Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday Morning Group Ride to Gardner, Kansas - April 28, 2010

I had a nice ride with the Wednesday Morning Group on yesterday.  Temperatures were in the 60's and there was a strong wind, of about 18-20 MPH, directly from the south.  In looking at the weather report for today, as I write this, I don't think I would have gone out as wind is predicted this Thursday to be 30 MPH from the South with gusts up to 40 MPH!  We were buffeted a bit yesterday especially going east or west sideways to the wind but hey we are in Kansas where it is usually always windy!  So tell me why we don't build more wind power in the state rather building more coal powered plants?  Of course that is another discussion.

Ride Leader Ron Johnson led us on his new Specialized Bike that he actually build himself to Gardner, Kansas for lunch and then back to to the BikeSource at 135th Street and Neiman Road where we started. Seen in this picture is Bob and Jon coming north on South Moonlight Drive just before I-35 as we enter Gardner.

I did some research on Gardner and got the following information from the Official Website of The City of Gardner, Kansas. Gardner is named in honor of Governor Gardner of Massachusetts. Nearly all of the early settlers were Free State men and one of the first Free State conventions in the country was held in Gardner in 1858. Gardner was the first town in the State of Kansas to be raided by border ruffians from Missouri, called Bushwhackers. On October 22, 1861, Bushwhackers raided Gardner because of its support of freedom for slaves. Gardner was raided two other times between 1861 and 1863. On June 7, 1886, a petition with fifty signers was filed with the district court providing that Gardner should become an incorporated town.

From Wikipedia, Gardner was formed where the California Trail and Santa Fe Trail divided, sending travelers due west over the mountains and through Colorado and Salt Lake City toward San Francisco or through Sante Fe and Albuquerque toward Los Angeles and San Diego.  A park was build at this split in the tail, called the Gardner Junction, and we did not visit this area on the ride today so more about that another time.  Randy, a ride exploring the the California, Oregon, and Santa Fe Trails would be a nice ramble ride sometime this summer!  I see signs all the time on rides in this area as they are so much a part of the history of Kansas City and west.

We stopped for a quick bite to eat at Bob & Dee's Restaurant on North Moonlight Drive in Gardner and ate at a table outside.  Seated left to right are Larry, Lisa, Randy, Jon, Ron, and Dave.  It was a bit chilly with the wind but still nice to be outside in the sunshine.  Ron also led a discussion on aging related to diet and exercise and how so many Americans are overweight and sedentary which leads to health problems.  Of course we all laughed when a few of the riders had Bob & Dee's famous fried chicken for lunch!

Before heading back I had the waitress snap this shot of the group with Ron's new bike. From left to right are me, Larry, Dave, Lisa, Jon, Randy, and Ron.  Randy left us at this point as he had already rode north to meet the group since he lives in the southern part of Johnson County.  Randy and I do the Kansas Cyclist Podcast together and both of us had some work to do in finishing up Episode 19 later in the afternoon and evening.

We went through the New Century AirCenter from Gardner going north and with the wind at our back we made good time before turning east on 151st Street before turning on South Lakeshore Road then to Dennis Road which turns into 143rd Street.  Unfortunately, I had a blowout in my back tire on Dennis Road just after where we cross over Route 7.  Thanks to the help of Dave and all the equipment I carry for such times I was back cruising with the whole group in about 25 minutes.  The nice thing about this friendly ride is that everyone stays together and that is always important when you have equipment issues even though you don't want to put folks out in waiting.  I think we have all been there, however. The flat broke my streak of going over 14 months without one and of course I was thinking about that when filling my tires before the ride which jinked it for me I am sure!

A map of the ride can be viewed from my Garmin Connect Account and it includes to and from the start at BikeSource from my house.  Total miles were just over 44.

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