Friday, July 15, 2011
I have been looking forward to racing at Shawnee Mission again ever since Jeff Smikahl and I did a Duo 6 hr. race 3 years ago. It was a scorcher then and will be no different on Sunday. I am fairly certain (don't want to ruin it!) that we will have dry conditions on the trail, but Hot and Humid conditions in the air! I train on these trails a lot as they are a short paved trail ride from my house. It is cool that I can ride with no traffic on the paved trail and now have 8 miles of single track to ride at Shawnee Mission Park. When I took to the dirt again, there was barely 3 miles of trail out at SM 4 years ago. Talk about some progress!
I have often posted on this blog about the places I ride outside of where I live. This year alone I have ridden my bike in the following states: Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, North Carolina, Tennesse, Georgia, Nebraska, and Iowa. I know of about 3 other states that should make this list before the end of 2011, but we shall see what the rest of the year brings?
This time I need to brag about where I live and train! We have some great Mountain Biking in the KC area and it just keeps getting better. You can ride single track a stones throw away from Downtown KC on the Swope Park Trails, Hit Landahl Park in the Blue Springs area, Smithville Lake up North, Blue River in S. Johnson County, Wyandotte County Lake Trails, Clinton Lake Trails (Lawrence, KS), The River Trails (Lawrence, Ks), Perry Lake Trails (Perry, Ks), Corby Trails (St. Joseph, MO), Krug Trails (St. Joseph, MO) and where I ride the most, Shawnee Mission Park Trails. That is a pretty impressive list of options to ride a Mountain Bike! Yeah, we do not have the lung wrenching and leg ripping climbs like our Mountain Friend State to the West, but you can find some TRUE single track at most of the trails listed above. What is TRUE Single track? Well check out the photo's above of the new Red Trail section at Shawnee Mission Park. It have some nice twisting and turning sections, followed by some real brain teazer rock sections, which will definetly be a factor in the race this Sunday!
What I like the most about the trail systems is the ability for all riders to utilize the trails. Yes, there are some sections that new riders really need to stay off of until they are much more confident on a Mountain Bike, but for the most part all can ride these trails. Hike a bike sections are in each trail for the newbie, but don't let that stop you from trying out a Mountain Bike!? It is a truly different experience than the road bike. As a racer, you need both of them to accomplish your racing fitness goals. As a recreational rider, you should enjoy the diversity of both sports!
It is going to be very hot on Sunday! But, I welcome all to come out at high noon on Sunday and walk some of the Shawnee Mission Trails, find a cool spot in the shade and enjoy some local Mountain Bike Racing! I know our Etho's team will be in full force for this race, minus a few that are ripping it up at Mountain Bike Nationals! Come out and see what it is all about, you never know, that bug to mount a Mountain Bike! You will not regret it!!