Theresa Van Ackeren grew up riding her bike on her afternoon paper route along the streets of Omaha, Nebraska. On her 40th birthday, she decided to return to that simple happiness by quitting her day job and opening Family Bicycles. She strives to make biking accessible to all who want to try by hosting rides, special events, and classes to bring newbies into the fold. In the shop, tools sing a tinny song as mechanics true wheels and spruce up soiled drivetrains. Family Bicycles also hosts a winter film series, showing bike-centric Hollywood dramas, documentaries, and the one where the Three Stooges lose their driver’s license.
Since 2009, the Kansas City Dirty Duo race has helped parlay mud into money for charity. Stretched across mostly flat terrain inside Kansas Speedway, the race sends teams of two biking and running around a course nearly six miles in length. Mystery obstacles add an extra challenge to each mile, and right before the finish line, there’s a massive 40-foot mud pit where teams can to play gloopy games of Marco Polo before completing the race. Kids as young as five years old can get in on the dirty dashing, too, by joining the one-mile Dirty Duo Jr. race. Once everyone has crossed their respective finish lines, the festivities continue with a post-race celebration featuring music, food, and cold refreshments.