The 2015 edition of the Kandango Bicycle Tour took place June 4-7 in the Smoky Hills and Flint Hills regions of Kansas.
The ride started in Hays, with riders being bused in from Overland Park and Des Moines, Iowa (along with additional stops along the way). With 4 days of riding, covering over 250 miles and passing through about 17 towns, I’m not going to give a detailed daily journal (if you’re interested, check out the detailed routes and itineraries: Ellis Half Pint, Meet the Wilsons, The Road to Abilene, and J Hill Skiddy Uppy), but instead share a few photos and hope that they provide at least a flavor of what this tour was like.
I really enjoyed this year’s Kandango tour. The route around Wilson Lake (Bunker Hill, Luray, Lucas, and Wilson) was especially fun, with scenery and hills aplenty.
The Kandango organizers once again worked very hard to ensure their riders had a great experience, providing hands-on support and assistance throughout the ride, as well as high-quality food, drinks, and entertainment each night. Accommodations, whether moteling, camping, or bunking in a school gym, was well-organized.
One special call-out here: The daily route maps are little works of art in themselves (follow the links at the top of this post to see for yourself). Kudos to the graphic designer(s) who put them together — well done, indeed.
Just like last year, I found a way to make the tour a little more challenging than it probably needed to be. In 2014, I rode a 35-year-old steel 10-speed bike. This year, I rode a steel single-speed. Its 62-inch gearing turned out to be perfectly fine. I’d spin out on downhills or with a strong tailwind, of course, but just rolling along at a steady pace was comfortable, and I could spin up all the hills. Frankly, I had been a little worried about climbing J Hill leading into Junction City, but neither it nor the Wilson hills that everyone warned me about proved to be much of a problem.
Proves once again that you don’t need a fancy or expensive bike to do a tour like this!
Alas, once again, this tour was over all too soon. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Kandango crew dreams up for 2016!