Here's my story: left Webster Groves MO just before 4am, rode to Creve Coeur Park, then across the Page Avenue Extension to the KATY Trail. Hit the KATY trail right at the 20 mile mark. Saw 5 or 6 runners on the trail before 6am! Good for me as I didn't have to be the one breaking all the spider webs. Rode another 31 miles and stopped at the Dutzow Deli for breakfast just before 8am with 51+ miles on the odometer (GPS). Then a long slog (~40 miles) to Portland for lunch at the Riverfront Bar & Grill - it's for sale if you are interested. Legs ached at this point but more fluids, rest and vitamin I helped. Battled a head wind in this stretch. Somewhere near Mokane I got passed by a Harley Davidson motorcycle (and rider) on the trail. The rider was kind enough to wave as he passed me at ~25 mph as he threw gravel dust all over me. Fail. Then on to the north Jefferson Trail Head (about 120 miles). Then followed the connector trail to the bike/ped lane across on Highway 54 (they did a very nice job with this - great place to take pictures of the MO river with Capitol in the background). Stopped at the capitol building for a pic, then on to the Coffee Zone on High Street for caffeine and carbs.
Made my way back to US 54 and headed southwest towards the lake on the wide shoulder. Lots of big rollers and sun for the next 40 miles. I was happy to be on pavement, after 100 miles of gravel, and able to coast downhill on these rollers versus pedaling all the time on the flat, gravel KATY Trail. In a nutshell: US54 from Jefferson City to Lake of the Ozarks is doable, but not ideal. Nice wide shoulder but 1) lots of fast moving traffic (speed limit is 70 in places, which seems to compel some drivers to do 80) 2) there are 3 bridge crossing where the shoulder all but disappears and you are left with a ~3 foot strip outside the fog line to hustles across the bridge on. Not for the squeamish. I did this ride on a Thursday to avoid some the weekend lake traffic.
Had some leg cramps about the 146 mile mark so I moderated my speed. Stopped at the junction of the Highway 54 and Highway 17 at a Subway, had a sandwich, and consumed about half of their iced tea as I was so tired of sports drinks by then. Note: there are not a lot of convenient places to stop and eat along US54 between Jeff City and Lake Ozark. Then one final push towards the lake. I exited on Business 54, down the hill, across Bagnal Dam, then thru Lake Ozark, then turned off on Highway MM and rode across the Community Bridge to the toll booth where a buddy met me with ice water and IPA. Re-hydration is important, eh?
Along the way I stopped after every hour of riding time to take a picture, note my mileage, and email/txt the family of my progress. I did this deliberately to force myself to rest along the way since I had a long way to go. Took 50+ pics along the way. I used a Garmin Forerunner 301 to record my route. After about 8+ hours I had to put it on external battery power to keep it running for another 8+ hours! Saw the following wildlife: lots of bugs in Creve Coeur Park, one bullfrog, a family of 4 raccoons, 5 deer, lots of male Cardinals (birds, not baseball players or religious people), a wild turkey, a muskrat, a snake, two turtles, lots of grasshoppers and one mouse.
Weather was decent as it stayed mostly cloudy for most of the day, some wind out of the NW and a high temp around 90 degrees. Between riding before sunrise, the cloud cover and the trees along the trail I was able to stay out of the sun for a large part of the ride.
Distance: 167.66 miles.
Riding Time: 12:00:11.
Clock Time 16:37.
Average speed: 13.96
Elevation Gain: 2,987 ft
Bike: 2002 TREK 7500fx Performance Hybrid equipped with toe clips and brand new Bontrager H5 Plus tires (700x32). My intent was to be self-sufficent on this ride so I had a bag on my mountain rack with food (GU, pretzels, fig newtons), first-aid kit, tools, 3 tubes, 1 folding tire, hand wipes, zip lock bags in case it rained, bike lock, sunscreen, spare Garmin.
Pics are here:
Route is here:
Props to others for posting their experinces with riding to the lake - very helpful to me.
I used Ray Scott's nice KATY Trail website to plan my stops along that leg of the ride. Lots of good info about where to get food & water.
Heck of an adventure and one that I probably won't repeat anytime soon.
Edited by TripleRing, 02 July 2012 - 07:44 PM.