Sunday, June 3, 2012

Flint Hills Freedom Ride

For several weeks I’ve been hearing about a 1,000 bike ride through the beautiful Kansas Flint Hills.  It has a name – The First Annual Governor’s Flint Hills Freedom Ride – which will take place on Saturday, June 16, 2012.   Yes, our Governor owns a motorcycle.  Based on information I found on Big Dog’s Biker Forum, the Governor’s bike is a 2001 Big Dog Pro Sport.  In fact, he rode the bike to work in February 2012.  Piffle!  My dear husband rides his bike to work every day except Thursdays, unless there is snow on the ground.  And he rides a minimum of 35 miles to work – one way.  (Not shabby for an old biker.)

Anyway, back to the run.  Imagine what it will take to navigate 1,000 bikes safely through the Kansas Flint Hills.  That’s one BIG parade permit.  In Kansas, if you have a group of 10 or more motorcycles, you are required, by law, to have a permit.  (I’m sure Governor Brownback has that covered.)  The largest bike ride in which we’ve participated was a Muscular Dystrophy Run sponsored by Topeka Harley Davidson.  There were 750 bikes and their riders.  We were escorted by the Kansas Highway Patrol and assisted by off-duty patrolmen on their motorcycles.  I have a cousin who is a bike cop.  I’ll see if he is on duty that weekend! 

Then, of course, there will be support vehicles.  I can’t imagine a group that large that would not have some sort of trailer with parts following them around.  Even when we take our Great American Adventure through the lesser populated western states, THD assists in providing basic equipment for minor repairs.  Of course, if somebody breaks down on the Freedom Ride, they can always come to our house at Lake Wabaunsee.  We have bike tools.

The Freedom Ride sign-up is on the Capital grounds in Topeka, Kansas beginning at 8:00 AM on Saturday, June 16.  Following that, there is a group picture (wide angle lenses required) and then a blessing of the bikes and riders.  I will be saying a prayer for the safety of those bikers as well.   It is a 70-mile ride through the Kansas Flint Hills:  Dover, Eskridge and Alma, ending in Wamego.  I understand that there is one scheduled stop for one hour in Alma during the course of the ride.  The ride ends at 1:30 in Wamego City Park, according to the event schedule at posted at the Freedom Ride website:

It will be exciting to see that many motorcycles together.  It is not the biggest motorcycle parade on record.  The ride is through the prettiest part of Kansas via the Native Stone Scenic Byway on the sweeping curves of K4 and K 99.  (Over Mill Creek and through the woods to Alma, the city of Native Stone!)  They will even traverse the gravel shoe-fly in the bridge construction area at the K4/99 junction.  Really, it is not that bad.  We ride that way to Alma at least once a week!

Keep an eye out for those motorcycles.  May was Motorcycle Awareness Month and the bikes are always out there!  God bless you and your family until next time!  Vicky