This year Salsa is sending the Dirty Nine down to the 2015 Dirty Kanza 200. Salsa Brand Ambassador Brian Hanson is Dirty Six. -Kid
My goal is to finish the Dirty Kanza 200. I don’t care how long it takes or if I’m still riding that following Sunday…I just want to finish. This will be the first time I ride my bike over 100 miles – in a row. I don’t know what will happen or how my body will react past 100 miles. I’m anxious to find out. I’m writing this a little less than two weeks out from the race and finishing the DK200 is always in the back of my mind. I thought about it on the drive in to work, at lunch and in a meeting earlier today. I can tell I’m getting anxious about finishing because I can’t get it out of my head.
I am willing to bet that most of the riders taking the start line will say they didn’t get as much training in as they would like. I would put myself squarely in that same boat. Over the past three months I’ve done four or five 40 to 60-mile gravel rides and one 100-mile race. I am doing 1 to 2-hour mountain bike rides regularly as well. I suspect that riding the Almanzo 100 will prove most beneficial. I learned a lot about what my body needs, and doesn’t need, to ride more than eight hours consecutively. I made some mistakes on that ride that I will learn from and correct for the DK. I am without a doubt entering uncharted territory.
My bike will be a Salsa Fargo, without a doubt. Finishing is winning for me and that’s reflected in my bike choice. I chose the Fargo because it’s more upright, can fit larger tires, and it’s bombproof.
I’ve made a few switches for this 200-mile beast of a ride:
-Salsa Regulator Ti seatpost: feels like a suspension post to me. Comfortable. I love it. This post allows me to ride longer.
-50mm-wide tires because I need to be comfortable on my bike. While they might be a little heavier and offer up a little more rolling resistance, they provide the comfort I need to keep my body functioning over triple digit mileage.
-Double-wrapped Salsa Woodchipper handlebar: double wrapping the bar really paid off during my training because I had no hand issues this spring. I had some numbing issues in the past so I’m excited that I found what seems to be a solution for numb hands on long gravel rides.
-Low gearing on the Fargo: I will need those low mountain gears on the hills. I will not be attacking hills with any kind of speed in the race. An all-day pace – that’s the key for me - and low gearing helps me keep that pace.
-Hydration: I ran four water bottles for the Almanzo, two in the main triangle and two on the Firestarter fork. I will run five water bottles for the DK200.
Wish me luck as I test my limits at this year's Dirty Kanza.
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