Gravel bicyclist completes Dirty Kanza

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Kovacs (far right), alongside her two sons (middle) and her husband (left) at the 2019 Dirty Kanza 100-mile bike race.

By Peyton Meisner


For Bloomington native Crystal Kovacs, the summer of 2019 has been all about biking. 

In June, she traveled to the Flint Hills of Kansas to partake in the Dirty Kanza, a 100-mile gravel bicycle race.

To add to the challenge of the demanding race, temperatures exceeded 100°F. Despite battling the heat, she finished the race with a time of 14:28.18. “It was a great experience. The heat forced me to stop a few times, but it was a great feeling when I crossed the finish line,” she said.

Kovacs also had the honor of speaking at the Women Ride the World Women’s Forum the day before the race, where she spoke about “Making a community.”

For her future summer biking plans, Kovacs will be going to two other 100-mile races in Marquette, Mich. and Two Harbors, Minn. She also will attend a gravel camp in Kansas.

Kovacs also currently organizes a social biking club in Bagley and will start another club in Prairie du Chien in July. She plans on having the Prairie du Chien club on Monday nights at 6 or 7 p.m. She encourages everyone to come and said all you need is a bike and a helmet. The club will follow the pace of the slowest rider, so nobody will be left behind.

For more information, feel free to contact Kovacs by email at

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