Athlinks’ own Bryan Derstine will be attempting (the key word is attempt) his 4th round with the fabled Dirty Kanza 200, and this year is supposed to even bigger and even better! Lets take a look at 5 things he’s eager to check out during the biggest gravel weekend of them all.

A Massively Expanded Race Experience

A 2-day expo, showings at the Theatre, demos, on-course brand participation from Salsa and EF. This year is looking to be a complete weekend of fun. Personally, I lucked out and have family friends that we stay with every year. But, if you’re lucky enough to stay in the dorms, be prepared to meet a whole lot of new people who love gravel just as much as you do.

Shared Territory Viewing at Emporia’s Granada Theatre

Need some extra stoke before you depart on your 200 mile adventure? Join us at the historic Granda Theater on Thursday May 30th to get fired up about adventure, gravel and ghosts. We’ll be screening Shared Territory on the BIG SCREEN followed by a Q&A. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Because of Athlinks, this event is totally free.

New Tech

Julbo AEROSPEED

New GPS units from Wahoo and Garmin. Flat protection from CushCore. Bikes from Rodeo Labs (admittedly I have one!), Salsa, Cannondale, you name it. The proliferation of Gravel Racing has really energized the endurance segment of cycling, and you can see it in the technology that has been inspired by it! Packs are lighter and easier to use. Julbo has some really excellent transition lenses (it might rain) I’ll be testing out. Bikes are more capable and comfortable, taking you to places you never dreamed you’d go. GPS lasts more that 4-5 hours now. In my humble opinion, there has never been a better time to pedal yourself around the Flint Hills that surround Emporia.

With the 100+ brands expected to be there, the geek in me in happy to have a full two days to check out everything this growing scene has to offer.

New Course!

Dirty Kanza is breaking with a bit of tradition. Riders for all distances will still line up in front of the historic Granada Theatre, but this year, they will be facing their bikes towards Emporia State University. Rolling out of town in a whole new direction. The new course is supposedly even gnarlier than it has been years past. (Also why I’m riding singlespeed this year.)

Seeing 2500 of my best friends for a leisurely ride.

The Kanza experience is something else. You spend 12-20 hours out in beautiful grasslands and while you start together, you end up riding with 4-5 people almost the entire time! Sometimes you’re in front, sometimes you fall behind. In the end, we come from all 50 states to experience something completely lunar.

See you in Emporia and if you can’t join us, follow along on Athlinks!

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