BAK coming back to Kansas

Registration for the 49th Biking Across Kansas, the annual celebration of all things cycling and the Sunflower State, opens Sunday, Jan. 29, which is, fittingly, Kansas Day. The riders will pedal the highways and byways June 10-17.

The full route from Colorado to Missouri covers 542 miles in the span of a week. Riders pedal between 50 and 80 miles each day.

Overnight stops this year include Elkhart, Satanta, Spearville, Stafford, Newton, Eureka, Chanute and Garnett, with a celebration picnic in Pleasanton. Cyclists will pass through Hugoton, Sublette, Dodge City, Kinsley, Partridge, El Dorado, Toronto, and Iola among others.

“BAK is an annual bicycle tour across the state of Kansas,” said David Rohr, BAK board president. “It promotes health and fitness through bicycling, as well as the history and beauty of the Kansas landscape, and the warm hospitality of the Kansas towns and people.”

Many bicyclists will return as repeat partic-ipants, some who bicycled the very first tour in 1975, he said. Others will take on the challenge and enjoy the trip across the State for the first time.

In recent years, riders represented a wide age span— from 7 to 87 — and multiple generational families. Entries are anticipated from 30 or more states, including as far away as New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Mexico, Washington and California. In addition, Biking Across Kansas has attracted participants from countries outside the United States.

Starting with around 100 riders in the first year, as many as 800 participate now. So, BAK is a big economic boon for the communities along the route.

Why do BAK? The reasons are many, Rohr said.

“It is a cycling challenge and a uniquely Kansas adventure,” he said. “On a bicycle, you are moving more slowly and can experience this beautiful state like you can’t from behind a windshield.”

And, probably most importantly, “you’re burning so many calories on the bike that you can enjoy all the pie and ice cream you want without any guilt.”

Registration opens on at 6 a.m. Jan.29.

For more information, visit https://bak. org or contact BAK Director Stefanie Weaver at 913-735-3035 or email director@bak. org.

About Biking Across Kansas Biking Across Kansas (BAK) is an annual  eight-day, bicycle tour across the state of Kansas. BAK promotes health and wellness through bicycling, the history and beauty of the Kansas landscape, and the warm hospitality of the Kansas towns and people. BAK started in 1975 with fewer than 100 hundred riders. Forty-five years later the tour is now capped annually at 850 participants.