This crazy weather
Well, the crazy weather that we are all having continues to be nuts. Two days ago I rode in single digits with the wind chill below zero. Yesterday we had 4-6 inches of snow and temps in the 20's. It was a dry snow and I was not feeling well so no ride. Today we went into the 50's with winds topping 30 mph. Needless to say, today's ride was a bit different.
I installed the Carver O'Beast fork yesterday and got out to test it today. The weather conditions dictated nothing more than knickers and a light wind break. Riding along the beach at low tide, I was forced to go directly into the wind. Needless to say, it was like riding up a hill. At times the wind conspired to get me in one of my lowest gears. Just nuts to think that 3 days ago I was knee deep in snow and pushing more than riding.
I have been spending a tremendous amount of time in a coastal environment with the Mukluk and as such, salt and rust is a huge issue. Anything on my bike that is not Titanium or Carbon Fiber shows massive signs of rust. I decided that moving to not only a lighter fork, but one that was entirely Carbon would be a good move. The O'Beast weighs almost half of what the Enabler fork does, coming in at a scant 560grams. When I pulled the Enabler, I was shocked at the amount of rust that had accumulated in my head tube.
The first ride on the new fork was amazing. It is extremely rigid, yet not jarring. I realize that is a strange combo, but that is how it felt. I have a stretch along the beach that I like to ride that I refer to as the Rock Garden. It is made up of stones big enough to make riding extremely challenging and somewhat dangerous. Not keeping your wheel in a upright position can cause your tire to slide off at an angle that is guaranteed to deposit your backside on the ground before you know what to do.
I have been riding this stretch for quite a while so I have become very adept at dealing with the rocks, most of the time with a very positive outcome. Today, I was shocked at the ease with which I was able to clean this stretch of beach. What was the difference, well the rigid nature of that fork. It held the line in a way that I had never experienced. It was simply amazing to cruise through these rocks with a confidence and a speed that I had never before experienced.
Today's ride was not long, and this is not intended to be a gear review, instead more a first impression. I am looking forward to some more time on the fork this week as I get used to how it performs in a wide variety of conditions. I already thought the Mukluk was the most versatile bike I had ever owned, but I am now reconsidering the possibilities that a lighter version of this bike could provide. Suddenly, a 27-28 pound mukluk with narrower tires could truly be the ultimate expedition touring rig capable of going just about anywhere, anytime, and carrying whatever load you required.
Stay tuned for more....