You’ll feel better if you help out BikeCLE. I promise.....
Bike Cleveland (BikeCLE) is a 501(c)(3) advocacy non-profit organization for people on bikes in the Greater Cleveland area. Representing over 1000 dues paying members and more than 32 local businesses, they make sure that any time the conversation turns to transportation — that people on bikes are being considered alongside people in cars. They work to improve policy, infrastructure, and legislation to help make our roads places that serve people and communities, not just traffic.
If you want to help out, please support this worthy organization by becoming a member. It will cost you $35 (or $60 for a family) but you'll get a fancy membership card, invitations to special events and discounts at over 35 local businesses including a number of bike shops. If you are really motivated, you can also donate a few extra dollars as a one-time contribution. My goal is to get as many new memberships as possible and possibly a donation or two. It’s a good group of dedicated people working for all of us to make the streets a safe place for bicyclists. If you do not live in Northeast Ohio, join any way and know that you’ve supported a good cause.
Hottest Day, Second Longest Ride
I watched the weather reports for Hermann, Missouri when I woke up in Jefferson City on Day 4. They were calling for mid-afternoon thunderstorms and much warmer temperatures. I decided to skip breakfast and leave early to try to beat the weather to Hermann. I did buy a couple of a granola bars and filled my water bottles for the 48 mile trip.
Jefferson City to Tebbetts
I started the morning by climbing a hill back to the bridge over the Missouri. The fence on the bridge was lined with combination and other types of locks. I’ll have to find out later the significance of the many locks. At the end of the bridge was the bike Ramp I went up yesterday. It was a much easier going down. After the ramp it was about a two mile ride back to the Katy Trail.
This section of the trail towards Tebbetts followed route 94. The road would be on my right for most of the day. On my left would b an occasional house or farm. The trail would weave away from the road and head into the woods for a bit and return a mile or so later. There were a few rough spots on the trail in this section and I had to pay attention to driveway crossings. Each crossing was a bit rough.
I arrived in Tebbetts in pretty good time and had a quick snack and a drink of water. The typical trailhead has a restroom or two and a covered bench. On the wall under the covering would be a sign describing the history of the area as well as a brief description of what was on the trail to come either east or west. It was nice to read about the history and take note of the points of interest to come. I left Tebbetts refreshed and ready for the day.
Tebbetts to Mokane
The trail between Tebbetts and Mokane was very similar to first section of the morning. I was still a bit away from the river but near to the flood plains just north of the river. I would pass an occasional farm house or grain silo. But for the most part this section is fairly non-populated.
I arrived in Mokane and stopped for a water refill and an email check. Cell phone coverage was very spotty on this part of the trail. I don’t think I had a good signal the entire day.
Mokane to Portland
The journey from Mokane to Portland stayed fairly well north of the river with only occasional glimpses of the water. It was getting hotter and the humidity was increasing as well. The weather reports still called for showers and thunderstorms so I proceeded a little faster than normal to try to stay ahead of the rain.
This part off the trail traveled over many small bridges and trestles carrying the trail traffic over small streams and rivers flowing into the Missouri.
Further down the trail I came across the famous Standing Rock. It’s basically a section of the bluffs that became disconnected a few thousand years ago. There were markings in the rock surface designating the height of the water during a few recent significant floods. A couple of the markings were 1/2 way up the rock.
Standing a Rock - Past Floods marked on the surface
We were also in an area dominated by a local nuclear power plant. Built in the 1980’s, it provides a large portion of the current employment. The warning signs were a bit ominous but I never saw the plant or the tall cooling tower mentioned to be visible for miles.
Portland to Hermann
in hindsight, I should have spent more time at the trailhead in Portland resting and filling up the water bottles. Instead, I decided to put the pedal to the metal and make an all out 18 mile run to Hermann to beat the rain. This was a mistake.
The trail turned closer to the river in sections and offered great views of the water. You could see the hills on the other side of the river as well as the bluffs on my north.
The temperature was now well into the 90’s and the humidity was stifling. I began to feel a bit dizzy and tired. In cycling terms this is called “bonking”. My blood sugar was probably low and I was a little dehydrated. I stopped near a cross road and took out the last Granola bar I had and drank my last 1/4 bottle of water. I looked up to my left and noticed a stuffed animal peeking out from the bluffs. I really thought I was hallucinating but since the picture came out, I guess they were really there! I waited a few minutes and started to feel better and proceeded on towards Hermann it was a mistake not to take my time and fuel up a little better. Lesson learned. By the way, it never did rain.
Arriving in Hermann
I left the trail near Hermann and proceeded down a few roads towards the bridge to Hermann. By this time the battery in my GoPro died and I don’t have a video record of the bridge or arriving in town. I’ll get some shots in the morning on the way out.
I arrived at my Bed & Breakfast and was greeted by the owner in the street. He helped me carry my bags to the THIRD floor room and stored my bike. By the way, this was the first night I did not have the bike in the room with me.
I rested a little and rehydrated. After about an hour I walked around Hermann and found a nice restaurant for dinner. Lesson learned....
My Bed and Breakfast in Hermann - Captain Wohlt’s