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Gravel Cycling Event In NWA, Still 10 Months Away, Fills Capacity In 5 Minutes

(TB&P) — There is a relatively new discipline of cycling called gravel riding that is growing in popularity. It’s generally defined as a challenging f...
Cycling-Gravel-Riding

(TB&P) — There is a relatively new discipline of cycling called gravel riding that is growing in popularity. It’s generally defined as a challenging fusion of road cycling and mountain biking.

“It’s both new and old at the same time,” said LeLan Dains, event coordinator of the Dirty Kanza, a popular event in Emporia, Kan. In the cycling community, it is considered the premier gravel race in the world. “Gravel roads have existed for hundreds of years, and cyclists have been riding gravel roads since we had bikes.”

The Dirty Kanza started in 2006 with 34 participants and no registration fee. In 2020, Dirty Kanza will register roughly 3,800 riders. The demand is so high that event organizers use a lottery-based system to select the participants. They are offered a chance to ride four distances — 200, 100, 50 and 25 miles.

Dains and a handful of others are part of a team that operates the Dirty Kanza. They are also the team that will organize a new gravel race in Northwest Arkansas, called Big Sugar-NWA Gravel.

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