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GranvilleGravel

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Reply with quote  #26 
I think it is totally worth the money.  Like others said, there are tons of costs for putting on a big event like this.  The people who do it, do the work for love.  They don't make much money on this even if it amounts to their full time job.   People who don't want to pay a fee that is less than half the cost of some cassettes, then fine, don't pay and go ride the same roads some other day.    
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #27 
Probably not on the same subject but I do have a question. I understand the concept of being self supported while gravel riding. I probably agree to the point of not having chase cars or people all over the roads at one or 2 rest stops. My question though is how come some races has decided to drop bags and other races don't? I have read that DK has a support crew that you can purchase? Do they allow you to have or have the drop bag option available and or I guess you can have your own support crew. How many stops are there lets say on the 200 mile race?


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Zman

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GranvilleGravel

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman
Probably not on the same subject but I do have a question. I understand the concept of being self supported while gravel riding. I probably agree to the point of not having chase cars or people all over the roads at one or 2 rest stops. My question though is how come some races has decided to drop bags and other races don't? I have read that DK has a support crew that you can purchase? Do they allow you to have or have the drop bag option available and or I guess you can have your own support crew. How many stops are there lets say on the 200 mile race?


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Zman


DK200 usually has 3 rest stops.  Last two years they were at roughly Mile 45, Mile 100, and Mile 160.   That is about as far as most people can go with two bottles.  That third leg of more than 60 miles in the afternoon heat gets a little rough for many racers.  Two years ago, we had two rest stops with legs of 75 miles in between.  Fortunately that year it was cool and still most people ran out of water.   With a leg longer than 60 miles, people would have to add more water capacity (extra bottles, camel back).  Don't know why there are no drop bags -- guess DK organizers decided against it for logistic reasons.   You ARE required to have a support person on hand (mostly for emergency extraction), so the support-crew-for-hire option serves the dual role of rest stop support and emergency pick up.   

The self support option would be a logistic difficulty with upwards of 1000 racers descending on the only convenience store on the route.   It works ok for something like TransIowa where there are only 150 racers or so, not for something as big as DK traversing remote territory where there aren't a lot of food/water options.  

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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #29 
Anyone thinking DK is expensive should check out registration for an event put on by Ironman. Not only do they charge A LOT but much of the road support is provided by charities who in turn receive money from IM.  It's a weird system but the point is that putting on a large race is A LOT of work and takes a lot of $$$.  As soon as an event moves from participation (aka the typical century ride) to a race, the logistics and complexity goes way up.   I quit riding Colorado's Triple Bypass when the entry crossed over $125...  It's even easier to do the TBP unsupported than a long grinder yet people like the support and they continue to sell out at $150+ per person.  

Regarding value, as others have stated that's completely in the eye of the participant.  There are lots of remote areas in Colorado with no cell service - I'd really really rather not worry about being stranded with a broken bike (yes, accidents and mechanical and health issues happen).   

Cheers,
Greg
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCoGreg
Anyone thinking DK is expensive should check out registration for an event put on by Ironman. Not only do they charge A LOT but much of the road support is provided by charities who in turn receive money from IM.  It's a weird system but the point is that putting on a large race is A LOT of work and takes a lot of $$$.  As soon as an event moves from participation (aka the typical century ride) to a race, the logistics and complexity goes way up.   I quit riding Colorado's Triple Bypass when the entry crossed over $125...  It's even easier to do the TBP unsupported than a long grinder yet people like the support and they continue to sell out at $150+ per person.  

Regarding value, as others have stated that's completely in the eye of the participant.  There are lots of remote areas in Colorado with no cell service - I'd really really rather not worry about being stranded with a broken bike (yes, accidents and mechanical and health issues happen).   

Cheers,
Greg


You have some very good comments here NoCoGreg. I think we all have bucket list rides we want to do once in our lifetimes. Triple Bypass was one for me along with Ride the Rockies Bicycle Tour of Colorado and now my new one is Tour of Wyoming. I also did Hotter N Hell 100. Cycling is unique in that what floats one person's boat doesn't necessarily float another's. One such ride in my area is a ride called the Seagull Century close to Salisbury Md. I believe Entrance fee is high around $100 and it's a flatter than a pancake ride. I luv to climb so no it isn't on my radar right now. When I am in my late 70's or early 80's when I can't climb anymore it might be.


Ride what you like I guess.


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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cmcalpin

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
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]


My rides free. 👍😉 honestly the figures of what the DK grosses are insane and I have never paid more than $150 a night for a room in ANY Best Western hotel from CA to MA. That’s BS and to read that really ticks me off. Reminds me of the flood of 93 in Des Moines when a Hy Vee manager got caught marking bottled water up to $10 a gallon the night they shut the cities water off. They forced him to give it all away as punishment.

Maybe I should go to Wal Mart and buy a bunch of Busch Light beer for my ride this summer and sell it for $20 a can. Hey I got a son in college. Got to pay his way through somehow lol. DANG!!

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chunkyhugo

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Reply with quote  #32 
Every year I face various dilemmas regarding events. These range from distance to travel, date convenience, value for money etc.

Usually (unless the event uses private tracks) I have the option to ride the course whenever it's convenient for me and sometimes I do. There is a bucket list century ride that is so popular, entry is by means of a lottery. After trying to enter twice and missing out, I thought forget it! I can go anytime and ride the course (and for free!). There's places to restock food and drink along the way, plus I'm just a cellphone call from help in case of an emergency.

I DO appreciate it when an event organizer states that they have tried to keep down costs by omitting tee shirts, socks, buffs etc as we all have drawers full of these "souvenirs" at home.

My enjoyment is getting out and riding in some beautiful places, whether or not it's with 1000 fellow cyclists or solo.
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Jim C

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Reply with quote  #33 
The Flint Hills are a great place to explore on a bike.  And not just on DK weekend.  Check out the "Route" page on our website, which includes running, biking, and bikepacking routes.  Please consider Emporia, KS for your next adventure.  https://dirtykanzapromotions.com/routes/
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Ibadfish

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Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman
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


Don't know how anybody paid that much for a hotel room. Yes some the rooms were more expensive than usual but not that much. I got a hotel room a month before the race last year and paid 60 bucks a night. Hotels are going to raise the price for their rooms during an event that sells out every room in the city. But 250 a night for a best western is somebody getting ripped off.
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kriskexplorer

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Reply with quote  #35 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibadfish


Don't know how anybody paid that much for a hotel room. Yes some the rooms were more expensive than usual but not that much. I got a hotel room a month before the race last year and paid 60 bucks a night. Hotels are going to raise the price for their rooms during an event that sells out every room in the city. But 250 a night for a best western is somebody getting ripped off.


I paid $436.96 for 2 nights at the Best Western. One year I got lucky and paid there regular rate. They basically double the rate during DK.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriskexplorer
I paid $436.96 for 2 nights at the Best Western. One year I got lucky and paid there regular rate. They basically double the rate during DK.


I understand this logic but that doesn't mean I agree with it. I was lucky enough to go to 2 Olympics years ago here in the USA. Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980 the rooms were around $200. We stayed over in Burlington Vt. about an hr. away. LA Summer Olympics in 1984 the rooms were over $300 a night. We were lucky in that my ex had a friend out there that we stayed at their placed. Are there any other towns close to Emporiam Kansas that the rates would be cheaper. krisexplorer did you get the cheaper rate because you booked it really early or did somebody not know the race was that weekend?

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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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kriskexplorer

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman


I understand this logic but that doesn't mean I agree with it. I was lucky enough to go to 2 Olympics years ago here in the USA. Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980 the rooms were around $200. We stayed over in Burlington Vt. about an hr. away. LA Summer Olympics in 1984 the rooms were over $300 a night. We were lucky in that my ex had a friend out there that we stayed at their placed. Are there any other towns close to Emporiam Kansas that the rates would be cheaper. krisexplorer did you get the cheaper rate because you booked it really early or did somebody not know the race was that weekend?

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Zman


It was around 4 years ago when I got the regular rate but that’s when DK was much smaller then it is now. As far as other towns I would guess Topeka might be the closest with a lot of options. It’s roughly 50 minuetes or so from Emporia.
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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #38 
Hotels and other vendors raising prices for large events isn't surprising. Check out prices during the Sturgis motorcycle rally.  

If anyone's looking for the ultimate in low cost gravel rides (aka FREE), Fort Collins has the Winter Ralleye series. Here's a link with some historical perspective and a writeup of last year's overnight ride to Red Feather. 
https://thedropperpost.com/2017/05/04/fort-collins-winter-ralleye-overnight/

The Winter Ralleye is a monthly event. True to the pictures in the above article, literally nearly every type of bicycle is represented.  The rides are social, but will break into smaller packs. Always lots of fun and you'll never know who you'll meet. Last year I spent the last 20 miles or so riding and talking with a former pro who had raced in Europe.  No I'm not that strong, he was just out for fun.  But I digress...

Here's a link to the 2017/18 Winter Ralleye series.  There are no entry fees nor is there any support other than that provided by fellow riders and friends one can reach via cell phone.
http://yourgroupride.com/index.php/component/content/article/60-news-and-events/1171-winter-ralleye-2017?Itemid=107
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Ibadfish

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Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriskexplorer


I paid $436.96 for 2 nights at the Best Western. One year I got lucky and paid there regular rate. They basically double the rate during DK.


Hotels are always going to jack up the prices during big events. Especially when every room in town is in high demand. I'm just saying I don't know how anybody got stuck for that much in hotel fees. I booked last year a month before the race and paid less than 200 for 2 nights.

This year I booked early in the year and got the same rate for 2 nights. After taxes I'm paying a little over 200 for 3 nights during the dk.
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frontrangegravel

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Reply with quote  #40 
Classic discussion about races and race entries. With a decent background of experience putting on my own events (both free and paid), this conversation comes up often.

My short answer has come down to this: "What do you do for your living? Ok, cool. You profit quit a bit from that right? (without asking salary - that's the "profit" after all [of course ignoring tax, etc]). What if I told you that I think you really should only make half of that based on my calculations. You shouldn't accept your next 3 paychecks. Cool?" 

You either appreciate the experience or not. If not, you don't pay. However, do that enough and don't expect others to want (or appreciate) what you're offering for your living either. 

Zman - there will always be something with "grassroots" feeling. We can always put together a ride with friends in a low key way. I'm not concerned. 
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frontrangegravel

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim C
The Flint Hills are a great place to explore on a bike.  And not just on DK weekend.  Check out the "Route" page on our website, which includes running, biking, and bikepacking routes.  Please consider Emporia, KS for your next adventure.  https://dirtykanzapromotions.com/routes/


Thanks for all the gang does Jim. 
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2slow2Bfast

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Reply with quote  #42 
Because it's awesome! The amazing landscape and the people associated with the event, both organizers and participants, make the cost, the time off of work, the travel expenses, and more all worth it for me. It's a source of inspiration for me that fills up my well of energy for other times in the year when I feel less optimistic about the world. Dirty Kanza has changed my life. That is not hyperbole. The trajectory of my life is different now. I perceive my own abilities and the abilities of my fellow human beings in a different light.

But as you say, all of this is elective. If you didn't get the warm fuzzies from the event, look elsewhere. But please don't harsh on an event that is such a wonderfully positive experience for many of us. 
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DerekJ_MI

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Reply with quote  #43 
Last year I went to the DK training camp.  it cost $800 and included automatic entry into the event.  This year they raised the price to $1875.  Yes, this is not a mistake and it include your entry.  I was going to go again to the camp as I thought $800 was expensive but I could justify it especially because it included the entry fee.  At $1875.. no way!  I couldn't ride the event last year due to a late April injury.  I was successful in getting into the 200 event this year but I think that it was because I bought a jersey, cap and support.  I'm paying almost $500 for the event.  Now add in lodging, travel, food to and from and while riding and I'll likely push over $1,000 for riding 95% public roads. All for the experience to ride with so many in such an epic location?  Is it worth it?  To me, yes, but for this year only!  I'm training my ass off to make sure I will complete the event.  maybe beat the sun.  But I will not return not unless they reduce the cost substantially.  The event has become an unreasonable value. 

And what is reasonable you ask? Well, Almanzo 100 (to name one) holds their event at no cost to the rider!? How is it that they can do it?  Well the community sponsors the event.  Lots of sponsors and donations.  Send in your post card and you are in.  Their attitude is that gravel grinding should always be free.  What do you get for nothing?  You get nothing except the experience of completing the Almanzo 100.  No pint glass or anything.  No jersey to buy or hat or anything.  Pure riding with like minded cyclists. 

Is DK Productions making a buck on this event?  Without question they are!  DK is about business and Jim is no fool.  He's in the business of running cycling events.  He's in the right place at the right time.  Good for him. 

Life is full of experiences and DK is one of them.  But now that the Gravel Grinder style of rides is on fire, there are options.  Epic excellent events are popping up everywhere. 

Life is good. 

Train hard and ride them all. 
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chunkyhugo

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Reply with quote  #44 
One point being consistently avoided in this thread is whether the high costs being mentioned are unjustifiably prohibitive to some riders who may not have an unlimited budget for event entry fees and associated costs

Cycling isn't just about being an endless money pit. I for one do not earn a vast salary, but still enjoy my sport whilst spending a significantly smaller amount on my hobby as some folk.

Exorbitant prices are in danger of making gravel events like the DK only within reach of the financial elite.
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dstookey

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Reply with quote  #45 
My first experience in the Flint Hills was attending the 2011 Symphony in the Flint Hills. It was amazing! I then learned about the Dirty Kanza while there and the rest is history as I made plans for the DK200 in 2012. I have ridden the 200 twice and now with my age the DK100 is the perfect fit.  I perceive real value for my money. I enjoy it so much there that and friend and I ride the Flint Hills every October. 
  I will try to ride the DK as long as I possibly can!

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cmcalpin

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Reply with quote  #46 
$800 for a training camp to ride gravel is ridiculous.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #47 
I haven't read thru this thread all in one sitting so don't know if this has been mentioned or not. For a local Kansas rider I could see doing this ride every year. You would only have to pay the entry fee because in most cases you would already have you own support crew. For out of state riders who have to fly in, get a rental car and then pay for hotel expenses it all starts adding up. I will do it sometime but there are some other rides/races out there that I plan on doing first. I also want to be experienced enough in the gravel scene to be able to finish the 200 mile ride. I don't think I am there yet.

Good luck to everyone that is in it this year. Hope to be able to read some stories afterwards from afar.


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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pegboy74

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Reply with quote  #48 
A DK entry in 2011 cost me $60. Raced it 5 consecutive years and in that time the price more than doubled. I'm priced out at $200. Just not worth the commitment of time and money for me. Plenty of routes and free races in our area that more than compensate for missing this.
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Bbrink

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Reply with quote  #49 
While the price doesn't affect my decision to ride in the DK the lack of availability of enties does. For instance part of my riding "team" got in and part didn't and are not able to find any avalibe entries. So I have a question. What is to stop my other teammates from just showing up and riding with the other members of the group? It is disappointing that people in the area that want in are not able to get in.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #50 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbrink
While the price doesn't affect my decision to ride in the DK the lack of availability of enties does. For instance part of my riding "team" got in and part didn't and are not able to find any avalibe entries. So I have a question. What is to stop my other teammates from just showing up and riding with the other members of the group? It is disappointing that people in the area that want in are not able to get in.


Bbrink following this race real close right now I guess there is no easy answer. After their computer crash last year and so many riders feeling like they got cheated out of the race they had to do something. I didn't want to do the race this year but I understand completely in what they have done and it probably is the only fair way to go about it. The race has become on everybody's to do list that it is now drawing riders from out of state also. I do want to come out and do it sometime but if I fly out from Pa. and pay all that expense I want to be sure I can finish the 200 mile race. I am not there yet and hope to get some other ultra gravel rides under my belt before I decide to ride/race the DK.


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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