This past weekend was the annual Tour de BBQ ride to raise money for Children’s Mercy and KU Med’s work to treat pediatric cancer, and Team Bad Decisions had a good turn out. We also picked up some additional friends for the ride! Nancy F., Drew, Megan B., Jeff B., Craig, Tara, Robert, Keith T, Chris B., Regina W., Joseph B., and I all took to the 35 mile route. Though I didn’t stick around at the end long enough to see her finish, Karin Jones also was out on the 62 mile route. It was a nice day to be out on the bike.
The 35 mile route took off from the Prariefire shopping center in Overland Park somewhere around 8:30 in the morning. They let groups out in waves to keep our disruption to traffic minimal. As would be expected, we were not in the first wave 🙂 We took off at a nice leisurely pace in the second wave and made our way through OP to Burnt Ends BBQ near Metcalf and 119th. There they had a pretty good Breakfast Burrito with Pulled Pork mixed into it for us to munch on. From there we took off on the next leg, and the group spread out pretty well up until we got to the next stop.
Chris B, Keith T., and I kicked out with a pretty decent pace and pushed ahead, pretty much catching up with the first wave of riders by the time we got to BB’s Lawn side BBQ in KCMO down off of 85th St. We were all welcomed by a pretty lively group of volunteers serving Jambalaya mixed with BBQ Sausage. We also quickly found that their bar was open and that they had a special going on with PBR buckets (That’s Pabts Blue Ribon for the uneducated). So we grabbed one and waited for the rest to show up on their shaded deck. Tara, Robert, Nancy, Drew, Joseph, and Regina were the next group to show up. They had gone off route and ended up taking the Trolley trail down to BB’s. They too picked up a couple buckets of PBR. Megan, Jeff, and Craig brought up the rear gaurd and joined us, though they missed the update about PBR buckets and bought themselves some fancy, highfalutin beers. By the time we finished up all our beers, we were pretty much at the back of the second wave of riders again. We didn’t care. We were there for the fun of it, and we had a short cut, or at least we thought we did.
The majority of the crew left BB’s, and immediately went off route to try to cut over to the Indian Creek Trail. That, we knew, would take us down to Blue River Rd, get us within a couple miles of the next stop (Jack Stack’s BBQ in Martin City), and all without having to climb all the nasty hills that the main route took up Wornall. We thought we were being clever. Somehow, Chris Bobal didn’t get the memo that we were going off route and we got separated. He ended up sticking to the main route. So the rest of us started making are way east on 85th and then wanted to head south on Blue River Rd, but we found ourselves blocked by a train. If this becomes a regular thing on our rides, I may have to start rethinking my bike routes. Anyway, the train came to a stop, blocking the crossing, so we decided to send Robert out on his big fancy mountain bike to see if he could see how far away the end of the train was and if we could get around it. He came back pretty quickly stating that the end of the train was just a ways down and we could easily get around it. Those of us with road bikes picked up our bikes and started walking down the second rail line to go around. We then got to the point that Robert thought was the end of the train, only to learn that it wasn’t the end, they had just hooked up a couple engines in the middle of the train. We had no idea how long the full train was, but this was a bad sign. Then we heard a train whistle and discovered that another train was coming down the track we’d been walking on. Ugh.. So we all huffed it back to the crossing. There was a little moment of tension from Megan as she feared for her new husbands life, as he was further down the rail than she was, but in the end, the second train was moving pretty slowly and we all made it back safely. So then we had to take a detour to find a way around the train. We did, but it also added about 4 miles on to our route. Urg… not what I was hoping for, but Indian Creek trail is a really nice trail, so it was a good ride. Chris B. ended up getting to Jack Stack’s about a 1/2 hour before us. He waited a bit, but eventually road on with out us and finished out his ride.
Oh! Right as we got on to Indian Creek Trail, Nancy failed to have enough speed as we had to make a 1 ft. traversal across grass from a parking lot to the trail. She, and her brand new bike, took a spill. Nancy got away with just a scraped up knee, but more importantly, her bike was mostly OK. Mostly because her front disc breaks must have shifted and were now squeaking as she road. Nothing looked too serious though. At Jack Stack’s we got her cleaned up a little, and tried a little bike surgery to get rid of the squeak, with mild success. It was still squeaking some, but the wheel was spinning and she could finish the day out.
The nice thing about Jack Stacks is, It’s RIGHT NEXT to Martin City Brew Co. We we had to make a stop there, right? So we did! We held to a single round, but it was a good time. After recharging our batteries with beer, we took off for the short 3 to 4 mile jaunt back over to Prairiefire. There we were greeted with some more free BBQ, some free Goose Island IPA, or Michelob Ultras, and a cool place in the shade to stand around and joke around for a while. All in all a fantastic day.
Why not get out Saturday evening if you haven’t got anything better to do and mix our favorite hobbies, biking and drinking? Do be careful though. I’m not advocating biking while intoxicated. Know your limits. Details in the link above.
If you can’t make Pedal in Pub, or if you can and have the fortitude to get up the next morning and go for a ride, why not join for a little gravel riding. Route is still to be determined, but I hope to keep it short enough that we’ll be back in time for the Chief’s game.