The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Nowak: Bicycle Club has benefits for all types of riders

  • The Leavenworth Bicycle Club is doing really well and I recommend that you should join the club if you have any interest in bicycling in our area.
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  • The Leavenworth Bicycle Club is doing really well and I recommend that you should join the club if you have any interest in bicycling in our area. 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.
    In our area, we have people who are bicycle commuters who may ride every day or maybe just a few days to work and back, but do not do group rides on weekends. I am one of them. We also have bicycle racers who train hard and live for the competition and they also may not do group rides on weekends. Among the racers, there are those who only do criteriums, which are done as laps, and there are those who only do straight out distance rides or maybe specialize in winter cross-country races on frozen dirt and mud.
    A lot of folks like the weekend group rides and some of them have the time to do group rides during the week. These are the bicyclists that you probably see on the county roads between here and Tonganoxie on a regular basis. Or you may find a bunch of them in the Corner Pharmacy who have just ridden in from Kansas City or Topeka.
    Another group is the hard trail riders and unfortunately for them, they have to go out of the county to find paved trails on which to ride, but they do it all the time. They often go to some place in Johnson County or to Platte County where there are plenty of miles of paved trails. Others go mountain bike riding on dirt trails known as single-track or they find forest roads known as double–track.
    We also have youth bicyclists who do all of the above and who just ride their bikes around town or maybe they commute to school. A lot of them show up every summer to race in the summer-long series in the evening near Warren Middle School.
    That is a lot of different types of bicyclist to represent in one club. Of course, many riders actually do more than one of those activities, but the differences are significant and the club tries to represent them all.
    We do know that other than having an accident, bike riding is good for your body and it is a skill that you can continue to do until you get very old. I have met riders in their eighties on the annual Biking Across Kansas and I do think that riding a bicycle is at least partially responsible for their good health. You have to be in pretty good health to do more than 500 miles over eight days while you camp each night across Kansas.
    Page 2 of 2 - Any club is only as good as its members. While there may be significant differences in the kinds of people that choose to either race, do group rides, commute daily, or ride on dirt or hard trails, the common denominator is the bicycle and we should all stick together to promote and support all forms and levels of bicycling in Leavenworth County. At the least, one benefit that you will get is a discount at the local professional bicycle shop.
    I am pretty much a loner when it comes to bike riding and maybe that is why I enjoy bicycle commuting; but I also do the annual Biking Across Kansas which involves more than 800 bicyclists. BTW, our new club leaders have developed a point and rewards system that makes membership more fun and interesting. The easiest way to join is to get an application at the Santa Fe Trails Bike & Coffee Shop and a family membership still costs the same as an individual membership, so sign up the whole family.
    I hope to see you on the road or on the trail in the near future on your bikes.
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