Regional News Recap

Bicycling-related news from Kansas and neighboring states:

Kansas

  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital is offering incentives to employees to use alternative modes of transportation, like walking, taking the bus or riding a bike.
  • In Topeka, former city attorney Brenden Long was injured while riding his bicycle when he was struck by a driver who failed to yield the right of way at an uncontrolled intersection. Long, who served in the city attorney’s office for 21 years, was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated, then released.
  • In Leawood, Monday night bike rides have community feel, starting at a local restaurant, Spin! Neapolitan Pizza, that features a cycling theme in its decor.
  • Topekan Allie Kossoy is disappointed that the Bike and Build tour is over.
  • In Pittsburg, Roger Lomshek of Tailwind Cyclists is working to make Southeast Kansas a cycling mecca. “We’ve gone from having no major events here and no one to ride with to having 30 people show up for family fun rides on Tuesday nights. We now are home to Lisa Ward, a multi-state champion, and Ryan Heydenrych, the elite men’s state champion, among others. It’s catching on,” Lomshek says.
  • Lake Shawnee Trail Completed: On Monday August 25, an 84-foot-long ped-bike bridge was installed on the seven-mile concrete Lake Shawnee Trail in Topeka. Now bicyclists, joggers and walkers will be able to travel all around the lake.
  • Former University of Kansas student Greg Krupa is riding 520 miles from Kansas City to Chicago in a ROMP-a-thon tour to raise money for the Range of Motion Project, a non-profit organization that provides prosthetics and orthotic braces for people in Guatemala and Ecuador.
  • On August 30th, four teenage girls from Quinter attempted to set a Kansas south-to-north, four-person women’s recumbent record, starting in Liberal and pedaling to the Nebraska border north of Oberlin.
  • A profile of the Coasters Bicycle Club in the Wichita Eagle: Bike club members in it for the fun of it.
  • From Limited Warren T in the Wichita Eagle: Cars always stop at stop signs, don’t they? Not so much…
  • A Manhattan Mercury reader believes that Cyclists can be a danger on the roads: “Less than two weeks ago, I came very close to hitting and possibly killing a woman on her bicycle. I believe that there will be more accidents … if cyclists aren’t more careful.” Hmmm, you’re the one driving a two-ton weapon, you very nearly killed someone, and yet you think that cyclists are a danger? Seems like you got that backwards…

Arkansas

  • The Stuttgart Daily Dealer profiles David Sobczak, who’s Living the life of a nomad as he tours Arkansas for the first time, after having cycled through Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas and Missouri earlier this year. Sobczak said “the open road brings a great deal of surprises, as well as intrigue at not knowing what is going to happen and allows him to meet interesting people with fascinating stories to absorb and retell.”
  • In Rogers, the city council approved a bike route, which will use existing roads and will have signs informing motorists of the dual use of the road, but there will be no striping on the roads to indicate bike lanes. Not exactly “bicycle friendly”, but a start, I suppose…
  • The Complete Book of Road Cycling and Road Racing“, a book by Willard Peveler, assistant professor of exercise science at the University of Central Arkansas, was recently published by McGraw-Hill. Peveler is a noted exercise physiologist who has coached at the university level and ridden competitively since 1994.

Colorado

  • The Freewheelin bicycle-sharing program proved popular in Denver during the Democratic National Convention, with more than 5,400 rides amounting to 23,295 miles logged by Thursday. The Freewheelin program now moves to Minneapolis and St. Paul for the Republican National Convention.
  • Campgrounds and hiking and biking trails have been busy, with predominantly local patrons. “With high fuel prices, people are staying close to home,” Forest service information officer Ann Ewing said. “We aren’t seeing anywhere near the out-of-state traffic.”
  • Brian Schimpf, a Denver Health bike paramedic, was hit by a car and seriously injured while answering a call during the Democratic National Convention.
  • Luke Ward and his 11-year-old daughter Dani Conquer Pikes Peak — on unicycles!
  • Conflict between bikers and hikers on Jefferson County trails: “Mountain bikers like their off-road terrain gnarly, but sharing trails with other outdoor enthusiasts has become tricky with the surge in cycling popularity.”
  • Brian Ficker, the infamous Larimer County’s deputy sheriff who started the Larimer County uproar by threatening cyclists riding two abreast, has now had a chance to experience Colorado roads from the saddle of a bicycle, as he rode with cyclists from Bike Fort Collins on a recent 45-mile jaunt.
  • Colorado Springs will have added 17.4 miles of bicycle lanes by the time paving and striping season ends in late October.
  • Coloradoan senior reporter Kevin Duggan has completed his monthlong bicycle commuting experiment, but he’s planning to stay on the bike: “I learned bike commuting is doable once one gets in the habit.”

Iowa

  • Pastor Richard Pokora of Bettendorf is urging the city council to support the concept of Complete Streets. “Ordinary people ought to be able to make short trips on a bicycle within their community,” Pokora said. “When a big SUV goes whizzing by at 35 or 45 mph and the driver has a cell phone stuck to their ear, it gives you a new perspective on the term ‘road kill’.”
  • The future of bicycling in Iowa has become a contentious campaign issue in an eastern Iowa congressional race where a pro-cycling lawmaker faces a challenge from an opponent who doesn’t believe the federal government should put money into cycling. “I don’t think the federal government should be having a national bicycle network. It’s not the same as a national highway or the interstate highway system. Bicycling is a rather local thing.”
  • After nearly 15 years of planning and building, Audubon County is about to see the completion of 16 consecutive miles of paved trail through the county. By mid to late October, the final three mile section of the T-Bone biking and walking trail should be completed and open for use.
  • The number of people using a Polk County trail while it is stil under contruction speaks to the hunger for more places to walk or run or bike.
  • In Cedar Rapids, an 11-year-old boy is run over by a truck pulling out of a driveway as the boy rode his bicycle on the sidewalk.
  • The MINTS Ride rolls out of Hamburg on September 14th, crossing over into Missouri and Nebraska on a 76-mile route. The ride is a benefit Emergency Medical Technicians in the area.
  • The August 7th death of Dr. Craig C. Schultz, 61, of Davenport has been ruled a reckless homicide by a coroner’s jury. Dr. Schultz was run down from behind while riding his bicycle on a straight and clear stretch of roadway by Augustin Barragan, who fled the scene after killing Dr. Schultz, and who has been charged with leaving the scene of an automobile accident resulting in death, a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. He is currently free on $10,000 bail. His next court date is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Missouri

  • In Joplin, the Ruby Jack Trail is becoming popular as it continues to grow. The Maple Leaf Bike Ride, set for October 11th, will raise funds for the continuing development of the trail.
  • Kansas City Star editorial: Expand KC’s puny system of trails — “Kansas City’s trails system is an embarrassment to its residents. Despite high public interest in trails, City Hall over the last decade has not built or even planned a more extensive system. Kansas Citians deserve a far better system of trails than they have now.”
  • In Riverside, the first segment of the Missouri Riverfront Trail has opened. About two-thirds of the 3.75-mile trail is atop the Riverside-Quindaro Bend Levee — the first trail atop a privately owned levee in the Kansas City area. The trail is ultimately planned to extend northward through Parkville and on to Weston, as well as eastward to downtown KC.
  • The YouZeum in Columbia is organizing the Starlight Bike Ramble, a recreational bike ride through downtown Columbia at dusk, on September 27th.
  • The city of Springfield says that Awareness important as bicycle traffic increases.
  • In Columbia, PedNet promotes car-free September.
  • Keep up with Spencer Klaassen, a 43 year old pharmacist from St. Joseph, as he attempts to ride the 1,850 mile Pony Express Trail. Spencer, along with Dan Clinkinbeard of Columbia, have just two weeks to make it from Sacramento to St. Joe on this inagural ride of the “Pony Express Trail.”
  • Springfield’s St. John’s Hospital offers a voucher program for employees who bike, bus, walk or carpool. Employees can spend the vouchers in the cafeteria, co-worker store or the Mercy Mocha coffee bars.
  • The St. Joseph News-Press profiles bicycle commuters Jack Romans and Billy Coats: “I don’t think it’s really hit St. Joe yet,” Mr. Coats said of commuters such as himself and of biking in general. “You go to Colorado, there are bicyclists everywhere … I hope (St. Joseph) becomes more bike friendly.”
  • Editorial from St. Joseph News-Press Business editor Susan Mires: “Biking is not just for international athletes and grade schoolers any more. It’s legitimate transportation for people who can’t afford pricier options. Businesses and communities who take notice and adapt have the most to gain.”

Nebraska

Oklahoma

  • In Enid, the local newspaper published an editorial that says “Trails system is a must for Enid’s future.”
  • Also in Enid, a 16-year-old juvenile was arrested after he hit a cyclist with his automobile and then fled the scene, leaving the 61-year-old victim in critical condition. This just a day after a hit-and-run accident that injured a 12-year-old girl riding on her bicycle.
  • The Tour de Trykes ride in Enid raised over $12,000 for AmTryke, drawing riders from all over Oklahoma, and from as far as Missouri and Texas.
  • In Shawnee, a driver faces hit-and-run charges after running down a 6-year-old boy, stopping, moving the child out of the street, and then driving off.
  • A Norman man was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, after he struck a bicyclist and fled the scene of the accident.
  • In Oklahoma City, a new bicycle rack system throughout the eastern part of downtown. Metro Transit also recently installed bike racks on all Oklahoma City buses and trolleys making it convenient for riders to transport their bikes anywhere in the city.

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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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