I have completed the Dirty Kanza three times over the past few years. I look forward to toeing the line this year, but first I will reflect on my experiences from years past.
2008 – The first of many. I had done Trans Iowa but was looking for something a little less challenging and I heard DK200 was an awesome event (which it is). I headed solo out to Emporia on the Friday before. At the pre-race event, the cast was a whose who of the Nebraska and Iowa gravel scene. Many of these guys I had ridden with and met the year prior at Trans Iowa. The ride went great. Read my 2008 report here. I rode my Waltworks which is one of the best bikes I have ridden on gravel, check it out here.
2009 – The year of the heat. I recruited a fellow teammate to join me on this years adventure in the Flint Hills. On the drive to Kansas we actually hatched the plan to start Routine Leg Works. Three of us finished together in the wee hours of the morning. Read the write-up here. Again the Waltworks got the nod, similar set-up can be seen here.
2010 – The year of even more heat. Three of us headed to Emporia to do battle with the heat and gravel. Chad and Mr. Bristol dragged me around Kansas from basically mile one to the finish. I rode my Dean geared that year and was glad I did.
What I have learned from these rides: Don’t stop eating or drinking, don’t stop pedaling, don’t follow the guy into the woods, talk to people, have at least a plan b (and even a plan c), stop at the brewery in Hays, it will only get worse before it gets better, they are dung beetles (you are not hallucinating) and most importantly have fun.