The trials & tribulations of Dirty Kanza!

The epic journey of DK200 is over.... for this year that is!

We had all the right equipment, all the right plans & all the right mental vibes.... the DK stories from Meg & Stew.

We woke up to 50mph gusts of wind tearing our camper awning down....at 4:30am, instead of heading to the start line we were scrambling to pack our camper away before it all blew away!!!! OMG. Being 4 miles from the start we planned to ride to the start, so ride we did. In gusts of wind & lighting we rode. We went all this way we weren't bailing. We got there to a delay in the start, directors gave it 30 min. Our stomachs in knots we waited, with 2000 other people, we waited for the longest 3o minutes EVER. For those of you who don't know,  DK is a mass start, all men & women in one big draft legal group, which is pretty awesome! There are no support crews, you are out there on your own to navigate the flint hills (by hills we mean 10,000 ft of climbing) of Kansas...

Megs' Day: I went into my prospective group, 16hr (finish time) That would give me an average of 13-14mph. My stomach was turning & they blew the whistle. I held on to a group for the first 30ish miles. I started to slow little and latched on to a second group. I was doing the math in my head I needed to be above 10mph to make it before the cut off at 3am. I made it to the first checkpoint with an average of 13.1 mph. I grabbed my snack and kept going.... 15 miles in (57 miles now) my gears got harder...the mud and gunk on the bike somehow twisted my gearing giving me only the hard gears. Everyone was super nice, a guy stopped to help me, (I have very little knowledge mechanically) after an hour of hesitation I decided to call it quits....I wish I had an epic story but I don't.  I didn't want to convert to single speed so I *sadly* threw in the towel.... I decided right then and there, NEXT year is the year! I got my pick up and headed to see how Stew was doing, with 1 checkpoint left I was bound to see him... & his story is way more epic than mine!

Stews' Day:  The best worst day of my life! I decided to line up in the 12 hr finisher position, hearing all the names called out was awesome! "Jens Voight”  “Sven Nys” “Ted King” “Kaitlin Keough"   Umm! 6:30am....off we go, it was chaotic to say the least.  A lot off fallen debris from the storm to navigate through...

People popping of the pace with body or mechanical issues from the go, I was feeling pretty good and positioned in the chase group, it was a tough pace with plenty of climbing to take on 10,000 ft of elevation over the 200 miles with the majority of ups in the first 100 miles.  At 40.94 miles, 2hrs 19 mins in,  I flatted. A flint arrow head had split my  side wall that left me deflated in more ways than one!!! Once I stopped I realized a couple of my early mistakes, I had not eaten and already burned 1938 kJ pretty much the same as calories…. BIG OOOOPS. Time to insert a tire boot and a tube, not so easy when your legs feel like there is a ninja acupuncture convention going inside!!! Finally after wrestling the ninjas and the sealant that I no longer needed in the rear wheel I got peddling again…

I made it to the first check point had a small nibble on a rice cake, filled up on some water, lubed my chain and carried on. Pretty much solo from this point, “only 150 miles to go I told myself” O yeah and the last 100 miles was into a block 25 MPH head wind, so much to still look forward to.

Along with the ups there are some pretty crazy down hill sections, with only a very narrow track to follow, because of the rocks and the loose flint with the occasional deep rut that required some fancy moves to navigate, luckily I survived these sections some how. Not all faired as well, I saw at least 3 ambulances heading that way! Some how I managed to take a tumble on the way UP a steep climb *inserrt embarrassed face* then helped to my feet by a fellow DK nutter!

After another bunch of climbing I finally made it to check point 2, felling pretty awful at this point, nausea and gastric problems of a grand scale… I took a seat in the shade to get out of the sun, it felt so good...did I mention it was now 90 F plus! It took about an hour before I could even think about eating & walk to get nutrition. I finally managed a small sandwich and carried on my way,  just 100 miles to go! Did I mention another flat!

Now to sector 3, it was by far the WORSE.  Headwinds, sun, more elevation, another flat, a body that no longer wanted to play, made this to be a very challenging part of the day to say the least…so much misery!!! I’m sure check point 3 kept moving, haha,  I finally made it, Meg met me & grabbed a seat for me to rest up. I finally managed to eat a banana a bite of a hot dog (ewwwww) and also stashed a banana for latter.

Probably feeling at my worst at this point. I departed in the dark for the final 50 miles, down but not out, as the light faded it cooled a little and that defiantly helped with temperature, after about 20 miles of solo pedaling, I connected with a couple of guys and stayed with them for the final miles, sadly my lights lost charge with 20 miles or so to go. Dodging armadillos became a little tricky but helped out by my new found partners, one in the front and one covering tail. Dark but not my my darkest moment had now passed and the thought of getting back to Emporia was now like having a magic tail wind. We stopped only to grab a Coke from a farmer his son along with a cardboard cut out of Darth Vader! One of many awesome locals handing out love and refreshments along the way. Last stop was for a quick photo on the Chaise Lounge and homeward bound…

A grouling day taking much longer than I expected, the darkest moments are often the easiest to see even a glimmer of light! 18+ hours, 15 hours of pedaling & 206 miles....it was over! 

-Stew

If your wondering about the chaise that Stew so proudly poses on... heres the story: Salsa Cycles Chase the Chaise: https://salsacycles.com/chasethechaise/

DK was an awesome event, put on by an awesome town! We can't wait to make it back to Emporia, KS next year! 

Do you have an epic ride or adventure you want to tell us about? Submit it, we'd love to share on our blog...  email: info@bikeshopwh.com

Dirty Kanza-T Minus 4 Days

The cats outta the bag. Stew & Meg head to Kansas for the epic 200 mile gravel ride known as Dirty Kanza. We've had the chance  to test some of our products from The Bike Shop in preparation. We haven't listed everything, but these are some of our favorite things....

Stew's steed- Cannondale, Super X feat: i9.45 Disc Wheelset, SRAM Force 1 groupset, 42 tooth Wolftooth Drop Stop Chain Ring, Rear Cassette-SRAM XG1199 10-42 11s XX1, Panaracer Gravel King SK 38mm, topped off with some Finish line sealant. 

Helmet: Giro-Synth MIPS

Pedals: Speedplay-SYZR

Tracking/Map device- Garmin 1080

Accessories: Silca boa pouch, Camelbak Bottles, Profile Design bottle cage & more!

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Meg's Steed: Cannondale-Super X feat: Mostly stock expect for an upgrade on the rear derailleur/rear cassette to 11-42 and the tires are Panaracer Gravel King SK, 38mm set up tubeless with Stans Sealant. 

Accessories: Camelbak-Chase Bike Vest, Giro-Sica Techlace women's dirt shoes, & she will also be navigating the terrain with the Garmin 1030

Helmet: Giro Synthe MIPS

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All featured products are available at The Bike Shop!!! (some of the components are special order but all accessories are in stock!)

 We are just a mere 4 days out from race day! The excitement is real. We'll catch back up with all the details post race! 

Silca. Need we say more?

"Passion. Precision. Performance."-Silca

SILCA was founded in 1917 by Felice Sacchi just outside of Milan, Italy. The company innovated and grew quickly by innovating as the first company to put gauges on pumps, the first company to produce a true 'high-pressure' frame pump, the first to work with the revolutionary lightweight material plastic after the end of WWII.  More recently, the company was first with a valve controlled CO2 inflator, and with some irony, the first to move away from plastics and back to wood handles.  Along the way, the company ideals became deeply rooted in a combination of durable materials, traditional craftsmanship, and innovation.  It is no accident that so many of the SILCA pumps of the 1960's and 70's are still in use today, nor is it accidental that we continue to sell replacement parts for those very pumps.  

Below are a selection of our favorites available in store at The Bike Shop!

fenix series-$100 OFF! What?

Now through June 16th take $100 OFF ALL watches in the fēnix family! (includes all fenix 5s, 5 & 5x) With Father's Day around the corner, it's time to treat dad to the real deal. The fenix is a multisport GPS watch built for fitness, adventure & style. We have select products IN STOCK!!! 

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Regularly priced from $549.99-$799.99 on sale starting at $449.99!!! This is HUGE!!! 

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Cannondale Synapse for the win.

Cannondale Synapse Wins Bicycling Magazine
2018 Road Bike Editors’ Choice Award

BOOM.

 

"Synapse is as much at home climbing paved switchbacks as it is blasting through gravel. Without the extra weight and movement of active suspension, the Synapse feels more lively than some other endurance bikes. It responds to pedaling input like its racier sibling, the SuperSix Evo, while remaining stable in corners and on descents."

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From the carbon disc at $1999.99 to the high mod at $9999.99, you will surly find one that suits you. Drop by and see our in store selection, if we don't have what you want we can get it, and we can get it FAST!

Get Mom something she'll love...

Looking for that perfect gift for Mother's Day? Look no more! Here are a few of our favorites. From bikes to techy gear, get Mom set for her Summer adventures. Featuring our top picks for riding, wearing & snacking, all are available in store!

 Our hours are Monday-Saturyda 9am-6pm, Closed on Sunday.

Just in, new from Garmin...

Our first blog post, we hope you enjoy! 

Have you noticed we love Garmin. You know the old saying "If I pass out, please pause my Garmin". Yes, that's us. If we forget our devices for ride we may as well not ride, right?! Garmin offers so much insight to all types of riding & multipart activities from general tracking to advanced navigation, cadence, speed, incident detection and more. If there is one thing we can't leave our houses without it would be our Garmin products. The Edge 130 has just released and is now available at The Bike Shop! Drop by to see it for yourself!

Edge 130 – Most affordable, most functional, full blown GPS Garmin has ever made for cycling.  Up to 8 data fields, BLE sensors compatible, AND 15hr battery life. (see review from DC Rainmaker)  Starting at $199.99, deats below!

  • Simplified, rugged design with 1.8” display that’s crisp and easy to read in sunlight or low-light conditions
  • With GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellites and an altimeter, you’ll know how far, fast, hard and high you’ve ridden on the longest climbs or on your way through the city
  • Includes navigation with turn prompts and even shows you how to get back to start; download courses from the Course Creator feature in Garmin Connect™ online community, and race in real time against Strava Live Segments
  • Compatible with Varia™ cycling awareness accessories, including rearview radar and smart bike lights
  • Connected features, when using a compatible device, include smart notifications, weather and more; LiveTrack and assistance features make it easy to share your location
  • Battery life: up to 15 hours

 

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