Bedazzled BAK Bundle
Variety of Beneficial Biking Days
Mild riding weather on the opening day allowed the Bedazzled Bikers time to clear their ears of the Be-frazzled Bugle Blows of 1st year Route Director Mike Hinz. Mike had welcomed Colorado/Kansas state line starters at 7:15 "BAK Time" with bad attempts at playing a Kentucky Derby style bugle salute.
After four or five "mass starts" riders headed east for a week of zigzagging (horizontally and vertically) towards Missouri.
Nearly 1/3 of the B-Routes 369 riders took time to take in the Stearman Fly-In at the St. Francis airport. It was here, while watching biplanes, hot-air balloons, and parachute jumpers that the first of 12 "Bedazzled Medallions" was discovered.
Sunday, June 11 was our "Training into a Tailwind" day as the Bedazzled Bunch bucked steady to gusty southeast winds while heading east then south to Hoxie. Perseverance, patience and plenty of SAG stops powered over 85% of the riders out of the Solomon River bottom up into Hoxie. (Medallions were found at the Last Indian Raid Monument (Osborne) and the Selden Cafe.
In Hoxie we were cooled down with over 35 gallons of homemade ice cream at the 1st Presbyterian church--as local elementary PE teacher, Vickie Dienus, orchestrated the frozen refreshment that included all kinds of fresh fruit toppings for homemade vanilla ice cream.
At the Sheridan County rest home in Hoxie, Bedazzled Bikers benefited from the memories of over two dozen residents and a caring staff who shared lemonade, cookies and tales of dustbowl days in sod houses, baseball on the prairie, state singing championships and harmonious hymn singing to the accompaniment of Lauren Cherokee.
Monday morning the Hoxie HS power-lifters heaped the Bedazzled Bikers plates with a hearty BAK breakfast. We saw the Cottonwood Ranch historic site, learned why the town of Studley can't keep replacing city limit signs fast enough to supply every college boy's dorm room; heard tasty tales of Ernestine's BBQ in Nicodemus...then headed to stock pile ourselves and stuff in Stockton High School.
Having survived a severe-weather preparedness drill in Stockton, the Bedazzled but not frazzled riders rambled towards Mankato. Several Bedazzled bikes even made it to the Geographic center of the USA--to find another medallion. Morning in Mankato brought clear calm skies. Bedazzled bikers, mellowing with the many moments/memories made as this century's first BAK was now half-over in terms of both mileage and time.
With a short day of 42 miles, the Bedazzled Buddies brought out a pace of "soak 'm up" to the roads and boroughs they passed through on this beautifully gentle Wednesday. Medallions appeared in Jewell around a KS Fish and Wildlife interpreter's neck as he handled snakes for a youth program. The "Grandma Rapper" of Jewell shared her original compositions with bunch after bunch of Bedazzled audiences.
Another medallion was soon found around a Brown's Grand Opera House curator in Concordia. As BAK route leaders from the Adorable route shared the cordial town of Concordia, they also supplied the Bedazzled riders with additional bananas and oranges.
Thursday's ride to Marysville became a big review of another here-then-almost-gone Biking Across Kansas. Bedazzled riders rode well yet with much reflection as they searched out medallions in Clyde and Blue Rapids. Mingling much on the road, each of the BAK routes rode for a time together then parted to our three "separate last nights with our group cities." It's good to see our "brethren bikers" yet each route, Bedazzled, Adorable, and Karefree has it's own special experiences and memories. Each of us (routes, route directors, riders, SAGS, support personnel) has indescribable impressions.