This year Salsa is sending the Dirty 13.5 to participate in the Dirty Kanza 200. Tim Ek is Dirty No. 2.
Salsa Cycles: What is your goal at this year’s DK200?
Tim Ek: First and foremost, my goal at this year's DK is to finish. Finishing this year will keep me batting 1,000 at the Dirty Kanza, seven attempts, seven finishes! Secondly, I would love to finish in less that 13.5 hours. This will be a difficult time to beat for me, but in my mind, they aren't goals if they're easy.
SC: What is your biggest fear going into the event?
TE: I hesitate to use the word fear when contemplating the DK. I have been through it's finishing chute six times, and I have seen almost all that the Dirty Kanza can dish out. However, as I step up to the start line there is one element that I will admit having concern over, and that is the weather! The weather is always the wild card in this event. Heat and wind can destroy riders while rain can destroy bikes.
SC: What have you done to prepare and how are you combating that fear?
TE: In preparing for the race, I have focused on staying on my bike as much as possible, usually through daily commutes back and forth to work. I've tacked on a handful of 100-mile rides, as well as a few 100-plus. Through those miles I've imagined myself on course controlling what I can and coping with what I can't the best that I can.
SC: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Dirty Kanza event?
TE: The camaraderie and kinship I feel toward the other riders and spending time with all of my Kansas friends are what I look forward to the most. Oh, and the views of the Flint Hills and crossing that finish line aren't bad either.
Read more from the Dirty 13.5:
Dirty One: Brian "Beardo" Hanson
Dirty Three and Four: Scott and Laura Haraldson
Dirty Five: Matt Acker
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Tim (Eki) Ek
Tim Ek was born and raised in Duluth, Minn., and still calls it home. He’s always had a passion for competition and seeking his own extremes. Tim's true love is the woods: Out in the wild is where he clears his head and finds his peace, and he prefers getting there by bike. Tim Ek: The Eki Chronicles, ekichronicles2.kinetic-fitness.com