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Pattersnap

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Reply with quote  #1 
It seemed wrong not to have a thread for the Dirty Kanza 200.

FYI: Registration opens Saturday, January 11 on bikereg.com

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frontrangegravel

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Reply with quote  #2 
@Pattersnap you racing DK200?
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ApexToApex

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Reply with quote  #3 
I am taking on the 200 for the first time in 2014. Absolutely cannot wait. [thumb]
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John Despres

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Reply with quote  #4 
I too, am entering the DK 200 for the first time. I'm both terrified and thrilled. I went as support crew last year and instantly fell in love with this great event.
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Pattersnap

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frontrangegravel
@Pattersnap you racing DK200?


Planning on it; 2014 will be my sixth year racing the DK200.
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jimmydot

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Reply with quote  #6 
This is a goal for me as well in 2014. will be my 1st time and don't think it will be gentle, but i am mentally prepared or just mental. [biggrin]
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Pattersnap

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmydot
This is a goal for me as well in 2014. will be my 1st time and don't think it will be gentle, but i am mentally prepared or just mental. [biggrin]


I think it's fair to say the first 100 miles is fitness; the second 100 miles is a mind game.
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ApexToApex

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Reply with quote  #8 
That is what I have heard. And mental preparation is the most difficult training there is. 

Also, meticulously planning my nutrition and fluid intake for that day...

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John Despres

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Reply with quote  #9 
Practice mindfulness and meditation. Focus can indeed be difficult, but staying in the moment and about 30 feet ahead is the way to go.

JD
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RogerC

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Reply with quote  #10 
Any recommendations on tires? The reading I have done indicates flats can be a problem.
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Pattersnap

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexToApex
Also, meticulously planning my nutrition and fluid intake for that day...


Improper nutrition has been my downfall at DK200 on more than one occasion.

It's worth doing some early season gravel or MTB endurance events just to sort out what your body can handle for 12-20 hours of riding.

I found early on that prepackaged gels and energy bars caused me a lot of GI distress during events lasting more than six hours.

Now I use a lot of recipes from "The Feed Zone" cookbook for longer events.

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RideOn

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Reply with quote  #12 
I am seriously thinking about taking on the Dirty in 2014, and am looking for advice/insight into training.  I've done tons of centuries and several ultra-cross type events, but nothing this stupid.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
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bford64

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Reply with quote  #13 
2013 was my first DK. It won't be my last. I began my training in earnest in mid January. I participated in as many gravel centuries as I could leading up to June 1st. One of our nearby gravel riders who rides for the Chamios Buttr team put on his first triple race series geared towards DK prepping all the locals. It was very instrumental in helping me figure out what worked and what didn't. While not a fast rider, I am strong. I crossed the line with a total time of 17hrs 55min. In hind sight I could have shaved an hour off of it just by keeping check point stops to a minimum.
The Mind game I played with myself was constantly telling myself how far I had to go to the next check point, not the finish line. Fifty miles or less is easier on the mind than say 120 or 95 miles. I remember at around mile 125 - 130 practicing how I was going to cross the finish line. Pumping my fists? Arms spread out like a body builder? Do nothing? Any thing to take your mind off the enormity of the ride will help.

I used the method in the link below to train for the DK.
http://www.active.com/cycling/articles/12-training-tips-for-an-ultra-distance-ride-880710

Then I used the tips in the link below while riding.
http://adventuremonkey.com/blog/2013-dirty-kanza-200-advice

Hope for the best, but expect the worst. There were record cool temps this year. It was a gourgeous morning with temps in the low 60's. Then about 10:30 am the wind picked up out of the NW. Our route was directly into a 25 mph wind for the 80 + miles. Train for it and expect it to happen. Same goes for heat. The old saying in Kansas is, "Don't like the weather, wait a minute!"

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pedal of Littleton

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Reply with quote  #14 
I rolled the DK in 2013, and my biggest tips for a good finish time and enjoyment is....do not get caught in the aid station time warp.   Also, even thought the course is marked,  have a cue sheet holder and keep looking at it all day.  It will keep you motivated and later in the race when there are less and less people out there it will keep you entertained and motivated.   Also, sometimes there is a mis-marked turn or you will start to doubt if you missed a turn.   

Just my thoughts,  I am not the fastest rider by any means, but I had a great ride in 2013 of 14hr, 31min.   Train on the flats, forget the long hills in CO,   you are pedaling for 200 miles straight.

Good Luck and see you out there. 
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Noah_Deuce

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Reply with quote  #15 
I "raced" DK200 in 2012 (20 hr finish). I had a great time, and I agree that faster checkpoint checkout is key - I probably could have shaved 90 minutes to 2 hours off my time if I had left them earlier.

Tires: I used some now-discontinued Schwalbe Marathon Extremes. This coming year I plan to run Clement MSOs (700x40).

Training: I was living in NYC at the time, so I rode a whole bunch, and also did some strength and cardio training. At least 80 miles one day, and lots of shorter rides each week between March and DK200.

And it's super fun!
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Pattersnap

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah_Deuce
Tires: I used some now-discontinued Schwalbe Marathon Extremes. This coming year I plan to run Clement MSOs (700x40).



Schwalbe Marathon Extremes are/were a staple tire for DK200.
I've had good luck with the Clement MSOs. I run mine tubeless as well.
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ApexToApex

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Reply with quote  #17 
Some good information provided in this thread so far. Keep it coming. I know I am not the only one that wants to be as prepared as possible for this, even though I know you can't 100% prepare to deal with this unique cycling experience.

I am determined to finish this damn thing, because I know I can - and everyone who is telling me that I can't is wrong. 

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2slow2Bfast

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Reply with quote  #18 
I rode the last three DK200s, last year on a singlespeed. It's an amazing event.

Advice? Make sure you've put in miles on a fully loaded bike. Otherwise, your bike feels like a tank on race day. The last 2 years I ran a drop bar, rigid 29er and couldn't have been happier. Zero flats and lots of comfort thanks to bigger volume tires. I ran 2" tires at 30psi. 

The course is hilly and can be extremely windy. So having a decent low gear is important, to help save your legs early in the ride and to simply get over hills later in the day. On the other end, you simply don't need a huge gear. A cross compact crank with 46x36 is great. I also advise at least a 28 tooth in the back. 32 is even better. "Spin ze legs!"

My advice for the checkpoints is to never sit down. Keep moving. It's really tempting to take a break, but my motto is "slow miles are better than no miles." It's far better to ride easily, eat and drink than it is to park yourself in a comfy chair in the shade. It's an inertia game. Sit too long and it's hard to get rolling again. I make up bags and bottles for each checkpoint with an assortment of goodies. I quickly grab what I want and get moving. Typically I stuff a banana in my mouth as I load up. 

Nutrition is tricky, but I'm a big fan of real food. I also focus on eating early in the ride. Never let yourself get hungry. Early in the day your guts aren't messed up, so eat as much as you can while pedaling along. As far as hydration, avoid plain water. Always have some electrolytes and sugar in your bottle. Otherwise you're only diluting the electrolytes in your system (not a good thing). 

Most of all, be social and have fun! I could go on, but know that you'll learn a lot during your training and in the doing of Dirty Kanza.
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frontrangegravel

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Reply with quote  #19 
Here is a contest to win some Fix It Sticks!

From right now (Sunday morning, November 3) until the end of the day on Friday, November 8, share your great Dirty Kanza experiences, thoughts, tips, previous results, DK bikes, future goals/plans or pictures here in this "Dirty Kanza 200" forum.

We will throw all the entries into a virtual hat and pick TWO random winners. The winner of the Fix It Sticks will be announced on the Riding Gravel Facebook page on the morning of Saturday, November 9.

You are limited to 2 separate posts. We will not count any individual's post over that 2 limit to keep it fair for everyone.

Let's see the posts! Good luck!
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frontrangegravel

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Reply with quote  #20 
The contest is on (see above)....let's see some entries.
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RideOn

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Reply with quote  #21 
So far the tips and insights have been awesome - really appreciated.  I'm getting the feel that the key to training is getting to the point where I can do 2/3 to 3/4 of my estimated ride time on the bike.

I'm liking the idea of running the Clement MSO 40s on my Iron Cross tubeless rims.  The Clement tire is not specifically listed on sites as tubeless, but I'm thinking they can be run as such?

Lastly, do most people fly into Wichita?  Keep the pointers coming - thanks!
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nasmith5

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Reply with quote  #22 
great race, well organized
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weiserst

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Reply with quote  #23 
Thoughts on Dirty Kansa.

First - Dollar Value. I race cyclocross and gravel. A cross race costs me give or take $35 with license and you cover about 7 miles. Math...$5 per mile. Racing Dirty Kansa and many other gravel races will run you less than 50 cents a mile. Dollar for dollar you cannot beat Dirty Kansa.

Second - Tire Choice. As much talk that there is on the subject of tires I find in my thousands of miles on gravel roads that good tires are only as good as your dumb luck. 2 years ago in DK I rode $20 Ritchey Speedmax Cross Comps, not a single flat until a year later when dumb luck hit a rock and blew a sidewall. Last year I rode some $50 Kevlar lined flat resistant blah blah blah and could not keep air in my tires. Bottom line tires are tires and if you hit a rock wrong you are taking a short break. Pick your line wisely!

Third - Stories. I have not done many cross race but I talk about them for a half hour after with fellow racers. I will talk gravel and Dirty Kansa stories with anyone that has ever turned a pedal, the community of gravel racers is second to none and even a failed attempt at Dirty Kansas will provide enough stories to last a lifetime.

Finally - Emporia. Without Emporia Dirty Kansa would be just another race. The weeks leading  to the race banners are placed on lamp posts welcoming riders, storefronts are painted with well wishes for participants and the town transforms into the Gravel Riding Capitol of the World. Citizens like Tim and Kristi Mohn (the first couple of gravel) help promote DK year round and encourage others to push their limits and take on Dirty Kansa. How many of you have ridden DK because Kristi convinced you it was in you to finish? Adventure Monkey Eric Benjamin lives there. You know you have read one of his blog posts and were encouraged to ride your bike. Rick Becker, Shawn Honea, Troy Ochs, Jeff Young, the O'Mara brothers, Bobby Thompson, Matt Brown and many others I admire for their commitment to getting off you butt and getting active. Some have changed their lives and all have improved their lives all from the simple act of riding bikes on dirt roads. Ride with any Emporian during Dirty Kansa and you will see what I mean.

See you in June (May this year)
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jimmydot

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Reply with quote  #24 
FrontranageGravel, have you thought about putting on a triple gravel ride here in CO. someone mentioned a Triple ride in their local area that helped them train. Maybe a 50 (march time), 100 (april time) and the AntiEpic 150 (may time), just a thought.
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smoovranger

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Reply with quote  #25 

I rode the DK Half Pint last year and had a blast.  Finished in around 10 hours and was feeling pretty well once we turned out of wind.  My initial thought was to do the Half Pint again to beat my time, but I've decided to go for the whole thing.

It was really a cool experience being around so many strong riders.  The atmosphere in Emporia was very welcoming and it was neat seeing so many bike racks around town.  The slide show at registration was moving and got me all fired up.

I certainly didn't have the training miles in that I had hoped for, but that seems to happen to everybody.  Something that really helped me was constant eating and drinking.  I had a few foods and snacks that I knew worked for me and I just kept chomping away.  The Mountain Feed Bag from Revelate Designs worked miracles in that regard.  I highly recommend it for such endeavors. 

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/index.cfm/store.catalog/Cockpit/Mountain-Feedbag

On the subject of tires, I was thankful to finish the race without any flats, but I was rolling some heavy tires.  On this go around I'm going to invest in something new, probably the Clements since that seems to be very popular.  I've also heard that if you pick your line, especially on the downhills, you can greatly reduce the chance of flatting.

I skipped the map holder and was fortunate to not get off course.  There was one unmarked turn that was throwing several of us off.  I checked my map and decided to push on while several others waited to see how it worked out for me.  When I got to the top of the hill and saw I was on the right path, I waved to the others and took off down the road.  I was passed by several faster riders that had ridden a few extra miles off course.  That would be crushing when the day is as long as it is.  I'm thinking I will invest in a map holder next year.  It will be nice to have something to focus on while riding along.

I was very thankful for my wife and kids supporting me on the half.  It wasn't easy for her to keep two little kids under control and worry about me.  But the best part of the race was hearing her talk about how she would bump into someone months later and find out they did the race, too.  I could tell that she was proud of me and for her part in helping.  I think I've got her talked into crewing for me for the full 200...  [cool]

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