Cyclists race the Santa Fe Trail starting near the trail's historic starting point in Franklin, Missouri- News - The Rolla Daily News

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A lot of people ride their bikes through Boonville on the Katy Trail, headed to Pilot Grove, Sedalia, Rocheport or St. Charles.

Benjamin Colwill and Darren Gilmore didn’t look out of place Friday afternoon zipping through town, but their destination was more common for people who began a journey from the Boonslick almost 200 years ago — Santa Fe.

Colwill has been bikepacking for about a decade, and was looking for a new challenge, so he mapped out a 1,111-mile course from New Franklin through Kansas and the Rocky Mountains to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He and Darren Gilmore are the only two entrants in the 2019 Santa Fe Trail Race, setting off from a marker on the Katy Trail that commemorates the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail.

The first traders on the 19th-century trade route connecting Missouri with the southwest started in September 1821 from Franklin.

The two left New Franklin at 2 p.m. Friday. By Monday afternoon, Colwill had completed more than half the distance, Gilmore about 25 miles behind. They track their progress on a website Colwill launched for the race.

MoBikeFed comment: One of the Missouri bicycle touring routes we have been working on this year is a historic "Birthplace of the Santa Fe Trail" bicycle touring route.

Visit sites along the historic route--some well known, many practically unknown--including

- Boonslick State Historic Site
- Town of Franklin
- Arrow Rock, Boonville, Independence, Old Westport, the Town of Kansas, to the Parting of the Trails in western Kansas
- Many historic sites, monuments, and places--all documented and easy to find using your cell phone or electronic navigation device.

Check it out: