Taylor Park, CO - Single track and slab - Opposites attract

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Pr0xy, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    341
    Location:
    Springtown, TX
    Last year, some of us Region I folks (from KTMtalk) headed north to Colorado to experience some of the best single track in the country. That was the first time for many of us, and it struck a chord when we saw the spectacular single track we’d been dreaming of riding. That report is here: http://ktmtalk.com/index.php?showtopic=305728

    After that trip, we decided to do it again this year, making it an annual ride.

    Last year, we stayed at a house in Crested Butte, which was nice, but I wanted to try to camp at Taylor Park this year and we ended up landing a cabin at Holt’s Guest Ranch… about 2 miles east of the Taylor Park Trading Post.


    As the trip approached, however, things started popping up for some that planned on going. Our large group was split up into 2 groups due to scheduling conflicts, so a few of us stuck to the original dates while others went the week before. No big deal… it just meant less opportunity for talking smack around the fire. :freaky :amazon

    But then, more stuff started popping up. With some very unfortunate family emergencies, our crew of 5 quickly dwindled into only 3. In my limited experience, this is about as few as I’d feel comfortable riding with up there, so fortunately we had at least that many.
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    It would be myself, Byron (iphorde), and Cody (CodyY). We&#8217;d roll out on Tuesday night after I left work, drive all night, and arrive at Taylor Park some time mid-morning the next day.
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    9/18 - Let's Bounce

    Cody and I meet up at Byron&#8217;s place in Frisco to load the bikes and hit the road. There was nothing particularly noteworthy about this part of the trip, except our obvious anticipation of what was to tome. For the most part, the trip was uneventful, save for a close call with a thunderstorm near Childress, TX. We saw lightning up ahead and checked the radar on our cell phones. The storm was going to pass right over us if we kept going.
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    We made the decision to stop at Wal Mart in Vernon, TX to get a few big plastic tubs to put our stuff in. By the time we did all that, the storm had already passed the road ahead of us. All we got was a lot of wind and a few sprinkles. No complaints.
    <o:p></o:p>
    After driving all night, we stopped at Lu&#8217;s Café in Blanca just west of Fort Garland. AWESOME waffles.
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    Blanca Peak: <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG] </o:p>
    Lu&#8217;s Café:<o:p></o:p>
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    From there, we headed north. Byron tried to outsmart the GPS and head towards Great Sand Dunes national park, but after getting up there, we realized there was nothing but a gnarly jeep road going north from there. Fortunately, we didn&#8217;t have to backtrack as there is a road going west from there, where we continued heading north to Poncha Springs and Buena Vista.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Once in Buena Vista, we passed the Yamaha shop by about 5 miles, then went back to it to order tires and brake pads. We&#8217;d ride in one evening during the week and get new tires put on Byron&#8217;s bikes.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Out of Buena Vista, we headed west over Cottonwood Pass into Taylor Park. I think we arrived at the cabin around 1:30pm.
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    As tired as we were, we decided to rejet the bikes for altitude, then take a short nap and go out for dinner. <o:p></o:p>
    While we were working on the bikes, a guy named Brian walks over (goes by Xplor on Advrider.com) and we started talking bikes and trails to ride in the area. He pointed out a few places we should check out and gave us an idea of the difficulty and type of terrain of the various trails. Very helpful, he was. Yoda, I am not.
    <o:p></o:p>
    After getting the bikes jetted, it was nap time. We woke up feeling probably worse than we did before the nap, but oh well. Off to dinner at the Nugget Cafe.
    <o:p></o:p>
    After dinner, we came back to the cabin to plan the route for Wednesday. Byron hit the sack and Cody and I planned out a 40 or so mile loop down Doctor Park and back. How&#8217;d that work out for us? Find out tomorrow&#8230;
    :deal
    #1
  2. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Springtown, TX
    8/19 &#8211; Doctor Park&#8230; not to be confused with Dr. Pepper, Dr. Quinn, or Dr. No.

    Wednesday, we woke up and prepared ourselves for a long ride down Doctor Park and the trailhead itself was a good 10 miles or so from our location. We could blitz up Taylor park road, but that wouldn&#8217;t be any fun. :rolleyes

    Instead, we found some more primitive roads and trails on the map that would lead us to Doctor Park. This is what I mean by primitive road:

    [​IMG]

    That was Texas Creek road, which then led us to Taylor park road, for the final mile or 2 of road before the trail.

    After much anticipation, the ride had officially begun. :clap

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    Shortly after getting on the trail, we noticed a split, but it wasn&#8217;t clearly marked (at least not for us). There was a trail going along the creek that I thought was on the map. Turns out it wasn&#8217;t, but it was fun anyway.

    Here&#8217;s Byron on a nice off-camber:

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    Me posing at the top where the trails meets 742. At this point, we were lost, we just didn&#8217;t know it yet: :huh

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    The trail was supposed to follow the road a mile or so up, then split off again. Well, we drove about 5 miles and decided to consult the map again. After scratching our heads, we rode back slowly and tried to spot any signs of a trail off to the side of the road. We ended up riding all the way back to our previous location before we figured out what happened.

    Remember that split earlier? We should&#8217;ve taken it. 5 minutes later, after figuring out we weren&#8217;t where we thought we were, we headed back to the split to take the CORRECT route.

    The next section of trail was a lot of nice flowing switchbacks and hill climbs, met at the top with some fast and fun forest sections.

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    A couple of hot mountain women on bikes were between myself and Cody as he went up about a minute ahead of myself and Byron. Well, they caught up to Cody just as he was resting near the top of the climb. No, we aren&#8217;t that slow, they were just INSANELY fast! I&#8217;m not sure how you Colorado peeps do that stuff, but I wouldn&#8217;t want to date one of your women, there&#8217;s no way I could keep them satisfied! :evil

    Anywho, somewhere along the way, we went up a hill that must&#8217;ve been about 57 fairly technical switchbacks. We actually saw a group of orange bikes at the bottom of the hill, but they went the other way and followed a road.

    There was LOTS of clutching on my 2st and Byron&#8217;s 530 began overheating. I know I know, &#8220;ride faster!&#8221;

    In fact, I had to stop once because my goggles fell off and I was immediately greeted with a mouthful of radiator steam. &#8220;HOLY CRAP&#8221; I thought... if my wittle 250 is doing this, I bet Byron&#8217;s new 530 is hating life back there.

    So, I pull over, take some gear off and catch some air and wait for Byron. I didn&#8217;t hear him for a few minutes and began to worry. Just as I was about to head back though, I heard the 530 in the distance. Awesome, he&#8217;s doing alright. He stopped a few yards back from where my bike was and it was obvious by the steam that his bike was a little on the toasty side. At least, I was pretty sure he didn&#8217;t bring a fog machine on the trail. I told him to go on ahead since the trail was flatter and straighter &#8220;up there&#8221; and to get some air moving over those radiators. Apparently, his radiator fan was not kicking on.

    I took my time getting my stuff back together and met Cody and Byron at the next intersection. Here, we all took a little breather.

    [​IMG]

    More spectacular single track lay ahead&#8230;

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    :pynd
    #2
  3. dirtrider

    dirtrider Dusty Adventurer

    Joined:
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    3,340
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    Great so far.:deal
    #3
  4. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
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    Springtown, TX
    8/19 - Doctor Park (cont.)

    Ok, so where were we?

    Ahhh yes, Westley didn't reach his destination. His ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never left captives alive. When Buttercup got the news that Westley was murdered...

    Wait, wrong story, my bad. :rofl

    Ok, so there we were on Doctor Park trail and things were getting GOOD. :evil

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    We rode through a nice woods section or 10 and came out on a VERY nice downhill single track section.

    Here's Byron coming down.

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    Photo op. Byron (left) and myself (right):

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    CodyY:

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    The view ahead, pure bliss:

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    Ater coming down a ways, we hit a nice left turn off camber downhill

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    ..another fairly technical downhill...

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    Byron getting ready to take a breather:

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    We sat here for a minute to have some grub and discuss how far we'd gone versus our stamina, fuel, and water situation. All was good... except Byron was out of water. Not good. :huh

    I had a spare powerade to... spare, so I passed it to him and we made the decision to take one of a few outs coming up. We'd already put in about 25 miles of trail, so putting another 5-10 and heading back would be doable. We decided to cut out at road 550, which would take us to Spring Creek road, and follow that to Taylor Park Road and back to camp. It would be a long haul back, but fairly simple once we were off the trail.

    It was tough to not take this trail on forever though...

    [​IMG]

    Byron and myself coming down 550:

    [​IMG]

    So there we were, blasting along, looking at the scenery and we get to Spring Creek. "Cool, another crossing" I think to myself. Then, I started across. As I was going across the river, my bike sounded less like a 2st bike and more like a jet ski, until finally, it stalled. SH$*%!!
    :becca

    I kicked it a few times, but quickly realized my energy would be better spent just pushing it the 5-6ft to the other side... so that's what I did.

    [​IMG]

    BTW, this is one of many cool (and stoopid) things I caught on the helmet cam. I'll put all that footage together later. For now, you're just gonna have to read and look at pics :deal

    Fortunately, it only took 2 kicks to get it started on dry land. That made me feel better, knowing it wasn't water logged.

    With that over with, we hit the road back to camp...

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    About 1 mile from camp, I had to switch my bike to reserve, so it's probably a good thing we didn't keep going on Doctor Park trail. Turns out I have about a 60 mile range on a full tank (plus another 20 or so on reserve). Not bad, but it might be time for an aftermarket tank.

    We got back to the cabin pretty well spent at about 3pm, but then an excellent point was brought up. We still needed to get those dunlop 606's that Byron ordered put on the 530 and 690. The only problem is that the tires were at Mountain Tech Motorsports... in Buena Vista... 36 miles away ...over Cottonwood Pass. Hmmmm, should we take the truck or RIDE?

    :ear
    #4
  5. The Toecutter

    The Toecutter Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Stone Canyon, CO
    Sweet great pics, looks like you had great weather.
    #5
  6. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    341
    Location:
    Springtown, TX
    8/19 - Is it over yet? Time for some slab.

    So there we were, back at the cabin, and tired, and Byron needed to get the new tires mounted on the 530 and 690.

    Should we take the truck or ride? My mind was made up, I wanted to ride, but I didn't want my enthusiasm to ride to influence anyone else's decision if they were too tired. However, it didn't take long to reach an agreement that riding the 36 miles into Buena Vista would be worthwhile.

    As far as we knew (haha, there we go thinking we know stuff again), the shop closed at 6pm and it was a little after 3pm. If we were gonna go, we needed to go NOW so they'd have time before closing to change the tires.

    We suit back up. Byron lends me the 530 for the road (my 250 lives in the woods, not so great blasting on the street), he hops on his 690, and Cody is on his 525.

    We blasted up Cottonwood Pass road like it was the Pikes Peak race. Well, maybe not that fast, but it was fun nonetheless. At least we knew we'd made better time on the bikes.

    Our stomachs were craving dinner, but first thing's first, we need to get to the shop. Being that we were in a bit of a rush, we didn't stop much to take pics... this time.

    Rolling in to Buena Vista, or as the locals call it, "BV":

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    Byron:
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    Me:
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    Cody:
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    We head straight to the shop from there, which is a few miles south of town. It's about 5:20 pm when we roll in and there's not a soul in sight. We ride up to the front door and... CRAP! They closed at 5:00pm.

    :baldy

    Well, we still have one more thing to do while we're here... EAT.

    While we were refueling earlier at the Trading Post in TP, an older couple told us about Quincy's, where they only have one thing on the menu. Today, it was Filet Mignon. I wasn't really in the mood to spend lots of money on a steak dinner, but we'll get to that later.

    For now, I'll say that the steak was FANTASTIC. You get a choice of 6, 9, 12, or 15 oz steak with your choice of potato and roll.

    The waitress then offered dessert. Well, we'd already spent the money for steaks, why not.

    Cody and Byron got the homemade chocolate mousse pie and I opted for the cheesecake. Cody and Byron swear the mousse was about the best they'd ever had, and the cheesecake didn't disappoint either.

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    Then, we got the bill... cringe. Byron turns it over and...

    Only $55 for 3 steak meals, 3 desserts and a few beers! WOW. This place gets my vote. If you're ever in Buena Vista and want a good cheap steak, GO HERE.

    Our bikes parked across the street:

    [​IMG]

    After dinner, Byron decided to show us a bit of the Fourmile area, which he insisted had some of his favorite trails.

    I've never been to Moab, but this place reminded me of it. Not quite as rocky, but MANY very cool rock outcroppings. If you're ever been to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, it's like that, except you can ride here. Very cool scenery and lots of desert-type riding in sand washes.

    I don't have any pics of this excursion, but don't worry, we had to come back this direction anyway tomorrow to catch the shop when they are open.

    As it was, we burned way too much daylight, Cody was beat, and we needed to head back. We set a course for home and watched the sun hide behind the mountains a little sooner than we were ready to see it go.

    CottonWood Pass in the dark with mediocre lighting? This was going to be fun. :yikes

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    Cody:

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    The top of Cottonwood Pass at dusk. Can't see a friggin' thing:

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    Just as we reached the other side and are almost back, we enjoy the view of the stars and the overwhelming view of the Milky Way. That is, until Cody decides that a flash photo is a good idea:

    :asshat

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    After the momentary blindness wore off, we made it the remaining few miles back to the cabin... completely exhausted, and a little disappointed we rode 85 miles of road and didn't get any tires swapped, but that's ok... there's always tomorrow.
    #6
  7. iphorde

    iphorde Obviously I'm bored.

    Joined:
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    N. Texas
    I swear that road is there.. We just didn't go far enough. :)

    #7
  8. Mr. Disaster

    Mr. Disaster Professional Gypsy

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    I-Away, USA
    Great Pics! One of these days I'll get to do that.
    #8
  9. fastfroggy

    fastfroggy Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    great photos and report. what mount are you using for that garmin 60 cxs GPS unit?
    #9
  10. CodyY

    CodyY ADVenture Capitalist

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    It's mine. RAM with a zip tie loop as extra insurance.
    #10
  11. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
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    Springtown, TX
    8/20 - Let's try this again

    This morning, we were awakened by a loud knock at the door.

    Apparently, the bikes were parked in front of some dude's truck in the cabin next to ours and he couldn't get out.

    Meh, I'm tired, I'll let Cody get it. Thanks Cody! :laugh:

    A few minutes later, there is movement in the cabin.

    Byron:
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    Me charging batteries:
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    Cody doing whatever it is that he does:
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    The plan today was to ride BACK to BV to get those tires put on Byron's bikes, then check out more of the Fourmile area.

    But first, let's eat.

    We went to the Nugget for breakfast in Taylor Park. Omelet, waffle, fruit, and yogurt buffet for $8? Yes please.

    You gather up all the ingredients you want for your omelet and give 'em to this European guy who can't speak much English, but makes a killer omelet. The waffles were like none I'd ever seen before, but I gotta say, I'm a fan:

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    We have a few rounds of waffles, gas up, then hit the road. I'm kind of new to this 100 miles of road riding thing, but it's growing on me. The curves keep it interesting.

    It was a little after noon when we arrived at Mountain Tech Yamaha/Beta... again. This time they were open.

    We stashed our gear in the shop and BS'd with those guys for a while as they were working on the bikes. Shawn (or is it Sean?) offered us some drinks to get rid of the cotton mouth you get while riding on the road, and we chatted with a few customers who came and went while we were there.

    After the tires were on, and Byron told me not to "break in the new 606's too much", we headed into BV for a late lunch/early dinner. Today, it would be The Lariat. Home of... food.

    http://www.lariatbar.com/

    Before we got there though, Cody noticed a bit of a problem with his bike. The plug at the bottom of the radiator wasn't holding. He needed some hoes, I mean hose, and fast. We parked our bikes at the Lariat and he ran over to an auto parts store about 3 minutes before closing to pick up some rubbers, I mean hose.

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    We stuffed our gullets once more, this time with some tasty burgers.

    Cody made a quick repair of his radiator, and was able to borrow a pitcher of water from the restaurant to refill it:

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    Then, it was on to Fourmile...

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    Quite a contrast from the alpine forests just a few miles away.

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    Me and Byron. He kinda has that confused dog look eh?

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    Cody:

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    Cody's radiator plug. It worked... for a while.

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    The view looking west. Buena Vista is just over those hills in the foreground.

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    I normally wouldn't post such self-incriminating stuff, but When you gotta go...

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    I rode Byron's 690 Enduro R through most of Fourmile. That is an AWESOME bike. It's definitely at home on the street and in the dirt. I never once wished it had more or less power. When I needed it, it was there and ready to rock & roll. When I wanted less, it responded as if to say "Ok, I'll back off a bit".

    We looked at the sun (well, not literally), and realized it would only be an hour or so before it would once again be hiding behind the mountains. The decision was made to try to beat dusk this time. If we were lucky, we'd catch the sunset before rolling back into camp on the other side of the mountains.

    [​IMG]

    After fueling up for the ride back, Cody's radiator experienced another... anomaly. Those little plugs didn't quite do the trick but he was able to fix it with a section of hose plugged with a bolt and held on with a hose clamp. True Mc. Guyver style, and it worked.

    It was a race against time... oh, and deer:

    [​IMG]

    130 miles? I think someone got happy with a few decals.

    From there, we blitz'd and didn't stop again until reaching the top of the pass. The whole way up, I'd glance to my left and right, seeing if the sun was still shining on the peaks. If it was, we just might catch the sunset.

    It twist the throttle a little more. Those new Dunlops are gripping the turns like rails and the bike becomes one with the road.

    Soon, we were at the top where we were greeted with a spectacular sunset. I do believe I got chills.

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    Me:

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    These guys were at the top, waiting for the stars with a very nice scope. I believe they were from Kansas... where it is less hilly.

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    Photo op:

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    The sun bids us farewell:

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    The road ahead:

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    The ride back wasn't quite as dark this time, although still plenty dark in the woody areas.

    Dusk is a weird time because you can't quite make out the contract of your light with the road, so the vision is almost worse than at night.

    Having been on this road in the truck and on the bike, one thing I'll always remember about riding these roads on a bike is the sheer sensory overload. The smell of the aspen, the pines, and the firs, and the temperature changes are just things you don't appreciate when you're confined to a 4-wheeled cage.

    Well, all this road riding was very cool as was the Fourmile area, but I'm looking forward to some more single track on our last day in Colorado.

    Ealier in the week, I exchanged e-mails and contact info with Dave (no2tracks on KTMtalk) and Jamie (man-machine on KTMtalk) regarding meeting up somewhere for a ride one day, but hadn't had a chance to touch base with either since arriving. Dave left me a message that night saying that him and Dozer (Tom) were at Spring Creek. "Kickstands up at 9:30" Dave said. I knew there was no reception where Dave was camped, but returned a voice mail anyway.

    That's ok, we knew what to do. We'd load the trailer in the morning and head to Spring Creek, hopefully getting there in time to hook up with Tom and Dave for a spectacular last day.

    ...and spectacular it was, in more ways than we'd intended.

    :eek1:uhoh
    #11
  12. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious GO SHOCKS!

    Joined:
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    Great trip report! I guess I like it so much because it's an outing I could actually do as well, rather than just dream about.

    I spent a week camping in CO the first week of this month. For three days we stayed at a campground that you guys passed several times on your trip- a USFS campground called Collegiate Peaks, just on the other side of Cottonwood Pass from TP. Beautiful campground and area to explore, but I'm not much of a fan of BV or the hyper-busy Arkansas River Valley.

    BTW all of the dates listed in this thread are showing September (9), instead of August (8), which I presume is what you meant.
    #12
  13. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
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    341
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    Springtown, TX
    Thanks, I just caught that before I read your post. Now I just have to correct them all on 2 other forums :type
    #13
  14. iphorde

    iphorde Obviously I'm bored.

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
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    773
    Location:
    N. Texas
    We did not know our location nor did we know what time it was. I believe it was Jason at one point had to hold his hand out and count how fingers above the horizon the sun was... :)

    Cody's watch would tell us our altitude though. :norton


    #14
  15. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
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    15 minutes per finger :lol3
    #15
  16. jwduffin

    jwduffin n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
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    2
    Location:
    Burleson, TX
    Excellent report! I wish I had made plans to go with you guys. I'm in next year!
    #16
  17. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    341
    Location:
    Springtown, TX
    8/22 – Do you know what time it is? It’s business time.

    Ok class, there’s a lot to cover in this lesson, so let’s get started…
    7:00am. The alarms go off and we slugs ooze out of bed and get ourselves ready to go.

    The tentative plan is to hit the Rosebud/Reno Ridge/Deadman Gulch loop today. We’ll trailer up to pring Creek Reservoir and hopefully meet up with Tom and Dave by 9:30am.

    It takes a good hour or so to get to Spring Creek from our location, so time is of the essence.

    We retrieve the trailer from the trailer parking area and get the bikes loaded.

    We then head down the road to the Trading Post, gas up, get water, and a light breakfast. I’d forgotten all about the magical Potassium sticks known as bananas this trip, so the search was on for something, anything, that would keep us energized and muscles relaxed. Aha… OJ. 420g of Potassium per serving. That’ll have to do.

    After downing some carbs, we are on the road to Spring Creek. 45 minutes or so later, we arrive, and it’s about 9:45. Uh oh. I look around, but I have no idea what vehicles to look for and it looks like anyone with a vehicle has already hit the road. Oh well, we go park near the north end, where I remember Dozer was camped last year.

    [​IMG]

    We get all suited up and whatdy’a know… no2tracks (Dave) pulls up. KEWL.
    Dave and I go over what our plans were, and he tells us they were planning on going over to Block & Tackle. I wasn’t quite sure we were ready for that as it seemed too far away from where we were.

    Dave and I:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Dave then heads back to meet up with Tom and they both come back. We decided to all go do the Rosebud loop, then Dave and Tom will split off at that point. We’ll take Flag Creek to Bear Creek to Rosebud.

    Then… Cody gets a funny feeling. Apparently, a bug of considerable size was under the 2 layers of his jersey and pressure suit and he couldn’t get it out. We mostly stared and laughed as he did some kind of dance to try to convince the bug to leave.

    [​IMG]

    It finally worked, and it was revealed that it was the same bug we’d seen in our cabin the night before.

    Being a KTM colored bug, its life was spared… this time.
    With that, let’s hit it!

    [​IMG]

    Working with the gate on Bear Creek:

    [​IMG]

    Bear Creek is a really fun trail. Semi-technical with a good bit of fast singletrack mixed in. We got to the intersection of Deadman Gulch and Bear Creek to take a few pics, and Dave pointed out that my silencer was loose and rattling. Great. Apparently I’d lost a bolt and the one that was left was fairly stripped as well. We wrapped about 5 layers of safety wire around it and it held… kind of.

    Cody posering:

    [​IMG]

    Me posering at the start of Deadman Gulch:

    [​IMG]

    At some point between Deadman Gulch and Rosebud (on Bear Creek), my friggin’ silencer decides to fall off completely. I’d lost 1 bolt earlier and now, apparently the other one let go as well. It sounded cool for about 3 seconds, and then I pulled over. I was more or less riding sweep at this point, so everyone was ahead of us. Ugh.

    I got out the safety wire and went to town. A few minutes later, all was well again and we met up with the rest of the guys at the start of Rosebud.

    L to R – Tom, Byron, Dave, Cody:

    [​IMG]

    Rosebud is now one of my favorite trails. It isn’t like the normally smooth singletrack you find along the contour of the mountains. Instead, it’s very rocky open singletrack that can be challenging if you’re not used to letting the bike do the work in loose stuff.

    Tom took the lead. Cody and I followed suit, blazing up Rosebud most of the way. We were going at a very good clip, and neck and neck, when Cody suddenly slows down. “I think I have a flat he says”, but I couldn’t tell. He starts going again and the trials tire is flopping all over the place. I honk to get him to stop and confirm that he definitely had a flat. (I told you it was rocky).

    He says he has a tube and Byron (behind us) has the tools. I make the decision to go up ahead and tell Tom what the deal is. There’s a spot of shade several yards back that they use to work on the tube situation.

    At the top of Rosebud, Tom and I take the opportunity to rest for a while in the shade.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, 2 miles back…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That’s about the biggest hole I’ve ever seen in a tube.

    About 20 minutes later, the rest of the crew comes rolling in.

    Cody:
    [​IMG]

    Dave:
    [​IMG]

    Byron:
    [​IMG]

    Once we’re all back together, we see a few Missouri boys coming down Reno Ridge from the south, apparently buddies of Steve Leivan, 16 time Missouri Hare Scrambles Champion. Cool.

    We chat for a bit and they continue on Reno Ridge to the north.
    We discussed following our original route up Reno Ridge to hook up with Deadman Gulch, but Byron says he’s feeling good and the opportunity arises for us to continue down Reno Ridge to have lunch in Almont. Tom asks which way we want to go and Byron says “Whichever way there’s food! I’m feeling good!” With that, we head down Reno Ridge, towards Almont.

    The next section of Reno Ridge to the south was a little tricky, but VERY fun. I’m no hardcore rider, but I like anything that gives me a challenge and any hill I can’t make up the first time is just that much more fun to me. On this section of trail, I even let out a few audible “woo hoo”s (you’ll hear those on the video later). It was just really fun technical stuff and I was eating it up.

    I stalled the bike right before a small ledge about halfway up one of the hills and back it up about 10 ft to give it another shot. Byron had already made a run on the hill behind me though and ended up dropping his bike because I was blocking his line. Sorry dude!

    I get the bike up to the top and once everyone else meets there, we have a little pow-wow.

    [​IMG]

    Things are looking good, so we hit the remainder of the trail.

    [​IMG]

    It’s mostly downhill from here, lots more rocks that are like riding on bowling balls. Good stuff for sure.

    Tom, Cody and I hit the next trail intersection about 4 miles down. No sign of the other guys yet, so we take a moment to rest and chat a bit more.

    The moments go by and still no sign of Dave and Byron. “Well, that last section was pretty rough, maybe Byron is having a little trouble” we thought.

    We wait some more… and some more.

    Then, Dave comes rolling in.

    “Byron is down, I think he broke a few ribs”, then Dave makes a u-turn and heads back the way we came.

    Uh oh. This isn’t good. Thoughts start going through my head. What happened? How bad was it? We’re miles from any road, and they aren’t easy miles. This can’t be happening, not now. Was Dave serious? Oh no!

    Tom, Cody, and I jump on our bikes and follow.

    We ride… and ride… and ride… all the while thinking “Man, how far back did he go down?!”

    Finally, about a quarter mile from our stop at the top of the hill, we see him and Dave. Byron is laying on the ground, with Dave talking to him. Byron is conscious, but in a lot of pain.

    After going over our options, and assessing the situation, Byron decides he wants to try to stand up. He gets up with the help of us, but then says he feels like he’s in shock, so sits back down… slowly.

    We take his gear off and wrap his kidney belt around his torso, to hopefully stabilize things a bit. He says it isn’t helping, so it comes back off.
    A few more minutes go by and Byron collects himself a bit more. Of all the things NOT going our way, at least he wasn’t coughing up blood. It hurt to breathe, but he could take short breaths.

    He doesn't remember much of the crash, but as best we can figure, his front tire got a hold of the side of a rut and threw him and the bike completely off the trail at speed... fortunately, in a spot with very few rocks.

    Byron then decides he wants to try to ride down. We’ll have to go all the way back to the start of Rosebud to catch a 4x4 road back to Spring Creek Road. My immediate thought was “This sounds VERY dangerous. If he falls and makes it worse, things could REALLY go south from here.”

    He insists though, so we gear him back up and help him on his bike. He’s a former marine, so if anyone can do this, he can.

    It was slow going, and he stopped frequently to catch his breath, but he kept the bike upright, even through the hairy stuff.

    [​IMG]

    We helped where necessary and made absolutely sure he didn’t continue on if he got to feeling worse.

    Tricky downhill for a guy with an abdominal injury:

    [​IMG]

    It would be a stretch to pick a more beautiful spot to go down:

    [​IMG]

    The last tricky section:

    [​IMG]

    We traversed our way down Rosebud, to the jeep road, and back to Spring
    Creek Road, where we were able to pick up the speed a bit. All in all, things worked out well for the situation. Byron never once fell and took on the task like a true warrior.

    A big Kudos to Tom and Dave is also in order. Cody and I could’ve very well taken on the task by ourselves, although with a little bit less assurance due to fewer helpers if things got worse. Instead, Tom and Dave stuck by us the whole way in. They is good people for sure.

    Back at the truck, we got things settled and got Byron in a chair. We gave the OK for Tom and Dave to head back on their own ride since this was a bit of a deviation and we could take things from here.

    Byron then offered for me and Cody to go riding a bit more. While tempting, we didn’t want him to try anything dumb, like loading or riding a bike while we were gone. Simply put, we just needed to get loaded and get back to the cabin.

    So, that’s exactly what we did.

    [​IMG]

    Byron was still in pain, but hungry, so we drove by the Nugget Café one last time for a good dinner. It was tough not to joke about the situation, especially since Byron said that laughing hurt. That was essentially an invitation for the rib jokes to stream on endlessly in mine and Cody’s heads. “Hey Byron, is it ironic that you ordered the PRIME RIB tonight?!” Oh man, good stuff. He laughed in humor for a minute, and then it turned into painful laughter. Hell, we actually almost felt sorry for the guy! It sure is tough to keep a guy with a broken rib in good spirits if you can’t make him laugh.

    Back at the cabin, the bikes were already loaded on the trailer, so that saved us some trouble getting ready to roll out in the morning. We’d picked up some Coors beer at the Trading Post and took it easy for the next few hours, enjoying the last sunset we see up here for a while.

    Coors, taste the Rockies:

    [​IMG]

    Farewell Taylor Park. We’ll see you again next summer.

    [​IMG]

    It wasn’t the ride we’d planned, since so many had not been able to come, there were a few bike issues, and some fairly serious injuries, but it was still a complete blast riding up there. A bad day at Taylor Park is better than a good day… just about anywhere else.

    See you guys on the next ride. Thanks for reading. Thanks to Byron, Cody, Tom, and Dave for making it truly EPIC. :freaky

    Videos will be up this weekend.
    #17
  18. Pr0xy

    Pr0xy Shreddin' the gnar

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    341
    Location:
    Springtown, TX
    BTW, Byron is going to be ok and is on the road to recovery. Here's a message he sent me a few days ago:

    "I have a contusion, fracture in my back (the rib), broke my hamate (what ever that is) in my hand. I also have hematoma that is bleeding into my lung. I am getting an MRI for it in the morning.

    Long story short... I'm going to live and be riding again soon!"

    Feel free to chime in with any additional info there guy. :thumb
    #18
  19. iphorde

    iphorde Obviously I'm bored.

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    773
    Location:
    N. Texas
    You forgot the injured pride.:puke1

    #19
  20. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,886
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO., USA
    Nice, thanks for the ride. :thumb
    #20