by Bill Poindexter, Organizer KC Bicycle Touring Meetup
proclaimed, and practicing Carfree American, bicycling tourist, Yogi, and into all things healthy,
and Jano Mossman, a self proclaimed product tester, kayaker, cyclist, and adventurer.
|Hillsdale Lake was our destination. Here is our route|
From the start, the feelings of excitement,
nervousness, and adrenaline while long distance touring on a bicycle was exhilarating.
Winter stayed too long, although I had been active, walking, hiking, cross country skiing, and cycling for transportation, I had not been bike touring, and felt the need to do something that would pare the fat off the soul, and scare the shit out of me. Even though the adventure was going to be about 90 miles round trip and close to home, the bike with gear weighed 60+ pounds, we were taking new roads and a route I had never been on, so my imagination wandered. I was ready for the new adventure.
Once we got to Leawood, KS City Park, and the beginning of Tomahawk Creek Greenway, we decided to by pass the high traffic of Mission Road and take Tomahawk Creek for 10 miles before heading South on unknown back roads in Olathe, KS. I love riding the Creek trails, the wooded feeling, people running, walking, kids playing, cyclists, and zero cars to worry about.
No good bike tour goes 100% smoothly, about 16 miles into our adventure Jano's seat post clamp was
In a few minutes Jano had a new seat post clamp.
Tip: Carry an extra seat post clamp.
We then headed back to the trail and its wilderness feel. Soon we transitioned on Pflumm Road which took us out to the countryside. Our intention for this ramble was to stay on mostly paved roads, but, as you know, gravel roads are abundant in our area, someone once told me that 80+% of the roads in Kansas are gravel. Gravel was in our destiny.
We were not the first sojourners to explore this part of the country.
The Kansas City area is rich with multiple Frontier Trails which intersect with many of the roads we travel on, and I am humbled by the hardships our ancestors endured paving the way to the South and West.
We would roll down one road, then hit gravel, then hit another paved, make a jog, then hit gravel, it
Tip: Stop at Fire or Police stations for restrooms and water or a emergency camp spot, and let them know you appreciate their service.
While eating Jano was telling me one of his many sea kayaking adventures, then two cyclists pulled up at the intersection, saw us and came over for a stretch and some water.
Invariably people see the loaded bikes are curious. We had a great conversation with these fellow
I like adventure, and
Gravel is your friend.
I like gravel because it adds another layer to the trip. There is less traffic, you will see things you don't see on paved roads, the locals are usually friendly, more dogs, other critters, and you have to focus on the road ahead and "keep a line" so you don't drift off into loose parts. Your focus and balance skills as a cyclist vastly improve. You may go slower, but then again, what is your hurry?
On one of the gravel roads we encountered dust and smoke, someone was burning the old crops to make way for new. This just added to our adventure, and Jano, whom is a self proclaimed Product Tester, was prepared, with his Buff lifted over his mouth and nose he was able to stave off the effects of dust and smoke.
I had a buff too, but it was uselessly packed away, and I decided to blow through the debris,
Tip: Check out a Buff
Tip: Don't hold your breath while bicycling fast
Hillsdale State Park.
Dusk was fast approaching, and a slight head wind had kept us behind schedule, so we pushed hard to the campground. We arrived at our primitive camp spot just off the lake, both of us were a little grumpy, hungry, cold, and tired. I paid the campground host the $13 per tent fee. (Seems high?) Although the ride, with bike shop detour was only 45-47 miles, neither of us had been use to carrying the extra 30+ pounds of extra gear, food, water, and it does make a difference on the amount of calories burned.
Tip: While touring make sure you eat 200+ calories per hour to ward off bonking (low blood sugar).
Once the tents were up, fire wood was collected and lit, and food and hot beverage was in our bellies,
Tip: bring ear plugs. :)
We were up by 7. The temp was in the high 40s, and the sky cloudy. We ate a leisurely breakfast. I had
|Jano's freeze dried breakfast|
|Our neighbor kelly coming over for a chat|
One of our neighbors, Kelly from Oklahoma came over for a chat while we were breaking camp. He rode his motorcycle up from OK for a retirement party of a friend. Kelly was also a avid cyclist, and is currently preparing for the Bike across Kansas.
He and Jano are both gear aficionados and spent the next hour talking gear. Kelly was great, and very nice, I am hoping to tour with him some day.
Jano is a man of all seasons. He believes in being prepared. Whether it be the odd Griz in Kansas or a mean dog, he was not taking chances!
Tip: Never hurts to be overly prepared
Not sure exactly when we left our camp, it was later than expected, but that was fine, we were
|Jano rolling out of camp|
|Heading out of Hillsdale Lake|
|Train laiden with "clean coal"|
Just past 164th and South Ridgeview Rd we hopped on another greenway trail, Indian Creek, 17 miles of woods, and no cars. We took it into KC and to our respective routes home.
Before we parted ways we stopped a a restaurant at 119th and Quivera Road for Sunday Brunch of steak, eggs, grilled asparagus, and whipped cauliflower. Jano and I had great deep conversations about life, adventures, pets, and friends.
One of the great things about Bicycle Touring with someone is you like is you get to share in their life and they in yours. We toasted to the tour, then left, rode another 10 miles together before parting our respective ways.
A successful Bicycle Tour of KC Bicycle Touring Meetup.
"The tent I chose for this trip is a Eureka Splitfire 1 with syl nylon fly
Sleeping bag a Sea to Summit down quilt /bag and sleeping pad is an insulated Pacific Outdoor Equipment air mattress. The stove is a Primus isopropane model with pizo ingitor
I was carrying an Allite folding butterfly chair but didn't use it."
His Bike GT Touring
Marmot Aspen 2P Tent
Marmot Trestles Synthetic sleeping bag
Z-Lite Thermarest Foam Sleeping pad
Cheap ground tarp from hardware store.
Arkel XM-45 Paniers
Bike: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker
As on every tour 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 awesome.
For more information on KC Bicycle Touring Meetup go to
http://www.meetup.com/KC-Bicycle-Touring/ and sign up for the adventures
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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