Sunday, September 11, 2011

Katy Trail Ride- The official report

It’s been 2 months to the day since I started my bike trip across Missouri with my boy scouts. I have no excuse for waiting this long, except to say that I’ve been trying to catch up at work ever since I went on that trip. Anyway, it’s high time I recap.
This trip was in the works since late last year. Having responsibility for a group of Varsity Boy Scouts, I was expected to take them on a “high adventure” trip. After reflecting back on my days as a boy scout and remembering my favorite things, I recalled riding on this trail with my best friend and his dad. As a boy, I had only seen a small portion of the trail, so I found this as the perfect opportunity to see the whole thing.
We planned our trip to last over 4 days, and I think that was ideal. We rode 60 miles a day the first 3 days, and 40 on the last. It was just enough that we could accomplish, and definitely enough to wear out teenage boys so that they were ready to sleep every night.
We drove to Clinton on Monday afternoon July 10th, with 9 boys and 3 adult leaders who would be biking, 2 who would be driving support vehicles, and 1 who would just be dropping us off. We camped behind the activity center in Clinton in the fairgrounds area. All of the boys were excited. Even if they weren’t avid riders, they were still excited. They were riding around the campground anticipating the next morning.
We were at the trailhead right around 7am, just a city block away. After gathering for a few pictures, the boys were heading down the trail before I could shout any more instructions to them.
The trail is pretty flat, with a max 4% grade, and going from West to East was a great way to go. Going in July is probably one of the worst months in terms of temps, but there was plenty of shade in most areas, so that, and the breeze that you get while in motion helped to keep us cool. The first day was the hottest, and were were pretty wiped out by the time we stopped in Sedalia for lunch. We had 2 scouts that decided to take the afternoon off at that point and just ride in the support vehicles. The rest of us pushed on after a rejuvenating lunch. Everyone that rode that afternoon made it all the way to our camping spot in Pilot Grove. We stopped there because they had a pool, and we camped in the park by the pool.
Day 2 got us to the Missouri River in Boonville before lunch. It was a little uphill to get there, and after we crossed the river, it was flat and boring through the river bottom fields. This is where the longest straightest sections of the trail were, and very little shade. If I could leave a part of the trail out, this would be it. We did have a detour towards the end of this section. There was some flooding do to the heavy snow upriver, so we had to get on pavement for a few miles to get to Rocheport. We at lunch there, and then headed down to Jefferson City, where we camped for the night. We had planned to camp 10 miles earlier, but found that we were better off going on to Jeff City.
Day 3- The goal was to get to Marthasville for camping that evening. This would mean 60 miles, and we weren’t sure the scouts had it in them. By 3 in the afternoon, we had only gone about half of the distance that we needed to. Amazingly, every one of the boys pressed on and made it to Marthasville by that evening.
Saw some great scenery on day 4. The trail in eastern Missouri was beautiful, and we finished those last 40 miles by the middle of the afternoon. We had a great time, and I am amazed that these young men finished what they started

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June update

Now only 3 weeks from the epic Katy trail ride. The boys are excited, as am I. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get in any official training rides lately. I am pretty sure their determination to complete the entire trip will carry most of them to the end. I am expecting 10 boys and 5 or six adult riders.
I think I rode Monday this week before I got knocked down with illness. Trying to recover from a bout of strep throat. I hope to ride at least this monday before I fly to CA on business....and no bike riding this time, most likely.
I am told by my friend Carter Bishop, who sells lube out in Utah and who is getting me started selling lube in the midwest, that I have a ticket in to Interbike again this year. My wife tells me I have airfare....the only thing left is to actually buy the airfare and figure out sleeping arrangements. YAHOO! I had such a great time last year...and to top it off, I just used all of my airline miles to book passage for my wife and I to Kauai in September! Looking forward to some scuba diving and some mountain biking! Glad my sister lives there and can show me around.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Several miles later...

Shame on me for losing many opportunities to update my blog. I have had a pretty good spring thus far. I started commuting to work again, this time, much earlier in the spring than I ever have before. We did get quite the load of snow this winter, then a good dose of spring. The last few weeks have been rather cool however, and quite a bit of flooding. One of the makeshift bridges that I use to avoid the highway during my morning commute has washed away.

This spring, I missed my annual trip out west to rendezvous with the guys in Utah/Idaho. This is the first time in 7 years that I did not make the trip. It was due to lack of interest and commitment from my group here. I had the hardest time getting a group committed, and in the end, half of them backed out, and I couldn't afford to make the trip with the gas price as it is. It's tough when you are counting on others to make your trip possible, but that's the way it has always been for me. Sadly, we were supposed to meet up in Fruita Colorado this time around instead of Moab. There's always next year.

I am currently working on a boy scout bike trip for July. I have a group of about 10 14-15 year old boys that I am taking on the Katy trail, a 225 mile Rails-to-Trails trail across Missouri. We have been doing some training rides to help us get ready including rides during the floods, which was quite an adventure (see the pic) The boys are very enthusiastic, and I am definitely seeing them get excited about biking. I refuse to let any of them have a bad experience by riding something less than decent for such a ride. NO WALMART TRASH on our ride.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

not much more than another weather update

Not only did we get snow after my last post, but this week we had another major snowfall, the largest on record for one day. We had about a foot at my house, and a half hours south of us had 2 feet! Incredible. Thankfully, it's melting right now. My brother will be here in a week, and he wants to go for a ride!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

weather update

After a very cold month and 2 or 3 snow days, we hit 70 yesterday! Too bad we are now under a winter storm watch right now. Oh well. That's January for you. I did manage to get out and ride on Friday after a few stressful days at the office. It was a great day to be out on the trail. Cameron Porter and I rode our stumpjumpers on a few things we'd never ridden. They continue to expand the trails on the north side of Bentonville, and there is something for everyone. If I were to guess how many miles of trail there are within the 3 square miles where the trails are, I would guess between 20 and 30.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January news

The cold has settled in, and I am staying indoors...I need a trainer! I have decided I either need to lighten up my Enduro or replace it. After riding the 29er, the Enduro feels HEAVY, even though it's not compared to most all mountain machines. I am looking for some lighter wheels for it.
I have a goal this year to do my first 12 hour race solo! Hoping to get that opportunity this summer in Missouri at one of my favorite riding spots. After riding 80 miles in the MS 150, I feel the need to try something more.
Plans are in the works for a Fruita Colorado trip in April. This will be the first time in 7 years that I haven't gone to Moab in the spring, but at least I'll be in the same neighborhood with the same great group of guys.
It will be hard to top 2010; so many great experiences. But I'm going to give it all I got!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

California riding again...

It's been 8 years since the last time I rode in California. Last time was a family vacation. This time I was able to work it into my business trip. The president of the company I work for just happens to be a mountain biker as well. The other great thing is that we are both tall, and he has 2 mountain bikes. We were able to arrange my flight so that we could go ride one morning before our sales meetings began.

John took me to Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, CA. Though John isn't as daring as I am on 2 wheels, he showed me some great trails and we had a great time. The park itself seemed well balanced in its offering of wide open fire roads and trails for the novice and technical climbs and descents for the expert. I didn't get to see everything this time around, but I hope to get back and explore this park some more. The redwoods and views were beautiful and definitely added to the riding experience.

Finish of race in Kansas 2004