Last night I finally had a chance to take the Misfit out for a ride since I put the new fork on there. I headed out to Ferdinand to get some last minute “training” in before the Ft. Duffied race this weekend. I have not been on a bike since PMBAR. I had hoped to get out a few different times, but between baseball, soccer and the rain, it just didn’t work out.
I thought I was going to end up riding by myself, but it seems that Ralph was running a little late himself and we hooked up for a lap. We took off down the road and headed toward the dam to do Southridge trail first. Then we continued around the loop skipping over Kyana since it is closed for logging. When we got back to the shelter house at the end of the loop, he said he was out of time and headed back to the car. I wanted to get a little more miles in since I was there, so I headed back in to the Southridge trail. When I got back to Foxey and the car, I decided to climb up the road to the gate house and bomb back down. That is one long, steep road climb.
I actually rode fairly well and even kept Ralph in my sights for the loop. I had some spots that I felt sluggish, but I still climbed everything. It has been a long time since I have rode Ft. Duffield, but I do know that there is plenty of climbing down there. I even thought about changing my gearing to a little easier gear, but I hope to be ok with what I have on there. I figure the worst thing that can happen is that I might have to walk a hill or so. I guess I can live with that.
So, how did the fork ride? Well I can say for sure that my hands and wrists loved it. I could bomb some sections that were hard to hold on to before. Early in the ride I thought it was set too soft, but by the time the ride was over, I didn’t think that as much as before. The biggest issue I had was climbing with the fork not locked out. I could climb some stuff, but it really ate up a bunch of my energy. It did not take me long to start locking it out for most of the climbs. With the fork locked out, I can climb as good as I did on the rigid. The only place that I could tell that the fork was heavier is when I was riding some wheelies after the ride, so I am sure I will be able to get used to that.
I have a lot of work to do to my bike before the race this weekend. I really need to do all of the normal cleaning and stuff, but there is some other items that I need to address. I have the remote lockout for the fork, but it is not yet installed. It should not be too hard to do, but it will be harder then I thought it would be. I also would like to swap out the brakes. I am just not feeling my Hayes brakes anymore and they are not very easy to swap pads out on the trail, if I would have an issue. So, I am putting my other avid BB7 brakes on there. I also need to take the crank arms off and clean them up. I have had issues with the crank arm being loose the last two rides. If I have time I also plan on putting a new X-King 2.2 tire on the back. I really like the 2.4 that is on the front and ended up with a new 2.2 to try out. So, it is either going on the back of the SS or on the front of the Fuji. I think the X-King will work a little better then the Race King 2.2 that is currently on the back. The Race King has been working well, but I still think the matched set would be better. I will then have to figure out what to put on the front of the Fuji.
I have Kentucky series races the next two weeks and then I will be heading to Ohio for the Mohican 100. I really hope my legs come together over the next two weeks and will allow me to get a finish and not a dnf. I have not put the miles in this spring that I had hoped, but I was off to a good start for awhile. I am in much better shape then last year, but I am not sure if it is enough. I have a little thought about maybe changing to the 100k route and saving myself 40 miles, but I know I will not be happy with myself if I go and do that. I will have to see how I feel when that weekend rolls around. What will really upset me is if I would get a dnf by not making a time cut off and my legs are still going ok. I need to figure out when I need to be at the different check points, so I can really push it if I am running close.
I hope I can get everything done this week and that the rain holds off at the end of the week so we don’t race a mud fest.