Friday, April 8, 2016

Practice Makes Perfect?

Recently (March 29-30) I took a short practice run to a local county park.  I loaded my trailer with everything I plan on taking on my trip minus a few clothes.  Fortunately everything fit with room to spare. (Yay, I get to take 2 pairs of socks and underwear on my trip instead of just one j/k)

Trike Packed
Packed and Ready To Go

For this practice trip the route was mostly along the Katy Trail, a rails to trails trail which runs nearly across the state of Missouri.  My route only covered about 20 miles of this limestone chat trail.  This section of the trail runs along the Missouri River valley through agricultural area and Weldon Springs Conservation Area.  The trail following on the old railroad bed often has high limestone bluff rising on the north side of the trail

Katy Trail
Katy Trail

Limestone Bluff
High Limestone Bluff

Limestone Bluff
Limestone Bluff

Shelter Bluff
Shallow Limestone Shelter Bluff

Along the trail there remains remnants of the railroad past including concrete structures, mileage markers and most prominently are some remaining railroad bridges now used as pedestrian and cycling bridges.

Railroad Bridge
Railroad Bridge

My overnight campground was at Klondike Park, a park operated by St. Charles County, and located right along the Katy Trail near Augusta, Missouri.  I was the only person camping there that night.  It made for a quiet night except for the constant muffled drone of the power plant over a mile away across the river and the park ranger who came around about 9 pm checking on things.

Campsite At Klondike Park

After a very good night of sleep I woke early as I knew rain was forecast for later in day.  After a quick breakfast I loaded up and headed for home along the same route as I took the day before.  I successfully beat the rain by minutes as it started as I was pulling my trike into my garage at home.

Missouri River
View Across Missouri River - Clouds In A Distance

The trip was a great trial run.  Did practice make perfect?  No, however the practice run identified a few minor imperfections which were easily corrected at home which would have been much more difficult to correct on the trail.  A few other observations from the practice run:  The trailer pulls well on pavement but is a little more noticeable on a gravel trail.  Cycling down an 11% grade towing a trailer makes for an exhilarating ride; cycling up an 11% grade towing a trailer is far from exhilarating, it is just a lot of work but I made it.

The practice run really helped to increase my confidence in my trike, trailer and gear, I am feeling good for the ride to start.

No comments:

Post a Comment