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Bicycling Family on the Prairie Spirit Trail

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The Prairie Spirit Trail recently hosted the Bicycling Family, a family of four — dad Chris Conk, mom Julie Grenier, and their children, Leo (11) and Charlotte (8) — who are on a one-year 7000-mile bicycle tour from Quebec, Canada to the Panama Canal.

The Bicycling Family connected with the Prairie Spirit Trail in Garnett, where they camped overnight at Crystal Lake before riding south. They arrived in Iola on a rainy afternoon:

Bicycling Family Iola

In Iola, they were hosted by a local family, who’d they connected with on Warm Showers. They stayed two nights, before continuing their journey south via the Southwind Rail Trail.

The Bicycling Family is riding self-contained, carrying all their own supplies and gear, and either camping or staying in other people’s homes along the way. They average about 30-40 miles a day.

The Iola Register reports that the Bicycling Family appreciated the quiet and peace of the Prairie Spirit Trail:

Conk echoed other cyclists in praising the Prairie Spirit Trail, which the family rode along Friday to get to Iola from Garnett.

“That’s what we look for when we use Google Maps,” Chris said. “We look for sections with a green route (marking rail trails). We just drool over this. Rails to trails is probably one of the greatest things on earth.”

He was equally as effusive in praising Iola’s appeal. “When we get chances to share our experiences, Iola is going to be on the tips of our tongues,” he said. “We won’t forget Iola,” Julie added. “It’s going to be one of our top cities.”

You can follow the Bicycling Family on Facebook on on their web site. They were profiled by KSHB as they passed through Kansas City. Coverage from Allen County: Bicycling Family Enjoys Iola Hospitality

Follow Randy Rasa:
Randy runs Bike Prairie Spirit, as well as the Kansas Cyclist web site, which is the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more.
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