25 Big News in Leavenworth

First stop, Mr. Goodcents Subs. We spotted it just off the road. They have great sandwiches. We met and had a good chat with Franchise Owner, Dave. He, like us, has been in his own business for himself most of his life. He’s been here for 4 years and is struggling. We know that feeling. The next stop, the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center. The staff was excited to hear of our journey. They gave us lots of ideas for places to see and things to do. There are info boards with recorded messages scattered all over town. They memorialize the time spent here by the likes of Buffalo Bill and other famous plainsmen. Chris who works as City Planner and is a cyclist stopped us and took our picture.

Pic by Chris

Later, Connie from the C of C called and asked if we’d do an interview with the local news paper. We were headed to the bike shop so the reporter, Tim, met us there. They e-mailed a copy of the article for us to post. Thanks to all of our new friends in Leavenworth.

Brendan Pumps

California couple stop in city during extended bike trip

Cat and Pat Patterson ride on Fifth Street on their way out of Leavenworth Thursday. The couple are in the midst of a bicycle trip from Dallas, Texas, to Iowa.

By Tim Linn

Leavenworth Times

Posted Jul 08, 2010 @ 06:10 PM

The Fourth of July weekend has come and gone, but that didn’t stop Catherine and Pat Patterson from stopping in Leavenworth as part of a long road trip.

The California couple stopped in the city — on their bicycles — on Thursday before riding to Atchison, Kan. From there, they were going to proceed north to Iowa in time for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa that starts on July 25.

They were getting a quick break and refilling their tires at Santa Fe Trails Bicycle Shop before moving on, each bike covered in rain-proof saddle bags containing not a lot, aside from the most crucial supplies.

“Some of our relatives call us minimalists,” Pat said, smiling.

The couple have been traveling through smaller towns in the region from their starting point in Dallas, Texas, on their way. Pat, 70, said they always look forward to visiting those places in their journeys, and not always heading for the larger tourist destinations.

That can lead to some interesting encounters. Pat said he received directions to a cemetery thought to contain the grave of a grandfather on his mother’s side at a truck stop from someone who turned out to be a long-lost cousin.

“Our journey is full of little weird things that happen,” Pat said.

And according to Cat, distant relatives are not the only people they have met during their ride.

“We just love traveling this way because it’s so interesting and different and you stop in small places like this and meet the local people,” she said.

Pat said the couple followed Leavenworth’s wayside tour, stopping in the kiosks with historical information scattered throughout downtown and other areas. They also planned to see Fort Leavenworth and the United States Penitentiary.

It’s not their first long-range bicycle trip — Pat said his journeys began with a worldwide ride beginning in 1988 that lasted nearly four years. That was after he sold his real estate company for the first time and purchased new bikes.

At the time they met soon after that ride, both Cat and Pat found themselves facing a troubled economy and impending divorces.

Pat then worked up another real estate business before selling again in 2002 and the couple planned their first trip together. It was originally supposed to be a ride through Africa, but Cat said it soon was expanded into a full-fledged world tour.

Since then, they’ve also traveled across Southeast Asia. Pat said he’s been to 101 countries in all — Cat’s record is getting hefty as well.

She said they try to promote health, exercise and travel along their way, as well as try to dispel myths about certain destinations. Cat said they rarely do a lot of planning for their trips outside of the establishment of a general route, but as they have ridden across the globe, from Argentina to Greenland, they have come up with some other advice for fellow travelers.

“Keep your minds and your hearts open,” Cat said.

Over the years, she said they have ridden through what some friends and members of their family have warned are dangerous places. But the biggest concerns they have when they go on their globe-trotting rides are not crime-related. Instead, Cat said traffic and road conditions are high on that list, along with the weather.

That said, Pat said he is still working to convince Cat to go on the next trip — to the Middle East.

Copyright 2010 Leavenworth Times. Some rights reserved

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