Gravel Riding to Busch Wildlife
In prep for my riding of the Dirty Kanza 100 coming up in June, I’ve been trying to get some miles in, and looking for some gravel that is “near by” to get some gravel miles in as well. Last week I was talking with my neighbor, who tends to ride his bike(s) a little, he mentioned the Femme Osage Trail, but I wasn’t able to head out with him on Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning I decided I would try to map out that route based on what he said, and started looking on GravelMap.com.
Digging through GravelMap I picked out a trail called the Hamburg Trail, that takes off from the Katy Trail in St. Charles County and goes out towards Busch Wildlife in Weldon Spring. Leaving the Katy Trail onto the Hamburg trail you climb about 300 feet and head towards “The Mound”, which is an interesting read in its own right. Once you pass the Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail, you’ll go by Hell (Francis Howell High School), and then cross over Hwy D into the Busch Wildlife area.
In Busch Wildlife there are 25 miles of gravel roads, many of those don’t connect to anything, but you can ride in/out on them to get some distance in. I ended up doing two loops today in a segment that I’m calling “Busch Squiggle Outer Loop” that is a 7:31 miles.
There may be better gravel out there, but this little route is a great ride for me. It shows me how much effort it takes to ride 40 miles on gravel versus road, and how much training I need to get in before Dirty Kanza coming up!
Next weekend I’m riding the Tour Of Hermann Gravel Challenge, hoping to get 60 miles in on Saturday with 50 miles in on Sunday, but we’ll see if my body holds up to that. I came home today and took a 3 hour nap, I need to look at some way to better fuel my body so I’m not destroyed after longer rides.