Whether a member of the Christian Motorcycle Fellowship out of Argonia or a rider with Phat Azz Bikes in Wichita, Kansas motorcyclists agree on at least one thing about riding through the state: The view is unbeatable.
“We have more open roads than any other state there is,” said Reggie McDaniel, Phat Azz Bikes president. “That’s what makes it beautiful around here. It’s like a breath of fresh air.”
If you’re itching to take your motorcycle out for a ride in the beautiful summer months of Kansas, the state has a number of routes ideal for both the adventurous rider and the scenic traveler.
These routes were found on MotorcycleRoads.com, which collects rider-submitted routes throughout the continental United States.
The Olathe to Cottonwood Falls loop takes you through the Flint Hills, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and past Council Grove’s famous Hays House restaurant. The biker who listed the 234-mile route gave it the highest rating for scenery and road quality.
• The Ooh-Aah Route is designed to do just that: make you “Ooh” and “Aah” at the beautiful scenery as you ride through central Kansas and the Flint Hills. The 333-mile route begins and ends in Hutchinson and takes you through a listed 20 destinations.
• The Old Tin Road route takes you down Old 10 Road from Alma, through Alta Vista to Interstate 70. The trek is 17 miles and was recommended more for the scenery than the quality of the roads or tourist destinations on the route.
• One route on the Web site suggested you “Pick Your Kansas.” The rider offered two routes on Kansas Highway 4 from LaCrosse. One route takes you east on K-4 to Topeka to explore the hills and is 120 miles. The other is 100 miles and has you break west from Lindsborg to see the Kansas plains.
• For riders looking for a little more adventure, try the Racetrack Road of Terror, a hilly, winding, 10-mile route that takes you north on Kansas Highway 5 from Wolcott through Lansing to Highway 7.
If solo riding isn’t for you or you’d like to try riding with a bigger crowd this summer, here are some open motorcycle riding events.
• The MCDS Ride for Independence is June 13. The ride starts at Block 32 Restaurant, 128 S. Christian, Moundridge, and goes through Lindsborg and Marquette before ending in McPherson. Entry is $20 and registration begins at 8:30 a.m. that morning. The McPherson Multi Community Diversified Services sponsors the event, and all proceeds go toward training and services for people with mental disabilities in central Kansas.
• Wichita’s Ride for the Red will be June 20. The 100-mile ride starts at 8 a.m. at the Red Cross, 1900 E. Douglas, Wichita. The ride is $20 if you pre-register and $25 on the day of the ride. Ride for the Red raises funds for the American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter.
• The first Fighting 4 Phoenix Poker Run will be July 25 in Sabetha. Registration for the event begins at 11 a.m. The ride starts at 1 p.m. from 1011 SW 75 Highway, Sabetha. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
• The Midian Shrine Riders Poker Run will be Sept. 13. The ride starts at Old Main Street Park, Fourth and Main streets, Mulvane. The first bike starts at 10 a.m., the last at noon. Entry is $8 per hand with a $100 prize for the best hand at the end of the run.
• The second-annual Special Olympics 3 State Poker Run will be May 23. Registration starts at 9:15 a.m., and the ride begins at 11 a.m. The ride starts at Sturgis Leather, 2327 Frederick Ave., St. Joseph, Mo., and ends in the city at Hammer Jacks, 512 Felix St. All proceeds go to benefit the Special Olympics and is sponsored by Riders On A Mission.
R.O.A.M organizes several other rides each summer, all benefiting a different cause. R.O.A.M. President Heather Blanton said she rides for two reasons: the love of the road and to help people.
“Riding for me is like a dog hanging it’s head out the window in a truck,” she said. “I love the freedom. I love the feeling it gives you.”