KC Masterpiece

And I'm not talking about the BBQ - we never even got a chance to taste real KC barbeque! No, I'm talking about the trails that we got to ride in the KC area, Lee's Summit to be accurate. As part of our Midwest circle tour, we stopped in KC to visit Cam and Amber. It's been a few years since they moved out of COS and we miss having them around! So it was really nice see them both and hang out for a while.

Wednesday, we skirted traffic in KC to meet Cam and his Dad for the Lee's Summit Trek Store shop ride. The planned ride was changing a little due to rain the day before, so we all met at Cam's house and headed south. I think it was the Blue River park system - not entirely sure. I do know that if we hadn't had Cam and his dad leading the way, I would have gotten completely lost. If you're like me and currently thinking "Riding in KC? No way!" Trust me. Not only was there riding there, but it was fantastic. The kind of riding both Nick and I like - earning every pedal stroke both up and down with challenging rock gardens. The trails are raw - built with the terrain and natural features incorporated . None of this bulldoze all the rocks out of the way and then go build artificial jumps and moves. There were a few "flow" trails, but the majority were thinking trails. You had to work for the lines. Honestly, what we rode in KC puts the local trails in COS to shame. And it was so lush and green. Like riding in a jungle! Of course, in order to get that lush and green, that means there's plenty of moisture in the air - aka humidity. Whoa... Nothing like peeling a soaked jersey off when you've only ridden for 90 minutes.

Nick on his first "real" ride after surgery - working the rocks.
After the shop ride, we went to a local brewery about 15 minutes from their house. Cam had called around before we arrived and turned out that Martin City Brewing made a gluten free beer for Nick - and not a sorghum one either! The Yoga Pants Ale was a big hit - Nick said it was one of the best GF beers he'd had. And even better for him, they had cans available for purchase! Stocked up for the upcoming Minnesota weekend....

Thursday morning, we rode again, this time heading north from Cam's house. Again, the same raw trails filled with rocks and roots. Undulating climbing with no real long grades or descents - but punchy. As we were riding, it all became clear. I've always referred to Cam's riding style as being like a bull in a china shop - all over the bike. Well, he started riding on those KC trails and they don't lend themselves to a quiet sit and spin style of riding. No, you have to move the bike, using all the upper and lower body power you have to muscle through the rock gardens. And you have to be mentally on point the entire ride - there's no backing off and chilling. That will get a wheel stuffed and send you flying.

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay and ride again. Minnesota was calling and we needed to keep moving.

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