of fresh air
A safe, healthy way to get out and enjoy area attractions will soon be available in our own back yard.
Flint Hills Counterpoint is sponsoring a Musical Bike Adventure Ride April 17 through rural Marion County.
Riders will have a choice of a 15- or 30-mile route to stops that feature live music, fruit, and water.
Surfaces along the route are gravel and dirt with some pavement, but organizer Susan Mayo said the tour is a way for riders to enjoy the outdoors. It’s not about hard-core cycling.
“I am not a biker,” she said. “I will be staying here. I would need to even if I were a biker.”
Flint Hills Counterpoint’s mission is to restore and celebrate the county’s tallgrass prairie, and provide a venue for artists.
Two years of bus, walking and bike tours of area attractions are planned as well as music and dance performances by guest artists.
The bicycle tour will be Flint Hills Counterpoint’s first-ever event after COVID-19 forced founders to cancel their entire summer line-up last year.
Organizers still are mindful of COVID-19 safety protocols despite a recent drop in cases. Participants will be asked to wear masks during indoor tour stops.
The first will be at The Copper Shed and Antique Shop, where Peabody singer and songwriter Aaron Waddell will perform.
Participants who want to push themselves can ride on to Central Park in Marion for a concert by local musicians including Marion High School vocal groups.
The final stop is counterpoint’s home base at the Mayo country home in Peabody for a box lunch and music by Wichita bluegrass band Pretend Friend.
Guests will have the opportunity to stroll around the 14-acre property and have a look at work being done to restore the land.
The effort already has spurred removal of non-native trees and the planting of 300 native species that feed wildlife.
Flint Hills Counterpoint is a Marion County ecology and arts program sponsored by Prairie Muses, Chamber Music at the Bank, Kansas Forest Service, National Resource Conservation Service and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Bike tour registration begins at 9 a.m. and the ride starts at 10 a.m. on April 17 at Flint Hill’s Counterpoint’s home base at 1660 90th St., Peabody. Cost is $20 and includes a box lunch.
A rain day is set for April 18. If both days are rained out participants will be offered a refund.
Mayo encourages anyone interested in participating to buy tickets in advance. This will help organizers know how many to expect for lunch.
They are available at the organization’s web site: flinthillscounterpoint.org.