Dirty Kanza - You Gotta Do It!
You may notice that this story and its photographs mention and show Ocoee Bikes — that’s because it was published prior to our Obed Bikes rebrand. Check out this blog to learn more about the reason behind the rebrand, the new Obed Bikes name and our plans for the future.
Ocoee’s Chris Brown decided to ride his first ever Dirty Kanza (100 mile) event this year on our new gravel bike, the Boundary. Read about his win and experience below.
I am sure you have all heard of the now legendary Dirty Kanza (DK) gravel event in Emporia KS, correct? Well if not look it up as this is a bucket list event for those of you looking for a unique challenge and amazing experience. They offer many different distances 350 mile (insane), 200 mile (still crazy), 100 mile (more sane), 50 mile and 25 mile. The small town of Emporia welcomes the riders and out on the course they are cheering everyone on and in many cases have food and drinks for athletes. It is so cool to see many of the locals take part in the race as well, many that are not cyclist but are jumping all in!
Last year our head designer, Brad Devaney, did the 100 mile (half pint) distance as he and I were at the DK expo with our Litespeed titanium brand. He had such a great experience and then some (just ask him about it and his trip to the hospital for severe dehydration) – firstname.lastname@example.org) that he had been working on me to do it ever since. With the exciting launch of our new Ocoee brand at the Sea Otter Classic and our interest in having an employee race the Dirty Kanza on our the new Boundary gravel bike, I signed up for the 100 mile DK. Oh man…
So here we are, the 2019 Dirty Kanza in the books and what a blast! The expo was massive this year with many new vendors participating and again the town embraced the event with open arms. At the finish it is a fair type atmosphere with food vendors and loads of spectators cheering on the riders as they come in exhausted from their day out on course. This year the course conditions were near perfect, no mud bogs from the rain they had the days prior so the course was fast and even had some nice tail wind sections! So much variety of terrain, some deeper gravel/more technical sections and then a lot of dirt/gravel/fast rolling roads that just wear you down. Expect wind, always wind, especially as the day goes on and it gets hot.
The Ocoee Boundary was the perfect bike for the Dirty Kanza; you can see my set up in the photos below. Other than the carbon aero bar extensions and the Cane Creek EEsilk seatpost, it is a box stock Ultegra mechanical Boundary. The Gravel King 43c tires were spot on. Low rolling resistance, great traction, no flats and ride great. So how did the bike and I finish? 3rdoverall and won my age group! Heck of a debut for the Boundary! Overall a great day out on course with everything falling into place. Now I am not even sure of doing the event again as it will be very hard to top the experience from this year’s Dirty Kanza. As I said you gotta do this event, you won’t regret it.
Email Chris Brown at chris.Brown@americanbicyclegroup.com if you have any questions.