Come On Lucky Seven…Missing Link Of The Dirty Six

I’m rolling into the 2010 Dirty Kanza 200 with good overall fitness after having raced quite a few 3  to 6-hour races on my El Mariachi Ti since Trans Iowa last month. But I’ve been fighting off the effects of springtime allergies and a resultant head and chest cold. I’m back on the bike now, but the allergies are making my recovery slower than I’d hoped. I had a great ride this past week and by June 5, I’m confident I’ll be back to full-speed.

I’m changing only the pedals on my Vaya, relative to the bike I used in Trans Iowa, going back to the set of old-school Time ATAC's I used to bag TIv5 and fifth place at the Dirty Kanza in 2008. I’ve been using a set of well-worn Time XS's on there, and for some reason, the left pedal has been bothering my knee, so I’m going with the good ol' standbys. Go with what ‘cha know in the long races.

That’s why I ride the ‘Kanza on real chromoly steel, 9-speeds, cable actuated discs, a comfy WTB saddle and tires that aren’t scary light (and are tubeless). I’ve learned the hard way that getting too aggressive with trying to be too light is dangerous to your self sufficiency, especially in a race like the Dirty Kanza 200. A bike like Salsa's Vaya, or the La Cruz, or even the Fargo…with big, tough tires like the 40c Schwalbe Marathon Extreme, or 38c Marathon Cross, or a 2.1 WTB Vulpine (if you’re on a Fargo), is perfect for the Kansas flint rock that is prevalent all over the course.

You’ll often come across grapefruit-sized flint rocks…in the road…BY THE DOZENS!!! And what’s crazy about it is, you’ll be rolling at them at nearly 40mph… DOWNHILL!!!

Oh, did I mention? They call this a gravel road race. Only in Kansas, my friends…only in Kansas.

That’s why I love the Dirty Kanza 200.  -MG

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This post filed under topics: Dirty Kanza 200 Gravel

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Matt Gersib

Matt Gersib

Growing up the son of a wildlife biologist gave me a jump-start on my appreciation for the outdoors and I still count the day I first pedaled a bicycle as one of the best, most empowering days of my life. And while I enjoy the lure of big challenges like TransIowa and the Colorado Trail Race, I want to help cyclists see that great adventures are waiting right outside their doors. Discovery by bicycle is a beautiful thing. Matt Gersib: The Dirtblog


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Tim Ek | June 3rd, 2010

Good lookin’ rig!  I can’t wait to see it in person.

MG | June 3rd, 2010

We’ll see you soon, Eki.  It’s looking like it’s gonna’ shape up to be a typical ‘Kanza burner… The NOAA forecast is calling for a 91 degree high, mostly-sunny skies, mild wind and virtually no chance of rain.  Of course, what do weather forecasters know?!!  Bring a rain jacket…

We’ll have a great ride regardless.  I can feel it.

Travel safely and I’ll see you in Emporia.


Guitar Ted | June 3rd, 2010

Can’t wait to see the both of you there. And of course, I’ll have to chat you up before the starting gun, ‘cause I won’t see you front runners back in the broom wagon and water carrier groups!

It’ll all be good, we just need to drink a lot of water and keep on pedaling.

MG | June 4th, 2010

Amen Brother!  That hydration thing is gonna’ be the critical factor, I suspect, given the weather forecast.  The folks that go out guns ‘a blazing will pay if they forget to top the tank before it gets into the heat of the day, because we’ll ride straight on through ‘til the evening.  Man, just typing those words got my heart racing a bit… I’m an hour away from getting into the car to drive down, so the time is neigh. 

See you soon!

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