Greetings from Kansas City

by Sara Dykman

The last few weeks have been especially fun for me, as we have been biking through my home turf. We made it to St. Louis and took a ride up into the arch, thanks in large part to the $100 bill I found in Illinois. From St. Louis and the “gateway to the west” we made our last substantial turn of the trip and are now more or less headed straight back to California. The ride across Missouri was a lot of fun. Thanks to Rails-to-Trails we were able to leave the roads behind for a few days and pedal the Katy Trail across much of Missouri. You can read more about the trail at http://www.bike49.org/2011/03/the-katy-trail/. Missouri also surprised us with 6 inches of snow. Luckily we were doing a few presentations in the town my mom went to college, and thus had a warm place to stay.

After crossing Missouri we landed in my home town of Kansas City. It was a great experience to pedal familiar roads to the house where I grew up. It is one of the first cities of the trip that at least one of us was really familiar with, and thus our time spent lost was greatly reduced and our time on fun side roads was increased. In Kansas City, my parents welcomed us for not only a few day, but 6 days. Thanks mom and dad for letting us take over the house and eat all the food in the kitchen! We did 10 presentations in Kansas City, including my old elementary, middle, and high school. More than once, during a presentation, I thought: wow, I am back in middle school but this time I brought three boys from California. I certainly didn’t see that coming when I was in middle school 12 years ago.

Between presentations we have been checking out the sites, relaxing, and even managed a radio interview on the public radio station. We have done a few radio interviews via phone, but this was our first in-studio interview and it was a lot of fun. Listen to our interview with Steve Kraske on Up to Date. Starts at about 1:45 into the broadcast.

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or go to http://www.kcur.org/uptodate.html and find our March 23rd interview.

Kansas (state 42) is also where our fifth member, Alyssum, is re-joining us. She pedaled the first 3,000 miles with us and now will pedal the last 3,000 miles back to California.

Today we are headed only 20 miles out of town to a elementary school that has been following us for our entire trip. We are very excited to share our stories and pictures with the first graders in person. You can read more about this incredible class at http://www.bike49.org/2011/02/teaching-through-more-than-a-presentation/.

I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of spring. Now is the time to dust off the old bicycles from the garage, pump up the tires, oil the chain, and head out on an adventure of your own. All of us on bike49 started off with small trip to the store, work, or school; and now have pedaled 12,200 miles around the country. Maybe a small trip to the store will be help you prepare for your own trip.

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