In just 2 weeks, I have Chequamegon. I’m signed up for the 100, although I’m contemplating doing the 60. We’ll see.
Sunday, I lit out early, for a long ride on the Spearfish. I did a self-supported 90 mile ride. I started with 20 miles from my house down to Saw Wee Kee. I rode 15 miles at SWK…which is a feat onto itself. That takes a lot of commitment, and re-riding of trails. I then ducked out of SWK and headed southwest onto Chad’s gravel. I did a big loop down ’round Plano, and then headed back to home.
I had contemplated riding Kettle, but the weather forecast for Sunday was terrible all week, so I figured I would get stuck riding wet gravel…and yet when I awoke on Sunday, it was clear, and so was the forecast. Accordingly, some mountain biking is better than none, and thus I made the decision to hit SWK.
The bike performed nearly flawlessly. My only concern is the tires. I’m running a set of Rocket Rons. I have about 200 miles on them now, and until yesterday, they’ve been perfect. Yesterday, I was riding and turned, and felt the rear end going all over the place. I stopped and checked it out, and found I was riding on about 10psi. I couldn’t find a puncture anywhere in the tread, so I aired up and listened…and heard a sickening little hiss.
The rear tire was leaking out of the sidewall…a tiny little leak. No obvious damage on the outside (no scuff, scratch, etc.) I turned the tire on its side and shook it, and a droplet of Stans came out. Shortly thereafter, the Stans coagulated, and the hole sealed up. I aired to my desired pressure, and rode the rest of the day without incident. I’m still a bit leery, though. For 100 miles, I’d hate to be nursing a slowly flattening rear tire.
I think I’m generally ready for Cheq…as ready as I’m going to be. I need to do some more research into how the drop bags work, what the water situation is, etc., but I’ll figure that out. I also need to find a spot to camp Friday night. Details.
This is the anticipated Spearfish setup:
The frame bag is stuffed with a spare tube, tools, pump, and related bike equipment. The top-tube bag is full of food. I plan on running a 100L camelbak with additional food (and perhaps a light jacket, depending on the weather).
I’m running a 34T MRP Bling Ring and 11-36 gearing. I’m still thinking about going to a 32 or even a 30T chainring.
The Project 321 Lefty is working amazingly well. I cannot believe how laterally stiff it is–it is a great piece of kit. I’m also very happy with the CTD shock. Particularly when hitting gravel or doubletrack, the ability to lock out the rear is welcome.
More miles in the coming weeks. Cheq is my last major ‘formal’ event of the year…at least according to current plans.