Monday, May 29, 2017

Dirty Kanza 200 Bike Set Up

This is it: the final ride today before heading out to Kansas to ride 200 miles of gravel. Although the bike looks heavy, it's a very sweet ride. I'm hoping comfy will override the weight in terms of getting me to the finish.

Bike: Specialized Fate, hardtail. I know I'm going to be tired and on this mountain bike, I have a better chance of staying upright than on a skinny bike. We'll be riding on flint which, if you happen to crash, will slice you up in a second. I saw it happen in a video and I don't want to be that rider taken away in an ambulance.

Tires: Specialized Riddler, 700 x 45c. Tubeless. They seem to be just the right size. Skinny enough to go faster than my original 2.0 mountain bike tires and hardy enough to keep me from flatting.

Aerobars:  Profile Design. I grew up watching the Wizard of Oz every year. I want to go home. Plus, I'll most likely be out there by myself so I won't have anyone to draft off of. The other benefits are that the aerobars distribute my weight better than a straight bar. With a long ride, the butt and girly parts are the first to go. My hands will be happier too.

Bar ends: Evo. These give me another hand position. I need as many as I can get.

Gas tank: Revelate. Camera, charger, and food will go into this. Easy access.

Tool Bag: Rogue Panda Designs. Tube, pump, patch kit, multi tool, etc.

Water/Food: Unlike road double centuries, where there's a rest stop every 20-25 miles along with sag wagons, this race is all about self support. I had to hire a crew person to take my needs bags to each of the 3 stops along the course. These are approximately 50 miles apart. So I have to be able to carry enough water and food to get me to each one. I'll start off with less water but at the first stop, I'll probably load up all three cages since I'll be heading into the heat of the day. I'll also be wearing a fanny pack water bladder, 1.5 liters, instead of a Camelback. On some of my longer rides, I got a little achy with the load on my back.

So much preparation goes into a race like this. It certainly is a lot more than just riding my bike as much as possible. On my last century, I ate like I would die if I didn't eat and felt fine throughout the ride, unlike the previous two long rides that left me nauseated. But I didn't use enough Butt Butter. Ouch! I'll be packing four pair of riding shorts and changing at each stop, loading them up with lots of cream.

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