The Dirty Kanza is happening right this minute. And for the next 8 hours or more. The Dirty Kanza is a 200 mile gravel road race held in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
A bunch of friends of mine are “racing” today. It might be a race this year. Last year it was just survival. It was in the lower 100’s temperature-wise, then it rained so hard that some of the roads that were true dirt, with no gravel, became mud, so you had to walk in the fields. I was racing a criterium in Wichita last year and, at the time, couldn’t imagine trying to ride 200 miles on gravel. It was epic.
I’ve never been to the event myself. It is sort of strange hearing Gunner Shogren telling me at Masters Cross Worlds that the Dirty Kanza or DK200 registration is open and closed in a matter of hours. I don’t know how many people it is limited to, but it’s just a few hundred at most. I just heard this morning from my friend Dennis Kruse up in Cable, that Tom Schuler is racing it on a tandem today. I’ve observed that Tom has been going senile the last few years and this just confirms it.
Dan Hughes, the owner of Sunflower Bicycle Shop in Lawrence won the event last year. He is unbelievable at these things. I’ve ridden a couple 100 mile rides with him on gravel and he takes no prisoners. He rides Leadville without acclimating. A mutant.
I just got a call from my brother who was at the first check point, 60 miles in. He didn’t know the guy that was winning, but Rebecca Rusch, from Specialized, was the leading woman. Rebecca is the best in the World at these things. Click here to see her results. Rita Robben, his girlfriend, was in 2nd, 4 minutes back. Rita has never ridden anything like this, so it will be a great learning experience for her. She is so good at these long distance rides/races, that Rebecca should keep a eye out behind.
Anyway, below is a video that Keith Walberg made last year of his experience at the DK200. I haven’t seen it for a while. Think I’ll check it out again.