The Tour de Shawnee Bike Ride has offered family-friendly routes for the past 20 years. This photo was taken in 2003. File photo from city of Shawnee photo archivesThe city of Shawnee is celebrating three decades of cycling with the 30th annual Tour de Shawnee Bike Ride.Tonya Lecuru, deputy parks and recreation director for Shawnee, said the tour first started to introduce residents to cycling as an alternative form of transportation to move about the city. City staff had mapped out particular routes to introduce cyclists to various parks and amenities in Shawnee as well.Lecuru said she definitely thinks the city has accomplished its goal of introducing cyclists to on-street bike lanes, Share the Road, off-street trails and other bicycle-friendly options for motorists and cyclists alike.“It’s helped us receive our bicycle-friendly designation,” she said. “We were the first in the state of Kansas to receive that, and it’s because of our commitment to the bicycling community.”The Tour has also engaged residents in the city’s process for developing future bike lanes and bicycle-friendly streets as Shawnee plans for future road infrastructure upgrades, Lecuru added. The city has established 9.23 miles of bike lanes and 72.26 miles of Share the Road streets, and 12.31 miles of trails.Here’s a look at the city’s future plans for bicycle accessibility:“There’s a lot more bicyclists than people are aware of, and we want to make it safe by incorporating it into the design of the roads and the routes, being able to plan that far in advance,” Lecuru said, citing the city’s bicycle master plan. “It’s really made a difference.”As to the Tour itself, the routes have evolved over the years, with the shortest route being 25 miles and the longest at 50. City staff found they wanted to create a more family-friendly experience, so they created a shorter route at 5 miles and made the longest route be 25 miles.“For some folks, 12 miles, 25 miles is intimidating; the 6 miles is a little more doable,” Lecuru said. “However, when we got rid of the 50-mile route, a lot of our hardcore distance riders, we lost those because even for them, 50 miles was a shorter option.The Tour de Shawnee Bike Ride in 2009. File photo from city of Shawnee photo archives“Over the years, we’ve evolved to something that’s more family focused so that all riders of a variety of different abilities can participate,” Lecuru added. “Those riders who do ride a lot, it’s kind of a way for them to be able to share their passion of riding with their families that maybe don’t want to go out and ride. It’s also a way to introduce kids to the sport.”Each intersection is monitored for safety of the cyclists, and there are four rest stops with refreshments to keep cyclists fueled up. Average participation is about 400 cyclists, with as many as 700 participating one year. Since its inception in 1989, total attendance has reached 10,000.This year’s Tour de Shawnee takes place Sunday, Aug. 25. The event is sponsored by the Shawnee Parks and Recreation Department and benefits the JDRF, a nonprofit for type one diabetes research.Riders can choose from three routes: 5-mile, 12-mile or 25 mile route. Check in begins at 6:30 a.m. and the ride will start at 7:30 a.m. The tour will start and end at Power Play Family Entertainment Center at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Pflumm Road.Riders who wish to continue on to the 12-mile route must reach 61st and Rosehill by 8:15 a.m. All riders who wish to continue on to the 25-mile route must reach Midland and Maurer by 8:40 a.m.Registration and additional information is on the city’s website. Helmets are required for participants.
SFNF News:SANTA FE — The Santa Fe National Forest is looking for site stewards to protect its wealth of archaeological sites rich with sherds, lithics and adobe pueblo remains. The selected stewards will receive comprehensive training in a full-day session Saturday, March 21. Because applicants must complete an application, which is then reviewed for eligibility, the Program must receive applications as early as possible.The training covers the topics of safety, proper preparation, national forest regulations, historic preservation acts, sensitivity to the cultures, both prehistoric and modern, identification of artifacts, code of conduct, chain of command, site monitoring procedures and documentation.By the end of the training, applicants are eligible to become volunteer site stewards. No previous archaeological experience is necessary.Stewards are assigned to a specific site that they visit on a regular basis (generally once every six weeks) with a partner. They monitor their site for evidence of any deterioration caused by natural causes or by vandalism and file a brief site visit report.As a result of their experiences, Site Stewards become more familiar with the Forest’s cultural resources as well as broaden their knowledge of ancient cultures in New Mexico. Occasional workshops on the archaeology of the area and its prehistoric peoples are offered to interested stewards to inform them about the types of ceramics, lithics and other cultural remains that they encounter. Stewards are also eligible for special VIP visits to some sites that are closed to the public.To apply, visit the “Become a Site Steward” page on the Santa Fe National Forest Site Stewards to complete an application and review the program’s criteria. Don’t delay; send in your application today.
By Mark Lamport-StokesTHE long-awaited mega bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, which has been more than five years in the making, will take place in Las Vegas on May 2, Mayweather has announced.A duel between the defence-minded Mayweather and the aggressive Pacquiao, the biggest drawcards of their generation, has been savoured by boxing fans, if only to decide the mythical title of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.Showtime and HBO will jointly broadcast the bout, which is one of the most eagerly anticipated in boxing since the classic 1975 ‘Thrilla in Manila’ between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.However, both Mayweather, 37, and Pacquiao, 36, are in the twilight of their respective careers and most pundits say they have lost some of their skills in the ring.“What the world has been waiting for has arrived,” American Mayweather, who has a perfect record of 47-0 with 26 knockouts, said on the social networking website Shots. “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2, 2015 is a done deal.“I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it!”Mayweather made a late-night trip to Pacquiao’s hotel in Miami last month to discuss the possibility of a showdown, and the Filipino southpaw, an eight-division world champion, signed the contract for the bout on Thursday.“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” Mayweather said in a statement. “Giving the fans what they want to see is always my main focus.“This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. I am the best ever … and this fight will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win.“Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won’t be successful. He will be number 48.”Pacquiao, who has a 57-5-2 record with 38 knockouts, said in a statement: “I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years. They have waited long enough and they deserve it.“It is an honour to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”The welterweight showdown in Vegas is projected to be the most lucrative ever in boxing with Mayweather expected to have a 60-40 split advantage on revenues, earning a minimum of $120 million and Pacquiao at least $80 million.“Everyone involved, including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, knows this fight simply had to happen,” Stephen Espinoza, general manager for Showtime Sports, said in a statement.“All of us are thrilled to be able to deliver this event to boxing fans around the world.”Pacquiao lost much of his appeal after successive defeats to American Timothy Bradley and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, prompting talk of his possible retirement, though he has since bounced back with three impressive wins.Five-division world champion Mayweather, who is known for his shrewd business acumen, had been expected to meet Pacquiao in 2010 until negotiations collapsed over the American’s demand for random drug testing.Mayweather has hinted at illegal methods by often questioning how Pacquiao could have won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight classes.Mayweather announced last September, after he scored a dominant win over Argentine Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas in his most recent bout, that he would retire in late 2015 when his Showtime contract ends, after two more fights.