Well, today is the day I need to pack up all the gear for the trip to the Black Hills. I will leave tomorrow after work and drive part way (hopefully 1/2 of the way), and finish up the drive on Saturday morning. Check-in for picking up my race packet is between 12 noon and 6 pm which gives me some latitude for arrival and doing a little pre-ride of the opening section or so.
I think I have suddenly changed my mind about bike choice based on recent performance of the two bikes I have been toying with using for the race. I had originally thought the big RIP 9 with the extra bail out granny gear, the big monster trail tires, and plenty of suspension would be my couch cushion and ride for the race. However, yesterday's training ride on the lighter and more nimble JET 9 gave me pause to question my choice. All this after doing lots of training on the RIP including the past 2 XC races.
Pretty close gearing between the two, so that's a wash.
RIP 9 Granny Gear vs. JET 9 Granny Gear...
The RIP outshines the JET going down the hill and through rough terrain, but there's an awful lot of going up the hill in the Dakota Five-0 and the lighter JET may pay more handsome dividends in time and wattage spent going up. And it's no slouch going down, but does require more attention than the RIP when pointing down.
I'm going to outfit the JET 9 this morning with the saddle bag, stem bag, bottles and take it for my taper training ride before work to see if it helps solidify my sudden change in bike decision. I'll be fine either way with whatever bike, but this looks to be getting the most recent nod for the 50 miles on Sunday...
Weather looks good for Sunday with a high of 84 in Spearfish being the forecast (11 degrees cooler than Saturday's high of 95). I'll certainly take mid 80's over mid 90's for a multi-hour race!!!