BikeMO 2006: A bicyclist's story

Mid-Missouri bicycle ride welcomes riders from across Missouri--one of them tells the story of his first "century"

BikeMO rider


When the frost is on the pumpkin . . . or maybe before then, is a great time to visit the countryside and enjoy views of autumn in Missouri's colorful hills. One great way to really see the countryside is to get out of the car and ride a bicycle. An event called BikeMO, organized by the Missouri Bicycle Federation, is just the ticket for this type of trip.

BikeMO starts in Holt's Summit, Missouri and tours through Callaway County, north of Jefferson City. Callaway County, off the tourist tracks, is a beautiful area to enjoy a quiet pastoral ride. The roads are not heavily traveled; the hills are gently rolling with the leaves at their peak of color in mid-October. This area is close enough to the KATY Trail that you could make a whole weekend of bicycling by riding BikeMO on Saturday, then rolling up to Rocheport for a cruise on the KATY on Sunday.

Last year, Tom Warhover, of Columbia found BikeMO to be the perfect place to attempt his first century ride. As you might guess, a century is a 100 mile ride. It's considered a landmark ride among the bicycling crowd who delight in keeping track of how many they do.

Tom chose a hybrid bicycle for his century, different equipment than many riders. A hybrid is a heavier model bicycle, a halfway point between a mountain and road bike, with fatter tires than racing machines. He used platform pedals like we had when we were kids and tennis shoes. It's the type of equipment that many people would use for riding around town or for shorter rides on paved trails.

For the first eighty miles he found his ride to be "delightful." People were friendly and the weather couldn't be better. Just outside Fulton, Missouri, at mile 80, he had to climb the biggest hill of the tour and he "bonked." His energy depleted, Tom wobbled into the Fulton rest stop.

At the aid station Eric, a local bike shop owner, said, "This guy needs a Red Bull."

Eric handed Tom two cans of Red Bull which he downed immediately. Upon finishing the drinks, he was asked about whether he really wanted to finish the tour or get a ride back in a van. Re- energized, Tom decided to push on to finish the century. He claims this introduction to Red Bull started him drinking the herbal energy drink regularly.

Since he insisted that he would not quit, Brent Hugh, Executive Director of Missouri Bicycle Federation, hopped on his recumbent bike and rode with Tom all the way into Holt's Summit. Tom said, "Brent was very pleasant and helpful. I don't know if I would have made it without him riding with me."

To compound his troubles in the last twenty miles, a spoke broke on his wheel, but that failed to stop him either. He rolled into Holt's Summit exhausted but satisfied. After recovering, he said that he would ride BikeMO again but with different equipment. Look for the rider in the RedBull jersey.

BikeMO is back on October 14, 2006 starting in Holt's Summit, Missouri. The route was so popular with participants in 2005, that they remarked that they wanted to do it again this year. Bicyclists who like leisurely touring or those who like racing can enjoy BikeMO, the mid-Missouri tour of fall foliage.

Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute is title sponsor of BikeMO. Springfield Neurological supports safe bicycling, education of bicyclists and motorists, prevention of neck and spine injuries, and social change to make bicycling safer and more attractive for transportation and recreation.

Ride details:


BikeMO 2006: Fall Foliage Extravaganza
Date/time: October 14, 2006, starting at 9:00 am
Starting point: Holt's Summit Plaza just off Highway 54
At Route OO, 154 W Simon Blvd, Holts Summit, MO 65043
Registration opens at 7:30 am
SAG support
31, 62, and 100 mile distances
For more information and to register, see: bikemo.org
Ride organized by the Missouri Bicycle Federation