Dave from Lincoln, NE on 6/7/2012 5:50:31 AM:
Here's a synopsis of our trip report.
The trail is very rough from Valentine to Johnstown (our Day 1 and 8.2 mph average, keep in mind we couldn't crank it due to some of the boy's bikes/conditioning). I rode with seven Boy Scouts (ages 12-17) and another adult leader. We were fortunate to have sag support from two others (Day 2 on). Am blogging about the 5 day journey and will post a link (50, 50, 43, 46, 11).
Slime your time, thorn resistant tubes double tube them (cut a tube and place it around your tire), buy slime guard, replace tires. With that you'll have a shot on the Valentine to Johnstown segment. That 40 mile plus stretch blows.
About 7 miles East of Valentine the surface turns to a washboard / ribbon. Watch for snakes (don't worry they're not just jumping all the time, but be careful). The washboard is nasty. Our group had 8 mountain bikes from good (Trek/Giant) to a couple of Wal-mart models (ruggized though) and my older Specialized Hybrid (1998 vintage). I was ok but bouncing a lot. Only 1 flat from Valentine to Arabia - mine. Looked like a possible snake bite
From Arabia to Wood Lake the sand burs were awful. 9 more flats across 2 bikes (2 on mine). At that point we slimed, double tube every bike. We feared only 3 might make it. We had only 4 more flats the rest of the way - some due to older tire and slime build up.
The final pain from Wood Lake to Johnstown was cow paths/holes. It was as choppy as the wasboard junk. Not fun.
From about 4 miles East of Johnston to the end the trail was pretty good. Some loose spots. When you get ride if of the crushed red rock to and see limestone - you're in a good trail.
We camped in Ainsworth, Atkinson (Day 2), Ewing (Day 3) and Battle Creek (Day 4). All were awesome towns/villages. We were impressed with every town / village as well. Some great city parks that allow camping and state recreation areas.
The trail does improv