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EnderTheX 07-18-2011 06:56 PM

A Solo Flatlander Rides to Colorado With An F800GS to Find Some Snow!
GPX Files here:

Full GPX File

Note this includes my routes and actual tracks. The routes were a bit aggressive on distance so I took a few shortcuts but it's easy to follow.

The summers here in Texas are brutal... and this is one of the hottest I can remember. Ever since my buddy Chris and I went to Colorado to try some of the famous trails in the San Juan area I have been dreaming of going back. I wanted to experience the high altitude passes in a different light… :ricky

Planning the trip was a mixture of skill and luck… I procured several off road books (one of which we used last year to great success) and found a network of passes I wanted to try. I called almost every ranger station out there to discover which passes were open or closed. Most of them were still closed with snow and I anticipated awesome snow tunnels on the ones just opened. :clap

A different twist on my ride… I carried two GoPro HD Hero cameras with various mounts to capture my ride in spectacular 720p 60fps HD video! Please enjoy a highlights reel from the many hours of video I am beginning to sift through!

(I would suggest watching in high def with audio…)
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I have so much video but I still have to figure out how to get it into slow motion and picture in picture… I will also be releasing full length video :eek1 of some of the passes like Engineers, Cinnamon, Ophir etc. The two cameras often are running together so you get two perspectives of the same event!

Here are some highlights pictures before we get into it! (You may recognize these from the video) :freaky

Tn. Walrus 07-18-2011 07:03 PM

I'm in! :dllama

EnderTheX 07-18-2011 08:00 PM

Here is the map for the entire 8 days... I will have gps tracks to download when I get them uploaded :D

Just the Colorado section of the loop :evil

EnderTheX 07-19-2011 06:43 AM

Day 1:
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I had spent the night before packing the bike… always takes longer than expected especially when doing a long solo trip and packing extra gear for field fixes and unplanned survival situations. The Giant Loop Great Basin bag works perfectly with my large Wolfman dry duffel on the old vario racks the previous owner left on the bike for me.
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I tried to make as much distance as possible in the morning to beat the inevitable head of the afternoon. This was a futile endeavor because I just continued to press on as far and fast as I could late into the evening.
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An unexpected rest stop provides some valuable shade…
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I traveled parallel to the major highways on smaller back roads, rarely seeing other vehicles. The ground and air were so dry you can easily see why fire bans were in effect all over the state.
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This dry riverbed turns into a sandy haven for ATVs… unlikely to see rushing water until the late summer storms.
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Chowdown 07-19-2011 08:30 AM

lookin forward to this one.

EnderTheX 07-19-2011 11:42 AM

Further down the road things were getting interesting. I was far away from major cities and the terrain and structures reflected rural Texas at its finest. I had to stop and take a picture of these wild homemade windmills, there must have been a hundred of them… broken and disconnected from the grid.
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For some reason I enjoy scenes of long desolate highways.
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The heat was starting to get to me and it wasn’t even the hottest part of the day yet. I found it was cooler to ride with the visor down and jacket on. Anytime I had to put the visor up to scratch my face or adjust my glasses the wind felt like a blowtorch on my skin. My boots were so hot it felt like my feet were on fire. Several times I stopped at the gas station and poured water over my boots to cool them down.
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At one point I saw the temp gauge hit 110!

T.O.Adv 07-19-2011 01:27 PM

Can't wait for more... :lurk

HeadShrinker 07-19-2011 02:15 PM

Thank you! :ricky:ricky

kid_andres 07-19-2011 02:26 PM

:clap:clap:clap :eek1:eek1:eek1 more more

WoodWorks 07-19-2011 02:51 PM

I'm in! If your report is half as good as your video, this is gonna be a real treat! :lurk

mrprez 07-19-2011 03:26 PM

Great video Oliver, can't wait to see the rest. Where did you stay while you were in CO?

EnderTheX 07-19-2011 05:03 PM


Originally Posted by mrprez (Post 16433020)
Great video Oliver, can't wait to see the rest. Where did you stay while you were in CO?

Thanks everyone for the comments :D I'm glad I can give back to our great community! Hang on because day 1 is kinda boring... lots of heat and maybe a quick video. I am still working on some cool day 2 videos but should have at least one ready tomorrow!

To answer your question... I stayed all over the place, only once did I camp in the same spot twice. I did motels as well due to weather, being exhausted, heat, etc...

Day 1 continued...

Finally I find some dirt... all the way in New Mexico! This spot is just west of Sumner lake. I saw the pavement/dirt sign and wanted to get a picture next to it. I was surprised by the ultra soft sand and paddled my way back to the pavement so I could put the kickstand down :rofl

So there is some real rough country out here... I stopped by a mad-made oasis... took my helmet off and enjoyed a bit of solitude before roaring off into the sunset.

(I didn't realize it at the moment but the fence running down the middle of the well is a sign to be heeded)

Soon after this picture I am cruising along at about 45mph on the graded road minding my own business when... in a flash... a freaking antelope jumps up in a cloud of dust, legs flailing, look of pure terror in it's eyes, running as fast as it can directly at me!!! I had no time to react and if I was going any slower it would have clipped the back of the bike. I was disappointed I didn't get it on video so later I made it a point to turn on the helmet cam for a bit just for practice.

This next picture is why I hate cows... I've had them charge me, force me to turn around on a mountain road because they couldn't get off the road, and now this cow would absolutely not move. I didn't know if it was sick or hurt... it was away from it's heard and a bit frothy at the mouth. I had no choice... I wasn't about to turn around and lose hours.

I dismounted and started walking towards the cow... it looked agitated and started walking towards me... woah, OK, now I backtrack and get my bike between me and the cow. It starts to slowly walk around, keeping an eye on me until it is about 5 feet directly behind my bike. I debated whether to risk getting on the bike and slowly inched forward... I had all my gear on so I jumped on and was off in a flash! Damn cows... :scratch

EnderTheX 07-19-2011 08:04 PM

Here is a quick vid I whipped up from my first day videos. All this was shot well after 500 miles of riding in the hot sun and the relief of some cool shadows was invigorating. The dirt was smooth, the terrain more varied than before and I knew the end of a long day way near.

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Pomo 07-20-2011 08:31 AM


Originally Posted by EnderTheX (Post 16429186)

I'd be interested in seeing/hearing about your right side attachment for the giant loop. Is that the Jesse pannier brace?

EnderTheX 07-20-2011 10:53 AM


Originally Posted by Pomo (Post 16437965)
I'd be interested in seeing/hearing about your right side attachment for the giant loop. Is that the Jesse pannier brace?

That's the leftover BMW Vario rack the bike originally came with. I find they are handy for mounting the Giantloop and my usual soft day bag... also cameras!!! :D

Day 2:

Day 2 started perfectly, great weather and the start of some twisty roads. I was excited because I had been watching the elevation climb on my GPS but hadn't seen any mountains until now. I was still taking back roads instead of major highways so I traveled through several interesting small towns... this one kinda looks like a ghost town!

I needed gas for the next leg because I wasn't sure the road would be open all the way. I had to take a picture of the name of the store, not every day you meet another Oliver :rofl

The fun begins, winding through the forest a secluded road became my red carpet to the mountains. The cool part about this road is the only way out is over a dirt pass of unknown difficulty!

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