Sunday, June 22, 2014

Contemplating Madness: Part 7

A late addition and then a test ride......
Saturday got to a late start since I was up late celebrating the end of Mrs Guitar Ted's masters studies. (She'll graduate with distinction with a 4.0. Smarty-pants! ) So I wasn't all kitted up and ready to go test ride the Fargo until around 2pm, after lunch had settled. I walked out the door, literally on my way out to ride, and there is a long box on the porch with my name on it. I was alerted to the fact that this might come, and it was something I wanted to get a look at ASAP. So back inside.......

It was the Body Float seat post by Cirrus Cycles which I am going to be using so I can be finishing up the review for Gravel Grinder News later. I was pretty anxious to use it for Odin's Revenge, and since time was running short, and this likely my last big gravel outing before the event, I was needing that thing on my Fargo now! Fortunately, MG had the foresight to obtain the heavier springs so I could swap those out before the ride. I actually only did replace one, using an orange lower spring, and felt that this gave me a good amount of negative travel along with the ability to not be bottoming out.

Old shop's team jersey
Well, with that sorted, I left about a half an hour later than I wanted to, but that was okay. I decided to try the same almost 35 mile route I used on Wednesday which precipitated the knee issue. I figured if I had another bout of knee pain, I wouldn't be that far from home and could limp back in. Of course, it was the "old reliable" Fargo Gen I, but there were major changes, so some things might not pan out here. Another good reason not to try to hit up massive miles, just in case something really didn't agree with me.

It was hotter than Wednesday, but slightly less windy, and neither direction I went in for most of the loop was into a head wind. I would need to test the knee by using slightly bigger gears on the rollers and see how it fared. The heat would also be a good test for Odin's since it is forecast to get up to about 90°F that day out there and likely it will be sunny too. (Gotta remember to bring the suntan lotion!)

Ragely Luxy Bars are really just amazing. Too bad ya can't get them anymore.
Speaking of remembering things..... I ran out of the house in such a frenzy I forgot to try my Topeak saddle bag on there, (it fits fine, by the way), and with it, all my repair tools and tube! I also forgot my mini-pump. Good thing the tires are tubeless with "MG's Special Sauce" sealant, which has been dead reliable for me for several years now.

The Ragley Luxy Bar.......what can I say? This is hands down the best off-road drop bar ever made. Best for gravel too, if you need lots of leverage and sweep. Others are "good" to pretty dang nice, but somehow this bar just ticks all the boxes. Perfectly swept, wide, shallow drop, and minimal reach. The unique 31.8mm diameter of the tops to the ramps is not just for looks either. It works, and without the typical taper, it allows for more and better places to mount things, or grip the bars there. The only other bars I would ever recommend for off road drops are the On One Midge and for gravel, the Salsa Cycles Cowbell.

The ride went well, by the way. The knee was much happier during and so far- afterward, with the ride. I can tell it isn't 100%, but at least the Fargo isn't making things worse! Obviously, I like the bars, and what about the BodyFloat post? I have to bang out more rides, and Odin's will figure into this, but for now I have but two words for this.

Game changer. 

Puffy white clouds and miles of gravel.
 So it's settled then. It will be the Fargo for Odin's Revenge. The BodyFloat will be on-board, and the Ragley Luxy Bars are perfecto. I'm running Bike Bag Dude Chaff Bags again, which are indispensable for carrying food and water bottles. (Although with the five or six bottles I can run on the Fargo, I won't use them for water this year.) The Planet Bike Snack Sack will be where the camera lives with some other oddments like sun tan lotion, Vitamin "I", etc.

Now the madness! Here are the hard facts as I know them now:
  • Approximately 173 mile course
  • Checkpoint #1 @ 47 miles Water
  • Water stop @ 71 miles
  • Checkpoint #2 @ 87 miles (Water, Grocery store, Restaurant available)
  • Checkpoint #3 @ 131 miles Water
  • Finish @ 173 miles
Still left to figure out: Lighting, snacks, nutrition choices. Packing, and rendezvous with the Bonk King and Mike Johnson on Friday. Travel on Friday for seven hours or so, then we're on.

Madness I say, madness!


MG said...

I'm glad you're digging the BodyFloat. I knew you would, which is why I sent it to you. Your ride at Odin's just got a lot smoother!

jvillebiker said...

Glad to hear you have choosen the fargo. You have been there and know what to expect. I am a 200 pound of guy so the vaya is staying home and I am bringing the 9er to Odins Revenge