Zig Zag The Divide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Mike D, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Mike D

    Mike D Corporate Cog

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,535
    Location:
    Conifer, CO
    This is a short ride report detailing the events of August 20, 2005.

    Ted had suggested this ride to the CODSers. The idea was to leave Golden early and spend the day criss-crossing the continental divide. The riders were Ted ('81 R80), Mike C (DRZ400), and myself (XR650L).

    I pulled into 7-11 in Golden right at 6:00am to find Mike C fueling.

    Mike C and my L
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    Soon after, Ted showed up on his '81 R80. Just about the only thing stock on his bike are the frame and motor. The bike is so tricked out, just awesome (pic later).

    Afterr a quick coffee, it was on to Golden Gate Canyon, Robinson Hill, Central City, to Kingston Peak.

    The Kingston Peak area is a nice place to ride. Rocky, high up, lots a trails.

    If you look in the background, right in frot of the bike farthest on the left, you can see the last uphill that must be conquered on the Kingston Peak Trail. This climb used to be pretty tough, but it seems that recently many of the large, loose rocks have been moved out of the way. Still a very exciting ride.
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    From here, it was Fall River Rd. to I-70 West, to historic Georgetown for gas and the start of Guanella and Argentine Passes.

    Gassing in Georgetown
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    Guanella Pass, while beautiful, is nothing to really write about (except to warn of the traffic delays due to construction).

    Argentine Pass, however, is a different story. Argentine starts part-way up Guanella Pass. the first part is real easy, fast 2-track.

    Remnants of mining activity mid-way up Argentine.
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    Ted and Mike C. Int he background on the right, you can see the trail we were getting to climb up.
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    That uphill trail was a lot of fun, with a couple mildly technical swithbacks thrown in.

    Here are a couple of Ted muscling the big R80.
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    See the trail we came up??
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    Ted's beefy R80
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    And now, my favorite picture of the day
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    We were now at the top of Argentine Pass. This is where things got interesting.

    More to come.
    #1
  2. Mike D

    Mike D Corporate Cog

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
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    1,535
    Location:
    Conifer, CO
    It is rumored that no motorized vehicles have ever conquered the backside of Argentine.

    I didn't know this going into it.

    The three of us weren't really sure what we were getting ourselves into
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    The first descent off the backside is 100% baby-head rocks. It got slightly easier after that, but it was still VERY intimidating.

    Pics really do not do justice to how steep this is, both down to the right, and down the trail.
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    This what you fell off of if you went the wrong way
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    Myself with the trail behind me
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    I need to point out here that during this initial descent I kept saying to myself, "Well, we're beyond the point of no return now, NO WAY am I going to climb back out this stuff."

    Then we came to this. This is about a 6 ft. cliff that you could easily walk down, but NOT ride a bike down.
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    We debated lowering the bikes down one-by-one, but decided it was very dangerous idea that could easily lead to potnetial disaster. Plus, even if we made it past this, 30 feet later was this. It may not look it, but that little ledge is about 4 inches wide, and WAY off camber. If you slip, it's 12 feet straight down, onto hundreds of feet of very steep down.
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    It was time to turn around. Thankfully, we were at a place where the trail got wide enough to spin the bikes on their kickstands. Ted's R80 we just layed down and spun it on the cylinder head.
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    So now it was time to climb back out the way we came. Mike C simply zipped the DRZ up and out, and hiked back down to give us bigger bikes hand (Thanks Mike!)

    Looking back up the last stretch. Im telling you, I must have taken pics of only the easy spots, because I m looking at these pics now thinking, "What are we, wussies?" For real, this was much more of a challenge than it appears here.
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    Here's a couple more of Ted and the R80
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    This give a little more perspective to the steepness
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    Mike C got more tired hiking down and back out than he did riding. Should have gone a little at a time with us buddy!
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    Phew! Finally back at the top. That only took like 2 or 3 hours!
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    From here, it was back down the front af Argentine, over Guanella, to hwy 285. From there, South to Webster Pass.

    Webster Pass is definately one the most beautiful, coolest passes I have done. I didn't take nearly enough pictures.

    This is at the top, looking over a Red Cone. Red Cone is a pretty tough trail due to a hairy downhill at the end.
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    Second part of before-mentioned hairy downhill
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    This is looking down at the trail we just climbed (lower right). This valley feeds out to hwy 285.
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    Due a prior engagement with my wife, it was now time for me to head home. I went back down the way we came up, and took hwy 285 straight to Conifer. Not, however, before hitting the worst thunder/rain/hail storm I have ever had to ride through. Just a miserable 1 1/2 hours, but strangely envigorating nonetheless. At one point (top of Crow Hill north of Bailey) the hail was 3 inches deep and cars were pulled off the side of the road out of fear. Just nuts. I was glad to make it home safe. Soaking wet, boots filled with water, just wet to the bone; but safe.

    All in all, a fantastic day.

    A big thanks to Ted for organizing the ride. Also, HUGE props to him for getting an R80 through the terrian we experienced. Hell of a rider, I look forward to riding with him again.

    And to Mike C, thanks for the help getting out of Argentine. Even though Mike was on smaller bike, he is still a sick rider in his own right.

    Thanks guys.

    I hope you all have enjoyed my little report.

    Later.
    #2
  3. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    29,649
    Location:
    portland, or
    :clap

    Nice nice nice.
    #3
  4. RLK

    RLK RLK KLR

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
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    CSprings
    Wow, well done!
    #4
  5. Ridin' Fool

    Ridin' Fool Temporary Slacker

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Another great report, Mike! You advanced riders continue to amaze me. On Argentine, I think you made the right choice; live to ride another day! And I sure wish I could have seen you spin that R80 around on the trail... :-)
    #5
  6. Mik

    Mik Riding big jugs airheads

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    598
    Inspiring!! (I'll be happy if I can just get away for a few days BACKPACKING on mountain trails!)

    What a G/S!
    #6
  7. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,460
    Location:
    Austin, Texas, USA
    :wave Hi Ted !!

    Just so everybody knows, Ted's R80 is truly an awesome bike. And Ted is worthy of it.

    Just so you know, Ted, it's hot as hell and truly miserable down here in Texas.
    #7
  8. Master of Disaster

    Master of Disaster Using my CRS18:7:206 hand

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    755
    Location:
    Summit County, CO
    west side of argentine....all I can say is WOW, I know people who won't even walk it, and you tried it on bikes. nice try, good job, and stay safe!
    #8
  9. terry.mc

    terry.mc Stop ruining my vacation

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,022
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Man I hate that big exposure on the sideslopes like that.

    Nice job fellas!

    T
    #9
  10. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,776
    Location:
    Munich, Bavaria
    You don't know how envious I am. Never seen such nice riding country over here in Europe. It's time I move.
    #10
  11. Bake

    Bake adventurer

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,751
    Live to ride another day, good call. This is, to me, is real adventure riding, finding the sharp end of the stick for yourself, at whatever level you're at.

    Awesome R80, that's what I expect a local in Colorado to have in their garage! And kudos to the rider, he knows how to use it, it's no Hangar Queen.

    So, it's hikers making the rest of the trail? that's actually quite an ending to your ride on that one, "...and, you have to Mountain Climb, from there!"
    #11