Winner, winner, chicken dinner - for everyone who participated in Hudson's 14th annual Chicken Ride recently in Stafford County.
The 2019 Chicken Ride in Stafford County is but a memory now, and, thanks to mild temperatures, cloudy skies, and light winds, it’s likely a good one for the 110 bicycle riders who participated. For family and friends of the late Peggy Bauer is was a poignant event, and for all involved, the Chicken Ride of 2019 still culminated in big fried chicken dinner in Hudson when it was over.
This year’s ride had a significant sub-heading: the Peggy Bauer Memorial Ride. Peggy, a longtime resident of Hudson, where the ride starts and ends, was one of the founders of both the event and the Hudson Bicycle Club, which sponsors it. Peggy died of cancer on October 31, 2018. Peggy’s husband, Dean, her sons, Scott Walter, Brent Walter, and Jon Bauer, as well as a brother, Ken Spangenburg, helped with this year’s ride in her memory. Brent has designed the optional t-shirt for the ride for many years.
Since its inception, the ride has raised money to support community projects in Hudson.
In its first year, the Chicken Ride was called the Hay Ride. It had a small group of cyclists and featured numerous hay bales which had been painted by area farmers. The event was later renamed to emphasize the hearty chicken dinner which participants enjoy at the end of the ride each year.
The route for cyclists is a relatively easy ride, depending upon the weather, with no real hills and typically light traffic and thus is a favorite for participants from around Kansas, nearby states and even as far away as Los Angeles.
While the chicken dinner with delicious desserts is highlight for most riders, what keeps many coming back are the people who volunteer, year after year, to help ensure that the Chicken Ride is a great experience for all. It is also great to see the familiar faces of fellow cyclists who regularly participate.
This annual event, in it’s 14th year now, is a deep rural experience and a great way to become acquainted with Stafford County and its rich agricultural heritage, natural beauty and wildlife.
Along the way, riders get acquainted with red-tailed hawks, great blue herons, red-headed woodpeckers, bobwhites, or even a salamander. Some spotted a prairie dog or two and there were hundreds of small, yellow butterflies at work in a field or two along the way.
The 14th annual Chicken Ride near Hudson was real treat for those who like to see Kansas in all its summer glory, and the chicken dinner was enjoyable too.