Dirty Kanza 200: My Race Report

dirty kanza 200 in 2013

Last year, I completed my first Leadville 100 mountain bike race. It’s fair to say that I was obsessed with it, and I spent a lot of time worrying and completely stressed out about whether I could finish it. It was a huge relief to finish it successfully and get my belt buckle, even if my time turned out slower than I might have wished for. I felt like I raced Leadville to the best of my abilities and fitness at the time.

This year, I signed up for the Dirty Kanza 200 in January. I decided right then that it was not going to be like Leadville. Either I would finish it, or I wouldn’t. If I didn’t finish, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I was not going to take all the fun out of it by making it completely stressful again with worrying for months on end.

Continue reading “Dirty Kanza 200: My Race Report”

My Cheap But Effective Energy Bar

cheap energy bar rice crispy treat

I start my ride in the morning at 5:40 a.m., which means I haven’t had anything to eat since the night before. I typically ride anywhere from 27 to 47 miles before work. I can ride a shorter ride with no calories at all, but I’ve found that I feel a little better if I have at least something in my stomach before I head out.

I don’t want to consume too many calories, and I also don’t want to spend a ton of money on energy gels or Powerbars or other “real” energy bars that can cost $1 to $1.50 each. A serving of an energy drink can also be expensive, and tends to make me hungrier than eating nothing at all.

I discovered an inexpensive alternative — Rice Krispies Treats!

These come 16 to a box from the grocery store, and they’re cheap! They only have 90 calories, which is just enough to give me some fuel and not so much that I am adding too many empty calories to my diet each day. Rice, sugar and marshmallow, so they have plenty of instant carb fuel to keep you going. And the box says No High Fructose Corn Syrup on it, which appeals to me. Although strangely, it does say “corn syrup” in the ingredients of the marshmallow part of the treat, without the “high fructose” part. I’m not sure what that means, so I try not to think about it too much.

See the Kellogg’s nutritional information.

This is my day to day “energy bar” when I just need enough calories to get me through a regular training ride.

When I am racing or riding events, or riding for longer than a couple of hours, I will typically use some kind of commercial energy drink or energy bar like those from GU, Hammer Nutrition or somewhere else.

If you need something quick, cheap and easy, I recommend Rice Krispies Treats.

What do you use as a cheap energy bar or drink when you ride? Leave a comment!

Ultra Endurance Cycling Tips: A Roundup of the Best Resources

Leadville finish line

In 2012 I successfully completed the Leadville 100, and in 2013 I am shooting for the Dirty Kanza 200. So I’ve been reading up on ultra endurance cycling tips to see what I can learn to make sure that I have trained correctly, and that I have a good enough nutrition plan to successfully complete 200 miles of mostly dirt and gravel roads in Kansas this June.

Here are the best resources I have found, in case they are helpful to anyone else training for some kind of ultra endurance cycling event.

Bike Rumor has an interview with the riders from the Topeak – Ergon team that has some helpful tips about training, drinks, nutrition and supplements and even the tools and equipment that they carry. It is particular useful if you are doing off road ultra endurance.

This article on mistakes to avoid with endurance cycling covers training issues, and what not to do.

The Ultra Marathon Cycling Association has a section filled with really specific, useful and terrific articles on just about every aspect of endurance cycling. If you only go one place, go here!

Velonews covered how Jeremiah Bishop prepared for the Leadville 100 in 2012, and it is somewhat helpful.

Want to discuss the subject with others? Bikeforums has a forum totally devoted to long distance cycling in just about every format.

Road Bike Rider has a review of one of the top books on the subject, Distance Riding.

The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling: Build the Strength, Skills, and Confidence to Ride as Far as You Want is the other major book on endurance cycling.

Did I miss any other good resources or articles? Let me know in the comments!


Where to Mountain Bike in the Dallas Fort Worth area

Looking for a good place to ride a mountain bike in the DFW area?

It can be hard to find places to mountain bike near you. Even if you go ask someone at your local bike shop, you might only get a suggestion of one or two major mountain bike trails.

I did some searching around, and I found these four great resources for finding mountain biking trails in North Texas.

Texas Mountain Bike Trails has a terrific listing of DFW area trails, along with detailed information about many of the trails. Shawn has a terrific mountain biking blog in general, with a great YouTube channel, and Facebook page too, and don’t forget to sign up for his email list if you visit his site for good updates.

Mountainbiketx.com has a seriously comprehensive list of mountain biking trails in the DFW area and North Texas, but also the rest of the state of Texas.

Dallas Trails has a up to date listing of local trail conditions, so you can avoid showing up somewhere and finding out that it’s too muddy to ride.

And finally, don’t miss the DORBA (Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association) list of trails and active message board.

Did I miss any good lists of trails or awesome sites? Leave a comment and let me know!

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