Biking Across Kansas

Santa Fe Trail BAK Bicycle Rally Information

Biking Across Kansas, Inc. presents the Santa Fe Trail BAK Bicycle Rally, on Labor Day Weekend, September 4-6, 2021 in our host city, Great Bend, Kansas. Each day of the event will feature a different looped bicycle tour route starting and ending in Great Bend. COVID-safe practices will be followed throughout this event.

2021 is the bicentennial year of the famous Santa Fe Trail, established in 1821 as a trade route between the U.S. and Mexico. The trail was truly the first-ever cross-Kansas route. In 1871, the community of Great Bend was established along the Santa Fe Trail, named for the "great bend" in the nearby Arkansas River. BAK selected Great Bend as the host community for the rally due to its rich history along the trail and its proximity to other famous Santa Fe Trail locations such as Fort Larned and Pawnee Rock.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biking Across Kansas, Inc. canceled its regular cross-state events in 2020 and 2021. We are organizing this special bicycle rally to continue our mission to promote bicycling in Kansas and also provide an opportunity for our participants to meet and ride together after a long absence.

Logistics for this rally are different than our regular cross-state tours. All meals will be on your own. We will not be using local school facilities. Participants will choose to stay at one of several Great Bend hotels or camp. Hotel and camping fees are not included in the BAK entry fee. See hotel list, rates, and reservation notes. Reserve your room now.

The Santa Fe Trail BAK Bicycle Rally will offer a different cycling route each day, each beginning and ending in Great Bend, Kansas.

Day 1: Saturday, September 4, 2021
Santa Fe Trail Tour. This 70-mile loop will take riders through Pawnee Rock and Larned, allowing for visits to historic Fort Larned and the Santa Fe Trail Center. Lunch options available in Larned.
Santa Fe Trail Route Map link

Day 2: Sunday, September 5, 2021
Arkansas River Valley Ramble. This route offers a 56-mile or 100-mile option, taking riders to Hudson and Sterling through the (mostly) flat Arkansas River valley region. Riders on the 100-mile century route will pass through the scenic Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Lunch options available in Sterling.
Sterling Century Route Map link
Hudson Loop Route Map link

Day 3: Monday, September 6, 2021
Ellinwood Loop. This short 32-mile loop takes riders east along the southern edge of the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildelife Refuge and through the town of Ellinwood.
Ellinwood Route Map link

$100 Entry Fee, ages 7 and over. Includes 1 to 3 days of participation. No part-time participant discounts for this event. Ages 0-6 are free. Child care services are not provided. Minimum age for unsupervised participants is 18. Participants (riders and non-riders) ages 0-17 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

The event will be held with a minimum of 100 and maximum of 350 registrants.

The entry fee includes:

  • T-shirt
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper route maps for each day's loop tour
  • Ride with GPS route links
  • Points of interest and attractions in Great Bend and on the route
  • Designated gathering and starting location each day
  • Designated daily vehicle parking
  • A coordinated evening activity
  • SAG/rest stops with: water, whole fruit (e.g., bananas, oranges, apples), single serve wrapped snacks, sanitization supplies, hands-free water spigots

Biking Across Kansas is committed to policies that keep its participants safe and healthy. COVID-19 protocols and public ordinances will be followed in each city and county through which we travel and stay. Hand sanitizer will be provided for each registrant.

SAG stops will include:

  • Hand sanitizer. Participants will be required to wash/sanitize glove-free hands prior to being served at SAG stops along the route.
  • Sanitizing wipes and solutions for surfaces and handwashing
  • Plastic gloves for volunteers/servers
  • Hands-free water spigots
  • Whole fruit (e.g., bananas, oranges, apples)
  • Individually wrapped snacks
  • T-shirts. No exchanges.

Each participant will be required to abide by the Illness/Injury and COVID Compliance outlined in the Biking Across Kansas, Inc./ BAK Bicycle Rally 2021 Release Form. (Review full release form here.)

ILLNESS/INJURY: If I exhibit symptoms commonly associated with or test positive for COVID-19, immediately prior to the event, I agree to stay home and not attend. If I exhibit symptoms commonly associated with or test positive for COVID-19 during the BAK Bicycle Rally 2021, I agree to immediately isolate myself from other participants, to cease participating in the Event until testing negative for COVID-19, and to be responsible for my own medical care and transportation. In the event of any other illness or injury during Biking Across Kansas, I agree that directorial or medical staff may determine that I cannot continue bicycling or traveling with the event for my own well-being and that of other participants. If this determination is made, I agree that I will leave the event within 24 hours, making my own travel arrangements, at my own expense, with no refund of entry fees. If my medical condition requires hospitalization in a BAK overnight city, I agree that Biking Across Kansas will not provide transportation to retrieve me after the tour has progressed along the route beyond that city. I agree to make my own travel arrangements at my own expense. 

COVID COMPLIANCE: I agree to abide by the COVID-19 public health regulations of the jurisdictions in which the Event occurs, including wearing a mask when not cycling, unless excused by local law. I agree that my failure to comply shall be grounds for my expulsion from the Event with no refund of entry fees by BAK.

Participants may cancel their registrations and receive a partial refund through July 31, 2021. A $30 PER PERSON FEE WILL BE CHARGED FOR ALL CANCELLATIONS THROUGH July 31, 2021. Absolutely no refunds will be granted after July 31, 2021. BAK registrations are non-transferrable and credits are not offered. 
Optional trip cancellation insurance is available for purchase through a third-party vendor.
Optional injury insurance is available for purchase through a third-party vendor.

Please note that Biking Across Kansas (BAK) does not make any exceptions to the cancellation policy including, but not limited to, employment, family, medical, or physical situations. BAK cannot allow transfers to another participant and cannot offer credits for a future event.
Submit your cancellation to Please supply your name and the registration number from your registration email confirmation. Refunds will be credited to the credit card you used when paying for your BAK registration. Please allow up to 30 days for processing.   
Cancellation of Event by Biking Across Kansas due to Acts of God or other Force Majeure Events 
If, in Biking Across Kansas, Inc.’s (“BAK's”) sole discretion, the commencement or continuation of Biking Across Kansas and any related events and activities (collectively the “Activity”) are made impossible, impracticable, or unreasonably dangerous to participants, staff or volunteers due to the occurrence of any force majeure event, or credible threat thereof, including but not limited to any Act of God, fire, earthquake, acts of civil or military authority, casualty, weather, flood, war, terrorist attack, epidemic, pandemic, public emergencies, insurrection, civil unrest, strikes or other labor activities, environmental conditions or any other similar cause beyond the reasonable control of BAK (“Force Majeure Event”), then BAK has the right to cancel all or any part of the Activity. In the event of any cancellation due to a Force Majeure Event, all registration fees are forfeited and will not be refunded by BAK.
Please understand, the Activity depends on many favorable conditions beyond BAK’s control, and in their absence, some part or all of the Activity may have to be cancelled.  Please also understand, if the Activity is cancelled as a result, you will lose your registration fee. BAK strongly recommends that you obtain trip cancellation or similar insurance to protect you if Biking Across Kansas must be cancelled due to a Force Majeure Event.

Hotel and camping fees are not included in the BAK entry fee. See hotel list, rates, and reservation notes. Reserve your room now.

Please note
 that E-bikes must be self-supported on Biking Across Kansas. We are NOT equipped to provide mechanical support for E-bikes or SAG support to lift/transport E-bikes. BAK cannot provide access to the electricity to charge E-bike batteries and recommends that such charging in a public assembly area is supervised. 

Meals and beverages will be available for purchase at local restaurants and businesses.

BAK keeps several support stops (SAG stops) and vehicles on the routes daily between the mass start time and 5:00 pm (ending at 12:00 pm on September 6). SAG stops provide water and fruit as well as assistance with minor medical and mechanical problems. SAG stops are placed approximately every 15 miles in areas where local services are not available. Riders should plan to utilize the communities along the route and not rely solely on the SAGs for support . BE PREPARED each day and carry emergency water, food and basic tools to repair a flat bicycle tire (pump, spare tire, patch kit, etc.).

Golden Belt Bicycling Company in Great Bend will be available for mechanical services (fee for service).

It is the shared responsibility of both organizers and participants to maintain a sanitary and healthy environment during BAK. We urge the following steps be taken to prevent the spread of contagious illness within our group:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water on a frequent basis.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and use it frequently.
  • If you feel sick at any time during the event, immediately notify a BAK medic or staff member. 
  • Stay home if you exhibit symptoms commonly associated with or test positive for COVID-19 immediately prior to the event. Also, stay home if you are recovering from COVID-19, influenza, stomach/intestinal flu, or other potentially contagious illness.

IMPORTANT: In the event of your illness or injury during Biking Across Kansas, the directorial or medical staff may determine that you cannot continue bicycling or traveling with the event your own well-being and that of other participants. If this determination is made, you will be asked to leave the event within 24 hours, making your own travel arrangements, at your own expense, with no refund of entry fees.

BAK has strict policies for the handling of food items, water containers, and utensils. SAG support staff and volunteers are instructed to enforce these sanitary policies at each SAG stop along the route. Upon arrival at each SAG stop, participants must remove their cycling gloves and wash their hands before refilling water bottles and/or being served food items. Participants will be expected to comply with these measures to ensure the well-being of the group.

A t-shirt with the Santa Fe Trail BAK Bicycle Rally 2021 color design is included with each entry. Shirts are Gildan Performance, a jersey knit with moisture wicking and antimicrobial properties.

To enjoy BAK Bicycle Rally 2021 to its fullest, you need to be in good/excellent riding condition. It’s time now to become serious about conditioning both yourself and your bicycle. Plan training rides for as many miles as you can—the more the better. Short rides won’t do as much good as the longer ones. It is important to ride as often as possible—every day if you can. Add some long rides on weekends of 40 to 70 miles. At minimum, you should be able to bicycle 30 miles in 3 hours or less. Many have found it is more enjoyable to ride at a faster pace. Be certain to training on hills and on windy days; you will encounter both during the tour.

If you don't like training alone, seek a bicycle club, show-and-go rides, or other cyclists in your area. Most clubs schedule rides on a weekly basis—it's a great way to meet other cyclists and learn how to ride safely within a group.

Review BAK Safety Information Inexperienced highway riders should study safety precautions and Kansas laws and Kansas Bicycle Statutes. Generally, riders must break up into small groups that do not pose a traffic hazard. The State law prohibits bicycles from impeding traffic and does not allow riding more than two abreast. Single-file riding, is by far the safest way to travel on the highway. Most of the roads on BAK tours are lightly to moderately traveled, but don’t let that cause you to lower your guard. Highway riding requires constant attention. Ride Defensively! Helmets are strongly recommended and should be worn at all times when riding.


BAK relies on many volunteers to make the Bicycle Rally a success. If you are interested in learning about what volunteer opportunities are available, send an email to

Many other frequently asked questions are addressed HERE

You may register for the BAK Bicycle Rally here.