Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quivira Park Bike Group Ride 5 - May 29, 2010

We had a real nice ride on the Lake Lenexa Route as the weather was beautiful with temperatures in the mid 70's at the start and mid 80's at the end.  Humidity was low and there was only a slight 5 MPH wind from the south.

There were 9 riders with one being a visitor from Minneapolis whose name is Eric.  After making the turn onto Prairie Star Parkway we got split up with into three groups.  I led four riders the wrong way as we missed the turn onto Monticello but then circled back.

Ron, Wayne, Larry, Eric, and I met up with Joe and Caleb at our SAG stop at Charles J. Stump Park.  We then found Carlo and Paul on Woodland Road soon after the SAG.  They had also missed the turn at Monticello but continued on to Shawnee Mission Park and then worked backwards to find us.  A little bit of a mismatch on speeds this week.

We had a great climb on what I call the "Oh My Ogg" hill into Shawnee Mission Park then down Renner Road to College Road through the Johnson County Community College back to Quivira Park.  The Ogg Road hill is probably one of the steepest in Johnson County.

In the picture left to right are Paul, Eric, Joe, Carlo, Ed, Ron, Wayne, Caleb, Larry.  The picture was taken at Quivira Park.  A map of the ride can be viewed from my Garmin Connect Account.  Total mileage includes the extra amount and a warm-up ride from my house.

Horizon Academy Track Expo Ride - May 27, 2010

My son Jake ran track this year for the Horizon Academy and on May 27th they ended the season with a Track Expo at the Bishop Miege High School.  Horizon is a small private high school so they do not have a big track team but Jake did get to participate in three big meets.

I rode down on my bike from Overland Park to get a little exercise and of course embarrass him in front of his friends.  He is always laughing at my bike outfits!

Jake ran in the 400 with a second place finish and the 100 with a first place finish.  The picture of Jake running is from the 400.  Pictured in the other shot is Jake and Stacy who were the top male and female runners at the Expo.
The map of the ride is on my Garmin Connect Account.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Quivira Park Bike Group Ride 4 - May 22, 2010

After a rain out of Ride 3 on May 15th and missing Ride 2 when I was in Virginia we had a nice group for Ride 4 for the trip out to Kill Creek Park.  It was the first hot and humid day after much cooler weather than normal in May to date.  Winds were strong and got stronger as the ride progressed.  It was mainly out of the south about 15-20 MPH out of the southeast at the start going up to 20-25 MPH from the southwest at the end.  This mainly made for a heavy cross wind as the Kill Creek Park Route mainly goes west going out and east coming back.

We had a nice fast pace out to the park but then Eric and I slowed down on the way back, especially after the Twisted Sisters, and Joe, Caleb, Bob, and Kurt went ahead.  Eric is training for the Bike Across Kansas which he has done several times before so it was nice to learn of these and other bicycle adventures including being one of the past Treasurers of the Johnson County Bicycle Club.

Pictured left to right at our SAG stop at Kill Creek Park are Eric, Joe, me, Kurt, Bob, and Caleb.  Kurt participates in a number of races and was going to Iowa, where he is from, for a series of criterion races.  Joe and Caleb are training for the triathlon season with both having upcoming races.  Bob who rides with the Wednesday morning group is a solid rider who participates in a number of local events and was one of the Traveling Marshall group with the Tour of Missouri, which as of this date is still up in the air due to funding from the state.

An upload of the ride including a warm-up from my house is found on my Garmin Connect Account.

Saturday night Carol and I went out for a nice dinner at the Cafe Provence, a nice neighborhood french restaurant in Prairie Village, Kansas.  We were celebrating her birthday.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Randy's Ramble - May 4, 2010

A great ride out to Freeman, Missouri and back with fellow Kansas Cyclist Podcast partner, Randy Rasa.  Weather was absolutely beautiful with temperatures at the start in the high 50's going up into the 60's by the ride end.  Only issue is that wind from the SSW picked up to 20-15 MPH which created some nasty crosswinds coming back west as our route went southwest from Overland Park and Olathe, Kansas.  The nice thing is that going downwind was delightful.  The picture was taken on a bridge northwest of Freeman over the South Grand River.

Randy, as I have said in other posts, always has some interesting rides as he likes to map them out in advance and have stops for places which might be historical, scenic, or just interesting and this ramble was no exception.  Since I have a road bike we kept the gravel road sections to a minimum although I did get my second flat in a week with a puncture to my back tire and tube.  Fortunately we had it fixed up in no time but it required a visit later in the day to our local Trek store to purchase more tubes and CO2 cartridges.

Randy had done parts of this ride back February 2010 so I will not duplicate some of the sites we visited and instead refer you to his blog called Dirt Bum which provides some scenic pictures and explanations of a civil war site, a cemetery, a very interesting Baptist Church, and one of the most interesting fields of art using bowling balls.  The picture on Randy's blog shows a few more of the balls since there was not as much vegetation in February compared to the as one I took to the left.

When we ride we usually meet up at the corner of Switzer Road and 179th Street since it is about equal distance from our houses in Olathe and Overland Park.  The GPS upload of the ride to and from my house can be found at my Garmin Connect Account.  Each of us rode about 65 miles and my exact mileage was 65.54 miles at an average speed of 14.7 MPH which is actually a bit fast for a ramble but we were booking coming north with the wind.

All in all a nice ride and great to have some beautiful crystal clear spring days to go out and bicycle in!  Picture to the left is of a typical scene here in eastern Kansas and western Missouri.  I liked this one with the water tower and moon above.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quivira Park Bike Group Ride 1 - May 1, 2010

The Quivira Park Bike Group ride season started today!  I am the ride leader and the season runs from May through October with several routes that start and end at Quivira Park in Overland Park, Kansas starting at 08:00am on Saturday mornings.

Quivira Park is located near the corner of 119th Street & Quivira Road at 11091 Quivira Road.  It is a small park that is part of the Overland Park, Kansas City Park System that includes a total of 43.33 acres, a playground, picnic tables, a shelter, a sand volleyball court, restrooms, drinking fountain, parking, a preserve area, and access to the Indian Creek Trail.  Our group and a couple of running groups use the park on Saturday mornings because there is plenty of parking, restrooms, and water which is especially nice for those driving to meet up with the ride.

The Quivira Park Bike Group Ride was started by Steve Mitchell five years ago and I joined it because it is only about a 1/2 mile from my house.  In the second year I assisted Steve as co-ride leader and then in 2008 I took over as ride leader when Steve concentrated on his marathon running.  The ride originally started at the corner of College Road and Quivira Road in the parking lot near Tequila Harry's Mexican Restaurant.  For a short while we also started at the Johnson County Community College but moved to Quivira Park because of the amenities.

There are a number of places in Kansas named Quivira and there is also a Lake Quivira which is a city and lake near the Kansas River in Johnston and Wyandotte Counties which we ride by on one of our routes.  From Wikipedia, archaeological evidence has suggested that Quivira was located near the Great Bend of the Arkansas River in central Kansas. The remains of several Indian settlements have been found near Lyons along Cow Creek and the Little Arkansas River along with articles of Spanish manufacture dating from Spaniard Francisco Vasquez de Coronado’s time in 1539, who had searched for Quivira thinking it was one of the "Seven Cities of Cibola" or cities of gold.

The Quivirans were almost certainly the Indians who came later to be called the Wichita. Coronado’s meager descriptions of Quivira resemble the Wichita villages of historic times. The Quivirans seem to have been numerous, based on the number of settlements Coronado visited, with a population of at least 10,000 persons. They were good farmers as well as buffalo hunters. Judging from Coronado’s description they were a healthy, peaceful people.  The origin of the word "Quivira" is uncertain. It is possible that the inhabitants of Coronado's Quivira called themselves Tancoa and Tabas. These two names are similar to later Wichita sub-tribes called Tawakonis and Taovayas.

Okay enough of the history and on to the ride.  The weather turned out fine this morning as we had been having a lot of rain with several thunderstorms on Friday into the evening and more is predicted for later this afternoon.  Fortunately we had temperatures in the high 50's with overcast skies but no rain and on a very slight south west wind that was hardly noticeable.  We had four riders including myself and we rode the Holiday Drive Route with some slight modifications on 55th Street rather than Johnson Drive and onto Indian Creek Parkway to detour around the construction on 127th Street.  My Garmin upload which includes a warm up ride to Quivira Park and back to my house is located at my Garmin Connect Account.  Pictured left to right are Ron, Joe, Carlo, and me.

On this ride we have our SAG stop at Stump Park in Shawnee, Kansas.  The Charles J. Stump Park is located at 4751 Woodland Road near the corner of 47th Street.  The 60 acre park includes a baseball field, picnic tables, playground, restrooms, soccer fields, and two park shelters.  There is also access to the trail that runs through the Mill Creek Streamway Park. Stump Park is named after the former Police Chief of Shawnee who helped in founding the Johnson County Police Academy.  The action was taken at a March 1995 City of Shawnee City Council Meeting.

We use the park on a number of our routes because the park has restrooms and water.  Also during soccer season there is a small concession stand that is open.  Today the parking lot was nearly full as there was a big soccer tournament going on.

At the SAG Stop Joe led a discussion on tires which included an inspection of all our tire wear.  We all concluded that Joe needed to stimulate the economy and get new tires as well as a new chain since he was having some issues shifting too!  See picture to the left.

Our pace was a bit slower than usual at just under 15 MPH but this route also includes lots of hills both before Stump Park and after which slowed things down a bit.  All in all a nice ride and always nice to have cooler temperatures since it can get very hot here in Kansas in the summer.