2006 Katy Trail Ride

at Katy Trail State Park

Day 1                                                                                  

Three hundred cyclists started off the week of the Katy Trail Ride with a 38-mile journey from St. Charles to Marthasville. After enjoying a box breakfast provided by the St. Charles Convention and Visitor's Bureau, most began the ride around 7 a.m. The weather was a pleasant 75 degrees with a slight breeze. Around noon, a majority of the riders entered into Marthasville for their first over night stop at the Marthasville Community Center.

The riders had the entire afternoon to relax and get a little sun before the night activities. Dinner began at 6 p.m. and was catered by the Marthasville Community Center. Our dinner consisted of mouth-watering baked turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, mostaccioli, and awesome cake. After dinner, all the riders joined back together for a riders' meeting presented by Melanie Robinson.

Following the riders' meeting, the first activity of the week was offered by the World Bird Sanctuary of St. Louis. They had a display of rehabilitated raptors for the riders to enjoy. Right after the meeting, most riders turned in for the night to rest up for the 68-mile journey to Jefferson City on Tuesday.

Day 2

To beat the heat, many of the riders started packing up their tents around 5 a.m. and headed to breakfast a little before 6 a.m. The Marthasville Community Center served up some mean pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, fresh watermelon and cantaloupe. Soon after breakfast, the riders hit the trail for their 68-mile trip to Jefferson City Memorial Park. The weather was a hot one, with partly cloudy skies and a high of 92 degrees.

To add some excitement to the long day, the riders participated in a Poker Run. At each of the seven SAG stops, the riders picked a card and wrote it down in their map book. Once they got to Memorial Park, they declared their best hand and turned their card in. During the riders meeting, the best and worst hands were announced and the winners received a prize package courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources. Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau also donated a gift basket for the riders at the end of the meeting.

The second day activities consisted of a free tour of the state Capitol and the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the Memorial Pool. Bridget, from Word of Mouth Catering, delivered a lovely meal for dinner that included chicken tetrazinni, Bridget’s house salad, fresh fruit, rolls and strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. After dinner, the riders met at 7 p.m. for their nightly riders meeting presented by Melanie Robinson and staff from the Department of Natural Resources.

Lastly, some of the riders hung around to listen to an interesting slide show about the Missouri River. Following the meeting, the riders were off on their own to enjoy the rest of the night. The next morning, cyclists will be trucking over the Jefferson City bridge to the North Jefferson City Shelter to enjoy the entertaining Pancake Man! Finally, off to Rocheport to the beautiful Les Bourgeois Winery after a 38-mile ride on the Katy Trail.

Day 3

For the third day of the Katy Trail Ride, the cyclists rode across the bridge back to the North Jefferson Shelter for a feast of a breakfast. Everybody was excited to see The Pancake Man perform while fixing their food. While entertaining, he cooked pancakes and sausage and cereal and fresh fruit were provided. After battling the long ride yesterday of 68 miles, today they cycled 38 miles to the winery in Rocheport. It was about 92 degrees and when the riders finished they found the nearest shade to relax their legs. Many of the riders ate at Les Bourgeois and some went on ahead and ran into Columbia for the afternoon.

Les Bourgeois was grateful enough to cater dinner to all of the riders and as expected the food was amazing. The riders were offered pork loin, fresh salad, vegetables, rolls and cake. After everybody made their way through the buffet lines, they sat and relaxed for the riders’ meeting delivered by some of the Department of Natural Resources staff. During the evening, the riders were able to kick back and enjoy a wine tent set up for their pleasure at the winery.

The third day of activities consisted of free wine tours of the vineyard and winemaking process and a chance to gaze at the stars with the Columbia Astronomy Club. They had to look past some of the clouds, but some of the riders gazed away. Tomorrow brings us to Sedalia and there is a chance of showers throughout the day. But, what would Missouri weather be like without some wet weather?! We’ll start off the day with the Pancake Man and get the riders on their way.

Day 4

The Pancake Man started off the morning with his famous French toast, along with eggs, sausage, cereal, fresh fruit and juice. The skies were partly cloudy and most bicyclists were worried about the rainfall for their day of traveling. Most headed out on the trail right after breakfast to beat the storm that was soon to hit. By the middle of the day, some riders were already setting up their tents while others were a little farther behind. Around 1 p.m ., the rain came falling down at some of the SAG stops and the shuttle became very popular for a lift to Liberty Park.

Many people braved the rain and were in pretty good spirits even though most of their bags were on the extreme damp side! The staff tried to cover them up and keep them dry, but we couldn’t be so lucky! After waiting around for the storm to pass, the bicyclists lined up for an amazing dinner catered by Nadler’s. Dinner consisted of barbecue brisket, baked potato, pasta salad and scrumptious apple crisp.

As every one finished enjoying their last catered dinner, we started the riders meeting with a beautiful song sung by Clarence Blume. He sang "America the Beautiful" and did an outstanding job. The meeting was lead by intern Amanda Lee and there were more ballads during the meeting. The Columbia Unity Center entertained the crowd with a little song about the one and only Katy Trail Ride and did an outstanding job. Because Melanie Robinson is leaving Missouri this year for Little Rock, Arkansas, Clarence Blume and Larry Larson sang “My Girl” and thanked her for her exceptional work on the previous Katy rides. She will be greatly missed and it will be hard to find some one to fill her place.

Following the riders meeting , the city of Sedalia’s Community Band performed for our bicyclists and the community members. During the day, bicyclists also got the chance to tour Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site. These two activities ended the last night participants stayed with us and all the new people they had met along the way. The last day of riding is going to be a 30-mile journey to Clinton and then the riders are off to their homeland!

Day 5

At 6:30 a.m., the bicyclists were lining up to enjoy one last day with the Pancake Man and one last day of Catch the Katy. Along with pancakes, the riders feasted on sausage, an abundance of fresh fruit, cereal and juices. Once they were finished, they were on their last stretch to end at the Benson Community Center in Clinton. When they arrived, they were greeted by the information booth to check in and grab a survey. After giving us their thoughts and comments on the 2006 Katy Trail Ride, they were off to take a shower and grab a bag lunch courtesy of the Benson Senior Center. The lunch included deli sandwiches, fresh fruit, cole slaw, and a lovely array of cookies.

Some of the bicyclists had to hang around until the buses came to shuttle the riders to Columbia and St. Charles. The participants who parked their cars in Clinton were able to head right on out of town.

Ride organizers received many compliments and there seemed to be many happy riders when we finished the week. We want to thank all of our volunteers, staff and especially the bicyclists that covered 225 miles. Lastly, we want to congratulate all of the participants on their accomplishments and hope to see everybody next year!

2006 Katy Trail Ride Statistics

Number of full-tour riders: 312
Number of day riders: 18
Number of non-riders: 8
Number of volunteers: 80
Oldest rider: Vern Hitton, 85
Youngest rider: Bryant Crow, 6, and Blake Larson, 6
Average age of riders: 50
Number of states represented: 31
Greatest distance traveled: Derek Turvey, British Columbia (2,300+ miles!)