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Kansas City: Tour de BBQ benefit beckons cyclists with barbecue

September 10, 2013|By Cynthia Mines

Kansas City’s fifth annual Tour de BBQ gives you two good reasons to overindulge in the area’s fabled barbecue: You get exercise by bicycling from one local joint to another and you raise funds to fight cancer.

Three routes for the Oct. 5 event satisfy the tastes of cyclists, whether amateur or experienced: Short Stack (15 miles), Long Stack (35 miles) and Full Slab (62 miles). The route starts and ends at the Power & Light District in downtown Kansas City, Mo., and winds south through Kansas and Missouri suburbs.  

Free barbecue is dispensed to riders at rest stops placed every five miles or so at such barbecue giants as Gates, Fiorella’s Jack StackRosedale and Zarda.

At the Kansas City, Mo., downtown finish line, cyclists are greeted with cheers, more barbecue, locally brewed Boulevard beer and a free concert.

“We joke that it’s the only ride where you gain weight,” said Jay Heidrick, president of the all-volunteer Tour de BBQ, a concept appropriately hatched in January 2009 at the Olathe, Kan., location of barbecue heavyweight Oklahoma Joe’s. “We were looking for a good cause and something uniquely Kansas City.”

In its first four years Tour de BBQ attracted 4,500 participants from 23 states and raised $200,000 for the University of Kansas Cancer Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital’s oncology program

A $20 discount on the rider fee is available until Sunday by using code 20tdbbq1. Participants can raise $150 and ride free or make a $75 donation and pay a rider fee (which ranges from $35 to $75, depending on length of ride and date of registration). The Kansas City Marriott Downtown is offering a discounted  room rate of $149 for participants.

Barbecue and jazz have always gone hand-in-hand in Kansas City, so once you’ve recuperated check out the live music at the smoke-free Blue Room club adjacent to the American Jazz Museum in the famed 18th and Vine district. Other not-to-miss downtown-area museums: National World War I Museum, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the strangely arresting Arabia Steamboat Museum.

Info: For details and registration, see Tour de BBQ.

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