Last night I ate everything. A sub sammich, a huge bag of chips, and two bottles of Gatorade. Burp.
Breakfast was the usual motel fare. Biscuits (no gravy), hash browns, scrambled eggs, OJ, coffee, a banana, and some Raisin Bran. I took two apples for the road.
I hit the road at 6:30 in the hope of stealing the march on a forecasted 2 pm rain shower.
I rode about three miles on roads to get back to the trail. The trail had left the Missouri River valley and was now climbing ever so gradually through rock cuts and farmer’s fields. This is more like the rail trails I’m used to. The trail sits between parallel rows of trees. As a result you can’t see much of anything.
I could hear plenty of birds whose songs were unfamiliar. From time to time I’d hear a lone cow mooing a yawn. A couple of roosters made their presence known. I came upon a big snapping turtle who seemed completely disinterested in The Mule and me.
I later spotted a box turtle crossing a road at an intersection with the trail. I left him alone.
The general plan was to ride 36 miles to Sedalia where I’d consider riding further to Windsor or even Clinton. The trail surface was better than yesterday but the gradual incline provided a false flat. Your eyes tell you the trail is level but you can’t seem to attain a decent speed. It wears you down mentally.
I talked to the people from the Chamber of Commerce who worked in the restored train station at the trailhead. They told me about places to eat and mentioned the Hotel Bothwell as being popular with trail users. I rode a few blocks to check it out. They discount rooms by 20 percent for trail users.
It was a old hotel, the kind you might see in film from the 40s or 50s. I thought about booking a room but I still had three hours before the rain would arrive.
I decided to ride 21 miles to Windsor. The Chamber folks said that Kim’s Cabins in Windsor is popular with cyclists . I called the number and arranged for a cabin.
I bought a sandwich and some potato salad from the deli at the town market. I ate the sandwich as I rolled toward Windsor on the trail.
The trail surface seemed much worse. About a half inch of sand had been poured on the trail. It made for really laborious pedaling. At about the halfway point I ate the potato salad. I stole this idea from Felkerino, a randonneuring friend. It’s a food he eats when his energy is flagging after 200 or 300 miles. (I can’t even!)
It worked but the stop cost me time. With four miles to go the rain arrived. I actually welcomed the change. Alas, The Mule did not agree. The water mixed with the sand and limestone grit on the trail got into my cables making the flat trail feel like a mountain climb.
After an unintended tour of Windsor town, I arrived at the cabins where Kim greeted me. She had a hose set up that I used to gently wash off The Mule and myself. I had trail grit stuck to my legs almost to my knees.
After washing all the mess off it was obvious that the grit had gotten into my brakes – the cables, the brake mechanism and the pads. This same thing ruined a 2003 tour of mine in the GAP Trail in Pennsylvania. The solution is to loosen the cables and wipe the grit off them. A job for tomorrow.
As for tomorrow more rain is forecast for the entire day. Assuming I can get my brakes working properly, I may take the highway to Clinton where the Katy Trail ends. It’s only 20 miles. Then I need to decide whether to continue on 35 miles to Nevada. Another option is to try to set up a Warmshowers visit in Deepwater about 3 miles from Clinton.
Today’s mileage: 62. Total tour mileage: 244