racing riding the CSF&O on May 7th, at 9am in front of the Granada Theater in Emporia Kansas. Rain, shine, sleet, hail, snow, wind, tornado, or heat. Yes, we could have any one or combination of, any of these. It’s early May in Kansas. May 7th will be the sixth anniversary of the tornado that leveled Greensburg and brought 10+ inches of rain to a large stretch of central Kansas. Last year it had already hit 90 by this time, but three years ago, there was frost on the ground. Plan for everything.
Here’s how it’ll go down. There will be a rider’s meeting at 8:15pm Monday May 6th, at Town Royal in the back. I’ll go over the route, weather, rules, etc, but it would be best to study it beforehand/get familiar with your GPS. I know this is short notice, but I’m riding it regardless, so I thought I’d invite anyone else who may want to go. I also realize I’m starting on a Tuesday, but that’s what I have off, haha.
Rules: Tour Divide Rules apply. See the link for details.
Racers Riders must ride 100% of the route. You may leave the route in any direction, but if you leave, you must return to the route at the place you left and resume.
2. This is a self-supported ride. No outside assistance is allowed. The caveat to this is you may repair, refuel, and resupply at commercial establishments that are available to anyone else riding. Also, you are allowed trail magic, but don’t expect it. I doubt if anyone along the route knows about this. That being said, don’t piss off the locals. IE- you can’t stop for the night at your Auntie Em’s house for the night, unless it’s a Bed & Breakfast that would be available to any other rider.
3. Assisting other riders is allowed for emergencies only. Riders are not to help other riders with navigation,
racing riding strategies, etc. If a rider needs a tube, a pump, medical assistance, or any other real emergency, then other riders are not only allowed, but must, give aid if possible. Again, this is only for emergencies.
4. No trespassing. The route is all on public roads. The land on either side of the road most likely is privately owned. Publicly owned land in Kansas accounts for .92% of all land. The rest is private. Most of it is marked, but some isn’t. If you’re unsure, it’s best to assume it’s private land.
Mandatory Equipment: State-issued ID (DL, passport, etc), Red Blinky, Front White Light
Suggested Equipment: GPS(!!), spare tubeS, patch kit, pump, CO2 inflator, more water than you think you’ll need, water filter.
If you have any other questions, comment on here or ask it at the rider’s meeting. Guitar Ted has some great tips for riding gravel here. Please read through this.
If anyone is interested in doing this, please leave a message on here, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I think this route will be a good shakedown for the Tour Divide, if nothing else, at least letting you test gear, and getting your kit squared away. It’s 563 miles of gravel and dirt. It’s not flat. There’s 26,000 ft of climbing. Most of it will be like the Dirty Kanza. The good news: if we get some rain, early May in Kansas will be one of the absolute best times to be riding, as far as the Flinthills are concerned. The grass will be 2-3 inches tall, and everything should be the most brilliant shade of green you’ve ever seen. You really have to see it to believe it.
I’ll see you down the road (on May 7th!)