Some people head for Colorado, Oregon or Maine for the summer. Not us. With my two grandchildren living in Kansas City, MO, our choice was to embrace the heat and enjoy family. Last spring we brought our older bicycles out here, so we would be able to ride.
The Kansas City Metro Bicycle Club is quite different than the Long Island Bicycle Club we ride with in NY.
KCMBC is much more loosely structured. While many of the rides are posted on the club website, it seems an equal number are also available only through email lists. It took us a while to get this all figured out.
Also, there seems be a big mix of ride types. Some are the same route each week, some are announced 1-4 days before the ride by the leader and others are Show and Go.
The groups Susan and I ride with are laid back. Our ride groups tend to average 12-14 mph over moderately hilly terrain (about 50′ of climbing per mile). While some riders will push the pace, particularly on some of the long runs on rural and country roads — others in the ride will just chill at a more moderate pace.
The ride re groups regularly and no one seems perturbed by waits of 2-5 minutes.
The rides cross back and forth between Missouri and Kansas, as KC is right on the border. While it can get seriously hot out here, so far, the weather has not been too bad. Most of the rides start between 7:00 and 8:00 am however. Club members say they do get acclimated to the heat.
Ride lengths can be anywhere from 30-55 miles, except the Sunday morning ride. A common Sunday ride is a completely chill, social ride of 15-30 miles at a pace of 11-12 mph. Another different approach is that many of the rides stop for breakfast. Sometimes a few riders will skip that stop and just keep going, but most stop for a small, shared or full breakfast at a restaurant on the route. Susan and I have Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday open for riding with family interruptions on weekends expected.
The other day, due to Ragbrai (across Iowa), there was no scheduled ride, so we did our own, based on one of the club rides. This time, however, we stopped at Starbucks for a snack. Unfortunately, there do not seem to be delis or Bagel shops out here.
On the right is a road from our club ride last Saturday (about 52 miles and 2900′ of climbing). As you go south from KC, major N/S roads with traffic (KC style traffic) become two lane country roads!
Susan is really enjoying the laid back atmosphere and the shorter rides. Of course, she realizes that we are also doing a lot more climbing.
It has been a great summer for riding. Our KC biking buddies are every bit as warm, social and friendly as the ones on L.I.
While we are already looking forward to our next visit, we are also looking forward to reconnecting with our biking buddies back home in late August.