Breaking with tradition, the folks who run Biking Across Kansas — aka BAK — have announced the dates and route of the 2019 across-state bike tour before Christmas this year.
The 2019 west-to-east route runs from Goodland to Atchison from June 8-15. The ride offers the ability to extend the route a few miles to the Colorado and Missouri borders.
2019 marks the 45th anniversary of B.A.K. The folks who present it have plenty of experience in making sure everyone is safe and comfortable.
The ride is presented by Biking Across Kansas, Inc., which is governed by a board of 11 directors. The executive director is Stefanie Weaver of Olathe. The group took over from Charlie Summers, who ran the tour from 2002 to 2012.
Charlie was the second operator, taking over from Larry and Norma Christie, who launched the ride in 1975. The ride got so popular during the 1980s that the Christies expanded to 3 different, but simultaneous, routes for several years.
When we did this ride in 2011, we always had enough grub for breakfast, lunch, and dinners, mostly provided as fund-raisers for local charities. Indoor and outdoor lodging at schools or rec centers along the route are available, with daily showers (most of them with hot water) at host sites.
Host cities for the week-long bike tour are Goodland, Colby, Hill City, Hays, Wilson, Minneapolis, Clay Center, Holton, and Atchison.
The route mileage is 475 miles, and ranges from 39 to 84 miles per day. Those want to visit the Colorado border should add 36 miles, which they can do the evening of June 7 or morning of June 8. Also, the 84-mile day from Clay Center to Holton on June 14 includes a 100-mile option.
The route is always west to east, to take advantage of prevailing winds across the Sunflower State. Those winds shift, however, so don’t be surprised by occasional headwinds.
Check the website for details. Registration caps at 850 this year.