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DerekJ_MI

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Reply with quote  #1 
Well the decision has been made.  For 2018 registration is going to be by lottery.  You will enter the no cost lottery between Dec. 1, 2017 and Dec. 16, 2017.  A drawing will be held and you will be notified in Mid-Jan if you are successful.  This year's cost for the 200 mile main event is $200.  Same deal as past years.  There are only 1000 entry's available for the 200 mile event.  They will give priority to past riders, women, local residents, and basically anyone else they want in.  And there is a group registration option.  If your group is picked you're all in, if not, you're all out.  They don't say how many groups will be chosen. For a sure thing ticket to the party go to the training camp.  The cost of the camp includes a ticked to the event of your choice.  I did the camp this past spring and it was great, but not cheap.

Good Luck!

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DerekJ_MI

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Received an email from the folks at DK indicating that the DK200 2018 training camp registration is open.  I went to this camp last year and it was well worth the time and effort and cost.  This year I was going to go back, but, like the ride they raised the cost, not just a little bit but significantly and in fact they almost doubled it!  $1850 for three days is a lot of money. Yes it includes registration in the main event so that reduces the cost by $200.  And since I rode last year I get another 10% off for a cost to make my final cost $1465, but still, it's an awful lot of money considering I still have to travel and I have to get my own lodging while there.  While this is an epic event that I think all should do the costs are getting prohibitive for a public road ride.  I have to think hard about this but I'm thinking I'm out, at least for the training camp...  maybe the main event too.

Other less expensive options are becoming available as gravel road events continue to grow.
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #3 
That last sentence is a bit confusing. Just go North a bit and the Upper Midwest is awash with all those free entry post card events that have been around just as long or longer than DK. And the ones that do charge are half the price. $100 for the 210mi Gold Rush Motherlode in Spearfish. No pros hogging the podium and much better scenery. 

$1800 for a DK training camp... Sheesh! What did you learn there that you couldn't figure out on your own? Ride a lot, pace yourself, only pack what you need, keep hydrated and fed. What else? I'd rather take that money and put it towards a more rewarding life experience, preferably out of the country. I'm planning a trip to Romania next year to roam around Transylvania and the Carpathian range by bike. Who's with me?  

  

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DerekJ_MI

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Reply with quote  #4 
No, you're right.  There are already existing really good epic rides that are for free.  Almanzo 100 is naturally the most know (at least to me).  If Almanzo can do it for free why must DK charge $200?  Unless they want to "make money" off the event, which is likely the case.  Here in MI we have plenty of Gravel Road Rides and more coming.  In fact the Michigan Coast 2 Coast is 209 miles and is cheaper than DK by $70 but will be just as epic, in a different way.  Most upper mid-west rides are well under $100. 

As far as the DK Training camp goes it was an opportunity to get to ride a half pint supported by DK on some of the main event's route.  You got to experience the race route.  We also got to ride with many experienced DK riders who explained how to deal with the unique flint rock roads, how to outfit your bike for this specific event and event specific details that unless you ride in this neck of the wood (or prairie) you would not know.  The camp provided lots of incites on how to prepare for this specific event.  I thought it was worth the $800 I paid and learned and it included entry to the main event.  It's now not worth going back for me at this price as I've been there and done it and learned.  But if you're a first timer then it's going to be a challenge to decide if it's worth the change to go.  Like you say there are more effective life enriching ways to spend this much money!
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekJ_MI
No, you're right.  There are already existing really good epic rides that are for free.  Almanzo 100 is naturally the most know (at least to me).  If Almanzo can do it for free why must DK charge $200?  Unless they want to "make money" off the event, which is likely the case.  Here in MI we have plenty of Gravel Road Rides and more coming.  In fact the Michigan Coast 2 Coast is 209 miles and is cheaper than DK by $70 but will be just as epic, in a different way.  Most upper mid-west rides are well under $100. 

As far as the DK Training camp goes it was an opportunity to get to ride a half pint supported by DK on some of the main event's route.  You got to experience the race route.  We also got to ride with many experienced DK riders who explained how to deal with the unique flint rock roads, how to outfit your bike for this specific event and event specific details that unless you ride in this neck of the wood (or prairie) you would not know.  The camp provided lots of incites on how to prepare for this specific event.  I thought it was worth the $800 I paid and learned and it included entry to the main event.  It's now not worth going back for me at this price as I've been there and done it and learned.  But if you're a first timer then it's going to be a challenge to decide if it's worth the change to go.  Like you say there are more effective life enriching ways to spend this much money!


DerekJ_MI I read somewhere that DK200 might reach the point where they are too high that most people will lose interest. From last year they aren't there yet as their computers crashed because of everyone wanting to get in. I want to do it but probably will be one of the last ultra rides I do because of the costs. RideMagnetic have you done the Motherlode or know anybody that has done it as it has shown up on my radar?

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman
RideMagnetic have you done the Motherlode or know anybody that has done it as it has shown up on my radar?


Not the 210mi Motherlode. Did the 110 Gold Rush a few years ago. The Black Hills are an amazing place to ride, and the event is put on by some really nice people. When I lived in Minneapolis we used to drive out there on random weekends just to ride the area.  

Last time I did 200 miles was 1996 when I really had something to prove on the bike. 24 years old. It was actually two 200mi days back to back. Basically an out and back of the smallest part of the waist of Minnesota. You dip your tires in the St. Croix river on the MN-WI border in Stillwater, then a dip in Stone Lake in Big Stone City, SD. I know what 200 feels like not even at race pace, that's why I've never done DK. Good friend got 5th overall a couple years ago when Ted King won and needed medical help at the finish after passing out on a curb. I'm perfectly content with the century length races. No desire to ever feel remotely like that again.   

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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekJ_MI
If Almanzo can do it for free why must DK charge $200?  Unless they want to "make money" off the event, which is likely the case. 


Different people, different motivation. In the beginning Almanzo was actually based in Rochester the first couple editions, but the founder started getting heat from the city once the attendance started climbing into the hundreds. So he proudly raised his middle finger and moved it to Spring Valley. The tourism dollars alone was a huge boon for that little town and it's been there ever since. Even though the Almanzo events have always been free they get some pretty fantastic support from the sponsors and donations. I know DK does a lot of good for Emporia, but it just seems like it draws more of an elitist crowd. Not trying to offend, is what it is. I don't know any other way to interpret the last 10+ years of this. The whole idea of being all inclusive and accessible to all is a big reason people turn to the gravel events and DK doesn't really represent that ethos to me. Might as well be part of the USAC road calendar.    

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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic


Different people, different motivation. In the beginning Almanzo was actually based in Rochester the first couple editions, but the founder started getting heat from the city once the attendance started climbing into the hundreds. So he proudly raised his middle finger and moved it to Spring Valley. The tourism dollars alone was a huge boon for that little town and it's been there ever since. Even though the Almanzo events have always been free they get some pretty fantastic support from the sponsors and donations. I know DK does a lot of good for Emporia, but it just seems like it draws more of an elitist crowd. Not trying to offend, is what it is. I don't know any other way to interpret the last 10+ years of this. The whole idea of being all inclusive and accessible to all is a big reason people turn to the gravel events and DK doesn't really represent that ethos to me. Might as well be part of the USAC road calendar.    


Sorry this is off the thread's topic but trying to get some ride info

ridemagnetic I can't remember if I asked you this before or not. What rides of say 75 miles plus or more like 100 miles have you done and your really liked or you would go back to again? I think I remember you saying you had the Pony Express on your menu for next year. If you are doing the 120 you will want to be trained. During the ride the 75 miler and the 120 shadowed each other some. The main difference I remember is every time the 120 had a split off from the 75 miler, it look like they were going on a goat path. I did mine without support with 2 drop areas. You probably want support for the 120 though.

Thanks
Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #9 
Mmm, I never take support at any of these events. Big part of the draw to gravel racing for me was the self-sufficiency aspect. You are responsible for you. Chris Skogen the founder of Almanzo hammered that point hard when we all first showed up to camp out in his back yard. Dirty Kanza at least has that same rule, as do most all the founding gravel races. I may have done a bag drop once, but wasn't needed. I totally plan on showing up for PE 120. It's the perfect milage for me to think my race out. I have trouble with anything shorter than 100. I never go with the lead group from the start, always surge late. And the more technical the better for me. I also thrive in diabolical weather as much as I hate it. Strange that I despise commuting in rain but some of my best race results have happened during crazy weather events. Probably because less people show up.

As far as events I'll always return to, since I'm moving back to the Midwest it's gotta be my core group of local MN races. Ragnarök, Almanzo, Dirty Benjamin, Heck of the North. Spearfish is close enough that I'll be back again for the Gold Rush. Over the past 7 years I've lived in the Rockies and Cascade ranges, so I'd like to complete the circle by taking in some Appalachian gravel sometime in the future. I'm really intrigued by the Smokies.

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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
Mmm, I never take support at any of these events. Big part of the draw to gravel racing for me was the self-sufficiency aspect. You are responsible for you. Chris Skogen the founder of Almanzo hammered that point hard when we all first showed up to camp out in his back yard. Dirty Kanza at least has that same rule, as do most all the founding gravel races. I may have done a bag drop once, but wasn't needed. I totally plan on showing up for PE 120. It's the perfect milage for me to think my race out. I have trouble with anything shorter than 100. I never go with the lead group from the start, always surge late. And the more technical the better for me. I also thrive in diabolical weather as much as I hate it. Strange that I despise commuting in rain but some of my best race results have happened during crazy weather events. Probably because less people show up.

As far as events I'll always return to, since I'm moving back to the Midwest it's gotta be my core group of local MN races. Ragnarök, Almanzo, Dirty Benjamin, Heck of the North. Spearfish is close enough that I'll be back again for the Gold Rush. Over the past 7 years I've lived in the Rockies and Cascade ranges, so I'd like to complete the circle by taking in some Appalachian gravel sometime in the future. I'm really intrigued by the Smokies.


ridemagnetic thanks for that ride info. From just reading your last post you should do very well at the PE 120. You probably should use their free drop bag service though. Last year's weather was about 50 deg. F at the start and most just started out with arm warmers only myself included but by 11 - 12 it was around 90 deg. F. The ride is very grassroots from what I saw. The town goes all out for the ride and there was about 150 riders showing up last year. I would be interested to hear what you think of the ride after finishing it. I probably had some trouble because of not being able to get enough training in because of my collarbone medical issues. I will go back sometime to do the 120 but have lots of interest in doing some other 100 miler+ rides to compare it to this ride. I loved the small town feeling of the ride though. For sure you do want to go to the riders meeting as I have never been to a race that gave away so much free swag. I wish I could have won a set of the bar mitts.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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clarksonxc

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Reply with quote  #11 
Question on DK support regarding the lottery.
Me and my girlfriend are both registering, both rookies with 0 previous finishes.
Last step of registration asks if you want to purchase support for $75.
If we both get in ("win" the lottery!") then yes, we will both need to purchase support.
If only one of us gets in, the other will naturally be the support crew for the rider.
Does anyone know if you can purchase/decline the $75 support option after the lottery results have been announced?
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarksonxc
Question on DK support regarding the lottery.
Me and my girlfriend are both registering, both rookies with 0 previous finishes.
Last step of registration asks if you want to purchase support for $75.
If we both get in ("win" the lottery!") then yes, we will both need to purchase support.
If only one of us gets in, the other will naturally be the support crew for the rider.
Does anyone know if you can purchase/decline the $75 support option after the lottery results have been announced?


Why don't you and you GF enter together like a team so you are either in or out. My good guess is you couldn't decline the support option if you won the lottery as you have to pay that up front so if you were in you are going to be charged for the support. Good luck in getting in. Maybe frontgravel that runs this site can give you an answer here.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #13 
Why not just ride the course the day before and donate 25 dollars to your favorite charity to offset your guilt?  I know that people put a lot of work into scouting routes and organizing things, but paying to ride bikes is stupid and it's not stealing if you would never pay them anyway.
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