About the Tour
On Sunday, May 20th, the 9th annual Tour de Bier KC starts and ends at Knuckleheads Saloon in the East Bottoms. The Tour bikes over the Missouri River on the Heart of America Bridge, KC’s first safe bike/pedestrian crossing over the river. In North Kansas City riders will experience an emerging brewery scene, and then cruise back over the river to the City Market. The main tour route explores the West Bottoms industrial district and the Crossroads Arts District. Longer routes cruise down toWestport and points south. The Tour de Bier KC has plenty of rest stops and guides to help you along the way.
At the end of the ride, participants and the public celebrate not only the end of the Tour de Bier KC, but also the end of Bike Week events for the region. Tour participants can choose lunch from several food trucks and other local vendors. Massages and music will also be available. Proceeds from the Tour de Bier KC will benefit BikeWalkKC, which works to make Greater Kansas City a safer and more enjoyable place to walk, bike, and live!
The Lager tour is approximately 15 miles and hits all the highlights of brewing history in Kansas City. Roll by old breweries, ice houses and discover the best of Kansas City’s rich brewing history in a cool tour of Kansas City’s urban core. This tour will take you from the East Bottoms to North Kansas City, the River Market, West Bottoms, Crossroads, Downtown and will return by the mansions of former beer magnates.
IPA Tour is approximately 35 miles, and the best of both worlds. This tour hits the historic highlights then stops for refreshments in Westport. The ride continues through lovely older neighborhoods south of the Plaza to historic Waldo. Then you return to Knuckleheads through Brookside, by the Nelson Atkins Museum and by lovely old homes in Kansas City’s famous historic neighborhoods.
Dunkel is approximately 50 miles long and is for those hammerheads who want to get in some more miles and learn about beer history. This route takes you past the major highlights, and then east to Crane Brewery in Raytown. After that, you return on the beautiful streets of southern Jackson County finish the tour riding through historic neighborhoods of Kansas City.
For all three routes commuter, touring, hybrid and mountain bikes are recommended, but not necessary. There are some railroad crossings and rough spots. The Tour can be ridden with skinny tires but bring some tubes and a pump!
Maybe you’re an avid group cyclist. Maybe you ride one of the beautiful trails in the area. You might commute regularly by bike. Or maybe you want your kids to be able to walk to school. If you’re among these people, then you know that things could be much better for bicycling and walking in Kansas City. You might get jealous when you travel to other parts of the US and see the substantial investment other cities and regions have made in their infrastructure. Bike lanes everywhere in Portland, Chicago, Minneapolis, and now Fort Worth. Europe shouldn’t even be mentioned.
Why we do the Tour de Bier
So what about KC? We’ve got the framework for a great city! The many regional trail systems are a great start. But they need to be extended and linked. Cyclists need to be protected on our busiest roads with buffered lanes. The plans are there, from Overland Park and Leawood to the Northland and Lee’s Summit, with road diets in the urban core and a regional plan to connect everything. But we still lag behind many peer cities in turning the plans into paint on the pavement.
BikeWalkKC launched in 2010 to move Kansas City forward. Since then we’ve lobbied city halls and state governments on both sides of the state line to make active transportation and active living a better option. We’ve taught thousands of local kids how to cycle and walk safely, giving them the tools for healthy, active lifestyles down the road. We’ve taught plenty of adults, too, how to confidently navigate city streets. We’ve walked the halls of Congress. And we launched Kansas City BCycle, the nation’s first advocate-owned bike share system, now expanded from the River Market to Westport, the Country Club Plaza, Brookside, Waldo, and Longview Lake (with more expansion planned in 2018)!
Thousands of kids across KC have graduated from our BLAST Kids on Bikes safety and skills classes.
Kansas City is growing and thriving, and there is growing momentum for a more connected and livable community. Developments like the streetcar starter line, more integrated regional transit, and progress on the Katy Trail connection are important milestones. And at a very local level are encouraged to see individuals and neighborhoods speaking up for better options and safer streets.
Today’s kids are the first generation in American history with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Getting physical activity back into their daily lives is an important part of making sure they are healthy and happy!
When you ride Tour de Bier KC, you’re supporting these important efforts to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians, and to make KC healthier and more economically competitive. And while you ride, remember: all proceeds go straight to BikeWalkKC’s work. The fabulous food and beverage and other components of Tour de Bier were provided by our great sponsors and partners, who — like all of us — are ready for KC to move forward!