Monday, June 17, 2013

over confident

This is what happens Larry...

This is what happens when the boys in the mountain bike class I'm teaching get me a little too confident. Usually I'd never mess with the shifty bits of my only multi-geared bike, but of course we had to cover shifting in class, so why can't I do it too? Well there lies the trouble. Since I never mess with it, everything is in pretty nasty shape and now I can't get the cable out of the shifter...I should've let it be.

Friday, June 7, 2013

DK200 - It's all in your mind

Ok, so I've been living at 8,000ft and have some big rides in my legs already this year, but the real difference between finishing a feat of endurance 10hrs west of you versus finishing one 10hrs the other way is all in the head. And I'm not just talking about wanting it more, or having the mental toughness to push through high winds and spasming IT certainly takes those too, but I'm finding that it usually comes down to enjoying yourself.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Dirty Kanza.
candy-loading tastes better than carbo-loading 
The major reason for this came down to the structure of the race: you have to bring your own support crew. So Colin and I headed east out of Estes together and my good friend Brent pulled his co-pilot from the bar Thursday night to drive west from PA. Luckily she sobered up by 6am to help with the driving. The crew was assembled and the good times followed. 
Director Sportif and Financial Adviser Colin getting some z's
we must be in the right place
We all faked friendliness Friday night, since we just wanted to sleep after driving long hours. Early Saturday I got down to business of being on a bike all day and the crew brought the smiles.
1000 riders ready for a long day

Every 50 miles there was a friendly little oasis of middle america to welcome the lycra clad looney tunes rolling over their endless green hills. From Emporia to Madison, Madison to Cassoday, Cassoday to Cottonwood Falls and back to Emporia.
good spot for an aid station
next stop Cassoday
Main St America
It was another world from the snow capped Rockies Colin and I came out of and the dense forests of Central PA. Beautiful nonetheless. I couldn't believe how endless and open it all was.

The past few years of this race seem to have been defined by the weather conditions. Wet, hot, or this year, windy. As I've mentioned before, living in Estes valley, I'm no stranger to high winds. So as people let it blow all their motivation away, I just opened my sails and didn't let it bother me.
team mechanic...he does "all the body work"
To be perfectly honest...I thought it was pretty easy. Perhaps that means I was going way too slow or I was in better condition than I thought. I was just out to finish and have a good time. Mission accomplished. 

No mechanicals. No need to stop and take a break on course (except to maybe take a leak). Only got lost once, but it didn't suck because I was in a crew, working together. 
liquid energy
When it came to nutrition, I used the "good and plenty" strategy. I had calories in the bottle and delicious calories wrapped in foil. I went with tried and true rice cakes, compliments of Skratch Labs, to keep my energy stores up.

Sweetness cakes(blueberries, dark chocolate bits, and mint)+Savory cakes(bacon, eggs, and soy sauce)= YUM
damn good solid energy

Good support, good condition, and good energy led to a great day in the saddle. I highly recommend the race. It is an experience unlike any NUE race or any other endurance event I've thrown my money at. It's as intense as you want it to be. 
who knew?
some local flavor

kansas cobbles

You can put your head down and grind out the miles or you can look around and take it all in. I chose to do more of the latter and thus had enough in the tank to spin like a mad man the last 20 or so miles. I even employed some stealth tactics as the sun set, preferring to ride in the dark and let other riders wonder where I went when I passed them. I could see the road better without lights anyway. 

50 more miles
"this guy is crazy!"
Riding back into Emporia it initially seemed like another sleeping city in the plains. Coming back into downtown I could see road-closed signs and blinking construction lights, with a passage down the middle. Someone saw me coming in, then a tunnel of cheers and cowbells as I approached a finish line that served as the center-point to a street festival. It was a wave of excitement that pulled you in and welcomed you back. A damn fine way to end a day.
This years big race done.

I'm liking this ride plan. TSE last year. Kanza this year. One big new event each summer. I've already begun shopping for 2014.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Primary and Secondary Goals accomplished

1.) Finish
2.) Have fun. 

Dirty Kanza checked off the To-Do list. 16:51 with about 2hrs of hanging out at the checkpoints. It certainly helped with that second goal. More about it to come...