Start of June, means only one thing on my calendar. Dirty Kanza… if there is race that has gotten the better of me for the last 3 years it is Dirty Kanza. This ultra is one of toughest one day race in U.S. Combination of heat/wind and just though terrain make it a difficult day on bike. This year I once again opted for single speed bike and once again my lovely wife MK and her side kick Miko volunteered to be my support. The drive down to Emporia was not too bad. The packet pickup was a bit hectic, a lot of familiar faces and a lot of people in general. After quick spin it was time for dinner and early bed time. Spike TV was playing Star War Episode IV so that was good sign.
That’s a lot of people
The 4 am wake-up call came early, I ate some rice porridge drank some coffee and headed out the door. With a lot of people this year you want to get a good spot, especially for single speed you need to suck as many wheels as humanly possible. I didn’t realize how many people were lined up on the street but it was a lot. I only realized after I looked at the pictures later. The start was no so smooth, the roll-out was slow but each corner we took, there as giant slinky effect. Everyone would sprint out of the corner only to slam the brakes and screw the people behind you. I was pretty nervous with amount of people who might not be comfy riding in double pace line at 25 mph. Then I happened someone spilled 4 bikes ahead of me, Stephen (chaos) Thompson, tried to bunny hop the guy and the bike and superman across the carnage that was very close call. As the hills came the pack split up. I got stuck in typical SS mode. Climb better on hills only to be passed by bunch of people on downhill or tailwind section. Then the best part of the day happened. Peat with lower gearing caught up with me and we spend most of the day riding together. It was match made in heaven we quickly made game plan of sticking together if possible. If you never rode with Peat, you are missing out it’s really a great experience not only is he supper talented Mountain bike he’s also super nice guy. We talked about music, tires bricks, food, awesomeness that is bacon… It wasn’t really racing it was more like just riding around. My favorite part of the race happened in only muddy part of the race. Peat and I rode the MMR section and bypassed about 30 people walking their bikes in ditch… (take that ditch walkers) It was pretty sweet I must say. After first Checkpoint Peat fell back, he later told me his support car wasn’t even there, and I rode by myself I took some pulls with chamois butter guys and Girl named Kristen. It was pretty slow going climbing at 8 mph into stiff headwind. But we kept on making progress. The 100 mile checkpoint came and I stopped and ate one of my home-made sandwiches and pounded some coconut water. Got new bottles and some rice cakes and took off. Peat got back to me, and we rode together again. We might of weirded Kristen out a bit as we were making jokes. The wind was still a factor and there was plenty of oil fields when we were going pretty slowly. I was running low on water and stopped at farmhouse. Peat went ahead of me but they weren’t more than ½ mile head as matter of fact a group of about 20 people taken wrong turn so they all caught me and Peat and I were like peas and carrots again. Sometimes during that time Peat got a flat and I broke a spoke. It was during that time that Peter the other SS guy whom we thought be being ahead of us, pulled behind us and to our great surprise. So here we were 140 miles into this 1/2/3 sitting and riding together. While closing on the last checkpoint Peat and I formulated a plan. We have let Peter go ahead of us alone around mile 40 to see if the wind can soften his resolve. On the last section we were going to take turn attacking him and see what would happen. This was great plan. However it never happened. My car wasn’t next to theirs I didn’t see them leave. I left pretty quickly but I had no idea what the gap was and what they were doing ahead. I rode by myself for first time during the race. I was getting tired but was still trying to get some speed out on tailwind section. I would get passed by the geared guys in the pace line but 19mph was my only top speed I could maintain. I caught Todd Greer at mile 195 gave him some motivational talk and congratulated him on job well done. I crossed the finish line at 14:20 time 3rd in Single Speed. I was a bit bummed I didn’t see those guys leave I would have like to be there at the end. That’s part of endurance racing though. I’m super stoked for Peat, we always talk about riding together and we finally had good 7 hour session. I couldn’t pick a better riding buddy than Him. So that is that the demons for this year we conquered. It was nice to finish in the day time. On the side note these races are getting super fast….
Feeling like million $… okay not really
Both Megan and I made a lot of sacrifices for this race. I was gone for some long rides to get ready for this, it was her ability to put up with this schedule that paid benefits. I would also like to thank Mark Savery, his coaching plan he put me on in March paid huge benefits. If you like to talk to him about his services do so, he’s know what he is talking about. Minus missing the guys at the last checkpoint everything went really well. Thanks for inspiration, Corey Godfrey when I was chubby dude I read his blog and was awed by his progress you are inspiration for me.
Lastly I would like to thank our little Midtown Cycling crew. You guys are great, I can’t ask for better group of people to push each other. Thank you my sponsors Midwest Cycling Community/ Twin Six. I got two more races and then it’s off for summer vacation to Spain. They should be shorter in time/nature 😀
Peat and I color matching at the podium
P.S. I might be editing this post to add some pictures