June 8th, 2022
Words & Photos: Taylor Chase | Lezyne


Thunderstorms and flooding set the stage in Emporia, KS for Unbound Gravel 2022. Every type of rider quickly filled Commercial Street at 5 AM on June 4, 2022. WorldTour pros, first timers and five-time finishers all lined up shoulder to shoulder at the start. A train blows through town and the race begins. 200 miles to win, to ride, to have fun, to get lost and to find your way. Unbound tests all and favors none. The following 50 photographs are my experience of Unbound 2022, chasing athletes and Lezyne products for 200 miles.

The start line fills out early and fast. Signs are posted in 100-yard increments with expected finishing times for the riders to stage at. Racers enjoy one last moment of stillness before the next 200 miles of effort.

Lance Haidet and fellow L39ion of LA teammates stage at the front of the start; strategizing to the last second if they are carrying too much food, not enough or just the right amount. A top tube bag is tossed aside right before they roll out, proving the fuel wasn’t worth the weight.

A KTV Drive Rear and M-Caddy accompany Lance’s Specialized Crux

Alison Tetrick is all smiles, a Queen of Unbound. Her goal this year was to lead a group on a pace to “Race the Sun” and raise money for the local NICA Coyote Composite team with the sale of her bandanas.

Due to a train delay (not rain delay) the race starts seven minutes past schedule. Alison is excited despite knowing the path ahead is anything but smooth.

Course conditions were anything but ideal. Mud and water were a plenty, as seen here from the Sunrise Spin for Mo Wilson held the day before the race. 

The course is never really flat, you’re either always going slightly up or slightly down. Snaking through the hills, the racers slowly spread out.

The race tip toes through open roads, and some riders adorn LEDs alongside their helmets for extra safety.

Maybe he was bored, maybe he was delirious, whatever it was, this racer gave me a power slide and a smile before tackling another hill.

The race wasn’t only for cyclists. A horde of image makers were racing the leaders in jeeps, motos and drones, all trying to get “The Shot.” Navigating the Flint Hills seemed just as hard for the media, getting lost and popping tires, just like the cyclists.


The winner's bike spotted with the Pocket Drive Pro.


An early puncture left this racer no option but to throw a tube in his front tire. Helpless, he watches the race leave him behind.

Water crossings were plentiful thanks to the rain. Luckily this one had a bridge. Unluckily, a sharp lip on the concrete popped many tires and deflated more egos.

The racer here noticed the sharp lip and hops over the obstacle. The Aero Energy Caddy helps him maintain a steady flight while also carrying some tasty snacks for later.

Riders from the Unbound XL (350 Miles) had the time to put on their rain coats and turn on their LED’s to keep them moving forward through the quickly worsening conditions.

Alison Tetrick is looking strong at the front of her pace group. No aerobars needed!

Lance Haidet had a slow rear tire leak which he was able to seal shut after using a CO2 with the Lezyne Control Drive. Although the stop meant that he now had to push solo to catch the lead group.

Lance cuts the apex hard, shaving off seconds of ride time but picking up plenty of mud and water.

The rain thickens and riders slowly all start resembling the same shades of mud.

Lance plunges through a mud puddle, 30 miles to go.

Is he motivated by the win, or the hot shower afterwards?


Lance Haidet crosses the line 11th overall, 9th in the Life Time Grand Prix with a race time of 9:39:29.95. This result puts him 5th overall in the series after two races.

Ivar Slik wins the 2022 Unbound Gravel 200.

Remember the KTV Rear and M-Caddy from the start? This is them now. Fully functional with just a “little” extra mud. 

Alison Tetrick beats the sun to the finish. Her KTV Rear LED illuminates the way for her pace group.

Not even the Kansas Mud can dull down the shine of Ali’s Neo Metallic CNC Cages.

"It was uh... dude, it was such a hard day out there..." – Lance Haidet

OVERALL: 5th place
UNBOUND: 9th place

"...the day was amazing, I really enjoyed it, and you know what? I was using the Lezyne Mega XL GPS. BOOM! I have like over 70% battery life still left and I just did a 14 hour ride!" - Alison Tetrick 

Alison Tetrick served as a pace leader for Race The Sun, raising money for Outride and the Coyote Composite (Emporia's local NICA Chapter)