I haven't posted for awhile because we've been so busy cycling. The weather has been gorgeous, for the most part, and we have been taking full advantage of the springtime. Barry (the animal, or is he a machine?) has over 4400 miles on the year so far, and I have over 2200! This is shaping up to be one of our best years of bicycling ever.
Lately we've discovered some great places to ride that we hadn't been aware of before. One is Lee Boulevard in nearby Leawood. This long street is flanked by beautiful trees, homes, a small park, and has some fun (?!) rolling hills and a decent shoulder in most places. We can ride from the north end down to the Leawood City Park and back, and do repeats if we want more miles. It's a really fun place to ride with fewer stop lights and stop signs than some of the other "neighborhood" rides around the area. Here are a few photos I took of sights alongside Lee Boulevard.
From scanning his KC area cycling map, Barry also found a different route into downtown Olathe. Before arriving downtown, we'd do some serious climbing in Mission. This is one of the areas around the KC Metro that certainly proves that Kansas is not all flat. We had just climbed up this long hill when we turned around at the top and saw this sign. And this was just one of many hills we encountered that day.
Another day, Barry wanted to show me a way he'd found to get out to the "country", or as rural as you'll get around the outskirts of KC. After riding to and through downtown Olathe, we arrived at Lake Olathe, which looked like a great place to paddle a kayak or canoe. It was very quiet on this mid-week day, but I suspect it gets busy on the weekend.
As we rode further out, there was a small airport and some aviation-related industry, but it was definitely rural, with wide-open stretches of road. There were plenty of birds singing and flying about, including an abundance of Meadowlarks.
We also had the incredible fortune to see a pair of beautiful Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers. I wish we'd had Barry's camera as mine only has a 3x zoom, so this is a bit blurry, but you can still see the long tail. They were gorgeous, and this one stayed on the fence a long time as Barry snapped away.
On the way back from this ride, Barry's rear derailleur cable snapped, meaning he couldn't shift in the back. This was most definitely NOT good, since we had hills to face in the miles ahead. Fortunately, our guardian angel must have been riding along with us, as we were only about a quarter mile from a bike shop I'd noticed in historic downtown Lenexa. So, we stopped in. The shop (Velo + KC) is quite unique, and we got to talk to the owner, who also roasts and sells coffee beans, so it smelled fabulous inside! He is a bike builder and has some interesting bikes and unique gear in the shop. They were able to repair Barry's cable quickly and get us on our way. In the meantime, it was fun looking around the shop and dreaming of new bikes. Passionate cyclists believe you can never have too many!
At the end of this ride, we stopped in at Sheridan's for a treat. Barry figured out a back way to get to it, since it's on very busy 75th Street in Overland Park. Now we're in trouble! Fortunately we're burning enough calories on these long rides (this one, for instance, clocked in at 55 miles) that we can eat frozen custard and get away with it. He got his favorite, Mocha Almond concrete, and I got a Mexican Chocolate concrete with whipped cream. Yum!
Another ride took us out on the Indian Creek and Blue River trails to Alex George Lake in KCMO.
And back to Sheridan's for another treat on the way back. This time, Lemon Lush concrete for me and "Mucho Mocha Almond Wowieccino" for Barry. Absolutely delicious and very refreshing as the day was unseasonably warm -- upper 80s by then.
Here are some miscellanous photos I took on other recent bike rides of just a few of the glorious May flowers in the area. Tulips of all varieties are widely grown here, and that's just fine with me as they've long been one of my very favorites!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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