• 11-06-2012
    slakjak
    Landon Nature Trail out of Topeka KS
    Anyone ride this lately? I lost track of where the trail ended and the pasture started around 89th, around mile 12 or so.
  • 11-08-2012
    expostdelirium
    I haven't ridden it in quite awhile, but I'd be up for going out to explore it. PM me if you want a tag-along sometime. I ride from my home downtown and it always gets too dark too fast and I have to double-time home. I'm not a country boy, but I like to ride my bike in the country, but it's scary out there.
  • 11-09-2012
    slakjak
    I certainly will do that. I ride during a weekday (work weekend nights at Amtrak station). The holiday Monday is going to scratch my long ride this week and the rain Sunday is going to scratch my Sunday morning trail ride at the Governor's mansion trails.

    But in the mean time I think I will drive the pickup out to 89th towards Overbrook and make sure there is a trail out there. I live in Kenwood (neighborhood just east of Potwin) so I'm pretty close to the trail head too. Will certainly get a hold of you.

    For a quick exercise ride, I like to head out on the east Shunga and hook up with the Deer Creek trail and back.
  • 11-09-2012
    expostdelirium
    Google maps
    Looks like it ends there at 89th, but I really thought I'd ridden past there before. Probably should ride out and find out so we can let others around here know.
  • 11-09-2012
    slakjak
    I found a trip report from a person that rode it about 38.6 or so miles south almost to I-35, and another report that has it connecting to Clinton Lake and various reports reporting sections here and there closed or open but a lot of them are dated. So, you are right, got to find out. I think I will run out there in the truck when I get time and see if I can find anything on the other side of 89th. I sure felt like I was riding across that farmer's front yard and into his cow pasture but there is a definite sign of a railroad right of way there. Might not be able to get away until sometime next week due to work and weather.

    Looking at that Lawrence River trail also, looks promising too.
  • 11-10-2012
    expostdelirium
    I "grew up" riding LRT in the eighties, and it's a much more groomed trail than it ever was. I've ridden it more in the last month than I've ridden anything else. It changed a little bit after the flooding of the early-nineties, but it is a low-risk, high-reward ride. Hardly any technical riding, fairly flat, and it's as fast as you want to ride it. The flow is amazing, AND you can be there in 25 min from downtown Top-city.

    I was talking to a friend that has ridden The Landon to Clinton, so it goes through - somewhere. I'd be glad to bundle up, and head out there with you.
  • 11-10-2012
    slakjak
    Excellent. So it does go through somehow. Will definitely have to find the key there. And I also see on the Kansas bicycle map that there is 25 miles of trail at Perry?

    Oh well, 2 more nights at the train station. Looks like I will get wet tonight. Wind almost blew me off the bike last night.

    And if that storm line comes through tonight, I won't be bothering the Governor at 6 in the morning at his house crashing on his trails after work.

    I guess I shouldn't complain, we need the rain.
  • 11-16-2012
    FireCop
    I am from the Topeka area as well. I kinda wish they hadn't developed the Governor's / Menningers area into a state park. The "outback" areas used to be a relatively well kept secret amongst mountain bikers. I was out in the timber there the other day, and it is hard to be courteous to the hikers. I try my best, but the bike can only go so slow and you do need several feet of real estate to get around someone.

    Just a bit of information for your safety. If you go quite a ways east on the paved Shunga Trail, I personally, would carry something for self defense. At least a good sized bottle of pepper spray. It goes through some pretty tough neighborhoods. There have been several (gang related?) homicides within a couple hundred yards of the east end of the Shunga Trail. I have also stopped a dog attack with the Fox brand pepper spray I keep in my handlebar bag.

    A couple years ago a Pit Bull and a German Shepherd took out after me. The gal that was "walking" them did not even have them on a leash. I sprayed the German Shepherd as he was trying to latch onto my ankle. Thank goodness the Pit Bull didn't join in the attack as well!...................Be Safe!
  • 11-16-2012
    slakjak
    I bike the Governors trail Sunday mornings, run 3 1/2 miles with the oldest Wednesday night, and hike it with the grandsons every chance I get. 99 percent of the time there is no problems with the opposing faction of the time but that 1 percent is sure a pain. They seem to keep working on it out west so maybe it will open up a bit. I'm glad there is a place like this that is close so I can be out on it pretty quick if an opportunity arises.

    Amen to the East end and don't forget the homeless camps out south during warmer times. I haven't had any people problems on the trails. (Plenty riding to work on 4th street at midnight though). The dog situation isn't getting any better and I will be getting some spray. My oldest daughter has been trying to get me to carry some for quite some time. I've had my share of dog dealings but have been lucky so far.

    Well, the doctors, weather, and holiday work schedules have kept me off 2 wheels for a week. Come Sunday A.M. after work, I will be out at the Governors trail doing my Kamakaze impression with my Stump Jumper and hopefully can get back to investigating the Landon trail next week.

    Have decided to put one of my M1 Carbines up for sale in the paper after Thanksgiving so I can buy me a Specialized crossover that I saw at Capps. The Schwinn Trailways just isn't doing it for me anymore.

    See you around
  • 11-18-2012
    rynoman03
    I haven't been past 29th personally. I typically take the trail from 29th and Gage on Shunga then venture that way.

    I've only had my bike for 2 weeks so i haven't had a chance to ride any other Dirt trails \ Bike Trails besides Shunga. I've roller-bladed Landon from the Expo Center to 29th a few times. It seems like a pretty well maintained unused trail. Shunga between Fairlawn and Washburn Ave get's pretty congested during the summer months.

    Have any of you rode Perry yet? I've been itching to get up there and at least scope the place out. I don't have a bike rack yet so transporting my MTB isn't happening any time soon.

    Looking forward to riding with some of you guys when it's nice. I don't have a nice bike just a cheap starter but it gets me pounding the dirt and payment for now. I'll be throwing up an intro in a few.
  • 11-18-2012
    slakjak
    Welcome.

    Curious about Perry myself. I do a yearly night 5K trail run there and if that is representative of what is there, it will be quite the challenge. Trying to get more information and will certainly pass what I get along.

    Goofed big time today. After missing last week, I grabbed the bike after work this a.m. and headed out to the Governors trails. It was still dark when I got there so I didn't check the bike out and since it was just the Governors trail, I didn't bring my tools. Well, one of my bolts in the lower swing arm backed out and jammed into a sprocket so I had a mile and a half walk back to the truck. Came home and fixed the bike but was tired after being at work all night, so just called it quits and went to bed. I certainly learned a couple of lessons though.

    Just put a hitch on the truck for a rack so will be able to haul. I put the topper back on the truck for the winter so I needed a rack. Will certainly be open for riding with folks as the opportunity arises.

    Finding out about more trails all the time. A rail trail from Ottawa to Iola! The Flint Hills trail. etc. Can't wait. Don't know if I can get out this week as I'm waiting for some appointments to be set up and something called Thanksgiving happening this week, but if I don't get out soon, I will go crazy.

    See you around
  • 11-18-2012
    rynoman03
    Cool! If your ever on down the Shunga Area and see a 5'8" ish guy on a Blue 26" full suspension bike wearing a Grey Helmet with a bunch of stickers on it say hi! I'd really like to meet some folks in the Topeka area that like getting out and having fun on bikes, blades, running, whatever. I've been trying all sorts of sports to lose weight. I started out at 270 a year and half ago and got down to 212. I'm sitting about 220 right now though. I started biking 2 weeks ago and i'm really enjoying it! Hopefully i'll see you around.

    PS I hope your bike is fixable that sounds like a real bummer!:eek:
  • 11-18-2012
    expostdelirium
    Firecop, sorry to hear of your tribulation in "the hood". I live in the hood, am aware of the, ahem, "trouble" in the area, and I frequented that area growing up. There are loads of trolls and alarmists around this area (esp on forums). I'm not doubting the veracity of your claims of a dog attack though. Glad you were able to get away. I've ridden that part of the trail many times, and I've never had trouble. Not saying that others haven't, only that I haven't, and I've ridden it North, South, East, and West to the terminus in all directions. I don't like to ride West of Burlingame, as there is a certain 'entitlement' attitude of those that use it out that way. That and all the little kids and parents and dogs dawdling on that part of the trail make it nearly unuseable at times. I've seen people reading and walking at the same time on that thing! Going South from the Brown v. Board building is the best ride, IMO. I've seen deer 1 block South of the the building! I've never seen any homeless camps out South, but I have smelled them (I own businesses in NOTO, so I know what they smell like). I've encountered the most friendly people on the trail out South, between 37th and the Brown museum. There's almost always a greeting exchanged, while it rarely happens out West. Late summer (out South) a guy was walking his pitbull (off-leash), I called "rider" and he was very apologetic, and quick to call his dog back to him. I stopped and talked for a couple of minutes. Very nice guy that beside not having his dog leashed was a very responsible dog owner. Riding "urban" areas is different than riding trails, and it seems that our experiences and expectations on the same trail have been different. So T-town riders, ride South and East of you dare, or sort through snobby folks and their teeming brood out West. Arm yourself, or don't. Hopefully I won't be mistaken for a "stereotype" by the gun-toters using the system. Guns in this situation don't make me feel ANY safer.

    Perry is one of the best trails in the area. If you are a beginner, make sure that you know where you're going, and it might be best to NOT ride solo. It is a big, advanced(ish), well-designed, challenging trail. The thing is, is that for the same amount of windshield time you can ride LRT, Clinton, Brownbuck's residence, and Dornwood as well. If you want to avoid the crowd at The Mansion, and/or don't want to drive to Lawrence, I'd suggest trying Dornwood. Sure, naysayers and hand-wringers will tell you not to, but it's got a little bit of everything, and it's not huge. There are challenging sections, and there are flowy sections. There are a limited number of climbs. I rode Dornwood both Saturday and Sunday.

    SlakJak I know lots of different stuff that can be ridden around here. Feel free to PM me. I have Wed-Mon off, and I'm wanting to ride when I can.
  • 11-19-2012
    FireCop
    expostdelirium:

    You're right about knowing where you're going at Lake Perry trails. Quite a few years ago I went to the Perry trails when it was extremely hot and humid. We didn't have nearly enough water along and got pretty well lost. We "trespassed" into an adjoining property and filled our water bottles from their water spigot. After hours of wandering, we were finally able to find the parking lot again. Probably be a good idea to have a GPS on those trails next time. Nowadays, I always fill a CamelBak completely up for any ride.

    I actually have a 30 mile route I ride for cardio fitness that is based around the Shunga Trail. I cut out and climb the grass slope of Quinton Heights hill. I then go down the paved road by it, turn around and ride back up the paved hill. Riding up the sledding slope is a real leg and lung burner. I also hammer up the grass slopes behind the Expocentre a few times.

    I also know what you mean by the trail walkers on the western portion of Shunga. I know the signs say walkers have the right of way, but yeah....some folks are just rediculous. That super skinny gal that reads while she is walking has been doing that for years!
  • 11-19-2012
    rynoman03
    Lol i have seen the reading lady myself. I live near the gage end of Shunga so its convenient to ride that end. However there are alot of selfish trail hogs in the summer/ warmer months.

    Good info on Perry Lake. Maybe ill hold off for a bit. Is there any app that has these trails mapped out? Id hate to get lost in there in the summer months. Also i plan on trying the mansion and Dornwood out.
  • 11-19-2012
    FireCop
    rynoman03:

    Actually, if I remember correctly there might be trail maps available at the sign board, located at the trail head of the Perry Trails. The only downfall is, I dont think they have contour lines like a topo map. That makes it difficult to track your location as you progress down the trails. The definitive tool would be a portable GPS that will track you back to your starting point, relatively effortlessly. I would love to have one, but funds are tight as far as "hobby" expeditures (if ya know what I mean).

    It might be worth a quick phone call to the Ranger or lake manager to see if they do have maps at the trail head, before you go. It has been quite a few years, but as I remember, you absolutely won't be dissapointed @ Perry. There is just miles and miles of good trails there.
  • 11-19-2012
    rynoman03
    Sounds pretty cool! I typically just use my phone using Endomondo to track my workouts. I've heard there is an Garmin app that is pretty accurate. I haven't looked into it though and its a paid app.

    I rode Shunga from Gage to Golden today. 14.04 miles and about hit a Chihuahua that was off a leash. The guy was pretty apologetic so i let it slide. Also paced with another MTB'r on a Trek super nice guy!
  • 11-19-2012
    slakjak
    Hi guys

    Where's Dornwood?

    Good advice on the portable GPS's for new areas. I download where I've been to Garmin Connect from my FR405CX Great for history reviews but doesn't get me unlost. I have two ancient handheld GPS units from Garmin (Etrex Legend and Emap) from when this all started for civilians. They don't do much and have some trouble locking on out in the woods but one thing they are good for is that you can mark your starting position, turn it off and take it with you until you are hopelessly lost. Then you can turn it on and they will guide you back to the marked starting point. Anyone ever want to use one, just let me know.

    Got back out this a.m. at "Mr Brownback's" residence after yesterdays boner. Had one bike in the ravine and my face in the dirt experience but seem to be getting better on the technical stuff. Had a blast.

    Good work on the weight rynoman! Keep it up. I bike and run (hate running!). I'm afraid rollerblading would be too far from my skill set to attempt unless I was padded up like a football player. Firecop, I am certainly jealous of your hill climbing abilities. I had to walk up two of them today. I would like to blame the rocks but it's more conditioning I'm afraid. And Expost, I will certainly get ahold of you when things free up for a good ride in a strange place. Still want to drive out south to make sure I'm on the right trail down there. Might sneak out and do that Thanksgiving morning to get out of wife and daughters turkey torturing rituals.

    See everyone around.
  • 11-19-2012
    rynoman03
    25th and Golden.

    It's under the trail tab on the site actually.

    I haven't been there yet but I hear its a decent area to ride. I have a co-worker that lives in that area. He said he's walked it but never rode it and claims it looks like it would be pretty fun.
  • 11-19-2012
    expostdelirium
    If you have a smartphone, just use Everytrail for tracking your rides. There are versions for WinMobile, Android, and iOS. That's all I've ever used. I haven't ever used the Droid one, and I'm sure there are better apps for doing it, but it's always done what I wanted it to do. I have all sorts of different types of rides on there. You can take a pic and it plots it on your track at the place where you took it.

    If you are new or not a seasoned rider, I'd suggest (in order of ascending difficulty) riding Landon trail, LRT, Dornwood, (parts of) the Gov's, Clinton, THEN Perry. There is a bunch of crazy terrain at Perry that is exposed due to the lack of rain, so there is a great deal of riding like you've never seen before, and will likely not ever see again if the lake gets back up to normal pool. If you've ever wanted to ride somewhere that looks like it's from a sci-fi movie, Perry's the place, and the time is now. There are parts of Clinton and Perry that are "tame" but there are parts that can be unforgiving. I work with the designer/caretaker of that trail, and it's an amazing place to ride. I don't ride it enough, and I don't really know it that well. I know Dornwood well, and I'm learning the Gov's pretty well. LRT can be ridden by most anyone, and the risk v. reward of riding there makes it incredibly fun. Not much risk, but high reward. It's pretty easy to stay on the right path: it's pretty much keep left, and it's a huge loop. LRT was my "home" trail in the Eighties and I first rode a bike on the (meant for hiking) trails at D'wood about 35+ years ago. I started again when we moved back here. Maps for most any of these trails can be found online if not at the trailhead. Dornwood got a board about 3 weeks ago. I have yet to look at it though, so I don't know what's on it. It is a very fun trail. It's short, but you're never far from the parking lot in case you have to walk out, and you can chain the loops together in a million different ways to make it different as you like. I rode the same route Sat and Sun.

    Thought I was the only one that ever rode a bike up QH hill. Good to hear that there are other fools around that do it too.

    I've seen other readwalkers on the trail since I first started seeing 'walking death' lady. She started a trend - respect.

    I'll probably ride Wed/Thurs, then I'll probably ride in Dallas at some point during the weekend. If I don't go, and if the weather holds, I'm sure I'll be all over the place around here. I might even it Perry.
  • 11-19-2012
    rynoman03
    Cool! I have a Droid Razr and I currently use Endomondo. I could try EveryTrail though. I've heard alot of folks like Strava. I think i'm going to pool my Xmas money to get a bike rack so I can travel to all these cool places and ride.

    No i'm not a seasoned rider yet. I haven't rode much since college in 2003. Even then I wasn't seasoned. I would like to ride with some of you folks sometime to learn a thing or two.

    I got a noob question for you all. What do you all do for hydration just use a camelbak? Also whats some basic gear that is a must have? I have a helmet, allen wrench, and baggy riding shorts with Lycra / padding inside.
  • 11-19-2012
    expostdelirium
    Found this: Dornwood Park, KS, USA, Earth - Geody
    Looks like the maps can be found lots of places. I didn't go through to check, but it looks like some might cost. I'm not into that.

    Your question isn't *that* much of a noob question. I use a Camelbak in all seasons if I'm going to ride more than 10min. I don't know what "industry standard" is, and I don't really care. I use/do what works for me. You will find out more about what you need the more you ride. As for basic gear, do you mean for working on your bike or do you mean for riding? If you've got lycra and foam/gel in the seat of your shorts you're ahead of me.

    We're heading into cold weather, and I've never bought cold weather riding gear. I've always ridden or at least tried to ride first snow NO MATTER WHAT, and I've mostly just used Columbia snowboarding/ski pants, mittens, layers (do your research and experiment), etc. If you're planning to ride through the winter Einstein's would be a good place to start. If you tell them what you're wanting to do, I'm sure they can help you find some good gear at a great price. They are very helpful and they have products that tend to be a great value. Keep your money local when you can.

    If you want a tool list, search around the site. The 'Search' function on here is pretty good. You can also PM me if you have questions about what you find. I don't know a TON, but I haven't ridden a bike that I haven't built-up for quite awhile, and I think the last bike I bought from a shop was in '94(?). They offer classes at the collective downtown, near 4th and Kansas, just South and West of the Law Enforcement Ctr/across from the downtown PO. I think they are free, or by donation.
  • 11-19-2012
    rynoman03
    PM'ing you.
  • 11-19-2012
    rynoman03
    Wow really hate this 10 post rule.
  • 11-19-2012
    slakjak
    Thanks for the info on Dornwood. Never noticed the tab before! Lots more to look at.