Missouri Bicycling, Walking, Running, and Trails News

Kansas MTB Trails Meeting, Possible 340-mile loop from KC area to Manhattan KS

Thank you all for attending the Kansas Trails Master Plan last night.
You were all extremely helpful at the meeting. Thanks to all the MO
folks who made the trek over as well. It may not have seemed like much,
but having Scott Capstack, Aaron Browning and Brian Robinson there
helped out tremendously.

After the meeting, I spoke with Sid. He was really impressed with the
mountain biking structure that we have all helped develop in this area.
He was really impressed with the Trail Watchers program, and the fact
that we had specific volunteer hours logged through the Trail Watchers program.

In addition, after the meeting I spoke with the Director of Johnson
County Parks and Recreation about connecting singletrack from somewhere
in Johnson County along the KS River to the Levee trails in Lawrence.
He was extremely enthusiastic about doing this. ERTA will begin working
closely with JCP&R; to create this ribbon of singletrack.

In addition, it's feasible that we could connect singletrack,
doubletrack, roads and levee trails to run a 340 mile loop (170 miles
each way) from Johnson County to Manhattan KS. We will begin to explore
the feasibility of this "master" plan with the Kansas Trails Council,
the Kansas Canoe Council, the State of Kansas, the Kansas Water
Conservation Department and the various cities and counties that the
Kansas River runs through. This is a pipe dream at the moment, but this
idea came from the meeting last night. We'll pursue this as well.

In addition, after the meeting, Sid indicated to me that there were
considerably more mountain bike singletrack trails than what will be
indicated in his study. His biggest challenge for recognizing these
trails was that there was no "official" group that would assume
responsibility for maintaining the trails. As such, he couldn't include
these trails in to the Kansas Master Plan under the guidelines that he
had established.

The example that Sid used was the river trails in Manhattan. He can't
recognize these trails in the Master Plan, because there wasn't any
group that would assume responsibility for the trails. I told him that
I would find people for those specific trails. Immediately, the patrol
branch in Manhattan and our good friend and underground dark side single
speed freak, Dan-O come to mind as groups or people who would be able to
help us get these mountain bike trails recognized.

There was more that went on, but this is the guts. Feel free to fill in
any gaps that I left out.

Thanks again for your support. BTW: I estimate that there were about
60 people at the meeting. 35-40 of them were mountain bikers. Thanks
again. You folks kick ass!

Ken Miner
KS IMBA Representative
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Blue Springs Approves Bike Lanes/Trails

Blue Springs approved part of their bicycle plan October 23rd. According to the KCStar, the plan includes "almost four miles of trails and more than nine miles of on-street bike paths are part of a larger project funded mostly by a grant. . . .other parts of the trail project . . . include bike paths along U.S. 40 and Missouri 7".

"Mayor Greg Grounds talked about the cyclists who have stood before the board passionately lobbying for a more bike-accessible city. Grounds praised the project as one that will have something for serious cyclists on the streets, as well as families, joggers, in-line skaters and others who want off-street pathways."

Availability of federal funds and very active support of the plan by the local bicycle community were crucial in getting the bike plan passed.

Followup, 2011: It took many years, but the first phases of the Blue Springs bicycle system is now in place and getting a very positive reception.  Followup article here.

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Sierra Club Bike News Roundup

The Sierra Club has a nice roundup of bicycle-related news and trends--commuter bikes, bike sales, Critical Mass--at https://www.sierraclub.org/currents/bike_news.asp
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2002 US DOT Policy Statement on Integrating Bicycling and Walking: "Incorporated into all transportation projects"

A US DOT Policy Statement on Integrating Bicycling and Walking into Transportation Infrastructure - among other things, this document includes the "policy statement": "bicycling and walking facilities will be incorporated into all transportation projects unless exceptional circumstances exist." Are Missouri city, county, and state agencies following this policy?

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Kansas Trails Master Plan Meeting, 7PM, Tues. Oct 22nd

All (especially KS residents),

This is your reminder of the meeting scheduled for 7:00 p.m.Tuesday, October 22nd, 2002 at the Johnson County Parks and Recreation office located within Shawnee Mission Park, Shawnee Mission, KS.

Dr. Sid Stevenson will present the Kansas Trails Master Plan, and the public is invited to participate and comment on the plan.

This is an extremely important meeting for us to attend. This is the forum in which mountain biking and cycling in general can be heard at
the state level.

I'll see you there,

Ken Miner
Kansas State IMBA Representative
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The ProBicycle web site recently posted a comment criticizing the planned Riverfront Heritage Trail.

Randy Niere, KC-area bicycle activist who has been involved with trail planning, responds: The [Kansas City] trail you are critical of is largely funded by the EPA and utilizes land that has lain fallow after remediation for various toxic spills. It also runs on the streets for a respectable distance as well as multipurpose trail. The bridge you are lambasting allows access to a historic site that has been cut off by a huge rail corridor. Of course that doesn't quite fit your description/agenda, but there you are... right there on the side of a city councilman who is a STRONG proponent of taking bikes off Kansas City streets. Good thing we got it all passed before you loaded his gun for him.

(Note that funding for the Riverfront Heritage Trail is currently under review by MARC, instruction for making public comment is on their web page.)
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Randy Niere trikes the Katy Trail, Spring 2002

I was O.T.D and riding briskly to Union Station and ready for a fun train ride. Excited for the travel vistas that being able to take the trike along wouild bring to my recuperation. So imaging my shock when the Conductor informed me, after riding it to the station a week before, that it would not be going on that train. Even before that, I was charged an additional $10.00 for the trike (they had no record of my online reservation for the bike.) and then after paying the additional money, they turned it away.

So begins Randy's Katy Trail journey. It does end better than it started!
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A list of Missouri bicycle links
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Missouri Bicycle Racing Calender from Recycled Cycles
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Articles on every bicycle subject under the sun, by Sheldon Brown and others
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Freedom From Fear

By Mighk Wilson. Undoubtedly, one of the most common deterrents to bicycling is fear. Fear of motorists. Notice I said "motorists," not "cars" or "traffic." When people talk about bike safety, especially those who are afraid to bike on the roads, they aren?t much concerned about potholes or dogs or sand on the corner or their ability to control the bike. They fear the motorist they can?t see and who supposedly can?t see them. This fear is based on the belief that a significant number of motorists are likely to hit bicyclists while overtaking them. Does it happen? Yes. Is it common? Not at all . . .
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