Dirty Kanza 2020 Lottery

I think you’ve got a solid plan. Be sure to save a little for Kahola Hill and Rd 290 climb during the last leg.

Probably not. Prevailing winds are typically from the south that time of year.


Looks good…I would add 150-200: Just try and get home. Group or no group.

By that point everyone is pretty messed up. Everyone gets quiet and are in their own world.

Wind was a non-factor last year.


First post here…

I would second Chris’ notion on the last 50 miles. The three times I’ve completed DK200, my focus in the last 50 miles has always been on just turning the pedals and getting to the finish as quickly as possible to make the pain stop. Last year the final 50 miles or so was with a gentle tailwind negating most of the need to work as a group. Not that I wanted to talk to anyone, the voices in my head were keeping me engaged.

Also, one would think that by 3/4 point of an event this long, most of the riders who happen to meet each other on course would be happy to ride at similar pace. This is not often the case, whether due to varying levels of physical/heat exhaustion (mud exhaustion in 2015 was epic) or the variance in the riders’ mental state. With 20 miles to go, you’ll pass riders barely moving (or not moving), or get passed by someone looking way too fresh. Everyone’s day has a different flow.

In my experience the DK200 is as much about mental fortitude as it is about physical and material preparation. You need all three elements to align on that day (a little luck is helpful as well).

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Never did DK, but I did gravel worlds, which was 150miles and I’ll concur with points above: my back was screaming at me 75 miles in, quite unusual but I hadn’t trained with a camelback and the course was really rolling hills. I was doing great with my power goal halfway through and dropped off a cliff once my back started bugging me. It didn’t hurt the whole remainder of the event, but it definitely affected my ability to put down normal power.

The mental thing is huge too, I think if I had done some rides over 100 previously I’d be in a better mental space as the event wore on. If this were really my thing I’d probably do a progression of endurance rides leading up to 125mi prior to an event and make century rides a more regular workout (I did a solo century a couple of weeks after gravel worlds and I can’t understate how easy it felt in comparison!)

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Very reasonable…given your power, you should be able to hang for the first 50 miles no problem.

I rode in the top 100 for the first 90 min last year and never really went too deep. A few of the rollers required a dig or two, but well worth the match to stay with the group and suck wheels.

We hit a petty technical downhill section around mile 28-30 where it started to split up and that was where I decided to save my matches and let the group go. My buddies made a similar choice around then and we ride together from there…until my wheels feel off (but that was due to me being sick the week before, not the early pace)

But there is no guarantee that the race route will be the same or similar next year. I believe that was the first year they ever headed north out of town. This year’s course will be announced just before the race.

Did you get charged twice? Thats what they are saying now. If you defer you still pay both years.

When do we find out if we got in?

This coming Monday, Jan. 27. give or take. The webpage says “Winning entries will be selected on or about January 27, 2020, subject to event eligibility requirements.” – whatever that means.


Yeah, I had to pay for 2019 and 2020. It sucks for sure but I understand why — Lifetime needs to turn a profit, if they don’t the races go away just like ATOC, Tour of Georgia, Tour of Toona, etc. Opening up the race to deferrals and payment for 1 entry means that they could be in the black one year and in the red the next. Not saying that that’s likely but drawing a hard line makes sense to me . . . just not to my wallet.

@Nate_Pearson I’m helping you manifest getting this entry . . . . . .

Thanks for letting me draft you for the entire DK


That sounds like a good strategy. I’m stealing it if I get in. :wink:

I’ve never done 200 mile gravel but I’ve done a bunch of 100 milers and some other longs ones. Every single one, people go out way to fast (at least for me). As far as finding a group. I always feel like gravel events break up groups really quickly. People get flats, mechanicals, get stuck going through a rough section (mud/sand/loose gravel, etc.) . Over the course of a race those things thin out groups really quickly. But there’s always somebody’s wheel to jump on even if it’s just briefly.

But I think your strategy is good. Those first 50 miles you should be able to stay with a group or find another one quickly. After they I suspect groups most likely will be smaller. At least that’s been my experience with longish gravel events.

what is the majority of gravel like at DK? or is there a huge variety of types. I know about the flint gravel as far as cutting up tires. But is that throughout the ride?

The flint, in my opinion, is not as prevalent as people make it seem. Stick to the groove, choose your line wisely, and you should be ok. I had no issues. Be careful at the bottom of descents where things can be a bit washed out and when switching from track to track over the rough stuff.

But… Because of the distance on gravel like that means more people are going to get more flats. It’s just probability.

Put on some fresh tires, choose your line, and ride smooth. You’ll be ok.

Agreed…while it is definitely a prominent type of gravel, there is a pretty wide variety of gravel throughout the race (usual caveat re: the course changing from year to year). Some pretty big flint, some "traditional gravel’, some dirt roads, etc.

Pro tip: Put a few wraps of duct tape around your seat tube. If you get a slash in your tire, you can use a bit of it as a boot. But then have another set of wheels there that you can swap out…make sure the gearing is identical and take the time to change the wheel out. I saw many riders who didn’t swap out wheels after booting a flat and they kept getting flats throughout the whole race.

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How technical are some of the descents? To me, it sounds like there are some washed out sections and crossings that cause crashes. Or if you get into a rut you’re in trouble.

Is that fair to say? In general it seems like I hear about WAY more crashes at Kanza than there should be.

It isn’t that they are super-technical…they aren’t, IMO (I really doubt you’d ever need your proposed dropper post…the descents can be fast, but they aren’t steep. You aren’t getting off the back of the saddle).

The challenge (at least early on) is that a lot of the descents cross old or active creek beds…so people bomb down the descents and then everyone is jamming on the brakes at the bottom. So everyone behind starts stacking up and can pile into each other. And yes, there are definitely some ruts that you can get stuck in, but if you keep your wits and remain calm, you can ride them out (or out of them) without any great challenge. As above, that situation is worse earlier in the race when you are dealing with bigger groups and there is less room to maneuver / pick your line.

I agree, it is not very technical, especially if you have a mountain bike background. For people with road experience only it may be quite technical though.

Last year most crashes I saw were due to ruts. People get down there, panic, and down they go. As @Power13 said, stay calm and ride it out and all is good. Number 2 cause of crashes was probably loose gravel, some of it can be pretty chunky. Look ahead, stay cool, and all is good :wink:

@Nate_Pearson on the podcast you mentioned your plan of using your Apple watch to communicate with your crew. That certainly works on parts of the course. But on last year’s course there were extended stretches with no cell service at all. It’s just too remote.


are there many people, that you know of, who show up not having ever ridden on gravel?

Ruts can be a big problem. I often feel like there’s not not much you can do about ruts other than, like you said, stay calm and ride it out.

I feel like crashing, hopefully not hard, is just part of gravel riding. Not necessarily crashing every race but there are times when it’s muddy/sandy/loose gravel/roots where it gets beyond whatever technical skills you have and your tires loose grip or spinout or whatever and all of sudden you’re down.

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I pretty much bombed down all the descents (no brakes) and was fine. A few I had to slow at the bottom for a washout. But my general strategy was “let it rip” and I never felt out of control (well maybe once or twice).


Haha - yes! As he said on the podcast, we can all ride together with 2 mins in the checkpoints. :grinning: