Saturday, May 26, 2007

Solo Mini-Tour of Southeastern Johnson County, KS

Photo: My bike leans against a reflective post as I prepare to leave suburbia. There are heavy earth-movers on the farmland, which probably means yet another shopping center or subdivision is on the way. Click the image to be taken to a photo set of my journey. If you don't want to read my whole post, the photo descriptions tell the story in a terse and chronological fashion.

Here are some highlights, though.

After dropping my wife off at work, I got the bike ready for the journey. The panniers were there mostly because I wanted to have my laptop with me while I ate breakfast. You can't ride around on an empty stomach! I swung by Daily Dose (about 3 and a half miles from JCCC) for a nice hot cinnamon roll and some black coffee to chase it down with while catching up on email and news with my laptop. Then I was off.

I departed south on Quivira and decided to take it until it went no further. I found a bungee, and decided to take the photo above, since I was stopped. The vast farmland caught my eye as a beautiful depiction of southeastern Johnson County. Then I saw the bulldozers. That's a pretty good depiction of the rest of Johnson County.

As I proceeded, I rode through ye olde village of Morse, KS -- one of the many settlements along the Independence route (Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails). I snapped some pics while in Morse. You should check them out with all the other pics I took.

I ended up hitting a mile-long stretch of gravel on the southern-most section of Quivira. I was happy I didn't upgrade to 20mm tires on my road bike. 25mm tires were dicey enough, but I really wished I was riding my DB Outlook through there instead of the Trek 1200. I took it to 175th street, which curves around and joins 179th street, a really nice 2-lane road (one either direction) with big, wide, well-kept shoulders that rival most bike lanes in Johnson County.

I made the death-slog granny climb to Metcalf Ave. as I pulled into Stilwell, KS. I continued south on Metcalf to 191st and rode a mile east to Nall. I wanted to snap some photos of ye olde downtown Stilwell, but I didn't feel like tackling another gravel road, and time was wearing thin. I had to return to the college before 12:00 and if I turned around now, I'd give myself about 20 minutes longer than it took me to get this far. With some buffer for a "just in case" mechanical or flat, I turned around and made my way back to the college, using a different route to avoid gravel at the expense of riding on some fairly major arterials.

All in all it was a blast! I put on 31 miles with an average speed of a little over 14 MPH (using my 2H 11M rolling time, which didn't keep ticking as I stopped for photos) and topped off at about 35 MPH on one of the nice downhills. I wasn't pushing it too hard, though.

I'll definitely try to do some more riding like this in the future. I love being out and away from the hustle, bustle, and buildings of the suburbs.

Oh yeah, I rolled past 363 miles today, therefore I have again exceeded the previous months' miles. Although that wasn't a goal of mine, it is an achievement that I'm pleased about. I shot for 300 miles in April but blew it away. Since I've gotten my C/D ratio above 3.0 and I did at least one round-trip for bike to work week, I have already made my May goals a reality. Maybe I'll shoot for 400 miles on the bike this month. I have a lot of work to do to prepare for moving, but if I hit the Monday night ride and Wednesday as well, I could probably pull it off.


Dan said...

Sounds like a nice ride.

Doug said...

Noah, Nice blog. Keep riding!

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