Cruising Kansas' Prairie Spirit Trail
Cruising the Prairie Spirit Trail, a rail-trail in Kansas from Ottawa to Iola, KS. Enjoy this flat, quiet, and beautiful journey through farmland and small town USA.
Bicycle Adventurer: Jack Podoll
When: October 2015
Accommodations: America's Best Value Inn
Distance: I rode 53 miles on my first day from the Old Depot in Ottawa to my motel in Iola, then returned the next day for a total of 106 miles in two days. From Iola, you can now extend the ride on the Southwind Rail Trail for another eight miles, continuing south to Humboldt.
Bonus tip for this adventure: This level, easy-going rail-trail has plenty of trees, several excellent trailheads with fresh water and bathrooms, and a couple of towns with good eats. And this well-maintained trail is in excellent condition.
I departed Ottawa and enjoyed a perfect blue sky day except for a headwind and gusting winds. Luckily, the trees are thick along both sides of the trail for at least two-thirds of they way, sheltering the trail.
Garnett, KS is about halfway to Iola and since the downtown is right next to the trail, I ate lunch there both days.
I arrived in Iola about an hour before dark with just enough time to check in to my motel, located right on the trail. It was Sunday night, so most restaurants were closed, but I found a couple of beers and fast food.
I awoke with great anticipation of cruising with a tailwind, promised by the weather forecasters, back to Ottawa. But NO! I pedaled out of the motel parking lot and was greeted by a headwind, stronger and cooler than the day before. I'm just lucky I guess! So, the best I could average was 9.5 mph, and it took me 5+ hours to ride the 53 miles each day.
Your favorite local bike shop? Turner's Cycling and Fitness, 8909 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS. Family owned for years, they are wonderful people and excellent mechanics.
HOW ABOUT YOU? Inspire others by submitting your bike overnight adventure!
Bike overnight tips and tricks?
This is my packing list: (email me for spreadsheet copy)
Left Rear Pannier
Toiletries & meds
Trash Bags & Twist Ties
Right Rear Pannier
extra bike shirt
extra bike socks
Long sleeve Tshirt (mock?)
Rain pants/pant strap
blue outdoor shirt
Cable & Padlock wKey
extra glasses & strap
extra bolts & nuts
2 Water Bottles
Butt Butter (small)
white hat to cool head
First Aid Kit
Butt Butter (large)
rain bag for trunk/bar bag
rain bag for seat
Big Pump in truck