Fifty by Bike, Including Kansas

Aaron & Laura Beese are Oklahoma natives that have embarked on a unique bicycle tour — to visit and document each of the geographic centers of all fifty U.S. states on their tandem bicycle.

This two-year journey started in central Oklahoma in June 2007, and from there they headed east and north, reaching the centers of Arkansas, and then Missouri. The rest of the year they ambled through the northern states, finishing New England in October.

Winter was spent in Hawaii, and the trip resumed in March in Florida, and will wind it’s way through the remainder of the east coast and the south this spring. By June, the Beese’s will arrive in Kansas, on their way north to Nebraska, Iowa, and beyond.

The plan is to spend winter 2009 in Oregon, before wrapping up their adventure by making their way back to Oklahoma by May 2009.

Their web site, Fifty by Bike, documents their journey, and you can follow along as they meander around the nation.

So where is the geographic center of Kansas? About 15 miles northeast of Great Bend, in Barton County (see map).

How about the geographic center of the contiguous United States? That’s located near Lebanon, in northern Kansas. They don’t mention it on their site, but it would seem to be along the way from Great Bend to Broken Bow, Nebraska, so that’s most likely on their itinerary as well.

So if you see someone on a strange bike (a Hase Pino) passing through central Kansas in June, say hello and wish them well. And if you can offer them a place to stay (a couch/guest bedroom/garage/yard/barn), please contact them and make them feel welcome.

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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