Fender extender hanging on bash plate
Talk about an unsettling feeling...!
The first two times it happened, I didn't catch what it was. Riding fast on dirt, but it wasn't terribly rough terrain. I'd suddenly feel something in the front end that seemed to be in a bind, making the steering really stiff. I'd quickly stop, wiggle the bars and everything would be OK. Gotta say it was really making me paranoid, not knowing what caused the feeling of loss of control. Did it again, and again, it was on dirt. Stopped, wiggled the bars, and all was OK again.
Saturday, I was riding the Weaver Bend road down to the French Broad River, moving pretty good over a dirt road, when I hit a series of shallow potholes. Again, the weird steering. This time, I stopped smoothly and didn't wiggle the bars or mash the forks in any way. Instead, I hopped off to see if I could spot the problem. Turns out that the fender extender, while the forks were hammering up and down, had managed to slide behind the Happy Trails bash plate, holding the forks in a straight-ahead position. As soon as I wiggled the bars, the extender popped loose. Man, I'm glad that I know what the problem is. It should be pretty simple to fix - I'll add a slight extension the top of the back plate to keep the extender from sliding behind it.
It's something that others might run into with similar bash plate/extender combo.