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2015 Dirty Kanza 200 images: first look

In Blog by Eric Benjamin21 Comments

This Dirty Kanza 200 was the best ever. As a rider and photographer, I have never experienced the emotion, grit, determination and scenic quality to this level. It was a dream shoot for me. I look through the Dirty Kanza 200 images I captured and I’m in awe. Every one that towed the starting line was a courageous dreamer, every finisher a champion. …

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Bikepacking gear and setup with a small frame fatbike

In Blog by Eric Benjamin4 Comments

As I got my bikepacking setup dialed in for this trip, I had a few things to figure out. I ride a small frame fatbike with a tiny inner triangle that doesn’t fit much gear. The frame bag is the size of a woman’s clutch. I can barely fit 100 oz water bladder in the frame bag. I needed two days worth of water to …

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The Desert Ramble: Bikepacking Moab’s Kane Creek Trail

In Blog by Eric Benjamin2 Comments

The Desert Ramble proved to be just that – a ramble through the desert. We started out with a plan, but the wet, muddy conditions, photo ops and numerous hike-a-bikes slowed us down, way down, so the group made new plans. We ended up having more time in Moab and less time on the Kokopelli Trail but in the end …

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Dirty Kanza 200 advice

In Blog by Eric Benjamin11 Comments

This Dirty Kanza 200 advice post was born in 2012. It is one of my most popular posts and many of you came up to me and thanked me for it. So here it is again, with more updates. Two hundred miles of Flint Hills gravel in one day is a little crazy. But there is something about this race, as brutal and …

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Waking up from Surgery – Heart Surgery Part II

In Blog by Eric Benjamin6 Comments

I woke up to familiar voices. The voices of an old friend of mine and some family members. It was comforting to hear the voices of the ones I loved. I felt pretty worn out. I was awake and could hear and remember things but I was too tired to open my eyes. It felt like I had weights holding …

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Bikepacking gear and thoughts

In Blog by EricLeave a Comment

I want to discuss my experience with the gear I used for the California bikepacking tour. The reason for this tour was to give all of us, but especially Erik Mathy some real world bikepacking experience. He is getting ready for next year’s Tour Divide Mountain Bike Race and is dialing in his gear to successfully complete that beast of …

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Dirty Kanza 200 Results: my full story

In Blog by Eric2 Comments

Warning, this is a long post. I did just ride 205 miles to finish the DK 200 though, so I have a lot to say. You may want to get a snack. The Dirty Kanza 200 was an amazing race. With the Flint Hills, the wind, heat, flint rock and 205 miles, only 65 people finished out of around 160. …

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Racing the Sun

In Blog by Eric BenjaminLeave a Comment

It wasn’t my intention to race the sun. I lost track of time learning a new WordPress template and it was getting late. Being on a computer all day leaves me feeling unaccomplished, no matter how much I get done. I just wanted to go for a spin to unwind and give myself a feeling of completing something. I put on my …

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Gravel Road Training: What’s up with all this rain?

In Blog by Eric BenjaminLeave a Comment

The Dirty Kanza 200 is behind us. It is time to read the blogs retelling the racers’ experiences and it is time to get on our bikes and train for next year. It’s not too early. I am riding gravel regularly again but it’s difficult with all this rain. Luckily I’ve been able to ride between raindrops and get a few miles in. …

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Thinking on Summer Gravel

In Blog by Eric Benjamin2 Comments

It was time. I had to figure out what the hell was making that noise as I rode my bike. It creaked like a wooden rocking chair with each pedal stroke and drove me crazy. I couldn’t tell what was causing it. The bottom bracket (BB) was damn near brand new, but maybe something was wrong with it. Time to put …

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Dirty Kanza 200 Images: Image Dump

In Blog by Eric BenjaminLeave a Comment

The image gallery and these instructions have been changed! I’ve had so many visitors, my web host wanted to shut me down. So read carefully. Here they are, all 1,111 Dirty Kanza 200 images that I kept from the three days of shooting the Dirty Kanza 200. I am putting them HERE so you can look at them, download if you …

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Pictures of Dirty Kanza Gravel: the week after

In Blog by Eric Benjamin2 Comments

I have been processing thousands of images at the computer since I shot the Dirty Kanza 200 last weekend. Luckily I’ve been able to find time to get on the bike too or I’d go insane. Last night I rode part of the first leg backwards – the real muddy sections. They were bone dry. I saw all the tracks, …

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Dirty Kanza 2015

In Blog by Eric BenjaminLeave a Comment

I have been training to compete in the Dirty Kanza 200 this year. Yes, all the travel has gotten in the way a bit and I have been riding but not the longer rides that I need to do. I was still planning on riding until I got an email. A certain bicycle company wants me to shoot at this …

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Adventures in Travel

In Blog by Eric BenjaminLeave a Comment

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta This has been the year of travel for me and I still have a few places to visit before summer is over. The rest of my travel plans will be done with my trusty 2001 Toyota Corolla that has over 245,000 miles. She runs a little …

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Exploring a calling

In Blog by Eric BenjaminLeave a Comment

Do you have a calling? Do we all have a calling or is that a bunch of BS we made up to explain why great people became great – because they had a magical calling? If you are thinking about this very thing or wondering what kind of work you should be doing because there is a feeling of dissatisfaction in your …

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A sabbatical from life: taking time off

In Blog by Eric Benjamin2 Comments

Perhaps I think too much, over analyze and try (too much) to find meaning in what I do. Maybe I continue to seek for meaning when there isn’t any meaning. Maybe Joseph Campbell was right when he said, “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking …

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Winter Training for cyclists: riding the trainer

In Blog by Eric Benjamin1 Comment

Winter training for cyclists can be fun but my ability to put up with bitter-cold temperatures lessens with each blowing, freezing-cold, ugly Kansas winter. The reason is simple. I don’t like the feeling of being cold. It hurts. I look at the adventures and exploits of my internet friends as they brave winter temperatures with icicles covering their beards and eyelashes and I …

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Dirty Kanza 200 Registration: stay motivated

In Blog by Eric Benjamin1 Comment

This Saturday is a big day for Emporia. Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. for the 10th Annual Dirty Kanza 200! If you are in or near the Emporia area, there will be a registration party at the new DK2oo Headquarters in downtown Emporia!  DK Promotions will be hosting a registration party at our HQ (11 W. 8th Ave, Emporia) on Jan. …

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Feed Your Monkey in 2015!

In Blog by Eric BenjaminLeave a Comment

Happy New Year to all you Adventure Monkeys out there! I hope your Adventure Monkey was satisfied in 2014 and you are planning to Feed Your Monkey in 2015! If you don’t plan it, it probably won’t happen. Last year went by in a blur. It is said time moves faster as we age, but last year went by so fast it was …

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A Tribute to Joel Dyke

In Blog by Eric Benjamin1 Comment

I am sad to say that Joel Dyke passed away last weekend. He fell from a ladder. It doesn’t make any sense, none at all, but that is life. It doesn’t always make sense. We try to create order or make sense of our time – checking off boxes, finishing lists or whatever, but then something like this happens and …

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I’m in: Training for the Dirty Kanza 200

In Blog by Eric Benjamin3 Comments

I’m doing it. I am intentionally hurting myself. Why you ask? Some days it makes more sense than others, but I want to see how good I can be on the bike. Yeah I know. I’ve said that before. I think I’ve even typed those words on this blog before, more than once. But this time I am serious. “Riiiiight,” Jeff says sarcastically. “How …