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Topics - Ty0604

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1
Routes / Katy Trail Review
« on: August 23, 2023, 05:32:43 pm »
We recently completed the Katy Trail in Missouri and wanted to pass on a quick review of the trip. We started in downtown St. Louis and ended in Lenexa, Kansas in the greater Kansas City region.

Day 1: St. Louis—>St. Charles: From downtown St. Louis you can catch the Riverfront Trail at the Gateway Arch and ride it north to Chain of Rocks Bridge. Cross the bridge into Illinois, which is also part of the ACA’s Route 66 route and is pedestrian only, and take the Madison County Train Confluence Trail (MCT) to the town of Alton. At Alton cross the river back into Missouri on the Clark Bridge aka US-67 (bicycle lane). Once in Missouri turn right onto St. Charles St and then right onto MO-94 when the road ends. Fairly busy road but has a sufficient shoulder. (You can also turn left onto Dwiggins Road off of MO-94 and ride this quiet two-lane country road for a few miles until it ends at MO-94). From there turn left onto Machens Rd to access the eastern terminus of Katy Trail State Park. Go around the cable and take a left on the gravel road as soon as you cross the RR tracks and the trailhead will be around the bend.  We camped at an AirBnB a few miles east of St. Charles. It was $20 and we has access to the house including showers and bacon/eggs for breakfast but one of the homeowners dogs ate part of my bicycle shoes when I wasn’t paying attention.

Day 2: St Charles—>Marthasville: Take the time to explore the historic downtown area of St. Charles, the original capital of Missouri. Cute town. There’s a Wal*Mart in town if you need supplies. We camped at the baseball fields in Marthasville for $5. Access to showers and bathrooms all night. Huge covered area in the event of rain. We were woken up at 4am to tornado sirens and had to scramble to get the tent taken down before it blew away. This wasn’t in the forecast but memories were made! (Me in my boxers trying to pack up as a torrential downpour slammed the area). There’s a convenience store near the baseball fields and a Dollar General a short walk away. A lot of long stretches on this day without shade so FYI if it’s hot out. Along the way you should take the short 1/4 mile detour to see the original burial site of Daniel Boone. 

Day 3: Marthasville—>Jefferson City: Only a single trailhead in 31 miles, at McKittrick. If you take the spur here to Hermann there’s a local grocery store a few hundred feet down the highway. Not much else to see. You can camp at the Noren River Access in North Jefferson for $5 but no showers and I hear it’s where all the teens hangout and cause trouble at night. I opted for a campground 13 miles south of Jefferson City that is owned by a friend of a friend so they picked me up at the Wal*Mart in town and dropped me back off in the morning. JC has a lot of cool stuff including the old Missouri State Penn which has a museum etc. We didn’t visit since it was Sunday.

Day 4: Jefferson City—>Boonville: Rain all day so we didn’t stop much. Hartsburg has a bakery that sells amazing cinnamon rolls though. We were suppose to camp in New Franklin at Katy Roundhouse but because of the rain we opted for a $60 hotel (Days Inn) a few miles off the trail in Boonville. Town has all services needed. There’s a Casey’s in New Franklin just off trail. It’s my favorite place while on tour. Best donuts and coffee IMO.

Day 5: Boonville—>Windsor: Camped at Katy Rock Junction in Windsor. $15 and access to showers/bike storage garage. Literally right off the trail. Windsor isn’t big but it does have a few stores and restaurants. Boonville and Sedalia both have depots with museums and gift shops inside. Sedalia is a big town and you can also camp at the fairgrounds in town but the fair was going on when we passed through and it’s crazy expensive to camp during the fair. $70 is what we were told.

Day 6: Windsor—>Clinton: Met another cyclist and decided to have a short day to the end of the Katy Trail. You can camp for free at the Clinton Community Center. Access to showers and bathrooms from 5am to 9pm. Free coffee in the morning. It’s in a quiet part of town and they have a big covered area with picnic tables next to the camp area. 24 hour restrooms located near playground but the showers are inside and only accessible during open hours. Big town so has all the services you need.

Day 7: Clinton—>Lees Summit: We took Highway 13 to the junction of the Rock Island Spur 15 miles north at Post Oak. Busy road but has a sufficient shoulder. The tiny town of Chillhowee has a store that’s open every day except Sunday. Free camping at the town park there but no bathrooms or water so we passed and kept going. Pleasant Hill has all services. From here you can catch the MoPac Trail and a few local roads to Lees Summit, home of Longview Lake where we camped for the night. It was $32 for an electric site, on a few dollars more than a primitive site. Showers etc. You can also hop on and off of the Rock Island Spur but it’s patchy after Pleasant Hill so we opted for the more direct road route.

Day 8: Lees Summit—>Lenexa: You can catch the Trolley Trail and take that to the Indian Creek Greenway which will take you into Kansas. I ended here because I have a rule that I have to enter and exit a state fully to make it count. It was a short day. About a mile from the end I hit some mud at a stop light and fell over on my bike.

All together I did 411 miles. I rode with 32 GatorSkin Hardshells and didn’t have any flats. I would probably use my 28s if I did it again. The trail can be soft in spots after a rain though and bumpy when crossing driveways from washouts. Some blowdown after storms is almost a guarantee as well. The state is usually pretty quick about clearing these though.

I can’t say I was too impressed with the Katy Trail and not sure I’d do it again but it’s only of those trails I feel like everyone should do at least once.

If you have any questions etc feel free to ask. I tried to keep it down to a summary so I left out a lot of info.

2
General Discussion / ShipBikes is back!
« on: July 15, 2023, 09:29:08 pm »
After a few year hiatus ShipBikes is back but they now require you purchase a box through them to ship. They’re only $19.95 but requires more planning as you’ll need to order the box and wait for it to arrive before you can ship your bike. They do request an order number before purchasing a label to verify you have one of their boxes.

Still glad BikeFlights now has a competitor again.

https://www.shipbikes.com/

3
Classifieds / Pearl iZUMi PRO WxB Barrier Shoe Covers
« on: June 16, 2023, 10:14:09 pm »
New in package

Size XXL

Retails for $55

$35/obo + free shipping anywhere in USA

Photos here: https://imgur.com/a/OBctBEu

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Gear Talk / Click-Stand
« on: August 16, 2022, 06:30:06 pm »
Earlier this year I became the owner of a Click-Stand. I’d seen a lot of post about them on various forums but was hesitant. Had always used a road sign, tree, fence post etc to lean my bike up. One day my bike slid down a road sign and tore a nasty gash in the paint.

I have to say that the Click-Stand is one of my favorite bike gadgets now! I wouldn’t leave home without it. Click-Stand is a “one man show” as owner Tom Norstant states on his website. We chatted a bit over email and am happy to support his small business and recommend him to others.

http://www.click-stand.com/

Also, if you’re in the USA, they’re made and shipped from Aberdeen, Washington. Had mine in less than a week.

(I’m not affiliated with nor did I receive any kickbacks for this or any other review)

5
General Discussion / “Welcome to my Garden”
« on: June 17, 2022, 10:22:57 am »
Just came across a website for slow travelers called “Welcome to my Garden,” linked below. It looks pretty popular in Belgium and has a few host in the USA. Would be cool to see it grow here.

Similar to WarmShowers the website is for folks who have space in their yard to allow travelers to camp.

https://welcometomygarden.org/

6
Routes / North Dakota State Highway 46 (Northern Tier)
« on: June 14, 2022, 02:17:26 pm »
I just finished crossing North Dakota, the last of the contiguous 48 states I needed to cross by bike.

I rode from Glendive, MT to Moorhead, MN on the Northern Tier route.

State Highway 46, between Enderlin and Kindred, is the worst stretch of road I’ve ever ridden on! Narrow two lane highway with a lot of traffic. Mostly semis and farm equipment. No shoulders and where the shoulder does exist, the rumble strips go all the way across it. 55-65mph speed limit.

I don’t know of any alternatives in the area aside from going back to I-94 but if I did the Northern Tier again I wouldn’t ride this stretch.

Jason, the guy who runs the Honey Hub in Gackle, has been tryin to get the state to improve 46. There was a cyclist fatality west (I believe) of Gackle on 46 several years ago.

Also, the 12(?) mile stretch of I-94 east of Glen Ullin has rumble strips that go almost all the way across the shoulder. There’s a narrow 6-12” strip you have to ride. I would also look for an alternative route here.

7
General Discussion / ShipBikes switching over to UPS
« on: April 13, 2022, 12:47:32 pm »
Seems like ShipBikes.com has lost their contract with FedEx…

Website is currently down with this error: “Sorry for the inconvenience. We have paused our service while we transition our system over to our UPS partner. We'll be back next week.”

It’s unfortunate because FedEx was always a lot cheaper than UPS. Last week I obtained a shipping quote from ShipBikes for my bike/gear from Denver to Philadelphia for a cost of $71. The same details on BikeFlights, using UPS, is $158. More than double! I’m regretting not purchasing the label last week.

I’ll definitely be touring less at these cost.

8
Routes / Katy Trail (Connections to/from St. Louis/KCMO)
« on: March 24, 2022, 09:19:41 pm »
Considering doing the Katy Trail this summer. I’d probably fly into KCMO and out of St. Louis.

Has anyone biked from KCMO to the western terminus in Clinton and/or from the eastern terminus in Machens to St. Louis? Would like some suggestions on routes!

Searched this forum and the Katy Trail forums with no luck.

Happy Touring!

9
Gear Talk / Chair
« on: March 06, 2022, 04:08:47 pm »
Does anyone else carry a chair with them while on tour? I hadn’t before last summer, when I took it on a two week tour of Montana. I purchased a Helinox Chair Zero and find it more comfortable than most of the picnic tables. I’m an ultralight tourer (10-15lbs) so this is a little heavy for me at 18oz. Love the comfort of it though!

No photo of the chair so here’s a link https://helinox.com/collections/all-chairs/products/chair-zero?variant=16664192286790

Happy Touring!




PIC: Going-to-the-Sun Road (Glacier NP) June 2021

10
Routes / Delmarva
« on: February 12, 2022, 04:02:06 pm »
Now that the Delmarva maps are out, has anyone ridden any of it?

Will be leaving Philadelphia on May ~14th with an endpoint of Kitty Hawk, NC.

Will likely double back to Norfolk and fly home from there.

Open to suggestions etc!

11
Classifieds / Pearl iZUMi X Alp Launch II Shoes
« on: January 31, 2022, 12:00:11 pm »
New without box

Men’s Size 13

Color: Yellow

$60 + shipping for USA

Local pick up available in metro Denver or Nashville

12
Routes / Nashville ---> New Orleans Ride Report
« on: September 28, 2021, 06:06:42 pm »
Recently finished up a ride from Nashville to New Orleans on the Natchez Trace Parkway and the ACA's Great Rivers South route and thought I'd share a bit about my ride.

Day 1: Nashville --> Meriweather Lewis (76.46 miles) Getting from Nashville to the Northern Terminus of the NTP was kind of sketchy. It's about 16 miles from downtown to the NTP. I rode Highway 100, a busy four lane highway void of any shoulder. Once you get on the NTP it's smooth sailing to Meriweather Lewis. The Loveless Cafe before the NTP is your last option for anything until the next day. It's hilly leaving the city and it'll be a nice workout. There is a bicycle camp at MP408 (23 miles before Meriweather Lewis) but if you like history, the camp at Meriweather Lewis is near the spot where the famed expedition leader committed suicide at in 1809. His grave is a short walk from the camp. Potable water available. Free.

Day 2: Meriweather Lewis --> Colbert Ferry, Alabama (66.15 miles) More hills as you head south. Collinwood is a short ride off the trace. Has a visitors center and restaurants. Free bicycle camp at Colberts Ferry. Potable water and electric.

Day 3: Colberts Ferry ---> Tupelo, Mississippi (65.94 miles) The only "gas station" on the official map is long ago closed. I did notify park officials so it could be removed. Otherwise a long stretch of nothing. NTP Headquarters are located at Parkway, just north of Tupelo. They have a free bicycle camp there but unsure of the amenities. I opted for a hotel in Tupelo. The city isn't very pedestrian friendly as it lacks sidewalks and crosswalks. Birth place of Elvis, the house he was born in is a short ride from the NTP.

Day 4: Tupelo ---> French Camp (95.45 miles) There is a free campground 13 miles north of French Camp called Jeff Busby but opted for the Bed & Breakfast in French Camp, a town centered around an academy for at risk youth. Had the B&B to myself that night. $115. Restaurant and Dollar General in town.

Day 5: French Camp ---> Madison (92.64 miles) The Cypress Swamp outside of Jackson was great as was the reservoir you'll be riding along for a bit. At the Reservoir Overlook a paved MUP gives you the first off road cycling since the route begin. Drops you off south of Jackson. Stayed with a friends parents in Madison, NW of Jackson.

Day 6: Day off in Madison: Avoid Jackson.... It's a complete disaster. One of the most disgusting cities I've ever been in IMO.

Day 7: Madison ---> Rocky Springs (55.05 miles) Be sure to stop in Historic Clinton on the way out of Jackson. Cute town. Visitors center and all amenities. Rocky Springs is a long ago abandoned outpost on the NTP that hasn't been manned since the 1980's. I was the only one in the camp that night. Bathrooms were locked and only porta potties available. Water shut off. Cockroach infested. I ended up setting up my tent in the long ago abandoned building near the entrance to the "camp." You don't really have any other options besides here though. Other camps exist but pretty far off route.

Day 8: Rocky Springs ---> Natchez (59.59 miles) Not a lot of services on this stretch. Be sure to stop by the Locust Inn, the only remaining Inn left on the NTP. Natchez State Park is just off route but opted for a hotel in Natchez even though I had reservations at the park. The NTP ends randomly without any signs on the outskirts of Natchez. Cool town. Spent the better part of the next day sightseeing around the town.

Day 9: Natchez ---> St. Francisville, Louisiana (69.68 miles) I decided to ditch the ACA route and take the direct route into Louisiana. It's 26 miles shorter I think. Highway 61 is a busy four lane highway without any shoulder but cars were all great and didn't have any issues. Once you cross the state line into Louisiana the shoulder opens up and it's smooth riding from there. 2,400' elevation gain today! Stayed at Shelby J's RV Park a few miles outside of town on Highway 10, a narrow two lane road with terrible traffic. The RV park was a mess. Cold shower and the "tent" area was under some trees behind an abandoned mobile home. $20. Electric. St. Francisville has a cool downtown area. 

Day 10: St. Francisville ---> Baton Rouge (38.22 miles) Nice ride but not a lot to see. Factories and heavy truck traffic. Stayed with a WarmShowers host and spent the day on the campus of LSU.

Day 11: Baton Rouge ---> LaPlace (75.14 miles) Was suppose to ride all the way to New Orleans today but ran out of daylight and still had 40 miles to go so caught a ride to my hotel in the city. 90*F with a 90% humidity. Mississippi River Levee Path leaves Baton Rouge and picks back up in Carville, gravel for sometime but still great riding. If not into gravel you can pick it back up in Reserve. Due to Hurricane Ida, anything south of LaPlace was badly damaged and mostly closed.

Day 12: New Orleans ---> LaPlace ---> Kenner (44.39 miles) Rode backwards along the MRLT to where I'd gotten picked up at in LaPlace and then back to Kenner where I shipped my bike home. Riding in downtown NOLA is alright but delivery trucks park in the bike lanes everywhere. Not a lot to see on the trail, just industrial.

All in all it was about 750 miles. Good short ride for anyone looking to do a mini tour :)

13
Quick call to the Centreville (Mississippi) Police today and was told the bridge over the Little Buffalo River on Macedonia Road (Map 42, Great Rivers South Route Section 3) is OPEN!

I’ve sent in a map correction so the detour to Gloster can be removed from the addenda.

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Routes / Atlantic Coast Route Section 6 Map 65 update
« on: September 28, 2020, 04:50:59 pm »
Having issues with the map correction form so hope someone sees this and passes it on...

Atlantic Coast Route Section 6 Map 65

In Reidsville Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park is now named Jack Hill State Park

15
Routes / Natchez Trace Parkway
« on: February 25, 2020, 02:33:24 pm »
Has anyone on here ridden the Natchez Trace Parkway recently?

We’ll be leaving Nashville on 4/23 and heading towards Natchez with a continuation onto New Orleans.

The map gives us two options on getting to New Orleans. 61 through Mississippi into Louisiana or jumping over to Louisiana from Natchez via 425 and riding 15.

Any suggestions would be appreciated! :)

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