Peace Biker riders visit Marion County

The map shows the route that Lynn Salvo and Brenda Mueller are taking in order to raise awareness and funds for peace.
Lynn Salvo and Brenda Mueller are biking around 640 miles in the shape of a peace sign throughout central Kansas.

Lynn Salvo lives in McLean, Virginia, but she has been making central Kansas her home for a few weeks while she and her friend Brenda Mueller complete their personal mission to bike throughout central Kansas in the shape of a peace sign.

Mueller’s home in Wichita is at the center of the path of the peace sign, and the journey started from her home on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The two, along with some friends and volunteers who have been helping out, loaded up two cars with bikes, equipment and snacks and headed out to Canton to the most northern part of their route to begin their journey.

The group connected with other bike riders from another biking group and rode to Hillsboro, where they stopped and visited with each other and locals at Rhubarb Market and then they rode along to Marion to spend the night at the Historic Elgin Hotel. They have continued traveling around, seeing sights and staying in a new town each night.

Salvo had done a similar but larger trip over six years from 2015 to 2021 when she covered 14,500 miles on bike to complete a continent-sized peace sign.

“I’ve been cycling for peace officially since 2018. I got the idea in 2016, and then in 2017, I sat down and mapped out my route and completed that last fall when I rode with several friends. What I am currently doing is a peace sign centered on Wichita that is about 640 miles,” Salvo said.

Salvo set three Guinness World Records while completing her first peace trip journey. On this trip, she has been focusing on connecting with those she meets as she rides and takes in the sights, but she also plans to set more Guinness World records.

“I am far away from home, but honestly, between Brenda and her network of friends, I’ve got a home here. They have taken such good care of us. It’s just astonishing,” Salvo said.

Mueller has also enjoyed meeting so many people.

“Lynn and I were intending to go self-supported. We were just gonna carry our clothes and essentials and stay at hotels each night and take care of ourselves. But our friend, Ruth Holliday, decided she would put a calendar together and had members of a group sign up for a day to be on call for any emergencies. The second day we called, and they showed up,” Mueller said.

The group has continued to show up and help out whenever needed, from driving the duo’s bags to getting food and water or anything else they need.

“They do all kinds of stuff for us, even if we don’t ask for it,” Mueller said.

“I am overwhelmed by the kind and very well-knit network that is here in Wichita. We have nice groups at home, but it’s not like this where people will bring you food or spend 12 hours with you on the spot. I’ve been very impressed,” Salvo said.

The two friends met in 2015 when Salvo was attempting her first transcontinental ride and Mueller was joining the group for the first week of the ride.

“We are both very close in age and similarly very determined in that if we decided to get something done, we do so; we bonded over that,” Salvo said.

The pair had a tentative schedule and plan, but they have also had to be flexible. They did know that they would ride the circumference of the peace sign the first half of the journey and then finish by riding the peace sign. But as far as how many miles on which days, they have had to just figure it out as they go.

“You really have to watch wind in this area, so we keep modifying and adjusting to reach favorable winds,” Salvo said.

For example, they originally decided to stay put in their hotel in Hutchinson and relax on Monday, Oct. 24 while it rained. But then they realized that the wind on Tuesday would be coming from the north and they would be heading south back to Mueller’s house. By changing their plans and traveling to McPherson from Hutchinson on Monday, it allowed them to bike through Hesston and Newton to Wichita with the north wind pushing them from behind on Tuesday.

“We have everything planned, but we have to keep nudging it one way or the other according to the wind,” Salvo said.

The duo completed their 647 miles on Sunday, Oct. 30.

Salvo, who focuses on raising awareness and funds for peace, has a website for those who would like to follow along for more information on the trip at lifeislikeabike.wordpress.com. People can donate to her favorite organization, American Friends Service Committee, at afsc.org/peaceride.

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