It’s not too late to donate....
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.
Lost in Sedalia
I left Sedalia around 8:00 am. It was foggy and brisk. I was happy I had the headlight and taillight for visibility. There is a couple mile break in the trail which requires a little back street navigation to get back to the starting spot for the day. I had programmed in what I thought was a short cut. Mistake. My navigation led me to an abandoned rail track and not the Katy Trail. It could have been the Katy Trail but it was never finished. So, I traced my steps back, took a couple of wrong turns and finally stopped at a gas station to ask directions. They gave me the directions to get back to the Sedalia trailhead. I hate back tracking. Anyway, I followed the clear road signs and the Katy Trail markers PAINTED on the road and made it back to the trail. It added about 3 miles to my 40 mile journey
On to Boonville
Once I found the trail, it began to clear up and I headed east. The trail in this section was in good shape and the views spectacular. I rode for at least 7 miles without seeing another person. At this point I was heading downhill towards Clinton City and the going was pretty easy. Occasionally the tree coverage would clear and provide some nice views of the countryside, farms and ranches. So far, it was one of the more scenic areas to ride through.
Onc I arrived in Clifton City, I took a little break and had a snack and refilled one of my water bottles. I met a nice couple from Connecticut riding a tandem bike. They were beyond retirement age and looking like they were having the time of their life’s. I followed them for a bit on the trail and they kept a strong pace. I was impressed.
A Little Climb
I knew from my planning that the section of trail from Clifton City to Pilot Grove would be the longest climb of the trip. Don’t get me wrong, if you live in Colorado you would call this flat. But for me, it was a fairly long, gradual climb. The grade was not much but the distance and the grade together made for a strenuous ride. It certainly didn’t wipe me out but my legs were feeling the burn.
This section of the trail also had a few deep ruts. You needed to pay attention so you didn’t get caught in one of them. Someone had placed red cones on top of some of them which allowed you to avoid the larger ones. This went on for a few miles but leveled out soon after.
Pilot Grove to Boonville
I arrived in Pilot Grove thankful for finishing the climb. I rested a bit and had a snack and took a few pictures. Not only is the trail in great shape, the trailheads are clean, have fixed restrooms and water. You really can’t ask for much else.
This section of the trail also had a few small culvert type tunnels. It was a clever way to get under a road or chop off the peak of a climb. There were also a few areas where the railroad had cut through rock leaving cliffs on either side of the trail.
The trail took another small climb towards Boonville (I was saying to myself, enough already) and crossed over Intersate 70 which is the main east west highway in Missouri. From there it as a fairly easy pedal into Boonsville.
I stopped at a bike shop at the trailhead and a very nice proprietor allowed me to check my tire pressure and fill up. It was a short ride from that point to the Hotel Frederick which was my stop for the night. Boonville is a quaint small town on the Missouri River. Since the restaurant was closed in the hotel, I walked a around “Main Street” and found a nice little local restaurant.
They say the Hotel Frederick is haunted.... I’ll let you know in the morning if this is true!