For the past year and a half, Mark Thomas, a writer for Kansas City's online racing-news page (see www.localcycling.com), has been grabbing a set of walkie-talkies and rallying his semi-pro racing buds to lead a fun, well-organized ride that leaves from the Trek Store in Shawnee (10412 Shawnee Mission Parkway, 913-631-6800) at 6:30 p.m. every Monday. "We've always done it as an easy ride and figured it would be a great time to invite people who are novices," Thomas says of the hourlong ride, which cyclists (more than 40 on some summer Mondays) undertake year-round. Though it flows through Shawnee, Merriam and KCK, the actual route varies weekly, Thomas says, offering ever-changing scenery for pedalers and ensuring that racing wannabes won't leave new riders in the dust. "There's always a little bit of an adventure with it," he says. "There's usually a mix of pavement, jogging trails and a little bit of a surprise like cutting across grass in a park ... or a back alley." By staying connected though radios, Thomas and his organizers keep in contact so they can meet their riders' needs. "If there's a 60-year-old lady on a hybrid and it's her first ride, we'll get her through it -- and believe me, we'll get her through some stuff she's never seen."