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Old 07-30-2014, 12:01 PM   #1
jnclem OP
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Another Ophir Question

I've only been riding for three seasons. Each year I am slowly increasing my skills and stretching myself a bit on the difficulty of what I ride. It's been working pretty well, no destruction to me or the bike, and I'm having lots of fun.

This year I want to do some of the easier passes in the San Juan's, probably in September after things quiet down a bit. I have read several times that people feel Ophir is easier going west. I haven't been on Ophir for many years. The last time was pedaling a mountainbike loaded with gear. We came from Ophir to Silverton. I don't remember it being all that difficult, just a steeper rocky section near the top of the west side. Granted, in this age of ATV's, a lot of things that used to be fairly easy have become loose and chewed up. But, it would seem to me that it would be easier to go up that loose rocky section than down it. Travel east rather than west. Maybe I'm just more comfortable on loose uphills than down, or maybe I'm forgetting what it was really like.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:12 PM   #2
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on a big bike you might get stopped on the uphill and have a hard time getting started again like i did on my 1150 gs a few years ago. Luckily a friend showed up in his truck, gave me a bunch of shit about how i was too short to ride motorcycles, then helped me get the beast turned around so i could cry my way back to the safety of pavement.. Wasn't long after that I bought a 640!!

I'd go for the downhill if it were me on a 100gs.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:23 PM   #3
MountainsandRivers
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I think west to east is easier just due to control in the loose stuff.
Look into Bolam pass as well, from hwy 145 near Rico to 550 at DMR. Another good one and less traffic.
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:26 PM   #4
MountainsandRivers
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Yeah, if you are vertically challenged liked the -ince, then maybe go west...
What bike are you on? I might have missed that..
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:01 PM   #5
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I took a dirt noob over Ophir a few months ago, and he said that going west was way easier for him. He still had a great time on the way back though.
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainsandRivers View Post
I think west to east is easier just due to control in the loose stuff.
Look into Bolam pass as well, from hwy 145 near Rico to 550 at DMR. Another good one and less traffic.

Looking for a short cut from 145 South of To Hell you ride to 550. Will be in a normally aspirated Forrester. Is west to east doable on Ophir? Or should I just punt to Bolam? I'm not so much out for site seeing just a rapid jump over.

I plan to get in touch with ya Tony
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:33 PM   #7
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I took my mom over Ophir in my wife's older Forester with no issues.
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
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Last Saturday, this KIA made it, at least this far.


Course, I had to wait a little, while he dug holes and got out and moved rocks around.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:22 PM   #9
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I must have missed something when I rode Ophir. I am by no means anything but a fair to decent rider and I don't recall a single hiccup. Views were great but the riding was just a dirt/gravel road.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:29 PM   #10
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Baby head rocks and quite a bit of skree at top of the Telluride side
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Old Yesterday, 05:25 AM   #11
jnclem OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainsandRivers View Post
Yeah, if you are vertically challenged liked the -ince, then maybe go west...
What bike are you on? I might have missed that..
I'm riding an '89 R100 GS, I'm 6'2" and can flat foot it easily on flat ground. So, I call that a mid size, not nearly as heavy as the new monsters, but definitely not a dirt bike. I hear you on Bolam, but I'm not just looking for a way across, Ophir is one I want to do again at some point. Traffic should be less of an issue by mid-September I hope.

Seems kind of split between which way is easier. I guess one consideration is the lack of loose downhill switchbacks. At least any loose rocky sections are fairly straight, so that shouldn't matter so much. I need to keep practicing my loose downhill technique. I find that grasping the seat with my sphincter helps a lot
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Old Yesterday, 05:56 AM   #12
MountainsandRivers
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The switchback is wide and mostly dirt. I think you should be good to go either direction. You will be fine!
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Old Yesterday, 06:00 AM   #13
MountainsandRivers
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I think you would be fine, just take it slow. I personally would think going east would be better, since you don't have much of a low gear, so less burning of brakes like you might have coming down the steeper, rockier west side. The few water crossings on the west should be okay, just take at an angle...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhinorear View Post
Looking for a short cut from 145 South of To Hell you ride to 550. Will be in a normally aspirated Forrester. Is west to east doable on Ophir? Or should I just punt to Bolam? I'm not so much out for site seeing just a rapid jump over.

I plan to get in touch with ya Tony
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Old Yesterday, 07:20 AM   #14
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29and Single-- it can change a fair bit throughout the short season, and even more year to year. The past couple years, there have been two short sections that have been increasingly rocky with cantaloupe-sized rocks, and a couple of ruts to throw you off your line on a heavy bike. One is a couple hundred meters below the switchback and the other is a couple hundred west of the top out of the pass proper. It's not a "tough pass," relative to its neighbors, but we help pick up A LOT of big, loaded bikes each summer...

All right, here's my soapbox:

As an Ophirian, who has seen a dramatic increase in traffic, undoubtedly a result of the COBDR and the increase in Adventure Bikes over the past decade plus, I just ask on behalf of the town that everyone passing through our quiet little hamlet please go slowly, enjoy the views and respect that there are a 60 kids running amok on our few, dirt streets (in a population of only 170). We have invested a lot in speed mitigation (close to 7% of our Town budget), in an effort to keep things tranquil and mellow, and we hope that the speed bumps are treated as such and not as jumps, as we've seen from some dirtbikers.

Summer traffic over the pass has no direct economic benefit to Ophir, as it does the other towns nearby, yet we see as much, or more, jeeps and motos than most. A wave of the hand goes a long way as a greeting of friendship and can help curry favor in the proverbial hearts and minds of the locals.
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Old Yesterday, 07:50 AM   #15
MountainsandRivers
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I agree with that! ^^^ Granted I know a lot of the folks there and don't want Himay giving me shit later.
Economic benefit? I bet the kids would do well with a lemonade stand, which would also slow traffic down...
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