Note: This post is about my second Dirty Kanza 200 experience on June 3, 2017.
It’s broken into seven parts:
Part I – Prep / Training
Part II – Preamble
Part III – Starting Line
Part IV – Checkpoint One
Part V – Checkpoint Two
Part VI – Checkpoint Three
Part VII – Finish Line
I’ve learned that one of the key aspects to successfully completing an ultra-endurance event like the Dirty Kanza is rest and this year I paid careful attention to that fact the weeks leading up to it.
Last year I arrived in Emporia the day before the race. This was a mistake. The flurry of last minute preps interfered with a good night’s rest. This year’s was Wednesday evening, checked-in, and in bed by 8pm. My plan was an early rise on Thursday, to get the (real) work done by lunchtime, and have the rest of the day to play.
Was a blast. First, went on a short ride, and got into some peanut butter.
Forcing a premature end as I didn’t want to risk continuing and busting something. No biggie, stopped, cleaned off the gunk, had a nice conversation with the turtle that was intently watching, and rode the remaining miles back to town — undeterred.
Still feeling spry, I moved into the ESU dorm, leaving the hotel room for my mother and sister (Kyle) who arrive on Friday to cheer us on.
Family coming to town is one of the best things about this event. It started with my brother Timothy back in 2014, for which I was his support team. That year’s entourage included my daughter, Megan, two sisters, Heather and Kyle, Tim’s wife Angie, and their kids. My Mom and Dad were also there. It was bittersweet as Tim beat the sun, and dedicated his award to Dad, who was ailing from cancer, and died the following year. I discussed these things in last year’s post — The Signup.
Just have fun
My brother Kelly arrived late in the afternoon, and for some reason we thought we needed to consume this Mexican feast @ the local tacohell.
Yes we did
Which provided somewhat of a base before heading out to see Agent Orange and Rev Horton Heat light things up at the Granada Theater.
The Rev still puts on a hell of a show.
I was particularly stoked to see the Rev, who used to pack them into Lawrence’s Jazzhaus, back in the 80’s, when I attended college there.
Was another early rise and great day. Started out with more work work, and then off to the GU Stroopwafel & Coffee Ride. A pleasant spin allowing us to shake out the legs.
Followed by some milling around town where I got a shot of Amanda (the Panda) Nauman, and wished her well on another women’s DK200 title (3rd straight).
Amanda The Panda on Friday afternoon, downtown Emporia
Unfortunately, she fell just 5 seconds short of that goal. I saw her Sunday morning and offered what encouragement I could for which she graciously accepted with a warm smile and kind words in return. Nice lady, displays the characteristic humility found in gravel riders.
It was a warm, sunny day. After rider check-in, I was feeling a bit parched, and figured it was time for refreshments.
Bellied up to the bar, ordered a Dirty Kanza Kolsch (brewed by Free State), and soaked in the atmosphere of this great, iconic pub.
Later, Kelly and I joined Mom and Kyle, with it, another pint, along with a nice dinner.
Bruff’s Bar & Grill
Attended the 7pm riders meeting at the Granada theater.
Where we heard our beloved race director, Jim, gently encourage us to do the right thing.
Afterwards back to dorms, a few late adjustments to the equipment, and off to snooze-town.
I felt really good. Arriving and getting that prep done early had the desired effect. I was tired yet excited at the same time. Looking forward to getting out there…
Next Post: Part III – Starting Line