Thanks for coming out Karen!
Just wanted to send in a report about my cycling adventure in Kansas City this past weekend. As some of you know, I connected with a group there via an article in September's Bicycling Magazine ("The Commuter Dude," p. 45).
I drove down to see my family with Sydney Cycle relaxing in the back seat.
KC is a pretty hilly town, but I was absolutely dumbfounded at the climbs we did on our 60 mile tour Saturday a.m. From suburban Kansas sprawl (rivaling Buffalo Grove) to quaintly rundown older neighborhoods to urban skylines to the hustle and bustle of the Country Club Plaza (a beautiful outdoor shopping area) to graceful Missouri-side mansions, we did it all. "All" included a hill longer and as steep as the climb into Williams Bay, Wisconsin. I lost my chain twice! The rewards included amazing downhills. I clocked over 40 mph -- first time since riding in Montana in '01. And it was hot, hot, hot. The general pace was slower than what we usually do, but the hills more than balanced out that average mph.
The 12 riders were mostly 30-40 somethings, but the biggest surprise was that over half were women. I found everyone to be really interesting to talk to and interested in why I happened to be there. There was Michelle, a tall Amazon who is an editor at the KC Star newspaper; Bill, the burley guy on the wooden-fendered commuter bike, foster parent for two handicapped individuals; Dave and Terry zipping by on their tandem; Sue, slathered in zinc oxide trailing behind us, yet never giving up; a guy on a fixed gear bike who had the fastest cadence I've ever seen -- no, wait -- he had his feet off the pedals while spinning downhill; Nan, consistently passing me on her hybrid, then stopping to check her blood sugar level; and Jerry who looked and sounded familiar and WAS
familiar: he is a recent immigrant to the KC area from Evanston! I've ridden with him on my forays with the Evanston Bike Club. Finally, there was the goofy Commuter Dude himself, Keith, a skilled and generous rider who made me feel totally at home with my adopted team.
Other highlights of the ride included a stop at a funky bike shop: Acme Bikes in downtown KC (bike tubes covered with Persian carpets, bikes made by Dr.
Frankenstein, bikes on drugs). We passed a store called "House of Rocks" where they sold . . . . rocks . . . just rocks. No llamas, unfortunately. We covered lots of territory that produced flashbacks from childhood. And not a single motorist honked at us or threw firecrackers (though Nan told me that she's been hit by milk shakes).
I had a really good time!
See you Saturday?
Karen L. (as in "cyKLing's up to date in Kansas city")
My ride report is coming soon, I promise -- as well as the conclusion of the ride LAST weekend, the Tongi Tango -- which somehow got cut off due to user error, I think. I need to hit "SAVE" every once in a while, don't ya think? Ugh.