Opinions vary on how warm it’s been

Finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Weather is warming, the covid vacination program is building up steam, and things are starting to align for what could hopefully  be a great rebound Cycling Season!

Spring Training Baseball games have begun, and that’s always been my queue to also start getting back into the swing of riding regularly, in hopes of being in good enough shape for all the great rides of the summer.  I’ve got a lot more training to do this year to get back in shape after last years lack of rides.   This past weekend was a good kickoff!

Several members of Team Bad Decisions met up Saturday for the first Breakfast Bike Beer Ride of the year.   Joining me, we had Nancy, Brad, Anne, Spenser, Tara, Cait, Derek N., Andy, Megan, and Jeff B.  We met up at McLain’s in Brookside, a regular starting place for BBBRs, as not only do they have fantastic breakfasts and pastries, but they’ve also got a nice outdoor seating area that they’ve extended into the street with concrete baracades.  It was still a bit chilly, though, as the area was in the shade and had metal chairs, but the food was great, and it was fun sitting around for a bit and laughing as everyone gathered.

When it was time to roll out, the inevitable debate about how many layers to ride with began for most.   There was still a bit of chill in the air, but the sun was shining, and we knew it was supposed to warm up quick.  People made their choices, and it was go time!

We hooked over to Oak and headed south towards 85th Street.   There we did a little jaunt onto the Trolley trail, and took that east past Troost, back behind BB’s lawn side BBQ, and back along the creek.   Generally, the trails in good shape right now.   Still have to watch out for the possible pot hole, bit of glass, or muddy area, but in general I’ve seen it MUCH worse.  When we reached the end of the trail, we turned south, over the Blue River, and made our way towards the Indian Creek Trail.  Once we got over the Indian Creek Bridge, decisions about gear started being made, as many of us were heating up.   Types of gloves changed, jackets layers started coming off, and plans for more changes were made.

We took off again on the Indian Creek Trail heading West.  Again… Indian Creek trail is in really nice shape right now.   Get out and enjoy it!  it’s one of my favorites.  When we got back behind Thai House and Lamar’s Donuts (why didn’t we stop?) by 95th and Holmes, we stopped again as Megan and Jeff broke off.   They had plans to help get one of their neighbors to a vaccine appointment and needed to head back home.  Here, for many of us, MORE layers came off.   The sun was out and it was turning into a beautiful day.  Cait… on the other hand…  pretty much remained in full gear.

We started heading west again on the Trail.   We had one little hick-up along the trail, after Wornall, where the trail makes a hard right and immediately there’s a really steep incline.  It’s not long, but you’ve got to be ready for it.   Those of us that knew, per-geared down and were ready, but we were also in the lead, and that slowed the group down, and those that weren’t aware got caught by the traffic jam and the hill and were unable to gear down in time.   Some had to hop of their bikes and walk it up.  Bet they’ll be ready for it next time!

We continued on, riding along the path and into Leawood park.   Busy day at the dog park!  Tons of people walking their dogs along the trail leading up to the park, which slowed us down some, but it was great to see everyone out enjoying the day.  We eventually stopped at one of the gazebos in leawood park to take a quick break and enjoy the sun some.  We also needed to slow ourselves down a bit, as we’d been keeping a pretty good pace!  We knew our planned beer stop didn’t open until noon.   I had figured a 15+ mile route, being the first ride of the year, would take us about an hour and a half.  I was wrong.  We were well ahead of pace.

While we enjoyed the Sun, we learned that Cait apparently has some blood line ties to a group that lived on the equator for millennia or something and now suffers from a disorder where she’s NEVER warm (Conjecture of coarse).  We were all doing great.   Cait didn’t agree and was ready to start biking again to stay warm.

To slow ourselves down, we altered our route some.   Instead of going straight up Lee, as was intended, we meandered our way up part of the North Leawood Loop.   This added a few minutes, and a couple miles onto our ride, and ended up being perfect as we finished our ride right at Noon!   Anne, thankfully, avoided all the steel poles along the Trolley trail this time, as we road North past KC Bier Co on our way to Bier Station.

Bier station has been undergoing some renovations; redoing their floors and their outdoor seating area along with adding wine taps and some other goodies.   This past weekend was their first weekend back open.   Unfortunately, they weren’t fully done yet, and as we rode up, we learned that they were only open for take-out beer.   This was a shame, as I had hoped we could enjoy their nice outdoor patio,  but we rolled with it.   We all grabbed some take out beers and congregated on the sidewalk outside where we stood around, telling stories, and generally enjoying the warm early spring day.  Eventually we called it and ended it there, though I know Nancy and Brad turned around and went down to KC Bier Co for some more fine beverages.

Here’s the route!

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
01:50:10
hours
01:27:37
hours
17.95
mi.
12.29
mph
26.17
mph
688.98
ft.
540
kcal

More BBBR’s to come soon as well as other fun rides!   There’s a group of us gathering for Thirsty Thursdays again too..   Generally meeting at Cinder Block at around 5:30 and ending at Pat’s Pub on Swift for Taco’s.   I’m sure as Velo begins to resume regular operations, we’ll start meeting there again, but for now, we’ll take what we can get.  Ride when and with whomever you feel safe to do so.   I look forward to seeing and riding with you all again soon.

 

Rain Delayed Breakfast Bike Beer Ride

This past Saturday was the first Breakfast Bike Beer Ride we’ve had in a long time.  Unfortunately, the breakfast part was missed.   Rainy weather moved into Kansas City Saturday morning, and put a little pause on the plans.  After consulting with several others who had been planning to ride, we decide to push the ride back until later in the afternoon after the rain moved on through.   So we planned an early afternoon meet-up at Bier Station!  I also changed the planned route up so that we were no longer riding through the sections of Indian Creek Trail that gets soppy and/or washed out during heavy rains.   Instead, we planned to head for the South Leawood Bike Loop.

Later, Tara, started floating the idea over text that she may want to ride from her place in midtown to the Bier Station prior to the meet-up.  I, having ridden the planned route before,  and knew that this would make life pretty difficult for Tara by the end of the day.  This might not be a good decision.  Of coarse I encouraged her choice as much as I could!  Nancy decided to join Tara and plans were set!  Mwahahahah…

At first, the delayed start  made it so that Derek Nelson, who had been planning the BBBR, wouldn’t be able to join us as his son had a baseball game at 1pm.  Bummer, but as we got closer to the meet-up time, and Derek got a look at the new route, Derek figured out that the route was going right by his house, and he could meet up with us after the game as we swung south.  We made the plans.   Karin and Treadwell were also able to get a look at the new route and timeline posted on our Slack group, and  decided to join!   Nick Farsace, toyed with the idea of joining, but decided he would meet up with us back at Bier Station at the end of the ride.   So plans were set!  1:30 rolled around and we all started gathering at Bier Station.

We ended up with a pretty big group at Bier Station: Andy, Brad, Nancy, Treadwell, Karin, Tara, and I were joined by new comers to the BBBR, Anne Dickerson and Spencer Ship.  They’ve been riding a lot with the crew on Thursdays.  The rain decided to stick around for a bit, so we enjoyed a beer or two, some tasty tots, and waited the rain out.   At 2:30 we hit the road!

We road south to 79th Street, and then cut over into Kansas where we hopped on to the North Leawood Loop.   We wound through the nice tree lined roads of North Leawood, admiring the nice, but not overdone homes in the neighborhood.  Eventually we crossed over 435 on Lee, and into Leawood park where we took a break for a bit.   It was here that we got a message from Derek, that he was waiting for us at the top of the hill on Brookwood that goes up into the Hallbrook Country Club community from College Blvd.   So we got back on or bikes and started heading his way.

The Hallbrook hill on Brookwood is…   challenging.   If you’ve never done it before, my recommendation is to just get into your granny gear right away, accept the fact that this is your life for the next few minutes, and slowly grid your way up.  You’ll get there eventually.  If you try to push it, you’ll burn yourself out real quick.  At the end of the steep part of the hill, we found Derek waiting in the shade for us, comfortably, as we all huffed and puffed our lungs out to get there.   He joined in and we hit the rest of the hill.   Thankfully it was only a 1 – 2 % incline from that point on.  Manageable.

Remember the tasteful, but not overdone homes of the North Leawood loop?  That’s not the Hallbrook neighborhood.   Nice, but huge, overblown homes in this golfing community.  Still, It’s a good little ride, the streets are wide, and sometimes it’s good to explore another area of the city.  As we left that neighborhood and got closer to Derek’s neighborhood, he offered up that he had plenty of beer at his place if we needed a stop.   We were pretty close to the half way point, and we do like beer, so…   Off we went to Derek’s House!

There we learned that Derek has a kegerator setup and had a cold keg of KC Bier Co. Pilsner ready.   Derick also has…  Das Boot!   We all got a glass with a cold refreshing beverage and were also able to catch up a little with Derek’s wife Cori!  Hopefully you can join the ride next time Cori.   Good to see you.

We hopped back on the South Leawood loop, and continued our trip.   At 133rd we reached the most Southern point of our trip.   It’s also provides a good little downhill stretch from Mission to Roe, that we were able to bomb through and have a little fun.   At Roe we turned North and the cut back into the neighborhoods for safer riding roads.   Those neighborhoods are not flat.  There’s not any one hill that’s particularly terrible, but there’s a lot of them, and they start to add up.

The group began to stretch out as we road through the hood, and then Karin played Good Samaritan with a puppy that chased after us as we road by.  She helped get it back to its owners.  This left the rest of us to gather up at an intersection as we waited.   That’s where we met a “very pleasant” lady who was out for a walk.  She, “very nicely” asked us if we were planning on moving along any time soon, because she was trying to maintain social distancing and we were in the way of her walk.   Mind you we were all still in the street, there was a sidewalk on the street (on the other side) and there was plenty of room to get around us on either side of the road.   So we moved over to the wrong side of the road (the side that had the sidewalk) so that she could walk past, up the road, glaring, as nicely as she could, at us the whole way.  Very nice lady.  I hope the best for her.  We all met up again, and continued our way along the South Loop.

Once you get out of the neighborhoods, you’re supposed to join up with the Tomahawk Creek trail, which we did and started making our way north east.  Did I mention that the weather had gotten WAY nicer while we were riding?  This of coarse had an effect, and the trail was CROWDED!  At one point we came upon a family that had there little girl on the trail on her little toy bike, blocking the lane.  Despite yelling back to the group that we were slowing and stopping, Tara got caught unaware, had to slam on her breaks to avoid rear ending Tread, and then was unable to unclip in time.  Down she went…   Luckily it was a soft, slow decent, and her and the bike were fine.  Ego less fine.

Eventually we got back to Leawood park, and had another little breather, bathroom, and water break.   Then..  We took a straight shot up Lee and it’s 4 grinding hills to get back up to 79th.  We did a fly by KC at Bier Co, and it was here that we finally saw a message letting us know that Nick was waiting at Bier Station for us.   Except Nick wasn’t the one sending the texts…   And Nick wasn’t the one in the photo…    Amy Davis decided to come out and meet us too!   So we pushed on up the Trolley Trail to go meet Nick and Amy.

As the Trolley trail went north, and passed the new E-Bike store close to The Well, there’s one of those steel poles in the middle of the trail that’s supposed to keep respective traffic on their side, and prevent other large vehicles from using the trail.   Most of us saw the pole just fine and went around.   Anne Dickerson, however, did not notice the pole in time.   I was towards the front of the group, so I didn’t see the incident, but apparently her handlebars hit the pole.  She went up and over her handlebars, pulled some sort of Simone Biles like gymnastics maneuver in mid air, and landed on her feet.   The Russian judge low balled her and gave her a 8.2.  Should have been 10’s across the board.  She messed up her shift/break lever pretty bad, but she was no worse for ware, thankfully.   The guys at the E-Bike store saw it and nicely came out to check and make sure everyone was alright and see if they could help.   Also used it as an opportunity to demo a shinny new e-bike as the group stood around.  They’re salesmen those guys.

As I mentioned I was at the front of the group and didn’t see the accident.   In fact, I’m only relaying details 2nd hand, as I didn’t know about it until we all met up again at Bier Station and traded stories.   Those of us that got there first were wondering what was taking so long.   Treadwell even started going backwards to try to find them, but that’s when the rest of group started trickling in and we learned what happened.

There was a good crowd of people at Bier Station, but thankfully Nick and Amy had a table reserved already, so some of the group could go in right away, and the rest of us just had to wait a little bit to get another full table of 6.  6 people max at a table there. Current covid rules.  No big deal.. our tables were close to each other.   We all shared more beer, more stories, more tots, and finished off a pleasant ride…   Oh..   as I foresaw…   Tara and Nancy got a ride back home from Brad.

Here’s the route we took if you’re interested.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
02:50:18
hours
02:01:51
hours
26.18
mi.
12.89
mph
31.54
mph
1,236.88
ft.
2,049
kcal

 

A Peculiar Time for Riding

Things have definitely changed.  Not surprisingly, it’s altered how much we ride, where we ride, and who we’re riding with.  In some of our cases, it’s been changing the “why we ride” too.  We’ve all seen planned events that we’ve been training for, canceled, postponed, or altered significantly.  For me, this has definitely effected my motivations to ride.  Usually late April and May are prime training times.  Getting my body and mind back into the right gear, so to speak, and starting to crank up the mileage in preparation for Tour De Bier, Peddler’s Jamboree, Dirty Kanza, Boulivardia, RAGBRAI, and numerous other events.   I’m finding that my past years motivation has been fairly “event” driven, and not simply health minded.  This has left me with a lack of reason to just get out there.  However, I’m also coming to terms with the fact that there are other motivating factors for riding, that also aren’t being met.

When I first got into cycling, I didn’t know a lot of people who also road.  I was  training for events (RAGBRAI), but the group of us that would participate was fairly small, and our ability to get out and ride together was limited.  The majority of my training was solo rides.  Hours were spent with just me, my thoughts, my music, an audio book or two, my bike, and miles and miles of road and trails to cover.  With this history, I’d think a time of social distancing would be perfectly acceptable.  I’ve always been a lone rider training, why not now?  But it hasn’t seem acceptable, and me always being a lone rider isn’t exactly true, is it?  I’ve not ALWAYS been a lone rider, specially over the last few year.

Team Bad Decisions has slowly been growing.   Several years ago, I started keeping an email list of people that I knew who enjoyed cycling, most of whom were friends from other groups.  Some of these people had ridden  RAGBRAI with me.  Others  just wanted to get out occasionally and enjoy a healthy fun Saturday morning from time to time.  I started sending regular emails about upcoming rides, to encourage greater participation.  I started organizing monthly rides to try to give them reasons to get out, enjoy some breakfast, some beer, and some time on the bike with friends.  Then, as the list of upcoming rides began to grow, and the list of people on the email chain grew, the email updates became more of a burden to manage.  I decided a website that listed all of our upcoming rides could be a good way to, not only get information about upcoming rides out, but also share the fun of our past rides.  Right around this time, was when I started going to the Velo Garage Thirsty Thursday rides more regularly.  I met more people, and over the past few years, my solo rides have become more of a rarity than the norm.

What’s the point of this recounting?  Maybe it’s more of me trying to understand my motivations for riding and why I haven’t been riding much since the beginning of the social distancing movement.   There’s a reason I started emailing people regularly, built a web site, launched a slack group, alert people to upcoming rides, and recount the fun that we had on our past rides.  It’s because the social aspect of riding and the cycling community is really what’s been motivating me this past couple years.   Yes I like the sport.  Yes I like the feeling of reaching the top of a hill that you couldn’t see the end to when you started up it.   Yes I enjoy building and maintaining my bike.   What I enjoy more than all of that, however, is talking with friends over beers about  these things afterwards.

When the social distancing rules were put in place, I bought in.  I wanted to maintain distance, I wanted to keep my friends, my family, and their friends and families all safe.  So I limited my exposure.  I didn’t go out for “social distancing” rides that others were setting up.  I didn’t want to organize anything, for fear it would spark a spread, and I didn’t (still don’t) want to be responsible for being any part of the chain of virus transmission that leads to the death of a loved one.  So..  The bikes sat.  I focused on other things, like my torn up yard, and I missed out on some rides, and on saying goodbye to the Timme’s as they left for California for a year.   My apologies Scott and Bryn.  I should have made a better effort to see you off.

So what now?  Well, I’m tired of not seeing my friends.  That’s got to change.  I’ve also noticed an ungodly number of people cycling right now.  This virus may have done more in 2 months to bring people back to or get new people into cycling than all the advocacy groups could do in 5 years.  Still, I think these people are missing out on the important part of cycling; the beers with friends at the end.   Time to start promoting getting out to cycle again.   I think, if done right, it can be done safely and without guilt.

We did it twice this past week!

After a month of working from home, a missed vacation, and tons of anxiety, I had had enough, and I took the day off work Wednesday.   Cait Purinton had been boasting about all the great gravel routes down around Peculiar Missouri, and arranged for several of us to meet up and go for a ride out in the country side.  The original plan was for us to finish our ride at the Peculiar Winery, where the Minsky’s food truck was supposed to be out and available.   Well, there was a mix-up on the dates, and it turned out that the food truck wasn’t going to be there on the 6th, but on the 9th.   There was talk of rescheduling, but I was planning to head out of town for the weekend for mother’s day, and several others were still keen on getting a ride in.   So it was decided to ride both days for any who could make it!

Wednesday, Cait, Nancy, Tara, Treadwell, and I all took to the back roads of Peculiar.   We met up at in the Parking lot of the Country Mart grocery store.  Treadwell was kind enough to head in to the store and pick up a variety pack of boulevard beers and distributed some out to us for the ride.  We also had the fun of listening to a play-by-play as Nancy was listening in to a conference call where she was being told how awesome she and everyone was, how great they were doing, right before they announced furloughs.  We actually started the ride while Nancy was still listening in on her head phones.  Sadly, Nancy said she really needed the ride by the end :(.   So we looked for some gravel therapy.  It took us a couple miles, but we did find our therapist!

There are some absolutely gorgeous country roads to go riding through.  Lined with farms, pastures, tons of dogs (most friendly) long horned steers, bulls, and chickens.   Some of which were actually turkey vultures and not chickens at all.  Tread showed that he was in mid season form already, as he bombed his way down several gravel hills that the rest of us were still grabbing the breaks on, fearful to let the bike get out of control.   Yes..  I know.  Stay loose.  Let the bike roll.  Don’t lock your arms or elbows and you’ll be fine.  Still, it takes a bit to get your confidence up.  We road through a gorgeous valley pasture.  We went past a fun looking little private lake.  Up a couple decent little hills, and started winding or way back towards Peculiar proper after stopping for one of our road beers.

When we got back into town, we made our way over to the Peculiar Winery, which was doing call in, curb side service.  You couldn’t go in to the winery, but you could hang out outside and enjoy some of their fine beverages.   We all decided to try their Strawberry Mango mixed wine slushies.  Missouri wines have always been too sweet for me.  I’m not a huge fan.  But when you embrace the sweetness, add some fruit, and freeze it enough to make some nice little ice-crystals out of it..  Well then I’m a fan.   It was pretty tasty!  We sat around outside and enjoyed the slushies, the company, and the pleasant day in general.  We then road back into town.  Stopped off at Cait’s house and were able to meet her boyfriend Nate, before we made our way back to the grocery store.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
02:55:32
hours
01:43:13
hours
23.09
mi.
13.42
mph
25.05
mph
935.04
ft.
1,798
kcal

That was supposed to be it for me for the week, but plans change.  My trip home for mother’s day got canceled!  Not the best thing actually, but it did free me up to be able to ride Saturday!   So once again we met up in Peculiar.   This time it was Cait, Nancy, Tara, Derek Nelson, Cori Nelson, and me.  I picked up some beers from the store, and we took off.   We followed pretty much the same route, but we made a few variations.   We stopped for beer at a different spot, next to a cow pasture, where Tara tried to prove that she was some sort of cow whisperer.  We also decided to try to add a bit more gravel riding into the route, so we went exploring to the east and past Lake Peculiar park.  There was a good bit of hills on this exploration, and 1 particular Mastiff that decided her spot in the middle of the road was hers, and that we had no business trying to move her from it.  Her owner was nice though and helped try to give us some suggestions on how to get back into town.  We ended up riding back the way we came, as the only other way was going to take us a bit further south than we would have liked.

We got back into Town and, once again, to the Peculiar Winery right around 4:45-5:00ish time frame.   The Minsky’s truck was there, as was pretty much everyone from Peculiar!  The place was packed.   It looked like a tail gate party.   There was a flat bed trailer setup as a stage, and a gentleman was doing a fairly good job singing some  favorites that most everyone knows while playing his guitar.  The Staff at the winery seemed to be feeling the pressure a bit more, because this time we were told our slushy options included strawberry or blueberry, and there would be no mixing.  We all got strawberry and went to stand in line for the Minsky’s pizza truck.  There, in line, we discussed possible new strava segments.  Derek named one of the hills, that had a port-a-potty rental business at the base of it, “Kybo-Kilimanjaro!”   I’ll be creating that strava sgement soon!

Sadly the Minsky’s truck ran out of food while we were in line.   At first they told us that they were waiting to get re-stocked from the store that was a couple miles away.   We decided to stay in line and wait it out.  The weather was nice, and Tara and Cait ran and got more slushies for everyone, but then after a while they came out and let us know that the store was slammed and they weren’t going to be able to get more pizza in.  They were going to pack up and call it a day.   Bummer!  Good for them though.  Nice to see they had some good business.   Guess no-one predicted that many people would be at the winery on Saturday.  So we finished up our slushies and headed back in to town to end the day.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
03:42:40
hours
02:14:58
hours
29.55
mi.
13.14
mph
26.40
mph
1,266.40
ft.
2,311
kcal

Upcoming Rides

Ok, so I don’t have much for you all right now.  I’ve got to go through the list of events currently posted on the website and do some editing and curating.  I do intend to get a BBBR scheduled soon.  I’ll figure out a way to make sure people can get out, ride, but stay as safe as possible.  It felt great to get out, ride, and more importantly, interact with people again.  I hope you’re willing to join us.  No worries if you want to continue to stay as safe as possible and not join, but when you’re ready…  We’ll be here and ready to ride.  Hope to see you soon!

Spring Time, Time To Ride!

It’s March!   Spring Training has begun for MLB ball players down in Florida and Arizona, and that has always been my general sign that it’s time to start riding/training again for the Summer’s upcoming riding events, and there are several on the Radar.

This weekend was a big weekend for riding in the KC area.   The weather clicked up a couple degrees and made it nice to be outside.  Several did get out, and hopefully they’ll post about it 😉 (Lynne, Karin…  I’m talking about you here!).  For me,  I was finally able to get out on Sunday after having to get out of town earlier during the weekend for family events.  I got back into town Late Saturday evening, and early the next morning I was pinging the Slack group to find out who wanted to get some miles in.   Bryn, Nancy, Brad, Andy, Keith Thurlo, and I were able to all meet up at Cinder Block Brewery in N. Kansas City to begin our day’s bike adventure.   As would be expected, we started with a nice beer at the Brewery.

The wind was putting up a pretty consistent effort from the South, so we decided to head that way in an attempt to be sure we had it at our backs on the way home.   So we decided that KC Bier Co would be a terrific destination that would give us close to 25 miles on the day, provide a great mid ride stop, and met the targeted direction we wanted to ride.   So off we road!

We cut over to the east and made our way South on the Paseo.   I usually love the Paseo because it’s a more consistent, grinding climb vs the harder climbs up Gilliam, Main, or Rainbow.   In hind sight, with the consistent wind, maybe the shorter but steeper climbs would have been a good choice.   Who knows?   What I do know is that it wasn’t my easiest trip South I’ve ever taken.  Linwood down to the Plaza area was nice though.   Nancy continued to show that all the training she’s done has made her the new Queen of hilll climbing, and Andy, of course, made us all look like out of shape noobs.   Ultimately we reached KC Bier Co, and found a great outdoor spot and a few nice beverages and pretzels to consume.

Our way back was a bit more direct.   Oak to Warwick, to Gilliam, where we shot down Hospital Hill as fast as we could and got back into the downtown area.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
03:22:14
hours
02:11:01
hours
25.46
mi.
11.66
mph
31.32
mph
1,256.56
ft.
1,851
kcal

So, I learned that I’m not fully recovered from my bought with the flu.  Breathing was not always the easiest on the ride, but… I’m glad I got out there.  It felt good, and today I’m feeling good.  Got to get back into the training rhythm, cause we’ve got RIDES COMING UP!

Upcoming Rides

March BBBR – Sat. March 14th

I know several our heading down to Oklahoma for the Mid South Ride that weekend, but the rest of us should plan on riding back here in KC.   Meeting at Spokes in Downtown.  Details can be found on the link above.

Cool Hand Luke Gravel Grinder – Sun. April 26h

Get your bike dirty on this gravel ride up in Leavenworth.   Many of us our taking aim at the 50 miler.  Let’s go!  Join us.

Tour De Bier – Sun. May 17th

If you were hoping to get earlier bird pricing,  well, you just missed out as registration just went up as of March 1st.   Don’t let that stop you from joining though!   Get Signed up for the 30 mile route and meet us at Their new Starting / Ending Location, Berkley Riverfront Park on Sunday the 17th!  This is always one of our favorite rides.  Don’t miss it!

 

Cheers from the Beer Ride Riders!

2020 RAGBRAI Kick Off Meeting – Notes

  • Date: 2020-02-12T19:30:00.00-6:00
  • Attendees:  Jared, Derek, Tara, Nancy, Andy, Treadwell, Karin, Scott, Bryn, Lynne, Jeff W.

Key Decisions Made:

  • Charter vs Self Support:   Self Support
    • If driver can not be found, we’ll rotate drivers.
  • Delegation of duties – see below
  • Morning Departure time Goal: 7:00-7:30am

Action Items

  • All:  Register for Ragbrai: Ragbrai Registration Info
  • All:  Fill out Details on Planning Spreadsheet (Pinned in Slack)
    • Rider Details
    • Common Items you could contribute
  • All:  Join Slack if not on already (Ask Attendee for details)
  • All:  Starting thinking about your training.

2019 Retrospective

Likes

  • RV had plenty of space for everyone and gear
  • Dedicated Driver was awesome
  • Snacks were good
  • Host Families were mostly great

Dislikes

  • Though the RV had tons of sleeping space, only 3 people used it.
  • Dry Items not claimed from Cloths line
  • Charger area became a tangled mess.
  • Getting pushed out of towns by Highway Patrol
  • Not being in the thick of it.  Campsites away from main group.
  • Missed out on the Concerts

Opportunities

  • Communication could be better.

    • More people could have been in the RV
    • People were not aware of frustration points during the week (same people doing the same chores)
  • Could Schedule chores more
  • Could use Shade Tent more
    • Having the RV may have caused this, as there wasn’t as much need.  Driver could retreat to the sizeable RV when too exposed to the Sun.   When we used the passenger Van it was a requirement to keep those at the campsite safe through out the day.
    • Would appreciate having this setup, or some assured source of shade as riders come in.  They’ll be hot and need to chill/relax

Delegation of Duties

  • Vehicle Logistics – Jared
  • Jerseys – Scott and Bryn
  • Host Family acquisition – Tara
  • Host Family Gifts – Nancy
  • Driver and Campsite Chore Scheduling – Bryn
  • Common Item Acquisition and tracking (Quartermaster) – Derek
  • Theme Days ideas (What will we be wearing and when?) – Nancy and Bryn

Larger Common Items Needed

Having several members of the team not joining is forcing us to hunt a little to find some of the larger common items.  If you have or know someone that would let us borrow these items, please contact Derek

  • Generator
  • Shade Canopies
  • Camping Table
  • Coolers

 

 

Breakfast Bike Beer Bike BeHeros Bike Beer Ride

That’s a BBBBBBBR for those keeping track!   This past weekend was our monthly BBBR that turned into a lot more as it went along.  Let’s retell it!  Riders this weekend include: Nancy, Brad, Treadwell, Neal, Derek R., Scott, Bryn,  myself, and new to the BBBRide, Cait Purintan and Andy Brewer.

Our morning started out at McLain’s Bakery in Waldo.   Our most common starting location for the BBBR.   The chill of the morning and a mechanical issue or two had people trickling in slowly, but that was alright, as we got the opportunity to hear Andy re-tell his story of heading down to Miami to be a part of the Super Bowl atmosphere.  How awesome is that? His re-telling included a fine re-enactment of one of his buddies who had been so drunk most of the time that it effected his groups ability to make any headway with the lovely ladies of Florida.   Andy’s re-enactment was so good, that he “drunkenly” stumbled back into the wall, and ended up knocking tons of stuff off a shelf above, which came plummeting down on to our table, making a mess and a large ruckus.   I think we, and everyone else in the crowded bakery, got a wonderful appreciation for his situation while he was in Florida.

Around 10:30, we took off on our planned route.   We started south and then cut over on 79th to the start of the Leawood North Loop.   This we took south, through neighborhood roads, down to Leawood Park just south of 435.   We rested up for a bit, but it was chilly just standing there, so we got back on the bikes to keep going.  From there, we continued going south and got on the the Leawood South Loop.  The South Loop doesn’t have the fantastic road signs  telling you where to go yet, but if you’re interested in riding it, you can see the route here.  Combine it with the North Loop, and you’ve got a pretty nice little workout ride.

As we got near the most southern end of the route and grouped up again, Derek threw out the suggestion that we weren’t too far from Martin City Brew Co, so why not cut over and have a drink?  Would you know, not one person in the group dissented?  Shocking…  right?

So we cut over back across the state line and over to Martin City where we enjoyed several good beers and a couple snacks (chicken fingers, fries, loaded tots, sliders, stuff like that).

Since we’d already gone off our original planned route, we decided that instead of cutting back into Leawood and finishing up the Loop, we could head over to Blue River Parkway, eventually get on the Indian Creek Trail, and then head back North from there to finish our ride.

As we were riding north on Blue River Parkway, we came over a hill and saw a SUV parked on the wrong side of the road.  A woman got out of that SUV and started running back along the road towards a guy who was maybe 30 yards further down and kneeling on the side of the road.  Odd…  As we passed the woman, I could hear her on the phone, “I need to report an accident.”  That got my attention and I took another look at the gentleman kneeling up ahead, and saw blood pouring down the side of his head.  My first thought, “Oh my god she just hit this guy!”  We all pulled off the road to see if we could be of any help.  Where we pulled off happened to be on a small bridge.   It was only then that we could see the gentleman’s vehicle…  on its side… in the creek… about 15- 20 feet down a ravine.  Derek and Bryn immediately started seeing to the man:  Derek getting down in front of him, helping to brace him up, and asking questions;  Bryn, getting out what tissues we had and trying to apply rudimentary first aid cleaning and applying pressure to the man’s head wounds.   Scott went down to the creek and his vehicle to make sure no one else was in the vehicle.  Several helped the woman on the phone identify exactly where we were to the 911 operator.  Brad and I both went down the road in different directions to slow down traffic as it approached the scene as it was kind of in the middle of a blind turn.  Treadwell gave the man his jacket as the man was shivering and cold.   I’m sure many others in the group took other important actions as well, just these were the ones that stood out in my memory.  As we waited for responders, we were able able to get a couple facts from the gentleman.

  • A deer had jumped out in front of him and he swerved to get out of the way.   This lead to him running off the road, through a safety barricade, and down into the creek.
  • He had been down in the creek for some time.
  • Eventually he pulled himself out through the passenger side of the vehicle and fell down into the creek.   He then pulled himself up a pretty damn steep hill to get back up to the road side where he flagged down the woman who we originally thought had hit him.

Emergency responders started showing up, honestly,  pretty quickly.   When they got there we learned that the man also had a broken ankle or leg and his foot was not pointing the right way when they put him on the gurney.  Amazing that he was able to climb up that hill to get back to the side of the road and flag people down.   Had he not, he’d have been in big trouble, because you couldn’t see his SUV unless you got to the side of the bridge and looked down.  Not that we’re medical professionals, but we were also pretty sure the man had a fractured skull based on the head wound and the obvious ridges.  The EMT’s dressed his wounds and loaded him up in an ambulance.   The fire department gave us some disinfectant for those that got a little blood on them, and eventually we collected ourselves and started our ride again.   We left the police and a very dumbfounded tow truck driver trying to figure out how THE HELL they were going to get that truck up out of the creek.

We got back on the road and eventually found our way over to the Indian Creek Trail.   There Bryn and Cait proved how tough they were, as if there were any doubt, by slogging through some sloppy, sucking, gravel and sand on their road bikes.   The rest of us slogged through it as well, but most of us were on wider tires.  Props to them!  We eventually headed North on Holmes, then through various neighborhoods on the marked bike routes, up the Trolley trail some and eventually got to our final destination, KC Bier Co’s 6th Anniversary Party!

Some of the group shed off here, as our ride finished much later than we originally planned, but a good portion went into KC Bier Co.  Those of us that had tickets, went back into the brewery proper where they had 5 different stations setup serving various rarer vintages of their beer.   They also had a great German Oompah band playing.   We met Craig Miller there, and also several others from the cycling community.  I found out that KC Bier Co has a Sour beer that I actually like!  First ever!  Who knew?

Those that didn’t have tickets stayed out in the main beer hall and also enjoyed several fine beers and some food.   When those of us back in the anniversary party finished all our free tastings, we met back up with them in the beer hall, where Karin Jones also joined us, and we finished up the day on a high note having good drinks, laughing, and reliving the day’s adventure.

Here’s the route we took:

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
05:43:27
hours
02:13:47
hours
27.32
mi.
12.25
mph
28.41
mph
1,446.85
ft.
2,119
kcal
Had a really great ride, unfortunately we were among the first on the scene of a terrible car accident after a guy tried to avoid a deer and ended up down a ravine in a creek. Guy pulled himself out of his suv with a fractured skull and foot, and flagged us down on the edge of the road. Think he’s going to be alright. Damn lucky if you ask me.

Cheers to the crew!  In the end, for a February weekend, it was a great day to be out on a bike.

 

Street Cred 2019: A (Face) Smashingly Good Time

When the Midwest delivers 50+ degree weather in December, you shirk all other adult responsibilities and go outside. It’s basically the law. A few weekends ago, some law-abiding TBD members and friends did just that and took advantage of the warmer temps to attend Street Cred, Kansas City’s longest running anti-sanctioned race series.

Street Cred is not dead and its reputation certainly precedes it.

I’d heard of the event through various bike and non-bike friends for years, but had never actually gone either because of the weather (I hate the cold) or because I was far too shy to show up solo to an event where I might not know anyone. Terrifying. Fortunately, this year, Karin, Nancy, Windish and a few of the regular Tuesday Night Ladies Ride riders agreed to check it out.

On Saturday morning, we gathered for some pre-race hydration and nutrition, mostly consisting of bacon, coffee and mimosas. Very serious racers, we are. We were a little late leaving the house, but the ride down to the Bottoms is an easy and forgiving downhill cruise. We arrived with time to spare before we realized we didn’t know the exact meet up location. Fortunately, Karin was the adult among us and looked it up on Facebook and we found everyone else at the Edge of Hell before the first race of the three race series started.

(Please note that I am using the term “race” very loosely. As the Facebook event flier made plenty clear, there were no prizes or sponsors; this was mostly for callous amusement and debaucherous fun.)

The first race was the criterium, so loopy laps around the bottoms until time expired. I think the race was 45 minutes, but I could be wrong. Originally, I was super apprehensive about participating because 1. I am not fast and 2. I was worried about crashing (lolol) and I knew from pictures of past years’ events that there might be some, uh, obstacles

 

BUT the crit was really fun! I rolled over things I ordinarily would have avoided! There was great camaraderie among everyone there! I was feeling nothing but glee and elation!

Posted by Street Cred KC on Sunday, December 8, 2019

Posted by Street Cred KC on Sunday, December 8, 2019

Up until the point when I flatted. I pinch flatted my rear tube rolling over…something. I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember the distinct hiss my tube made as it released all of the air. I very sadly walked my bike back to the start/finish area, where spectators and friends were gathered. I’ve been practicing changing tubes/tires at home whenever the opportunity presents itself because it feels like one of those things that just takes practice to do well and quickly. Unfortunately, all of that practice is for naught when you have an audience. Thanks to some helping hands (Nate’s) and a spare CO2 cartridge (also Nate’s), I was ready to go in short order.

Street Cred’s next stop was The Lunchbox, which has delicious food and inexpensive beverages.

Posted by Street Cred KC on Sunday, December 8, 2019

Time trial up to the Columbus Park skate park followed. One of the roads out of the Bottoms appeared to closed so we took a…creative…route along the railroad tracks and then behind some condos in the River Market. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t pinch flat again given the terrain. After we arrived at the DIY skate park, the area around the ramps and things quickly became a cyclocross course thanks to the race organizer and a couple willing participants. I did not participate in this part, but Andy Brewer and Treadwell did. Treadwell can tell you about it if you ask him. Also, Andy Brewer won!

After the cyclocross race wrapped up, the Street Cred crowd started to disperse. Julie caught a ride with someone back to midtown so she could attend her work Christmas Party. Treadwell, Karin, Matt and Nate headed to the Velo Garage Chili Comp by way of the levee trails and the bar at Harrah’s. Most everyone else headed to Caddyshack for pitchers and pizza. Del and Jeff met me there after their day riding trail at Landahl. There was much merriment.

Despite multiple offers of a drive home ensconced in a warm car, I decided to ride home with Natasha and only one front light between us (hers). We rode back to midtown through the bottoms, along the levee trail and to Southwest Boulevard. Everything was great and I’d had a fun and memorable day of doing things I’d previously been afraid of doing and, other than the flat, had an awesome day on my bike! We crossed SW Boulevard and detoured through the parking lot of the notorious Royal Liquor store on the corner of the Boulevard and Summit. I don’t have any memory of what happened next or even what happened a little after, but here’s what I’ve pieced together from what other people have told me and the bruising on my face:

I crashed my bike and landed face first on the pavement. I lost consciousness because that’s what happens when your head absorbs nearly 100% of the impact of falling (my helmet presumably absorbed the rest). Some kind strangers stopped to help, and Natasha, who was ahead of me, turned around to figure out wtf happened. She also called 911 and prevented me from standing or moving around. She and the kind strangers set my bike aside and responded patiently every time I asked if my bike was okay, which I did ad nauseam for the next couple hours. Jeff, who was doing some car and bike shuffling in the Bottoms, happened to drive down Summit as I was being wheeled up Summit in a gurney. He turned around to figure out had happened and made sure I was mostly okay before sending me in the ambulance to St. Luke’s.

face
Sorry, yeah, that’s my face two days post-crash when my eye was swollen shut.

An ordeal for sure, but if there’s one thing that makes an ER visit better it’s not knowing how long I was there because my short term memory wasn’t really firing. After a couple CT scans and a visit with a provider that I have no recollection of, Jeff arrived to take me home. Other than a concussion and some really badass-looking face bruises, I was fine. And, other than some really minor cosmetic scratches, my bike is also fine.

Jeff’s Birthday Shenanigans

Jeff’s birthday is always within striking distance of Thanksgiving, if not on Thanksgiving. Historically, this has made planning birthday celebrations difficult – friends travel out of town to see family for the holiday, people get busy, etc. This year was splendidly different.

About a week before Jeff’s actual birthday, Karin mentioned to Nate (while she and the rest of the Tuesday Ladies Ride riders were waiting for me…) that Jeff wanted a whiskey-fueled urban alley cat for his bday. Nate suggested the next best thing: The Dump Loop.

(Karin, this is more or less how I understand this conversation going down…feel free to correct any misstatements above)

When we returned from the weekly ladies ride, Nate was still at Velo and shared more about what he continued to very nonchalantly refer to as the dump loop. The Jeff Birthday Dump Loop Ride started taking shape: 40ish miles, no skinny tires, some climbing and trespassing, many beers, lots of fun.

On Sunday, we gathered at the Lunchbox in the West Bottoms. Originally scheduled to roll at 10 a.m., we didn’t actually roll out until closer to 11 because there was important pre-ride business to attend to, as demonstrated below.

jeff gets iced
Jeff got iced early compliments of Tara and Bryn.

After some pre-ride beverages and breakfast burritos, all 15 or so of us rolled out. I’m not going to list everyone…if you were there, you know it. Before we left, Nate warned of small spaces and heights and he certainly delivered. While we started riding familiar roads in the more industrial part of the West Bottoms, we quickly found ourselves on the gravel levee trail that’s intended for railroad service vehicles and, from there, on an actual railroad bridge with very little separating us from the Kaw.

To summarize the next bit: a little dirt trail, a few under bridge beers, some hike-a-bike, and more levee trail. The weather was PERFECT. Like, never in recorded history has there been an 11/24 as warm and sunny and perfect for a birthday bike ride as 11/24/2019. Also, Jeff was having a lot of fun. At one point, we collected Zeke who I’m still convinced just, like, materialized on the levee trail like a wizard or something.

After a somewhat stressful multi-track crossing that included Karin getting train-horned and a group of dudes having to back track because they got so excited getting their zoomies out that they didn’t see us stop to cross, we parted ways with Bryn, Tara, and others who had real life commitments and carried on to the eponymous dump.

Naturally, one does not simply ride into a closed/decommissioned waste dump. Fortunately, there was a pretty easy way in, after a quick hike down a hill and around a chainlink fence. Once we were in, it was on. Nate promised good views at the top of the dump, so we climbed. Part of the way up, we saw either a large coyote or a normal sized feral dog, depending on who you ask. With some trepidation on my part, we continued. I do not fuck with feral dogs.

The climb to the top of the dump was…climb-y but rewarding. The views were great and it was an ideal spot for more yard beers and, thanks to the birthday boy himself, a dirtbag charcuterie picnic. If you know Jeff, you know that a dirtbag charcuterie picnic on top of a decommissioned waste dump is very on brand. Happy birthday indeed! Once we finished the requisite beers and snacks, we headed back down the dump hill, which was super fun. Exiting the dump was slightly more adventurous than entering, but we all made it out in one piece.

dump loop success
Timme selfies at the top of the dump.

Onto the next! A cruise downhill and a quick off-road detour brought us to dirt trails, which are apparently intended for horses. As someone who has never ridden trail, I was pleasantly surprised at how fun this part was even though I had to walk some of it. After trading dirt for pavement, we found ourselves a Dollar General and the world’s best/worst liquor store for a quick refuel. Post refuel, Jared and Timme hit the road, but we continued on. We found more spectacular views from a pavilion at City Park, where, upon leaving, Jeff was almost nailed in the head by an errant foul baseball.

I’m not sure when it was decided that we would go to Johnny’s on 7th. Maybe that was the plan all along and I forgot, but that’s where we headed. It was a perfect location to end Jeff’s birthday ride before heading back to midtown since it’s more or less his version Cheers. Our way there included what appeared to be a very fun but also very steep descent down a short hill…the kind of hill that’s perfect for sledding. Karin, Derek and I hung back after the others went down. Derek very valiantly went first and was completely sending it…until the very bottom of the hill, where he endo-ed in truly spectacular fashion. Karin and I proceeded to walk carefully down the hill to checked on Derek. Other than a few scrapes and bruises, he was okay. His shifters, on the other hand, were less fine. After assessing the damage and dusting off, we all headed to Johnny’s for a much needed beverage.

Johnny’s was delightful, as usual. We ran in to Jeff’s younger brother Matt and, later, his older brother Kurt and fiance Lisa, whose actual birthday is 11/24. After a couple rounds, everyone was feeling the day’s adventure and verging on hangry so we headed back to midtown. Derek and Neal accidentally split up from Karin, Nate, Natasha, Jeff, Matt, Zeke, Tread and me after the see through bridge. We took the levee trail and they took roads, which I’m definitely not judging them for. I met back up with them after they spotted us coming up the hill below the Scout and we all made our way back to the house, where Jeff was already doing Jeff things, namely making food and entertaining.

Super solid ride, five giant stars. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped Jeff celebrate 34 full revolutions around the sun. Most of all, thanks to Nate for leading us on a wild one.

No. “No”vember does not mean No biking

The weather for this first weekend in November turned out to be pretty good for biking, and there was a lot of biking related activity to go along with it.

First!

Congratulations to Karin Jones for joining the Single Speed club.  She, Treadwell, Derek R, worked with Zeke at Velo Garage all day Saturday and they built Karin’s new All-City single speed gravel bike.   It’s a good looking bike.  I and several others got a chance to give it a spin Sunday at Velo and it’s a fun little ride.

Secondly

Sunday turned out to be a terrific day for riding, despite a pesky little wind from the south.  It was the morning of the Pre-Chiefs game ride, but a lot of people got out to do other rides too.

Derek R. got up super early to ride with the Epic Bike Shop Sunday Coffee ride.   They got themselves a little bit of hill climbing in.   Then when that ride was over, Derek made a Stop by Velo to say “Hey” and drink a few beers while watching the Chiefs

Karin, Treadwell, Lynne, and Jeff W.  got out a little bit later in the day and went for a Ride with Addie and thier Daddy ride group.   Their route took them  into North KC as well and they Stopped by Velo during the Chiefs game to say, “hey.”   That’s were several of us got to try out Karin’s new bike.  It’s a fun like bike to scoot around on.

Finally there were those of us, the true warriors, that road the Pre-Chiefs game ride.  It’s easy to remember who was all there, cause it was just Tara and I.   We had a great ride though.   We started off at the Opera House Coffee and Food emporium.   We were supposed to meet at 8:30, but despite the extra hour of sleep from the DST time shift that night, I still woke up late.  I eventually got there around 8:45-50.   Since it was just us, we weren’t pressed for time.   We had coffee and a decent breakfast, watched a lot of Vikings fans roam around the River Market, and eventually decided to make a go at the ride.  We probably got started around 9:30 or so.

For our route, we went with an oldie but goody that I slightly modified.   We headed North across the river towards the Line Creek Trail.   Line Creek still remains one of my favorite rides in KC, and this day was no exception.   When we got into Riverside, we made a slight detour from my normal route to go checkout the interurban trail in Riverside.   This is a great little extension off the Line Creek Trail that allows you to get down closer to the Red X, without having to go through that stop light up by the Quick Trip and Corner Cafe.  Check it out.  We used it on the return trip too.

We set a good pace Northbound on the Trail and pushed hard until we got north of 68th St., then we stopped to grab a little water, a bite of food, and get ride of the full finger gloves as the day was warming up.   After that, the Grinding climb until we were North of Barry Road.   We Looped around the 152 Trail until we finally started heading southbound on Platte Purchase Rd.   It was here that Tara came up along side and commented “Man, that climb on the trail, I was sucking wind and really having trouble catching my breath.”   I asked if we needed to take a break and stop off at the Quick Trip just a bit away.   She said she thought she was doing fine at the moment.   Me, knowing the route I planned replied, “Well… We’re about to test that out!”

We then proceeded to find some serious F-ing hills.   I’d never ridden these hills before, but had a feeling they were bad based on the terrain map I saw while building the route.   I wasn’t expecting them to be that sever though!.   Platte Purchase to 76th St. to North Coventry.   Want to test your hill climbing out?   That’s a good route to take, and apparently, it’s along this segment that I almost died… again.

As we were coming down the final descent of that segment, Tara pulled up along side of me and ask, “Did you see the deer?”  No!.. I hadn’t.   Per Tara,  apparently, it came running out of the wood to our side, jumped, and just barely missed my rear wheel.   2 others followed and cut in between us.  Crazy, keep your eyes open out there.

We then cruised back down the Line Creek Trail, and back to Velo for after ride drinks and to cheer on the Chiefs!   James Currans even made a guest appearance down at Velo.  Generally a great day!.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
02:09:58
hours
02:02:19
hours
27.96
mi.
13.71
mph
29.30
mph
1,184.38
ft.
2,217
kcal

Upcoming Rides

Spoke Pony Gravel Express – Sunday Nov. 10th.

It could be a cold day out there, but we’re going to get out and ride the 50 mile route on this self supported fun ride.   We’re even stashing a cooler along the route, and altering the route some to stop by a bar that’s no too far off the route.   Come Join us!  If you do, be sure to let me know so that the cooler is properly stocked.

Lawrence Gravel Ride – Nov 16th

Not a lot of details yet about this, as we’re still discussing, but we’re talking about heading out to Lawrence and riding some gravel.   Stay tuned, more details to come.

Santa Rampage – Dec 14th

Grab your Santa suit and let’s go for a ride.  Short fun ride.  Check the link above for details.