Tips from Past Finishers
By: Harrison Maddox
Every summer, riders descend upon Emporia, Kansas (dubbed the “Gravel Grinding Capital of the World”) for what’s considered one of the toughest events in cycling. The Dirty Kanza became legendary within just a few years of its inception, as riders from all over the world sought to test themselves on 200 miles of dirt and gravel in the Flint Hills region.
In 2018, Dirty Kanza organizers added a more extreme option to the event: the 350-mile DKXL. This feat of endurance pits riders against rough roads and weather that can swing from oppressive heat to hailstorms and headwinds. Participants ride through an entire day and night with no support other than what they can carry or find at stores along the route. Very few have ridden this invitation-only event, but we’ve gathered advice from five of last year’s finishers—including the winner—for those who are riding the DKXL this year or plan to in the future.