Feed on


I rode the Redline to work today to make sure that all is in good order for the Dirty Kanza, which is only days away at this point. All, indeed, is. That bike is such a pleasure and a joy to ride in any of its many guises. For the upcoming weekend, it’s done up “Octocog” style (1×8). This bike has taken me from coast to coast, to work, to the trails, and I almost always have a mighty fine time when I ride it. Really, the only time I didn’t have a good time when I was riding it, I was coming down with a cold, fighting my way up the Sierra Nevadas, and toting around 35lb of gear on top of all that. Who would be whooping it up under such circumstances?

Anyway, the DK200 is almost upon us, and by gosh and by golly, I’m freakin’ nervous! It’s a pretty big damn undertaking and you know last year I kind of flubbed the dang thing. I’m hoping to hook up with some riders who carry a similar pace and trust their navigational instincts, considering that mine are…shitty to say the least.

For example, I’ve been trying to squeeze in a few long rides in preparation for the upcoming madness. My work schedule is erratic to say the very least, but I do what I can. I ended up having the whole of last Friday off, so I thought I would make a big loop out of a bunch of cool routes and make a day of it.

I took off bright and early (well around 9:00 a.m.) into the Fairfax industrial district. I figured I’d take Fairfax Trfwy out to just before it splits up to cross the river, then track back into KCK via 7th Street. I did just than & took 7th Street to its logical conclusion, Rainbow Blvd. I took Rainbow south to 50-somethingth, and took a left, trying my luck at hitting the Plaza. I had to do some jiggery-pokery through the ultraposh neighborhoods (which have excellent speed-bumps for bunny-hopping assistance) but eventually I made my way to Brookside Blvd, which I wanted in the first place. Took Brookside down to Meyer Blvd, Meyer to Swope Park, and there the bungling began.

My big idea was to hit Blue Parkway, but darned if I could find Blue Parkway. I don’t know why I am entirely incapable of finding Blue Pkwy, but every stinkin’ time I try to go out there & cruise Blue Parkway, I utterly fail to find said fabled byway. I ended up riding out to freakin’ Raytown on 63rd St. (which I highly recommend that you don’t do) because I did as I always do and missed some crucial turnoff somewhere. What a pain in the ass!

Anyway, after I realized I’d hit the city limit & that I wasn’t about to find Blue Parkway, I gave up and headed west again until I could catch Paseo and head North. I took Paseo to the western entrance to Cliff Drive, took Cliff Drive to where it dumps out on Gladstone Blvd, Gladstone to where it curves south of the Indian Mound, then did that infamous illegal U-turn, and cruised the East Bottoms. Basically went back West through the East Bottoms, where it dumps you out in the River Market. Third Street to Woodswether, Woodswether on through to the little jog over to James Street, across the bridge, and back to home-sweet-Strawberry-Hill-home. Dunno what I did for mileage, but I know I got home about 3:00 p.m. happy and hungry. A little disgusted with myself for being incapable of finding a major and fabled scenic byway in town, but otherwise just fine.

I honestly get my “sense of direction” from my Dad. A couple of weeks ago, my folks were down visiting from Nebraska, and Dad’s unerringly erroneous sense of direction struck again. They overshot the turnoff to our neighborhood, and by a freakish coincidence, we happened to be out in Joel’s truck wrapping up a little errand running and spotted them driving west on Truman Rd. I rolled down a window and hollered out a greeting, and we arranged for them to follow us back to the house.

It was the Saturday of the famous ACME Tour De Cowtown, and my folks got into the festive mode! Dad, via a little goading from Mom, was convinced to participate in his first alleycat race ever. Mom, via a little goading from the ACME girls, was press-ganged into helping score the race. In my misguided but friendly fashion, I rounded up a few more alleycat newbies and (here’s where anybody who knows me will be shaking their heads in disbelief) volunteered to squire them around from point to point.

I have a history, people. I think I have been disqualified, DNF-ed, or just generally muffed every Alleycat I’ve ever participated in. I’m always the last one in, with half the clues or checkpoints. I did one of Forrester’s races BACKWARDS. And not on purpose. Me, Dumbassina, I volunteered to help other people find various sites, landmarks, and highlights in Kansas City.

As you may well guess, I led the posse on a rather fruitless but merry gallivant around the higher and lower points of KCMO/KCKS, and the West Bottoms in between the two towns. I think we answered about a third of the questions, and got back shockingly late. I also managed to convince two girls who weren’t even participating in the alleycat to come back for the afterparty.
Two really cute girls I talked into coming to the party.
Cute girls who aren’t quite sure what sort of party I’d just dragged them into…

Randall & Dad swapping tales of incendiary mayhem.
Randall and my Dad swapping tales about incendiary mayhem.

When I found out that my folks would be visiting on the weekend of the Tour De Cowtown, I kind of started rolling through a mental list of some of our friends I’d hoped they’d get a chance to meet. Randall was one of them. He and my Dad share a similar absurdist approach to things. I’d told my folks about Calvert Guthrie’s workshop down in the basement of the Hobbes building and they were hoping to get to meet him, too. In fact one of our stops on the race was at his shop, so Dad got to see his whole setup in the Kansas City Center for the Ink and Paper Arts As I’d suspected, they clicked, and how! It was a lot of fun for me to finally introduce my folks to a bunch of the characters they’re always hearing about from me.

My pictures from the Tour De Cowtown are here and Nancy of re-Velo has some here. If anyone knows of any more, please let me know, ’cause I’d love to see them!

One Response to “Awesome!”

  1. Julie Stark says:

    I totally agree with you about the Redline – I don’t know what I’d do without mine. We’re together all the time..

Leave a Reply