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Final Report

Final Reports

Director's Report--Larry Christie

This 23rd Biking Across Kansas happened during a week of unusually pleasant weather, cool temperatures and mild breezes. The only unpleasant things that come to mind are the cases of the flu or virus that existed on the Affectionate Route and a mild sprinkle one day. That sickness lasted--according to one of the Jr. Route leaders--about six hours and then you were on the way to being normal. But during that six hours you were really sick. The sprinkles lasted till about noon on Wednesday.

The cooperation of the cities was outstanding this year with many highlights. At the evening meeting at Holton I asked for suggestions for the outstanding city of the year and nearly all of the cities were mentioned. Doesn't get much better than that.

The ending at the home town of Amelia Earhart, Atchison was extremely pleasant with full cooperation of the city. The food was good and the facility was outstanding and could have only been better if more parking had been available. Some people had to walk a block or two.

Biking Across Kansas 1997 was a really good year (some said the best) but had some difficulties. Some of those difficulties are causing us to rethink Biking Across Kansas as we have known it for the last Twenty Three Years.

Larry Christie


Director's Report--Norma Christie

Biking Across Kansas had delightful weather this year as 1000+ bicyclists crossed the State. The first day some experienced head winds, but by the second day the wind was calm and cool. We cannot remember a BAK where it was cool all the way across Kansas.

The cities we stayed overnight in and visited had warm welcomes ready for BAK. A lot of the schools were air conditioned this year and if they weren't, the large fans were on, blowing the cool air of the evening through the gymnasiums. Only one night (during the night at approximately 3:00 am) did thunder showers develop. It was thought that tornadoes might occur, so the tents had to come inside for shelter. But nothing developed, maybe some rain, and all was well the next morning.

The visits to the nursing homes were successful! They served cookies and iced tea to those BAK people that visited them, and it was certainly a highlight to the residents. At one nursing home, a couple of bicyclists brought their bicycles in to show the residents, as they were very curious. Our visits really made their day!

Some safety clinics for local grade school age children were taught by BAK participants in some cities. BAK then gave away two helmets in each city. Thank you to the BAK volunteers!

Bryan Toben was the only casualty for the BAK Route Directors and committee. He was "horsing around" as he said, afterwards in the tanks that had iced down the pop (in other words, he and other R.D. were trying to see who could dunk who). He slipped and somebody fell on top of him, breaking his arm. It was set in Atchison and he went home to recuperate. We understand he is doing fine but a little embarrassed.

All three routes converged in Holton and what a celebration that was! Shuttle busses provided rides, food courts in the court house square, a wonderful school to stay overnight in, and many businesses to visit. One BAKer (name unknown) visited a local grocery store and stayed there for an hour. Every local citizen that came in was thanked by this BAKer for a wonderful welcome Holton gave to the riders! Thank you!

We hope everyone had a good BAK, enjoyed Kansas and the people (both in the cities and on BAK) and will make return visits to the cities to see more of what they have to offer.

Have a good summer!

Norma Christie