VIDEO: An Interview with Jim Cummins, Co-Founder of Dirty Kanza (now known as Unbound)

“Dirty Kanza Promotions was founded in 2006 by Jim Cummins, with the assistance of fellow cycling enthusiast Joel Dyke. At that time, gravel grinding was just beginning to catch the interest of the endurance cycling community. However, Jim had grown up in the Flint Hills of east-central Kansas and had been riding gravel for decades. Inspired by some of the early gravel grinder events… and convinced the Flint Hills had the best gravel to be found anywhere in the world, Jim and Joel decided to create Dirty Kanza 200.”

jim cummins dirty kanza interview 2019
Pre-riding the 2018 Dirty Kanza course.

“Initially, these two gravel aficionados had no idea the extent to which this whole gravel grinding thing would grow, nor did they give it any real thought. That wasn’t what motivated them. They both simply felt their lives had been enriched through cycling. And DK200 was their attempt to give back to the cycling community.” –

jim cummins dirty kanza interview 2019
JOM of Gravel Cyclist pre-riding before the 2018 Dirty Kanza.

And the rest is history as they say. Since then, Dirty Kanza has become the world’s premier gravel race. The race has also changed ownership, recently being purchased by Life Time Fitness. At the recent Sea Otter Classic, I had the opportunity to interview Mr Jim Cummins, co-founder of Dirty Kanza.

jim cummins dirty kanza interview 2019
Emporia Granada Theatre packed to the gills for the DK pre-ride meeting.

I asked Jim questions such as:

  • What turned you to the gravel side of the road?
  • With the change in ownership, where do you see the future of DK?
  • Aero bars on gravel?
  • And more…

Link to Jim’s Salsa Cutthroat

Thank you to Jim Cummins, Dirty Kanza, Life Time Fitness and OurOutdoorOffice.

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