Dirty Kanza is "the world's premiere gravel race." Wordy Stanza is not the world's premiere anything, and it's not a race. However, if you've had an eye on DK but can't make it through the lottery, don't want to pay $200, or want to avoid the 16-hour drive, then the Wordy Stanza might be for you.
Wordy Stanza is a 200-mile route that starts and ends at Yawp! and winds all over the place, but is almost entirely off-street. There's a lot of bike path as well as some dirty, but it's entirely rideable on a gravel or cross bike, and I've seen some of you road bikers ride gnarlier gravel than this.
Wordy Stanza is not an event per-se. It's a challenge that you can do whenever you please. We'll make the route available soon (hopefully by the mid-to-late April), and you'll be able to download it and complete it when it's convenient for you. If you finish the challenge, come to the shop and show us your GPS data to claim your finisher's prize (keep your expectations low--the prize is no DK Goblet). You will have until the end of the year to complete the challenge.
First, a few rules. Then, a suggestion.
1. The route must be completed all at once. There is no cutoff time, but you may not, for example, split the ride between two different days. You may, of course, stop to resupply or sit on a park bench to eat. You may even stop to take a nap, but you may not camp. We realize the line between napping and sleeping is a thin, blurry one, but we trust you know what we mean.
2. The course is not marked. You are responsible for downloading the route data and ensuring you have a good idea ahead of time where you're going. If you have questions, please stop by or call us so we can help guide you. It totally depends on your legs and your computer, but there's a good chance that this ride will outlast your computer's battery. If you don't have a way to recharge your computer (external battery, dynamo, etc), you may want to find a couple of friends who have computers to accompany you.
3. Information about bike path closures and detours is notoriously difficult to find. If we learn of any relevant closures, we'll try to post them here. However, there's no guarantee that the entire course will be ridable all year. Also be aware that a portion of the course sometimes closes when conditions are muddy.
4. The ride is totally unsupported. You're in charge of finding and carrying your own supplies, your own repairs, and your own ride home should you need it.
1. As you may know, some of Denver's bike paths are surprisingly remote or can feel remote even when a triple overpass looms overhead. It will likely take most humans 12-24 hours to complete the course, which means riding a fair bit of it before or after dark. While those paths are undoubtedly safer than riding on the road, it might not be a bad idea to ride this challenge with one or two friends.