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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Reasonable First Time Trip?

My wife and I want to try a short trip on the Katy Trail in early May. We are inexperienced cyclists in our early 60's and I am wondering how many miles per day we should plan for an enjoyable ride each day. We are in good shape for our ages, but we are not interested in winning a race. I am thinking about an overnight in Washington with a shuttle to Augusta the next day. Bike west on the trail and overnight in Marthasville or Peers and then on to McKittrick the next day with an overnight in McKittrick or Hermann. Is this challenging enough or should we increase the mileage. Any recommendations would be appreciated!
posted Mar 5 2013 3:31PM - Bob, Springdale, AR


If you are in decent shape I think something like Augusta to McKittrick (35 miles) would be fine. This is just 8 mph per hour for a little over four hours. Part of the fun of riding the Katy is covering some distance. It doesn't have to be at breakneck speed, but over the course of a day you can cover some ground. I would fear if you go too short you would wish you'd bitten off more. Augusta to McKittrick is a nice ride with stops at Dutzow, Marthasville, Treloar and the Gore Winery if you wish. On the following day you could go back to Marthasville or Dutzow to pick up a shuttle ride (23 and 27 miles) back to Washington.

A slightly more ambitious trip would be to overnight in Jeff City, ride from there to McKittrick in Day 1, (47 miles) then McKittrick to Marthasville or Dutzow (23 and 27 miles) and then get a shuttle into Washington, overnight, then ride the Amtrak with your bikes back to your vehicle in Jeff City.

Good luck whatever you do.
posted Mar 5 2013 5:50PM - Haank, New Haven, MO

Bob, define inexperienced cyclist for us. How often and how far have rode in the past? No matter what your overall shape is, if you have not ridden any distance before you will not enjoy your trip if you dread getting back in the saddle.
posted Mar 5 2013 8:23PM - Gary, Near Tebbetts

We did an urban bike ride in Dublin last summer for about 10 miles. It was fairly flat and we stopped several times to sightsee. The trip didn't tax us at all. I am concerned about not covering enough ground and not feeling like we have gotten our "money's worth" for the trip. Jefferson City to Marthasville sounds good but 47 miles the first day may be a little much. Thanks for your comments!
posted Mar 5 2013 9:25PM - Anonymous

Augusta to Marthasville is 11.3 miles. Marthasville to McKittrick is 23 miles, and another 2.5 miles to Hermann.

There's nothing in Peers since the general store closed. There are reports that there is a restaurant in Treloar again, but I've not seen it.

If you are comfortable doing those distances, then that sounds like a pleasant ride.
posted Mar 6 2013 1:45PM - kevin, Jeff City

Last year I was like you, mid 60's, hadn't ridden a bike since I was kid, but in reasonble health. So I bought a comfort hybrid bike and started riding the Katy. I was not interested in setting any records, didn't want to spend weeks getting "in shape", just wanted to enjoy myself. I found that including breaks, observation stops, visiting with other riders, etc. an average pace of 5-6 miles was comfortable. I know many will say that's too slow but like I said, just out to enjoy, plenty of things to stop and observe along the way. Then I found that 6 hours on the trail was about the max without being too sore or tired to go again the next day. Plus 6 hours was about all my rear end could take. Plan your stops at places like Sedalia, Rocheport, Jeff City, Hermann, Augusta, St Charles, etc and you'll have plenty of things to see and do after your ride. Plus the smaller towns along the way are interesting breaks. Enjoy yourself and you'll be hooked like me. After riding all the Katy, both ways, a segment at a time, I went to Mississppi and rode the Long Leaf Trace last fall. Going to South Dakota this summer to ride the Mickleson Trail. Happy Biking
posted Mar 8 2013 12:38PM - RD

RD....we rode the Mickelson a few years back. It's not as flat as the Katy. There are several grades that are several miles long. Great going down, but you can sure tell they are there when going uphill. It was a wonderfull ride that was well worth the trip from MO.

We stayed in Hill City in town and at Emerald Pines B&B just outside of town. Great couple who owns it. The Alpine Inn is a hot spot to eat. Lots of variety on the menu there....filet mignon, large or small. Plenty to do in the area, Spearfish Canyon, train from Hill City to Keystone, etc.
posted Mar 8 2013 1:30PM - Trek

It looks like 25 to 30 miles to day will be our pace. Thanks for all of the advice!
posted Mar 10 2013 7:33PM - Bob Lambert, Springdale, AR

Tags: Augusta, Marthasville, Peers, McKittrick, Hermann, Washington, Augusta Winery Modify Tags

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