Dale Nimmo from Springfield, MO on 8/5/2005 2:59:35 PM:
I just finished a round trip on the KATY using a LeMonde road bike with 700 x 28. Had zero trouble with the bike. Carried rear packs of about 50lbs. Here's what I'd suggest....
The trail itself for the most part is hard pack, BUT, be careful!!! there are places particularly near dirt road crossings and such that are treacherous. The gravel is loose, coarse and sometimes deep enough to cause slippage. There are also 'fissures' (for lack of a better word) in the trail at times due to the natural movement of a packed trail, but also I think due to the extreme dryness. These fissures or cracks are EXTREMELY hazardous to just about any bike but more so for the 28 size tire. I was very very lucky. I only 'kissed' KATY one time and now i have a matching scar on my left shoulder to go with my existing right shoulder mark.
Due to the extreme heat I would recommend waiting if you can. But if you have to go be forewarned. CARRY WATER. A few of the T.H.'s do not have a water source and many of the services are closed for the summer do to the lack of activity. The trail is GREAT for the fall and spring seasons but you're basically on your own for the summer.
Now don't get me wrong....I LOVED the trail. Just be sure you carry a tire patch kit and perhaps an emergency first aid kit. You probably already do. I'm the only nutcase who would forget such things!
Feel free to email me anytime. Oh, one more thing...due to the slow traffic, they are 'maintaining' the trail....cutting branches, mowing, spraying, etc etc. sometimes the excess debris can be frustrating to manuver around and the leftover twigs and branches could cause a possible flat tire just as easily as a misplaced sharp rock.
I had a BLAST...hope you do too