Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gringos Ride and More - August 23, 2010 LifeTrek.Eroe.com

Rob, Ed, and Steve
Steve and I rode from our neighborhood over to the Gringos Ride that leaves from 135th and Clairborne, just east of I-35 at the Santa Fe exit, in Olathe, Kansas every Monday night at 6:30pm.  Connie Connor organizes the ride, which like the Quivira Park Bike Group, is associated and listed on the calendar of the Johnson County Bicycle Club.  The picture to the left was taken at the Johnson County Fire and Rescue Station #3 which is at 19065 South Lackman Road at the corner of Lackman and 191st Streets.  This is the official SAG stop.

Ed and Steve
The ride follows the same route each week but has three options for short, medium, or a longer distances.  There is usually a pretty fast group which I have kept up with in past participation at least part of the way.  Today Rob went out with fast group and Steve and I stayed back with the more medium group.  We went the full distance but Steve and I cut off at the corner of 143rd and Lindenwood Drive to head back home and Rob went back to the start where his car was parked.

Rob, who is the Chief Photographer with KCTV-5 and KSMO-62 here in Kansas City, took the next three shots from his iPhone while were were heading back up Lindenwood.  Being a photographer he does a great job at getting action shots while riding which is not something I have mastered nor do I think want to try!

Steve does a lot of biking in the area and knows a lot of good side street alternatives to some of the busier roads.  I call him the Suburban Road King as every time I ride with him I find a new easier less traveled cut through.  On the map from my Garmin you can see some of the nice residential streets he takes.

Total distance for the ride was just over 58K at an average speed of just under 25 KMH.  There was a slight wind from the southeast but we hardly ever noticed it.  Temperatures were in the 90's and humidity around 50%.   We had to ride after sunset just before 8:00pm CDT but Steve has this DiNotte Tail Light on his bike that is absolutely blinding!  Since putting it on he says that cars really notice him.  I ride with headlight, and tail lights on my bike and helmet.

This picture is a great sunset shot by Rob of Steve.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Quivira Park Bike Group Ride 15 - August 21, 2010 LifeTrek.Eroe.com

A very nice ride this morning on the Quivira Park Bike Group's Kill Creek Park Route.  We had 13 riders and were quite fortunate as there was a series of thunderstorms and heavy rain starting Friday afternoon that did not end until late Friday night.  In some areas in the Kansas City metro area there was 2 1/2 to 3 inches of rain with several small stream flood warnings.  The streets were a bit wet at the beginning of the ride and except for some branches down we did not notice much of the impact of the storms.  We needed the rain since it has been so dry and hot but not in such a bolus amount.

We had a new rider, Tim who is a fellow Michigan State University Spartan, that helped push our fast group even faster as they averaged 20 MPH and with the humidity, which was around 95% during the ride, I took up with the slower group going around 15 MPH on average.  Temperatures were only in the mid 70's at the start and mid 80's at the end with only a 2-3 MPH breeze from the northwest.   The humidity was the factor for me, however.  In fact it was a six water bottle day for me and required an extra stop on the way back for ice water on 119th Street before we turned on Renner Road.  Pictured to the left from left to right are Ed, Griffin, Randy, Jim, Carlo, Greg, Joe, Bob, Marshall, Garrett, and Tim.

Ron, pictured to the left, did not have the time to do the whole route with us from Quivira Park, so he turned around at 151st Street and Gardner Road.  A map of the ride from my house can be uploaded from my Garmin.  Total distance was just under 78K and average speed was just under 25 KPH for me which includes a slow warm-up ride.

I am proud to report that with the four rides I did this week, it is the first time that I have completed 328 kilometers, or 204 miles, in one week!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cleveland Route Mapping Ride - August 19, 2010

195th Street View in Missouri
With the help of my Kansas Cyclist Podcast Partner, Randy Rasa, I mapped out a new route for the Quivira Park Bike Group down to Cleveland, Missouri.  Cleveland is a small town of just under 600 people located in Cass County.  The county was organized in 1835 and was first named Van Buren County but was later changed to Cass after Lewis Cass, a U.S. Senator from Michigan in 1849.  I could not find out much history of Cleveland from the official Cass County Website and even when checking their website and calling the Case County Historical Society.  They had some books but nothing on-line.  Randy and I did have the opportunity to speak to the town police officer at our SAG stop at a convenience store in Cleveland and he turns out to be a cyclist too!  Randy provided him his card from the Kansas Cyclist as the officer was interested in bicycle trails in the area.

Randy & Ed - Cleveland SAG Stop
We had a beautiful late afternoon for a ride with temperatures in the low 90's, humidity in the 50 percent range, and about a 8-10 MPH wind from the south.  I ran both my Garmin devices so that I could capture the entire ride from my house and the new Cleveland Route on the other.  The route goes from Quivira Park south on Quivira Street to 175th Street then over to Antioch south to 191st Street.  Below 179th Street Antioch has a nice 14 degree hill that has just been paved.  It is only as third as long as Ogg Hill on the Lake Lenexa Route, but the same degree of angle.  I have named the hill the "Antiache Hill" and it was actually much harder before being re-paved!

Randy - Corner of 195th & Prospect
The route covers some scenic rural Kansas and Missouri country side and is 55.05 miles long.  There are some nice rolling hills on State Highway Y in Missouri but for the most part is fairly flat.  From Cleveland the route works across 247th Street to Metcalf Road to 199th Street where there is another convenience store if needed in Stillwell.  The route gets back to Quivira Park by eventually getting to Pflumm from 191st via Antioch.  From Pflumm the route follows some of the other Quivira Park Bike Group routes by using 137th to Rosehill, to 133rd back to Quivira.

A map of my total ride from my house can be viewed from my Garmin.  Total distance was just under 93K and the average speed was just under 24 KPH.  As noted above, the new route from Quivira Park is at this link - Cleveland Route.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Morning Group Ride to Cedar Creek - August 18, 2010 LifeTrek.Eroe.com

I joined the Wednesday Morning Group Ride that leaves from BikeSource today.  It was cloudy but with delightful temperatures in the low 70's and hardly any wind.  There was a large turnout with many new riders which is always nice.  Jake, one of the regular riders pictured to the left with me, forgot his bike shoes so Bob, another rider, and I waited for him to drive home and then we booked to meet the group at the SAG stop in Lenexa once Jake was back.

Ron, as always, leads a good ride and begins each ride with a safety tip.  Today it was about obeying traffic laws and was especially relevant since we had a Kansas City Police Officer ride with us today.  Great guy and a very good rider.  Our ride went out to Cedar Creek, which is a beautiful planned community in Olathe, Kansas, which is a large area west and southwest of the Kansas City Metro Area.  There are some great hills and the Quivira Park Bike Group has a route called the Lake Lenexa Route that covers some of the same roads.  One of the riders had a flat but with help was back up and rolling in about 10 minutes.  The picture of the group was at the corner of Woodland Street and Northgate in Olathe during the flat repair.

When getting ready for the ride this morning one of our neighbor's daughter's was standing with her nanny and her younger sister and brother.  Morgan was upset because this was the first day of school and the bus forgot to pick her up.  I too had witnessed the bus not turning on our street and then not even stopping at the corner when she went running towards it.  Her nanny was concerned because she had the younger children and they were still in their pajamas so I volunteered to walk Morgan to school.  We had a delightful conversation about her new 1st grade teacher, her soccer team, how her sister and brother love piggy back rides from her, and that she was excited about school.  Since the bus had been late we were a bit tardy in getting to school, as several parents walking back from the school reminded us.  In any event, Morgan got to school safe and sound and only 5 minutes late.  Picture of Morgan and me is to the left.

A map of the ride can be viewed from my Garmin and the route starts at the Oak Hill Elementary School down to the start at BikeSource and back to my house.  Total distance was 52K and average speed was 24.3 KPH.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunflowers to Roses Bike Tour - August 15, 2010 LifeTrek.Eroe.com

I participated in the Sunflowers to Roses Bike Tour today with the Quivira Park Bike Group as we put a team together for the ride.  This is the 8th annual event and it is a fundraiser for the LIVESTRONG Foundation, Cancer Action, and the University of Kansas Cancer Center.  Our team included Carlo, Chris, Greg, Jake, Joe, John, Larry, Marshall, Patrick, Rob, Ron, Wayne, and I.   The link for making donations can be found at the Quivira Park Bike Group's Fundraiser Page.  We would certainly appreciate your support as we still have not met our goal as of this post and would like to do so to benefit cancer research.

I have to apologize in advance to our team as things were crowded before, during, and after the ride so I was not able to find everyone to get a group shot or even a small group or individual photo.  I did see everyone except Rob, however, as I ran into Marshall at the SAG in Spring Hill, Larry several times on the course, Wayne at the start, and rode at some time or another with everyone else.  Sorry I did not get pictures of Greg, Jake, Marshall, Patrick, Rob, and Wayne.  The picture to the left is before the ride right after the sun came up.  Pictured from left to right are Carlo, Joe, and John.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day and especially since we had been on another long streak of very hot and humid weather with heat index warnings for the last week - so a welcome relief.  I heard from race organizers that many riders signed up on the day of the race because of the nice weather.  Temperatures were in the low 70's at the start and low 80's at the end with humidity only around 50%.  We had about a 10 MPH wind from the north but had a nice pace line coming back and it was actually refreshing to have a cool wind for a change.  Pictured to the left after the ride are Joe, Larry, and Jon who rides on the Wednesday rides with Larry and me.  Pictured below are Joe, myself, and Ron also after the ride.

The event was very well organized with SAG stops well placed and stocked.  I heard, because of the influx of riders at the last minute, that they ran out of maps but I never even pulled mine out during the ride.  It was helpful to have an overview, however.  Posting on the website in advance of the ride could have prevented this issue. The course was fairly well marked but some of the signs on the turns were missing so that could have been a problem for some of the slower riders.  We were always in site of others so we basically just went with the flow.  I heard some of the signs were stolen.  My only suggestions to improve the ride would be to use paint on the road at all turns and intersections as the Johnson County Bike Club does for their rides.  Additionally it is a real pet peeve of mine that distances are not correct.  I signed up for the 72 mile ride (116 kilometers) and my Garmin only showed 65.28 miles or 105.06 kilometers.  I can't understand why the distance can not be exact especially since I have very accurate distances for the Quivira Park Bike Group rides by just uploading my Garmin.

All in all, however, a wonderful ride and none of it could happen without a great group of volunteers.  There were several and all were very helpful before the ride, at all the SAGs, and at the end with all the food and drink that was provided to riders.  Pictured to the left is Ron who leads the Wednesday ride.  In talking to him he thought the best way to support this important fundraiser was to volunteer and that he did.  He was at registration at the start and assisting the food distribution at the end.  Also a big thanks to my son, Jake and his friend Evan who helped setup tables and with the children's area while riders were out.  Jake is on the left and Evan on the right in the picture below.

The ride started and ended at BikeSource of Kansas City in Overland Park at 135th and Quivira. Race package pick up was also held a the store and they provided a 20% discount on certain items for riders which was very nice.  I purchased some new tires for Jake's bike as part of this program. A map of the 72 Mile Course can be uploaded from my Garmin.  Total distance was just over a 105K and average speed was about 26.1 KPH.

A very special thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, Gretchen and Doug; my parents; fellow cyclists, Steve and Carlo; and high school friend, David for their generous support of my ride and for all those that sponsored other members of the Quivira Park Bike Group

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quivira Park Bike Group Ride 14 - August 7, 2010 LifeTrek.Eroe.com

We had a nice ride today for the Quivira Park Bike Group Ride 14 before the heat and heat index warnings came back on Sunday.  Still it was humid with about a 5-8 MPH Southwest wind.  Because of the heat we stopped twice, once in Spring Hill and another in longer stop in Gardner.

We also had a big group with a lot of new riders and unfortunately I could not remember everyone's name as I had not been on a bicycle for two weeks as we took a family vacation to the Cayman Islands for my step daughter's wedding the last week of July and I had some business travel this past week.  Because of my time off I was a took up the tail of the peleton catching up to given directions on the new route. The picture to the left was taken at a convenience store just past the I-35 overpass on Gardner Road and before we hit downtown Gardner.

This photograph was taken by Rob Rhodes, who works for KCTV-5 in Kansas City and one of our regular riders.  I was providing information about the Spring Hill and Gardner Lake Route which we completed today with only a few hiccups.  Instead of heading straight down Ridgeview to 207th the group was ahead of me and instead turned on 199th over to Woodland Road.  The other hiccup was on the south side of Gardner Lake where I should have turned at 162nd Terrace but instead went to 159th and backtracked.  No big problems, however.

This photograph, also by Rob Rhodes while moving from his iPhone, was taken after we turned on to 162nd on the south side of Gardner Lake.  Bob had a flat coming back on on 143rd but I stayed back and we were able to switch it out fairly quickly.  Except for my slower pace and Bob's flat, all in all, a great day.

A map of the ride from my house can be uploaded from my Garmin.  Total distance was just under 80K and average speed was about 26.6 KPH.