BikePrairieSpirit.com is a resource for bike riders of Kansas’s Prairie Spirit Trail. This site provide cyclists with up-to-date information needed for traveling this popular eastern Kansas Rail Trail.
The editor of the site is Randy Rasa, who took over the site from its creator, Samuel Schimek, in 2015.
History of the Site
BikePrairieSpirit.com was launched in 2009 by Samuel Schimek. Here’s how he describes his inspiration, and his reasons for ending his work on the site:
I had just recently returned from a wonderful trip on Missouri’s Katy trail and was desperately looking for another trail riding fix. Knowing that I could not hop over to Clinton on a weekly basis, I stumbled upon something much closer, the Prairie Spirit Trail. It offered me a different experience that I found just as enjoyable as my multi-day trips along the river.
There was one drawback, I didn’t know where to find anything each time I hit one of the towns. Unless you are in Ottawa, Garnett or Iola there is nothing visible from the trail itself. Having spent many hours on the excellent website BikeKatyTrail, I decided that someone had to create something similar for the PST and that someone was me. I knew nothing about setting up a website, programming languages or finding a server to host the site. Thus began my journey.
Now, I have taken it as far as I can. Work responsibilities have risen and I don’t have to the time to upkeep or improve the site to the condition that I think that its users deserve. One major problem is that businesses on the trail are ephemeral and I don’t live close enough to keep an eye on them. A ride from my house to Ottawa to Richmond and home again is about an 85 mile round trip. A fun ride, but one I don’t want to take too often. So it is time to hand off the reins.
It hurts a little, giving up something that you have created. But I realize that it is for the best. Thusly, I will have to hand it over to somebody better qualified than myself to make sure that everyone who comes here can get the best information about the trail. Luckily, I knew someone that would be perfect for the task.
You may know Randy Rasa’s excellent website Kansas Cyclist. You may know him from his persistent advocacy for cycling in our state. You may also know about his recent move to Iola. As you can see, perfect for the task. I can only express my profound thanks to Randy for taking on Bike Prairie Spirit. I hope that all of you will give him as much kindness as you have given me over the years.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who has made this site possible. The messages about businesses, the great posts in the forum , and the great meet-ups on the trail have greatly enhanced my life over the past few years. I hope that I have been able to help you have better experiences also. I will be around, lurking on the forums and on the trail, so this is not goodbye. It is fair-thee-well.
Thank you for creating this amazing resource, Sam, and allowing me to continue your work. Prairie Spirit Trail cyclists are forever in your debt! ~Randy