Thursday, June 25, 2009

A cyclist's guide for Kansas City

I spent the last few days in Overland Park riding, working on some new business ideas, and checking out the town with old college buddy Todd. I've been to KC a few times but didn't get to see much other than crit courses and a few restaurants.

But there's actually lots of stuff to see and do here in the Midwest. Sunday we checked out Shakespeare's Pizza in Columbia, MO. Apparently that's a favourite among the locals and one of the highlights of student life at University of Missouri. The long wait was well worth it and a 12" is definitely "eatable" after 84miles of racing in the heat of Winghaven.

The +100 temperatures definitely made training a bit more challenging but I can't complain "growing up" in the "Falls" in North Texas. On Tuesday Todd and I rode out to to the local "Tuesday Nighter". To quote Mr. Wallace, "no Stefan, it's not the Driveway" but still competitive and I got a very solid 40minutes of racing in once I found myself in a break with a few locals. I also had a teammate, Chris Wallace, a very good junior rider who's already done CX World's once and will one to watch on our team in the future. We rode back home with the organizer of this weekend's Tour of KC and am already looking forward to 3 days of Crits here. The "Cactus Grill" in Overland Park had some Mexican Food and deals on Margaritas. Nothing beats the "sans-alcohol-license" Black Sheep in Austin, though :-)

Something you gotta check out when visiting KC is Shawnee Mission Park, just west of town and a great place to ride some miles on trails without cars and - during 100 degree heat - pedestrians. Great for intervals or to just go for an easy spin. Watch out for deer, rabbits, and plenty of bluebirds - they're everywhere. The only downside is riding through on the busy East/West roads but once you're over the Interstate it's not worse than riding in any other metro area around the country.

If you're ever (always???) in need for some cold refreshments you'll need to visit the Flying Saucer in Downtown. They have more than 200 different beers and +50 on tap from around the world. Lots of German Pilsner's, Bocks, Ales,Wheats, too. Until we talked to the bartender, I didn't even know that Austin has a location, too, so will have to check this one out in the future!

Today I did some intervals on Tomahawk Rd in the Mission Hills area. Good "urban" road with smooth asphalt, plenty of $$$ homes left and right, and a Country Club in close proximity. Was lots of fun to ride fast there except for one soccer mom in an Audi S8 who ran a stop-sign and almost t-boned me. I'd hate to have an accident with a $96,200 base-priced piece of German-engineering...

Tour of KC starts tomorrow and should be plenty of fun with the whole "gang" being in town for a few days. Just one week later is another - bigger - Crit series here in the area, the Tour of Lawrence. When was the last time you had 3 big cycling events back-to-back-to-back in the KC area, two of them brand new events? I think that's pretty cool and good for the region.

Oh, and if you ever wondered what's fair game and not in a Crit, check out Steve's latest blog entry. A bit detailed, but he makes a very good point.

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