Mountain biking bunny-hopped into sporting prominence in the '90s, with new bicycle manufacturers offering sturdy, multigeared machines that bridged the gap between rough-and-ready BMX and comparatively fragile road bikes. But locals soon learned that mountain biking isn't as fun without the ... mountains. All KC had to offer were wide multipurpose paths that forced riders to yield to pedestrians and horses -- nothing like the single-track trails to the west at Clinton Lake or, better yet, in Colorado. Basically, there wasn't shit to ride.
The Earth Riders Trails Association formed to address a common need for challenging courses. ERTA helped riders gain new access to land, resulting in miles of new single-track paths around Kansas City. And the group does a lot of hard work. Its volunteers have been known to spend hours clearing a small stretch just so that someone else can enjoy it for a few seconds.
This weekend, though, ERTA parties. Its annual summit mixes bands, beer, lectures, workshops, races, raffles, parties and trail-riding adventures. Most of the festivities go down at the Argo Road trailhead in the Landahl Park Reserve in Independence. For details, see www.earthriders.org or call 913-481-9033.-- Michael Vennard
Youth has at least one privilege.
Discounting prices for old people is dumb. It's not like they're going to tip more or bitch less if you shave a couple of bucks off the price. The City of Lenexa might not share our opinion, but it's nonetheless charging $75 more for teams to register for old-timers' softball leagues than it is for the teams whose players are younger than fifty. The city is accepting applications through Wednesday, March 24, for men's and coed teams for competitive and recreational leagues. The five-week spring league consists of five double-headers and begins on April 6 for the regular men's and coed teams and on April 18 for the older teams. Registration costs $420 for each younger team and $495 for the elders. To register, call 913-541-0209.-- Vennard