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Old 09-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
247ride OP
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5 days to explore CO: An One Legged Adventure

The Video:



The riders:



The leg:
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
lucydad
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Durango to Silverton to Ouray...

SW Colorado! Durango is my home town.

Incredible roads, just be sure your twisty and hill skills are up to it and your brakes working....
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:54 PM   #3
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Colorado backcountry discovery route. It shows you the best of Colorado. Goes either way north to south or south to north.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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Nice vid! Looks like GREAT stuff.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
247ride OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucydad View Post
SW Colorado! Durango is my home town.

Incredible roads, just be sure your twisty and hill skills are up to it and your brakes working....
Lucky:) We were in your area and it was indeed incredible!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cidi View Post
Colorado backcountry discovery route. It shows you the best of Colorado. Goes either way north to south or south to north.
We did part of it, but we'll be back to finish it up. Definitely a great route!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorPoor View Post
Nice vid! Looks like GREAT stuff.
Thanks for watching:) It was hard to condense so much footage in 3 minutes (not talking about the editing part which is not my favorite). It was a great ride. We'll do again:)

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Old 09-22-2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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5 Day To Explore Colorado - Plan & Bikes

Here it comes. My first attempt to a ride report. Not my first ride or adventure, but this trip is worth the effort:)

The Plan: go to Colorado and ride:)

Where: ...that was the tougher decision. But thanks to the wealth of knowledge sharing on this forum, it made the research easier. So, the plan was to stay in Ouray and ride around for 4 days (Alpine Loop, part of TAT, other passes) than start moving east towards Salida and do part of COBDR for 2 days. Well, the plan is always subjected to change:)

Thanks EnderTheX and Cannonshot for their great and inspiring reports and sharing the tracks!



What: Decided that I'll ride a 2009 Kawasaki KLX250S and my friend a 2008 Suzuki DR650 and trailer the bikes from Chicago (taking the WeeStroms would have been another option, but decided the lighter bikes would be more fun and a safer choice)

The Bikes:
The KLX250S has stock suspension and gearing, but it has an aftermarket pipe and it was rejetted (still had to remove the airbox lead to get it to run at higher altitudes - it was kind of loud but it ran). Went super light by carrying just the tools, spare tubes, camera and some food. No issues whatsoever with the bike, but I wish I had changed the front sprocket to -1 tooth (I had with me but couldn't remove it in Ouray) and probably fine tune the jetting. But who has time when you just want to ride:)

The DR650s had more done to it. Cogent Rear Shock, Front Fork Intiminators & Springs, -1 tooth on front sprocket. Well, we rejetted the bike, but had to change it back stock in Ouray (it ran like crap and that was the easy fix).

I would take the KLX again. It was fun to ride (I am no dirt expert), did great on pavement (I even managed to pass a car).

The Riders: me/247ride (Dragos) on the KLX and my friend/cocovas (Cosmin) on the DR.



Ok, enough writing, let's see some pictures.

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Old 09-22-2013, 05:36 PM   #7
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5 days to explore Colorado: The days that don't count

Day 1: drove from Chicago to Denver. The only excitement: crop dusting airplanes doing some crazy stunts, cars passing by and some cool sunset.

Nice and clean in Chicago:
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Day 2:
Scenery got better:)
Made it to Ouray:)
Weather did not look promising (it was cold and rainy) and the DR650 ran like shit
But we got it all sorted out, even the weather (meaning we'll ride whatever mother nature throws at us).




Had to remove the carb and get it back to stock (30 minutes job on the DR: needle and main jet):



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Old 09-22-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
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5 days to explore Colorado: Day1

Our base camp was in at KOA Ouray. Great place to camp or rent a cabin (if your budget allows and available, the de-luxe is super nice) and close to the town. If I would be to do it again, I would stay further South (Silverton)... but staying in Ouray gave us the chance to ride up and down Million Dollar Highway twice a day at least:)

Decided to take it easy in the first day, see how the bikes run and adjust, get warmed up for the tougher rides. Well, the only adjustment was taking off the lead of the air box on the KLX:) Sounds like it is better to do the work at home as much as possible. Went riding:)

Plan for Day 1: Last Dollar Road, Telluride, Alta Lakes, Ophir Pass, Clear Lake and head back to KOA Ouray via Million Dollar Highway.



We got super lucky with the weather. It was nice and sunny. Last Dollar Road was fun to ride, had some ruts from recent rain and we had to drag the bikes under one tree. Once we got close to Telluride, decided to skip seeing the town and keep riding:)

Did a quick detour up to Alta Lakes (really nice area) and we rode around some steeper climbs off the main trail.

We went up on Ophir from West to East. It gets rocky at one point, but other than that it was a nice and probably the most scenic ride. Well going down hill was a different story.
I don't have any pictures but you can watch the video (the blurry/foggy part at minute 1:30): I almost stopped before one of the first switchbacks and my friend passed me. He slows down and the next thing I see... he is down. Still not sure what happened... it wasn't a difficult part. Oh well. It happened. We pick up his bike, ask if he is ok and he says that his ankle might be busted but it's ok... so we keep riding.

Next place we stop is probably 1h later when we get to Mineral. Well, it was NOT ok. He could not put any pressure on his right leg... he'll have to post some pictures of the damage. So we decide to just head back to camp and figure it out how bad it was... Never as planned:) We almost did the entire planned route (minus Clear Lake).

















Dunlop D606 :)








The I was here picture:






Still going strong up hill Ophir (standing on pegs will become a treat 20 minutes later):


Resting at Mineral, the leg did not look good... Well the scenery was amazing. reminded me of our home.


Mop handles make great crutches:)

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Old 09-23-2013, 10:36 AM   #9
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5 days to explore Colorado - Day 1 Damage

Cosmin shared some of his pictures. Not looking good after Day 1. He decided it was not a good idea to see a doctor. Why would you go to see one when most likely they would put you in a cast and send you home... And I agreed with him. Tough it up and keep riding:)

It was in fact a level 2 ligament tear. We found out once he went back home at the end of the trip. So, don't try this unless you are a tough Romanian:)

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Old 09-23-2013, 06:23 PM   #10
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5 days to explore Colorado - another day that won't count.

Despite deciding not to see a doctor and tough it up and continue riding, we did one responsible thing: took a day of rest. Wanted to see how bad the injury was, rest the leg and if it got better we would start again... but he was not allowed to crash again:)

We drove the car over Engineer Pass via Animas Forks down to Lake City and took the highway back (we wanted to go over Cinnamon Pass, but the wife won on this one). This gave us the opportunity to get an idea on if the passes would be doable one legged... and they seemed to be.

The roads got us more excited about the next days and I was hoping, really hoping that the leg would get better:)

We just relaxed and enjoyed the day. Amazing views. Great food in Lake City where we felt out of place just being regular tourists when everybody was on his favorite KTM, DR, KLR, KLX...you name it. Oh yes. There were a few BMW's:)

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Click on the picture to see the original:
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Very familiar set up:) Sorry, I forgot your name. The Dakar rider was from AZ, originally from Norway?, doing the TAT. Hope you had a great ride!
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #11
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5 days to explore Colorado - Day 2

Here is the plan for Day 2:
Take it easy in the beginning. We decided to go over Owl Creek pass and get back to KOA Ouray for lunch. Take Million Dollar Highway and go over Red Mountain Pass, than go up to Clear Lake and get back to the campsite via Million Dollar Highway.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 7.46.44 PM

First set back. We check the air pressure and the front tire on the DR showed 0psi. Impossible:) Second try. Same thing. OK, it's a flat (tough to believe because the tire seemed ok. I am sure Cosmin rode a while with a flat). And the cause, the shop (Chewis on Chicago Avenue - stay away) that changed the tires, left a WD40 red straw as a souvenir inside. Lesson learned: even if you are in a hurry, change your own tires.

It takes two tubes and two Romanians to fix a flat:
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Owl Creek Pass is a really well maintained gravel road. Easy, but fast and with amazing views:
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Once we hopped back on Highway 50 we gave it some gas (as high as 70 mph... according to the GPS. Yeah, it's a 250 and it is slow) and took a short lunch brake at the KOA Ouray.

Continued on Million Dollar Road and took the Red Mountain Pass. While not challenging, it is a MUST do if you are in the area. AMAZING views, a lot of old mines to visit... and if you get lost (yes it possible even with a GPS) you can find some steep and fun dead end roads. We managed to find them:)

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Just wanted to take a pic of the cool XR in the back:
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Taking advantage of 1.4 lens and screwing around:
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And more open wide views:
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Made it to Clear Lake. Another must see if you are in the area. Doable on bigger bikes as well and good switch backs to practice on:
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I wish I had a wide angle lens. I was not able to capture the majestic nature of this place.
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Water is clear:
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Getting late, time to head back:
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Mission accomplished today. Went where we have initially planned. Let's start planning the next day.

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Old 09-25-2013, 11:29 AM   #12
McRuss
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I too am a native of Durango....but I'm having trouble placing two areas: you seem to talk about Red Mountain Pass as being different from the Million $$ Highway. Is that what you are calling the dirt that goes from down near Corkscrew to the top of the pass near where Black Bear takes off? And secondly, Clear Lake. I thought I'd been over all the roads around Ouray, Silverton and Lake City but I don't recall where Clear Lake is in relation to Red Mountain. Edit: OK, had to Google it but now I know. I guess you access it by going up South Mineral Creek. I was up there with my dad in 1955 or so, camping and fishing, but I don't think we went as far as the lake. And never did ride up there, should have I guess.

PS, Cinnamon is the lesser of two evils when it and Engineer are compared. Then there is Stony Pass from Silverton to the Rio Grande Reservoir and back to Lake City via Heart Lakes. Nice loop, try it next time.

PPS, what did you use for a camera? Great photos!
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McRuss View Post
I too am a native of Durango....but I'm having trouble placing two areas: you seem to talk about Red Mountain Pass as being different from the Million $$ Highway. Is that what you are calling the dirt that goes from down near Corkscrew to the top of the pass near where Black Bear takes off? And secondly, Clear Lake. I thought I'd been over all the roads around Ouray, Silverton and Lake City but I don't recall where Clear Lake is in relation to Red Mountain. Edit: OK, had to Google it but now I know. I guess you access it by going up South Mineral Creek. I was up there with my dad in 1955 or so, camping and fishing, but I don't think we went as far as the lake. And never did ride up there, should have I guess.

PS, Cinnamon is the lesser of two evils when it and Engineer are compared. Then there is Stony Pass from Silverton to the Rio Grande Reservoir and back to Lake City via Heart Lakes. Nice loop, try it next time.

PPS, what did you use for a camera? Great photos!
What I was calling Red Mountain Pass pass is more precisely Browns Gulch Trail. You are right, it is next to where Black Bear takes off. See below some maps from the Colorado Trails book with a detailed view of the area.

Thanks for the recommendation. Heard about Stony Pass, but did not get a chance to ride it. We also planned to do Bolam Pass, but never got to it. Another reason to go back:) Again, this whole area is amazing. So much to ride, see... And agreed on Cinnamon.

Thanks again! The pictures are taken with different cameras. My friend had a Nikon DSLR with a telephoto (a lot of the pictures are his). I used a small point a shoot (Sony RX100) and a mirror less camera (Fuji X-E1) with a couple of lenses (kit one at 18-55 and a prime 35/f1.4). I had only room for the point and shoot on the KLX (even the small Fuji, when compared to a DSLR, did not fit in my tank bag). But that's why we had the DR for:)

Cameras on motorcycles... I am sure we can start a whole debate (I guess I am starting my own since nobody asked). It's a tough one. For most of the pictures the little Sony was great. But a telephoto is a must for this type of trip. I would probably get a Sony Nex with a 18-200...

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Old 09-27-2013, 09:11 PM   #14
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5 days to explore Colorado - Day 3

Another great day ahead of us: KOA Ouray to Corkscrew, Hurricane, California, Engineer, Lake City, Cinnamon, Animas, Silverton, Million $ Highway to KOA Ouray

Long day in fact. About 120 miles of fun:)
Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 9.38.40 PM

We didn't find Corkscrew too difficult, however Cosmin's DR died very close to the top. I passed him, slowed down and ...the KLX died as well. I was able to get it running and took off and stopped only close to the top. Looked back, no sign of him. I found a good spot, left the bike running and started walking down. One of the tour jeeps that we passed earlier got close and I asked them if the other rider is ok... "he was down, but he was ok". Whatever that means. is it bad? I start walking down again, I see him riding...he doesn't stop this time and keeps going:) Don't blame him... looks like the close to 13,000 feet doesn't work well with poorly tuned carburetors. The DR stopped and he couldn't keep the weight on his injured leg, so decided to let the bike go. Not sure how he managed to pick it up, but he did... all good:)

During the same time, there was a Colorado 500 event going on. A lot of dirt bikes and one passed me at full speed and got a few rocks into my face. No grudges, maybe just a boost to ride harder and hope that one day I would be able to do the same thing ...with the slight difference that I would be more considerate about slower riders:). Well at the top we took a picture of their group (with one of their bikes laying on the dirt).

Don't have any pictures, but there was one participant that really demanded all the respect. He was close to 80 years old, on an dirt bike...

Continued over Hurricane, California... we only stopped to goof around close to Animas where we took an old rusted car for a ride.

Oh Point brake, pictures at Engineer and quick downhill to Lake City where we had a great lunch and talked bikes with other fellow riders.

Before getting into Lake City, I really liked the canyon area...just rugged mountains right by the river. It could have been somewhere in Afghanistan.

Another stop on top of Cinnamon, one in Animas and hauled back to Ouray.

It felt rushed at some point... I would do Engineer right off the highway and go down Corkscrew to save some time. Well we chose the easier route for the day.

And I we mention that the weather was great again:)

And let's talk gadgets for a minute. I have a GoPro Hero 2 with a remote. The remote kept failing me so the old fashioned way of having a good friend willing to press the button to turn it on/off worked miracles. It became like a ritual. Honk, get close,lower you head, OK, go:) Operating a GoPro Hero is probably one of the few things that can guarantee you can start a fight with your wife (assuming you try to work as a team). I wish they had an one simple on and off switch and maybe an HD/non HD one. That would be all:) Less is more. Please GoPro, listen.

And to add to the GoPro Hero fun of the day. We stopped in a parking lot where two Australians doing a tour on rented Harleys (damn expensive deal) asked for some help with their top of the line GoPro Hero 3. And when two Australians and two Romanians try to fix it, a French guy comes to the rescue. He must have designed the menu, because he pretty much interrupted our out of focus conversation, took the little device and started explaining what went wrong. Had a laugh... maybe more. The Australians were super nice and all I can tell is that the French might have been German.

Made it back and here are some pictures:

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Old 09-29-2013, 11:51 AM   #15
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5 days to explore Colorado - Day 4

Day 4 is a Thursday and we have to be in Chicago by Sunday. Plan is to start heading east and make it to Salida. My wife would drive the empty trailer, find lodging and meet us there.

Route: we'll jump on Engineer right off Million $ Highway (we hear is tough), get to Lake City, continue on part of COBDR (TAT goes the same way but the opposite direction), do Marshall Pass and end up in Salida. About 170 miles.

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 12.44.00 PM

Not a lot of pictures today. But included some in the video (minute 2:37). Going up Engineer was the toughest riding we did this trip. It feels like the rocky and steep doesn't end... I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath. But amazing riding by the edge of a cliff with no room for mistakes. And definitely I had to learn again the importance of having momentum:) You can see it in the video. We stopped to let a group of trucks get some distance so we can pass them, but we stopped right before some steep step that was around the corner... bad timing:)

And we didn't stop for pictures at Engineer since we were there the day before. Kept going.

Going up Engineer, right before Oh! Point:
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I guess we stopped in Capitol City for a few pictures:
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After Lake City, the landscape changes drastically. Farm land and open wide views. While not a technical ride, I enjoyed the fast pace. And we got an ice cream when we got on highway 50.

One thing. COBDR marks a detour for Home Gulch. I could not figure out where the main trail was. I think we took the detour...

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And we reunited in Salida for a great dinner and some local brews:

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And be specific when you let your significant other get lodging:) Ours was great, but a bit way more over budget. It even had a pool table.

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Tomorrow is the last day before we had back to Chicago. It went by super fast.

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