Thursday, June 15, 2023

KATY Trail 2023 - Day 1 - Kansas City to Lee's Summit

 Max and I are at a Super 8 on the outskirts of Kansas City.

There is a Perkins Pancake House and an Aldi across the parking lot, which covers dinner for tonight, and filling the snack bag tomorrow morning.

It was a total of 30 miles on bikes today, and 6 1/2 hours on the train from St. Louis to Kansas City. We rode about 6 1/2 miles to get to the train station from our AirBnB, and then 23 1/2 miles to get here from the train station in Kansas City. 

I left the truck by our AirBnB in St. Louis, parked on a street in the neighborhood. They have No Parking signs up that say parking is banned for 1/2 day at the end of each month. I take this to mean leaving my truck there for a week is no big deal since, implicitly, parking is allowed every other time. Also, many of the vehicles parked in the neighborhood have out-of-state plates, which suggests they are students. Who probably left their cars here for the whole summer.

Putting the bikes on the train was about as easy as it gets. The panniers are in a big pile behind the bikes.

The train ran late due to some issue making the fancy new bathrooms on the fancy new cars work. So we got in at 3:30 instead of 2. No big deal, we had plenty of time to ride through Kansas City to get to our motel. The coach cars in the train were new, with charging ports between the seats and free WiFi! This was the "Missouri River Runner", which just goes back and forth between St. Louis and Kansas City. It was pretty full, and I think new rail expansions like this are viable.

Kansas City is very run down and gritty, at least the part we rode through. I wonder if there is a nice part. We saw no signs of any nice part. other than the train station. This is quite a nice classic train station!

Half the ride was through city, then we picked up the Rock Island trail which took us the rest of the way.

This is a pretty new rail trail. Part cement, part smooth crushed stone. I think they use the cement wherever the ground is wet and soft. Definitely easy riding. The Rock Island Trail is basically a spur off the KATY Trail that connects to Kansas City. 

I'm feeling it a bit after this ride, due to being off the bike for the last two weeks from putting the garden in at home and going to Blues Fest. We had a good meal at the Perkins and a good sleep at the Super 8.

The Super 8 has had a superficial renovation, but the bathroom is a mess, fixtures barely work, so this is definitely in the 2 star category. I like the picture of the Gateway Arch over the bed though.

Here is the Strava track to the train station in St. Louis.
Here is the Strava track from the train station in Kansas City to here in Lee's Summit.

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