Kansas drivers urged to exercise caution as bike tours cross the state

While Biking Across Kansas will send about 600 cyclists to the area this week, the annual non-competitive ride isn’t the only biking-related event sweeping through central Kansas this month.

With three cyclists killed while crossing the state in the past five years, cyclists and event organizers are asking motorists to be aware and share the road.

State law requires at least 3 feet of space between a cyclist and a vehicle when passing, so drivers should pass like any other vehicle, only when safe to do so with enough space .

Two races – the Trans Am and the RAAM – are expected to reach the western Kansas border around the third week of June, if not sooner. These races follow different routes.

The transamerican started

The Trans Am Bike Race is an annual ultra-distance cycling race that covers approximately 4,200 people in 10 states.

The route uses the TransAmerica Bike Trail, which runs through northern Reno County and Harvey County.

It primarily follows 95th and 82nd Avenues, although this year the map also shows an alternate route in Reno County, called Nickerson Alternate, which takes it south on Nickerson Road to Fourth Avenue, through the fourth to Hendricks, then north to 82nd.

The site does not explain the reason for the 19 mile alternative, the only one on the map in Kansas.

Event riders enter Kansas from Colorado on the K-96 and pass through Leoti, Scott City, Rush Center, Larned, Reno County, Newton, Eureka, Chanute, Girard, then Pittsburg.

The eighth edition of the race started in Astoria, Oregon on June 5 and will end in Yorktown, Virginia.

This map shows the complete route of the Trans Am bicycle race through Kansas, which follows the TransAmerica bike path.

There were 56 runners registered for the race, including people from 27 states and 29 international runners, although nine were eliminated on Friday, according to the race’s website.

Thomas Camero of Hood River, Oregon, rides for the fifth time at age 80. Participants also include four women and a cyclist on a single-speed bike.

It’s not a stage race, so once the race starts, the clock doesn’t stop until the runners reach the finish line.

Riders go solo and are self-contained, meaning they don’t have chase vehicles, so they will most likely be seen one at a time on the roads, spread over a large distance throughout the event .

In 2017, Trans Am race participant Eric Fishbein, 61, of San Luis, Calif., was killed when he was hit from behind by a car about 8 miles from Leoti, while a second man of California was paralyzed after being hit by a car near Newton. .

In 2018, a Minnesota cyclist, John Egbers, was killed in virtually the same location as Fishbein. A monument was installed on the highway last year to commemorate Egbers.

Riders can be followed live at http://trackleaders.com/transam22

Race Across America Coming Soon

The other major race that passes through the region is the annual Race Across America (RAAM), which begins in Oceanside, California and ends 3,000 miles later in Annapolis, Maryland.

This clip from the Race Across America website shows the RAAM route through Kansas, which crosses the south side of Cheney Lake State Park.

In Kansas, the RAAM route follows US 160 and US 400 from Ulysses to Kingman. The halfway point is near Haviland.

At Kingman, the route deviates onto county roads, passing the south side of Cheney State Park and then to Colwich and Maize, according to details on its website.

From there, it takes local roads north to El Dorado, then takes US 54, which it follows to Missouri.

Like the Trans Am, the RAAM is not a stage race but a continuous race in which the clock does not stop until the finish line.

Unlike the Trans Am, RAAM riders will have chase vehicles with them, which could include RVs and buses.

RAAM is also unique in that it includes both solo runners, who must qualify to compete, and teams who race in relays of 2, 4 and 8 people.

The race list shows 220 runners from 25 countries.

This includes 164 people who make up 34 teams and 56 solo riders.

Solo runners start on June 14 and team runners four days later.

Team riders have a maximum of nine days to cross 12 states, but most finish in about 7½, according to the race’s website, with the fastest in just over five days.

Solo runners have a maximum of 12 days to complete the race, with most finishing in 11 days.

RAAM allows participants to raise awareness and funds for charities of their choice, with runners raising over $2 million per year for the past 5 years.

The RAAM live track is available at https://www.raamrace.org/live-tracking

The third runner killed in the state, incidentally, was not part of any of those races but was in Kansas to race the 2022 200-mile Unbound Gravel race near Emporia.

Gregory Bachman, a 61-year-old math and science teacher from Colorado, was hit at a rural intersection in Lyon County on the evening of June 3 while doing a warm-up the day before the race.

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