It’s been a while, but the annual Bike Across Kansas road trip will be coming through Hoisington this summer.
Last week, the organization announced the route in celebration of their 50th year. BAK is the state’s longest-running bicycle tour and is scheduled for June 8-15.
For 50 years, bicyclists from all 50 states and several countries have participated in the event.
The BAK’s aim is to promote health and wellness through bicycling, highlighting the history and beauty of Kansas and the warm hospitality of Kansas towns and people.
After beginning at sunrise, cyclists then hit the road between connecting towns experience the night life in towns along the way. Local high school gymnasiums, parks and school grounds serve as a place for tired riders to shower, repair their bikes, eat and sleep.
All the cyclists’ gear is carried from town to town by trucks, so riders bring sleeping bags and several changes of clothing. About half of the participants bring tents and camp out, while the other half prefer to spread out their sleeping bags and sleep inside the gymnasiums.
Every evening, the group gathers inside the gym for a nightly meeting. Besides the welcome rest, shower and refreshment, the stopover provides a look at the best parts a rural Kansas community has to offer.
Registration for the 2024 ride will open on Kansas Monday, Jan. 29. For more information visit bak.org.
The 2024 route
This year, BAK riders and their SAG support staff members will be overnighting in Tribune, Scott City, Ness City, Hoisington, Lincoln, Concordia, Frankfort, Holton and ending on the Missouri River in Atchison.
Prior to the announcement, BAK reached out to Hoisington USD 431 Superintendent Patrick Crowdis, Hoisington Recreation Director Chris Kinman and Hoisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell, who provided BAK with an introductory video produced by Hoisington High School students about Hoisington, as well as other attractions and venues relevant to the community.
Crowdis noted that, as in times past, the Hoisington Activity Center will serve as the hub for BAK operations during the stopover. Crowdis and other community leaders will be meeting to work out details for the stay.
“We will be working on activities and also transportation around town,” Crowdis noted. “After you’ve been on a bike for 50 miles or so, I don’t think you’d want to get back on the bike and ride to get to the Town & Country or the Dairy Queen.”
The Hoisington stopover
The last time that BAK riders stopped in Hoisington was in 2011. Hoisington was also a stopover on the southern route in 2007.
On June 6, 2011, 805 fulltime riders from 30 states including Kansas were welcomed into the Hoisington community. Bikers stayed at the Hoisington Activity Center, with Hoisington High School youth hosting a fundraiser meal that night.
The Hoisington Chamber of Commerce had a breakfast fundraiser the following morning. Participants were treated to tours of Cheyenne Bottoms by shuttle, as well as visits to the Hoisington Historical Society Museum, Cardinal Lanes and the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. Bikers also enjoyed the swimming pool, walking center, HAC facilities and tennis courts.