Lenexa resident Dallas McKenzie, also known as “Joe” to family and friends, is preparing to bike 75 miles on Aug. 21 in honor of his 75th birthday.
McKenzie said he’s been a long-distance cyclist for some 30 years, and he’s participated in multiple organized rides such as Bike Across Kansas and Bike Across Missouri. But he first started riding as a birthday celebration when he turned 65 in 2011.
Although he doesn’t do a birthday ride each year, McKenzie said 75 felt like a milestone — and a chance to remind people he’s in good shape.
“I take pride in being relatively physically fit for an old guy like myself,” McKenzie said. “Every once in a while, I like to do something that will let people know that I am, in fact, pretty physically fit.”
McKenzie’s 75-mile trek will begin and end at 119th Street and Quivira.
He says he plans to follow the Indian Creek bike trail — a mostly flat route that runs for 10 miles through Overland Park.
He says he plans to complete three 20-mile round-trip laps on the trail, adding roughly 15 round-trip miles on the last lap in order to achieve 75 total miles.
Raising money for a cause
While the ride will serve as a 75th birthday celebration, McKenzie will also be raising money for Brothers in Blue Reentry, a faith-based organization that aims to help inmates re-enter society successfully.
Carl Hughes, Brothers in Blue executive director, said the intent is to “bring the light of Chris to the dark place in prison.”
The organization serves more than 200 men at Lansing Correctional Facility annually, but Hughes said Brothers in Blue also works with correctional facilities statewide. Hughes said donations from McKenzie’s ride will go directly toward reentry services such as housing, transportation and employment.
“It will not only help the members that get out [of prison], but also the community as [inmates] become successful taxpayers after they’re released,” Hughes said.
McKenzie is trying to raise $3,000 for Brothers in Blue, and donations can be made online here. Additionally, McKenzie is planning to ride on his actual birthday, Aug. 21, but said it is dependent on the weather at that time.