Sunday, June 20
Today our registration kicked off at 5 p.m., although our staff arrived at Frontier Park much earlier. Riders were excited to get out on the trail tomorrow. Each rider picked up a rider packet with a ride T-shirt, water bottle, map booklet and a few other necessities for the week.
At 7 p.m., we gathered for our first rider meeting. David Kelly, Ranger Brett Barnes and Bill Bryan explained the rules of the road. Most of our riders are camping on the riverfront tonight. Tomorrow our breakfast begins at the Ameristar Casino at 6 a.m. Our route is 38 miles from St. Charles to Marthasville!
Since 2010 marks the Katy Trail’s 20th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of our ride, we will have a “Top 10 from the Trail.”
Top 10 Things We’re Looking Forward to This Week:
1. “I’m excited to ride with Dawn and Bruce!” –Steve Reed, second ride
2. “Meeting up with people we’ve ridden with before.” –Dawn Wayant, second ride
3. “The tunnels! We go through some cool tunnels.” –Bruce Wayant, second ride
4. “A week of relaxation.” –Ed Stoner, second ride
5. “Just getting to the end of the ride each day, surviving the heat.” -Larry Carner, second ride
6. “Doing the trail with my wife on a tandem.” -Rob Schraft, third ride
7. “A lot of fun and hopefully lose some weight!” –Liz Schraft, first ride
8. “The SAGs because there is food and cold drinks.” –Quinn Derusseau, first ride, and Henry Hiestrman, first ride
9. “I’m looking forward to seeing this part of the trail. I’ve never been to St. Charles.” –Mim Hiestrman, first ride
10. “Being with my grandsons and going back to some of the places I saw last year.” –Kay Chase, first ride
Rider of the Day
From: Round Rock, Texas
Michael first heard about the Katy Trail Ride last year. He wanted to ride in 2009, but his daughter, an avid cyclist and Livestrong (Lance Armstrong Foundation) mentor, advised him to wait and train for next year. With a yellow Livestrong bracelet on each wrist, he clearly shares his daughter’s passion for raising money for cancer research. He rode in a Livestrong race and is planning to do another one this summer. Two weeks ago, he rode 200 miles in preparation, and he’s ready to hit the trails of Missouri on Monday.
Michael worked 31 years as a financial analyst before retiring. He also has experience on stage as well as directing community theater. Before cycling, Michael started racing motorcycles. He loves fixing things, especially vintage bikes, motorcycles, houses and sets. “I love to bring things back from the dead,” he says.
When he bought a set of tools to work on his own bike he began helping friends and now runs a little side business. All of the money he charges for repair and tune-ups is donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research.
Since he did most of his training in Texas, I had to ask about the Missouri humidity. He says, “It’s horrible but I’ve done motorcycle camping for 15 years. I’m used to being hot, sweaty and stinky.” He was excited to see the trail is smoother than the one he used for training.
Monday, June 21 - St. Charles to Marthasville
Our day started off cloudy in St. Charles. Breakfast was at 6 a.m. at the Ameristar Casino and then on to the trail. The cloud cover didn’t last long, and unfortunately, a few stretches of today’s ride were not shady at all.
A few representatives from our sponsor, Edward Jones, rode with us today. We are grateful for their sponsorship and excited to see them on the trail!
Our first SAG stop was in Greens Bottom about 7 miles from Frontier Park. After a peaceful ride through the woods and some fields, Weldon Springs SAG offered Gatorade and bananas. Ten miles later, we were greeted by Sara and Chuck Yates at the Augusta SAG. The Yates have been volunteering with the Katy Ride and the CAMP (Cycle Across Missouri State Parks) since 1996. They love working at the stops because of the people they meet. Both Sara and Chuck are cyclists themselves and have ridden the Katy in previous years.
“We really like to ride 30 miles a day in nice weather and stop and see things along the way,” says Sara. The Yates have been married for 44 years this July and they have three grandchildren.
“I think we have quite a jewel here,” says Sara of the Katy. “People come from all over the United States to ride!”
Besides the SAG stops, riders enjoyed the Beer Garden in Augusta and the Dutzow Deli in Dutzow. Everyone was on their own for lunch, so the restaurants along the trail were popular places to eat, drink, rest and get to know other cyclists.
Riders slowly started trickling into Marthasville, our campsite for the evening, as early as 9:30 a.m. Every spare inch of shade around the Marthasville baseball diamonds was covered with tents. Lots of people found shady places to nap and the concession stand and the Twin Gables served food and drink all afternoon.
Top 10 Tips for Riding in the Heat
1. “Drink lots of fluids and wear light clothing.” –Lily LeBeau, first ride
2. “Use a cool pack around you neck. Something about having something on your neck makes you feel cooler all over.” –Karen Kopp, first ride
3. “Stay in the motel.” –Renee Lance, second ride
4. “I started drinking beer before noon. Haven’t done that in years.” –Dave Henley, first ride
5. “Make an ice burrito out of a bandana. Roll it up and tie it around you neck. The trick is you have to find ice.” –Margie Hilburn, fourth ride
6. “The earlier you leave, the cooler it is and you can set your tent up under one of the nine trees.” Nick Lance, second ride
7. “All day shower.” –Keith Petersen, 10th ride
8. “Spray bottle for my dog.” –Jim Lewis, on and off rider for 10 years
9. “How much water can we throw on each other?” –Dave Behrens, sixth ride
10. “A good garden hose would be nice.” –Jan Shockley
Rider of the Day
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Gwen planned to ride the full tour this year, but changed her mind because she is 19 weeks pregnant. “It’s a family thing. My dad and I always do it. It’s a lot of fun.”
She rode all day today with her father, sister and two friends. This is her fourth ride and she says it’s a family tradition. “I started on the back of my dad’s bike when I was two years old!”
Tuesday, June 22 - Marthasville to Mokaine
We moved breakfast to 5:30 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. to try to beat the inescapable heat today. The early start helped cyclists get most or the entire ride in before the temperature rose. A little before noon, the heat index reached 107 degrees and the coordinators decided to shut down the ride for the safety of the riders and workers.
When the call was made, the volunteers and staff at SAGs stopped the riders and shuttled them to our campsite in Mokane. Many cyclists who made it as far as Portland were disappointed they couldn’t finish for the day, but all understood the risks of extreme heat.
Today’s Poker Run was another good reason to stop at SAGs. At each stop, cyclists picked a card from the deck and recorded it in their map books. At the end of the day, a prize is given to the rider with the best hand and the rider with the worst hand. Steve Kuster won the best hand, with a queen high straight. David Tranum “won” the lowest hand with an eight high. Both winners walked away with Missouri gift baskets.
The hot stop of the day – and they were all pretty hot- was the Shaved Ice Stand in Bluffton. Everyone needed a snow cone on a day like today!
Thanks to a few flat tires and other small problems, our bike mechanic, Nate, is staying busy. We’re lucky he’s riding all week with us because he is such an important service to our riders. He is easy to find with his carriage full of equipment.
Back at camp in Mokane, our riders ate lunch at the grocery store and the Mokane Bar and Grill. The riders took the chance to swap stories, make friends and reunite with friends from past rides over food and cold drinks. Tonight we enjoyed a catered dinner by Argyle Catering, followed by a riders meeting and entertainment from the River Ridge String Band.
Top Ten Things I Couldn’t Live without on the Katy Trail Ride
- Handkerchiefs –Marissa Manring, first ride
- The tent –Jim Bone, third ride
- M&Ms –Mackenzie Manring, first ride
- My iPhone –Bruce Chulka, second ride
- My air mattress –Anne Johnson, first ride
- The pad in my new pants –Mike Franklin, first ride
- Good, cold water –Duane Buersmeyer, third ride
- The SAG stops –Donna Orf, first ride
- Pancake Man! –Sarah Murphy, second ride
- Extra sausage –Josh Davenport, second ride
Rider(s) of the Day
Today’s riders are the Dawson family from Austin, Tx. They ride two tandem bicycles (a three-seater and a two)!
Wednesday, June 23 - Mokane to Rocheport
The Pancake Man paid us a visit this morning starting at 5:30 a.m. Click on the video of him in action to the right.
The morning started strong as everyone tried to get as many miles in as they could before the sticky afternoon. Unfortunately, the trail was flooded between Hartsburg and McBaine. Riders loaded their bikes on to a truck and waited in our SAG at Hartsburg for the bus. We were lucky to have the air-conditioned American Legion hall to cool off. Hartsburg also has a few restaurants and bars for an early lunch (especially the Big Muddy Tavern to watch the World Cup). Thanks to all for being patient.
“It hasn’t been bad at all this morning. There’s a nice little breeze,” said Mary Yager.
We finished the day at Les Bourgeois Winery outside of Rocheport. Riders could ride into Rocheport and enjoy the shopping and cafes. We ate together at the winery and saw a presentation on the history of the Katy Trail.
Rider of the Day
Hometown: Morton, Ill.
Allen started training for the Katy Ride one year ago. Since then, he’s lost almost 100 pounds and feels “over prepared” for the ride. He has inspired his daughter and son to run marathons and his mom to get a gym membership. He says his diet has not changed too drastically; he’s cut out processed food. Next year he hopes to weigh 180 pounds. Click on his video to the right.
Thursday, June 24 - Rocheport to Sedalia
Today was undeniably the best weather we’ve seen on this trip. The morning started once again with the Pancake Man, this time serving French toast, eggs and sausage. Riders had two options this morning: either a road route or a shuttle to Davisdale Conservation Area because of some flooding just west of the Rocheport tunnel.
While cycling on the trail west of Boonville, riders felt the slight incline on and off for most of the rest of the day. All morning we heard gears clicking in and out of place.
We found a little pie place in Pilot Grove! No one could ride past the Mennonite family selling lemonade and delicious cookies in the shade. Clifton City was also a popular SAG stop run by Ernestine Todd and Debbie Anderson. Ernestine loved sharing stories and trail history.
Our ride ended at the beautiful Sedalia Depot, which is now a museum and gift shop. Some restaurants and food vendors were set up for lunch. Our day ended at our campsite in Liberty Park. Nadlers catered dinner in the convention hall. After dinner we had a concert from the Sedalia Community Band as well as a Sedalia Bombers baseball game. Pitcher Mike Kickham pitched the first four innings. He was drafted this year by the Giants!
Top 10 Reasons to Ride the Katy Trail
1. “The scenery. The river. The bluffs. –Peggy French, first ride
2. “I appreciate the historical significance, especially Lewis and Clark stuff.” –Bruce Chulka, second ride
3. “It’s a great family experience! It’s an adventure to come out and experience the nature and the fresh air.” –David Fletcher, first ride
4. “It’s a really beautiful piece of country. It’s a good experience.” –Ben Frey, second ride
5. “Good food.” –Brandon Veale, first ride
6. “Really cool people.” -Maria Gomez, first ride
7. “It’s a way to experience nature.” –Cinthia Eyes, first ride
8. “It’s fun, it’s healthy and it’s good exercise.” –Frank Aguilar, first ride
9. “To see what your body is capable of.” –Ashi Guzman, first ride
10. “It’s the most beautiful trail I’ve been on. The reason I go on this ride every year is not the cycling, it’s for the beauty of nature: the bluffs, the river, the wildflowers” –Anita Philbrick, sixth ride
Rider of the Day
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Nick is our resident “rocket scientist.” Literally, he retired from NASA and he keeps us updated on the space station’s appearance in the sky. Some gathered with him to watch it pass on Tuesday morning and again tonight at 10:11 p.m. (Check out NASA’s Skywatch Sightings Calculator to see when the space station will pass over your area!) Both his bike and his wife’s bike have Texas license plates with their names on them. Nick’s also has another plate that reads KC5KKBO, which is his amateur radio license for talking with the space station.
Friday, June 25 - Sedalia to Clinton
Today we completed the final leg of our journey, ending in Clinton. Riders seemed to take a little extra time to enjoy the scenery and the SAGs during the 38 miles. Rodney Wesner brought out his ’57 Studebaker Golden Hawk to show off. He bought the car new when he was 25 and he’s put 103,000 miles on it since then. He shared his story and his car with riders at the Windsor SAG.
We had another special treat at the Calhoun SAG- Justin’s Nut Butter donated individual packets of organic honey peanut butter. Some people put it on apples, but most just squeezed it straight into their mouths.
Everyone was sweating and smiling by the time they pulled into Clinton. We had brown bag lunches and enjoyed the company of our new and old friends for a few hours as we packed the vans and waited for the buses to arrive.
Rider(s) of the Day
The students of Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School in Kansas City.
Thanks to everyone for a great week! The staff and riders all seemed to enjoy each other and the trail. A special thanks for all the patience with the flooding and the heat. Can’t wait to see you next year!