Location: Emporia

The Stars Come Out at Dirty Kanza

The Dirty Kanza is an ultra-distance bike race that takes place May 31st in the rugged Flint Hills. Billed as the “Ultimate Gravel Grinder,” the event starts and finishes in Emporia, and offers 200 miles of racing on blacktop, gravel, and dirt roads through remote and scenic east-central Kansas.

The event attracts ultra-endurance racers from all over the country, including (according to Emporia’s High Gear bike shop), luminaries such as former Olympian Travis Brown (inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2006), Keith Bontrager (founder of Bontrager parts, inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1994), and Cameron Chambers (2005 24-Hour National Champion).

As Guitar Ted says, “you better get your “hellos” in at the start line, ’cause these guys will be smokin’.”

Other local cyclists attempting the Dirty Kanza include Micah at Hiawatha Cyclist, Michelle at Meetzorp, and Lelan at The Life of LeLan, who also offers a great video preview of the ride.

But the big names won’t be the only stars you’re likely to see at Dirty Kanza. If you’re riding this race, and survive to the end, you’ll likely be riding well into the night. And if the sky is clear you can enjoy the waning crescent moon, and the stars in the heavens:

O wild and wondrous midnight,
There is a might in thee
To make the charmed body
Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses
Of immortality.

James Russell Lowell, Midnight

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

2 responses to “The Stars Come Out at Dirty Kanza”

  1. Meetzorp says:

    Oh lordy…I’m not sure my name ought to be mentioned in proximity of the rest of these guys! I’m just some joker who thinks she wants to ride out in the boondocks, see prairie chickens, and (hopefully) finish the ride w/o getting her dumbass lost.

    Thanks for the linkage.



  2. Randy says:

    You have my admiration just for having the audacity to sign up — this is one of those events I can barely fathom.

    Have fun! I’m looking forward to seeing your pictures and ride report…