Friday, 30 April 2010

How to Cycle uphill

Bicycling and dealing with the challenging weather

Potential adverse weather patterns along the trail.

Storms. Most thunderstorms occur in June, followed by July and August. To avoid serious harm during strong winds, hail, or lightning-filled rain storms, trail riders and other users will take cover at the following places along the tail.

inside one of the 26 enclosed trailhead restrooms or under its bench shelters
in the caves or under the ledges in the bluff sections between New Franklin and Treloar
in the corrugated under-the-road road tunnels or under strong wind-proof trees along the entire trail
inside the old train tunnel at Rocheport
inside the local stores, cafes, filling stations, and picnic pavilions of the trail-side communities
on the porch of a farm or private home after knocking and asking for their help first
inside a covered vehicle or truck cab, or under a large one with permission (e.g., dump truck, semi-grain trailer)

A handful of abandoned sheds and old buildings together with field-parked farm equipment also exist near much of the trail, but most of them are on private property where trespassing is not allowed.

Lengthy rains. Most rainfall occurs in May, followed by April, June, and November. These lengthy rains will slowly saturate the hard trail and make it soft to ride on. Riders who do use the trail during these rains will equip their bikes with fenders, mud-flaps, and fairly wide cruising tires to minimize any splattering or sinking into the wet surface while riding it. Yet, although soft at times, the wet limestone trail does not become a muddy mess unless agitated by flowing water or by some other means. It also dries out fairly fast after a rain storm.

It is a good idea not to ride the surface while raining because the splattering from the wet slightly-muddied limestone trail surface sticks to everything it touches, including the bicycle's brakes and gears. This gradual caking buildup could eventually disable them. However, it washes off fairly easily.

Short rains. Light rains having no lightning or wind do not pose major hazards for riders other than general discomfort and getting everything wet or muddy. Most riders will wait out rains under a trailhead bench shelter or in a public building or pavilion. Also, heavy short rains will leave puddles on the trail that result in splash riding.

Flash-floods. These occur only during extremely heavy or torrential rains. Although flash floods seldom happen, they could happen in the low-lying areas along the eastern half of the trail where numerous creeks and drainage ditches flow into the Missouri River and its tributaries, and where non-flash high-water flooding normally occurs during lengthy rains. Gradual high-water flooding can happen between New Franklin and Rocheport where it has happened before, and between McKittrick and Weldon Springs where the elevation is about 500-feet above sea level or less.

Tips for dealing with adverse weather conditions on the trail.

Wear a helmet or suitable protective head covering (protects from crashes, hail, falling branches)
Carry storm protection, e.g., rain gear, folding umbrella, small hammock, tarp, or tent
Carry the website-listed emergency phone numbers both on paper and in a charged cell phone
Keep track of your trail location via the mile markers in case you must call for help
If possible, find cover before an imminently dangerous storm hits, preferable inside somewhere
Ask for help from nearby passing vehicles or private homes if necessary
If possible, avoid using the trail during highly adverse weather conditions

In summary, check the weather forecasts before using the trail. Remember that certain storms will follow large river valleys like the Missouri's, which make the daily weather forecasts rather accurate. Most of all, do not be afraid to ask or call for help if caught in a bad rain or hail storm. Most folks along the trail are friendly and helpful.

To learn more about how to ride this trail and to find its emergency phone numbers, see the following sites.

1. Katy Trail Missouri -

2. Katy Trail State Park -

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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Great Bicycling training workouts

5 great Reasons why cycling is great for your health

Bicycling is a delightful activity- it comes with many benefits, few disadvantages, and can be a lot of fun as well. This is what differentiates it from a lot of other healthy activities. Here are some of the numerous benefits of cycling.

1. It is good exercise.

Bicycling is an aerobic exercise that greatly reduces the probability of getting heart problems, especially coronary heart disease. It also controls blood pressure. Simply put, it is a workout for the heart.

It is a workout for your muscles, too. The muscles in your thighs, buttocks, and calves will all be benefited and become better toned. Observe those people who mountain bike frequently. More often than not, they are very fit-looking.

It increases your stamina for physical activity, enhancing your overall wellness state. With regular cycling, you can breathe more deeply, sweat more, and increase your body temperature. It is especially good exercise for those bordering on obesity, because it helps them to lose weight.

2. It is therapeutic to the soul.

A lot of people enjoy cycling home from work because it is a good way to let go of all the worries and stresses of the office. You can even see a lot of boys and girls bicycle home from school, which is a great stress reliever for mentally drained students. It is not just the physical exertion that does this, but perhaps also the opportunity to see and appreciate the scenery that you may have otherwise neglected in a car or bus. A lot of people rush from one activity to another without having any space on the schedule to think about things. Biking is a perfect opportunity to relax and reflect. Also, biking to work or school stimulates the mind and body, allowing for greater productivity.

3. It is a good bonding activity.

You may have observed that a lot of young boys bicycle in clusters. Many groups of girls bicycle together, too. By doing this, they form social interactions with each other. It can be a lot more fun to bicycle when you have company- especially a group of friends who enjoy going to the same places and live nearby. Emulate the youth in this practice- you might end up having a lot more fun and meeting a lot of interesting people.

4. It is an easy form of transportation.

If you have to go from one place to another around your locality every day, it's a good idea to buy a street bike, or even a mountain bike, depending on the terrain. You will save gasoline or money used for cab fare. It's less of a problem to find a parking space. And if you have kids who are still unable to drive, it may be a lot more convenient and a lot faster to have your boys bicycle instead of letting them walk or wait for the bus.

5. It helps the environment.

Unlike most other vehicles, bicycles do not emit any harmful fumes or chemicals in the air. You will not be leaving a carbon footprint if you ride one.

With all these reasons and a lot more, it is easy to see why a lot of people have passed up cars for bicycles.

Mark has been an entrepreneur and business owner for nearly 20 years. Come visit his latest website over at which explains some of the reasons to buy a girls bicycle for your young daughter.

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