Sunday, June 3, 2012
The Dirty Kanza 2012
It's hard to believe that another year has rolled by...one not measured by holidays, but the Dirty Kanza 200. Yesterday was my second trip to the start line for this race. I say race because officially, it is a race, but I think for the majority of the riders that roll to the line, it's a somewhat organized ride that most want to finish and say I rode 200 miles of gravel.
This was my second trip to the DK. The main reason I went back was to ride it the way you're "supposed" to. Meaning, not go out at the front of the race with the riders that are there for the overall win and blow up into a bazillion bitty pieces in the middle of nowhere, but to ride a sustainable pace and actually enjoy the ride..which I did!!
Last year was the test ride for me. I was supposed to ride to the end of the 2nd leg, assess how I felt and decide if completing the 200 was something I felt I could do. Well, riding to the halfway went out the window last year when against my better judgement, I went out with the lead group and blew up after an hour of riding...Read the 2011 DK post for the rest of that story...
Last year, after a few days of pondering, I decided to go again with the original game plan in hand. At this point my girlfriend had decided she wasn't gonna do it and she would support me in my efforts to at least make it 100 miles of the 200 mile gravel melee.
Somewhere between her decision to not do it and the beginning of 2012, she decided she wanted to go to the end of the second leg again. At this point I wasn't worried about finding a support crew. When the time finally came to find one, my luck ran out...
So now my plan was to ride to the end of the first leg and drive my GF's vehicle, which was parked at the end of the first leg the night before, to the end of the second leg so she could reach her goal and scratch this event from her bucket list once and for all. I was good with this plan based on how the weather was in 2011. It was hell hot and crazy windy, so me riding to the end of leg one sounded pretty good.
The morning of the race we rolled out of the hotel in a brisk 48 degree, clear sky, low wind day. The high was in the low 80's and the wind was 10 mph or less all day. It was a great day to attempt the full 200, and had I not been a jackass last year, I totally would have given the 200 a shot at completion...I was a little bummed, but oh well.
I rode the first leg the way you're supposed to and I felt like a million bucks at the end of the first 61 miles. It's funny, last year was 58 miles to the end of leg one and I went 4:45:00 ride time, with an average of 14.5 mph and wanted to DIE when I got there. Remember the blowing up into a bazillion pieces comment...I rode so painfully slow after I blew up last year that riding slower and consistent this year was actually faster...weird!!! For 2012, I was 4:37:00 for 61 miles into the end of leg one at 13.2 mph and felt almost as good as I did when I started that morning.
As of right now, I WILL be doing the 2013 edition of the Dirty Kanza with only one goal in mind...to have my cycle computer read 200 miles.