It's 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, you may see or hear a red-tailed hawk, great blue heron, red-headed woodpecker, bobwhite, or even a salamander, like the one I saw crawling across the road on […]

It's 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, you may see or hear a red-tailed hawk, great blue heron, red-headed woodpecker, bobwhite, or even a salamander, like the one I saw crawling across the road on the way to Stafford. You may spot a prairie dog or two and perhaps see the work of pollination underway with hundreds of small, yellow butterflies at work in a field or two along the way.
The 2019 Chicken Ride is but a memory now, and, thanks to mild temperatures, cloudy skies, and light winds, it's likely a good one for the 110 persons who participated.
This year's ride also 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 renamed to emphasize the hearty chicken dinner which participants enjoy at the end of the ride.
It is a relatively easy ride, depending upon the weather, with no real hills and typically light traffic and thus is a favorite for cyclists 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 me coming back are the people who volunteer, year after year, to help ensure that the Chicken Ride is a great experience for all. As well, it's great to see the familiar faces of fellow cyclists who you many only see once or twice a year otherwise.
Yes, I'll be back next year for the 15th annual event, and I hope to see you there too.