Looking for a challenge to take your bike riding up a notch? We have just the ride experience for you!
It’s called BAK (Biking Across Kansas) and that’s just what you will do in eight days beginning in early June.
BAK began in June 1975 as the brainchild of a Wichita couple, who decided that a ride across their home state would be fun. About 100 riders took off from the Colorado/Kansas border heading east. Today, the ride is limited to 800 riders.
If your curiosity has been tweaked, BAK registration is open and usually closes out quickly. If you’re interested, check out their site for registration and route announcements.
The Leavenworth Bicycle Club has been well represented on BAK over the years. To help you prepare for the ride, LBC is considering offering a training program for interested riders beginning in April. It goes without saying that you should continue your riding up until then (weather permitting), by taking advantage of riding the Tour de Basement during winter, taking spinning classes or setting up a trainer.
Proposed Training Program (dates are approximate)
- April 1: We’ll begin riding each Wednesday and Saturday, starting at about 10 miles;
- April 15: Distance increases to about 20 miles;
- April 29: Increase the distance to about 40 miles;
- May 15 – May 22: In order to prepare for seven days of serious mileage – Kansas is about 400 miles across depending on which route you take — those who can get away will ride the KATY Trail from Clinton to St. Charles, Mo. (About 225 miles one-way.) Food and lodging are available along the trail;
- For those not doing the KATY Trail ride, continue your 40 – 50-mile rides. Try to get in a couple days of back-to-back rides;
- May 27 – June 3: Ramp-up your training with bigger and longer hills, a longer ride or two, and more back-to-back rides.
It’s never too early to begin thinking about what you’ll need in the way of equipment and supplies that you might not normally carry. The BAK webpage has suggested equipment lists, along with a great Q&A page, and other valuable tips.
Those who’ve ridden BAK before are universal in their praise for the organizers, the “civilians” you’ll meet at the SAGs (every 10-15 miles), and, of course, the riders from all over Kansas, the United States, and the world.
There are quite a few riders in the LBC who have ridden BAK before, so, if you’re not sure if it’s for you, find someone who can talk to you about the ride. (Santa Fe Trails Bike & Coffee Shop is a good place to start looking for veteran BAK riders who you can talk with.)
So, if you’re ready to “dial it up to 11”, sign-up and then just do it!