Going local (and beyond) in Central Colorado

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by rrittner, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Got out today and decided to ride up to Aspen and top of Taylor Pass via Express Creek rd.
    Express Creek rd is a fun road, short, technical. Nothing bad just entertaining enough that you can also look at the scenery and not get yourself into trouble.

    First stop the town of Ashcroft

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    Futher up the road is Pearl Pass - I'm going to do that in August sometime come over from the Crested Butte side and make it an overnighter.

    Half way up the pass IMG_1809 - 2.jpg

    I didn't take any pictures from the top of the pass. I have a few videos that I'm going to share as soon as they upload. Be back in a few.
    #21
  2. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Finally got the video uploaded
    I did a few drone videos from the top. Funny I use a drone for work to inspect out towers and the roof of the structures that are located with them. Pretty easy stuff fly around and video the structure take closeups of any thing that might need attention. Doing this I feel like a total putz. You can tell I don't know what the fuck to do with myself. Anyway I enjoyed the scenery so I'm sharing.


    #22
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  3. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    So from the top of the pass i rode out around the saddle above the lake in the video.
    this is looking back toward where I was before.

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    From here i road back up to the top of the pass and then started to ride the Taylor Divide road to Gold Hill and then Richmond Hill Rd. Lots of dirt bikers out felt like I was riding a Gold wing.

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    The road eventually ends up on Aspen Mtn at the top of the gondola. I didn't stop at the top, was tired of all the dirty looks I was getting from the hikers. Here is one from the way down.

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    Ended up in town had a burger at CP burgers then rode home. Nice day out fun loop.

    Next up I'm taking my big bike for an overnight to Independence Rock up in Wyoming. Should be a good road trip.

    Hope you enjoyed the pictures
    #23
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  4. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

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    Nice pics. Thanks for taking us along.:thumb
    #24
  5. BrockEvan

    BrockEvan Brock Warwick Supporter

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    great stuff
    #25
  6. ugaskidawg

    ugaskidawg Adventurer Supporter

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    That road along the north rim of the black canyon might be the nicest piece of asphalt in the state.
    #26
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  7. Utrider1

    Utrider1 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thank for the tip on River Rd, tying 90 and 141. I have been through this area several times and thoroughly enjoy it.

    Is there any dirt bypasses from Grand Junction to Gateway? I really like Gateway, and have been there every which way.

    Also, on Baxter Pass area, have you ever gone up to Dragon, Utah? I have been eyeballing that road for 3 years now, and just need to nut up and check it out. I have a 1200cc big bike, so any insights on the road/area are appreciated.

    Dig the pics!
    #27
  8. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    I road thru Dragon several years ago, didn’t see much. At the time it was late and raining and road was muddy and slick. I do remember that every time I stopped at a good camp site it was covered in cow patties, finally found a hunting camp that I could set up in.

    The other side of Baxter pass is easy. The area has had a lot of gas wells put in and the companies maintain the roads very well. I wouldn’t do it in the rain on a big bike tho. Last time I got over the pass I was on a XR650l and it was a handful on the mud, I was also really loaded up with camping equipment.

    There does seem to be a road or it might be a quad track that crosses from the Delores triangle ( triangle road) down to the valley where gateway is located. From looking at Google Earth is seems to fade in and out and where it drops down could be a little gnarly, or it could be a really awesome ride.
    #28
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  9. Utrider1

    Utrider1 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yeah, mud and the big bikes, es no bueno! I've eyeballed those roads from the triangle as well, I was looking at some of the stuff a bit to the east of Gateway off of 141. I guess I will have to put my explorer hat on and go for a ride.

    Good to know about the oil service rigs up there and yes, they do keep those roads in pretty good shape.

    Thanks for the reply!
    #29
  10. ssilliman

    ssilliman Been here awhile Supporter

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    great pictures and write up
    #30
  11. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Had a 3 day weekend so I headed up to Wyoming to check out Independence Rock. On other trips I had come across the markers for the Oregon Trail and after reading up on it always wanted to check out the rock.

    Anyway First picture is from River Road along the Colorado. I have about so many photos of bikes from this spot. This is between Dotsero, Co and Bond, Co. Always nice views.

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    This next photo is from Stagecoach CO, I lived here for 10 years and worked in Steamboat. Stagecoach is an old ski area that failed in 1977. I've skinned up and skied every run several times on that mountain, was a great way to exercise my dogs. This winter I will return and leave the ashes of one of them on the top. Good memories.

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    And a pic north of Steamboat, that's the ski area in the background. This is also the northern part of the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route.

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    Hahns Peak
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    This next photo is from a scenic overlook Between Savory Wy, and Riverside Wy. While I was taking a break and rider on a GS pulled up we talked for a few. That's his front wheel in the picture. He was from the front range dropping down to Craig, Co for the night and then back to Fort Collins if I remember right. His bike was a 2006 - I still think my model was the best looking GSA made :D. You can also see Hahns peak on the left side of the picture.

    IMG_1847.JPG

    From here I took Sage Creek Road up to Rawlins, Wy. Rawlins is one of those towns that you see from a distance and it looks really cool, but then you drive thru it and can't wait to get past it. Got gas was going to get a late lunch but nothing looked appealing, had a snack and moved on.

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    Anyway I'll post more tomorrow.
    #31
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  12. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Ok picking up where I left off.

    From Rawlins its not too far to Ind. Rock. I didn't stop, My pan was to find a camp spot at Alcove Reservior and then come back out in the morning and fly my drone around.

    Two pictures from the drive around the res.

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    And my campsite

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    Facing the other way
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    Took my time set up camp went for a swim. Nice way to end a long day in the saddle.

    Below is a short video from Independence Rock. I had my drone up for about 45 minutes just having fun doing flybys and different patterns this is about the best minute of all that. Learning always learning.




    Calling it a night I'll finish my write up of my trip in the next day or two.
    Thanks for following along.
    #32
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  13. LandofEnchantment

    LandofEnchantment Been here awhile

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    SE New Mexico
    Very nice. I really like your 800GS.

    I just love the lines of that bike.

    nice pictures too. Some of it looks familiar. I’ve been all over Colorado in the pickup trucks. Once this Covid crap clears up, I’ll be riding the bike in your area some. Maybe we will run into each other or something!

    Keep it going!
    #33
  14. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Ok back at it.

    From Alcove Reservoir I took 407 South all the way to I-80. What a great road it starts out paved and turns into a back-country byway. The dirt sections were very well maintained - too well lots of pea gravel (lots) definitely floated a few corners with some big time puckering going on. :knary the next several pictures are from that road.
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    Turned onto I-80 and road to a cutoff that I took down to WY-130 then over to Centennial and had lunch. I ended up follow a couple of guys on KLR's doing 85, I was thinking WOW KLR's can really haul ass. I ended up meeting the same two guys on the top of the pass that crosses the Snowy Range from Centennial to Hwy 230. They told they had the bikes floored and that was all they could get out of them. You can see the two riders in my video from the top of the pass.

    The next picture is from the top, the mountain is Medicine Bow Peak

    Medicine Bow Peak.jpg

    Be back in a bit uploading the video
    #34
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  15. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Finally got the video uploaded to youtube. So I just launched my drone and had it circle to take in the view.



    From here I just rode thru Gramby, Walden, and down to I-70 and straight home. It's really something to see how much traffic is backed up on I-70 even on a summer Sunday night it backs up going down to Denver. I could never live on the front range. Every time I have to go to Denver I'm overwhelmed by the traffic. Last summer when I rode to San Diego it didn't seem as bad I think that had to do with being able to split lanes and keep going. Even the west slope is growing. If it wouldn't be for the growth I would not have the job that I do. Just the growth I've seen growing up in Colorado is amazing.

    Ok enough of the old man rattling on hope you enjoyed pictures and video.
    #35
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  16. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Took an early morning ride up one of my favorite roads, Clinetop is just a few miles down the road from my house and accesses a lot of technical 4wd trails above Glenwood.
    Google Earth shot of Clinetop.

    Google Earth Clinetop.PNG
    I went up and flew my drone around for practice. Put together a short video to share.

    #36
  17. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    New Castle, CO
    Did a quick trip over to Crested Butte. Was plannig to ride American Flag Mtn and then return via Pearl Pass.

    I bagged the ride to the top of Flag Mtn but got rained out Saturday and decided to return home. Did get a short video from the top of Flag. Fun ride technical in spots and definitely will test your skid plate.



    I was impressed how my f800 handled on the ride, even the final climb - loose rock, thought I would be having a problem mid way up but hey just roll the throttle and she hooked up and knocked it out. Stayed on top until everyone else left and then took the drone out and did a lap around the flag. It's amazing the technology of these drones this thing fits in the palm of my hand has gps and is stable in wind gusts, and shoots in 1080p.

    Saturday morning I headed toward Crested Butte but the clouds were really dark and the rain was getting heavier the closer I got. Decided to ride down to Gunnison and get some breakfast and then take Ohio Creek back home. Rained the whole way to Paonia. If you look at the photo below the far ridge above treeline is dusted with snow. That is the same altitude as Pearl pass so I feel that I made the right choice.

    IMG_1901[1].JPG

    Anyway I'm gong to try Pearl pass in a couple of weeks I think I can get to Crested Butte and do Pearl Pass over to Aspen in a Day. That would be a nice loop. We'll have to see how the weather is.

    Hope you enjoy the video and pic.
    #37
  18. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Haven't added to this in a while. Thought I would share my latest ride.
    I had Friday of and decided to ride Tabegauche Trail in Grand Junction. My plan was to park at the Bangs canyon trail head and ride around to where the Tabegaughe trail intersects the Divide rd off highway 141.
    I figured that the ride would be about 3 to 4 hours then I would go get a burger and hit up Harbor Freight for a few things.
    I also got a Seat Concepts tall seat for the bike and wanted to try it out seems to be about 2 inches taller.

    Little did I know that this would be one of the longest days of riding ( and hiking ) I've had to do.

    Anyway Bangs canyon parking lot since the days are shorter and going shopping afterward I decided to trailer my bike down. Gotta love that Element - was my old work van - then I bought it from the company I worked for at the time. 210k and runs like a top.

    IMG_2057.JPG
    Rode around to the Divide road off Hwy 141. The divide road goes south along the western edge of the Uncompahgre plateau.

    A turn out on 141 looking along the canyon. I have another picture from above the canyon looking down on this spot.

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    Next few pictures are from the top of the canyon riding east along Tabegauche trail this side of the trail was 2nd and third gear stuff some water bar jumps, faster two track .

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    Looking down on Hwy 141, the spot I took a picture from a turn out is below

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    This is where the trail crosses hwy 141 and the photo after that is the trailhead that eventually leads over to Bangs canyon this part is 17 miles.
    Most of this part of the trail was 1st and second gear way more technical with stair step rocks climbs. Definitely was really entertaining. The bike was handling it great, even the tighter stuff. I was liking the new seat, felt more on top of the bike.
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    I was about half way thru and gave way to a couple of side x side's and was talking with them about the rest of the trail - was also thinking about that Burger - feeling good enjoying the ride.

    AS I was coming down one of the more rocky sections I smacked a rock hard - really fucking hard. The bike kept its momentum and I rolled thru but as I was getting out of the rock section smoke was coming up around the bike and I could smell the oil. So I shifted into neutral stopped the engine. Well my skid plate way up the hill. And this is what I saw underneath.

    IMG_2071.JPG

    The bolt hole is not where my skid plate mounts. Next to it is the rubber shock mount totally sheared off, there are 4 that hold my skid plate on. I had been hitting my skid plate several times during this ride some of them were pretty hard knocks.

    Anyway I rolled down the hill and found a place to park the bike out of the way. I unloaded my saddle & tank bags found a place I could hide them with my helmet and started to hike out.

    I was about 2 miles down the trail when the people in the side X side's were doing an out and back I a caught a ride to my car. Ran to Walmart and bought 3 JB weld sticks and 3 quarts of oil. I also got a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a scotch brite pad. Oh and some snacks and a Red bull.

    So it was about 6 miles back in and I got back to the bike around 10pm. After about 30 minuets of cleaning and using 2 sticks of jB weld I got the hole plugged and let it sit while I strapped all my gear back on. I didn't put oil in yet I was letting the JB Weld have a chance to harden. I also couldn't attach the skid plate back on, I had some zip ties but there wasn't any place to really attach to.

    So my idea was to only put 2 quarts of oil in the engine that way the oil pressure would not be as high and I could add oil as needed. So after half hour or so I was ready to pour oil into the engine - and wow the JB Weld held only a few drops coming out!! I got on the bike and rode out in first gear taking it slow and choosing my lines very carefully.

    I made it back to my car around midnight. I can't even explain the relief I felt in making it.

    Here is my patch job. Oops to many pictures next post
    #38
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  19. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    New Castle, CO
    Here is that patch job. Got back home around 1:30 am wired and tired - I haven't had a Red Bull in about 20 years. I usually carry JB Weld in my kit but that wouldn't have helped any way with all the oil lost. Might try and figure out a way to re-enforce my skid plate or the mounts.

    I'm also thinking that some of the hits I took earlier in the ride might have sheared 1 or 2 of the other mounts before the hit that did me in. I've had that happen on other rocky rides that I've done.

    Well I guess Harbor Freight isn't going to get my money - Bike Bandit will when I order parts. :becca

    IMG_2073.JPG
    #39
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  20. Ridin'nFishin

    Ridin'nFishin Been here awhile Supporter

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    Apr 18, 2009
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    Wow, glad you made it in and didn't burn up you motor. Is that the oil pan that you busted?
    #40