Congratulations to Kevin Nickel for setting the Kansas N-S record (18-49 – Standard bike). Kevin covered the 229 miles in 10 hrs and 54 min for an average speed of 21.01 mph despite starting in sub freezing temps.
Read Kevin’s full account below the pictures
Rider’s Narrative Summary
I, Kevin Nickel, attempted the Kansas N-S WUCA record on December 14th, 2018. The ride began at the on US highway 83 at the Kansas/Nebraska border at 6:34am. The temperature was 19 degrees Fahrenheit with a a light 5mph NW tailwind as we headed off into the still dark morning. I was joined by my WUCA official, Russell Adrian (Newton, KS), and my two crew members Elton Nickel and Dawson Duerksen of Goessel, KS.
The record attempt was undertaken as an event that we hoped would generate interest in a fundraiser for the church both my crew and I attend, Tabor Mennonite Church of rural Goessel, KS. A Gofundme page was set up with funds given directly to the nonprofit and media outlets, including both local and those areas we would pass through, were contacted. This specific record attempt across Kansas was chosen as it had been on my goals list for quite a few years to attempt in either direction. The timing for a winter ride worked out in relation to the fundraiser project and it seemed more likely to get a tailwind from the North, although there are never guarantees with wind direction in Kansas.
The attempt was made aboard a Felt B2 triathlon bike with a Zipp 808 front and Zipp Disc rear wheel set up. My fueling strategy consisted of Picky Bars, Larabars, S’mores Gue energy gels, bananas and water.
The best part of the ride came on a stretch between Oakley, KS and Scott City, KS. This is an area of western Kansas where the Arkansas River has shaped some stunning rock formations into the landscape including the Monument Rocks National Landmark. The formations provided a stunning view, plus the most elevation change, in an otherwise wide open and fairly flat ride.
The most difficult part of the ride came during the final stretch into Liberal near the end of my ride. The road at this particular point provided some very large cracks that were quite jarring to my already tired and sore body and which also slowed my progress.
Surprisingly the ride went fairly to plan with no real mishaps, mechanicals, or other surprises. A lot of the credit for this goes to my crew and official as well as the WUCA rulebook for helping us be properly prepared for the attempt. The only unusual thing that happened came just as I was leaving Garden City at about the 8-hour mark. I passed a sign that indicated 89 miles to Liberal, KS, which was my final destination. This was very confusing, and somewhat discouraging, as I thought it was much closer than that. This discouragement was quickly erased as I passed another sign just a couple miles later indicating only 62 miles to Liberal. Upon investigating the sign, I saw on google maps it clearly says Liberal 64 miles. I guess my mind was just playing games with me.
We crossed the Kansas / Oklahoma state-line on US Highway 83 at 5:28pm giving a total ride time of 10 hours and 54 minutes.
To date our fundraiser has brought in more than $4,500 through giving to the Gofundme and directly to the church. The attempt was publicized by at least 5 Kansas media outlets.
I want to say a huge thank you to my official and crew members as well as the WUCA organization for providing the logistical support and framework for the attempt. It was a very memorable experience that I am grateful to have been a part of.
I want to also thank my amazing wife, Yvette, and two kids Stephan and Corynn, as well as my extended family and church congregation for their faithful encouragement, love and support. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people in my life that provide the foundation for attempting and accomplishing all of life’s lofty goals.