Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bike Overnight at Weston Bend State Park

Bike Overnight
Kansas City to Weston Bend State Park

The adventure: Leave from Family Bicycles in Kansas City on Saturday, ride northwest, crossing the Kansas River and then head north to Leavenworth Kansas and visit a educational retreat and organic farm that also has camping, then East riding across the Missouri River bridge and camp at Weston Bend State Park. Then Sunday ride back to Kansas City, Missouri.

May 3rd: A near perfect day, 70s, light wind, sunny.  I will tour in most weather, but I have to say it is more fun on perfect days. Ivan and I were the players in this Bike Overnight tale. We started from Family Bicycles in Waldo shortly after 11am, stopped at a Farmers Market, and rode northwest toward our first river crossing, the Kansas River at Bonner Springs taking in  points of history along the way.

I like knowing the history of the places I visit, lets my imagination run wild with thoughts of the past.

Site on the Kansas River
We crossed the Kansas River at K7 highway and took the K32 exit, and then headed east to
Edwardsville, where we took a left toward Leavenworth.

We stopped at mile 25 along the side of the road for our first rest and lunch.
Raw almonds, raisins, figs, and such.

Motorists and dog walkers waved to us while we chatted about life and the good riding times to come.

This was the first time Ivan and I toured together and we got along great!

After a couple of ticks found their way on my leg we decided to move on trying to resist the urge to check our bodies for ticks every time we felt something.

We stopped at a fire station in Piper for some fresh water, and use of the bathroom. I always enjoy chatting with the fire fighters and appreciate their service and kindness.

 The route is fantastic! Some of the farms with their rolling hills and terraced fields look like they are right out of Ireland. This is gorgeous country.

We meander our way into Leavenworth, a town whose history was instrumental in the expansion of the West. Did you know Buffalo Bill Cody and  Wild Bill Hickok lived there at one point in their lives?

Entrance to 80 Acres

Being explorers ourselves, we took a detour to visit a retreat and educational center, Eighty Acres which also has a organic farm called Gardens. Eighty Acres is a multi faceted beautiful site nestled into wooded hillside, complete with two ponds, campsites, meadows, organic farm, cabin rental, outside stage, and nice folks who run the property.

I plan to camp there in the future. For $10 it is a great deal and excellent location!

Ryan, who is the talented organic Farmer, gave Ivan and I a tour of this year’s crop at the Gardens at Eighty Acres, a organic farm. Ivan and he actually knew each other from high school.  He is also looking for volunteer field hands during the summer, room and board provided.

We made our way into downtown Leavenworth, and then crossed the Missouri River and headed to Beverly Missouri, then to Weston Bend State Park.

After 61 miles on this self contained tour and many rolling hills we were glad to be at our new home for the night.

We arrived at the campground only to find they were full, but no worries, as in all Missouri State Parks, cyclists are always welcomed and the host will always find you a spot to camp, which is a good thing because while touring you are not always sure of the exact day you might arrive.

Art, who is the Weston Bend campground host, set us up right behind the showers building, which turned out to be a nice site, complete with electric plug, picnic tables, wifi, event tent and fire ring, and he brought us up free firewood. The cost of a site was $13 for both of us.

He was very kind and also went around to the other campers and let them know we were camped behind the building so they would not disturb us. Wow, that is hospitality.

After we ate our supper, we were having some tea and coffee, when the park ranger and a Weston City police officer stopped by to check on us and have a visit, we had a great time chatting and it was good to know they were in the area as some campgrounds can be noisy.

Stars were out. Sleep came easy.

May 4th:
We awoke early and decided to explore the park by foot.

We walked to the overlook, which looks down to the river. Wonderful views of the woods and river below.

We then took one of the many hiking trails back to camp. This is a bird watchers heaven, as we hiked, we were lavished with many songs.

Wild flowers were blooming as well.

We made our way back to our digs,  had breakfast and broke down camp.

One of our neighbors came over for a gear chat. Weston Bend is a nice State park and our experience was excellent.

We exited the park via the Weston Bluffs Trail, a crushed gravel bicycle trail from Beverly to the town
of Weston.

The trail has slight hills and many points of interest signs showing history and fauna of the area.

We then went to 45 highway and took it North along the river to NW River Road that took us

though some fun small river towns, and eventually landed us in Parkville where we stopped for a coffee and snack.

We then headed on Route 9 into downtown Kansas City. Because of road repairs on 9 highway we had to take a elevated detour through Briarcliff Water Works Park, but were rewarded with a spectacular view of downtown KC!

After crossing the Heart of America Bridge over the Missouri River,

we stopped at the The Farmhouse  in the City Market District of Kansas City, Missouri for a delicious late brunch. Ivan had the Earl of Biscuits!

We then, fully fueled, pushed on toward Waldo (home). Taking our time as the temperature rose to the mid 80s and our legs were fatigued from hills the previous day. Bicycle touring is so much fun, even when tired, I can turn it down a notch and ride for much longer.

Fun fun fun!!!!!
Another successful tour. Hope to see you on the next!

Points of interest:
Weston Bend State Park

Gear is very personal and what works for one person may not work for the next, but it is always fun to see what people use!

Ivan's gear:
Trek 520 (700x32 tires for this trip)
Jandd Frame Bag
Vaude Road Master Panniers
Alps Mountaineering 1 Person Tent
Eureka Hoback 60 degree sleeping bag
Koppen Camp Pillow
Thermarest Trailite Self Inflating Mat
Jetboil Flash
Toaks 450ml Titanium Cup
8" Camp Plate
4" Camp Bowl
ENO ProFly Rain Fly
2x Instant Oatmeal Pouches
2x MaryJaneFarms Backpacking Meals
Alite Spork
Ivan's General Store (Dry bag with first Aid kit, lighter, wetfire tinder cubes, tea, coffee, cordage, etc.)
Leatherman Wave
Sea to Summit Dry Bag
Chamois Butter

Bill’s basic gear:
30lbs of gear and food

Marmot Aspen 2P Tent
Marmot Trestles Synthetic sleeping bag
40 degree
Z-Lite Thermarest Foam Sleeping pad
Cheap ground tarp from hardware store.
Arkel XM-45 Paniers
Bike: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker
Jet Boil Flash Stove
Repair kit/ tools
baseball cap and beanie
Northface Rain Jacket
Green dry bag for clothes
Blue-toiletries and electronics
Orange for food
Starbucks instant coffee
raw almonds
turkish figs
mozzarella cheese sticks
hard boiled eggs

 I learned much about the area I live in, my traveling companion, people I met on the road, the environment/ wildlife, and most importantly myself. Bicycle Touring is a awesome way to live life.

For more information on KC Bicycle Touring Meetup go to and sign up for the adventures

and check us out for daily updates on Facebook:

For more Bike Overnights adventures go to

If you or your organization would like to partner with KC Bicycle Touring or place an Ad on the site
 send a email to Bill Poindexter

more pics...
we were camped behind the showers

Ivans breakfast #1

light weight coffee and condiments 

Bill hiking

fellow camper coming over for a gear chat

one of the organic fields at the Gardens at 80 Acres

bike trail in Weston Bend

weird sap thing on vine

journal entry first night...

tabacco barn in Weston Bend

heading south on 45, looking to the right

girl on horseback, gave us a friendly greeting

i saw these cross the road at a distance and thought...bears

a touring professional

Beverly General Store

the trail we hiked on

view form Overlook in Weston Bend about 645am

NW River Road, stopped for a snack on the right

I like this place alot!

train rolling through Parkville

That's it! hope you enjoyed our adventure and we hope you join us on the next!