A big thank you to all of you for your help in the 2021 Community Bike Ride! We had a fun and safe day. Thank you for your positive thoughts if you could not be with us that day. Thank you to the volunteers who make the ride what it is. And, a big thank you to Anderson Rentals, The Merc, and Sunflower Outdoor & Bike for making sure everyone had what they needed!
After last year’s virtual ride, we’ve reserved the space and made the plans now we need you to come out and enjoy the 2021 Lawrence Community Bike Ride.
Here’s what we’ve got on tap for this year’s event on July 17th from 8:30-11:00am at the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum
- Three rides to choose from
- Kids Helmet fitting
- Safety Vest Giveaway (while supplies last)
- Bike Checkup & Maintenance area
- Healthy Snack Zone provided by The Merc
Thanks to all our sponsors these annual events just get better and better.
We’re so excited to be hosting this event in-person again. Get this on your calendar! We look forward to seeing you!
We lost one of our club’s own in 2020 – long-time member John Wilkinson.
In honor of his life, Lawrence Central Rotary has a tree planted at the Rotary Arboretum which he dearly cared about and was on the arboretum committee for many years.
The following is an excerpt from his obituary:
John grew up in Cherryvale. In fact, the town practically reared him. John had a number of jobs including a large paper route along which he regularly collected cinnamon rolls and cookies. He also worked carrying luggage from one station to another until his love of talking too much caused 10 others to show up and take the work.
John had a great love for sports, especially basketball and baseball. One story stated that he won a game with a three-point shot from the far side of the centerline. He also pitched in a baseball game to Mickey Mantle (and Mickey hit one off of him)!
In 1951 it was his turn to go to KU. This was the summer of the big flood. He had a dorm scholarship but the dorm wasn’t built yet. Instead, John was put in a gym annex and then to a space located under the stadium. It was a long, muddy walk to meals and classes. The next year he got a room and a job at the Faculty Club. There he met a freshman named Marianne Anderson. They got married in 1957 and were married for 63 years.
After finishing his law degree, John and Marianne moved to Topeka. He became a research attorney for the Kansas Supreme Court and a law clerk to Judge George Templar. He formed the law firm Waggener, Wilkinson, and Wigglesworth. He lectured on appellate procedure at the Washburn University Law School. He owned and operated Burger King in Topeka which he was given in payment for legal work. He argued a case before the US Supreme Court. It dealt with the rights of indigent defendants. He won the case.
Lawrence Central continues our annual fundraiser for the work we do every year. As in year’s past, we will be selling wreaths and other holiday decorations from Lynch Creek Farms and in Lawrence Central’s partnership with them, we receive money back from every sale to help fund the service projects we do. Some examples of our service activities include:
We want to continue to do this work and more with help from you and all you need to do is simply purchase holiday decorations. You can do this by talking to any of our members or there’s an even easier way – visit our Lynch Creek fundraising website, peruse what they have, and order yourself! We’ve even set up an easy link:
If you’re not comfortable with ordering online we totally understand – you can also call Lynch Creek direct toll-free at 1-888-426-0781 and please Lawrence Central Rotary Fundraiser #246673.
Lynch Creek is a family business that started in 1980, now transformed from selling a few flowers and vegetables at the local farmers’ market on the weekends, to a full-blown year-round business that ships throughout the United States.
We could go on about how great these wreaths are, but when we were at the Lawrence Rotary Club recently, Jennifer Berquist stopped us and told us this,
“I purchased several Lynch Creek items as holiday gifts. Those who received the evergreen gifts were so pleased and impressed with the quality. It is a huge seller for me that the Lawrence Central Rotary Club receives part of the profits. I will definitely place another order this year!” – Jennifer Berquist – Lawrence, KS
Lynch Creek Farms have been amazing to work with and they care about the groups that sell their wreaths and decorations. Here’s a video about the business.
Ok Community Bike Ride Fans. It’s time to tell you about the trails for week three and four.
Description: Take your Bubble “off-road” by checking out the Levee Trail in North Lawrence. This trail runs along the Kansas River providing views of the water, wooded areas and agriculture. Although technically unpaved, the crushed gravel surface is well maintained and can support narrow road bike tires as well as larger ones. Although this is a longer route it is very level, giving youth an opportunity to up their mileage without added stressors of hills or other traffic. Bring plenty of water and watch out for the wind as the trail has little shade or wind protection. Bonus: The route outlined follows the Levee East from North 2nd street, but you can also ride to the West!
Directions: Head out the south side of the parking lot towards the river. There is a crosswalk you can use to get up to the levee. Turn left and head east away from the damn. Turn back when you get to the yellow gate (or when you start to get tired)
Parking: There is free public parking available at the corner of Locust and North 2nd street if you want to ride the whole route. Or you can park at the 8th and Oak boat ramp and ride from there if you want to shorten the total distance.
Amenities: There is a fix it stand at the corner of 2nd and Locust. A port-a-john is placed at the 8th and Oak parking lot year round.
Mileage: 9.5 Miles for the whole out and back.
Elevation: 20 Feet
Activity: Across Locust from the parking lot is the Historic Union Pacific Depot, which until recently served as the Lawrence Visitors Center. Explore the French themed garden and enjoy sculptures by Jim Brothers and Shellie Bender before or after your ride. Look for the High water markings on the Depot to see where there has been flooding in the past, and you might even get to see a train go by.
Description: Take your bubble on one of the newest sections of the Lawrence Loop! Running adjacent to the Baker Wetlands on the south side of Lawrence, this section of the Loop provides beautiful views of the wetlands. The few hills are steep but short. Keep an eye out for lilies blooming towards the east end and the many redwing blackbirds that call the wetlands home!
Directions: Follow the sidewalk east from the parking lot up to Michigan Street. At Michigan turn right staying on the sidewalk and turn right again jest before the overpass. Turn back when the wall ends for the mileage listed.
Parking: To ride the full distance listed you can park at the Baker Wetlands Interpretive Center off of Michigan Street. If you would like to ride a slightly shorter route you can park at Broken Arrow Park off of Louisiana Street and use the underpass to access the trail.
Amenities The Baker Wetlands Interpretive Center is currently closed due to COVID but will hopefully re-open in 2021. Broken Arrow Park has restrooms that operate from April 15th through October.
Mileage: 3.5 Miles
Elevation: 85 feet
Prairie Park Trails
Description: Prairie Park Nature Center opened in 1999 and in addition to the building that houses various animals from around Kansas there is a trail and lake. This trail is shared with many walkers and joggers so it’s a good fit for young riders who aren’t going too fast. After going through the nature park you can ride past Prairie Park Elementary and through the neighborhood!
Directions: From the entrance to the trail turn right and follow the trail around the lake and up to the school. Ride to Kensington Road and take a left. Turn left again on 27th street, and once more on Harper (there are sidewalks the entire route).
Parking: The trailhead parking lot is at 28th and Harper. Or you can park at the Prairie Park Nature Center and ride south on Harper to get to the trail head. The distance of the loop remains the same.
Amenities: Prairie Park Nature Center is currently closed but there are activities for children outside of the center including a butterfly garden.
Mileage: 1.75 Miles
Elevation: 98 Feet
Thank you for checking out our 2020 Bike With Your Bubble Rides.
Please remember to stay distanced from other trail users and always bring a mask in case you need it.
We hope to see your smiling faces again in person in July of 2021.