Monday, September 19, 2011

River Trail 150

10AM on Saturday morning, rain covered windshield on the way back from grabbing breakfast and all hope/optimism for a sweet weekend is beginning to fade. Thankfully they make cell phones so technically awesomely advanced that you can watch the weather from your cellular device, in order to better make a decision that involves weather. Cycling tends to be part of that category. Luckily I've become quite the weather man since I've stopped listening to those fools on TV, and took it upon myself to religously track and watch the rain around these parts myself. I'm usually pretty spot on, and there's only been an instance or two where I've missed out on a great ride by choosing to let the weather dictate me not doing said ride.

So by 1PM, I was packing up the camelback, and hitting the road to make my way to Sedalia, where the River Trail 150 would begin.

I didn't put alot of thought into it. More or less a shoot from the hip kind of ride. Those are the best. Just jump on and go. Dishman and I once talked about jumping a train with only bikes in hand, and see where the train ended. Ride home from there...

This weekend I only knew that I wanted two good days of hard riding on the Katy Trail, and I wanted to end up in Hermann to watch the boys race at 3pm Sunday. I had opportunities to stop/stay in Booneville, Columbia, and Jeff. That's roughly 40, 70, and 90 miles respectively. I hit the trail at 2:30 Saturday afternoon, with just a slight drizzle in the air. It continued to spit little drops for about an hour, but not long after the hour mark I had to stop and take off my rain jacket to keep from internally combusting due to heat.

The trail was in awesome shape. Hero gravel. No dust, hardpacked, and fast. I made it to Booneville in 2 hours flat with two short stops in between. I quickly made my way over the Missouri Bridge, and then huffed it to the McBain exit, which is where the MKT Trail cuts in from Columbia. I decided Columbia would be more fun for then night, so I took the 5 mile trek on the MKT, to where it runs right by a buddies place, and took up shelter.

I was on the trail by 8:45 the next morning, just a short 30 minutes after waking up, once again playing weather man and dodging storms. A quick glance on the phone once I woke up and we were sandwhiched between two rain cells with what looked like about a 3 hour window of staying dry. So heavy legged, I pushed pedals to Jeff in a little under 2 hours. The cell from the West was breaking up, and from there I decided to keep on, rather than stay in Jeff for the day which also sounded pretty good.

The ride to Hermann was nice. Some spots more than others. If you've spent any time on the Katy, you know how beautiful some spots can be, and how boring others are. The Katy is a decieving little bugger. It's like those Sour Patch commercials. First it's sour, then it's sweet. But the Katy is the other way around. At first it's sweet. Then you hit that wall, and it becomes bitterly sour. For me it was about 3 hours in both days. You start realizing you've been pushing a fairly hard gear, non-stop for 60 miles. There's no coasting, no taking it easy. It's flat, but with enough slight changes in grades that you still get some climbing. The section from Sedalia to Booneville is the hilliest.

In all it's beauty, I was still glad to be done and have Hermann in sight. 150 miles of rail trail in under 24 hours, no flats, no mechanicals, and only a few drops of rain. Heck, my bike didn't even hardly get dirty. That's a good ride in my book.

The cross racing was fun. Mainly because my belly was full, and there was free beer. Jeff, you put on one hellava event. Hopefully I can race it one day.

Enough words...

The bike was spot on all weekend, and gears were a nice addition for this trek.

The rock.

Bigger pic of it.

Hermann pumpkins! I miss the Pumpkin Festival. Same weekend as Burning this year...

One of the bridges. And no, those are not ghosts. Just a couple out enjoying a nice day on the Katy.

The action up front between Shot and Devin. I enjoyed watching them hurt.

My view from the stairs all alone. It just seemed like a good place to heckle a bit.

Might just hit up some more Katy tonight and tommorow morning.

It sure is a nice day for it...


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