Big bikes + old guys + CO rocky trails = FUN!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by mreimler, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. mreimler

    mreimler Adventure Crasher

    Joined:
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    Here we start another iteration of MN to CO fun. Each year me a few of my buddies take a bike trip. 2006 was Colorado. 2007 was Wyoming. 2008 was back to Colorado on small bikes. 2009 was another Colorado trip. 2010 was a Colorado/Moab excursion but I was too lazy for a ride report. 2011 we went to Norway. And 2012 saw us ride the Alps.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    For 2013 the plan was to load 6 bikes into a buddy’s 44’ goose neck trailer and drive straight out to Colorado Springs. There we would park the rig and ride for 5 or 6 days in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Soooo Saturday morning 3 of us leave from my house for a 20 minute ride to the trailer.<o:p></o:p>
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    Tom, me, Roy. Roy's bike brand new (for now).


    We ride for about 5 minutes before I get a bad vibration in the front end. After 1 10 minute inspection we find one of the front caliper bolts missing and the other one held by 4 threads. Guess I should have checked them after I changed tires the night before. Violation of Rule #1. Never mess with your bike 3 days before you leave on a trip.

    We get to the trailer and the "other" Tom was a KTM bolt assortment like a KTM store so we easily find the exact bolt needed for my caliper. We get the bikes loaded and all is right with the world.
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    Tom shows how to travel long distance.

    We roll into Colorado Springs, park the rig, unload the bikes and head to Fairplay to have a bite of Lunch at the Brown Burro.

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    Even the boring roads are fun in Colorado!

    Now some quick introductions.
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    JD. Easiest traveling guy in the world. Always happy. Riding a KTM 450 for this trip..

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    Roy (doing his best "How YOU doin'?"). He's a doctor and that comes in really handy later. Riding his brand new BMW800GS

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    Tom U. He owns the trailer and he appears to be foreshadowing coming events. Riding a mostly new KTM990 Adventure

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    Tom S. Smiling because at this moment he doesn't know what's actually going on inside his KTM950 Adventure engine

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    Big Al! Pretty much a motorcycling legend in MN. Name a racer from the 50's-80's and they know Al. Oh and by the way, Al is 73 years old.

    After lunch we meet these guys outside the BB. They ask where we are headed and I tell them we are riding over Mosquito to Leadville. They look us over and suggest that "Mosquito is pretty rocky". We had an alternate to ride Weston so our little group breaks into 2 groups. Roy, Al and the 2 Toms head over Weston.
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    While JD and I tackle Mosquito.
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    Always have to stop and photo up at the greatest named road in the world!

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    A quick stop for a drink half way up.

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    There's always somebody around to take a picture!

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    JD on the way down into Leadville.

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    Scary Santa outside our room at the hotel in Leadville. WTF?!

    Day one ended with a fine steak at Quincy's.
    #1
  2. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    What a great start. So was it rocky?
    #2
  3. mreimler

    mreimler Adventure Crasher

    Joined:
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    DAY 2

    In the morning, Tom S. informed us that his rear brake has not been working since we got to Colorado. A quick trip to the Auto Parts store for brake fluid and a parking lot brake bleed fest got him going again.
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    Then it was a Hi-way blast down to Gunnison for lunch.
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    Lunch at the W


    Then it was back onto the Hi-way to Lake City.
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    JD had to twist his wrist pretty hard to keep up on the 450.

    After gassing up in Lake City, it was on to the dirt over Engineer Pass
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    It started to rain so the "road" got a pretty sloppy.
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    Then I must have hit some button on my phone and turned my pictures into sepia tone mode. I never said technology was my forte.
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    Here comes Al. Did I mention Al is 73?

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    Roy finally getting his bike dirty.

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    Tom still does not know about the evil lurking below in his engine.

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    JD is thinking "Man my butt hurts!"

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    And last but not least, Tom U.

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    View from the top.

    The boys on the way down.
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    The whole gang at the new over look outside Ouray. (L-R) Tom S., Tom U., Me, Roy, AL, JD

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    Here we are telling Al that he's a bad ass for taking a 990 Adventure over Engineer at 73 years old. I aspire to be riding like Al when I'm 73!
    #3
  4. mreimler

    mreimler Adventure Crasher

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    Not too bad. But a little bit of a workout on the 990.
    #4
  5. mreimler

    mreimler Adventure Crasher

    Joined:
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    DAY 3

    After a great sleep in the Hotel in Ouray, we started to pack up for the ride to Durango on the Million Dollar Hiway.
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    Good grief Roy, put some pants on!

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    Tom is still in the dark at this point.

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    Just about ready to leave. When Tom finds no oil pressure when his bike starts. We fiddle around a bit but quickly come to the realization that his water pump seal went south, collapsed the oil filter and blocked oil flow.

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    Here's how guys make decisions. Crossed arms standing around looking at the bike. Roy and Tom head for Montrose to rent a truck to get Tom's bike back to Co Springs.

    No sense in the rest of us to not have fun. We load up and head for Durango. I really starts to rain about 10 miles south of Ouray and by the time we get to Silverton, we're wet and cold. Best thing to do in a situation like this is to stop for dessert and hot tea.
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    We head back to Ouray just in time to meet Tom and Roy coming back with the rescue vehicle.
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    We get Tom's bike strapped in and make plans for day 4. Roy decides he and Tom should drive to Gunnison and fish while the rest of us ride and have fun. We then strap JD's 450 into the truck and he will ride Roy's GS the next day. Adapt, overcome and innovate. That's the "A" in adventure.

    Tom U. and I figure it's still light out so we take a quick ride around Ouray.
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    Lots of mines all over. This one looks to have been closed for a while. We head back to Ouray and have dinner, drink and talk about the next day.
    #5
  6. Hoot Gibson

    Hoot Gibson Banned

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    I'm In!:wink:
    #6
  7. mreimler

    mreimler Adventure Crasher

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    Location:
    Shakopee, MN
    DAY 4

    Tom and Roy head for Gunnison to catch poor little fishies.
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    Way too sexy!

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    Roy even caught a fish.

    Tom U, Al, JD and I head for Silverton then up to Anamas to check out the ghost town.
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    Looks like the buildings are getting a refresh.

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    Site of the old mine processing building

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    Heading out of Animas

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    Not sure what this was but it was big.

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    Tom U. Leading the way.

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    Follow that biker!

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    Every turn is a new post card.

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    Coming down the back side.

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    Looking good Tom!

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    My favorite picture of the trip!

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    JD is riding Roy's bike and doesn't want to get it dirty.

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    Tom doesn't care.

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    A quick snack stop.

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    That's a bit of a drop off.

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    Time for pictures.

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    Even when it's over cast, it's pretty up here!

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    Nothing to see here. Move along.

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    This is close to the middle of no-where.

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    The terrain is so varied out here.

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    Mountains to covered forest in a few miles.

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    Nothing but a nice and easy ride. No problems until......

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    No worries. Just a low speed crash. I jump right up (after a few seconds of sleep) and figure I'm good to go. Then I realize I can't breath and my chest hurts like crazy. Sadly, it's time to "make the call" and Tom dials up 911.

    This seems like a lot of trouble for a simple "tip over.
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    I can't breath, I gashed open my leg but my bike is fine with just a broken turn signal. The awesome Pitkin Quick Response Team takes fantastic care of me. Thanks guys!

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    Levi even rides my bike down into town for an easy pick-up later on.

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    Here's the "after" on my leg. The before was pretty nasty looking. The pants I was wearing didn't even tear. Good gear is not expensive. It's PRICELESS!

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    Thumbs up for my 1st overnight in a hospital. Not bad for 53 years of living.

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    Soooo...I cracked some ribs in the crash, punctured my lung and filled my chest with air. That's why I couldn't breath. I did get this sweet chest tube to remove the air in my chest. The guys kept telling me that scars are tattoos with stories!

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    Yummmm! Some of the best biscuits and gravy I've every had was right there in the Gunnison hospital.

    The crash was on Wednesday and Thursday they discharge me ( because I'm traveling with my personal phyisician). It's good to travel with a doctor, thanks Roy. The other guys head for Colorado Springs on the bikes, with JD riding mine. Tom and I follow in the rescue truck after a stop to pick up meds for me.
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    You'd think this was the end of the adventure but you'd be wrong. The other guys got stopped just outside of Colorado Springs because the rain had washed out the road. They ended up in a nasty little hotel with no dry clothes. They had put all their luggage in the rescue truck to save time. Sorry guys.

    We all finally get into Colorado Springs, load the bikes and head for home. You'd think the adventure would be over but you'd be wrong. Along the way home, the awning on the trailer lets loose and starts flapping on the roof and other side of the trailer. Only one thing to do in a situation like that.

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    Stop on the freeway and cut the awning off. My job was to take pictures since I'm injured. We get the awning cut off and stored away and get back on the freeway. You'd think the adventure was over but your be wrong.

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    The truck dies on us! We have to call a wrecker to tow us into Lexington Nebraska.

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    Tom U. getting the news that it will cost $3600 to fix his truck. He may have been in shock. The dealer ship was actually pretty good. They gave us a loaner car to drive for the day and even offered to sell Tom another truck for $40,000 plus his truck as a trade. He passed.

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    Our new ride home. Tom S's bike was broken. I couldn't ride. JD wasn't going to ride a 450 home so we rented a car to get home. Roy had to ride in the car as he was acting as my personal physician. Tom U. and AL rode their bikes home. Have I mentioned that AL is 73???

    We got home Early Sunday morning and all was right with the world. Now, the adventure was over.
    #7
  8. XRayTom

    XRayTom Midlife XRisis

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    :clapNice recap Mark! This trip really reminded me why I ride with you guys....even when shit goes wrong it's still a hell of a lot of fun!

    Tom S.
    #8
  9. vink

    vink Adventurer

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    Seattle WA
    What a great adventure. and a punctured lung to to boot. Thanks for the pic's. I relocated from CO to WA and miss those mountain adventures.
    Vink
    #9
  10. dickosaurus

    dickosaurus Seasoned Noob

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    About all that didn't happen to ya'll was a miscarriage:lol3 . Helluva ride and a helluva ride report, Gentlemen. Hey it's pretty hard to not keep going back to Colorado isn't it? Hope the injuries heal quickly and the broken KTM isn't too expensive to fix. Thanks for posting this though I hurt through some of it and cringed through some.
    Oh yeah- we got to test the food in the Gunnison Hospital in '08-best hospital food I've ever eaten. Damn fine ortho surgeon too.
    #10
  11. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Jeepers, what a tale! :eek1

    I rode a 950A for about 50k miles. All over the continent many times. I put two water pumps in it as a pre-emptive measure. I also boiled my rear brake fluid a few times and had to do the Walmart parking lot flush. I had the clutch slave fail on me too, but I was never stranded with that bike. I finally sold it, though. I was starting to do a lot of solo traveling and it was too heavy for me to pick up out of the mud. Your tipover reminded me of the risks associated with a 500 lb. motorcycle. Today I have a Yamaha WR250R that I rode the CDR with and keep in AZ. It was so much better than muscling the 950. I bought a KTM 690 too, since it weighs about the same as the Yamaha.

    I miss the 950 a little, though. It was so nice on the highway.

    Thanks for the RR. I enjoyed it very much. You fellows are sure unflappable. I admire your spirit and persistence to enjoy your trip no matter what.

    I need to find a Doc for a riding buddy. :freaky
    #11
  12. TUmphress

    TUmphress n00b

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    Nice write up Mark!

    It was a pleasure riding with everyone on the trip, I had a blast. Great group of guys to go riding with!

    Every misadventure came with a good dose of good luck as well. Bike breaking down at the hotel instead of up on top of Engineer Pass, crashing within four miles of a response crew (and actually having cell coverage) and a motel within a couple blocks distance of the road closure.

    Great guys, great ride, great adventure!
    #12
  13. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Damn! You guys ever coming back here? :rofl
    #13
  14. mreimler

    mreimler Adventure Crasher

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    Hell yes! This was an adventure.
    #14
  15. InDenial

    InDenial Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    Thanks for the link Mark. The pics are beautiful and the country a little rugged. Glad you made it home safe.
    #15
  16. Phoenix101

    Phoenix101 Been here awhile

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    planning a trip similar routes with the wife on F650s in 2014... and I am showing her pictures of you guys saying "see they are old farts, you can do this!" and "they are on bigger bikes than we will be on, what could happen" and I turn her loose reading the ride report.. she then starting pointing out ALL OF THE THINGS that can go wrong... :eek1 I'm thinking "I am screwed as she hated this super deep sandy section in Canyonlands a few years ago and don't EVEN ask her about the road around Monument Valley" so she gives me the look :huh and says "I guess I am in" Dang I love her!!!!:clap
    #16
  17. TheRoss

    TheRoss Been here awhile

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    Nice write up! That was one serious adventure!
    #17
  18. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR almost retired

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    If it's not one thing it's another. That story even had my wife laughing. Good thing you guys have the right attitude about it all. Great ride with friends makes all the problems seem unimportant, well except for not being able to breathe, that's kind of important. Thanks for the ride along.
    #18
  19. redog1

    redog1 KLR650-2009

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    I never get tired of seeing pics of Colorado. :clap
    #19