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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Trail - Clinton to Sedalia


I rode my bike from Clinton to Sedalia yesterday, 5/17/11. The weather was perfect, and it was my first time on the trail. My husband dropped me off at Clinton, picking me up at the end of my ride at Sedalia. I was disappointed in two facts:
1. There was no cell phone service for about 10 miles around Windsor. This seemed very dangerous for me, since I am a woman riding by myself.
2. I was shocked to see how many times the trail crossed country roads. People on the trail have to stop and yield to oncoming traffic. Many times there were sharp curves and trees blocking any oncoming traffic. This frightened me. I know it's a lot to ask, but I wish the traffic had to yield to me. When the trains ran across these roads, the traffic had to yield to them.
There were no bugs this time of year, and the trail was in excellent condition. Even though I had the safety concerns mentioned above, my experience was wonderful!!
posted May 18 2011 7:49AM - BLH, Kansas City

You're kidding, right?
posted May 18 2011 9:51AM - MidSouth, Rogersville, MO

Hey Ray, can you put in a "like" button? Thanks. :)
posted May 18 2011 10:01AM - Jules, Lake Saint Louis, MO

"This frightened me. I know it's a lot to ask, but I wish the traffic had to yield to me."

-That shouldn't be a problem!
posted May 18 2011 6:29PM - Moses, Mount Sinai

Maybe we all could pool our money and hire two highway patrol officers to ride with you next time. I do hope your complaints are in jest!
posted May 18 2011 8:57PM - Anonymous

Congrats on your first ride. I think as you ride more and get comfortable with the trail your concerns about cell service and traffic will fade.
posted May 18 2011 9:01PM - Jim, St Thomas

Maybe we could get Obuma to build overpasses on all of the road crossings so as to not have any conflicts.
posted May 18 2011 11:06PM - Al Bundy, Chicago, IL

Out on the eastern end, many vehicles slow and yield for vehicle traffic. However, you cant count on this. Many people that dislike cyclists or that arent from the area, may not.

I understand your concern about crossing roads. My sister used to have the same fear, but has gotten better with experience.

Cell phone coverage on the trail is spotty and this is common knowledge. It depends on your service and terrain (standing by a limestone cliff--no service). I try to emphasize to visitors--the Katy runs through some very RURAL areas. It may be hours between food stops and days between bike shops.
posted May 19 2011 9:08AM - Cunninghamair, St louis

BLH, I'm assuming you are not kidding and also that you drive a car. Can you imagine a delivery driver driving a semi having to stop at all of those intersections? Or a school bus, or mailman, or you in a car. Most of the time there are no bikes crossing but if they put up stop signs, people would have to stop 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If they put up yeld signs, it would be less safe because most drivers would ignore them and a cyclist would assume (correctly) that they had the right-of-way. The cyclist would say “but I had the right-of-way” while lying on the ER stretcher. So most smart cyclists would stop anyway, and wait for the traffic to stop and this would delay traffic even more. So my advice is: when coming to an intersection, treat it like a train crossing, Stop, Look, and Listen, any you will be safe.
posted May 19 2011 9:42AM - Chris, Centralia, IL

BLH, I have not ridden on the part of the trail you were on. But I do ride a lot from Jefferson City east to Portland, and from Jefferson City west to Easley. I don't think there are that many roads that cross the trail on these sections, so you might give them a try. Also there are several places where the river is close to the trail, which is always nice (unless there is flooding).

It's great to hear someone new is trying the trail. Keep coming back, and tell all your friends.
posted May 19 2011 11:35AM - Cathy, Jefferson City

BLH,

We appreciate, as others have said, about you telling us about your initial trail ride. With time, crossings will be less concern because you will be able to watch earlier for traffic and time your crossing without having to come to a complete stop. As you saw, Green Ridge wasn't too far for the cell dead zone, for your husband to meet you for future rides. I do not believe there was as much traffic when the trains ran years ago and also as many high traffic roads intersecting. We all appreciate your new riding adventure on the Katy Trail and assume you will keep riding it. Believe me it gets more fun and better with every ride.
posted May 19 2011 5:32PM - Some Consideration

BLH,
Really? It's the Katy trail not a spa, if you want the silver spoon treatment on your bike ride grants trail in STL. I've ridden the Katy 3 times in the past 4 years and I found a dead guy, had to divert Rochport because of flooding, was chased by dogs, and got stuck in a hail storm for 7 miles. This trail is very rural in parts and is not for most people if you are planning to ride it more than 20 miles. Seriously you CANNOT complain about no cell reception in the middle of no where and having to look both ways before you cross the street. Common sense really.
posted May 20 2011 1:13PM - Andrew

Dead guy? Do tell.
posted May 20 2011 1:44PM - Jules, Lake Saint Louis

For crying out loud Andrew, you make the Katy Trail sound like an access road to the Valley of the Living Dead. I've ridden the Katy Trail often, I haven't seen any dead bodies. Where the Hell did you see a dead body? Come on, give it up.
posted May 20 2011 11:42PM - Cathy, Jefferson City

You can always find a body or two at Deon's in Pilot Grove after the saturday night shootout. No big deal...
posted May 22 2011 8:35AM - Anonymous

No Cathy of Jeff city! the katy trail is not, "an access road to the Valley of the Living Dead" it's just not a trail for everyone especially on the western half. I just think it's funny that someone would complain about the things BLH complained about considering the experiences I've had on the trail. 99% of the time I really enjoy riding the Katy and see it as a mental and physical challenge, but when you put more than 20 miles on it you have to expect the unexpected(like some of the things I came accross). I found a rider who died of a heart attack 2 miles west of the Tbbetts trail head. He was riding from Jeff city to Hermann for the weekend. I would encourage anyone to ride the whole Katy trail at least once in their life, its a great experience. Just be prepared for bigger issues than looking both ways before crossing the street.
posted May 22 2011 12:33PM - Andrew

Andrew, I think the Katy Trail in my area is for just about everyone. I see very elderly people using it. I saw a group of developmentally disabled people from a nearby residential facility with a few staff on the trail, going for a short walk. I see little kids with their parents; people post comments on this forum about going on long rides with 8 year old kids. I've enjoyed a burger at Jim's in Tebbets with a couple of men and a 10 year old, having the adventure of his life.

I hope that BLH rides the trail again, and again, and then she finds herself getting on the trail every chance she has.

I'm a 59 year old woman, at times afraid of my own shadow, but I got over my fear of being injured riding my bike, and ride weekly, because I can ride on the Katy Trail.

Oh, and I hope that BLH somehow gets on the mailing list for one of the groups that support bicycling in Missouri, and she supports their efforts to make bicycling safe for everyone in our state.

You are absolutely right Andrew, that everyone should ride the entire trail, and the key is to be prepared. My daughter (she's 27) and I rode from Rocheport to St. Charles 2 years ago with my husband as support in our car (sounds like what BLH and her husband did). We planned carefully using this website. Break downs, bad weather, a mean old lady that chased us out of Wainwright, and my brush with getting over heated didn't bother us.

Sorry this is so long. I'm listening to weather alerts and blogging, going on and on and on........Looks like Portland and Bluffton are getting hail.
posted May 22 2011 7:20PM - Cathy, Jefferson City

I RECENTLY RODE THIS SECTION AND WAS WONDERING IF I WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WHOLE COUNTY. IF YOU FELT NERVOUS CROSSING THESE DESERTED COUNTRY ROADS YOU HAVE NO PLACE LIVING OUTSIDE A PANICK ROOM. I HOPE YOUR COMMENTS WERE A JOKE.CELL SERVICE? NEXT TIME WATCH THE TRAIL AND NOT THE BARS ON YOUR PHONE
posted May 23 2011 7:22AM - Anonymous

i was wondering WHAT to reply to such A post. then i PRICKed my finger and had to stop typing.
posted May 23 2011 3:33PM - Jim, St Thomas

come on jim...this lady is complaining about having to cross a street, not a busy street in st louis but a deserted road in the country.dont coddle her.but i do applaud you witty response.
posted May 25 2011 6:54AM - kurt, naperville il

Yes, don't coddle her. But don't sling mud at her either, which is what some of the insulting comments you clowns have made amounted to. Encourage more people, no matter how new they are to this type of experience to get on this trail and learn to love it. She will figure it out.

Now if you'll excuse me, the finale of American Idol is on and I do have my priorities.
posted May 25 2011 8:56PM - Cathy, Jefferson City

Cathy, we was jist doin' a little bit of funnin', that's all.

But, you are right. I hope BLH sticks with it and piles up the miles like many of us have.

BLH, being cautious is a good thing, especially in cycling. The Katy is an excellent way to spend your time outdoors, getting exercise, and just chatting with people along the trail. It's a great hobby and just simply a fun thing to do. The truth is though, if my cell phone did work all up and down the trail, I would have probably already thrown it into the river! Figuratively speaking of course. Good luck to ya!
posted May 26 2011 6:50AM - Darrell Moses Bozo, Jefferson City, Mo.

Yo Kurt.....I just give a lot of leeway to first timers. It's easy to forget what it was like when you first started riding. To a lot of our urban brothers and sisters the Katy is wilderness. Their fears may seem a tad extreme to seasoned riders but they are real to them.
posted May 26 2011 7:13PM - Jim, St Thomas

I rode the trail for the first time in my life last weekend. I did from Clinton to Calhoun and back (I hadnt been on a bike since I was 13 years old). It is really nice. Much more pleasant that riding on my local roads that I would have to share with trucks and farm equiptment. This weekend we are going to pick up a new bike for my spouse and do another leg of the trail. I had problems with cell phone reception. I really was using it for music while I rode so I will be sure to bring an ipod this week. Does the phone reception improve as I move east?
posted May 27 2011 10:40PM - kelly, corder

What about the mountain lions and bears and sasquatches and the shetland ponies between Calhoun and Sedalia!?!
posted May 28 2011 8:03AM - David+from+Kansas

The thing I really like about about riding the Katy is the freedom. It makes me feel like a modern day Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn. I feel no need for time pieces, music players or even a cell phone. Adventure is where you make it.
posted May 31 2011 5:42PM - Pistolero45, Columbia

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