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Old 10-03-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
Yellow Pig OP
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Wicked Fall Colors - Colorado Style

I've been meaning to head out and check out the changing leaf colors in the mountains here in Colorado, but have not been able to get out. It had to be this weekend or the wonderful fall colors would escape me.




Here is the route map and ride profile:







I posted up the ride, but had not takers so off I went on my own for a nice 470 mile dirt loop. Left the house at 7AM and got back by 11:30 PM after having bagged 11 Passes.

This was a true dual-sport ride: lots of miles, all kinds of weather and surfaces, ranging from Hwy to single track.

I left Denver at 7AM and headed west on Hwy 287 going over Kenosha Pass (paved). The goal was to reach Fairplay and have breakfast at the Brown Burro. The ride out was quite chilly and I was happy to have my electric jacket and heated grips running at full blast. I think the temperature at the top of Kenosha was somewhere in the high 30s or low S.

By the time I got to Fairplay I was in the groove and did not feel like stopping so I pushed on and headed over Weston Pass (dirt). From there it was a quick ride down to Buena Vista where I stopped for a nice warm breakfast and some fuel.



Once body and bike were refueled I headed over to Taylor Park via Cottonwood Pass. Taylor Park is where the ride really started. This is where the fun trails and the big passes would be.

I'm glad I got out for a ride when I did because as you can see from the pictures I caught the tail end of the fall colors.

Time to air down a bit and take off some of the snivel gear:


From here I headed up Cement Creek toward American Flag Mountain. It was perfect riding weather: The sun was out and the air was crisp.





I made a quick stop on American Flag Mt to check out the views, then headed on.


I didn't' take a picture this time so I'm using this one for reference


I continued on Cement Creek over to some fun looking single track.



Nothing better than terrorizing the 450cc trail bikes on single track w/ a 950cc monster. You should see the look on their face as they look around the corner waiting to see what in the world is making that sound as the big twin comes howling around the corner.











So far so good. this nice smooth single track was very doable on the big twin. Once in the trees it got a bit tighter.



and steeper




Uh ho! What is this?



Well the trail sign did say it was called Block & Tackle.



Here is one of the 450 I tracked down....Tom from Ft Collins, very nice guy I introduced to AdvRider.





At the end of the trail there was a little obstacle to clear before being able to get on a normal trail.




Lucky for me Tom was having a bit of difficulty getting up the ledge. We were able to help each other out and get on w/ the ride.


Here is my helper. Thanks Tom!




I was now on Brush Creek road and fully enjoying the fall colors.



After I turned North on Pearl Pass Rd I was met by this spectacular sight.



The leaves look like they are on fire.

A few more boring miles later.





I got to the fun part of Pearl Pass......rocks!




Pearl Pass is not too hard, but there are a couple of sections that have loose dirt and rocks the size of coconuts.



Not too bad if you keep your momentum up, but once you stop it's all over. The angle of the slope and the rolling rocks make it hard to get going again.


Here I am bogged down in said location:






Finally free of the hellatious rocks w/ Pearl Pass in sight.



Once on top I stopped for some lunch and some pics







360 degree views at 3872 meters...simply awesome. In just a couple of weeks this will all be snowed in.









The road down the back side (north) starts off nice


but quickly goes back to loose and rocky






After Pearl Pass I went up to Taylor Pass via Express Creek, more sucky roads.



From the top of Taylor I followed the ridge toward Aspen and then road down the Ski Trails into town.












The town of Aspen from the ski runs:


From Aspen I slabbed it up to Basalt where I refueled and grabbed some grub for dinner. I left Basalt just before sunset and was at Ruedi Reservoir just as the sun went down.

Once dark it was Hagareman Pass, Mosquito Pass in the dark.

At the top of Hagerman it started to rain and I could swear i could see some snow flakes in my headlight as I was riding.


I hit Mosquito Pass at about 9PM. I've ridden this pass quite a few times and am very familiar w/ it, but this year Mosquito Pass is in the worst condition I have ever seen it. The East side is really torn up by the jeeps and by water erosion.



At 4018 meters/ 13,185 Ft Mosquito Pass is one of the higher ridable passes in Colorado.

I never noticed this tombstone at the top of Mosquito before:



When I was finally back on pavement I decided I did not want to take the same boring way back that I had taken out, so some twisties were in order....Hoosier Pass...Swan Mt Rd....Loveland Pass...Home.


All in all it was a great day
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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Talking

I can't say how much I love riding the SE. It's a phenomenal bike that can cruise fully loaded at 90mph on the highway one moment and the next it's working it's way down a gnarly single track.

What makes it so good compared to other bikes of this type is the suspension. This is simply a giant dirt bike.

The Beemers and Triumphs might have an edge in the engine department if at all, but they are totally outgunned in the springy section.

The one caveat is that it is so good at what it does that it pushes you to ride it harder and harder in progressively more technical situations till all of a sudden you find yourself way in over your head. So the hardest thing is getting the little SE devil that sits on your shoulder when you ride the bike to shut up.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #3
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Holy crap dude! That's one hell of a ride! Especially Mosquito in the dark! I was just over haggerman yesterday and rode a bunch of stuff in that area over the weekend. Are you in Denver? We should seriously hook up and go ride. I love riding the Tiger up and down crap that pushes it's limits. Pm me if you're interested.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
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Yup!

Littleton.

Would love to AV.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:54 PM   #5
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I love this - right ;)

"A few more boring miles later."

YP, you need to check out Florida - LOL.

and 470 miles - holy crap, I've done 300 and change on a DRZ in NC, I was beat. Sounds like my kinda place, I'm moving west! Beautiful pics, thanks for posting.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:02 PM   #6
kennyh
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Wow, great pics and ride! Hard to beat the se reeling those kinds of miles in.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:59 PM   #7
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Wow!! Beautiful fall colors. Our Northeastern California aspens are just starting to change, still a lot of green around here. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:18 PM   #8
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Man...didn't know rides like this still existed....
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:27 PM   #9
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Missed another great YP ride...


At least you posted pics!
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:41 PM   #10
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Good Gawd!
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KHVol View Post
Man...didn't know rides like this still existed....

Every weekend here in Colorado. You just have to get out and ride.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano955 View Post
Missed another great YP ride...


At least you posted pics!
Hey Dean,

Have you read the Adventures of Tyson & Hobbes ride report? Tyson has been rocking a tiger XC800 all over Colorado this summer and has had no issues. He's covered more of Colorado in one summer than most Coloradoans do in a lifetime.

I gotta ride w/ this guy!
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:45 PM   #13
offtheback
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Pissed that I had to miss this but the 950 adventure may have had some issues on those trails and my leaky for seal would have gone tits up for sure. I have been seeing your ride postings and reports for quite sometime. Then I hand to listen to Shawn (GSA that ate it in the sand coming in to the sand dunes) talk about his ride with you. I will keep an eye out for your next one. Great pics and good to see you made it home!
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:57 PM   #14
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Lovely lovely lovely!
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow Pig View Post
Hey Dean,

Have you read the Adventures of Tyson & Hobbesride report? Tyson has been rocking a tiger XC800 all over Colorado this summer and has had no issues. He's covered more of Colorado in one summer than most Coloradoans do in a lifetime.

I gotta ride w/ this guy!
Hell yeah! Did Dean ever get his Tiger running? I remember him posting that he had one of the stalling Tigers. Hope he's got the new tune and out riding!
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