BAK plans finalized

Plans are being finalized to welcome more than 800 bicyclists from across Kansas and around the Midwest as they ride into Holton on Friday, June 14 as part of the 45th-annual Biking Across Kansas event, it has been reported.

Participants in the eight-day bicycle ride, which begins on Saturday, June 8 at the Kansas-Colorado state line near Goodland and continues east to the Missouri state line at Atchison a week later on Saturday, June 15, will spend the final night of their tour in Holton, where several activities are being finalized for the event’s participants and supporters.

“Bicyclists range in age from 8 to 85 and come from 29 different states,” said Joni White, who is helping organize welcoming events for the cyclists’ overnight stop in Holton, the first such stop on the BAK event here since 2002.

This year’s 497-mile ride will include overnight stops in Colby, Hill City, Hays, Wilson, Minneapolis and Clay Center before cyclists arrive in Holton for their final overnight stop. As cyclists enter Holton from the west on Kansas Highway 16, they will be directed north on Iowa Avenue toward Holton High School, where most participants will sleep in tents on the HHS grounds.

“Local people, especially on the bike route, are encouraged to place signs and bikes in their yards welcoming the cyclists,” she added.

BAK riders will be welcomed at a hospitality tent, sponsored by local realtor Sara Fox and the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, it was reported.

Shuttle buses — sponsored by Denison State Bank, The Farmers State Bank and GNBank — will run throughout the afternoon and evening of June 14, taking BAK riders from HHS to Holton’s Town Square and back, where live music and a beer garden will be featured in the 400 block of New York Avenue on the west side of the Square.

That block of New York will be closed from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. that evening for the beer garden, which is sponsored by Off The Square Grill, White said. Proceeds raised from beer sales will be split between the Holton Community Hospital expansion project and the Chamber.

Musical entertainment will feature regional rock group Queen Anne’s Revenge, featuring local musicians Miles Kramer and Brett Branam, as well as Charlie Barber and Steve Hearrell. Shops around the Square will also be open late that evening, and food vendors will also be available on the Square and at HHS throughout the afternoon, evening and Saturday morning, White said.

In the morning, BAK cyclists will head east out of Holton toward Atchison, where the ride will end with a celebration at the Missouri River.

BAK Chairman David Rohr said this year’s tour will take riders through various scenic Kansas landscapes, starting in the High Plains of western Kansas and ending in the glaciated region at the Missouri River.

“Highlights include the Largest Barn in Kansas in Colby, Nicodemus National Historic Site, Historic Fort Hays, Wilson: the Czech Capital of Kansas, Rock City Park near Minneapolis, the scenic Flint Hills and the Amelia Earhart home in Atchison,” Rohr said.

BAK’s primary objectives are to promote wellness through bicycling, celebrate Kansas history and the beauty of its landscape and enjoy the warm hospitality of its towns and people. The ride started in 1975 with fewer than 100 riders and has grown to an annual tour that is capped annually at 850 participants.

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(Editor's note: The above story corrects a previous mention that BAK riders would be allowed to set up tents on the HHS football field, which is incorrect.)

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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