Archive for April, 2010

Ride to Smithville (4-10-10)

April 30, 2010

by Ed Chasteen

            Steve leads us out. Twenty-five miles of hills rise and fall between our start here at Biscari Brothers Bicycles in Liberty and our waiting tables at Lowman’s Café in Smithville. By happy coincidence on this best day of this young year, we also have 25 riders, our best numbers to date in 2010. I’ll ride the route another day. This day my sole ambition is to arrive quickly at Lowman’s to secure the appointed tables. They are expecting us and will try to hold the tables. But this is a popular breakfast place. Tables most mornings don’t sit empty for long.

            When I drive up, the parking lot in front is full. I find a place in back and hurry inside. It’s 8:20. I’d told them to expect us at 9:30. The round table far to my right is our prize; the smaller square tables nearby, also ours. All are occupied. I take a seat just inside the door. “You’re early,” the woman-who-will-be-our-waitress says. I order coffee and pull out Newjack, the book I’ve brought to read as I surreptitiously survey the tables. When one across from me and closer to the round table comes vacant I pick up my coffee cup and move to it.

            Newjack is the name given by inmates to new prison guards and the title given by Ted Conover to his book about the year he spent as a prison guard at Sing Sing Prison in New York My first teaching job was teaching illiterates to read and write in the Texas State Prison in Huntsville. I grew up in that town. The warden’s son was my classmate. I studied criminology in college. But I don’t get many pages read as I move from table to table, drawing closer to the round table. At 9:10 the two women at the round table stand to leave. They walk past me. I make my move. The table is mine. I leave my cup on the table I’ve just abandoned, marking my territory. Our waitress puts a reserved sign on another table as folks leave.

            Diana and David also drive today and are the first to arrive. Diana’s recent knee surgery keeps them both off their bikes. Not much longer though. But to sit around the table and see old friends any knee will do. The round table and three nearby squares soon overflow with hungry bikers and excited conversations. Eighteen of us have made it. Lyle had a flat and was called home. Some had to beat it back for other duties. Anne, Bill and Mark have come for the first time to ride with us.

            I pass the sign up sheet among us as we talk. This was the order of signing today: Craig Welk, Steve Hanson, Rodger Suchman, David Vansickle, Diana Vansickle, Rob Sloan, Tony Weil, Bill Clark, Nichole Ahlers, Edward Robb, Mark Heit, Anne Altorfer, David Eaton, Kevin Tyler, Greg Snodgrass, Bill Hessel, Ed Chasteen, Sharon Hanson. Sharon drove here to take back one of us who recently had some heart work done.

            Next Saturday we begin our ride at the Christian Church in Ferellview and ride to Harmer’s Café in Edgerton, a 35 mile round trip on mostly flat Interurban Road. We start at 8 AM. Hope you can come.


I Love April

April 5, 2010


By Ed Chasteen


            Finally!! A Saturday to ride. The way April is supposed to be. Thirteen of us show up. All guys. We fill a long table in the back room at First Watch. Chris, Dan, Frank, Ty, Steve, Bill, Paul, Lyle, Ed, Ken and Rodger have ridden with us before. August and John have come for the first time.

          The journey really is the destination when you travel by bicycle. Getting here is more than half the fun. On the road is where it’s at for a biker. We all believe this! And yet. . . . Lively, animated talk engulfs the table from the moment we arrive and does not abate for the hour we all sit to eat. Then we rise almost in unison, prompted by some unspoken cue, and back to our bikes. Good food and good fellowship have us ready again for the road.

          How could we not have a good day after such a magnificent beginning?

8th Annual Greater Liberty Ride for MS

April 2, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Setting at Liberty Those Who Live with Limitations

Box 442              816-803-8371

Liberty, MO 64069     

Media Release

On Saturday, May 22nd, 2010, at 7:00 AM, Mayor Greg Canuteson will present a proclamation from the City of Liberty and cut the ribbon to begin the Eighth Annual Greater Liberty Ride for MS.  Riders will depart the Price Chopper parking lot at 291 Hwy and Withers Road on two routes: 38 miles out and back to Excelsior Springs; and 70 miles to Richmond and back to Liberty through Excelsior Springs.

The first 200 riders to register will receive a Greater Liberty T-shirt. Six rest stops along the way provide refreshments and SAG support is provided. Riders pay a $30.00 entry fee to ride the routes. Riders may also buy raffle tickets for two bicycles and dinners for two at area restaurants that will be raffled off at 2 PM. They need not be present to win.

Our first seven rides have raised more than $50,000 for MS. We hope to raise $10,000 this year. Riders and non-riders may also make donations by going to