Celebrating the 20th Annual Cruise the Blues Event!
Cruise the Blues
The Premier Bike Race & Festival of North Central Kansas
Welcome to the 20th Annual Cruise the Blues Bike Race and Festival!
Last year we celebrated 100 years of bicycle history and this year we are celebrating 20 years of “Cruising” at the Palen Family Farm. With new trails, enhanced terrain, and gravel routes that showcase the farm and the landscapes in the region, we are excited for this year's event!
Cruise the Blues 2023 festival features mountain bike and gravel races and a kids' race on Saturday, but the festivities begin on Friday. The events will challenge the best riders with dynamic and active racing, inspire new riders to check out the trails and test their skills, and encourage families and friends to celebrate fun on bikes no matter their age, skill, or ability. Whether you're a seasoned rider or new to biking, there's a place for you at Cruise the Blues!
Friday Friday afternoon the fun begins with the course opening for practice and the early bird super mile time trial race along with Big T's BBQ, live music, and smores by the bonfire. Free camping on the farm Friday and Saturday nights offers some of the best camping in the region with showers and hot coffee, orange juice, and pastries each morning. The live music gives way to the quiet hours at midnight on Friday so everyone can enjoy a great night of sleep under the stars and a great day of riding the next morning.
Saturday Saturday begins with rider check-in and registration, this includes a neutral support tent with a professional bike mechanic to help racers dial in their rides and hot coffee, orange juice, and pastries for early birds and campers.
Racing begins with a mass start for both the gravel and mountain bike races. Gravel racers will follow an 18-mile marked route showcasing the most scenic gravel and dirt roads and trails in the area. The 3-hour marathon mountain bike racing format makes for great racing and spectating as riders complete as many laps as possible over three hours with a loop back through the farm each lap.
Riders can compete solo or on 2-person teams and can choose between the 4-mile JOY course and the 9-mile GLORY course. The JOY course is mostly flowy singletrack in the woods, meadows, and fields surrounding the farm and is great fun for riders of all ages, skills, and abilities. The longer GLORY course includes more climbing, exposure to the weather, and rougher terrain which is more fun for experienced riders.
Each lap riders are able to get mechanical support, pick up water bottles, drop off layers, exchange with a teammate, or just take a break before heading back out again. It is fun to see the top-level racers ride through mixing it up and see first-timers completing their first-ever race. It's what makes this event so exciting for our fat tire friends and families. Last year our oldest racer was 74 years old and our youngest racer completed a full lap of the JOY course at just 7 years old. We also had the fastest professional riders in the region from the Steve Tilford Foundation Team take first and second place.
The legendary Cruiz’n Kids Race takes place after the gravel and mountain bike races on Saturday and is a highlight of the festival and a pure joy to watch as the younger riders take center stage on a special closed-loop kids course. Learn more about our kids' race on the Cruiz'n Kids Race page.
The Festival The festival begins after the racing on Saturday afternoon with bike games, a contest of skill, live music, and a bonfire that will make you want to stay and enjoy the night out under the stars. The festival and the camping are free so invite your friends and families to come for the weekend, cheer you on, and enjoy the farm.
Throughout the weekend Big T’s Diner and Catering will be onsite with a food truck offering the best hot BBQ breakfasts, lunches, and dinners Kansas has to offer!
Sunday The last event of the weekend features a fantastic group ride on the Lone Hill.