My Dirty Kanza 200 Rig: That New New Old New.

I didn’t consciously decide to do gravel racing.  It just kind of happened.  Like all things in life my life (for better or worse), I let things happen organically.  I’ll discuss my happenstance switch from professional triathlon racing to gravel enthusiast in a future blog (or vlog) post to drop ASAP.  Regardless, I find myself this weekend headed to the famed Dirty Kanza, in Emporia Kansas, where I’ll race 206 miles in the flint hills outside of Emporia, Kansas.

Honestly, what you pick to ride for such an adventure completely depends on your user requirements.  Usually, I’d just set things up as a comfy rolling buffet.  But after surprising myself at RPI last year, I have the scary delusion that I might be able to stay near the front of the race for a bit.

With that in mind, here is a gallery the setup I’ll be rolling on this Saturday.

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To be honest, my frame and fork are 3 years old.  I ride what I’ve got.  And luckily, what I’ve got gets the job done.  It’s a 2015 BSB 9 RDO that I use for UCI CX, gravel, shredding single track, and even (gulp) training on the roads.

If you know me though, you know I’m a HUGE Rolf Prima Wheel Systems proponent.  For DK200, I’m rolling on a HOT set of Hyalite ES Carbon rims with the XR center lock hub spec.  Lightweight, 23mm internal width and bombproof (or at least Ganterproof) these bad boys will take anything I can dish out.  And I’ve thrown everything at them.  Rolf Prima wheels just keep coming back for more without blemishes or EVER going untrue.  They’re as incredible as the people that make them in Eugene, Oregon.

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For the past year I’ve been working with SRAM and have finally kitted this rig out with In the past a mixture of SRAM Force and Red parts.  I’ve had four separate instances of untimely chain derailments on other setups.  I’m happy to report that my beta testing on this SRAM setup yielded exactly zero chain slap or drop.  The Force 1 clutch derailleur and X-SYNC(r) chainring are straight-up #DYJ (do your job).

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I have to be honest, the Red shifter and caliper were the result of an ordering mistake on my part, but hey they’re awesome.  So I’m gonna roll with it.  Literally.  Hydraulic disc brakes are the standard.  Stop fighting it.  Assimilate.

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In working with SRAM, I’ve also spec’d this steed with Zipp cockpit and seat post.  I absolutely love the ergonomics of the Service Course 80 handlebars. (Yes, I ride aluminum bars because… well,  I break nice things.)

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But what is probably more interesting than what parts I’m using are the little goodies you might have noticed.  For instance, I chose to put a Revelate Designs Mag-Tank on my top tube.  For the aero weenies amongst you, yes it’s not the most “aero” bag.  HOWEVER, it’s huge, and most importantly, it has a slick magnetic enclosure that does not require a brain or dexterity to use.  I’ve tested it and it does not open without my approval.  Also, it closes itself.  Amazeballs.

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Tires.  I’ve seen a lot of back and forth and beta testing online.  The more I think about it, I think, everyone’s overthinking it. 😉  As a 172 pound dude that likes to shred hard… I’m running 40c Rambler.  It rolls fast, and handles well.  I don’t usually find myself wishing I had more traction.  Or more comfort.  Or less rolling resistance.  So I’m sticking with what seems to work.  You can’t race if you’re standing on the side of hte road with changing a flat with your sweet prototype paper-thin high-risk high-reward tire choice.  Besides, I hear the Flint Hills are made of… Flint.  Yeah, that’s sharp stuff.  Soooo… I’ll run Tubeless (TR) at a low-ish pressure and EXO Sidewall protection.  Done. 

As for flat repair, no frills there either.  I use an old velcro strap and a bunch of electrical tape to hold: 2 tubes, 2 CO2s, tire lever, quick link, tire plugs, some duct tape, and a multitool w/chain breaker.   This is pretty much my exact setup from Xterra pro racing.  Anything more might be paranoia.  It worked for Xterra, so it should work now, right?  I’ve toyed with the idea of running it down by the crank if it’s dry out, but I’m be a bit nervous about it getting sucked into the drive train.

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Since I’m planning on documenting as much of the adventure on front and rear GoPros, I’m using local Boise company K-Edge’s amazing computer and GoPro mounts.  On the front, I’ll run a combination GoPro/Garmin mount (RAD!) and a seat rail GoPro mount on the rear.  (Another reason why I didn’t put my flat kit under the seat.) 

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Well, there she is.  The three year old workhorse!  To quote Han Solo, “she may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts kid.”   Hope to see you in Emporia this week!  Say hello and please stop by Mohn Standard on Thursday at noon for a Velocio fun ride, the GU ride and Velocio pop-up shop on Friday! Hope to see you out there!

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Make sure you test out your rig!  (and get air with BOTH wheels if you can…) 

How to Survive an Idaho Winter. -or- Nordork-a-saurus Rex

Winter, it’s been real

But I’m off to San Diego

I need me some sun

 

Music:

People Press Play, “These Days” Album: “S/T”, (C) Morr Music 2007

EBB, “I’m All Made of Music” (Juri Hulkkonen Remix), “I’m All Made of Music” EP, (P) Gaymonkey Records 2008

 

Champion System

I’m proud announce that 2017 will be my third year partnering with Champion System as my official apparel sponsor.  I’ve been racing in Champion System custom technical apparel for years before I was sponsored, and it’s clear to me that it’s a great fit. (Pun intended)

The CS design lab makes kit design accessible for non-design oriented athletes.  The quick proof turn-around and streamlined order workflow takes the frustration out of the ordering process.  And the option to create a team store full of hundreds of custom branded goodies is AMAZING.

For the athlete, a uniform serves several purposes.  First, it needs to work well to help you perform at your best.  Second, it must look great.  Whether your uniform showcases your sponsors or just your personality, either way it has to look the part.  For the past two years Champion System has exceeded my expectations in with regard to both.  Allowing me to achieve goals and share my journey with others while also conveying a bit of my personality and brand.  -Awesome.  Their products perform and they showcase my sponsors in exactly the way I intend.  So I’m excited to extend this partnership and I’m very proud to be representing a company that is as committed to providing high quality technical apparel and customer service to the sports community.

Check out the exciting new 2017 Cycling Line at www.champ-sys.com !

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Ganter, where you at?! -A Catch’em-Up Post

It sure has been a WHILE since my last blog post.  I can’t say that it’s been uneventful.  Or that I didn’t have anything to write about.  As you may have noticed from my Social Media feeds, quite the opposite is true really.  I was crazy busy.  Blogging slipped away, and for that I apologize.

Training to be a “high performance” endurance athlete is, well… hard.  For me, getting in fighting shape is hard enough that once something else (anything else, basically) hits, it’s hard enough to stay the course and complete the training let alone nutrition, rest, equipment upkeep, travel, etc required to do your job properly.  And during the 2016 season I had a lot on my plate.

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Matt Green Photo 2016

Last winter, we decided to remodel our north end cottage.  It was the kind of remodel where you wonder why you didn’t just knock the house down and start from scratch. The kind where you completely refinance (yikes!), build a new building next to your existing house, add a porch, pour patios, build a rental apartment, etc, etc.  You get the drift.  It was a six-month ordeal that hit right during race season.  In fact, the project wrapped up in August.  Just in time for the triathlon season to wind down. -Ha!

There was a lot on my plate in addition to training.  Physically and mentally.  I used to think I was invincible when I worked a bazillion hour work week and still raced at the top end of the amateur triathlon ranks. But as a professional I’ve realized that the faster I want (need) to go, the harder the training.  For me, that doesn’t allow room for much else.  And if I take on a new project, something else has got to give. During the 2016 season, it was web presence (among other things).  I had to streamline to a nearly Instagram-only engagement format.

Well that was handy, since I managed to not completely embarrass myself on the race course, and even step on the podium a few times.  Instagram is great to keep connected, but it isn’t quite rewarding to me creatively.  I have a desire to create art.  I don’t desire to be prolific, I just like to produce things I can be proud of.  Pots, sculptures, songs, videos, designs, etc.  In college, I studied chemistry and mathematics, but as electives I studied music, sculpture, guitar, as well as film & video production.  These remained important creative outlets, but I just didn’t know how to really make them jive with my athletic career.

Until now.

In this age of engagement, I see video (herein referred to as “film”) as a creative medium and to highlight my supporters.  That’s the way endurance sports marketing is evolving.  It’s time for some more entertaining and interesting content that takes people places and maybe even inspires. So for now, I’ll use filmmaking as a tool to convey those ideas and stories under my 10Ten brand umbrella.

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I plan to use my own experiences as a starting point.  But my ultimate desire would be capture and convey adventures of others.  I have ideas on how to do this, that would be unique and perhaps unexpected in the endurance sports space.  Of course, I’ll let it evolve organically as I do with just about everything in my life… but I have ideas about how to eventually bring a fresh perspective to the endurance sports experience.  And I can’t wait to bring those ideas to life.

For now, I’m in the early stages of (re)learning the nuts and bolts since a lot has changed in the last 17 years.  It’s been a rewarding learning experience so far, and I expect that to continue.  I’ve become so re-invigorated that I wake up at night with ideas.  I’m also brimming with new questions.  That’s a passion and creativity that’s been dormant for some time.  And until I get a pottery wheel and kiln, you’ll have to deal with my freshman year of filmmaking.

For now, heres a teaser from my winter cross-training montage coming soon:

I’ll have a lot of announcements to make in the coming weeks.  My 2017 racing schedule, partnership announcements, product highlights, and sponsor contests!  Thanks for sticking around, it’s going to be an amazing year!

-Chris

Cover: Scott Conover Photography 2016

First Endurance

I’m proud to announce that I’ve again signed with First Endurance Supplements & Sports Nutrition Products for 2016!  First Endurance’s line of products has helped to take my racing and training to another level in 2015.  In addition to again using the (Electrolyte Fuel System) EFS and Ultragen products, I’m looking forward to using additional PRO line products in 2016 to take my training and racing to the next level.  Please click on any of the images below to learn more!

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The EFS line of products previously freed me from the need to use awkward salt tablets.  In 2015, I’ve used the EFS Pro product during heavy training and racing with success.   It is mild in taste, and also mixes well in a bottle with EFS liquid shot to free me from carrying a flask on the mountain bike.  In a nutshell: It just plain works so I can focus on the task at hand.

efs-pro-lemonThe liquid (vs. gel) consistency of the EFS Liquid Shot makes it very easy to consume quickly, even during races at a very high/intense effort levels.  It also conveniently mixes well with EFS Pro!  efs-ls-ssUltragen Recovery Drink helps me to bounce back quickly from heavy and intense training load.  In addition, I actually love the taste!

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I’m very excited to be using the First Endurance MultiV-PRO Endurance Vitamin.  This product is a comprehensive multivitamin that’s designed to meet the unique requirements of professional endurance athletes.

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I’m excited to use the OptygenHP product this year during periods of high stress. “OptygenHP is clinically proven to increase VO2Max, increase the body’s ability to adapt to high levels of physical stress, increase anaerobic threshold and reduce lactic acid.”

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I plan to use the PreRace for a mental and cardiac jump-start for races and key workouts:

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I’m grateful for the opportunity to build on my relationship First Endurance in 2016. They are a company that makes the highest quality products.  Their commitment to research and product safety and quality is something I’m proud to represent as a professional athlete.  First Endurance products allow me to simplify my race day nutrition.  They also allow me to train better.  I, in turn and grateful that they believe in me and support my career!  That’s a partnership built for success!