I made some updates to my bike last week hoping to improve the ride quality for the Double Dare. It needed a lot of love after all of the abuse I gave it over the season. I put a cassette and chain on it and took the big ring off. Sunday the weather was too good not to get out and give it a test ride even though a lot of stuff was going on.
The original plan was to head up to BCSP to ride with some friends, but things got a little too busy on Saturday and I did not feel right spending that much time for riding on Sunday and that idea was scraped. I might not have changed if I had a passenger, but since I was alone it was a lot easier to bail. Ralph hit me up about riding at French Lick, so I was all over that. The problem was that Sunday morning the van would not start, so I had to spend some time trying to get that working and still make it for the ride.
Some how I did make it up there close enough to the ride time and off we went. The trail was in good shape and the weather was perfect except for some strong wind. The leaves were falling fast and starting to cover the trail. As we made the left to drop in on the extended loop, I started to say that the leaves were going to make things interesting, but I didn’t get the word interesting out of my mouth before I was going up and over the bars. it was not too bad of a crash, but my elbow was bleeding and was letting me know it was there.
The rest of the loop was fairly uneventful other then my legs not really feeling it. I was riding ok, but not near enough power for climbing in a gear that I should be using. I could climb just fine in the granny gear, but then I had to go too slow. I also had some shifting issues with some gears not wanting to stay. First it was just the big cog in the back, but after a little while, I had a few other gears not wanting to stay. It was like I put a new chain on an old cassette. So, with a lot of reminders as to a lot of the reasons that I tried SS, I know my legs are not in good enough shape to take the SS to Pisgah. This leaves me with few options and ordered a new rear derailleur that I still need to put on. I also was not happy at all with my fork’s performance after riding a nicer fork on the SS all summer and how it reacts to a lot of situations. It could have been the reason that I went over the bars and not only the leaves covering things that I didn’t see. I know it played a big part in the crash that I had the second lap with the front end washed out. This talked me in to ordering a new fork for the fuji. Now, I will admit it is not exactly the fork that I wanted, but I just hope it is better then what I am currently riding. It probably does not take much since the current fork is a Dart 3.
I have to get it rolling good before long since Double Dare is next weekend already. I have a lot of packing to get figured out and gear to make sure it is ready. I need to charge all of my batteries and make sure all of my required gear is there. I have not been doing such a good job of packing and getting ready over the last year or so and need to do a lot better. I used to always be packed up great and over prepared and now I seem to forget things that I end up needing. Looking at the weather there is one thing that I better not forget and that is stuff to help keep me warm! I know for sure that I am taking the 0 degree bag this year and not the 30 degree bag. I can only hope that with the right amount of sleep this next week i will also be able to take some legs that are more like the legs I was carrying around earlier this year. I could only hope that both of our legs are feeling great and we put in a nice big day on Saturday and surprise ourselves with a lot more check points then we think would be possible.