Organizers announced the route for 2014 Biking Across Kansas on Wednesday, and it looks like they’ve squeezed every mile possible into the west-to-east across-state bike ride that’s celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The bike tour rolls out from Elkhart in southwestern Kansas on June 7 and heads in a northeast direction to a finish in White Cloud on June 14.
At 547 miles, there probably isn’t a longer route across that state from the Colorado border to the bank of the Missouri River.
The so-called “diagonal route” across the state is one that’s frequently requested. For comparison, the nearly direct west-to-east route that I rode in 2011 was about 475 miles.
The ride starts in Elkhart and ends in White Cloud, with overnights in Satanta, Spearville, Ellenwood, Salina, Wamego, Oskaloosa, and Hiawatha. Since Elkhart doesn’t sit exactly on the Colorado border, early arrivals can ride to the border on Friday or extend their mileage on Saturday morning.
The longest day is 85 miles between Salina and Wamego, and the shortest is the final 31 miles on Saturday to the finish at White Cloud.
The ride passes through Dodge City, Larned and Abilene, among others.
The first couple of days promise to be flat, but the terrain kicks up as the route passes through the Flint Hills. Cyclists will face rolling hills around White Cloud as well. The total elevation gain is about 3,100 feet for the ride, according to GPS information at Ride with GPS.
If you’re interested, make your decision soon. Registration for the mass event bike ride opened Wednesday morning, and it’s limited to 800 participating cyclists.
For more details about the ride, check out Kansas Cyclist, especially regarding the overnight stop in Salina.