from our KATY ride it may just as well have been two weeks before Christmas!! I'm happy for you and jealous. Regards........Mark of the Dalton Boys

bryan from Springdale, AR on 3/18/2006 12:12:28 AM:
Well, finally, the big day is here. We leave in the morning, bound for Hermann. Yeah, I know the forecast ain't so good, but oh well. Instead of shorts and tanks, we've packed sweats, windsuits and thermal underwear.

WOO-HOO!! I'll report in when we get back.