After much procrastination I have finally got the bent built back up and have taken three rides on it and it's working great. I did have to break down and take it to Jim's Bike Shop where Patrick did the final touches on the chain and rear derailleur.
By not building it right away it forced me to ride the Merlin, which made my arm tire rapidly and then I got out the mountain bike and put smooth tires on and it went pretty darn well. Makes me wonder which to take to North Carolina, the MB or the bent, as there is going to be a lot of climbing.
I have determined that I might do a little suffering on The Tour of the Hocking on Memorial Day weekend, which by the way is next weekend! I need more hill miles! It will be a great ride regardless, but I will suffer slightly. Wish me fun!