The Sunflower Cycling News is a periodic publication of Kansas Cyclist, featuring a compendium of hand-picked bicycling-related news items from Kansas and neighboring states.
The following is a recap of recent bicycling news from the region, as well as a look ahead to upcoming rides, races, and bicycling events coming up.
Bicycling News from Kansas
- The Wichita Bicycle Master Plan was presented to the Wichita City Council on February 5th, and the council unanimously endorsed the plan, the creation of the Wichita Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, and the submission of the recommended City of Wichita TE applications. Congrats, Wichita cyclists!
- El Dorado to get five new bike racks — “The El Dorado Rotary Club is planning to install five new bike racks around town. It is a joint effort between the Rotary Club and the city, as Rotary will provide the bike racks and the city will provide the pads on which they sit. The new bike racks are scheduled to be finished by next weekend or the following weekend.”
- Leavenworth Times columnist Matt Nowak touts the Leavenworth Bicycle Club: Bicycle Club has benefits for all types of riders — “A good club — and this is a good club — will try to represent all factions within the bicycling community and will try to promote and support all forms of bicycling.”
- An editorial in the Salina Journal praises that city’s efforts to become more bicycle-friendly: “Salina is a city on the move, and in all the right ways. There are walking and biking trails popping up all over. No longer are we dependent on individual vehicles to get us where we need to go. We can’t say enough good things about such a plan. Walking is one of the healthiest forms of exercise there is, and bicycling is one of the most efficient forms of transportation.”
- Dodge City is hoping to extend their existing bike/ped trail. If funding is procured, construction wouldn’t begin until at least 2014.
- A reminder: The Kansas Bicycle/Pedestrian Survey is soliciting input from bicyclists to help update the state’s bike/ped plan. The survey runs through the end of February, at ksdot.org. The development of the plan is expected to be completed by July. Learn More.
Regional Bicycling News
- Little Rock, AR: “The murder trial has begun for a Little Rock man who allegedly used his van to chase down and hit a teenager on a bicycle – then beat the boy to death. Michael Sadler is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2012 death of 14-year-old Michael Stanley Jr.”
- Aspen, CO: “City of Aspen officials are considering a change to city laws that would allow bicyclists to simply yield at stop signs. Some city employees, tasked with coming up with ways to fulfill a City Council goal to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety, have suggested to council members that it’s safer to allow a cyclist to yield rather than stop at the big, red, octagon-shaped signs.”
- Black Hawk, CO: Black Hawk Colorado Bike Ban Overturned — “The Colorado Supreme Court has overturned the bicycle ban in Black Hawk, Colorado, ruling that bicycle laws are a matter of both state and local concern, and that city laws must be consistent with state law.”
- Colorado: The Bicycle Colorado Summit is scheduled for February 11-12 in Denver, to “bring together bicycling advocates, industry leaders, bicyclists and elected officials and agency staff to build strategies to improve bicycling in Colorado”. The keynote speaker is renowned bike advocate Mia Birk.
- Grimes, IA: Last year, Grimes instituted a bicycle ban on certain roads in their community. Now, the Iowa Attorney General’s office has weighed in, and informed Grimes (and other cities) that “In our view an ordinance limiting access to the roadways by bicyclist conflicts with state statutes. In light of the statutory language of Iowa Code, we believe it is clear that the city of Grimes cannot by ordinance prohibit bicycles from using the roadways, including a city street, and require bicyclists instead to use a bike path that is available.”
- Boonville, MO: “Plans are in place to begin work early next year on transforming a historic railroad bridge into a centerpiece of the cross-state Katy Trail.”
- Kansas City: Kansas City crime fighters turn to Facebook after bike theft — When car-free Tika Wrisner’s bicycle was stolen, she posted the search to Facebook, crowdsourcing the police work to fellow cyclists, one of whom found the bike and got it back. Nice work!
- Missouri: A Missouri state representative is planning to introduce a bill to ban bicycles from some state highways, having apparently taken offense at the notion of having to share the road, and, especially, the installation of “Bikes May Use Full Lane” signs on some routes in his district.
- Stillwater, OK: In Stillwater, adding sharrows to city streets has led to “a big improvement in travel between the motorist and bicyclist,” according to local cyclists.
- Oklahoma City, OK: Cyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run Overnight in OKC. Police are asking for help in finding the killer.
- Woodward, OK: Alesa Smith, age 22, of Benton, Arkansas, serving a Mormon mission in Oklahoma died on February 1st after she was struck by a pickup truck from behind while riding her bicycle. The driver of the truck said that he was blinded by the headlights of an oncoming car. Woodward police labeled the collision as “unfortunate”, and don’t anticipate filing charges. The old “the light was in my eyes” excuse … gets ‘em off every time.
Upcoming Kansas Bicycling Events
Road racers and mountain bikers can start looking ahead to some upcoming events, including the Spring Fling Criterium Series ( February 23, March 2, March 16, March 23, and March 30 at Clinton Lake near Lawrence), the Perry Road Race Series (March 3, March 10, and March 17 at Lake Perry), and the Bone Bender 3/6, an endurance mountain bike race along the scenic shores of Clinton Lake near Lawrence on April 14th.
The first Kansas recreational ride on the schedule (so far) is the Spring Classic on April 27th in Lenexa.
The Latest Bicycling Resources at Kansas Cyclist
I was very pleased to learn that Land Rover Bikes chose Kansas Cyclist as one of their Top 30 Blog to Watch in 2013. “We’ve scoured the web to find the very best cycling blogs available online. It’s been tough but we’ve managed to narrow it down to 30 of our favourites that we follow to keep up to date on all the latest happenings within the cycling world.”
It’s a great list … check it out!
File under “interesting things seen while cycling”:
This is the William Thomas Turner Barn near Gardner, Kansas. Built in 1898 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you have a news item or upcoming event you’d like to share, please contact Kansas Cyclist with details.