“Bob, Jim, Chuck, Kate and I met at the Lewis and Clark Boathouse in Historic St Charles, MO.We launched out on the Katy Trail toward Machens, MO with some level of uncertainty as to the trail condition because of an unusual winter flood that occurred in December. What we found was the majority of the trail northeast of St. Charles had not been affected. However,there were sections of trail which were badly eroded, sections where tons of deep sand had been deposited, and in some cases both conditions existed. It’s worth noting, this section is also home to the lowest elevation of the entire 237 miles of The Katy and in very close proximity to the Missouri River.
Along the way, Bob experienced a serious but somewhat funny maintenance issue when his seat clamp bolt decided to play hide and seek and was not to be found. Bob was approximately 4 miles from St. Charles, and quickly developed a new found appreciation for the amount of core required to ride continuously without an option for sitting. In the meantime, the rest of our group explored a couple of gravel roads with out and back or loops back to the Katy. At one point, Jim defied physics as he slipped through the pancake flat river bottom headwind.
We eventually made our way back to St. Charles for a planned brunch break at The Bike Stop Cafe. We were happy to meet Bob and learn that he and the Bike Stop had jury rigged his saddle, enabling him to re-join our ride. We also bid farewell to Jim, who had other business to attend. The food and coffee at Bike Stop was delicious. I recommend giving it a try.
After lunch, we continued our exploration of interesting places and things on and around The Katy, including more single track, double track and gravel roads, at places with names like Bangert Island, Busch Wildlife, Hamburg, and Weldon Spring Conservation Area.
In spite of the wind and the fact that we were more than 40-miles in, Kate put us on notice and then dropped us like a hot potato as she claimed yet another QOM. Well done, Kate.
You know we are having some big fun when yet another repair dilemma arises… I can safely say, Bob’s got some serious strength and bike handling skills. When combined, the man can shred equipment. This time, he may have been overly enthusiastic while schooling us with his log-hopping exhibition. It wasn’t obvious at first but one glance at the rear wheel position, way off center rubbing the right-hand seat stay, and you knew something was awry. The dropouts on Bob’s bike needed an overhaul. With 14-miles to go, we (Chuck) conducted a little trailside “adjustment,” and all managed to ride (not walk) back to the vehicles.
The combination of bending Bob’s dropouts, and unexplained loss of Steve’s favorite jacket, may seem like a high price to pay but it was worth every penny because a good time was had by all.
For the day, we recorded 70 total miles and 1,300 feet of elevation gain.”