Expedition Logistics - Show me MO! - CycleBlaze

August 25, 2020

Expedition Logistics

Piecing together a bicycle tour across Missouri

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Lewis and Clark headed west from St. Charles on the Missouri 200 years ago. My tour involves no canoes or horses. Plotting the trail by bike across Missouri on this 8-person expedition involved putting many puzzle pieces together. I started mapping out the tour early in 2020. Here is a snapshot of my logistics.

Blazing the trail

MS Excel is the William Clark to my Meriwether Lewis. It began with a tour spreadsheet that refined as the months passed. I started recording  Katy commercial tour operators' details. I added details from on-line tour journals and social media posts. The final tour details emerged with daily mileage, destinations, and points of interest recorded in my Ride with GPS routes that guide me on my Garmin 520.

Getting the troops west

The Katy Trail has several shuttle services. None could give me a lift. Some were reserved, others had limited or no operations in this time of COVID-19. A  U-Haul truck became the shuttle service giving the expedition plenty of space for eight bikes and luggage. It gave flexibility to our departure time. There is a convenient U-Haul in Clinton for the truck return.

Having no canoes, horses, or chuck wagon readily available, a rental van serves as our support vehicle. Each of the eight cyclists takes turns as the porter for our luggage and daily support needs for water and snacks. The driver is the scout for lunch spots and our shopper for food, beverages, or whatever.

Setting up camp

No tents. No sleeping bags. No cooking gear. This is a credit-card tour. Nights are spent in hotels with meals in restaurants (and hopefully craft breweries). The tour spreadsheet identified ideal overnights where food and lodging (and that craft beer) are more plentiful. Each cyclist handled their reservations at the night's lodging.

There are some good online sources for hotels and bed & breakfasts. The BikeKatyTrail.com website has a good trip planning tool.  The Fans of the Katy Trail Facebook group is a good place to ask specific questions. Some of the commercial tour web pages identified their hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. Googling is also a good tool. 

Follow the tour

Telegraphs or Pony Express are not needed for dispatches from the west as we trace Lewis and Clark’s journey into unexplored Missouri. Follow me on social media at CycleBlaze and Instagram with hashtags @tombilcze #showmeMO #katytrail.

Today's Lewis and Clark Trivia

What position did Meriweather Lewis hold before becoming the leader of the Expedition?

Answer: President Jefferson's personal secretary Lewis was hired because of his knowledge of the Western country and the personnel of the Army, of which he was a Captain. He was paid $500 annually in salary. This was paid personally by Jefferson out of his salary.

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