DNF 2017 DK200: by K-Dogg

K-Dogg pays respect to the victims of 2016 DK200 Derailleurgeddon.

Don’t read this if you get depressed or bored easily. It’s about a DNF experience – not a victorious one – so go read something else.

I crashed out.
K-Dogg’s view of checkpoint one.
It happens.  It happens to everybody sooner or later if you race enough. It happened to me at mile 52 just a few miles past the first checkpoint. Everything was going perfectly… perfect weather… plenty of water and food consumed. I survived the inevitable winnowing of the huge mega-pack. I stayed safe mid-pack for a long time. At the first checkpoint the wonderful Crew for Hire was flawless and fast. I was rolling in less than five minutes.
K-Dogg playing with mud and tires during DK pre-ride.
I eventually nestled in with 10 steady riders who kept a single file tempo, just a little faster than I could comfortably do alone. The road was flat with perfectly packed smooth gravel. I remember easing toward the middle to check the road ahead when suddenly my front tire (Teravail Cannonball, 38mm wide) slid out, sending me over the bars at about 20 mph. I landed on my left side, shredding my calf, hip, shoulder and forearm. That red stuff dripped everywhere like the final scene from Carrie.
Time stopped.
I stood up and yelled a bad word at the sky. In the eerie silence that followed I heard a guy say “He looked over his shoulder”, as if that would explain everything. Maybe it did but I’ve been looking over my shoulder for more than 35 years of racing without crashing. I’m very careful to keep my wheel pointed forward, always.
K-Dogg during a DK pre-ride.
$hit happens. Nothing was broken. I backed down the norepinephrine and my desire to sling the bike into a wheat field.
I called the support crew. In the half hour it took to pick me up, hundreds of people rolled by. “Are you OK?” said hundreds of wonderful people. “I’m fine” I said, hundreds of times before I got tired of it and hid behind a gate post. Soon Mrs. K-Dogg came by and palpated everything. “You’re OK” she said. “Don’t let me ruin your race. The jeep is on the way” I said.
K-Dogg’s “Eldorado”.
Soon enough, the jeep came and loaded all my muddy and bloody parts inside. The nice driver didn’t ask if I was OK, just loaded up the Eldorado and I. I liked him already. On the drive back to checkpoint one, he told me how much he enjoyed the jeep club and their fun outings. He explained the giant Borg gizmo hanging from the ceiling between the two front seats. One was a short wave radio – the other was a CB. There were also cell phones from three different carriers. We weren’t getting lost anytime soon.
At checkpoint one medical, two oncologist nurses and an Equine Veterinarian scrubbed out the gravel then wrapped me up, perfectly (I had already pre-medicated with three Ibuprofen.) They were very nice and humorous. They drove me back to my accommodations where I took a “half shower”, to avoid soaking my fresh dressings. A “half shower” involves a washcloth and stepping half in and half out of the stall.
Not a piece of ham. This is K-Dogg’s gnarly (and wrinkled) leg.
Beer to the rescue!
Feeling clean and calm, I realized there were consolation prizes to crashing… the race was over… I didn’t have to suffer another 12 hours or so in the wilderness… and the local brew pub, Radius Brewing Company, was open for business and psychological consultation. After consultation with a “Pot Roast” pizza and two bodacious Porters, I felt much better, then wandered into the charming six block streets that comprise most of historic downtown Emporia.
Fetching dayglo colors.
Happy bike tourists and local kids frolicked everywhere, playing street party games and licking up local treats like shaved ice and funnel cakes. I half expected to see Richie and Potsie from Happy Days strolling up to the malt shop or strolling into the Granada Theater to see Jailhouse Rock or The Blob.
Mrs K-Dogg brings it home.

I also got to watch and video Mrs.K-Dogg come down the chute of victory, shaving almost three hours from her 2016 time. Amazing! Mrs K-Dogg ended up taking 4th place in her age group, a pretty nice result! Anybody that finishes this epic race is a true champion, in my opinion. 

Emporia is an amazing little town that eventually turned my frown upside down and maybe even convinced me to try again next year… assuming I am lucky enough to register in less than 12 minutes!
Tegaderm – Don’t leave home without it!


  1. Avatar Jay O. Hughes

    I was very bummed when I heard about your crash K-Dogg. Glad to see you still have that fighting spirit and that everything should heal. Congrats to your wife on her improved finish and making the podium! Best of luck!!

  2. Avatar Bobk

    Sorry about your misfortune; but glad you are OK, and are willing to write about it. You know this, but some other folks may not be so well informed. While the term “road rash” seems to minimize this sort of injury, the reality, is both more painful and serious. Road rash like yours is as serious as 3rd degree burns over large areas of your body. It must be throughly cleaned and debrided (OUCH!!!!) ASAP. Depending on the severity and area of the wound, you may also need to take a course of antibiotics to prevent serious infection. And, if you haven’t had a recent Tetanus booster, you may require that as well. It is also important to keep the wound moist with medicated ointment and covered to avoid infection and to reduce scaring. Having been under the debriding brush myself a few times, I feel your pain and disappointment. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  3. Avatar Joe Scully

    That was my story last year, down I went at mile 12. All was well next thing I know I was looking up at the Kansas sky. I made it to the second checkpoint. I had to stop my wrist was hurting bad. I made it back this year and finished. Oh for the love of the game. K-dog see you next year.

  4. Avatar Kevin

    I was one of the 1000+ that rolled by and asked if you were ok. You definitely sounded like you’d had enough of the question, and as soon as I said it I realized the couple dozen or so guys I could see in front of me probably asked as well. I’d be sick of it in your position too.

    • JOM JOM

      Thanks to everyone who has chimed in. K-Dogg will probably say something later on, but I really appreciate the kind words of our fellow Gravel Cyclists!

  5. Avatar Beargrease

    K-Dogg, sometimes even the Top Gun’s crash and burn. As a fellow sexagenarian I know better than to ask if you’re OK. But rather, “Is your bike OK”? 🙂

  6. Avatar Larry Brenize

    I had an old GF daughter(non cyclist)post something on my FB page. It showed a guy in the hospital all mummied up and in traction. The Doc comes in and the guy says “Doc I want you to give it to me straight.” “How’s the bike? ” lol You can say most of the time that you learn from your DNF’S. What you can say about this one is $hit happens. I am glad to hear that you didn’t have any worse injuries and hope you are recovering fine.

  7. Avatar Larry Brenize

    BTW pot roast pizza sounds like it has some great healing properties in it. I have never heard of that before.

  8. K-Dogg K-Dogg

    I thank you all for your kind comments. I am healing well thanks to Mrs. K-Dogg being in the medical field and her unending supply of inhumanly huge Tagaderms and sterile procedures. (Bobk) My initial depression has melted away to anticipating the upcoming Crusher in the Tusher race! They tell me it’s a wee bit hillier than Florida so I will probably be packing a couple Tagaderms. Every time I crash I remember Phil Ligget interviewing a very young Sean Kelly who’d almost won his first major professional stage race. He held the lead until he flatted on the last stage a few miles from the finish. Liggett expected to encounter a tearful Kelly who just shrugged his shoulders and said…”Ahh! their will be another race tomorrow!” No worries!.

  9. Avatar Eric

    Sorry to hear K-Dogg.
    Oddly enough…. I was riding the DK100 this year. Crashed at the 52 or 53 mile mark and broke my left clavicle…

    The rest of my DNF story is similar.. plus an ER visit.

    • JOM JOM

      Eric, sorry to hear about this. I heard there were a couple of broken bones during the day. Get well soon… I’ve broken my clavicles five times, so I know what pain you are experiencing 🙁 JOM

  10. Avatar Eric

    Thanks, JOM.

    I should be thankful. I knew I hit my head… little dazed initially. I inspected my helmet once I made it home and noticed full thickness cracks on two sections.

    I would like to throw out Major Kudos to the people of Emporia. One of the nurses you spoke of gave me a ride to the ER… putting my dirty bike in her car. It was like a 20 plus miles away. Saved me an ambulance ride that I didn’t need.. from a medical standpoint.

    After the ER, I stopped at a pharmacy to get pain meds before making my way back to the campgrounds. One of the employees gave me and my bike a ride back to the campground.

    Hate to say it… but where I live, it would be more likely to be run over by a car than actually getting help.

    • JOM JOM

      That is awesome… one of the few communities I’ve seen that love cycling visitors to town and get behind the event.

  11. Avatar Larry Brenize

    One in 10 might stop for me here in rural Pa. Kansas kind of reminds me of what I have seen so far in Vermont. I still remember riding thru the one town on a weekend and everybody was out exercising. This one gal was out on a old roadie bike in flip flops. When we came to the hill she was still kicking it. Eric I hope you are recovering well.

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