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. 

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