Wednesday, June 15

Trans-Sylvania Epic '22: Post-Dump (and other brain turds)

It's a strange, familiar feeling when I make that left turn off 322 to Sand Mountain Road.  It has felt like going home ever since my second Trans-Sylvania Epic.  Park the car, pick a bunk, make my bed, toss my food and beer in the fridge... ahhhhhhhhh.

How many years have I been out on the course mumbling to myself that this is my last TSE ever?

Probably most of them.

How many times have I meant it?  Mebbe once. 

But I changed my mind.  Obvs.

I guess this might just have to be something I do until I can't do it anymore.  It's something that I need to undertake so I can know that I can still finish these things.  Sorta like PMBAR.  How many more years do I have left in me?  I guess time will tell.

Also obvs (obvs), doing it on a suspension fork was certainly loads more enjoyable than all my turgid years.  I know when I started doing TSE back in 2010, that's just how I did things.  I managed to eek out two seconds and a third in those early days.  Then I just kept doing what I was doing because that's how I did things.  Less focused on a podium finish and more wanting to know that I could still get a turgid fork across that final finish line at the end of the week.

I'm older and perhaps wiser now.  I'm "racing" more for the experience than I am podium glory.  I'm also realizing that I might have fewer of these events ahead of me than I do behind me, so mebbe it's time to live a little.  I don't have a whole lot left to prove, but I got loads of desire keep the wheels rolling forward.  That said, this:

As they say, "It ain't long, but it sure is skinny."  And yeth, that short front brake line is killing me.  I have a backup that was curled up tight for way too long now hanging in the bike stand with a brick dangling from the end.

I'd recently upgraded my Epic EVO to a Fox DPS rear shock (something I'd been dragging my feet on for more than ten months).  I simply love how Fox suspension feels.  Riding the Vassago with a 140mm Fox 34 fork was overkill 95% of the time at TSE, even with the Fit 4 damper installed.  In the back of my mind, I'd been trying to figure out how to logically build a Vassago Optimus, but when I considered how much money I'd have to dump into a third SS MTB, that would be the stumbling block upon which I... stumbled.  I don't have the heart to decommission the Vertigo Meatplow V.7, so aside from needing boost wheels and a fork... I need everything else.  Well, mebbe I already have a saddle and grips and zip ties.... but that's about it.

I'd been thinking about buying a fork for the Vertigo MP V.7, but since the whole bike is non-boost, I didn't think I'd have any new options.  

Well, that was before I saw someone selling a Step Cast 32 on Facebook claiming it was a 2022 non-boost model.

Da fuq?

Who knew?

Anyhoo, click through the filters on the Fox grassroots site, and lo and behold a Step Cast 32 non-boost exists and is in stock.  Do some looking around for reviews... and then I'm reminded I'd already had the previous version five years ago AND REVIEWED IT.

I guess "whenever" happened, because I sold it... and I now regret that... or at least I would regret it if it wasn't possible to replace it.  I decided to believe my own review and buy a new one.

To keep... until whenever.  Again.

After my birthday weekend that's coming up, I'm gonna try to fall deeply in love with this squish bit (again).  I'm hoping this will be the ticket for Breck Epic and mebbe the Shenandoah Mountain 100k... and who knows what else.  

This will be the third squashing fork on the Vertigo Meatplow V.7 since the 2014 TSE Enduro™ stage.  

The 140/120 Talas didn't last very long at all.  The Rock Shox SID with a brain was more of a brain fart.  I don't wanna say it was terrible, because it was absolutely awful.  The last 32 Step Cast...mebbe I held onto it for a little bit into 2018... and looking at my results blerhg from that year, perhaps I sold it because I only did four races (really?) in 2018.  Did I quit racing or take a semi-hiatus that year, because jeebus, I ended up doing thirteen events in 2019?  I'm sure I saw it collecting dust in the corner of the room and decided it was a pile of money and who's going to be buying non-boost forks in the future?

Oh, yeth.

This guy.

Back to TSE, anyways.

Ask me if it's fun and "something to do" and I'll tell you I don't go back for the cold showers and SpaghettiOs® eating contests. 

I've got other changes going on in my life as well, but for right now, I'm putting my head down and looking forward to going into the weekend by "celebrating" my 53rd birthday in that way that I do.  Low key, bikes, beer... and mebbe a frand or two or three.


Paul Shin said...

I’m guessing you will like a 120mm fork on a more progressive hard tail like the Optimus than the Vertigo.

Anonymous said...

Fox even makes a suspension fork for those that still have a 1 1/8 head tube and quick release wheels. Just ordered one for my bike! (Cambria Bike had 2, now they have 1 and I have one. I am not thru axle adverse, but my Lynskey has the straight 1 1/8 head tube and I am not making the investment in a new frame. Not yet anyway).

dicky said...


Agreed... but thousands of dollars and a third single speed MTB on the wall more? Dunno.