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
- Atchison: Atchison trail in the works — “Throughout the community, there has really been a push for a recreational trail. There has been a desperate need to improve trails and sidewalks for a more biker-pedestrian-friendly environment. A grant application will be submitted to the Kansas Department of Transportation, which will make the final determination as to whether the trail will be funded.”
- Lawrence: City commissioner candidate Michael Rost is a competitive cyclist: “Most weeks he rides his road bike 10 to 20 hours, and it is not unusual for him to compete in multiple races in a month that are more than 80 or 90 miles each. He said he likes the sport, in part, because it is the type of activity where you can set a goal and keep meticulous track of how you are progressing toward the goal.” The primary election is on February 26th. [via Lawrence Journal-World]
- Topeka: City council vote proves bicycle-friendly — “The council voted 9-0 to apply to the Kansas Department of Transportation for a $1.4 million federal transportation enhancement grant to be used to cover 80 percent of the costs to implement the first phase of a Bikeways Master Plan. Eleven people attending Tuesday’s meeting wore bicycle helmets to show support for the plan.” Well, done, Topeka cyclists!
- Shawnee County: County commissioners voted to apply for federal funding to cover up to 80 percent of the costs to build an extension of the Deer Creek Trail running south to Lake Shawnee.
- Wichita: A reader reported that “A person in Wichita was hit by a car on Broadway Street last week”. I have not been able to find any other information on this collision, so hopefully it wasn’t too serious, and the bicyclist is OK. Thanks for the tip, Steve!
- The Wichita Eagle offers up some suggestions for biking destinations in the Sunflower State: Kansas’ many trails offer brilliant vistas off the beaten path, including the Perry Lake Trails, the Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail, the Flint Hills Nature Trail, and a number of other hiking and water trails.
- I had an opportunity to spend some time in Iola and Hays within the last week, and I came away very impressed with the progress and enthusiasm in both of those communities. The big news in Iola is the progress on the Southwind Rail Trail, which is expected to open by Summer. In Hays, I got a chance to look at the Bike Hays Master Plan, and got a tour of the streets in town where improvements are planned. I hope to write up the happenings in both cities in the near future…
Regional Bicycling News
- Little Rock, AR: A Tweed Ride was held on February 9th, sponsored by local shop Bobby’s Bike Hike: “It’s a little bit different than your average social ride. During this special ride, rather than wearing the normal bike gear, patrons bring out their tweed jackets, dresses and other tweedy-vintage clothing and funky mustaches.
- Cañon City, CO: Proposed Bicycle Pump Track — “The Cañon City Public Works Committee heard a proposal from the Lower Arkansas Mountain Bicycling Association for the development of a bicycle pump track in the Centennial Park complex. A pump track is a closed circuit track consisting of berms, rollers and mounds that are spaced and shaped in such a way to allow riders to generate speed without pedaling.”
- Denver, CO: Bike lane on 15th Street: Will it enhance safety or continue to leave cyclists vulnerable? — “While encouraged with these additions, Piep van Heuven, executive director of BikeDenver, worries that cyclists will still be vulnerable riding along a street with heavy vehicle traffic. ‘The fact that it has not been designed with any protective elements is of some concern.’”
- Des Moines, IA: Des Moines Moves Ahead with New Bike Plans — The city is planning to add signage, bike lanes, and sharrows to a number of city streets. “It’s a big deal because it really closes some gaps between exciting bike lanes in the city and I think if Des Moines does this … well it will help the suburban communities say ‘oh gosh we can do this too,” said Carl Ross of the Des Moines Bike Collective.
- Missouri: Missouri Bicycle Ban still alive — “Rep. Brattin strongly supports a bicycle ban and is willing to work hard to get it passed.”
- St. Louis, MO: Mayoral Candidate Has Bicycling Vision For St. Louis — St. Louis Mayoral candidate Lewis Reed is an avid bicycle commuter, and his latest television campaign ad shows him riding his bike to work, carrying his bicycle into city hall, and traveling around his city by bike.
- Nebraska: Motorcyclists seek changes in Nebraska stoplight laws — Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher has sponsored a bill, LB85, which would allow motorcyclists to bypass traffic control signals that don’t detect their presence within two minutes. This is very similar to the “Dead Red” law that was passed in Kansas two years ago. At this time, bicyclists are not included in the bill. The Nebraska Sheriffs’ Association and the city of Lincoln oppose the bill.
- Lincoln, NE: Guilty verdict in car-bike crash — “A Lancaster County jury has found a Lincoln woman guilty of leaving the scene of an injury accident after hitting two people on a bike in 2011.” The driver left-crossed the cyclists, with one landing on her windshield. The driver testified that “she thought someone had thrown a brick at her car so she kept driving”.
- Lincoln, NE: Self-inflicted carnage — A man who drove his pickup on the MoPac Trail, crashed his truck and broke his own neck was cited for negligent driving and not having insurance, and officers are awaiting on the results of a blood test, after smelling alcohol on his breath.
- Muskogee, OK: City councilors approved a pilot program that will add designated bicycle lanes along two Muskogee streets. “We’ve been working two years (supporting healthy lifestyles); it would be an absolute U-turn from the direction we’ve been heading if we turn this down,” said one councilor.
Upcoming Kansas Bicycling Events
There’s a new race series taking place this year. The Chautauqua Red Flint Hills Gravel Crusher is a series of three challenging gravel grinders in three distinct hill regions of south central Kansas:
- “Manka Chonka Bonka” in the Chautauqua and Osage Hills of Chautauqua County, on March 16th.
- “Red Hills Roller” in the Red Hills of Barber County on April 20th.
- “Elrod’s Cirque” in the Flint Hills of Cowley county on May 18th
It’s great to see more events in that part of the state. Big kudos to event organizer Bobby Smith, who also hosts the annual Tour de Lizard Fat Tire Classic at the Camp Horizon trails in Arkansas City each September.
- Sat. 3/23/2013, 200km — Princeton Roundabout route, Shawnee, KS.
- Sat. 4/6/2013, 300km — Oak Grove, MO to Fayette, MO.
- Sat. 4/27/2013, 400km — Liberty, MO, up to Iowa and back
- Fri. 5/10/2013, 600km — Grandview, MO to Weableau, MO, via Appleton City
- Sat. 5/25/2013, 1000km — a new route from La Junta, CO.
To register for a brevet, download and print the New 2013 entry form & waiver, and send it in.
In the sport of randonneuring, a “brevet” is an organized long-distance bicycle ride. Cyclists follow a designated but unmarked route, passing through check-point controls, and must complete the course within specified time limits.
The Latest Bicycling Resources at Kansas Cyclist
- Kansas Cyclist is part of the Streetsblog Network — Kansas Cyclist is proud to be a member of the Streetsblog Network, which brings together progressive transportation policy bloggers from across the United States.
- Bobby’s Bike Hike — Little Rock, AR
- Two Cycle Coffee House Bicycle Club — Davis, OK
- Ride with the Wind for Special Olympics — Maysville, MO 04-20-2013
- Hunger to Ride Tour — Bentonville, AR 06-08-2013
“Explore By Bike”
If you have a news item or upcoming event you’d like to share, please contact Kansas Cyclist with details.