Welcome to the first blog in our B-cycling in KC series! Guest writer Ellen Schwartze will take us along for the ride as she explores the different adventure tours you can take all while using a BikeShareKC B-cycle. First up…the famous, the delicious: Kansas City Barbecue.
(This makes up just one of BikeShareKC’s “Choose Your Own Biking Adventure” tours, which can be downloaded here.)
How far will you go for barbecue? If your answer is “less than two miles, and I’d like some exercise in between meals,” I have great news for you: five examples of KC’s famed dish can be found within biking distance from downtown KC, and you can use the BikeShareKC system to get to them! Not familiar with the bike sharing? Here’s a quick overview.
The concept is easy:
1. Buy a 24-hour pass at the kiosk or online before your ride. (Pro tip: If you’re a KC regular, an annual pass is a much better deal!)
2. Use it! A pass includes unlimited 30-minute check-outs. It’s $2 per half-hour after that.
First, you need a bike! (Note: the seats are adjustable, so be sure to set yours just right!) There are 12 stations in downtown. I started at the Bike Share station on 19th St. between Central and Wyandotte to head out to the first barbecue restaurant, Danny Edward’s Boulevard BBQ. The route (10 minutes) is simple and relatively flat, and has sharrows and bike lanes the entire way. Try “The Big D” sandwich, which was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. You can use the built-in lock on the bike while you go inside to enjoy the wonderful air conditioning — er, I mean, barbecue. (I mean air conditioning.)
Hop back on and ride over to Union Station (12 minutes) — the bike share stand is on the east side, facing Main. Dock the bike, making sure you hear the three beeps that signals it was successfully returned. Walk through Union Station to cross the Freight House pedestrian bridge and you’re now in the backyard of Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, one of KC’s most famous barbecue houses. Close your eyes and point to the menu; you won’t be let down.
Walk back the way you came, and continue via The Link to Crown Center (15 minutes). In the food court, you’ll find Three Little Pigs, a small but mighty-tasty option. It’s conveniently located close to Sea Life, LEGOLAND and Kaleidoscope, and offers a kids’ meal with a sandwich, side and drink for $5. That makes for a family- and wallet-friendly option!
Walk out the east doors of Crown Center and you’ll find your next Bike Share station to your left. Grab one and head to jazz country for the ever-famous Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue in the historic 18th & Vine neighborhood (12 minutes). When it’s your turn, be ready to yell your order through the counter window!
Finally, make your way to the City Market. Here’s the route I took (20 minutes), but there are several good options. If you want to switch out bikes to save the extra dollars, try the station at 18th & Oak or 13th & Grand. Drop the bike off one last time at the station at 3rd & Grand, then walk through the City Market to Winslow’s. Grab a beer and one final order of barbecue — you earned it!