MAY IS NATIONAL BIKE MONTH
Story by Cheri Woodsmall
Summertime is almost here, which means it is time to get outside! There is no better way to spend a glorious summer day, than feeling a cool breeze on your face and the wind in your hair. And being able to do so, all while getting a great workout? It doesn’t get any better than that! It’s time to blow the dust off that bike in the back of your garage and get that bad boy on the road! From casual trail riding to giving back to your community to serious club rides, Kansas City offers so many choices in biking activities, you will never run out of options!
With hundreds of trails in our amazing city, this is one of the best. The Indian Creek Trail System runs over 26 miles, links two states, four communities and a multitude of parks along Indian Creek. The scenic trail provides numerous connections to the surrounding areas, making it an excellent resource for members of the community for both recreation and transportation. Make sure you are prepared with plenty of water for hydration, as this trail has a few hills and steep inclines that will make you work!
Another great trail system for recreational riding, is the Gary L. Haller National Recreation Trail along the linear Mill Creek Streamway Park. This trail runs for 17 miles from the Kansas River at Nelson Island south to Olathe. But keep an eye out! You may have a few 4 legged friends joining you along the way as 4 miles of this gorgeous trail are also designated for equestrians.
Pedaling for Purpose
We always say, one of our favorite things about living in Kansas City is ours is a city of big heart. We love to give. And we love to give back to our community. There is a reason Kansas City is rated #3 in the top 5 most philanthropic communities in the country! We are a selfless, soulful community with over 7,500 nonprofits helping improve the lives of those in our community, our country and the world. With so many charitable biking events, it’s easy to give back while getting great exercise!
Bike for the Brain is an event to bring a wide variety of people together to work toward increased understanding about brain-based illnesses that have emotional and behavioral symptoms. The event will involve activities to encourage people of all ages to come together, have fun, and learn. The hope is that, someday, so-called “mental” illness will be brought into the public forum in a way that reduces stigma. This will allow people affected by these illnesses to come forward earlier for support and treatment. Earlier intervention will lead to more effective care and more complete recovery.
Bike for the Brain offers urban/rural cycling courses of 3, 10, 33, 55, and 72 miles, with rest stops at mental health agencies and other locations, which will provide refreshments and any needed support. SAG (support and gear) vehicles will be on the course to help riders as necessary. These are rides, not races. There is also a non-competitive and untimed 5k fun run/walk, and a one-mile walk.
Funds raised from B4B will help support local not-for-profit organizations in Missouri and Kansas that provide services to individuals with mental illness. Bike for the Brain starts at Johnson County Mental Health Center in Mission, Kansas on Labor Day.
Bike MS is a two-day bicycling fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on September 22-23. Join family, friends, and co-workers to have fun and fight MS. Nearly 300 cyclists join to start a finish of multiple sclerosis, and have collected thousands of dollars for the cause.
The ride offers a choice of two start lines: Garmin’s HQ in Olathe, KS and Shawnee Heights Middle School in Topeka, KS. Both start lines have route options of approximately 38, 73 and 101 miles on day one, finishing in Lawrence, KS at South Park. There will be buses available on Saturday back to both start lines for those only riding on Saturday.
On Sunday, the ride ends in Olathe, with two route mileage options of approximately 38 and 73 miles. If you started your adventure in Topeka, there will be a bus/shuttle service from Olathe back to the Topeka start line on Sunday.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is dedicated to ending the devastating effects of MS. Your participation will support programs, services, and research sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society that makes a huge difference to the people who must fight MS every day of their lives.
Go All In
For the more serious rider, Kansas City offers many biking clubs and rides throughout the year. KC Metro Bicycle Club has teamed up with several area eateries such as SPIN! Pizza, Coach’s, Blue Moose and Rock and Brews in Prairie Fire to offer dining discounts to riders on various nights throughout the summer. SPIN! offers a 10 and 20 mile ride that starts and ends at the restaurant, where you then enjoy 20% off your meal! Now how fun is that!
Enjoy “The Summer Breeze,” a ride on the gently rolling roads of southern Jackson County and Cass County, Missouri on this annual bicycle ride that is a traditional “shakedown” ride for the MS150 ride. The Summer Breeze is organized by Cycling Kansas City.
The ride starts and ends at the Longview Recreation Center in Kansas City, Missouri and offers routes of 45, 70, and 100 miles, with full SAG support, HAM operators, and a picnic-style meal at the Raymore SAG stop. The ride date is scheduled for August 26.
So get out there Kansas City! Enjoy our glorious city this summer, while enjoying time outdoors with your friends and family. See you on the trails!