Spring biking guide 2018 — plus good news on the Tour of Lawrence

photo by: Mike Yoder

Cyclists compete during the Women's Pro 1/2/3 races of the 2016 Tour of Lawrence Downtown Criterium Race, Sunday, July 17, 2016.

Lawrence cyclists, rejoice — tentatively.

After a hiatus in 2017, the Tour of Lawrence is supposed to return this summer, shepherded by local group Women’s Free State Racing.

“I have a small and mighty group of Lawrencians working hard to secure the necessary funding, support and services to bring it back,” said Cindy Bracker Sturm, who is organizing the race.

The plan is to hold three events the weekend of Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 1: a 10K time trial, a challenging technical circuit race at Haskell Indian Nations University and a “spectator-friendly” criterium in downtown Lawrence, respectively. Permits for the events are still pending, but the group is hopeful for a triumphant return.

Before and after that weekend, though, this area has many other cycling-related events coming up.

Bracker Sturm noted that her group is planning other events throughout the spring and summer, as well. Information on those will be posted at womensfreestateracing.com and at facebook.com/WomensFreeStateRacing.

It seems a lot of events still have planning underway, so this guide will be updated online when possible. Check out the resources at the bottom for help planning your own rides.

A key to this guide:

LBC = Lawrence Bicycle Club; more information at lawrencebicycleclub.org

LMBC = Lawrence Mountain Bike Club; more information at lawrencemountainbikeclub.org

Here are some upcoming cycling-related events:


God’s Country Fat Tire Duathlon — 2-mile trail run and 10-mile mountain bike ride through the Lawrence River Trails, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 14.

Confident, Capable Commuters — a class for those ages 16 and up offered by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department and taught by certified League of American Bicyclists instructors, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, April 17, 19 and 21. Learn the rules of the road to commute by bicycle safely. Registration is available at lprd.org.

KU Bike Share Lawn Party — celebrate the University of Kansas’ new bike-share program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 on the Stauffer-Flint lawn on campus.

• Boulevard Ride — ride KU’s new bikes down Jayhawk Boulevard from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, starting at the Kansas Union.

• Lawrence Earth Day Parade and Celebration — KU Sustainability seeks bike-share riders to join them in the parade, starting at 11 a.m. at South Park, with events and celebration running through 4 p.m., Saturday, April 21. Email sustainability@ku.edu if you’re interested.

Coach Pat’s 2018 Sprint Clinic — learn the “finer points of sprinting” from certified coach Pat Schlager, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in Lakeview. Space is limited; email phschlager@aol.com to RSVP.

Jayhawk Cycling Classic — road races and criterium for everyone ages 9 and up, presented by the KU Cycling Club and KCBC Racing team. Hilly races through the Lone Star Township begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 28; “fast and furious” criteriums begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, April 29, on the KU campus, according to its Facebook event page.

Lone Star Century — an annual ride organized by Cycling Kansas City and offering five different routes — 15-, 25-, 45-, 64- and 100-mile options. It begins at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 29, at Celebration Park, 32501 W. 159th St. in Gardner, then tours over to Lone Star and Clinton lakes south of Lawrence.

Did we miss one?

Did your event miss this list?

Send time, date and place info to health reporter Mackenzie Clark, mclark@ljworld.com, and we’ll add it ASAP.


Perry Lake Road Race — men’s and women’s races beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, at Thompsonville Park in Perry.

• Baldwin City Gravel Grinder — aka the Cappuccino Ride — 35- and 70-mile bike routes on gravel roads surrounding Baldwin City, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 26, downtown. A 12-mile ride for beginners will also be available. More information to come; visit gravelgrinders.blogspot.com and baldwinrec.org.


• Bone Bender Mountain Bike Challenge — an off-road duathlon and a three- or six-hour mountain bike challenge, Saturday and Sunday, June 30 and July 1, at Perry State Park. Visit cowtowncycling.com for more information.


• Lizard Under the Skillet — an LBC, paved-road ride in the heat of Sunday, July 15. More information to come.

• Mountain Biking at the 2018 Sunflower State Games — cross country-format races for people of all ages, including a juniors category for kids 9 and younger, beginning at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at the Lake Perry State Park Mountain Bike Trails. Visit sunflowergames.com for more information.

• Lawrence Community Bike Ride — a free ride, with 3-, 5-, 8- and 12-mile options, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum, 5100 W. 27th St. There will be a kids zone with bounce houses, as well as free helmets and safety vests, while supplies last. Visit ridelawrence.com for more information.


• Lawrence Community Bike Ride — a free, 3-mile family ride from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 15, at Haskell Indian Nations University. There will be a kids zone with bounce houses, as well as free helmets and safety vests, while supplies last. Visit ridelawrence.com for more information.

Bike MS: Kansas City 2018 — this one- or two-day ride is a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis research and services. It begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Garmin Headquarters, 1200 E. 151st St. in Olathe; overnights at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St., in Lawrence; and resumes at 7 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. Last year, participants raised more than $1 million.


• Octoginta (LBC) — festivities for this Midwest classic in its 49th year begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, with a 30-mile Tour de County, departing from South Park. That afternoon, from 2 to 4, a swap meet is planned. Then a full 80-mile tour through northeast Kansas, and a shorter 45-mile route leave at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, from South Park. Lunch will be served at the park afterward.

Recurring events

• LBC Beginners’ Bike Ride — from June 4 through the end of August, this ride will meet at 6:30 p.m. each Monday at the SpringHill Suites parking lot, 1 Riverfront Plaza. Designed for cyclists who are looking to build confidence in their skills and habits, this ride will include 15-20 minutes of instruction followed by a 10-mile ride at a casual pace, with plenty of stops to regroup.

• LBC Smell the Roses Ride — meets at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday at Constant Park, 230 W. Sixth St. A social-paced ride and fairly flat route heading north and west of Lawrence, averaging 12-14 mph for 15 miles, and the ride stays with the slowest rider.

• LBC Taco Ride — meets at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday until Oct. 31 at South Park, 11th and Massachusetts streets. A fast-paced ride split into groups — A, which averages 18-20 mph and goes for 33 miles, and B, which goes 16-17 mph for 26 miles. Riders can stick around for dinner at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop afterward.

• LMBC Clinton Lake Rock ‘n’ Root Ride — meets at 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday at the Clinton Lake State Park Corps of Engineers parking lot for a moderate-paced ride to “shake off the midweek blues.”

• LMBC Friday Night Ride — meets at 6:30 p.m. every Friday at the Lawrence River Trails, at Eighth and Oak streets in North Lawrence. A casual ride for mountain bikers of all levels; meet at the lower parking lot for BYO refreshments and a social hour.

• Kidical Mass Family Rides — a series of monthly rides hosted by Dads of Douglas County, these rides are scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 22; Sunday, May 20; and Saturday, June 16. Rides head out from Hobbs Park, 702 E. 11th St., to the Burroughs Creek Trails and back.

Online resources

Lawrence Rideability Map — this resource on the city’s website, lawrenceks.org, offers a full breakdown of traffic patterns — which roads are safest for bicyclists and which should be avoided, plus locations of various types of trails and a list of bicycle repair stands around town.

KU’s Center for Sustainability — bike.ku.edu is packed full of helpful information for student and nonstudent bicyclists alike. It offers tips on theft prevention, bike maintenance and how to get to campus, recreational routes around town, plus a map of all the bike racks on campus — all of which will soon be stations for the new bike-share program.

KansasCyclist.com — a list of biking events around the state and links to find more information and news.

• Friends of Lawrence Area Trails — An advocacy group looking to finish the Lawrence Loop (the 18-mile trail that, when complete, will be a full 22-mile path encircling the city) and make biking accessible to all. Find more information about them at flatks.org.