In what has already become a tradition, members of the Mid-Day/Mid-Week BikeSource Ride took their annual trip to Parkville to pre-ride the Kansas City Tour of Missouri route, and since the Tour Of Champions is the official pre-ride, that makes this, I guess, the pre-pre-ride.
Anyway … six of us rode off from Parkville, following the route of last year’s stage 1 (and part of this year’s stage 1). The route starts in downtown Parkville, follows the River Road west, then Union Chapel Road north, climbing the bluffs to the site of last year’s first King of the Mountain line. Either I or Ron won the title — we’re not sure because we couldn’t remember which hill the KOM was located on…
The route then follows Highway 45 west and then north. There is one long climb, then a sweet downhill, then a long, fast run across the river bottoms to Beverly. The group ran a nice paceline, and we maintained 18-19 MPH for about 9 miles before the hills broke the group apart again on the approach to Weston.
Just before we reached the road to Weston, we took a short detour into the Weston Bend State Park, where we admired the view from atop the bluffs. We could see across the river to Leavenworth, Kansas and the rich farmland of the Sunflower State.
After a quick break, we were off again, wending our way out of the park, then onto Route JJ headed toward Weston. Four miles later we were settled in to the Weston Cafe for a well-earned lunch, followed by a walk across the street to the McCormick Country Store, where each of us partook of generous 25¢ sample shots of McCormick’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Blended Whiskey, Tequila Rose Strawberry Liqueur, and Irish Cream Liqueur. Good stuff! (And yes, we were still fit to ride after four rounds.)
Heading back to Parkville, the route took us out of Weston the way we’d come, then onto Highway 273 to Platte City. From Platte City we headed south on Route N, a curvy and hilly 10 miles to Hampton Road, then south to hook back in to Union Chapel Road and River Road, ending back in Parkville.
In all, it was right at 50 miles, with about a 15.8 MPH pace. This was rather fast given the number of hills on the route, especially compared to last year’s 14.4 MPH pace (on the recumbent).
The weather was a bit cooler than last year’s ride, with probably low sixties at liftoff, and cloudy skies and sprinkles later in the day. As soon as we ended the ride, of course, the clouds cleared off and it was a beautiful sunny day. Oh well, at least it was still a great ride!