In the Flint Hills and Kansas Prairie, Unbound Gravel is the granddaddy of Gravel events and a true bucket list event for gravel aficionados. Formerly known as Dirty Kanza Promotions, the event was founded in 2006 by Jim Cummins with the assistance of fellow cycling enthusiast Joel Dyke. At that time, gravel grinding was beginning to catch the interest of the endurance cycling community, and these two gravel junkies had no idea how gravel riding and events would grow, nor did they give it any real thought. That wasn’t what motivated them. They both felt their lives had been enriched through cycling. And DK200 was their attempt to give back to the cycling community. Jim grew up in the Flint Hills of east central Kansas and rode 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.
Fast forward, and gravel grinding has exploded into the fastest-growing genre in the cycling industry. Unbound gravel is owned by Life Time Events, a producer of premier gravel, mountain, and trail running events, including the Leadville Race Series. The popularity of DK200 has grown, too, from 34 participants in 2006 to well over 3,000 riders annually. And while that growth has brought a few changes to the format and certain aspects of the event, one thing has remained constant… DK200 is a grass-roots event organized and managed by folks passionate about cycling and done so for the primary purpose of providing life-enriching cycling experiences for our event participants.
Besides the marquee event 200-mile event, there are 100, 50, and 25 miles options for those looking for a less intensive but challenging experience. Due to high demand, the event cannot accommodate everyone who wishes to participate. Therefore, a random selection process is utilized to determine who will be allowed to participate, details of which can be found on the event site.
Life Time Events, UNBOUND Gravel’s producer, is a premier US event organizer. Life Time recently announced the inaugural Life Time Grand Prix; The series features 6 of the most iconic cycling events and the best cyclists in off-road cycling. The challenge combines mountain biking and gravel riding disciplines. The events are all around the country, including the Sea Otter Classic, UNBOUND Gravel, Crusher in the Tushar, Leadville Trail 100 MTB, Big Sugar Gravel, and Chequamegon MTB. The biggest prize purse in U.S. cycling, $250,000, will be split evenly between men and women. Each series event will be streamed live and on-demand on FloBikes, part of the FloSports network.
Due to the event’s popularity, a random selection process will be utilized to determine who will be allowed to participate in the 2023 UNBOUND Gravel events. Individuals can submit their name for participation in the UNBOUND Gravel XL from December 1, 2022, until December 15, 2022, and the UNBOUND Gravel 200, 100, 50, or 25 from January 5, 2023, until January 20, 2023.