Katy Dreaming

May 26, 2012

In one of my first posts on this blog, the January 9th “Prairie Spirit Dreaming“, three key points were established.

The first is that I had two major cycling goals for 2012:  accomplish my New Year’s Resolution of riding the full Katy Trail (~240 mile cycling/pedestrian trail across much of Missouri), and work up to that by cutting my teeth on the (currently) 51-mile-long Prairie Spirit Trail (PST), which starts a mile from my home.

The second point is that I named my intended timelines.  My goal was to accomplish a round-trip (two days) of the PST by June 30th, and accomplish the Katy by end of year.  My internal timeline for the Katy was roughly Octoberish.

The final salient factor established is that I wanted to make a point to NOT give the Katy very much thought or planning until I had successfully achieved the first goal.  Biking the full, 100-mile round-trip length of the PST over 2 days was an aggressive enough goal, and I wanted to put the horse before the cart in successfully accomplishing that before allowing myself to dream about the Katy.

I’m of course thrilled to have successfully finished the PST ride, on a very difficult (due to weather) April 28th-29th weekend.  Having accomplished the first of my two 2012 cycling-related goals several weeks ahead of time, the “dessert” in that equation is that, while I retain a strong love for the PST and will ride it frequently, I can allow myself to move on and dream of the Katy Trail.  And that’s exactly what I’ve given myself permission to do recently  🙂

The official Missouri State Parks website for the Katy is here.  An excellent resource website for the trail is bikekatytrail.com.  Similar to the content on the excellent bikeprairiespirit.com, bikekatytrail.com is a wealth of info on length of the trail, elevation, towns along the trail, services available, ride reports and photos from previous riders, and much more.  Just as I did with the Prairie Spirit, it’s an exciting thing for me to digest all the information I can, from bikekatytrail.com as well as many other sources, about this adventure I’ll be undertaking. Logistically it’s a much bigger undertaking for me for several reasons, with a correspondingly higher number of factors that need to be considered, so there’s a lot to learn.

I don’t have any firm date or really firm timeline in mind for the Katy.  The time period I’ve had in mind all along was sometime in October and that’s likely to be the case.  It’s not the summer when it’s very hot, it’s not yet very cold weather in the fall, the changing foliage is going to be beautiful, and it should be a wonderful time to ride.  The exact timeline will of course come into narrower focus as it nears.

Similarly, I don’t yet have an exact plan as to the number of days.  The trail is roughly 240 miles long, so an average pace of 60 miles a day would be 4 days, while 5 days would be just under 50 miles per day.  I’ve currently done three half-centuries and expect that they will have become much easier for me 4+ months from now; so I don’t expect to take longer than five days.  The likely plan would be to take a week of vacation and start the trail ride on probably a Saturday, maybe a Sunday; ride 4-5 days, finishing late in the week; and have a couple days to rest up before returning to work.

At this early stage, the above represents the sum of my organized thoughts around the Katy; but I can say with certainty that I am very excited about the upcoming adventure and will allow that enthusiasm to energize me in the coming months!

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