Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Linking the Indian Creek and Gary Haller Trails

Temperature at departure = 5° F (-15° C)

Ignoring the fact that I look like some sort of lame Muppet, I took a quick polar panda to show the effects of 5°, headwinds and watering eyes. Frozen droplets on the eyelashes and a frosty balaclava.

A far cry from the 45° Peter and I had for our Sunday ride. Sunday's ride is on the list of favorite rides for 2009 and likely to stay there. The weekend before we'd tried to link up the Indian Creek Trail with the Gary L. Haller Trail but the map showing bike lanes on 119th must have been outdated. We didn't have enough daylight to make it to the next logical attempt at 143rd so we had headed back home.

Many thanks go out to Josh in Olathe. I'd noticed on his blog that his bicycle commute runs through the area we wanted to check out, so I left him a comment and got a reply back that included a map and some great instructions. Armed with my MARC map, map of the area loaded on the new Google phone and Josh's instructions written out on a note card -- we set out on a beautiful, sunny afternoon.

Josh's instructions were spot on and we hooked up with with the Gary Haller Trail just in time to turn around so we could be home before it got dark. As we rode home the sun dipped low enough to turn the normally dirty brownish flora into a beautiful golden color. We picked up the pace and made it home as the sun was setting and had a fantastic 33.3 mile ride.

So, here is my map for linking the two trails.

View Larger Map

Once again, Josh, I really appreciate the help. Next time Peter is home we're going to leave earlier and ride from home up to the lake at Shawnee Mission Park.


Anonymous said...

Have you considered using 127th? I think the Indian Creek Trail intersects at about 127th & Blackbob. From there, 127th from Blackbob to Murlen is a little sketchy, but it's not bad. From Murlen west to Pkwy Dr (where the Haller Trail intersects 127th), you have either a wide road (with plenty of room for bikes) or a bike lane. It'd cut about 4 miles off your connection...

Warren T said...

The maps I'd looked at made it look like 127th didn't cut across the highway.

Anonymous said...

It does. The 127th Street overpass (over I-35) opened in early 2007, I believe. It's 6 lanes with wide outside lanes (and generally light traffic), plus separated pedestrian walkways on each side. It's a really good way to get across the interstate. Look at the Google streetview.

Warren T said...

The section between Blackbob and Mur-Len looks like it would be okay for my sons and I ... but not for the scouts that I'm planning on taking for a 50 mile ride.

What about Sheridan to Sunset (n) to Elm (e) to Church (n) to the park? Looks like the only draw back to that would be crossing Sante Fe... I guess we could pop down Park to Buchanan to get the light.

I don't mind the extra miles, I'm just looking for the safest route to take a group of scouts (the majority of whom are 12 - 13).

Josh Mitchell said...

Warren, I was wondering why you were scoping out the crossing. A Couple of things:

1) Yes, 127th is open, and yes the overpass has nice wide walkways. However, 127th @ KC Road (just east of the highway) is a MASSIVE intersection with ZERO provisions for bicyclists (the traffic engineers kind of screwed up 127th for bicyclists when it could have been beautiful) and I wouldn't take scouts across it.

2) I checked google-street view and Church doesn't have a light where it crosses Santa Fe (I was misrembering).

3) I wouldn't cross the railroad tracks at Church / Elm as it's a big industrial parking lot and is a pain to navigate even in a car. Going up sunset is probably a good idea with the scouts (as opposed to Keeler), but I'd cut under the railroad using Loula.

Josh Mitchell said...

Warren, I know this is a bit after you originally looked at this. However, sometime this summer Ridgeview finally opened up from 143rd / Dennis / Sheridan to Santa Fe (and from there to KC Road / The Trail). I've recently ridden it a couple of times during the 6a-7a (going north) morning out and 4p-5p (going south). I think it might actually work for your scouts on a Saturday, though you'd probably want to check it out yourself on a Saturday afternoon.