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overcharged

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I am tired of paying to ride my bike.  Let's face these things are challenges for most of us and we only compete with ourselves and our buddies.
 
The Dk is one of the biggest gravel events around KC and I did it last year and will never pay to do it again.

I refuse to give any more money to the DK or anything DK promotions does after doing the DK100 last year.  The reason for this is they provide very little for the money.  T- shirt, Socks, pint glass, insurance and coordinating everything.  This is about a 20-25 per person cost but why not round this up to $35.  They collected $330,000 for that race in entry fees. I don't mind you making a profit off a race but after everything is said and done I would think it would be fair to say they are around 180-220k.  


That is some serious money. I won't be contributing to a race that takes advantage of my pocket book.

And before you say that the DK is the premier gravel event- it is not. Tell me in the comments below what they do different then other gravel races to get that status.

I have been to better events - Cedar Cross, BT Epic, Pony Express,  they had the same atmosphere and I honestly had more fun at them.  

Rant over - so do you think the DK is a worth the money? is it the best Gravel event ever?
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sgtrobo

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Reply with quote  #2 

it's the most well-known event. I haven't done DK yet but it is absolutely on my bucket list.  Thanks for providing those other events, now my bucket list is longer. [smile]

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overcharged

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Reply with quote  #3 
Bt epic is mtb event... and if you enter all 3of those events you would be under 150. 😁 and all had beer at the end.
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cjdaking

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm sure if you write to Jim Cummins he'll gladly break down all of the other costs that you did not include. I thought it was a really well-managed event. If you don't get the value, this would be an easy one to replicate solo on a non-DK weekend since the routes are all posted online and you can refuel in Madison and Eureka. 

Sorry you didn't get the same value as a lot of us did, but rest assured nobody's getting rich off this event! 
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overcharged

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Reply with quote  #5 
Why do I have to wait for a non DK weekend. it is an open road. If I don't want a t shirt, sock,pint glass or insurance. whats to stop me from riding the course. not a damn thing.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #6 
DK is on my bucket list to just say I did it once. Newbie here to gravel riding. Pony Express 120(I opted for the 75 miler because of medical reasons) was my first gravel race. It was a low key race with the town going all out. At the riders meeting I have never seen so much swag given away. I think it was close to an hr. I believe. A $1500 bike was the top prize. I wish I could have won a pair of the bar mitts.  I will go back and do the 120 some day but I think you would be hard pressed to find a more grass roots ride/race.


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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DrBagg

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Reply with quote  #7 
For those that think these are all open roads....better research that and be sure....some of the routes go thru private property
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DrBagg

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by overcharged
I am tired of paying to ride my bike.  Let's face these things are challenges for most of us and we only compete with ourselves and our buddies.
 
The Dk is one of the biggest gravel events around KC and I did it last year and will never pay to do it again.

I refuse to give any more money to the DK or anything DK promotions does after doing the DK100 last year.  The reason for this is they provide very little for the money.  T- shirt, Socks, pint glass, insurance and coordinating everything.  This is about a 20-25 per person cost but why not round this up to $35.  They collected $330,000 for that race in entry fees. I don't mind you making a profit off a race but after everything is said and done I would think it would be fair to say they are around 180-220k.  


That is some serious money. I won't be contributing to a race that takes advantage of my pocket book.

And before you say that the DK is the premier gravel event- it is not. Tell me in the comments below what they do different then other gravel races to get that status.

I have been to better events - Cedar Cross, BT Epic, Pony Express,  they had the same atmosphere and I honestly had more fun at them.  

Rant over - so do you think the DK is a worth the money? is it the best Gravel event ever?


You should check out the OG grinder....same day, free, same area.
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flyinlow

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Reply with quote  #9 
I hear your frustration.  I did the math as well and was astonished.  It didn't even include the fee sponsors pay to advertise at the race.  However...the freedom loving, capitalist American in me says the market will decide the price. No one is forcing anyone to attend the race and no one is being taken advantage of.  DK is a product.  People are willing to put a premium on the "experience" of DK.  You have drawn a line.  That's fine too. 

I do agree with you.  Go support the smaller races.   You can get more "experiences" for less.  However, also realize even smaller race directors must still spend hours: designing a course, talking to city/county officials, getting sponsors, insurance, registration, chip timing, organizing volunteers, graphic design, talking to land owners, coordinating prizes and awards, creating an ad campaign, website, etc.  How many hours are spent doing all this?  What is their time worth?  Are all these things necessary?  Would the sport grow without them?

Can you have a better (and cheaper) time at a local amusement park compared to Disney World?  You bet!  Is it still fun to go to Disney World?  

I am not a DK apologetic but you can argue that even smaller races owe some of their success to DK. The popularity of DK has brought many into the sport of "gravel grinding" and made Kansas a destination for an outdoor activity instead of a just a "flyover" state...or that stretch of road on your way to Colorado.

I imagine there are many unknowns every year for these race directors in trying to come up with a fair price.  I'm sure the smaller race directors don't do it for the money, but don't want to lose money in the process (and some donate proceeds to local charities). 
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBagg
For those that think these are all open roads....better research that and be sure....some of the routes go thru private property


Yeah same for the Pony Express. Land owners have been kind enough to open the land to gravel riders and you sure wouldn't want to infringe on that and then gravel cycling as a whole loses that benefit of some areas to ride. It kind of happened to the road cycling community at what was the Furnace Creek 508 when the Park decided that they would no longer issue the permit for the riders to go through that area. Not sure if the riders did anything wrong but Chris Kostman had to reroute his race and now starts the ride in Vegas and is called the Silver State 508. I think the ride has lost some of it's history and benefits because of the move. Just my honest opinion.


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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Dug

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Reply with quote  #11 
I completely agree with the original poster's sentiment.  I've signed up three times and finished twice.  I drew a line in the sand this year and said no thanks.  Then, in the days leading up to registration, several of my riding buddies wavered and decided to throw their hat in the ring.  I caved to peer pressure I suppose.  I'm too old for that but it is what it is.  That said, I did not sign up for any of DK's extra's.  Some people I know put nearly $500.00 worth of stuff in their shopping cart by the time it was all said in done.  The theory being that the lottery isn't really random and the applicants that committed to spending more money were more likely to get chosen. 

It's their race and can charge what they want.  I have to think they are close to maxing out what people are wiling to pay though.  I've seen a lot of blow back and complaining online this year. 
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crapknees

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Reply with quote  #12 
I finished the 200 last year and was left feeling much the same.  I think what really got me was how bad I got gouged on my Hotel room, I spent over $500 for a two night stay at a f$ckin Best Western.  My "A" race this year that is the Land Run 100, I had more fun there last year despite my DNF in a better town, lower cost hotel, and only less than $100 entry, free beer, much better freebies, and best of all the T-shirt wasn't a tacky, crappy, ill fitting, neon abomination like DK's.  

It is worth the money once to say you completed it.

With all that said I still felt pressured to put my name in the lottery this year, not sure how I will feel if I'm chosen.  If not I'm doing the OG ride mentioned earlier from Eldorado KS to Emporia to watch the DK finish.

If anyone is around Wichita KS area I'd highly recommend the Rage Against the Chain Ring Series as well.  Very good value for the cost and great group of people.
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jruhlen1980

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Reply with quote  #13 
Yeah pretty rude how they held a gun to your head and forced you to register.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #14 
Am I missing something here. When I check/Google OG Grinder it comes up with Oregon Gravel Grinder for sure not in the same area as the DK200.


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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overcharged

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Reply with quote  #15 
let me address a few comments.

No one put a gun to my head and forced me to register. I bought into the hype.  I was disappointed in what the event was. I felt it has become over hyped and cost way to much for what it is.

Someone said no one is getting rich off the DK - Really, What is Jim Cummings full time job? I just looked up his linked in profile- it is the DK  Promotions.  Has been since 2014.   I know he does more then just the DK with DK promotion-   I am happy that he has been able to make a living off of race promotion.  I'm in sales and the value of something is set by how much people will pay. I can not fault him for what he has built. And I know he will sell it out again this year. 
I will not buy his products anymore because it is overprice in my opinion. 

 - At the end my rant is asked two questions

Do you think the DK is a worth the money? is it the best Gravel event ever?

my answer to both is NO(obviously).  I'm just trying to understand why we pay so much money.  

DK has helped make gravel a big deal in the Midwest but the price they are charging is raising the market price of events.   

THIS SAME CRAP HAPPENED TO ROAD RIDING - so hopefully it will become affordable to ride my bike in events again [smile]



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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #16 
Pay-to-play has always been a point of contention in the gravel scene. Just go one or two states north to IA or MN and the vast majority of gravel races are free entry, and have been since the beginnings of all this over a decade now. Is DK worth the money, or is it the best? Personally not for me, though I totally understand for many it certainly is. They could charge even more for entry, hotel and food prices could go up, and the hordes are still going to line up at the start. Thankfully there are plenty of options out there. [thumb]
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A great set of wheels will make an average frame ride better. It doesn't work the other way around.  ~ridemagnetic
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jruhlen1980

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Reply with quote  #17 
There a literally hundreds of races I don't do every year and somehow I manage to not to whine about them on forums.
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overcharged

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Reply with quote  #18 
jruhlen1980-  I thought this was the right place to state my opinion and ask for others.  Guess if my opinion is a negative one it is considered whining. 

DOES NOT MEAN IT IS NOT A VALID OPINION.
DK is a well managed good event that is overpriced. 
More people have agreed with that opinion then provided reasons why it is a good value.

And one last thing, while you whine about me whining on the forum(irony). Please don't hijack the forum and let try and keep the conversation about original poster's question.

Is DK worth the money???
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #19 
I had this ride on my radar. There is no way under the sun I am going to pay $500 for a 2 night stay crappy Best Western or whatever motel charged that. That is call price gouging for sure.

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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jruhlen1980

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Reply with quote  #20 
People who are actually right usually aren't that defensive.

You aren't really seeking an open debate on this. You've already formed your opinion and you want everyone to validate you.

But you're doing it by taking pot shots at the organizers, and I happen to know a lot more about the organizers and I know you're talking out your ass.

Your initial question is entirely subjective and each person has to figure out whether it's worth it, so I don't know what you hope to accomplish because there's not going to be a definitive answer, other than starting an internet pile-on. You even went to the hassle of creating an account for the sole purpose of doing so.

Anyway you did the 100 and decided you didn't like it. That's like saying you don't like swimming because you played in a sprinkler once and didn't like it. Maybe you should stick to club centuries -- they have rest stops every 10 miles and they even have sag wagons if you can't make it.

Merry Christmas



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overcharged

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thank you for the Christmas wishes -  jruhlen1980. 

You are correct- I was looking for validation, because I thought I might be wrong, maybe I was missing something.  maybe someone could tell me why the DK is worth it.  My mind could be changed.

You have not even given one reason.

What does the DK provide that other races do not to justify the costs.

I would like to apologize if my comments came across to organizers as pot shot.  That was not my intention.
The DK is a good event, that is very well managed.  They do a great job.

I did have to create an account to have this conversations - Again thought this would be the right place for that conversation. I would not go to a sprinkler forum and try and have the conversation there.

And yes I did the 100.  finished it with no support from the DK -  had to pay extra for my support team.
You are correct club rides do usually offer aid station and sag wagons.   AND THEY COST LESS THEN DK. thanks for helping prove my point that you don't get a lot for the money. 

Have a good New years.
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jpankask

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Reply with quote  #22 
Your question "do you think the DK is worth the money" has no definitive answer.  For several thousands of riders, their answer is "yes", as they pay that money every year and who knows how many more try to register and pay that money but are unable to.

For me, it IS well worth the money.  My first year riding the 100, I was not able to finish because I hadn't had the time to properly train and I completely under-estimated the amount of nutrition/calories I would need to take in during the ride.  I learned something from that ride.  The next year, I trained harder and I finished the 100.  The personal satisfaction from setting and completing a goal, the better health for my body and my family, the inspiration to my teenage boys of completing a challenging goal...all were worth much more than the $100 it cost me to ride.  The next year, my 15 year-old son wanted to try the DK.  I rode the 50 mile with him.  The time we spent together training, the satisfaction he received from setting and completing his goal, etc...all "worth" many times more than the $50 each we paid for that experience.  This year, God and lottery willing, I will ride with two of my sons, hopefully inspiring years of healthy living and bicycle fun for them and for my future grandkids.  To me, a few hundred dollars is nothing compared to the "worth" of everything that can't be measured in dollars that we receive from the Dirty Kanza.  Could I set a date and train for a 100-mile ride and do it myself for free?  Sure I could, but how much time would I spend getting a rideable route?  Would that route be as awesome as the beautiful Flint Hills?  Would I get the same camaraderie alone as I would riding with a few thousand other riders providing motivation when needed?  Maybe. 

That said, we live close enough to Emporia that I don't pay for a hotel.  I don't travel anywhere for any other races...because it's not "worth" it for me to pay those travel expenses...and I can get what I want from the DK.  So, all those cheaper races are not "worth" it to me.  If DK is not worth the money for you, nobody is making you do it. 

Lastly, I don't know Jim Cummins, but I've seen him around town.  I think you are really underestimating the cost of putting on something the size of the DK.  It's not like Jim is raking in $300k, buying some walmart glasses for the finishers and pocketing $299k.  There are multiple people who essentially make the DK a full-time job.  There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that cost a ton of money, I'm sure. 
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overcharged

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Reply with quote  #23 
jpankask- Great answer-  thank you for sharing.  



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zimdba

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Reply with quote  #24 
This thread has certainly got me thinking.  After signing up for the 200, and including the support & website fees, I was just shy of $300.  That made me take notice for sure.  And the discussion about value received - certainly not there vs. the many road rides I've done.

As far as travel & lodging - I'm able to drive to the DK, and staying in the dorms really helped keep the cost down.  I think it was $130 for the 3 nights.  I just kind of chalk that portion of it to a vacation.  How much would I spend on a vacation?  Because it really was nice to not have to deal with the responsibilities at home for a few days.

I think $100-$150 for an event would be my limit in the future.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by overcharged
jpankask- Great answer-  thank you for sharing.  






jpankask that is a great story you put out there. I only wish I could have ridden my bike with my boys as they were growing up. We use to ski together and I truly miss that. From reading all this there probably isn't a yes or no answer it depends on the person and what you are willing to spend. At my end coming from out of state it gets kind of costly. The other thing that has attracted me to gravel racing is the grass roots and the fact that there are no fees or low faces on so many races. This race has really grown and from what I am reading some of gravel history and beginnings now go to this race and some other races. I just hope because of what this race is charging that it doesn't filter down to some of the other races and they lose that grass root's feeling.

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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