Monday, May 16

There's no stopping the fun train

Sunday was the test ride for the big forked Misfit diSSent Brontoawesomeous Meatplow V.5. Trying to squeeze in some real mountain experience and still have some quality family time I opted for a 5:00AM departure from my driveway. Knowing that an Ass Villain could meet me at the trailhead with a much later start time, I phoned Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever to see if he could join for some, if not all of my planned route. Being in the family way as well, an early ride fit right in with his parenting/husband duties of the day.

I skipped my morning constitutional and ended up in the parking lot early. Thank goodness I had my not-so-smart phone and a camera to kill time.

That's my bike.

And thanks to Thad "I went to PMBAR and all I got were stomach problems (again)" Hoffman my bike finally has everything it needs to be "my bike."

Anyways, Eric wanted to show me a new way up to Heartbreak Ridge. Instead of hiking up the insanely steep Rattlesnake Trail, we went up an even more insanely steep paved road.

How steep is that? Eric was standing in his granny gear at times. Me? The 32X19 I mounted up a little too early for the Trans-Sylvania Epic had me walking up the steeper portions and the 120mm fork lifted the front end of the bike so much it was hard to keep it on the ground when seated.

At the top of the pavement we were reminded of one of the reasons we ride in the mountains.

It was purty. I mucked up Eric's shot of the same.

The fork would be tested soon enough.

Building wheels for Jesus since 1997

So anyways, after some looky-looing we got back to the arduous task of topping out on Heartbreak Ridge VIA the old toll road climb. As always, it was long and hard and rocky... a good test run for the stage race in two weeks.

The trip down Heartbreak was as scary as ever. Except for the weekend of the race (and I would imagine some of the following weeks) and in the winter, this trail is overgrown with mountain laurel, making the narrow side of the mountain trail even narrower. It always scares the piss outta me trying to go down at race speeds under these conditions. To lighten the mood, Eric stopped and took pictures of pretty flowers.

At the bottom we started climbing up Mill Creek Road, and Eric told me to ride on without him. Back at the cars we would have been splitting up anyways, as he was headed home, and I was going out for a ten or so mile loop of Kitsuma.

All the locals are gonna wanna know, "How is Kitsuma months after the shitty trail work? Are the insane ditches they dug into the trail getting any better?"

I would say yes, but that would probably just be the 120mm fork talking. They're probably just as bad as they ever were... I just didn't notice.

So, the results of the experiment?

No go. Here's why:

The climbing was a little too wandery. If I were not racing, I would not care. I've ridden all kinds of bikes with inappropriately long travel forks on them and just dealt with the issues, but I'm not racing like that. I could reduce the fork travel, but that would just be work that would have to be done and shortly after, undone.

At the top of Heartbreak Ridge, with its loose chunder, I would rather have the rigid fork. Fork dive was just more than I want to deal with when picking my way down that shit. I prefer predictable and painful.

It was awesome at the high speed stuff, just killer. Too bad.

I sorta knew this is how it would go, and I realize preconceived notions lead to skewed results... self-fulfilling prophecy and all that. Since it was an option, I needed to try it to convince myself it was not the right option.


I'm sticking with plan A; run the Misfit diSSent Brontoawesomeous Meatplow V.5 rigid and bring the Superbeast set up as a single speed as a back up bike. When I return from TSE, I will put the gear's back on the Tallboy and have fun ripping around, hopefully without the chain drop issues I had before. If the problems continue I'll have to consider swapping to Shimano or leaving it as a single speed forever, negating half the reasons I bought the bike in the first place... not the best half, but definitely half.

Ignore the fact that the ad says "Thursday, May 16th." We all know that they meant today, so get some gear and help out with the cause.


George said...

You should get a rack for your bike that can carry your car. Can your Jetson mobile even carry 2 bikes?

dicky said...

My Spacely Space Civic will carry three bikes on the outside and three in the back (only two riders in that scenario, so kinda pointless).

Anonymous said...

Had the same problems demoing 29er FS recently (Anthem, Tallboy, Mach 429)... front fork dives... new to me. Locking them out felt more like rigid home sweet home. Good Luck in PA.

catarso - to have more than one cat

ant1 said...

what's the road you went up to heartbreak on? is it the one that goes up from montreat? if so, i hate that road.

Peter Keiller said...


Greg said...

Your bike looks way too clean. Don't you ride anymore?

Bruther said...

may be a stupid question but does it not lock out?

dicky said...

It does lock out. Doesn't help the wander on the climbs.