Ride report notes- Down the Missouri, up the Mississippi

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Jim, Jun 11, 2003.

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  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I just returned from a tandem w/trailer self-contained tour starting in Kansas City across the Katy
    Trail (Missouri) and up the Illinois side (Great River Road) of the Mississippi to Dubuque IA. Here
    are some general notes: -Cycling out of KC was tough... the two lane roads had high traffic and no
    shoulders, so we cycled the freeway shoulder to Clinton per a local cyclist's advice. -Katy trail
    was excellent for all its 225 miles, no traffic, good fine limestone base, nice
    river/forest/countyside scenery. Didn't see many cyclists on it in mid-May and weather was perfect.
    -Commercial services (food, camping, motels, eateries) are limited on Katy, so plan ahead. Plenty
    of excellent state park facilities for water and toilets about every 15-20 miles. -Very nice and
    helpful people at the Marthasville MO bike shop www.scenic-cycles.com -Illinois publishes free very
    detailed cycling maps that show road hazard ratings, services, things of interest, and local paved
    low traffic farm roads. These are locally distributed by local bike shops, chambers of commerce, or
    can be ordered in advance from the state web site. -The car ferry across the Mississippi to Grafton
    IL outside of St. Charles MO is $3/bike and fun. -Pleasant Hill IL has some nice Victorian houses
    to rent for the night at reasonable rates. -Avoid last 3 miles of hiway 57 south of Quincy...very
    dangerous truck traffic. -Illinois state park maps show some state parks as having showers which do
    not like Nauvoo and Delabar. All we got was rain showers at those campgounds (maybe that's what the
    map meant???). From the Quad Cities (Rock Island IL) to Savanna IL is a fantastic 63 mile long
    bicycle trail which is paved most the way and rivals (and in some respects surpasses) the Katy
    trail. I never heard of it until a local mentioned it. As an alternative, you can catch a Steamboat
    once a week which goes up the river all day from Davenport to Dubuque for $100 and includes lots of
    advertised delicious food. We didn't find out about the boat until we reached Savanna, but it would
    have been a tough choice...the trail or the boat. -Total distance was 800 miles. We saved Wisconsin
    and Minnesota for the future because the early June weather became too cold and rainy for us
    Arizona wimps.

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