On the first Sunday morning of every month of the riding season (March – October), the town of Cassoday, Kansas (pop. 129) fills with literally thousands of motorcycles. Bikers from throughout eastern Kansas and the neighboring states ride the scenic Flint Hills highways that surround the tiny burg and congregate in Cassoday to eat at the local diner and visit the vendors’ tents that are set up on nearly every vacant lot and street corner. Like a swarm of insects, they begin appearing shortly after dawn, quickly swell to a massive presence that clogs the town streets, then disappear by 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon. 3000–5000 motorcyclists make the trek on an average month, and as many as 7000 have shown up during optimal riding conditions.
You never know what you’ll find at the end of the Cassoday Bike Run’s rainbow. On our previous trip down from Kansas City last October, we were disappointed that perhaps only 200-300 bikers braved the 45° F temps and gray clouds that greeted the 2012 season’s final run. But an old riding buddy of mine rode in from Colorado to see Cassoday for himself this past weekend, so we met up with him and explored several central Kansas towns on Saturday, before hitting Cassoday on Sunday. Despite overcast skies, the dry forecast and pleasant temperatures brought the bikers out in droves. I won’t hazard to guess at the exact number of bikes there, but there were multiple thousands of bikes. Every street in town was jammed with them, and several residents found their front yards had become impromptu parking lots for Gold Wings, V-Stars, and Harleys. Lots and lots of Harleys. Our hi-viz Bushwacker jackets definitely stood out among the sea of black leather vests and doo-rags, but we had a great time. Everybody seems eager to get along in Cassoday.
For a gallery of some of the more unusual finds from last Sunday’s run, hit the jump. … Continue Reading