Kansas Cyclist Podcast, which is part of the Kansas Cyclist website and the Eroe Podcast Network features an interview with Keith Gates, a bicycle commuter, Randoneer, and blogger, as well a short conversation with Chris Carr, the director of “Wheels for Wells”, a cross-country tour that is raising money for clean water in Africa.
Keith Gates lives in Olathe, Kansas, and has been a long-time bicycle commuter, earning the handle “commuterDude”, where he has been sharing his commutes via his blog for many years. commuterDude.com offers a wealth of advice and information about bicycle commuting, including choosing a bike, selecting gear, finding a route, and conquering the mental blocks that often keep us off our bikes and locked in our cars.
Keith is also an accomplished long-distance cyclist, participating in the midwest randonneuring scene. Randonneuring is a non-competitive sport in which one rides to test oneself against the clock, the weather, and a challenging route – but not to beat the other riders. The ethos of randonneuring is self-sufficiency and mental toughness. Randonneurs USA is the governing body of randonneuring in America, and the local chapter, Kansas City Ultra-Cycling, organizes a number of local events, including Brevets of 200km (about 125 miles), 300km (186 miles), 400km (249 miles) and 600km (373 miles).
In 2008, Keith earned an R-12 Award by riding a 200km (or longer) randonneuring event for 12 consecutive months, which, as daunting as that sounds, is even tougher given the unpredictable and sometimes brutal — wind, rain, cold, snow — weather conditions in the midwest. Way to go, Keith! You can follow Keith’s commuting and randonneuring tales on his web site at commuterdude.com, or via the Facebook fan page.
Next up, we talk with Chris Carr, director of Wheels for Wells, a cross-country tour that is raising money for clean water in Africa. The ride begins in California on June 27th and ends in New Jersey on August 7th. It passes through Kansas July 12th through 18th. They’re still looking for cyclists to ride week-long legs of the trip; if you’re interested read more here. You can also follow Wheels for Wells on Facebook and Twitter.