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Monday, January 16, 2017

And now for something completely different


I didn't register for Dirty Kanza. I didn't register for Motherlode. I don't have a long gravel race on my schedule until October's Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra. Of course I'll still be at the usual mid-Missouri spring gravel races, but it feels very empty to not have a spring 200-miler hanging over my head this year.

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Dirty Kanza, 2015
I love those races, the incredible locations, the awesome people behind them, and the excitement of facing a big challenge. Dirty Kanza feels like part of me, and I'm dying to go back to South Dakota for redemption in the Black Hills. So why am I staying home?

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Motherlode, 2016
Goals. One big one, in particular. Four years ago I watched the movie Ride the Divide and, like probably 95% of the people who did so, fell in love with the idea of doing it myself.  I'm happiest with a ridiculously out-of-my-league goal to chase; this qualifies in every way possible, but here it is, four years later, and I still haven't been out bikepacking.

I love racing, but the last two years I've raced so much that I didn't have time for a lot of things I wanted to do. When my friends have scheduled bikepacking trips, I've either been committed to a race or I've just spent too many weekends away from home to leave for another one.

I got a seat bag for Christmas, and the money I would have spent on DK registration will pay for a handlebar roll for my bike. Instead of scrambling (and paying) for a hotel room and crew I'll be planning for weekends in the woods full of long miles and big hills with friends and loaded bikes, hopefully somewhere without an internet signal so I can temper my FOMO.

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Jeff and Jacob apparently aren't going to fall in love with bikes, but they're both excited for backpacking, and I want my calendar to allow as much of that as we want. I'll probably still race too much, but this year I'm going to be better about scheduling my races around my priorities instead of trying to fit everything around races. After all, kids don't stay kids forever, and that 2021 date I picked for Tour Divide looms larger with every passing day.

11 comments:

  1. I'll miss seeing you at DK but I can't wait to follow your Divide stories!

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    1. Thanks, Jim! Definitely weird to not be going back again. Looking forward to hearing your stories from this year!

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  2. The most fun I've ever had on or off the bike has been my long bikepacking trips. You won't regret it!

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  3. The divide is on my list too. Let me know if you need company on any bikepacking adventures in the summer!

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    1. I'd love that! I'm sure I could learn plenty from you. Hopefully something works out this summer!

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  4. That sounds amazing! You really inspire people with those huge goals. Keep the stories coming and best of luck on reaching those goals!

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    1. Thanks, Trevor! I love reading about your family's adventures. Living the dream!

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  5. OMG no Dirty Kanza??? Just kidding. I totally get the priorities thing. And kids grow up too fast.

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    1. SO stinking fast. How is my baby a teenager?

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  6. Yes yes yes!!!! I am so looking forward to you doing the Great Divide!

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