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The Pursuit – Lessons In Winter Fat Bike Wisdom & Personal Growth

For the past 4 winters, fat bike riders have traveled to Island Park, Idaho to challenge themselves in the most difficult winter fat bike ultra in the lower 48; JayP’s Fat Pursuit.

We’re pleased to introduce, “The Pursuit: Lessons in Winter Fat Bike Wisdom and Personal Growth.” Jay Petervary’s Backyard Fat Pursuit is a 200km or 200-mile winter bike ultra in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. There’s more climbing than most winter ultras, enough snow to swallow you whole if you veer off the edges of the trails, and temps that can (and have) reached -40 on race weekend. But riders who venture to Island Park, Idaho for the event will tell you the setting presents a classroom like no other.

“Ultra’ means something different to everyone and I understand my perspective is very skewed. An ultra in my book is also when you take the body to its physical limit but then rely on your mental game to finish. There comes the point where ultras are only physical for so long, and I truly believe that whatever you tell your mind, the body will follow.” – Jay Petervary

We hope you enjoy the “The Pursuit,” and feel inspired to seek out learning opportunities that aren’t always easy. The results can positively impact you for the rest of your life.

CLICK TO VISIT OUR NEW STORYSITE: The Pursuit - Lessons In Winter Fat Bike Wisdom & Personal Growth

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51 Hours Racing The TNGA – Part One

This year the Trans North Georgia “adventure” started on August 19th at 8 a.m. on the Russell Bridge between Georgia and South Carolina. It was a beautiful morning, with the sunrise spreading golden light across the bridge and the other 75-ish riders.

We begin a 3-part story from Salsa product engineer Sean Mailen’s experience racing the Trans North Georgia bikepacking ultra earlier this summer.​

Click here to read Sean’s pre-race post…


This year the Trans North Georgia “adventure” started on August 19th at 8 a.m. on the Russell Bridge between Georgia and South Carolina. It was a beautiful morning, with the sunrise spreading golden light across the bridge and the other 75-ish riders. Derek Kozlowski (Koz) and Jeff Williams (Honcho) gave us a pre-race meeting. “Make sure your tracker is on, don’t be stupid,” and a prayer before we kicked off. Three days before, my family and I had arrived in my hometown of Chattanooga to 90’s and 100% humidity. I questioned my sanity in entering this event, and if I still could handle the hot blanket of moisture. Thankfully, when my dad and I had driven over on Friday afternoon to Clayton, GA, the temps and humidity had both dropped. It was shaping up to be almost perfect weather for the race with the chance of rain below 20%.

After the meeting, I said thanks to Dad and pedaled over to the front of the bridge. Staging for a 359-mile bikepacking race doesn’t matter compared to an NCC crit, but I wanted a good photo of the “Cutty” on the bridge. She looked ready to go, and my nerves were in a good spot. A boxer once said, “It’s ok to have butterflies as long as you can get them in formation.” I was feeling good and finally excited to start. All the preparation and packing had gone well, and I was confident in the gear I was bringing. The night before, my Dad and I discovered the Fenix flashlight I planned to bring had a bad switch. Thankfully, I had brought my backup. This would save my bacon later in the race. We also discussed the weather, and I decided to add a long sleeve woolie which I was thankful for at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning.

I got my photos and stood next to other riders as we anticipated the start and what was about to happen. I looked around at the other smiling faces and tried to get a good photo or two. Would I make it to the finish? Top five? How would the others around me fare? Doing events like this before, I knew how even the most meticulous preparation still
couldn’t prepare you for what can happen out there. The most random, unthinkable things can break. Nutrition can go south. Weather can play havoc. One small error, a bent derailleur, bearing failure, hole in a water bladder, ripped tire, or broken wheel can lead to you limping home. I knew my fitness was good from a solid race season and that my experience guided me to good gear decisions, but now it was me versus the course. What did it have in store?

Bobby Wintle pulled up and gave me a big hello. He’s a bike shop owner in Oklahoma and puts on the Land Run 100. He’s an incredible guy and always positive, plus he was also on a drop bar Cutthroat, so I felt a kinship with him. Most folks were on flat bar hardtails, so Bobby and I were the weirdos. I didn’t know many people doing the race except Bobby and Ethan Frey, a Salsa Brand Ambassador and coworker. I knew a lot of strong Georgia riders were signed up this year, but I wasn’t sure who was who. It’d be interesting seeing who would make up the front group and who I would end up riding with. My race plan was to ride smart, pace myself, and try to stay around top five. If that
worked, then I might be able to take advantage of the Cutthroat on rolling gravel and paved roads in the last 50 miles. I knew if my fitness was good I could get in a decent aero position on the Cutthroat/Cowchipper combo and make up a good amount of time. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face, though.

Koz finally got us started, and the pedals began to turn in an effort for us all to arrive at the Georgia-Alabama border that seemed forever away. It felt good to get moving as it always does the first mile of any race. The pace was good, not too fast, and the group was talkative. At the first real climb, things began to stretch out and within about 15 miles, the front group already established itself or so it seemed. Later, I would learn I was riding with David Hall, Chad Hungerford, David Chen, and Ethan Frey. Ethan was the only guy I already knew but don’t get to ride with that much since he’s out on the East Coast. I knew he was a very strong rider and very fast on a mountain bike. He was on a Spearfish. Since we get some of the hardest singletrack at mile 260, I knew that his bet on dual suspension might pay off very well. He could put some time on us quick. I thought the group was fully established, but then I heard the whiz of tread on gravel come up fast on my right. A determined rider made his way past me and up towards David Hall. He kept going, and before I knew it, he was on the front and moving. This guy means business I thought! Eventually, I would learn that this was Hart Robinson, a rider I would spend a great deal of time with on this journey.

The “group” kept rolling up and over climbs. You could tell everyone was riding their own pace, but the combo of climbs and descents kept us together for a while. I’d gain time on the climbs but lose time on the descents. Everybody knew that we had 340 miles to go, so there wasn’t any need to crush it. I could tell David Hall, and David Chen were climbing especially well. Chad Hungerford climbed with sheer determination and mentioned this was his fourth attempt, hoping for a second finish. Everyone had setups that looked like they brought in good experience. David Chen’s looked to be the lightest. I was not envious of David Hall’s backpack or Chad’s hip pack, but to each their own. I was the weirdo on drop bars. I didn’t necessarily want to ride with a group the whole time, but I knew those with experience would know where some of these hidden trails and turn offs were. I knew the TNGA could be tricky in spots. I had a GPS, but it’s hard to tell you are off route until about two-tenths of a mile off course so any turns not missed would be helpful, at least for a while.

Chad warned us of a quick left coming up that is easy to miss. As we hiked-a-bike of babyhead gravel, Chad warned us that we would “suffer.” An ominous warning for sure, but true. Hopefully, the highs would be better than the lows. The trail then got confusing going through overgrown pastures and rough forest road. I got gapped but knew I could
make up time on the climbs. Koz and the documentary crew greeted us at the junction with another forest service road. It’s cool to see the promoters out on course. They love sharing their event, and you can tell they truly want everyone to finish and do something they didn’t think they could.

The road eventually turned onto seldom-used singletrack. I knew I was going to get passed in this section, paying for my drop bar setup, but it was still a blast to ride. Ethan and then David Chen flew by on the rocky, wet section. We did one of the first creek crossings of countless more. I paused for a moment trying to take in the beauty of the area. Mount Laurel made a tunnel of the trail, and the creek was flowing with clear, cold water. This, in the end, was why I came. This area is beautiful and probably too often overlooked. I felt like I was home for a bit, back in the Appalachians where I had learned to appreciate the mountains and adventure. I was excited to push myself and see what I could do, but in the end just happy to be here. I got moving knowing that if I lingered any longer, I would never leave.

The trail finally popped out into a parking area and then to a quaint mountain road. This little valley was beautiful as were the small old farm homes. You got the feeling that these
folks still did a weekly trip to town for goods. Once again, I was having to motivate myself to get moving. “Get Going!!!” I told myself. This section of gravel and pavement rolled, and I knew the Cutty was moving. I didn’t need to kill it, just stay within the range of top five as long as I could. We hit the valley around Dillard, and I got in my very comfortable aero position and pedaled away. I could tell I could make up good time on those with flat bars, so knew I needed to take advantage of these sections. I saw Chad again as we climbed out of Dillard. I knew Hart and David Hall wouldn’t be too far ahead, but I didn’t need to worry about catching them. Plenty of miles to go. I turned on the music and settled into what I hoped would be a good climbing pace for TNGA. I wanted to ride at mid-tempo, nice and strong, but not too hard.

I missed a turn on a paved road andEthan and David Chen ended up passing me as I realized my mistake. Once back on course, I looked for water since I was getting low at mile 44 already. Shey Linder had mentioned an old, concrete shack that had water. I found it, nowater, lots of trash – nasty. Just another minute down the road and I found David Chen filling up bottles at the campground – yes! Perfect. David was mixing Infinite in multiple bottles. I had considered bottles but just being able to fill up one 2L bladder and go was so enjoyable. I told him I would see him later and kept pedaling. Riding along the Tallulah River was amazing. Actually, a lot of the climbs in the first 100 miles are gorgeous. Creeks were full of clear water tumbling over rocks. Plenty of people were out swimming in the holes and waterfalls, others fishing. Plus, most of the climbs on the TNGA are shaded; trees are everywhere down here. It might be hot and humid down here, but the shade plus cool creek water made the climbing fun! I wanted so badly to get off and sit in the creek awhile, but I knew I had other business today, and I could come back later.

At mile 54, we came out on highway 76. It was hot, and I was going through water, so I knew I would stop and pay the Top of Georgia Hostel a visit. I originally didn’t want to stop here, but seeing the cold soft drinks beckoned me in. Ethan pulled up and we both slammed off-brand fruit-flavored sodas. THEY TASTED SO GOOD. I also bought a Coke and a Mello Yello. This wouldn’t be the first time I bought multiple soft drinks and stuck one in my frame bag for later. The caffeine and sugar revived me. I filled my bladder and asked Ethan if he was ready. He wanted to hammer a Gatorade and told me to go ahead. I knew another singletrack downhill was coming and figured he would catch me. I set off to catch Jon Livengood if I could since he passed us while we were draining liquid sugar into our bodies.

The next climb was up Wildcat Creek, and the entire climb was amazing. My gearing (32 x 10-42T) was exactly what I needed. I passed David Hall at some point, and then he passed me after the AT junction. Hart was nowhere to be seen, and I thought I may never see him again. He was doing a solid pace on the climbs and putting time into me on the descents. A lot can happen though, and I was really enjoying the ride. I turned off Unicoi Turnpike and began the climb up Tray Mountain having no idea what I was in store for. Corbin Creek seemed to climb forever. Once again, I was running low on water, so I had caught Chad but told him I was pulling over for water the next time I see it. I found a creek pouring over rocks and filled up. I treated it with drops so I knew I would need to wait 30 minutes, but it ended up being the best water I had; it was so good! I reached the top of Tray Mountain and began the descent. It’s a torn-up Jeep road that is all rock. You just kind of end up screaming down it hoping for the best. A rear derailleur could be ripped off at any time. You could slide out at any time. A Jeep could come up the road at any time. I made it to Hickory Nut and was glad to get back on singletrack. I would regret this thought. Hickory Nut is a forgotten trail with lots of overgrowth and cinderblock sized rocks thrown in. This was the only point where I seriously questioned using the Cutthroat with suspension fork. I felt bad for Bobby who would eventually hit this section on a Cutty with no suspension. At the bottom of the descent, you arrive in Helen and to a much-needed rest stop at Woody’s Bikes.

Woody and crew were amazing! The TNGA is a great event because of the people. Koz, Honcho, Woody’s bike shop, Top of Georgia Hostel, Tommie’s Ranch, and the folks at Mulberry Gap are all fantastic. They love the event, and they love the racers who come to take on the challenge. They are incredibly kind and go out of their way to help you out
when you arrive. These oases of sorts are much needed since along the course, most gas stations and country stores aren’t open except at banker hours. Woody’s had
free drinks, free bacon pancakes, and anything you needed for your bike. I needed a little oil on the chain, but that was about it. Ethan arrived and needed a whole new tire - he cut his charging down Hickory Nut. I arrived just in time to see Hart, David Hall, and Chad head out. After 100 miles, I knew I still had plenty of time to catch them but didn’t want to give them too much time. My goal was not to rush but always keep moving. This usually meant eating and doing things on the bike, but I needed to make sure I was good to go for a long night of riding since it was around 6 p.m. already. I forced more food than I wanted in my system and kept drinking tea, Cokes, and coffee. It was good to catch up with Jon a bit, and also talk with David Chen a little. I tried using my phone to let my family know things were good but it was having issues. Every time I would try to use it I wouldn’t have service, or it was so humid the touchscreen would freak out. I think I got one text out and started heading up Hogpen Gap.

I settled in and made it over, did the fastest decent of the trip, and then made it to the base of Wolfpen Gap. As I went up Wolfpen, I turned my K-lite on and continued listening to a Mike & Mike Podcast. I arrived at the gap and took a right onto gravel. Within about aminute, a light was coming back in my direction. I couldn’t believe it; it was the guy who was leading, Hart R. “I think we are going to wrong way,” he said. I checked but was confident we were on the correct road. “This is right; you were going the right way,” I said. He acknowledged and turned around. “How you doing?” I asked. “I’m ok, I’ve been better,” he said (or something similar). We got moving and didn’t say anything else to each for a while. Not too much to talk about really, we were both doing the TNGA, we were both getting tired, David Hall was somewhere in front of us, and the long descent was good.

After what seemed like an hour we arrived on a rolling gravel road. It was 11 p.m. on Saturday, and you could tell the miles and climbing were wearing on us. By that point we had done about 130 miles and around 16k of climbing. I told him I had to stop to eat since it was hard to see my food and needed to plug in my Garmin to the dyno to charge. He seemed happy to stop and stretch his back. We finally did our introductions and talked about how we were feeling. It was easy, to be honest since these events are tough, and
there was nothing to hide. We were both tired. We discussed strategy and what we had planned for sleep. I said minimal as did he, and we wanted to go until completely exhausted. I knew at some point I would figure I had enough and pull the hammock out for three or four hours. This being his second time, he mentioned something about Stanley Gap and getting to a certain point. I figured we could ride together for as long as possible, at least confirming navigation, and eventually split ways when somebody got tired. I figured he was having a low but once he got some food or sleep in him he would be flying again and I would see if I could keep his pace.

Stay tuned for Part Two on Wednesday…


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150 Yards of the Heck

I hope you enjoy a small gallery of images from the first, and last, 150 yards of The Heck of the North gravel race.

Photography can be a liberating thing, or a confining one, all depending on your attitudes or preconceptions. You can view something as limiting, like only having one lens on hand. Or you can take that in stride and turn it into a positive by letting that lens set your vision, and then taking the best photos you can with that tool.

This set of photos wasn’t taken with one lens (3 lenses were used). But they were all taken within 150 yards of the start/finish area. That fact means the images you see show one aspect of The Heck. As you can tell from the muddy bikes and faces, there is certainly another aspect to The Heck; one found on the muddy snowmobile trails found elsewhere on course.

The Heck of the North continues to follow in the spirit of the original gravel races that graced Minnesota. It is a true grassroots gravel race. Come prepared to take on a challenge. Come prepared to enjoy a long day of riding in the north woods. Come prepared to cross the finish line to the easy applause of your co-finishers.

Our thanks to Heck Events promoter Jeremy Kershaw for continuing to put on this classic event. Click here to visit the Heck Events website.


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Ben Weaver’s Sees Like A River Tour

Salsa sponsored musician Ben Weaver has begun his Sees Like A River tour.

Saturday, July 8 marked the start of a month-long excursion for Twin Cities artist Ben Weaver as he takes to his Salsa Cycles bicycle, instruments in tow, to promote his ninth album, Sees Like a River. Along the tour route, which connects major bodies of water, Weaver seeks to meet with and start conversations amongst music lovers, cyclists, conservationists and others who join in along the way. 

Sees Like a River will initially be released on CD and packaged in a limited edition, handset and signed letterpress printed book. The album will be supported by a tour that follows the Great Lakes in performance venues both conventional and unconventional: Comrade Cycles in Chicago, Ill., the Orpheum Theater in Hancock, Mich., the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, Wis., and even the homes of his fans. As he has done on past tours, Weaver will travel by bike; however, this time his route will include more miles of dirt roads and trails rather than paved highways to connect the communities where his performances will be held. 

“I want people to have deeper relationships with their community, land, water, and what they’re doing in their lives every day. I want them to be motivated and moved to dig deeper, to explore, to participate and be mindful,” says Weaver. “People will find that they want to do something more than they want to be afraid of it. I am hoping to help lead that charge.” 

Weaver’s tour concludes in early August with a special intimate performance at Creation Studio in South Minneapolis. That show will include reflection from his trip, other observations, and of course a live performance. More information is to come.

To preview Sees Like a Riverhttps://soundcloud.com/benweaver-2/sets/sees-like-a-river/s-7qQWA

Sees Like a River will be available on benweaver.net, at shows (see full tour schedule below) and in limited supply at Kopplin’s Coffee in Minneapolis.

The Sees Like a River tour is sponsored by Banjo Brothers, Bent Paddle Brewing Co., Big Agnes, Granite Gear, Kate’s Real Food, Red Table Meats, Salsa Cycles, Swrve and Teravail.

Tour Schedule:

July 8: Robinson Park, Sandstone, MN

July 9: Wilderness and the Anthropocene, Ely, MN

July 10: Spokengear Bike Shop, Two Harbors, MN 

July 13: Orpheum Theater, Hancock, MI

July 16: House Show, Yellow Dog Plains, MI

July 17: House Show, Marquette, MI

July 19: Broken Spoke, Green Bay, WI

July 21: Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee, WI

July 22: Comrade Cycles, Chicago, IL

July 23: Wheel Werks, Crystal Lake, IL

July 24: Revolution Cycles, Madison, WI

July 25: Bluedog Cycles, Viroqua, WI

July 26: Out Post, Winona, MN

July 27: Red Wing, MN

July 29: Wild Springs Music Festival, Lily Springs Farm Osceola, WI

August 3: Creation Studio, Minneapolis, MN

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MORE ON BEN WEAVER 

Ben Weaver is a songwriter and poet. He has released eight studio albums of music and four books of poetry. 

Listen and purchase his music here. 

Follow Ben on social media:

Instagram @despoblado 

Facebook @benweavermusic

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2017 Salsa Dirty Bunch

Each year we send a few folks down to the Dirty Kanza; Salsa Crew, sponsored riders, and a few friends of Salsa. We proudly present the 2017 Dirty Bunch.

ASHLEY HANSON

Why are you riding the Dirty Kanza 200?

I am riding the DK 200 to see if I can do it. I want to think through the things that I have not had the time to process fully. I want to think through things that don’t have answers. I want to find myself, and I want to get to know and embrace the stubbornness and the grit that is there for me to draw on. I want to embrace all the things that can only happen when pushed in this way. And most of all, I love road trips. So, there’s that.

What are you most looking forward to at Dirty Kanza this year?

I am looking forward to seeing the greater cycling crew I run into a few times year. I want to hear peoples’ stories, catch up, and meet new people too.

If there is one thing you worry about at DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

I am worried about being too slow! To combat it, I’ve put miles in. I will watch my pace. I will account for moving time and not moving time. If I stay on track, I can finish this thing.

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

To those that are riding this race:  What are you, crazy?? :)  I bet you’ve heard a lot of that by now. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. Be proud of yourself. Only few can do what you are doing. You’re above the game. Just remember – ride your ride.  Be nice to people. You will be rewarded.

BRIAN HANSON

Why are you riding the Dirty Kanza 200?

I’m riding the DK this year for a couple of reasons. Number one, to get a monkey off my back. I quit last year, and I’ve thought about it every day since. Number two, I’m riding because I love this race. It’s beautiful, scary, awe-inspiring, and really, really hard.

What are you most looking forward to at Dirty Kanza this year?

Seeing friends, the buzz on Commercial Street the morning of the race, and executing a better plan. I’m also looking forward to the ranch roads out in the Flint Hills. The views, technical nature of the roads, and the surreal environment of the Flint Hills are all things I’ve been missing for a while now.

If there is one thing you worry about at DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

I’m still scared of the heat. I have not done well with it historically. Last year, I went out way too fast, burned up a bunch of matches in the first 100 miles, and then imploded in the afternoon when, by Minnesota standards, it got hot. I was too optimistic about my fitness, water consumption, and pace. I paid the price for that mistake with a sad ride in a Jeep back to Emporia and one year of “woulda, shoulda, coulda” ringing in my head. This year I’m going to be more disciplined in the first 100 miles, specifically the first 50, and I’ll bring more water. I’m not going to get caught up in the excitement of the first 50 miles and ride with rocket boosters on full throttle like I did last year.

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

It’s ok to be nervous or scared at the start. There’s lot of us out there who will feel that way, myself included. It’s a big, long race, but if you have a plan and take a few moments to look around at the beauty of the Flint Hills, it can be a wonderful, rewarding day on the bike.

MATT ACKER

Why are you riding the DK 200?

I've ridden the DK200 the past two years and have found the event to be more than just a bicycle race. The people of Emporia really embrace the event, and the vibe is very welcoming. The Flint Hills are a very unique region, and riding through them on a bike is an excellent way to take in the scenery. I look forward to not only the ride, but the camaraderie with my fellow riders and making new friends along the way.

What are you most looking forward to at DK this year?

I'm most excited for my wife to experience this amazing event for the first time. I recall my experience the first year I raced the DK 200 and it was truly memorable. I hope that she will enjoy it as much as I did the first time, and continue to each year!

If there is one you worry about at DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

I think the thing I worry about the most is not being able to finish the event due to mechanical or physical reasons. To combat this, I spend a lot of time preparing my setup, testing it at other events and on long training rides, and making sure I'm as prepared as possible. I know quite a few people who have been thwarted by broken derailleur hangers, chains, tires, etc.… so I try to make sure I have all my bases covered.

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

My biggest piece of advice to share from experience is to ride your own race and trust your training and setup. If you've prepared properly and tested out your gear just ride the event as you've been training and know that you won't always be stoked along the way but those feelings come and go. Don't get hung up pushing yourself harder just to stay with folks, because odds are they won't keep that pace either. A lot happens in 200 miles so pace yourself. It's much better to finish strong and feel decent coming into the home stretch than limping in the last 50 miles. Have fun with it! It's an experience of a lifetime!

LUKE GENTRY

Why are you riding the Dirty Kanza 200?

The DK200 has been a fixture on my bucket list since first I heard about it. I am always seeking out new difficult things to overcome and always challenging myself. It has always existed on the bucket list as something I hope to “complete”. Well, it has slowly evolved into something more. Now that I am enrolled and will definitely be on the start line, I feel the need to “compete”. This could look many different ways- beating the sunset, finishing top-20, heck, maybe even just completing the race. This has added a whole new level of nerves and excitement. I’m super excited (and a little scared) to get this adventure underway!

What are you most looking forward to at Dirty Kanza this year?

Sharing the experience with the great people and friends with whom I will be surrounded. Surviving the crucible together and learning something about ourselves along the way.

If there is one thing you worry about re: DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

The pressure of performance, no doubt. If I set an expectation or goal for myself (ie: beat the sun, top-20, etc) it adds the pressure of having to perform and meet (or crush) the expectations. 

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

To those that will be next to me on the start line, I say: let’s enjoy this adventure together. We will see so much beauty that we wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to see. Remember though, not to be surprised when the race is difficult. There may be a time during the 200mi of adventuring, that you feel like you’ve reached the limit. You may feel like it’s all over. Whether it’s wind, calories, or mechanical problems, there will be trouble. Though it seems like the end, eat something, drink something, and take it one pedal stroke at a time – not forgetting to enjoy the view. *And if you see me laying on the side of the road taking a dirt nap and feeling like it’s all over, peel my goofy ass out of the mud and remind me to enjoy the ride. =)

ANDREA COHEN

Why are you riding the Dirty Kanza 200?

Every year is a new year. 2017 will be my 5th time tackling the Flint Hills. Dirty Kanza is a chance for me to prove that things are moving forward, no matter how hard I think life is. Dirty Kanza is part of my life, and I am proud of that. Every Dirty Kanza I have started has ended with a finish, and 2017 will be no different. This ride reminds me that I am tough. I have the guts to start a 200-mile race and smash it. Granted, this race still scares the shit out of me, but it should. Why else would I do Dirty Kanza if I didn't think it was a challenge? This will be my biggest of 2017. Let's see how far I can push past my limits. 

What are you most looking forward to at Dirty Kanza this year?

This year I want to see how much I can make Dirty Kanza hurt. The good kind of pain. In 2016, there was lots of bad; lots of anxiety and fear. While a healthy amount of fear is necessary, it can keep me from doing my best. This year I will use that fear and give myself the opportunity to ride hard and outside of my comfort zone.  Even if I end up not finishing this year, I want to be able to put myself in a place where I must make decisions that will be the right ones. New obstacles always show up at Dirty Kanza, and I am excited to learn more about myself each step of the way. 

If there is one thing you worry about at DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

My biggest worry at Dirty Kanza is a mechanical and not being able to fix it. Since I started working at a bike shop four years ago, I have learned an incredible amount about bicycles, and I am very proud of that, but I know there is always more to learn. There is a constant battle between my bike and me. The patience I need to learn how to fix it vs. the time I have to commit. The balance is never perfect. Luckily, I am surrounded by very patient friends who are willing to give their time to teach me. Mechanical issues are a mental hurdle for me. Being able to feel confident that I could fix any issue that could arise gives me the extra boost I need. 

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

You signed up for Dirty Kanza for you. Don't worry about anything else or anyone else but yourself. If it is your inclination to stop and help every person who needs help then do that. If you don't want to talk to a single person for 200 miles, then do that. Show up as pure and honest as you can. You are the only person who can finish the ride for yourself. The organizers of Dirty Kanza are presenting you the opportunity to push yourself past what you might know about yourself. Go there. Explore your brain, your physical limits. Figure out what really hurts, what really makes you happy. Embrace that. Soak up all the pain and fear, us it as fuel to get past that wall. At some point when you decided to sign up for 200 miles or however many miles, you knew that crossing that finish line was the goal. Prove to yourself what you already believe, that you will be a Dirty Kanza finisher. 

LUKE STRAUSS

Why are you riding the Dirty Kanza 200?

After attending the event for the past three years and working for either Salsa or Teravail, and watching the start and many of the finishers, I am excited to experience the race from the inside. I designed the Teravail Cannonball specifically for DK-like gravel, and did all the gravel-model development testing on a Warbird - it’s time to walk the talk.

What are you most looking forward to at Dirty Kanza this year?

Racing! In the last three years, I’ve spent a combined total of about 40 hours in the booth and at the start line. Two years ago, during a brief break, I had the opportunity to ride out and back on the first 10 miles of the course, but have never seen the rest of it.

If there is one thing you worry about at DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

Missing a turn while exhausted and getting lost. I’ll be training navigation and working on it from now until June!

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

At the breakfast table, the chicken participates in the meal, but the pig is committed. Commitment means that you don’t quit if it’s in your power not to. It means always going one more mile, or even just one more pedal stroke. It means starting the race expecting to finish. Yes, endurance races are about preparation, and no, you will not be as prepared as you want to be, but chances are you’ve done enough. Ride committed, and good luck out there.

TRACEY PETERVARY

Why are you riding the Dirty Kanza 100?

I am riding the DK 100 to be a part of a super fun event that is like no other; to meet people, see friends, challenge myself and enjoy the day riding my Salsa Warbird through the remote and rugged Flint Hills of Kansas.

What are you most looking forward to at Dirty Kanza this year?

The thing I am most looking forward to is the experience & pickle juice! The entire weekend is filled with great people including the race host and team, riders, spectators, and the volunteers. Downtown Emporia turns into a big party that lasts until the wee hours of the morning with food, drinks, and people cheering non-stop for finishers. It is a welcoming and exciting atmosphere that is just great to be a part of. It is truly like no other event I have done before.

If there is one thing you worry about re: DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

One thing I worry about going into DK is not finishing due to a mechanical or physical break down. To combat this, I carefully prepare my repair kit to ensure I have everything I need to get through a mechanical issue. Anything can happen out there. Physically, I take care of myself beforehand with rest, nutrition, hydration, and I try to remain calm.

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

It ain’t over til it’s over! Never give up, you can do more than you think you can! Just keep after it, pedal, pedal, pedal and enjoy!

JAY PETERVARY

Why are you riding DK?

While I do love bike racing and testing myself to see what I am capable of, I actually ride DK to be a part of the community, see my friends, make new ones, and enjoy the feelings that come along with being surrounded by so much good energy throughout the weekend.

What are you most looking forward to at DK this year?

Spending the day on my bike rolling along in the tall grass prairie lands of Kansas while competing against the course, myself, and others is something I feel lucky to be able to do. With that said, I am looking forward to the ride itself and the memories it will produce. And since it is currently still snowing here in Victor, I am hopeful we’ll get a nice sunny day.

If there is one thing you worry about at DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

A lot of "worries" are typically things out of my control i.e. flats, weather, mechanicals, etc. So, I put my energy into the things I can control - being prepared physically, mentally, and having my bike/kit dialed. The physical is what it is, but I have put in my time. The mental part, my favorite, has me envisioning myself being strong, smooth, digging deep, smiling, staying positive, combating the lows, and riding down main street through the finisher arch. On the weekend before, I will make sure my bike is in perfect working condition with fresh tires and that all the essentials I am carrying are packed on the bike in a way that works for me. Throughout the lead-up week or two, I will treat every ride as if I was leaving the start line of DK. Lastly, I will layout a nutrition plan and write down a series of notes for my support crew. 

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

You can always do more than you think you can. Remember that the highs outweigh the lows, and the DK finish line is one of the best tasting feelings you will ever have. Just keep moving forward, take only the time you need in the checkpoints, and always stay positive.

JUSTIN MICHELS

 Why are you riding the Dirty Kanza 200?

I have been asking myself that very same question, and for me, it boils down to simply jumping into the unknown. When you roll up to that start line in downtown Emporia, and glance at the straight road ahead, it’s like peering through a looking glass at the 200-mile course that is about to push you beyond your limit. The experiences are what keep me pushing.  

What are you most looking forward to at Dirty Kanza this year?

With a field limit of 1,500, I can’t wait to see some faces that I haven’t seen for far too long. Nothing better than catching or getting caught by a friend and getting to catch up for a few minutes when you’re lost in the Flint Hills.   

If there is one thing you worry about re: DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

I’d be lying if I didn’t say completion is first and foremost. Success is only limited by expectations, so I’m keeping mine low. In other words, I’m a bit behind on my training.

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

Don’t psych yourself out! Last year the Dirty Kanza was my first gravel race ever, and going into it my longest ride ever was a 110-mile road ride in a group. I was in way over my head! I told myself I wasn’t going to let my competitive spirit dictate the way I rode. I held a pace that I knew would work for me. If I were passed by someone going one mile per hour faster than me, I would let them go, and if I passed a rider going one mph slower, I wouldn’t slow down. Remember, race your race, not someone else’s, eat when you’re not hungry, and bring that extra bottle, it could save your life!  

STEVE YORE

Why are you riding the Dirty Kanza 200?

After 3 successful finishes in 2013, 2014, and 2015, I missed last year’s DK because of a family commitment. I missed the nervous start, the frenzied rest stops, the solitude of the roads deep in the race, the green rolling hills, the mud, the wind, and the emotional finish. (ok, actually I didn’t miss the mud or the wind). I really can’t wait to get back to Emporia, DK is like no other race that I have ever done.

What are you most looking forward to at Dirty Kanza this year?

Janine will be joining me in Emporia for this years DK.She has heard me talk about his race for 4 years, about the energy at the finish line in Emporia, about the beauty of the flint hills. I can’t wait for her to see it. It will also be good to have another set of hands at the finish line to help carry me to the car.

If there is one thing you worry about re: DK, what is it? How do you combat it?

I have done the best I can to lessen the chance that I have issues with the tangible things, like mechanical issues, nutrition, hydration, and lack of training.  I do worry about mentally cracking. A good attitude can get you through the hardest parts of this race, a bad attitude and negative thoughts can stop you cold.

Share some words of encouragement to those other riders that will be taking on the event.

Keep moving forward. The wind will blow hard in your face, the hills will seem endless, the mud will cake up on your tires and shoes, your legs will cramp, you may get a flat, you may get multiple flats…just keep moving forward.

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FLINT HILLS: A Song For Joel

Click the image below for download info.

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Instruments Of Adventure – Coming June 12th

Salsa Cycles is pleased to present the teaser for “Instruments of Adventure” – a new MJÖLNIR FILM by Salsa sponsored rider Bjorn Olson, featuring new music from Salsa sponsored rider Ben Weaver. Watch for the film’s release on June 12th.

Salsa Cycles is pleased to present the teaser for “Instruments of Adventure” – a new MJÖLNIR FILM by Salsa sponsored rider Bjorn Olson, featuring new music from Salsa sponsored rider Ben Weaver.

Watch for the film's release on June 12th.

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The Return Of Titanium

Today, we’re pleased to announce the return of the Fargo Ti as a Frameset, and for the first time offer our Timberjack Ti as a Frame Only.

A couple years back we introduced our 2016 line and many of you noticed a significant change; there were no Titanium models in the mix. Those that were paying close attention will remember our reply: Who said we were done with titanium?

Today, we’re pleased to announce the return of the Fargo Ti as a Frameset, and for the first time offer our Timberjack Ti as a Frame Only.

Salsa Fargo Ti Dreambuild with Industry Nine, Maxxis, and SRAM...watch for your chance to win this bike through an upcoming Adventure Cycling Association fundraiser!

Salsa Timberjack Ti Dreambuild with Industry Nine, Maxxis, and SRAM...watch for your chance to win this bike through an upcoming IMBA membership drive!

Both models share the same geometry and features as their model year 2017 non-titanium counterparts.

These frames are built for us by the premier Ti frame manufacturer in the world; ORA. They feature 3/2.5 seamless triple-butted titanium tubesets, beautiful TIG welds, and an extremely impressive ride quality.

Salsa Fargo Ti Dreambuild...

We’ve chosen to keep the embellishments to a minimum this time around, just a simple black Salsa script logo, model name, and black headtube badge on unpainted, brushed Titanium.

Dress up your Fargo Ti or Timberjack Ti as understated or jaw droppingly stunning as you wish. We’ve provided you the almost blank, dead sexy Titanium canvas.

Salsa Timberjack Ti Dreambuild...

Salsa Engineer Sean Mailen is a big fan of titanium and welcomed the opportunity to work with it again. “Titanium has an incredible ride and hits the sweet spot between lightweight, strong, and durable," he said. "Once you fall in love with titanium nothing else can replace it. It’s a frame material I’m happy we are still working with. Titanium has its own unique feel that you just can’t get from any other material.” 

FRAME SPEC

For complete Frame Spec details, click the links below.

Fargo Ti Frameset Spec

Timberjack Ti Frame Spec

MSRP’s

Fargo Ti Frameset with Firestarter Carbon fork – U.S. MSRP $2499

Timberjack Ti Frame – U.S. MSRP $1999

Salsa Fargo Ti Dreambuild for upcoming Adventure Cycling Association Fundraiser! Stay tuned for your chance to win!

Salsa Timberjack Ti Dreambuild for upcoming IMBA membership drive...stay tuned for your chance to win!

DREAM BUILDS

Look for future promotional campaigns from the Adventure Cycling Association and IMBA for a chance to win the dreambuilds featured here.

Our thanks to our industry friends Industry Nine, Maxxis, and SRAM for helping create these beautiful show stoppers.

AVAILABILITY

Our initial order of both Fargo Ti Frameset and Timberjack Ti Frame Only have all been sold to our dealers and are in their shops now. The following lists show which dealers ordered each model. Please contact them if you are interested in seeing, and possibly purchasing, the frame.

We have placed a resupply order for these frames. If interested, we strongly suggest you contact your Salsa authorized dealer to inform them of your interest.

FARGO TI FRAMESET

Revolution Bike Shop              Carlsbad, CA

Spokesman Bicycles               Santa Cruz, CA

Bike Shop                                Temecula, CA

Alpha Bicycle Company          Centennial, CO

Pedal                                       Littleton, CO

Rasmussen’s Bike Shop         West Des Moines, IA

World of Bikes                         Iowa City, IA

Elephant’s Perch                     Ketchum, ID

Fitzgerald’s Bicycles                Victor, ID

Jackson Hole Cyclery              Jackson Hole, WY

Kinetic Systems                       Clarkston, MI

Angry Catfish                           Minneapolis, MN

Outdoor Motion                        Hutchinson, MN

Cycle City                                 Parkville, MO

Red Bar Bicycles                     Hamilton, MT

District Bicycles                       Stillwater, OK

Lifecycle Bike Shop                 Eugene, OR

Universal Cycles                      Portland, OR

City Cycle Supply                     Johnstown, PA

Sweetwater Bicycles                Ambridge, PA

Cranky’s Bike Shop                  Salt Lake City, UT

Blackwater Bikes                      Davis, West Virginia

TIMBERJACK TI FRAME ONLY

Southwest Sounds & Cycles    Prescott, AZ

Endless Cycles                         Castro Valley, CA

Revolution Bike Shop               Carlsbad, CA

Spokesman Bicycles                Santa Cruz, CA

Alpha Bicycle Company           Centennial, CO

Bent Gate Mountaineering       Golden, CO

Pedal                                        Littleton, CO

Subculture Cyclery                   Salida, CO

Velorution Cycles                      Durango, CO

Ace Metric                                 Orlando, FL

Meridian Cycles                        Meridian, ID

Bloomington Cycle & Fitness    Bloomington, IL

Pedal And Spoke                      North Aurora, IL

Spark Bike Run Sports             East Taunton, MA

Angry Catfish                            Minneapolis, MN

Outdoor Motion                         Hutchinson, MN

Ballwin Schwinn                        Ellisville, MO

Liberty Bicycles                         Asheville, NC

Spin Bike Shop                         Medina, OH

West Chester Cyclery               Cincinnati, OH

Lifecycle Bike Shop                   Eugene, OR

Universal Cycles                        Portland, OR

City Cycle Supply                      Johnstown, PA

Sweetwater Bicycles                 Ambridge, PA

New River Bike & Touring         Fayetteville, WV

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25 Faces From The Land Run 100

It was a great pleasure to snap a few portraits at the Land Run 100 this past March. To all that toed the line on that miserably wet and cold morning, I say “Bravo.”

 

It was a great pleasure to snap a few portraits at the Land Run 100 this past March. To all that toed the line on that miserably wet and cold morning, I say “Bravo.” To those that let me take their photo, I say "Thank you."

Aside from a caption under one image, this time around I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. 

Also, keep your eyes open for our Salsa storysite dedicated to the Land Run, debuting May 8th.

On The Start Line...

Race Under Way...

The 2017 Land Run 100 featured its largest field yet, with roughly 800 riders still starting the race despite the truly miserable conditions. Just after the bikes have turned the first corner onto Main Street, his emotions catch up to event promoter Bobby Wintle.

Back At The Finish...

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Watch for our Salsa storysite dedicated to the Land Run, debuting May 8th.

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