Roger Sims, Journal Staff
Cross-state bicycle tour to end in Pleasanton on June 17
Cyclists ride through the Kansas countryside during a recent Bike Across Kansas tour. (Screen capture/Bike Across Kansas)
The 2023 Bike Across Kansas (BAK) bicycle tour is expected to come through Linn County in its final leg to the Missouri border on June 17. The annual eight-day tour will start on June 9 at the Colorado border west of Elkhart, Kan., and travel about 540 miles to Pleasanton.
Pleasanton Mayor Mike Frisbie, a self-described bicycle enthusiast, announced last month that Pleasanton would be the last city on the tour’s map before cyclists reached the Missouri border.
He said there is expected to be up to 800 riders on this years tour. However, because it is the last leg of the tour, friends and relatives driving cargo trucks, pickups, vehicles with trailers or just cars with bicycle racks will converge on the Pleasanton area to pick up riders and enjoy an end-of-the-ride lunch.
The last time the BAK tour crossed through Linn County was in 2011 when the cyclists left Garnett on a Saturday morning and traveled about 40 miles through Parker and La Cygne before riding east past the La Cygne Generating Station to the Missouri border.
After reaching the border, cyclists then doubled back to the Linn County Park where organizers laid out a lunch at the shelter there.
That was also the scenario in 2003 when the ride followed basically that same map, riding through northern Linn County and returning to Linn County Park to hold the final feast.
This year’s map has the cyclists riding east from Garnett to Goodrich in western Linn County, then dropping down to 1700 Road and traveling east to Kansas Highway 7. Taking K-7 south through the Farlinville valley, the riders will turn east again on 1150 Road then 1100 Road (also known as Snow Hill Road) into Pleasanton.
The map of the BAK tour through Linn County shows how cyclists will miss every town except Pleasanton. ( (Screen capture/Bike Across Kansas)
From Pleasanton, the cyclists will go south to 1000 Road and take it east to the border.
Although the route travels through many small towns, the economic impact of the nine-day tour on the small towns is somewhat limited. Most riders sleep in school gymnasiums or in tents and ride organizers feed the riders three meals a day.
However, riders can opt to spend nights in a motel or other lodging and eat as restaurants along the way. There are also optional activities including music, museums and historical attractions.
Pleasanton could receive the most benefit of any city on the tour because of the caravan of trucks and cars arriving to pick up riders. That will be particularly true if organizers have riders return to Pleasanton for the final feast.
To find out more about BAK, click on this link to their home page.
BAK participants end the 2011 tour with a lunch at the shelter at Linn County Park. Trucks in the background will haul bicycles back across the state. (Screen capture/Bike Across Kansas)