So... the trip was sort of a failure. We started out with 5 guys when we originally planned it. Then one guy broke his hand, and another guy bruised his ribs (during a practice run on the Katy Trail the week before the ride), and so we were 3 when leaving KC, heading for Clinton. Then on the way there one of the guys (Kevin) got sick, and though he tried to do the ride, he was puking every 4 or 5 miles the first day. We still made it (35 miles - from Clinton, MO to Sedalia, MO) to the hotel, half of the time we were riding in the dark, with 1 light between the 3 of us, attached to Richard’s helmet.
It was kind of crazy, because we got off the trail at 9pm, and rode along the side of a 4 lane highway in the dark for a few miles to where our hotel waited... right at the beginning I went off a curb and my bike rack broke from the weight of my bags. So I was riding in a dangerous 1-handed fashion (left hand was holding the bad up off my back wheel), and I quickly lost the guys in front of me. I had to stop to try to fix the setup, meanwhile losing sight of both Kevin and Richard. Then I was biking for a long time, because I didn't know where the motel was, and finally I got to a gas station, and past that there were no more business buildings... just houses. So I stopped and called Richard (who apparently had been trying to call me), and he told me I had passed them.
So I had to go back about 1/2 mile to the hotel where they were at... in the dark. Not fun. The funny thing was that Kevin was trying to wave me down when I rode past the hotel (Richard was checking us in), but Kevin was 15 feet from the road and puking his guts out, so he couldn't wave me down. So I didn't even hear or see him in the dark. Anyway, he was very pale and ill by that point, and ended up calling for a ride home.
Then we were 2.
Richard is a pretty hardcore guy, and that night we decided to shorten the trip from the originally planned 4 days, to just 2. So we had to cover a lot more ground, at a much higher speed. We started out the next morning doing pretty well, but I started having some knee pain at around mile 20, that continued to get worse with each passing mile. My right knee hurt each time I pedaled the bike. I ended up having to do a few miles with basically 1 leg... which didn't make my left knee feel much better than the hurt one.
Richard knew I was hurting, and suggested that maybe we call it in. I finally broke and said, "Alright, I'll have Sam come get me in Boonville (a little outside of Columbia)." Richard was thinking of continuing on, but his wife didn't want him riding alone for 100+ miles, so he and I stopped for lunch and then he let Sam and me drive him home, and then we went home.
Total distance covered on the trail: 72 miles (approx)
Distance off trail: 8 miles (approx)
Total distance: 80 miles.
Not bad for a couple of days, but not the planned event. I think I might have been ok, if we'd done the original slower paced 4 day ride. But the way it went, I just hadn't trained for that well enough. I plan to do a lot more riding, coming up in the next several months, and then we're going to try again in the spring.
That is, if I don't break a leg when skiing in Colorado in Feb.