This year Salsa is sending the Dirty 13.5 to participate in 2016's Dirty Kanza 200. Kid Riemer is Dirty No. 13.5.
Salsa Cycles: What is your goal at this year’s DK200?
Kid: My goal is to finish the 100-mile DK Half Pint. To be honest, I don’t know how people ride 200 miles in one day. The longest ride of my life was on a road bike back in the day, and that was 115 miles. The last time I road a gravel century was probably six or seven years ago, so just finishing the Half Pint is my goal, and I’ll be quite satisfied when I accomplish that.
SC: What is your biggest fear going into the event?
K:My biggest fear is the heat. I hate hot weather, and that has me concerned. If I could list a second fear, it would be that I don’t have enough miles in. Work has been very busy with a lot of travel, and not much bike riding. This will be a test of a very unscientific 5-week training program, designed by yours truly.
SC: What have you done to prepare and how are you combating that fear?
K: Kid’s 5-Week Program! I’m trying to keep most of that off-pavement and on either singletrack or gravel surfaces, though we don’t have any “Kansas gravel” up here in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. That and figuring out how I can carry as much liquid as I can. I know I can run up to 5 bottles on my bike via a tri-geek seatpost dual bottle thing … or I might cram a bladder into my Revelate Designs Tanglebag. One way or another I will be carrying a lot of fluids!
SC: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Dirty Kanza event?
K: This is in some ways tough to admit, and might be tough for some people to read, but having been in the cycling industry for more than 26 years, has at times made it difficult to maintain a personal passion for riding bikes. It is just tough to live and breath them 24/7 for that many years. My riding declined over the last several years, partly due to that diminishing passion, and partly due to a terribly damaged right knee that is due to be replaced. I met a great gal this year and she rekindled my desire to ride bikes. Read that sentence again and imagine/understand how glad I am to be able to write it. So what I’m looking forward to is riding in an event that I’ve photographed and witnessed and helped promote. I’m looking forward to actually being a part of it. I’m looking forward to shaking Jim Cummins hand at the race start … and again at the finish line, however many hours may fall in-between. I’m looking forward to that feeling of satisfaction. I’m looking forward to that feeling of belonging again.
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I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.