Peach Capital Historic Tour By Bike

Discussion in 'MY NEIGHBORHOOD' started by aka_locojoe, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. aka_locojoe

    aka_locojoe

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    Today I copied Dangratsdan's idea and took a ride around my city (a suburb of Wichita) which at one time was the "Peach Capital of Kansas". My neighborhood like many others is built on what used to be peach orchards. I have spent most of my childhood and most of my adult life in this town. Some of what's below has made national news and other just historical value to me.


    It has a really nice bike path that winds all through town with one end of it literally at my driveway. The bridge you see here crosses the Cowskin creek. This is also the park where the Midwest Bicycle Fest is held.
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    The street that I grew up on. What used to be a empty field at the end is where we made trails and jumps to race our banana seat bikes. My parents still live on this street.
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    This drive leads down to the old sewer plant and the dump where as a kid I would scavenge for bicycles and parts. I still did as an adult until they locked it up.
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    What's left of the old grain elevator. My Grandpa and Father each worked there at some point in their lives.
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    Our new "historic district". The old/historic part of town was wiped out by a tornado in 1999. THe tornado followed the railroad tracks right through the center of town.
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    The only thing remaining was the vault from the bank. Replicas of some of the old buildings have since been built. The bank was was built around the original vault. The barn-like building in the foreground is a working blacksmith shop.
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    The tornado missed our house but destroyed my parents house and my Daughter's place of employment at the time. My parents rode it out in their crawl space, my daughter in the freezer of the fast food place she worked at.


    This building used to be a Sonic Drive-Inn where as kids we would ride our bikes, park in the stall and have the carhops wait on us. In the background is the church I went to as a child.
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    Grade school I attended.
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    Near the main intersection in town. The railroad was recently elevated over the street where as before there was a pretty good hump you had to drive over.
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    This building was a Vickers gas station where I'd fill up my 69 Mach I. The architecture of the building (hyperbolic paraboloid aka "batwing") was designed by the Vickers Petroleum Company. One of only a couple of these still around. This building survived the tornado while buildings all around it were destroyed.
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    The "Big Ditch" built in the 50s keeps Wichita and my town from the flooding of the Arkansas river and the Cowskin creek that used to happen prior to it being built. In the background is the Debruce elevator that exploded several years ago. At one time this elevator (then owned by Garvey Grain) was the longest continuous elevator in the world (or something like that). The section right of the head house is different than that on the left as it's what was rebuilt after the explosion.
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    The newly remodeled football and track stadium where I (poorly) ran track. In the background the Jr High I attended. What you see of it from this angle is all newer additions that weren't there when I attended.
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  2. Rat Rod

    Rat Rod Owner & Founder Moderator

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    Dang Randy...if it weren't for the threat of being blown away and not being able to find a graphic design job I'd pack the family up and move there.

    Thanks for such a cool tour. :wink:
  3. thatismytruck

    thatismytruck

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    Great walk down memory lane!! Thanks!! I might go for a ride tomorrow. It looks to be a balmy 45 here.
  4. aka_locojoe

    aka_locojoe

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    Yeah our town has been hit by 2 tornadoes since I've lived here. Missed our house both times. I took these photos out my back door in 1993. It just missed us. Knocked out some windows and other minor damage.
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  5. KOTA

    KOTA

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    Do we REALLY grow up!.....................Nice tour.. and history.
  6. maddogrider

    maddogrider

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    Are the burn out marks on the street where your parents live, yours? I've been to kansas and all i saw was corn fields lol. Thanks for the pics i wish i could ride with ya. but i'm here in INDY 8)
  7. aka_locojoe

    aka_locojoe

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    Not mine and neither of my parents will own up to it.

    Couple more on the bike path.
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  8. Ratfink1962

    Ratfink1962

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    Hey, I remember working at the elevator too! that was one hot summer. As a younger kid, i also worked for some of the orchards picking peaches so i could earn enough money to buy bike parts! lol
  9. dangratsdan

    dangratsdan

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    I remember as a kid in the early 60s my dad taking me and my sisters to the "Peach Capital" to pick a bushel or two of fresh peaches. What fun, riding on the hay wagon into the orchard, picking and eating those juicy peaches right off the tree, and picking more to take home. What fun. EXCEPT, all of that sticky peach juice that had run down your face and arms, and all that peach fuzz sticking to the juice, ITCHED so bad we would be totally MISERABLE and couldnt wait to get home and get a bath. But the next year, we wanted to go pick peaches again. Peaches in the store just are not the same. Thanks Locojoe, for the memory. I think I need to go take a bath, my arms are starting to ITCH.
  10. Ratfink1962

    Ratfink1962

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    Dan... I was gonna mention the peach fuzz in my post, but not sure if people would understand.

    LOL, but yeah the fuzz sure made it miserable, especially on those days it was hot and muggy with no wind. Old man Cain told me the best way to prevent peach fuzz was to eat a fresh peach once an hour. Didnt work but at least we got to eat some peaches!!
  11. Rat Rod

    Rat Rod Owner & Founder Moderator

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  12. thatismytruck

    thatismytruck

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    ^^^^ no lie ratrod, I was just about to do that. :lol: :lol:
  13. Hooch

    Hooch

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    Amazing stuff Randy!
  14. Gold Street Customs

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    That Vickers building is sweet!! Never had a Mach 1 but I guess my buddies 428 CJ Shelby GT500 did the trick....at least the gas is almost as cheap now.
  15. aka_locojoe

    aka_locojoe

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  16. aka_locojoe

    aka_locojoe

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    One thing I like about where I live is it's just a little over a mile ride and I'm in the "country".
    Camera phone video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T4tOggKJK4 and photos from a ride last night.

    Barns, birds, barbed wire and windmill.
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    Neat old tow truck in the background that you can't see.
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    Cows.
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    Harvested corn field.
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    Milo
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    Soy beans (I believe) and birds.
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    Oil well.
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    "Hedge row" helping to save us from another dust bowl.
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    Hedge apple.
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    Railroad tracks the tornado followed in to town in 1999.
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    Rode my Specialized hybrid.
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  17. aka_locojoe

    aka_locojoe

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    Our town's about to make the big time. A McDonald's. It'll be kind of unique as it'll be in a strip mall.

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