On every tour rain must fall - Show me MO! - CycleBlaze

August 31, 2020

On every tour rain must fall

A wet sustained climb to Boonville

Sitting out the wind, rain, thunder, and lightening at Clifton City
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I pulled back the drapery greeted by a beautiful sunrise this morning in Sedalia. The rain gods must have vanquished the wet forecast. Not so, the sun had disappeared hidden by darkening clouds as I pulled out of Sedalia. 

The initial miles were uneventful other than a short trail closure on the edge of town that the group ventured through. Thanks to the workers who allowed us to pass through and gave us directions to get back on the trail in less than a mile. 

Nice photo effect after the rain
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Waiting out the storm at the Clifton City trailhead
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Some nice limestone ledges cut along the trail
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Rain stayed away for the first 12 miles as we passed through scenery similar to the prior day’s ride. As a few stray raindrops fell on my helmet as I approached the Clifton City trailhead. A brief water stop turned into a 30-minute huddle under the trail shelter as a torrential rain with lightning and thunder roared through.  

Katarina's Cafe in Pilot Grove
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The skies cleared and I pedaled on to Pilot Grove for lunch at Katarina’s Home-style Cafe. A dry cafe with a promise of warm food raised my mood as I walked in the door. This small town diner served up some pretty good food. I had the mid-west favorite, breaded pork tenderloin. I highly recommend a stop at Katarina's if you are passing through Pilot Grove. 

Boonville Katy Depot
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My bike at the depot
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KATY Caboose
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The final twelve miles into Boonville were dry with sun peaking through the clouds as I pulled into Hotel Frederick. This hotel has been lovingly maintained over the years. It is a temple of solid oak. The young owners have made it quite a hospitable and comfortable place. I love these boutique hotels with character. 

Hotel Frederick in Boonville
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A very comfortable classic hotel room
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Today’s ride was all about the sustained climb. The elevation crept up from the time I departed Sedalia. There were no grades higher than the standard railroad 2% grade. However, those 1,142 feet of elevation gain was quite a struggle for the 36 miles. 

This climb is a good example that the number of feet climbed alone does not speak to the technical difficulty of the cycling. This climb was sustained meaning there was almost a constant climb with little obvious  benefit from the downhill. Trail surface was a big factor. The trail was soaked and spongy from the rain with a sandy base and little limestone cover. It was rough.  

I contrast today’s ride with the rides on several of the days on my North Carolina Mountains to Coast Ride. The elevations were mostly double in North Carolina. The difference was that the elevation was largely rolling hills with a good amount of benefit on the downhills. 

A sign at the Pilot Grove trailhead mentioned that many bicycle tourists see this as the most difficult section of their Katy Trail tour.  The scenery was nice and varied. The rain made for better photos. As challenging the ride was, the scenery and feeling of accomplishment made for a memorable day. I often find that difficult touring days become the most memorable day from a tour. 

The county courthouse outside of my hotel room window
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I finished the day with a walking tour of Boonville. It is the typical mid west small city that is recovering from the departure of industry. The main street was lined with an interesting mix of architecture. 

Being Monday, my dinner choices were quite limited to a diner and sports bar. My group opted for Maggie's Bar and Grill which served good bar food fair. I also visited the casinoa and only lost $.89. It was a good day on the bike. 

Tomorrow's forecast is for scattered thunderstorms through most of the day. It’s looking to be a wet ride into Columbia. It’s a relatively short ride. The forecast for the remainder of the week is much improved with no rain. 

Today’s Route

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Follow the tour 

No telegraphs need as we trace Lewis and Clark’s journey into the unexplored. You can just check us out on social media: Cycle Blaze and Instagram with hashtags @tombilcze #showmeMO #katytrail.  

Today's Trivia  

Sedalia is the home of the Missouri State Fair. The first Missouri State Fair was held September 9-13 in 1901. Most of the agricultural fairs in the nation began as harvest festivals. Accordingly, Missouri’s first State Fair was scheduled for the second week in September, when farmers had a slack period between harvesting field crops and beginning winter farming activities. 

Today's ride: 36 miles (58 km)
Total: 74 miles (119 km)

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