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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by luv2lean, Jul 30, 2004.
Got it, it's on the other map!!
Boulder is just south of Pinedale. Technical in that there is one sandy hill climb with some ruts that requires some dirt skill to negotiate. Otherwise the bicycle trail has a lot of unmarked turns in that same section just south of boulder where a GPS would be helpful. In any case you are not too far off the paved road at that point so it shouldnt be a big deal
Sorry, we told L2L that he could invite anyone he wanted, and he said anybody but Nate!
GREAT stuff. I've got a mountain of questions for you. But I'll save them for when I meet you in person (soon). Keep 'em coming.
I'm a sucker for photos like this...
Great photos and terrific report!
1. What was the cause of the pulled headbolt on Duane's R80? Curious if it was during maintenance (my guess) or it failed during operation?
2. Was the radiator failure on RCrabb's F650 the old "rock caught behind the radiator" thing or something else.
Thought about asking in a private message to you but figured there are others that are wondering too.
Great report- Keep the updates coming!
Super report, L2L!
Man, you've just given me another mountain to climb. This would be an outstanding ride! Apparently, it was!
For the record, my cooling system problem was a blown water pump seal. The Daks have a history of problems with this part, but they usually seem to go around the 20K mile part. Since mine has 60K on it, and didn't show any trace of the problem until then, I thought it was OK. Wrong!
Skwerl's radiator did develop a leak, though, most likely from a rock strike.
And also for the record, here's a list of other things that went wrong with my bike during the trip.
Fork seals (both)-Yeah, I'm the one stupid and lazy enough to go without fork boots. I had replaced them about a month before the trip. No imperfections discovered on the fork tubes, but lotsa bugs smooshed themselves against my suspension parts on this trip.
Broken subframe mounting bolt (left side, lower mount)-discovered in my garage after a thorough washing. I guess that my subframe wasn't real fond of the thrashing I gave it. Hey JimC, how did yours look once you stripped off your bags, etc.?
And I started with a failed rear master cylinder (hence my trip to Big Sky BMW prior to the trip starting) and a bearing in my dogbone that had a little play in it. And I'm doing the 60K service this week. My BMW dealer really likes me (and my credit card) right now.
The headbolt pulled during operation. Duane asked around and found that while not common, this was a known problem on the early R80GS's. Duane has one very trick R80GS.
Robin's failure turned out to be the water pump seal. He had 57,000 hard miles on his F650 when it started leaking. I would probably not consider it an unusual occurrence based on the life his bike has led. He rides it like he stole it!
Skwerl's radiator leak could likely have been the "rock in the radiator guard".
Jim in Sacramento
Figures! Man I sure wish I could have been on that ride. Next time.
Wow. What an incredible ride that must have been. Color me jealous. Someday I will do that, that's for sure.
Dumb question: Could a properly armored and knobby-shod VStrom make the same trip? The ground clearance on a Dakar is not that much better, and it has only a little more suspension travel than the Strom.
YoDaddy - In my opinion 95% of the route is best suited for any big DP bike with decent tires ( I ran gripsters ) but some parts may be impassable no matter what your riding and need to be bypassed. I'll give more on lessons learned about this trip after I finish getting the rest of the pics up.
I would say yes, if you were willing to skip about 50 miles of difficult trails out of the 1800 miles we rode from Canada to New Mexico. The only disclaimer here is the weather. Some of these roads would be unrideable in a heavy rain. I think L2L will mention this in his report about the next 2 days of our ride.
This was not a highly technical or difficult ride from a dirt riding standpoint, it is an incredibly beautiful and remote ride. It places you in some of the most beautiful and remote country we have available to us. The pictures you see here are not the execption, we could have taken these photo's almost anytime at any place on the trip.
Jim in Sacramento
Day 7 started in Rawlins WY and ended in Dillon Colorado. RCrabb was leaking a lot of coolant from his F650 and decided to depart directly for the BMW shop in Denver. Down to just 2 riders.
JimC headed south out of Rawlins on WY rd 71 that soon turned to dirt. The first 50 miles or so was more high desert, crossing the continental divide again, more antelope, before we entered the Medicine Bow National Forest and Aspen Alley
More high plains, with only JimC left for photos-------
Soon crossing into Colorado and the Routt National Forest
The road got a little more challeging here where we crossed another mountain pass between Slater and Steamboat Lake
We passed through Steamboat Springs and finally found a Starbucks to load up on caffeine. The young lady said there are only 3 starbucks in the whole state of Montana and I suspect no more in Wyoming. Just south of Steamboat we had to route around a pedestrian only dam crossing. Crossed a fairly deep stream crossing and on towards the Colorado River.
More sage and trees --
We crossed Lynx pass and made a spetacular decent towards the Colorado River
Darn another pass before Dillon -- Ute pass
And we arrived in Dillon safe and sound just before the usual PM rain storm
It was Saturday night and we were so close to Ouray, but yet on a mission doggonit!
Another shot approaching the Colorado River
Great stuff! Thank you
Well, JimC & L2L are doing a great job on this and I don't have much to add, but I might chime in with a few pics when they are done (since they would be out of sequence). I just setup a SmugMug account and have uploaded a few pics.
I was definitely a dirt nOOb when I started this trip and was grateful for the patience the other riders had with my more 'sedate' pace. On the first day around Whitefish, I wouldn't have been surprised if a fast moving bicyclist had passed me! If you would have told me that after a few days I'd be chasing L2L (in vain) down a nice dirt road at 70+ (and loving it!) I'd have told you that you were insane! :eek1
On the other hand, I think we actually took more pictures in the segments when I was in front!
When my radiator developed its leak, we used some radiator leak-stop that worked well for the trip. When I got back home, I asked my mechanic to look it over--it took a while for him to find the leak, and it wasn't really conclusive what caused it--there was not any obvious damage front/rear, so we weren't sure if it was a rock or perhaps a defect or fracture. Bike had approx 7k miles on it when the leak occurred. I decided to replace the radiator instead of having it patched. Other damage was minor, a broken spring mount on the sidestand and a rear mudguard/chainguard that disassembled itself somewhere in NV.
bryan "still a dirt nOOb"
Day 8 started off by skipping some paved bicycle trail between Dillon and Breckenridge. I pleaded, but capt nemo wouldnt let me do it.
So off to 1150 ft Boreas pass instead. The sun was out, and the ground was wet YEEHAAAW
And down the other side
More 8000 ft high plains between Hartsell and Salida with remnants of old civilization
We came upon on one of our biggest challenges here. The mud was deep, gooey, and we I could see us getting quickly stuck up to the axles here. So we went upstream to cross and I barely made it out of the creekbed with the gripsters on my FULLY loaded airhead. It would have meant significant back tracking if we didnt cross this creek.
Shortly thereafter we had to skate through some snotty mud sections with our leg poles out. But then we climbed up into the trees in the Pke National Forest.
And dropped down towards Salida, Colorado
10 miles or so up a dirt road towards Marshall pass we hit a road closed - bridge out sign and had to backtrack to the paved road and take hwy 50 over 11312 foot Monarch Pass to get back to the dirt. Not such a bad option.
More dirt roads headed towards the Gunnision National Forest. They sure have a lot of National Forests in the Rockies!
Over 10,166 Carnero Pass and on towards Del Norte. It's starting to look like New Mexico to me, but I have never been there.
It was getting late, started raining and the directions were confusing as we approached Del Norte. After a few wrong turns, exploring a short knarly section of sandwash we thought was the trail, but werent sure, we finally decided to bypass the last 5 miles or so into Del Norte.
We were real close to our destination of New Mexico, but a significant storm was in our way. We decided to stay in Del Norte and take an extra day if needed to make it to Chama, New Mexico. Jim had to be back in Sacto within 2 days, 3 days max, and the bike trail maps farther south had impassable in wet weather warnings. Considering the weather had been unusually wet for July we were gonna be satisfied with Chama New Mexico -- this time.
This was truly an awesome trip and I'd do it again in a moment! Some of my favorite moments were:
1. Blasting across some great roads after leaving Lima, MT (The local restaurant had outstanding homemade pies, by the way). I hadn't imagined that it would be possible to go that fast on a dirt road and feel comfortable about it!
2. Dirt road in ID(?)-- I think it was by Henrys Lake. We missed the turnoff at first and had to back track. It was a little one lane dirt road with steadily degrading surface--lots of potholes and water. L2L had gone past me and I enjoyed watching him looking for obstacles to bounce off of. Reminded me of a mogul skier. This stretch would have caused me to panic about two days earlier--now I was enjoying picking a path through the holes. The only concern was a herd of cattle that blocked the road for a while. The bull had to be in a bad mood from smacking his equipment against all of the berms and ridges in the road. And I make it a habit to never get into a fight with anything that has balls bigger than my head!
3. Visiting Squirrel, Idaho (I have a geocache in the area) and riding up Ashton Flagg Ranch Road. This one had all the guys shaking their heads--which was half the fun. I'd always wanted to explore that road before, but couldn't persuade my usual riding partner to explore it on an R1100RT (probably a good thing).
4. Somewhere in NV. After I had split up with the group for the return home, I had repeated problems with overheating. (As a side note, this was probably due to an air bubble at the top of the engine by the upper coolant bleed screw). I spent a fair amount of time pulling over to let the engine cool off. As I was motoring along, I looked over into the fast lane to see an SUV riding along side me. A small kid was waving from the passenger seat, but the driver was tossing me the bird! This did not seem to be a good thing--someone who wanted to harrass a rider in the middle of nowhere. So I stayed in the slow lane and kept to myself. Didn't need any trouble vs a 4000lb vehicle only armed with a Leatherman and a bottle of coolant! In a few moments I was forced to pull over again due to the engine temperature light. When I looked ahead, my friends in the SUV had pulled over and were backing up toward me.... Oh great!!! When the driver-side door opened, much to my surprise, I wasn't confronted by a 300lb guy in a dirty tee-shirt and a come-hither expression. Instead it was an attractive young lady who asked me "Is everything alright?" Turns out it was Mrs. Lone*Star! She had been giving me the salute (Advrider sticker on L saddlebag), but I had no idea that it was a friendly hello instead of the usual highway pleasantries. She mentioned that she hoped that someone would pull over to help her hubby if he was caught in similar circumstances. A short chat and a bottle of ice cold water and we were both back on our respective ways. This lady is a queen and a big thanks again to her and AFekete for my roadside assistance sticker!