Colorado 500

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by GasGas300, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. GasGas300

    GasGas300 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    584
    Location:
    wyoming
    Anyone know about this event? Have you attended before. Are you going this year?
    #1
  2. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt! Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,213
    Location:
    SoCal -T.O.
    Invitation only if I am correct!
    #2
  3. 602

    602 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    427
    I have never attended but here is a little of what I know. There will be some riders on here who will be able to provide more complete information.

    The Colorado 500 is a dual sport charity ride that is invite only. All of the money raised during this ride goes back into our trails. This is the reason that the ride exists. Colorado has the best riding in the country and as we all know, it is a common target from the tree huggers. The money goes towards such things as trail maintenance and legal defense funds.

    The 500 comes from the fact that the original ride was around 500 miles long. Today's rides are much longer. The limit of 350 riders splits into different teams and each team goes their separate ways for the day. Each day has a start location and an ending location. Each team is free to take their own route to the destination. The ride begins in Basalt (Aspen) and goes as far south as the Telluride area if I remember right. It then loops back up north to the same ending location.

    As I said earlier, it is an invite only ride. Someone who has ridden before must vouch for you as their rookie for you to be able to show up. Such riders as Wally Dallenbach and Malcom Smith along with many other top names have done the ride. But, Joe nobody from Cali has done it to. Because just like Malcom, they were invited by someone who has done it before.

    Sorry for the novel, but a lot of people think this is just some elitist group ride and I strongly believe otherwise. I wanted to help some people get a little better idea of what this group does. Many people have only heard the name and have no other information.

    And once again, No I have never ridden it.
    #3
  4. ted bendelow

    ted bendelow n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8
    I have ridden the Colorado 500 dirt ride 24 times and the street ride 14 times, so i have some knowledge of the event. The comments are somewhat true:
    1. The ride was organized by Wally Dallenbach and Shem Cooper. it is still run by Wally. It starts at his ranch in Basalt Colorado, travels to Ouray and back to Snowmass over a host of alternate mountain trails.
    2. The dirt bike ride is just that, dirt bikes, not dual sport bikes, although there are some easier, alternate routes. The main route has some serious riding (Taylor Park, Imogene Pass, Blackbear Pass, etc) and is generally not for a new rider.
    3. The ride is by invitation only. Generally an existing rider has to nominate a new rider and Wally, or his staff, approve them.
    4. It is a charity event and has contributed a lot of money to various mountain town community activities, college scholarships and a host of other civic projects.
    5. The name is based on the Indy 500, as most of the early riders were race car owners, drivers, crews and officials. Roger Penske, Rick and Roger Mears, all the Unser family, were early riders. The participates are broader now, but still have a focus on motorsports and that industry.
    #4
  5. Utah Bones

    Utah Bones Gas X ready!

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,623
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    $Hamptons$CEO 500:D It's for a good cause.
    #5
  6. GasGas300

    GasGas300 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    584
    Location:
    wyoming
    Thanks for the info - I am lucky to be one of the Joe Nobody's to get an invite! Looking forward to it and an wondering what to expect
    #6
    Cpl.Goose likes this.
  7. Spartan

    Spartan It's All Attitude

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Loomis, CA
    The Colorado 500 has been on my Wish List for a long time.
    All I need is an ivitation. Any existing riders care to help?
    #7
  8. Esteban

    Esteban Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,787
    Location:
    Above Golden

    Ahem... that depends on your definition of dualsport.
    #8
  9. Shuffler

    Shuffler Hommes Grande

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,763
    Location:
    CFalls MT
    I'm not going this year ($1500 is pretty steep when it was only $1k in prior years).

    I'll be curious to hear how things play out with regard to all the confusion around plated dirt bikes, since you have to be 'street legal' for the 500.

    Depending on what routes you take, there's lots of slab to ride and I wonder if local Johnny Laws will be prowling around, looking for dirt bikers to hassle...
    #9
  10. GasGas300

    GasGas300 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    584
    Location:
    wyoming
    Thanks for the info - What type of bike is acceptable? I am planning on using a KTM 690, I hope the trails aren't too tight, however I have had this bike in some pretty tight spots. Is it mostly Jeep trails or worse?
    #10
  11. duct tape

    duct tape Lost

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorful Colorado
    You can ride what you want and the trails you want as long as you ride with your vet. There were at least two guys on 950 SE's last year, don't know where they rode as I never saw them after camping and working on their bikes for two days at Wally's ranch. By far the majority of riders are on 450ish dirt bikes with some smokers. To most the goal of the 5 days is as much single track as possible.

    I've ridden it on a 300 and on a 530 - which seems to me the perfect 500 ride. There's always some hard road and gravel no matter what your loop is.

    But it depends on where you want to go.

    Days 1 and 5 are to/from Basalt - Crested Butte: The standard routes are over Taylor or Pearl then covering as many miles of TP as you want. One group traditionally does the Timberline/Fossil Ridge loop the first day. Others can go over Schofield Pass for a mellow trip.

    Days 2 and 4 are to/from Crested Butte - Ouray: Standard route is trails west of CB to Powderhorn, Cannibal Plateau, Enginneers. Plenty of other options including Alpine Trail/Nate Ck/Lou Ck. One group swings down to Sargents each year on day two and takes Summit tr to North Pass and eventually to Engineers or Cinnamon for a 200+ mile day.

    Day 3: Rider's choice out of Ouray. Many do Poughkeepsie, Black Bear, Imogene. Last year we rode single track south of Stony Pass.

    Most year's we average around 750 miles. Others do more, some lots more.

    Hope this isn't too much, and helps. Have fun if you go. The riding's great but the 500 is really about the people. Good times. Try to camp at Wally's and join Team Texas for some bourbon.
    #11
  12. unaweep

    unaweep Uses lotsa band-aids

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    39,820
    Location:
    Western Colorado
    WOW!

    How do I get to participate. This sounds really, really cool.:thumb
    #12
  13. duct tape

    duct tape Lost

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorful Colorado
    Gas Gas,

    Getting ready is just over two weeks for the 500? PM me if you need any recs on stuff to take etc. Make sure your bike is well tuned, new oil, meats... You don't need to carry many if any extra parts or oil. If you need to fix a problem or want to change your oil or clean your air filter, all of that stuff is available with the Team Kawasaki trailer each day for a small donation.

    My best piece of advice? Take it easy the first day - lots of testosterone, everyone trying to race out of town, and it seems there are always several ride ending injuries. It's a five day ride.
    #13
  14. GasGas300

    GasGas300 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    584
    Location:
    wyoming
    Thanks for the info - I am a little worried about my 690 on the tight trails, so we are planning to go down there this weekend and ride some of them. Probally will try the alpine loop on sunday. I've had this bike on some tough trails, but being unfamiliar with this area I don't know what to expect.

    I am getting quite excited to go - sounds like a lot of fun and a chance to meet a lot of people who enjoy the sport as much as I do.

    What are the creek crossings like? This KTM has a paper filter, and I am wondering if I should pack a spare?

    Are you going to be there?
    Thanks
    #14
  15. duct tape

    duct tape Lost

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorful Colorado
    If you've ridden singletrack in Wyo you should be set, especially if around the Albany area. Only a few of the trails are committing for a long distance (Timberline, Fossil Ridge, Alpine Trail/Nate/Lou's), most other's you can bail out at several places. On the first day, try out some of the choices in Taylor Park such as Gunny Spur or any of the easy trails around Spring Creek Res such as Flag, Bear, Deadmans. From the top of Taylor Pass, avoid the right fork of the right fork off the jeep road > trail which eventually takes you to the top of Crystal (aka Star) Pass unless you like a short section of steep, exposed slide slope. You can take the second left (we call it the Secret Tr; others call it Tr 440) and drop down to Taylor Rd - not too bad but can be a tough start if you're still unsure about singletrack; plus there's usually a huge traffic jam there. Or you can just go down Taylor Pass Rd through the river section - probably the easiest route.
    Filters - I don't know about paper filters, definitely bring some spares both in your bag and one or two in your Camelbak if you can, since I doubt there will be any replacements for your bike at the Team Kawi trailer. Others can chime in here since I have no 690 paper filter experience - just guessing. Can you put a cloth filter cover over it?

    Rivers - you'll run into lots of water and this year with the rain they'll probably be higher. I can report back after this next week. Spots worth mentioning (based on personal experience) are the Taylor Rd river section (really not too hard, plan on getting your boots wet); bottom of Deadmans (I've personally twice helped my riding buddies clear their drowned bikes on the north bank and will walk it in the future - there's a deep hole somewhere in the middle that seems to suck front tires); bottom of north side of Imogene - but there's a go around bridge, we just refuse to take it :); Pole Creek ?? crossing on the south side of Stony Pass (can get really deep). My advice, when in doubt, find a probe (make your vet go first!!) or walk, your boots will dry.

    Not going this year, work. :( Have fun.
    #15
  16. duct tape

    duct tape Lost

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorful Colorado
    So GG,

    How was it?
    #16
  17. GasGas300

    GasGas300 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    584
    Location:
    wyoming
    Excellent!!! Like watching the last five minutes of On Any Sunday only it lasted five days!! We did 650 miles, had very few problems, I found out my 690 is a little too big, I got beat up on a lot of the rock sections. I rode with a couple of really great guys, and had a great time. We took Taylor pass on the last day, and that was a little tough. On wednesday we did five passes near Ouray - Black Bear was great!
    They put on a great ride - I am looking for a 300 for next year!
    #17
  18. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    44,503
    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    I stayed at the Grand Lodge in Mt. Crested Butte Monday night and saw a bunch of your fellow riders. Also saw the truck that took your luggage for you. Looks like a nice way to ride dirt.:lol3
    #18
  19. Spartan

    Spartan It's All Attitude

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Loomis, CA
    Good question. Hopefully someone will post a good answer.
    #19
  20. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    44,503
    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    See post #4 above. The part your looking for is line #3:

    3. The ride is by invitation only. Generally an existing rider has to nominate a new rider and Wally, or his staff, approve them.
    #20