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Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017 MOAB 18-21 Sep 2017

Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
233
Location
San Antonio
First Name
Fred
Day 2 - Buena Vista to Lake City.

I recovered from my poor judgment in a dry motel. The night before I tried to set-up camp before the storm. I managed to get the tent 1/2 way up before the rain filled it. So I had me a chuckle and waited for the heavy stuff to clear before packing the soggy tent up and making my way to town. Adventure Day One!

Followed the detour through San Isabel NF with more shaded slick two-track & those plowed drainage humps I affectionately call DS speed bumps. They were every 200 feet, just when shift into a higher gear, here comes another DS speed bump. Glad the Sparky was sporting a new D606 on the rear.

My GoPro was not working today "SD Card Error," it said. Finished the slab from Salida 50 West. Then back to dirt.

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Lots of open gravel roads with a few short segments of two-track. I made 127 miles to a dispersed camp site 10 mi shy of Lake City. This time I was set-up before the evening storms.

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Even had time for viddles

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Faired the storm well and very glad the Elk that passed by in the evening & again the next morning did not stomp me in my tent.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Joined
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

Still an awful lot of jeeps and such around the Alpine Loop yesterday. Folks are rolling in from all over to watch the Aspens. Have a safe ride.
 
Joined
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Fred
Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

Day 3 - Alpine Loop: Got a bit of a late start as it took me a while to pack everything up into the Mosko Moto R80 bags. I did enjoy some fresh coffee while packing. Made Lake City and filled up Sparky. Section 3 was the longest stretch without fuel & glad to find some there. 136 miles took 1.6 gallons; so I was under 1/2 tank (3 gal) with a 85 mpg! Will have to double check those figures.

I went the North side of the Alpine Loop from Lake City towards Engineer pass & Ouray. RG was spot on about the Aspen's changing! I took some nice GoPro shots on the easy graded roads leading up to the final climb of Engineer pass. Unfortunately my GoPro & I are not getting along. Somehow it got into photo burst mode instead of video, & my view angle is way too low. Will have to see If I can salvage some frame shots when I have time to edit. I did not have much traffic and made that section in less than an hour. Below green path is the steeper climb section up, and the red path is the descent.

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I did not have much traffic the entire route. Maybe 6-10 jeeps & 5-10 bikes. The bikes were all Of the plated dirt-bike variety. NO large ADV bikes. That should of been a clue of what was to come...

The (green) climb up was a bit steep at times, with a few switchbacks, that were mostly visible. That is, you could see far enough to pick a line around & through the corners. Again, I had light traffic and did not have to adjust or change most of my assent lines.

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Sparky was gasping for air. You really noticed it when starting the motor. Seemed like the battery was weak and she idled low, just barely coming to life. The weather at top was cold, and light rain/snow, so I didn't stay long. Good thing because the tough part was yet to come.

The first 2-3 miles of descent were very much like the climb; predictable & switchbacks not too difficult, with light traffic. Then it settled down a bit & I saw this fresh roadkill. A quick reminder of how things could go terribly wrong in an instant on the road I had just travelled.

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The road soon changed to single lane width, rocky, steps, blind corners, jagged embedded rock & loose shale. Often the smoother line was on the edge side, & rocky, stepped line was in the mountian side. Great for jeep rock crawling. I was hoping this would subside soon & I would find more of those nicely graded forest service roads again. That was NOT to be the case!

I soon sucked through my hydration pack, as I spent 95% of my time on the pegs, weighed over the rear of the seat, covering both breaks, as I battled the terrain. I mean "battle" It was time to be serious and focus with attack attitude. Not be timid and unsure - that leads to uncertainty and mistakes. This was by far the toughest stuff I had ridden. I only stopped to catch my breath, and relax my grip on the bars. It took me over 2 hours to cover the red section. I had several dabbs, and one very close slow-skid fall.

Ironically the close call was only .7 away from the end of the trail. I was hugging the inside, line and came down a step, when the front tire deflected to alter my path towards the cliff edge; I was on it and braked, but the section was steep, the rear wheel skidded and the front tire butted up against a bolder. I managed to keep balanced on the bike, favoring the uphill side with my weight. I ended up with the rear tire downhill, & the bike pointed uphill at about a 35° angle, lodged sideways in the middle of the road! So not quite a 180° skid, but close.

I placed my uphill foot down, caught my breath and looked at the cliff edge for a moment assessing how to get out of this predicament. I kept my weight uphill (left foot on ground) backed down about a foot to release the front tire off the bolder. Then tried turning the front wheel side to side to get the front tire to gently slip down hill of the rear tire. This worked to a degree, but it was not enough of a downhill angle as I was still pointed towards the edge and not to a good line. Again I caught my breath and decided I needed to get off the bike. Could't put the kickstand down because the downhill angle was too great, and the kickstand needed to be about 6 inches shorter.

With all the gear, I was normally getting on the bike by use of the foot pegs, with kickstand deployed. Well that wasn't going to work. I carefully stood on the left foot, balanced the bike and dragged the right foot across the seat. After making this successful dismount, I was able to continue turning the front tire back & forth to get it pointed more downhill. Walked the bike down to the next bolder on my left side (wasn't far) then carefully mounted and resumed the descent, knowing it was not much further to the road.

When I came to pavement, I took about a half hour break. Since it was about 3, and this descent took a tole on me, I bailed on the the rest of my intended Alpine Loop, and headed up to Ouray, then Montrose for a cozy motel and early night.

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This is a view of the last 100 yards before the road, I tried to keep the camera level to show some steepness. This was the only easy section in the last 2+ hours!
 
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Blanco
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Keith
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

Great photos and write-up. Thanks for sharing.
 
Joined
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233
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Fred
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

Day 4 - Return to Meredith, CO: This was a nice leisurely rural road return home day. 4-5 hrs of scenic twisty canyon roads with low speed limits. Sparky was happy.

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Stay tuned for the MOAB chapter next week.
 
Joined
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Blanco
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Keith
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

Fantastic. Looking forward to more photos!
 
Joined
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Fred
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

Ok - MOAB is ....

Perhaps I shouldn't bike-&-tell.

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(Onion Creek)


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Joined
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Blanco
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Keith
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

Looks like you are on a Great Adventure!
 
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Hooks
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

Great story.
We had a similar experience last Col. trip, only with non fuel injected bikes, so more added drama. We got sparkies cousins, do hope that will help. Want to check out Meredith some time.
Waiting for more tales!:clap:
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
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San Antonio
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Fred
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

I'm alive and well, back in TWT teritory. Hats off to those who can keep up with a RR in real time. I will update with more slightly softened, dirty nuggets of data for your tractional pleasure.


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(White Rim)
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
17
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Houston
Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017MOAB 18-21 Sep 2017

Great photo. By the way, are your running stock gearing in the mountains on your WR250R? If so is it working out ok?
John
 
Joined
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San Antonio
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Fred
14/50 when installed D606's. 1st gear was a real nice to pick a slow line. But spent a lot of time in 2nd - just need to know it's limit & how/when that would be too much.


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Tourmeister

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Re: Mini COBDR 11-14 Sep 2017

The road soon changed to single lane width, rocky, steps, blind corners, jagged embedded rock & loose shale. Often the smoother line was on the edge side, & rocky, stepped line was in the mountian side. Great for jeep rock crawling. I was hoping this would subside soon & I would find more of those nicely graded forest service roads again. That was NOT to be the case!

I soon sucked through my hydration pack, as I spent 95% of my time on the pegs, weighed over the rear of the seat, covering both breaks, as I battled the terrain. I mean "battle" It was time to be serious and focus with attack attitude. Not be timid and unsure - that leads to uncertainty and mistakes. This was by far the toughest stuff I had ridden.
:tab I have done that section twice, on my KLR 650. It was pretty rough. I was not alone though. There were some serious pucker moments. That was back in 2010. The last time I was out there was in 2015. We were staying in Lake City and I rented a jeep to take my wife and kids over Cinnamon, Engineer, and California. The rental company made me sign a special piece of paper specifically promising NOT to drive on that section of road. Apparently, the agency that had been maintaining it decided to stop maintaining it. Too many jeeps were getting stuck and torn up and it was costing the rental company too much money.

It started out looking easy peasy...


Even this section wasn't too bad...




:tab But... the squiggly section right where the middle number 18 shows on the left side of your map... Yeah, I was hanging on REAL tight right there and didn't have the time or a decent place to slow down for a good pic of it :nono:

:tab It was so much fun that we went back and did it again later in the week and late in the day just as the sun was going down behind the mountains. I was VERY relieved when we finally got back down to US 550!!





It's a long way down...



:tab I am looking forward to the Moab area pics! I passed through there in late July this year coming back from Idaho and it really got me itching to get back out there again!!
 
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MOAB Day 1

Riding solo was not my intent & I posted in ADVrider in an effort to link up with other riders. I got a response from Josh, a local, who rode the White Rim Trail with me on his day off from work! Turns out he is a commercial rated pilot with https://flyredtail.com and knows the area like a seasoned guide!

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The trail is about 90 miles, plus 30 each way to & from Moab. That makes about 150 mile trip with no gas, water, or services! 150-180 is usually not a problem for Sparky's 3.1 gal tank, but I was cautious and packed an extra MSR bottle, along with almost a gallon of water (not counting the 1.5L in hydration pack). I removed the R80 system & used the 25L top bag to hold the extra liquids.

This was the main purpose of my trip and the primary reason I returned to DS riding with the purchase of the mighty WRR almost two years ago. With Canyonlands Trail Pass, & park entrance fee in hand, this ride was finally at hand. We rode it in a clockwise direction, and it did not disappoint!

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The trail was bumpy, lots of turns, a moderately steep climb/descent section at the South-most part, and a bit of sand towards the end. It took about 6 hrs to complete. Josh was great telling me the names of rock formations, and history of the area.

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Of coarse pictures won't do it justice, you really need to see for yourself. Sparky accomplished the trail without incident, (2.1 gal @ 156 miles = 74 mpg), and the weather was a perfect 85°, clear skies, and very little jeep traffic. It just doesn't get much better.
 
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Joined
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Fred
Day 2

Leisurely start after a "Bob Marley" coffee from Wicked Brew drive through coffee shop. Then I visited Moab Tour Company to get some local guidance. It was there I met two other newbs. We decided to visit Onion Creek. A real nice 20 mile ride along the river up 128 to the well marked turn off. We did wonderful out and back, of around 30 miles, crossing the creek about 50 times. Liked it so much we went back for more the next day.

Day 3

This was an awesome loop covering Onion Creek, climbing into the hills North-East, and continuing up into open range high country. The route split Haystack & Tomasaki Mt, emerging South-East, high over MOAB with an epic view of the valley. It was over 120 miles, 90+ all dirt!

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(Our route split those peaks in the distance)

We had one close encounter with a cattle drive and gave way to over 60+ head as we met on a narrow road.
 

Tourmeister

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White Rim is truly spectacular! We did it counter clockwise so as to hit the sand early while still fresh. Either way though, it is an incredible ride with amazing views!
 
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Day 4

What to do on your last day of a spectacular trip? More of the same please, just spice it up a bit. So I tried out a new flavor on Onion Creek trail.

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