If you followed Saturday’s Dirty Kanza 200 on social media, you probably noticed some pretty weird photos about a day after the gravel race ended. There was your friend, acquaintance, or perhaps a family member. They were covered in dust and dirt, in full kit with a helmet on. And they were sitting on a red velour chaise lounge.
For 2018, Salsa Cycles decided to add a bit of cushy comfort to Dirty Kanza and five other gravel races. It calls the promotion “Chase the Chaise,” meant as an incentive to keep riders going all the way to the finish. But the chaise isn’t quite at the finish.
“We always put it late on the course, so that you need to commit to getting to it,” Salsa’s marketing manager Mike Reimer told VeloNews. “So it was after the last checkpoint for the 200-milers [at Dirty Kanza], and as we always say, ‘If you can make it to the chaise, you can make it to the finish.'”
The chaise lounge was at mile 180 of the 206-mile route through the Flint Hills of Kansas. The Salsa crew also pulled an all-nighter to be at mile 80 of DK XL, the new 350-mile race held this year.
Dirty Kanza was the fifth of Salsa’s six-event schedule. The last race of 2018 will be the Gravel Pursuit, September 29 in Island Park, Idaho. Reimer says the chaise will likely return for 2019, although possibly at some new events. Let’s hope so, because the photos are hilarious, introspective, inspiring, and perfect for Instagram.
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