July 25, 2009

Bike camping, S24O style, and gravel.

I've done a lot by bike, that is true. From long streaks of commutes, to charity rides, to races, to 600k and 48-hour ultras, but I have to say: as I lay here under a canopy of stars, listening to the bugs, frogs, and waterfowl sing, I don't think I've been quite so satisfied with a bike-related event as this. About 11 riders strong, we left the Price Chopper in Olathe at about 1pm, rode to Hillsdale Lake, and set up camp. From there, Randy of Kansas Cyclist fame and I took off on a 30-mile gravel road mini tour of old bridges, older cemeteries (legible "died" dates as far back as 1860) and old schoolhouses. A REAL treat, and a great ride. Back to camp, a shower, beers, good conversation flowing all throughout the group, roasting marshies, sunset, crescent moon, a model hot-air baloon, the milky way and two bright shooting stars, the big dipper on full display, and finally sucking the last breath of battery to post it all while the sleepies catch up. Dude....."glad I
came" doesn't even touch it. Like Clem said earlier today, "I needed this". Now the campsite quiets, the last of the late-nighters are settling in, and the lonely distant call of the railroad is all I hear. No traffic, no bumpin' stereos.... And the BEST weather I think I've ever had during a bike ride. Life is tough sometimes - this year has been a real test... but moments like these: life is grand. It's not just the camping, its the total package. Burning nothing but calories to get here, taking a tour of things that from a car would be whizzed by and quickly forgotten... Life from the saddle, like this, is - once again - grand. A truly terrific day....


July 21, 2009

KCUC's Spencer Klaassen to ride L-E-L!

Good luck to Spencer! In just a few days, he'll be undertaking one of the few "Grand Randonnees" that's longer than the famed P-B-P!
1,400kms from London to Edinburgh, and back...

Check out details on the ride HERE.

Follow Spencer along the way, with automatic updates:
Click HERE for Spencer's SPOT page, and follow the action!

July 12, 2009

The Un-Lenexa Midnite Cave Ride.

Big, king size props to Noah for not only breaking all previous DSR attendance records, but for hosting a solid ride. Ya know, some rides you kinda know what yer gonna see, but the DSR stuff...well, the freaks come out at night. I mean that in the most affectionate way, too. We had class-A mileage freak (me), Badger on the Riv, we had a Long Haul Trucker, various old Treks, hybrids, mountain bikes, a Swobo fixie (VERY nice), an urban tourer complete with wicker basket, another sweet fixie with a front disc brake (couldn't make out the name, but a bad-as$ setup, and some of the best trackstanding I've seen from both cats), and even a newer Trek with (gasp) carbon on it. I mean, not that the bikes should have anything to do with it, but this ride just a really diverse bunch...very cool vibe. There will be more to come on this, including a second-by-second account of our descent into the bowels of doom and our encounter with the cave snot! Read: Dude biffs! The Lenexa
caves are weak. THIS cave had like a 20% drop-in grade. (ok, not really) Hey, we were warned, but the pucker power and brake feathering threshold was pushed by quite a few folks, and I had a guy bite it right in front of me - engage front brake...you get the idea. I'll cross post some pics from Noah "slick mud" Dunk-tank's site when they're up, too. In all seriousness, a great ride, despite the bumps and bruises. Light traffic, light winds, clear skies, a break from the humidity, singing bugs and frogs, waves and cheers from late night KC folks, just smile after smile: crap, I was even laughing when I hit the deck. I hope everyone comes away with the same good feeling - and good memories of this ride. I certainly will! Now, as my caffiene-charged electrolyte drink wears off and the ibuprofen for the hip-bounce I performed earlier kicks in, I bid you goodnight.... Stay tuned.