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Old 09-12-2010, 11:53 AM   #196
EnderTheX OP
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So continuing the story, we are having fun going down Imogene on the north side of the pass. There are tons of puddles everywhere and I am soon soaked again. It's fine since I really like riding puddles and creek crossing.


At one point there are sooo many puddles I start to get complacent and since 99% of them are hard bottom and smooth I am riding sitting down to save energy. One large puddle suddenly violently throws my rear tire sideways as though there was a spring loaded trap in the water and my bike lands 90 deg from the direction of travel. I am shocked but I guess I had the right reaction because whatever I did straitens the bike up and I casually keep going.

I stop to exclaim my surprise to Chris and he pulls up laughing so hard I think he is going to drop the bike. Too bad he didn't have helmet cam of that move because it was awesome!!!! (sorry no pics)




Towards the bottom of the trail there is a good sized and deep river crossing, it is moving fast and is about 1 ft deep with large rocks. There is a perfectly good wooden bridge right next to it but Chris and I get off the bikes to survey the crossing to see if we can do it. While we stand around looking at it (eventually decide to take the bridge because it was getting late and if we went down we could suck water into the bikes) we are high fiving and cheering ourselves for having conquered the trail and...

A FREAKING 1000CC V-STROM PASSES US IN A HURRY AND ROARS OVER THE BRIDGE.

We are shocked, Chris says "I bet he came from another trail that connects down here" because we had seen some other trails on the lower section. I agree but we quickly get on our bikes to see if we can catch up with the guy.

Just around the corner (he obviously didn't want to talk to us) we find him getting his rain gear ready...






I pull up with Chris and ask him if he just came over Imogene, he replies "Yeah I came from Telluride after work". I yell over to Chris "Holy shit! A freaking V-Strom can do it!".

The guy is in a hurry to put his rain gear on and get away from us. We are talking to him about the trail and how he did it but he keeps repeating that he's been riding out here since he was 5 and doesn't recommend anyone to do it on a V-Strom. He says he lost traction several times and bottomed out a lot on his street tires.




He is a local who rides whatever bike he can afford over mountain passes to and from work and we could tell he didn't want to talk to us tourists. I bet he made it over Imogene without a moments pause, probably knows the whole trail like the back of his glove.


Well, props to you Mr Crazy Local V-Strom rider, good show!
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:55 AM   #197
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We make it back to the highway at Ouray (nice looking town) and head down 550 back to camp. It is raining again on us but we don't care because we can only think about that badass Pass.







Stats for the day (I had it turned off in Telluride so it didn't log that stopped time):

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:09 PM   #198
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As we came down Imogene, the riding got VERY fun. I'm disappointed that we blew through it so fast with no real picture stops. Like Oliver said, there were tons of large smooth rocks to go over. Many ledges to jump off of, LOTS of fun. I would LOVE to go back and do Imogene from Ouray to Telluride, then turn around and do it again in reverse.

Coming down we returned to the trees, the trail was more dirt than rock, very different from the Telluride side. Rain was off and on and puddles were large and plentiful. Oliver seemed to love going through them, splashing at his hearts content. I tended to go around or wheelie over them, as my boots are pretty old and no longer even remotely close to water proof. At one point Oliver enters into a larger puddle; makes it about 3/4 of the way through and suddenly the bike steps sideways, literally a full 90 degrees in .2 seconds. It was the wildest and craziest thing I've ever seen (in person) on two wheels. The bike's rear end didn't simply step out, the whole bike pivoted about its center. The front wheel slid left, the rear wheel slid right resulting in the bike LITERALLY (no exaggeration) turning a full 90 degrees in less than a second. If I had blinked just as this happened I would have seen Oliver going strait, *blink*, Oliver going left. I can't stress enough how fast this happened. Oliver was standing at the time and his feet never left the pegs. As soon as the bike rotated left, his front tire cleared out of the mud puddle and he corrected to turn back right (going strait again). The rear tire slid in the mud bringing the bike strait again just a hair slower than the initial surprise rotation. Again, Oliver standing and lever leaving the pegs. The whole thing looked so out of place and amazing that as soon as it was over (which was no more than 1.5 seconds) and Oliver was still on the bike going strait I immediately bust out laughing. I can not control myself, my eyes tear up and my stomach is literally hurting from laughing so hard. A minute later Oliver stops to ask if I saw, I can't even communicate I'm laughing so hard. He gets the idea, shares a few laughs and takes off. I have to wait a minute to regain my composure and wipe the tears from my eyes, I imagine Oliver had to wipe something other than tears from some where else once we got back to camp . This event was the damnedest thing I've ever seen on two wheels. It is also a lesson to bring 1000 camera batteries and 1000 spare memory cards so that you never have to decide to film or not film a particular session. I take full responsibility for the lack of video for this event, and I would like to apologize to the entire ADV community for dropping the ball. I'm guessing this freak occurrence was caused by 2 parallel ruts at the bottom made by 4 wheeled vehicles and Oliver entering on the center ridge between the two ruts. It being muddy his front wheel slid to the left rut, rear slid to the right rut. This is something everyone who's spent any time off road has experienced I'm sure. Its just normally this happens and you stop and spend 10 minutes slipping and sliding getting muddy to get the bike strait again and out of the mud. I guess Oliver had enough forward momentum and balance to pull off this 10 minute feet in a few tenths of a second. I'm also sure that if he or I tried to do this intentionally it would result in much pain and broken bike parts.

RE: V-Strom rider...

This whole situation was hilarious in my mind. First of all, Oliver had just gotten done telling me how this pass was at the limits of his bike, he's sure he bottomed out his suspension, just missed his skid plate countless times, couldn't believe he didn't have pinch flats, and didn't bend his 'butter soft' bmw wheels. He was sure just a little more technical and he would be dead on that mountain because the limits of his BMW were surpassed. Not 5 minutes later this guy rolls by. We've just decided that dropping our bikes in a river just before the rain hits while there's a marvelous bridge not 2 feet away would be silly, when this V-Strom 1000 goes by. Oliver and I both look at each other... NO WAY this guy just did Imogene, NO WAY... We throw our gear on and haul ass to find this guy. We HAVE to know where he just came from. As we cross the bridge he's stopped throwing on rain gear. First thing we ask him... "did you just come over Imogene?!?" ...sure enough, the guy just did flippin Imogene Pass on a V-Strom with street tires. I had to ask him again just to make sure I heard right. Amazing. Oliver makes the comment to the guy "well now we know even a v-strom can do it". I could tell this guy got kinda twisted up over this comment, "now now, I wouldn't recommend it, I've been riding up here since I was 5". I think Oliver made a few more "even a V-strom" comments and the guy repeated himself a few other times "I wouldn't recommend it...". I could tell this fellow was a little annoyed with us tourists. This wasn't the first time he's had this conversation. To top the whole encounter off Oliver then asks the guy, AS HE'S PUTTING ON HIS RAIN GEAR, if he thinks it is going to rain. I thought this fella was gonna burst! He let it slide though and just looked at Oliver and said "I ain't sayin', I'm just putting on my rain gear." As we pulled away I realized he didn't park next to us while we were stopped on the other side of the river for a reason, damned tourists.

Anyways, he's not on ADV, but he's definitely an inmate... and now we know, even a V-strom can do it... but its not recommended

And its not a pass with out a pee.
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child screwed with this post 09-12-2010 at 04:32 PM
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:04 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by child
This event was the damnedest thing I've ever seen on two wheels. It is also a lesson to bring 1000 camera batteries and 1000 spare memory cards so that you never have to decide to film or not film a particular session. I take full responsibility for the lack of video for this event, and I would like to apologize to the entire ADV community for dropping the ball.
Yes you definitely dropped the ball on this one Chris. Now you are the only one in the world who knows how crazy it was... (I was too focused on staying upright to fully comprehend what happened).

Shame on you for poor camera management.



Quote:
Originally Posted by child
To top the whole encounter off Oliver then asks the guy, AS HE'S PUTTING ON HIS RAIN GEAR, if he thinks it is going to rain. I thought this fella was gonna burst!
Hahaha, yeah I was still high from conquering Imogene and I instantly realized my comment wasn't well received.

If there are any crazy V-Strom riders who have done this trail post up! I want to commend you on your bravery, skill and resolve.



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And its not a pass with out a pee.
WTF, I don't even remember you taking a picture, that looks like the bottom side of Imogene.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:12 AM   #200
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Great RR -- keep the report and pics coming !!
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:50 AM   #201
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I don't know, my wife and I did Ophir 2-up and loaded with bags on a 1000 V-Strom. Not that big a deal, the Strom is pretty capable off-road. You just need to keep up your momentum and use the torque of that great V-twin engine!
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:53 AM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peashooter
I don't know, my wife and I did Ophir 2-up and loaded with bags on a 1000 V-Strom. Not that big a deal, the Strom is pretty capable off-road. You just need to keep up your momentum and use the torque of that great V-twin engine!
All passes are not created equally; you can do Ophir in just about any wheeled vehicle. Imogene definitely requires some ground clearance and a little skill.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:40 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by Superhawk
Great RR -- keep the report and pics coming !!
Thanks! More coming right up



Quote:
Originally Posted by Peashooter
I don't know, my wife and I did Ophir 2-up and loaded with bags on a 1000 V-Strom. Not that big a deal, the Strom is pretty capable off-road. You just need to keep up your momentum and use the torque of that great V-twin engine!
Congrats on getting out there and exploring with the wife (seriously I think more people should do this stuff instead of staying home chained to a cube like some of my friends). Ophir is nice and has some loose rocks here and there but it was the easiest of all the mountain passes we did....

(A V-Strom could do any of these passes but you would have to be an insane rider!!! )

If I would rank the passes myself from 1 to 10, 10 being the hardest, Ophir would be about a 2 and Imogene would be an 8, 10 being Black Bear.
Off the top of my head I would put the other passes such as Clear Lake and Cinnamon at a 4 and Engineer at 6. Maybe at the end of the ride report I will elaborate on the relative difficulties and my personal opinions of each pass.






For now, we move into day 5!


Waking up in the morning was always tough, I never really got a good nights sleep, still kind of suffering from altitude sickness and general soreness from riding and crashing all day. BUT we weren't sitting in our cubes and nature was all around us, I love it!


We had filled some gas cans up to top the bikes up at the camp site, even though town was close we didn't want to detour to get gas.






We had started late and the rain was upon us. We stop in town to get lunch at a famous BBQ joint. The place had been on food network once and were looping the episode they were featured in on the TVs. The pulled pork sandwich was fantastic!




We waited for the rain and it was swirling around us without much hope of dissipating. We soon said screw it and donned our rain gear to head up towards Animas Forks.
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:47 PM   #204
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The fellow who owned the Husaberg there in the background was also in the pink place. He was a tall, tall guy, he made that berg look like a scooter. Nice guy, he was a local, he asked where we'd been and so on and so on. We asked him if there were any passes we shouldn't miss and he said Black Bear for sure, don't miss Black Bear. Oliver expressed a little concern about what he's heard and our "big" bikes, the berg guy waved his hand, "nah nah, you can do it, its no problem, its beautiful, you gotta do Black Bear". He also mentioned he and his buddies usually go down it in the morning, have lunch in Telluride, and go back up, the "wrong way", in the afternoon.

There's no shortage of nice like minded two wheelers in Colorado. It was a nice change being in similar company up there, down here in Texas us dual sporters are very few and very far between seems like.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:56 PM   #205
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When we got to Animas Forks we took a minute to take our rain gear off and look around. There are lots of old buildings here, seems to have been a mining hub. Today we will probably take our rain gear off and put it back on more than any other day, luckily mine fits over all my other gear so it is relatively quick.






This is probably the dirtiest part of the trip for the bikes, riding in the rain behind cars and trucks on the graded road up to here was like riding in a soup!

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Old 09-13-2010, 03:58 PM   #206
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Starting on California Pass from Animas was pleasant. This trail was rated a 4 in the book but it really rides more like a 3. The road in the glacial valley was awesome. Part of the ways up we find a cool huge building.







Up against the clouds it looks kinda spooky.


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Old 09-13-2010, 04:38 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by child
The fellow who owned the Husaberg there in the background was also in the pink place. He was a tall, tall guy, he made that berg look like a scooter. Nice guy, he was a local, he asked where we'd been and so on and so on. We asked him if there were any passes we shouldn't miss and he said Black Bear for sure, don't miss Black Bear. Oliver expressed a little concern about what he's heard and our "big" bikes, the berg guy waved his hand, "nah nah, you can do it, its no problem, its beautiful, you gotta do Black Bear".
No way!
BigWan and I ended up doing Black Bear pass because we ran into a guy on a Husaberg when we were doing Tin Cup (8/2/10). His name was Mark Thomas and he told us we absolutely could not miss BB. He said after seeing us on Tin Cup, he knew we could do BB 2up.
I wonder if it's the same guy? I'll have to check my photos. I think I took one of him.
If so, he's a stellar tour guide and a hell of a PR guy!
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:03 PM   #208
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No way!
BigWan and I ended up doing Black Bear pass because we ran into a guy on a Husaberg when we were doing Tin Cup (8/2/10). His name was Mark Thomas and he told us we absolutely could not miss BB. He said after seeing us on Tin Cup, he knew we could do BB 2up.
I wonder if it's the same guy? I'll have to check my photos. I think I took one of him.
If so, he's a stellar tour guide and a hell of a PR guy!
Cool! Small world! Hey I just noticed they added a bunch more smilies! Post up your pic, we would recognize the guy if we saw him (I am the worst with names).




Continuing up the pass trail, I am having a blast. I really like stormy weather and it isn't raining on us yet. The trail through California Gulch is awesome, it is an old glacier valley.







I couldn't pass up this shot when the light was just right.






Closer to the top there was a bunch of traffic. Luckily when we got up there they all dispersed. What is it with passes having very cool steep hill climbs right before them? I just love roaring up at the top of first gear, using all the available power to rocket over the rocks and to the top!


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Old 09-13-2010, 07:12 PM   #209
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Chris making his way up to the pass. I was having lots of fun but was anxious about the coming trails... both California Gulch and Hurricane Pass are rated at 4 in the book.

This picture seems weird, almost looks like Chris' bike is floating over the rocks!






I think my BMW looks like a happy puppy in the picture. It just loved to be dirty and out in the wild!







I give to you... California Pass.


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Old 09-13-2010, 08:21 PM   #210
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Whats the best way to start up a pass? ...with a quick pee, naturally.


California Pass, going up, looking sporty!




Rain clouds and going up... dumb? Maybe... but we only have a week doghonit.


Not every day you see a street legal escalade rock crawler... unless you own one... I suppose if you were the owner of a street legal escalade rock crawler you'd probably see it daily... or at least you could.




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