Countdown to Kanza: I've Picked My Outfit!

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I can't be the only one who was extra hype before the first day of a new school year. I'd lay out my outfit, and imagine myself doing mundane things like talking to other people and leaning on lockers and whatever. I was REALLY lame, and it's okay, because I was cute and excited. Fastforward to now, new first day, same antics. I've picked out my Kanza outfit, and I'm really stoked on it. I've imagined myself suffering up hills, riding with a pack, eating sandwiches, drinking water, and crossing the gosh flaming finish line. 

Normally making choices causes me anxiety, but I really enjoyed laying out this outfit. Here are the deets on what I'm rocking, and why. I'm so excited, it's truly ridiculous. 


Look, I'm a roadie, I'm sticking with my favorite go-to helmet for heat and distance. I'm sure there's a special gravel helmet that I'll probably try in the future, but for this adventure, I'm sticking with what I know in this department!


Full fingered gloves are my jammy jam, but these full fingered gloves are my super jammy jam. They are made for the summer which means my hands aren't dying more than they need to in order to appease my anxiety of knuckle skin loss in case of a fall. They fit great, they're super flexible, and are made for shock absorption to boot. Super into it. 


Sorry friends, this gem isn't available yet. I've been testing this Jersey for a while now, and I'm thrilled to give it the ultimate test at Kanza. It's suuuper lightweight, and just so happens to be my absolute favorite color. Breathability is going to be key here, but I'm sure I'll probably still end up with my jersey flapping in the wind for a bit. It's hot in these streets folks. 


VENTILATION FOR THE WINNNNNN. I considered wearing the true MTB bibs with the hip pads, but that's probably overkill for this party. Instead, I'm going with these XC bib shorts with extra ventilation on the sides, an excellent shammy, and super flexible shoulder straps. Tbh, booty comfort can kill a ride real quick. Trying to keep my bum happy for as long as I can. 


I'm still on a journey to find the perfect shoes. I lost a toenail at Redlands, and I'm trying to keep the remaining 9. These shoes are def the most comfortable mountain shoes I've tried so far. My buddy Jason rants and raves about Lake shoes, and even got a friend to pick him up a pair of these from the Netherlands not too long ago. I must say, Hot foot is inevitable, but there's no point in starting the ride in pain. Take care of your feet folks, you'll need them forever. 


I'm borrowing this gem from my buddy SAM. She used it last year at Kanza, and a bunch of other gravel grinders. It's got history. Beyond that, it's a really dope bag. Tbh, I considered buying my own, but I'm excited to be able to really test it out before I commit. I've used it for a local test run, and so far I'm impressed. I also love the Klickfix adapter that allows you to mount and dismount the bag with extreme ease. I'm a fumbler, so this feature is particularly appreciated. 

The "dad hat" is one of the only things I have from my dad. He passed in 2005 and I only have a few physical trinkets to remember him by. This is one of them. It's going to be too hot to wear this hat for long, but I plan to start with it and throw it in the Paloma bag when it no longer makes sense. I'm super into the idea that he'll be with me on my adventure, I can imagine his spirit has been laughing hysterically at all the randomness I've gotten myself into over the years. 

Headband for sweat. Nothing super special. Little grippy beads on the inside so it stays in place under my helmet. Going to do my best to keep the sweat out of my eyes. 

The fox bandana was a 30th birthday gift from my high school buddy and birthday twin Kristie Sarkar. It was soo thoughtful, and I'm still loving it. I'll probably change bandanas a few times at rest stops, I'm told I'd do well to manage the amount of dust I'm inhaling. 

The RAD socks were a birthday gift from my BFFL Laura, they make me smile. Their sole purpose is to keep me smiling and to help me maintain perspective of how rad it is that I'm actually riding Kanza. Laura has my sock game on point. 

That's it! TWO DAYS TO GO!!!!!  This is a huge deal for me, and probably a one time deal at that, so I'm gonna enjoy it! I'm also going to look extra fly!

Ayesha McGowanComment