Flint Hills Bike Tour On Tap

I’m excited: In just a couple weeks, I’ll be setting off on a little five-day self-supported bicycle tour!

I’m taking part in the inaugural Adventure Monkey Flint Hills Photo-Cycling Tour, organized by Eric Benjamin, who writes the Adventure Monkey blog, and who is a fantastic photographer.

The Photo-Cycling Tour is a three-day weekend getaway intended to both showcase the beauty of the Flint Hills of Kansas, and help novice photographers (such as me) to take better pictures. The tour starts and ends in Emporia, and overnights at Camp Wood near Elmdale.

Yes, that’s the same Elmdale where my Dirty Kanza ride ended. So I have some unfinished business there, or at least a desire to go back and explore the area some more.

Since Emporia is not too far distant from my house (about 105 miles), I’m taking this opportunity to extend the tour a bit, and get in some self-supported touring experience as well.

Here’s the plan:

  • September 9: Leave home and ride the back roads to Melvern Lake, and overnight there, either at one of the Corps of Engineers campgrounds, or Eisenhower State Park. Should be about 75 miles.
  • September 10: Ride about 30 miles to Emporia, meet up with the Adventure Monkey group, and ride another 30 or so to Camp Wood.
  • September 11: Eric has a ride planned for the group on Saturday, in the remote Flint Hills, supposed to be about 50 miles, give or take, then back to Camp Wood for the night.
  • September 12: While the group rides back to Emporia, my plan is to strike off on my own, heading north to meet up with the Flint Hills Nature Trail somewhere around Bushong. I’ll then ride that (or local roads where the trail’s not open) east to Pomona Lake, where I’ll again have a choice between Corps or state park campgrounds. This day will be about 85 miles or so.
  • September 13: I’ll have about 50 miles to get home, and a whole day to get there.

So about 325 miles all told, with two nights camping, and two nights at Camp Wood (in a cabin).

I have a choice between a trailer or panniers for carrying my gear, but based on my last Fully-Loaded Overnighter, I’m going to go with the panniers.

I already have the rear panniers, and have a front rack and front panniers on order. I’ll write more about those when they’re ready to go.

I considered taking a stove, but with only two nights alone, I think it’s simpler just to stop along the way for a cold sandwich or something.

Other than that, I should be pretty much set.

Really looking forward to this tour!

DirtBum Written by:

I enjoy riding bicycles all over -- city streets, suburbia, rural roads, gravel roads, dirt roads, rail-trails, and singletrack. I love exploring the countryside and finding the interesting and historical treasures hidden in plain sight. You can follow my rides on Strava.


  1. Tim
    August 28, 2010

    Sounds like a fantastic adventure. Looking forward to the pics.

  2. Andrea
    September 2, 2010

    Sound wonderful, wish I had that endurance! I love the Flint Hills, September is a great time.

  3. September 8, 2010

    […] preparation for my upcoming mini-tour (Flint Hills Bike Tour On Tap) I wanted to get in a good test ride, fully loaded, just to make sure there weren’t any major […]

  4. […] tour a bit, and to give myself an opportunity for a bit of loaded, self-supported touring, I made plans to ride to and from the tour. A “pre-tour tour” and a “post-tour tour”, if […]

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