Putting out the Welcome Mat

September 24, 2009

It seems to me that stories like the following are becoming more frequent. I'm not sure if it's due to the current ease of sharing information, or if the actual number of such incidents is going up. I hope it's the latter—though if it's simply that more of the stories are being reported on, there's nothing wrong with that, either.

In December of 2008, we received an email from the city treasurer of Coyville, Kansas. Apparently, this town of 75 souls on section 8 of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail has been putting out the Welcome Mat for cyclists for years. "Each summer we have tried to welcome as many cyclists as we can—the whole town does," said the message. "We have had cyclists eat with us, do laundry, and sleep in the community center."

And they aren't just tooting their own horn. Six months after we got the message from the city treasurer, a traveling cyclist sent us an email extolling the virtues of this small town, right down to Mayor Steve Blubaugh giving them a ride around a bridge that was under three feet of water at the time.

When I spoke to Steve recently he told me this: "When I see a cyclist riding past my house, I know he's missed the turn, because the road soon becomes dirt!" To help keep this from happening, the town has put up signs directing cyclists along the correct route.

Access is available to the community center for sleeping and cooking by asking the right person for the key (hint: she lives across the street from the center). There is also a park for resting, and a couple of open spaces the city keeps mowed for easy tent pitching.

A Welcome Mat, indeed!

GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.


Jenn, Routes & Mapping September 30, 2009, 5:11 PM

Hi macwild - Thanks for commenting. I just grabbed that TransAmerica map and we have the Zion Lutheran Church listed as a cyclists' only lodging option. It is a greatly appreciated service. However, Hutchinson isn't directly on the TransAmerica route, the route actually runs about 6 miles north on county roads. Cyclists often end up in town to take advantage of the bike shop.

macwild September 25, 2009, 3:42 PM

Here in Hutchinson Kansas, the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail passes through but you wouldn't know it. There is a church here in town that has a hostel type setting for cyclist and that's about it. We have list our farm as a place for cyclist to stop and use our facilities.

Hopefully we can take some tips from the folks in Coyville.

Olive Tree September 24, 2009, 2:32 PM

Hi, it's a very great blog.

I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.

Keep doing!

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