Confession: I suck at gravel.
Let me rephrase that. I love riding on gravel roads, and I love training on them. But anytime I line up at the start line of a gravel race, I fall apart. Granted, I’ve only done a few gravel road races in my entire race career, but the moment the promoter says “GO!” I’m usually off the back of the pack within the first couple of minutes. As a result most of my experiences with gravel races have consisted of me riding by myself, battling the wind and my mental demons alone.
Until now. It is Dirty Kanza or bust for me this year.
The last couple of years a lot of my friends have raced the Dirty Kanza 200 and I’ve heard a lot of great things about the race. I also heard a lot of epic things; like how hard the race is and how hot and windy it can get. One friend told me it’s usually 118 degrees during the race. I’m not sure if that was an exaggeration or not, but heat is not my friend. I heard that Kansas gravel is nothing like the hardpacked dirt roads (with a few scattered rocks) that I train on here in Michigan. I heard that the rocks in Kansas are sharp and can shred tires at the drop of a hat.
Truth be told I’m really nervous, a little scared, and a lot excited. I have competed in a lot of endurance races but nothing like this. This race seems a little more “out there” and that's nerve wrecking for someone who is extremely challenged when it comes to following directions.
I only have two months to prepare. In that time I’m going to have to dial in a race bike, purchase a Garmin GPS unit, figure out how to use said Garmin, and get some major miles into my legs. I also need to figure out where I’m staying and who the heck is going to support me. Eek! After looking at my to do list I’m even more nervous. :-) It’s going to be an adventure all right, but at least it will be an adventure by bike.
Stay tuned…I’ll be sure to write another training update soon. In the meantime, if anyone has any tips or suggestions, I’m all ears!
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These are a few of my favorite things: Mountain biking, good coffee, good food, and hanging out with my husband, family and adopted greyhound. It really doesn't take much to make me happy. Of course, winning a race every now and then is good too! www.daniellemusto.blogspot.com