Sunday, June 01, 2008
Dirty Kanza 2008 Recap
Packed up the gear and headed out on Friday around noon for Emporia. Oliver and MG were great travel companions. Oliver earned a new nickname...Oscar.
Stopped in at Nebraska City for $5 footlongs and then rolled into Emporia around 4ish.
After checking in to the Guesthouse Inn, we headed over to Centinela for some Mexican grub. Lots of other racers had the same idea. Good food and great company.
Got a pic of Jeff getting a pic. Ha!
Butch was full.
Headed over to Wally-mart to shop for breakfast items after dinner. Skip enjoys these bad daddy's. Never tried them, but after looking at the food label, I should probably stay away.
At 9 PM, the race organizers had a raffle for a lighting system, a trainer and a few other items. Skip and Oliver had their numbers called and walked away with something.
4:45 AM. Wake up call.
Flipped on the Weather Channel to see this monster storm heading towards the first checkpoint in Madison. Doh.
Great turnout for the event. 67 started. The most starters in the three years having the event.
Oliver before the start.
The storm off in the distance.
Joel going over pre-race info. The race organizers considered postponing the start of the race for a few hours to let the storm roll by. Large hail, lightning and potential tornadoes made the decision to start at 6 AM a tough one. They made the right call and we were off at 6.
Neutral start out of town with Police escort. Cam taking the highroad on the sidewalk.
After hitting gravel the race was on! The pace picked up, but the group remained relatively together for quite some time. Gave me time to chat and take some pics.
Heading toward the storm.
MG rollin' on the Salsa La Cruz.
Dennis was all smiles...as were most folks during the race. These races are all about having a good time and pushing yourself mentally and physically. Dennis rode awesome and finished strong. Kudos!
Jeff rockin' the War Axe kit on the SS Cross Check.
Back view of the War Axe kits.
Butch and Skip towards the front of the pack.
Over the shoulder shot of Jeff and the peloton.
After an hour or so, the group started to break apart a bit. Cam leading the charge with Dan Hughes and MG close behind.
Several other riders behind. The lead pack had around 9 riders at this time.
We were sprinkled on a bit and saw a lot of lightning, but we never got hit. The storm stayed South. Whew. We were all mentally preparing to get hit. I made several comments about how much lightning and tornadoes freak me out. That was the general consensus from everyone. Things were working out.
By the time we made it to the first check point there were five of us. Cam, MG, Dan Hughes, Matt Brown and myself. We averaged almost 19 mph on the first 50 miles. I was pleasantly surprised.
We all went into the Casey's to grab a few items to refuel. I had to drop the kids off at the pool in the Casey's, so my stop took a bit longer than everyone else. We all regrouped shortly after the first checkpoint and headed for the hills.
Eventually MG and Matt dropped back a bit as Cam pushed the pace. He stood on every climb. He is one strong rider. Fo sho. Dan and I did our best to hang on. Soon Cam and I were putting a gap on Dan. Then we opened it up a bit. We had a great gap on the rest of the field and were making record time. Cam complemented me on my riding and that gave me a great boost of confidence. I mean, come on...Cam Chambers complementing me on my riding strength. I was stoked! Well, that may have been the kiss of death. Kidding. Soon afterwards, around mile 86, I noticed the back end of the bike getting a bit soft. Yep, flat. I tried to ignore it and made Cam pucker a couple of times while rolling over some rocky gravel before eventually wishing Cam good luck. I had to stop and change it out. We were both bummed. It would have been an honor to roll into the second checkpoint in the lead with Cam. Would have been even better to stick it out the rest of the way with him and watch him smoke me at the finish. Oh well, shit happens. I was still having a blast.
That flat ended up being the first of four flats (all rear tire) prior to the second checkpoint. Four flats within 14 miles. Dan passed me after the second flat and I almost caught him before the third hit. Fixed that and then had the final flat prior to Cottonwood Falls at mile 98 (two miles from the checkpoint). Unfortunately, I was out of tubes and the flats were not patchable (three pinch flats and one gash), so I decided to ride it in. Not a fun experience. About a mile of rocky gravel followed by a mile of pavement. The rear tire was getting shredded and the wheel was makin' all kinds of bad noises.
A farmer kindly pointed out that I had a flat tire as I rolled by. The noise was quite obvious and I really wasn't in the mood, but I managed to reply back, "Yeah, I know."
Tyler, Lincoln support crew, at the second checkpoint.
I rolled into the second checkpoint in third. At the checkpoint I was helped by lots of folks. Multiple people came up to me and asked what I needed. Everyone was so cool and helpful. Thanks to Mrs. Chambers, Chris, Filby, Joel and the rest of the Heartland Race crew, and especially Debbie Sue and Tyler! Couldn't have done it without ya! Also thanks to Kris and Cycle Works for the continued support of my adventures.
I thought my tire was done, but some duct tape from Joel made the tire ridable. Well, kinda. There were several gashes in the side wall and riding it in on a flat wasn't the best thing for the sidewall integrity. I thought about throwing in the towel, but figured what the hell. I might as well try it. Maybe by some miracle it'll hold. Eventually I got it to bead up and I was off. I managed to roll out of the Cottonwood Falls still in third place. Several others including MG had rolled into the checkpoint in the meantime and soon would be on their way behind me.
Skip at the second checkpoint in Cottonwood Falls. He rode strong all day. No surprise.
Jeff sportin' a smile. Bingo!
"Can I have some more gravel, please?"
Wills and Butch at Cottonwood Falls. They rode together all day. Great minds think and ride alike.
Yours truly at the third checkpoint in Cottonwood Falls. Flatted three more times on that 60 mile loop. Started out in third, flatted and was passed by three folks including MG. New tube and then battled back to third only to flat again and fall back to fifth. Flatted again as I rolled into the final checkpoint.
Jim Craig in the back ground of the pic above. Jim had a fun little run in with a bull. Ended up getting flipped by a charging bull and had the blood on his front wheel to prove it. Fortunately, it wasn't his blood. Craziness. He was forced to drop in Cottonwood Falls. RockD also dropped around mile 130. He and Jim both had gutsy performances.
Took off from Cottonwood Falls in fifth. Then took a wrong turn and did a few extra miles. Also had my final flat of the day. Grand total of eight flats for the day. Lots of wasted time off the bike. Nevertheless, it was a great learning experience. Besides, I was running an old race tire that probably should have been relegated to commuter duty, but I'm cheap. I had it lying around, so I used it. Stupid.
MG and I linked up in Americus. I passed him on the way into Americus as he was sitting on the side of the road. He looked bad and was taking a break. He was resurrected with a little help from our good ole pal simple sugar!
I'm not sure where I finished, but ended up stopping less than a mile from the finish with a double hami whammy (both hamstrings locked up which then made both quads lock up). Not fun. Dehydration finally caught up to me. MG rolled in ahead to finish in fifth! Steady Eddy! Awesome!
Another rider rolled by and politely asked if I needed anything. "Do you have any salt?", I muttered. He stopped and offered me a Cliff bar. I declined and told him to go ahead and finish strong. That's a perfect example of the general attitude and demeanor from folks that race these events. After 200 plus miles and within a mile of the finish, he stopped and asked if I needed anything. Very cool.
Skipper at the finish (second in the SS class!). I'm grubbin' on some sausage pizza chattin' to Mike about vegetarianism. Great chatting with ya Mike! Thanks for the beer. Mighty tasty. Smooth and went straight to my head.
Jeff working on re-hydrating at the finish. I assume Jeff came in third in the SS class. Killer!
A beetle that fascinated a lot of us at the finish line.
Wills and Butch rolling in to the finish. Awesome!
Welcome to the finish buddy!
I must be saying something amusing cuz everyone is smiling.
That full belly gave Butch the power to conquer 200 miles of Kansas gravel!
Oly with a sprint finish! AWESOME! Oliver began riding a bike a little over a year ago. At this rate, he should be completing the Great Divide or the Trans Rockies by next year. This was over double his longest ride ever! Impressive!
Aaron rolled in with Oly's crew. Another amazing performance! Aaron began showing up for rides at D Street this winter. Those winter miles have paid off! BRAVO!
Rolled out of Emporia on Sunday morning. Followed the War Wagon home.
Ten Lincolnites started the race and eight finished. All of us made it past the 100 mile mark for a grand total of 1800 miles of Flint Hills gravel tallied by Lincoln riders. Lincoln represent!
We're already excited for next year...especially Oliver.