Portland Alley Pedalfest – September 12 and 13

Portland Alley Pedalfest – September 12 and 13

PedalfestPoster2015There are lot of great ways to enjoy the Prairie Spirit and Southwind Rail Trail, but what better way than with camping, live music, food vendors, and a beer garden? Oh, and of course – cycling!

Props to Thrive Allen County for driving a grassroots effort to promote healthy living and a vibrant trails community in Allen County.  Saddle up your bike and head out to Iola September 12 and 13th to join the fun at the annual Portland Alley Pedalfest.

They’ve got a Family Fun Ride as well 25, 50, 75, and 100 mile rides – sign up at EventBrite.

The answer is…

Prairie Spirit Trail

This mural is DSC05838near the Old Depot Museum in Ottawa, which is the northern trailhead for the Prairie Spirit Trail. It runs for 50 miles from Ottawa to Iola where it links with the Southwind Rail Trail for another 6 miles or so from Iola to Humboldt.

For those who voted for the Flint Hills Nature Trail, well, I guess that could be argued as the right answer as well. The still in progress Flint Hills Nature Trail runs east – west, and it passes through Ottawa, though its route doesn’t take you past this trail mural in Ottawa.

The Prairie Spirit Trail is completely finished and in good condition, with an easy grade and wide path perfect for cyclists, equestrians, or runners, and after heading through Ottawa, the trail takes you through the Flint Hills. If you’re on the trail in the morning or evening, you’ll be under shade, and there are bathrooms and trail stops along the way as you head through or past the towns of Princeton, Richmond, Garnett, Welda, Colony, Carlyle, Iola, Bassett, and Humboldt.

If you go:

Daily passes are $3.50 and can be purchased in at self-pay stations at the Ottawa, Princeton, Richmond, Garnett, Welda, Carlyle, and Iola trailheads. Annual-use permits are $12.50 and can be purchased in Garnett and Ottawa.

BBQ, music, and riding: Bike events this weekend

Hikers aren’t the only ones out on the trails. Many of the best trails we’ve found in Kansas have been made for mountain biking. And this weekend, 8/24 and 8/25, there are some great bike races and events going on throughout the state.

Cruise the Blues Mountain Bike Race – 8/23-8/25/2013

Amidst the timber, pastures, and prairie of the Palen Family Farm east of Tipton, the Palen family has built 13 miles of mountain biking trails. These private trails are open to riders this weekend for the 10th annual Cruise the Blues bike race.

5-mile and 9-mile race options are available that can be ridden solo or as a part of a team, and there’s a kid’s race course as well. There will be bbq, live music, and general hilarity throughout the weekend.

From the Cruise the Blues website:

Make it a weekend! We invite you to join us out on the farm Friday, Saturday and Sunday August 23-25th.

Come on out and join us on Friday and Saturday nights with free camping under the big Oak trees on the Palen Family Farm and wake up to a farm fresh breakfast to get your day started right!

Friday night, get your registration check in out of the way early, and join us for a fun bike tour of the farm with Farmer Doug, savor the taste of a Farm Fresh Kansas Style BBQ and take a shot at the short course hot lap night time trial! (Lights will be made available for all riders who need them courtesy Doug Chambers at Golden Belt Bicycles.)

Saturday morning, wake up to a Palen Farm Fresh Breakfast and get ready for a great day of racing.

Stay the night on Saturday and enjoy an evening of fun and festivities, live music (the 5 piece band Gamma Raze will be playing Blues and old time rock and roll), bike games and more. Wake up to another farm fresh breakfast Sunday morning and enjoy open riding on the farm or join a guided ride of the IMBA Epic Designated Trails at Wilson Lake State Park.

Parking and camping is free! Free-wifi and electronic charging stations will be available along with primitive hot showers, washing stations, changing areas and bathroom facilities. RVs welcome!

Click here for registration.

Rock & Roll to Roots – 8/24/2013

The Roots Festival ($15 entry cost) held in the Paola Square brings together bluegrass, bbq, and biking. The Miami County Velo Cycling Club is hosting 10, 30, and 60 mile rides. While registration is closed, you can cheer on participants as they start and finish at Wallace Park on the morning of 8/24.

PedalFest – 8/24/2013

A cross country mountain bike race.

A cross country mountain bike race. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three leisurely rides through the Wichita countryside for PedalFest will benefit Heartspring, an organization that helps kids with special needs achieve more independence.

Choose from a 50K (31 miles), 100K (62 miles) and Family Ride (5 mile). The 50K and 100K start at 7:30am and the Family Ride starts at 9:30am from Heartspring in Wichita.

Registration is still open Friday until 6pm at Bicycle Pedaler and early Saturday morning at the race start at Heartspring. Registration is $45 for the 50K and $50 for the 100K. The 5-mile Family Ride is $10 per person. For registration, you get food and a t-shirt along with a handful of other perks and freebies.

Shawnee Rotary Bike Rodeo – 8/24/2013

Perfect for kids and for giving parents some peace of mind, this event at the Mill Valley High School (5900 Monticello, Shawnee) is all about staying safe while having fun on your bike. From 9am to noon, kids who plan to ride their bikes to school can learn safety training, and get a certificate after completing a skills course. Freebies include: t-shirt, bike helmet, bike helmet fitting, and bike inspections.

Tour de Shawnee – 8/25/2013

This annual event, now in its 24th year, gives participants the choice between a 12-mile and a 25.75-mile route through bike-friendly Shawnee. For $30, you get a t-shirt, breakfast, and lunch. Along the way, there will be snacks, drinks, and vehicle support, including medical assistance and bike repair. You also get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re participating in an event that benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The tour will start and end at Power Play Family Entertainment Center, Shawnee Mission Parkway and Pflumm.

Fill out a registration form and drop it off at the Shawnee Civic Centre, 13817 Johnson Drive.

2013 Biking Across Kansas June 8-15

BAK: 8 days and 522 miles

Since 1975, cyclists have hit the roads of Kansas starting in Colorado and riding across the state in Biking Across Kansas. With a different route each year, it “promotes health and wellness through bicycling, the history and beauty of the Kansas, and the warm hospitality of the Kansas towns and people.”

I’m sure the around 800 cyclists and support staff will be quick to dispute the common misconception that Kansas is entirely flat. While not mountain filled, the route presents some hill challenges, particularly in the eastern section of the state. At nights, the cyclists will eat, shower, and sleep at local schools.

If you’re in and around the route, see the map above and the dates below, come out to show your support to the riders!

Friday, June 7 (early start) – Colorado Border to Johnson City : 16

Saturday, June 8 (regular start) – Johnson City to Sublette: 57

Sunday, June 9 – Sublette to Dodge City: 53

Monday, June 10 – Dodge City to Coldwater: 75

Tuesday, June 11 – Coldwater to Anthony: 80

Wednesday, June 12 – Anthony to Arkansas City: 67

Thursday, June 13 – Arkansas City to Sedan: 56

Friday, June 14 – Sedan to Oswego: 83

Saturday, June 15 – Oswego to Galena: 35