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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Hundreds of cyclists end a weeklong trek in Pleasanton

Bike Across Kansas cyclists pull into a support and gear (SAG) stop on Kansas Highway 7 near the 1650 Road intersection at midmorning on Saturday, June 17. Hot, sunny weather greeted cyclists as they finished their last day on the weeklong trek. (Photos by Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

PLEASANTON – It was the end of the road for hundreds of cyclists as they wheeled onto the Pleasanton schools campus on Saturday morning, June 17. The city of Pleasanton was the final destination of the 49th annual Bike Across Kansas tour.

After the cyclists reached the Missouri state line and took pictures with the sign signifying they had indeed traveled from Colorado to Missouri, most of them returned to Pleasanton to eat lunch together before finding their bags of gear and loading up in cars or busses for the ride back home.

Several of the cars picking up riders at the school bore license plates from states across the region as well as those from Kansas.

Riders coast into another SAG stop at the Pleasanton Community Center.

The eight-day trip (nine if you count a short, 17-mile pre-trip ride from the Colorado border to Elkhart, Kan., covered nearly 540 miles. Except for that first ride, the leg from Garnett to Pleasanton to the Missouri border was one of the shortest rides at 44 miles.

But it may have been one of the toughest to complete. Used to riding across western Kansas and the prairie, riders weren't accustomed to very steep hills, until, that is, they reached eastern Kansas.

The bike racks at Pleasanton Elementary School were packed as riders ended the journey with a luncheon.

The final day's ride included a significant hill east of Garnett, a series of hills west of Goodrich, the long and steep hill on Kansas Highway 7 south of Farlinville, and Snow Hill road.

Cargo trucks carried sleeping bags and duffel bags with a week's worth of clothing and other necessities from overnight stop to overnight stop during the trek. And on Saturday, those parcels covered the ground as riders searched through to find their gear.

The trip with overnight stops at Satanta, Spearville, Stafford, Newton, Eureka and Chanute, had daily rides ranging from 55 miles to nearly 80 miles during the week, with an optional 100-mile leg on Tuesday.

People search through bags trying to find their gear at the end of the ride.

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