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Routes / Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Last post by ray b on February 02, 2023, 09:18:37 pm »
 :D
Agreed. Late April can on occasion make for great adventure.... I've always wanted to visit Oz.
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Routes / Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Last post by jamawani on February 02, 2023, 08:12:06 pm »
Environmental History, KU in Lawrence
Studied under Donald Worster who has done incredible work on rivers.

First two weeks of October are sweet on the Katy.
Leaves have gotten later and later over the past 35 years.
But the humidity is down, highs are in the 60s & 70s, and there's much less rain.
Mid spring - late April - is so unpredictable - warm then cold - lots of rain.
Plus it's storm season - perfect time to visit Oz.
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Routes / Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Last post by ray b on February 02, 2023, 07:55:05 pm »
Well done Jama.
Correct on all counts.

Based in St. Louis, I use the Katy for rehab rides.

I've never adapted well to the heat and humidity, which often persists from mid-May to October.

Although not all the trailside amenities are available "off-season," I've had my most refreshing rides in October and November.

If you aren't tied to school vacations, a great time of year to be on one of the grand rail-to-trail efforts.

A nice loop can be had on the Katy heading west, then swinging north to pick up the Lewis and Clark trail to head back to St. Louis.
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General Discussion / Re: panniers or single-wheel cargo trailer or both --
« Last post by KF8MO on February 02, 2023, 11:27:41 am »
My wife and I use a BOB Yak trailer, but it's because we ride a tandem. Getting enough pannier space for two people onto one bike is tough, plus the rear wheel of a tandem is already heavily loaded even when the bike isn't. Our system is pretty neatly divided: our camp goes in the trailer, packed in the order we take it out to set up. (We've never had problems with things shifting on us back there, but then we bundle it tightly.) Our clothing and such go in the rear panniers. All food and cookware, and anything else potentially interesting to bears, goes in the front panniers. That distribution seems to make our rig pretty stable riding, and is functional.
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Routes / Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Last post by HikeBikeCook on February 02, 2023, 10:08:45 am »
Thanks for the detailed response jamawani -

I did use this table https://www.discoverstcharles.com/plan-your-visit/about-the-area/weather/ which showed June with less rain than May or July. June is also less hot than July and August. September looks really good, but that is a busy month for us and I have a long backpacking trip planned for the fall. I guess we will see how the Spring weather shapes up on the flooding threat and adjust from there.
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Routes / Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Last post by jamawani on February 01, 2023, 06:08:37 pm »
HBC -

No, precipitation records, historic river levels, and other climate records remain the best resource.
And the geography hasn't changed.

The Upper Missouri receives most of its flow from the Northern Rockies.
Snow pack is the best predictor. Snow melt varies from year to year.
Early hot temps, esp. combined with heavy rain can prouce a huge surge as in 2011.

The Middle Missouri was dammed (or damned) under the Pick-Sloan Program in the 1950s and 1960s.
These reservoirs receive the Upper Missouri flow plus snow and rain runoff from the Northern Plains.
This region often receives half its annual precip in May & June - with the peak around June 1.

The three major tributaries of the Lower Missouri are the Platte, the Kansas, and the Osage.
Only the Platte has Rocky Mountain headwaters - plus, its waters are grabbed by Denver metro and agriculture.
All three rivers can rise rapidly during heavy spring rain runoff, but they also have major reservoirs.

Floods like in 2011 are a 100-year occurance.
Plus, dam management that spring was questionable.
Everybody knew the snowpack was huge - and then big rains came on top of it.
Of course, many areas of the Plains are semi-arid and the farmers don't was to release water.
Especially if the reservoir ends up never getting filled.
It's a crap shoot with pressure to store as much water as possible.
So, in 2011 the ACE folks were caught with their pants down.

I'd still use the climate records -
Although the Great Plains have a highly variable climate - one of the most variable in the world.
In the late 1800s, homesteaders were told the "Rain follows the plow."
http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.ii.049
Well, there was a nice wet decade - - followed by ten years of drought.
And most of the homesteaders went belly up.

Also, the MKT / Katy Railroad between St Louis and Kansas was notorious for flooding.
Even when it was still a railroad.  Nice to be next to the river, but ....
You can do Highway 94 - but it has killer goathills. I know.
Back in 1987, I though it would be flat because it follows the river on a map.
Hah! Granny gear to big ring 100 times a day.

You should plan on rain since early June is the peak precipitation period.
It's just that the quantity is hard to predict - a little, a lot, or biblical.

https://www.weather.gov/eax/monthlypcpn

Have a nice trip!  Jama
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Routes / KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Last post by HikeBikeCook on February 01, 2023, 01:06:47 pm »
We are looking at doing the KATY Trail the first week in June this year. I know that flooding can be an issue and with recent climate changes 5 year old trip logs are starting to become irrelevant in regards to weather and temperature. Are there any locals here that would like to chime in. I consider anything over 80 oppressive heat  :D

Don't mind getting wet for a day or two but all week kind of sucks. Plus on most rail trails having to detour due to flooding usually means step climbs to get out of those wonderful long flat valleys.
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Routes / Re: English rider thinking of Transamerica
« Last post by HikeBikeCook on January 31, 2023, 11:59:24 am »
You can search for trip journals here. This seems to be the go-to place to journal bike trips here in the US and for Americans abroad. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=3d2
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General Discussion / Re: panniers or single-wheel cargo trailer or both --
« Last post by HikeBikeCook on January 31, 2023, 11:55:16 am »
I have used both, but not at the same time. It is easier to organize with panniers in my opinion. I used the BoB Ibex trailer on the C&O and the GAP and no matter how careful I was in packing the trailer bag, things tended to shift and settle, with the heavier stuff working it's way to the bottom. I traveled with my wife and it was our first trip so I had the gear for two. We had to camp a few nights and when we got to camp i needed to completely unload the trailer bag to find the tent and sleeping gear, etc. That was a pain when it was raining. The weight is pretty much an even trade off. The trailer weighs in around 18 pounds. I ride a Surly Disc Trucker and use their chromoly racks which add about 7 pounds with front and rear combined. I also have Ortlieb panniers that weigh in at 4.2 pounds for the rear and 3.5 pounds for the front. So racks and panniers add about 15 pounds and the trailer adds 18. There are lighter racks and maybe panniers, but Ortlieb panniers are the best you can buy in my opinion.

I found the panniers were also easier to access when riding. I keep my rain/warm gear in the front right and can get at it without dismounting. Also in bear country I have a separate pannier for food and bear-bagging stuff. I found it easier to over load the trailer as well. On the plus side for the trailer, the weight is distributed over a 5th wheel which I have to assume reduced overall drag but never researched that. Another thing with the trailer is that I took it shopping and was able to throw 2 bundles of firewood on the trailer to bring back to the campsite.  :D

As far as handling it some ways the trailer handled better. A few times I had my panniers unbalanced and hit a scary shimmy at 18 mph, got past that only to hit a worse one at 24 mph. Never really had a bad shimmy on the trailer but people do complain about that. I did have a trailer crash when I was hauling at about 18 to 20 mph on the C&O  trying to get to a campsite. I was passing through a partially closed gate and glanced over my shoulder to look for the campsite. The tip of my handlebar clipped the gate and the forward momentum of the trailer pushed me into a bad skid and we had a yard sale. Minor scrapes since it was dirt.

We now travel with panniers and split the gear between us, but 4 panniers for a 10 day trip might be overkill. The other odd thing that I noticed from the backpacking side of my life is that thru-hikers (I thru-hiked the AT in 2007) carry less weight that weekend or section hikers. I started a cross-country bike trip which I did not complete, but I also over packed. I should have know better from my backpacking experience. However, living in the woods on the AT, and going into trail towns, you can get away with being a little less hygienic or dressed in a ratty outfit. I hiked with boots and crocs 2 pairs of shorts, 2 t-shirts and rain gear. I wore crocs in town and threw on rain gear to wash my clothes. When I set out on my cross-country bike trip I packed town clothes and town shoes, etc. to not offend the general public. Next time I will skip all of that. Plus food is way easier to find on most bike routes, as is water. You think that you can ship back what you don't need, but on a long-distance bike trip you are better off to start without it and buy it later if you really need it. Biking brings you past shopping areas almost daily and now there is Amazon that would ship to you next hotel or hostel.

Hope this helps, safe travels.
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General Discussion / Re: Trans America - Oregon to Virginia
« Last post by HikeBikeCook on January 31, 2023, 11:11:09 am »
You may want to read my friend's journal. It was East to West, but he pulled a BoB Ibex trailer. Good read with plenty of pictures. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3d2&doc_id=24120&v=Zk
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