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Old 09-09-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
K1DUDE OP
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* My Dirty Ride Report *

Part One:

I knew I was going to lose it. With all the up and down and bouncing around, I was having to squeeze it more and more. As it got softer I tried pumping it vigorously but just then it spewed all over my riding pants. My clutch master cylinder on my rebuilt GS had finally given out. Lucky for me I was only 100 miles away on a dirt ride with some friends, so all I had to do was keep moving and everything would be ok. It was a little tricky when I got closer to home but nothing that couldn't be overcome with some creative lane splitting and running a few lights. It was a little embarassing running along side the bike when I mis-timed one light, so that I could jump on and kick it in gear. When I found out the clutch master housing was cracked, I decided instead of spending the 400 bucks to fix it I would just make a winter project out of it(again).


My rag to collect the remaining fluid from soaking me any more :



Fast forward a few days...A buddy of mine that I haven't ridden with for a couple of years calls me and asks if I plan on attending the Sipapu BMW rally(south of Taos). I said I was and that I was planning on riding my KRS and explained my GS clutch issues to him. He said he wanted me to go with him and ride all the way down ON DIRT !!! Oh well, what's 400 bucks for the part(plus overnight shipping and some evening garage wrenching) for an opportunity like this? So the adventure was on. We didn't really know exactly where we were going other than to ultimately arrive at the rally. Another friend who was with me when my clutch went out said he was up for it too, on his DR650. So I fixed the bike, packed up my camping gear, and set out to see parts of Colorado I have not seen before(unless maybe from a plane).

We met near Cripple Creek and went 15 miles down the twisty pavement.


My buddy Erik on his F650 with TKC's




An hour later:




Another hour:




And yet another hour later:




On the other side of the Continental Divide. It was cooling off now:




We were farther west than we had intended but we found a high speed dirt road heading south, kinda. We needed to find somewhere to camp before we ran out of daylight. You don't need a radar detector out here. Tha's the road around the bend in the distance.




We found a nice campsite at the end of a trail, right next to a fast running stream. Notice the long shadows.





This appeared to be a hunter's camp spot. We were lucky in that there was already a fire pit and enough wood to burn for a couple of hours.
"Camp Erik" (as it is now programmed in my GPS):



Uh-oh; Jornitos. That should help keep us warm:



We sat around the campfire and had a few laughs and my two intellectual friends start having a friendly political debate. Lucky for me we ran out of wood and it got cold fast:




Now it was freezing ass cold. We are camped at 9350'. It was crystal clear and the light from the Milky Way was almost enough to see by, after the crescent moon went down. We were all beat.

It was an incredible day and we all agreed that we made a good call. Funny thing, we were farther from our destination now then we were before we left home.

It was hard to imagine that things could get better. But they would, And they would get worse too. To be continued....maybe.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:49 AM   #2
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Looks like a good ride

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Old 09-09-2008, 03:15 PM   #3
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Part Two:

When I woke up at first light, I realized my nipples were practically poking a hole in my sleeping bag (just trying to keep with the theme, sorry) It got freaking cold. When we got out of our sleeping bags, the water we had was frozen so we boiled creek water to make much needed coffee. Once the sun peeked into the valley we were in, the temperature was rising rapidly. We were packed up and out of there in a hurry, absorbing the sun's heat through a high mountain sky without a cloud in it.
As we continued higher and farther into the backcountry, it started becoming evident that we had taken the road less traveled.
Here we are about an hour out of camp. Just for reference, the peak to the right is Stewart Peak. It's like 13,995'. We are high.
Here is my friend Howard on his DR coming down the 'road':



I think here we were wondering if we were ever going to get to another gravel road.



The trees were actually starting to change already up here.:



A lot of our route would actually be along historic stage routes. And from the looks of some of the roads, I think the last time anyone traveled on them was in a stagecoach:


It is different over every hill:



Finally we start getting back to gravel.


Getting closer to the high plains..and warming up too:


I was starting to get concerned about fuel but when we hit the gravel again, I held the bike at about 50mph to conserve. We had been running 65+ on roads like this before. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see a dust cloud. It's a big old antelope racing me in the exact same direction. I fumble in my pocket (that sounds kinda dirty) for my camera and have time to get it out and shoot a couple of pics. The damn antelope had gained ground as I was trying to get to my camera. I was speeding up when I shot this pic:




Then, all of the sudden. the damn thing decides to make a 90 degree turn in front of me.



We made it to Del Norte and gassed up and had lunch. We were still a long way from the rally if we were going to continue on dirt. We decided that we would keep exploring the backwoods, even if we couldn't make Sipapu until the next day.
It seemed like we made the right call again. The weather was phenomenal. At this point, I'm starting to feel like I don't even care if we make it to the rally. That would change....__________________
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:09 PM   #4
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:10 PM   #6
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Part Three.

After lunch I started looking the bike over and noticed that I had bent the final drive support bracket on my GS. It looked like I had caught it on a rock and bashed it upward. Luckily,it was just the outer half that bent, so it didn't change the driveshaft angle. I knew I needed to find a better line through the next rocky sections we would encounter.
We headed south for a few miles and found our FS road but it had a sign that said it was closed before it went over the next pass. Not to worry, there were some lines on the map that appeared to go around the closed area. We pressed on.


A big heard of sheep was scurrying up a high meadow and I stopped to take a picture of them. After I pulled out my camera, took a sip from my camelback and turned to focus on the flock, I was surprised by two big Great Pyrenees monsters coming at me fast, and they didn't look happy. I hurriedly turned on the key, pulled in the clutch and hit the starter button...the motor cranked but wouldn't fire, but luckily I kicked the sidestand up and fishtailed away from the two charging beasts with little time to spare. A scary moment for me for sure. Oh, and I never did get a pic.
The look on my friends face was the look on all of our faces...all day long!



The road started to get narrower and we were climbing fast. It was getting a little rocky and we encountered a few more water crossings. It was getting more beautiful by the minute. We kept a good pace and soon we were nearing the top.
Howard with some friends.



Taking in the view and thin air on top of Blowout Pass:




Starting down the other side. It doesn't look steep but see the valley below where the road is headed? It was pretty steep.



Erik 'going down'



We were a little way down from the top of the pass when Howard got into some loose big rock and became the first guy to have a get-off so far on this trip. Unfortunately, when his loaded up DR650 slipped out from underneath him, it landed right on top of his leg.
Here is where we stopped and picked his bike up. As usual, it is steeper than it looks in the pic:




Howard shook it off and said he was ok so we pushed on down the hill. When we stopped at the bottom and he had to put his foot down, here was the result:



Howard was in obvious pain and we would still be 2 hours from Sipapu, once we reached the highway which was still a ways away. We decided that it would be the smart move to abort our dirty adventure and hightail it to the rally. Howard seemed to do ok as long as we kept moving.

We arrived too late for dinner so it made for an economy buzz.

As soon as we got to Sipapu, I pulled up to my normal camping spot. I wasn't there for two minutes before I met this 'Dick".


True to his promise, he had a cold beer for me. The first of many to be consumed that night. Thanks Rich.


A few minutes laterI I met another ADV guy, Spat, who I was destined to meet again soon down the road.


And then, I ran into Magilla, again. Even though this guy lives in California, I seem to keep bumping into him.
The first time I met him, I was riding down Hell's Roaring Pass, the dirt pass opposite of Beartooth Pass in Montana. Him and his dad(also an ADV guy) were heading the opposite direction. then, a few months ago, he showed up where I work riding his GS from WestFest without a clucth(bad slave cylinder). It took a couple of minutes but I remembered where we met, that afternoon in Montana. And then, now, in Sipapu. Here he is saying hello with a warm welcoming salute:



Later, I ran into some friends and my camera depicted a view that is almost exactly as I remember:


Although we didn't quite make it all the way to Sipapu on dirt, we knew that we made the right call when we realized that Howard was having a harder and harder time walking with each passing hour. He could spend a day resting and finishing off his tequilla. Besides, we still had a couple of days to ride around the dirty stuff that this area had to offer. Or so we thought...
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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Great report
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:03 PM   #9
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I recognize most of your route, but I'll have to get the maps out and start searching....
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:24 AM   #10
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Part D


Even though I consumed my fair share the night before, I woke up energized and ready to explore some backwoods around Sipapu. I have been all around here on a streetbike and know the roads well, but never DSing in the sweet forests that surround us. After a nice breakfast and some visiting with friends, Erik and I would set out for a leisurely ride on "easy gravel roads."
Howard was in good company and was going to hang around the rally site and stay 'medicated.' His lower left leg was really swollen but he seemed to be able to hobble around ok.

It was another perfect weather day. Erik and I headed out. I left my system cases on so I could bring ice and good beer back when we were through with our easy scenic ride. We went a few miles down the twisty pavement and then hit a dirt road near Tres Ritos. It would take us toward Angel Fire. We didn't go far before we noticed a narrower road that looked like a bit of a shortcut on the map. So we ventured up that way to explore. Once again, we were drawn into the mountain's beauty like sailors are drawn to a Siren.
After a bit of a rocky section, Erik stopped and asked if we should turn around. We decide to keep going. Besides, its only 25 miles over to Angel fire.


We started climbing fast.


Ran across a few water crossings:


It was a little technical, at least for me on the big pig. We ran into a couple of New Mexican guys cutting wood, We asked if the trail got bad up the hill. "No man, eeet gets eeeeasier eeen a leeetle more up." They probably got a good laugh out of that.

I had a video cam and captured the next few pics from that.










After we got through one tough uphill section of rocky road we came to a relatively flat spot. In fact it was the easiest section we had seen in a while. Somehow, I clipped a small rock in a tiny mud hole and the next thing I knew, the front end came right out from under me and the bike did a 180 beneath me. I may have tried to put my foot down, I 'm not sure, but I totally reaggravated the hamstring/groin injury that I have had since my infamous Black Canyon flight. I shook it off, knowing that we were deep in now. Sadly, I snapped the left system case right off the bike, but being the 'master of bungee cord fastening", that I am(I use to tour on a K1) I solved that problem in short order.

We climbed some more:





Luckily, I found a decent line through the rocks so that I didn't bend the other half of my half-bent final drive support. After I put the video camera away, we climbed up what was the most technical bit of riding I have ever done on a GS. I just took off and didn't stop till we were near the summit, where it finally mellowed out.

We made it to the top. This pic is at 11.500 feet.



Going down the other side proved to be a lot easier of a ride. We reconnected with the FS road before long and were on a good pace toward Angel Fire.
The road was still pretty rocky so I was still picking lines as we rolled down the mountain. We came accross some dirtbikers and ATVers as we got further down. I was passing people and felt like I was an amazing rider. Everything was great. I came up on a couple of girls running slowly on ATVs and as I passed them, at a pretty good clip, I could just imagine how amazed they must have been that someone could handle such a big bike with such agility and control over this rough terrain That is, untill I found myself fighting to regain control over my now out of control beast of a machine. I got stopped with out falling. The pretty ladies waved and smiled as they went by me.


Swell. All of the sudden, I'm not having much fun anymore. I have punctured the sidewall of my front tire. Now what...
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:22 PM   #11
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This guy? What a Dick.

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Old 09-11-2008, 07:21 PM   #12
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great report, now get back to typing.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:16 PM   #13
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...all good things must come to an end.

(Before I pulled the front wheel off of the GS)
Once I got stopped after passing the two gals on the 4-wheelers, I knew immediately that I had a front flat. Further inspection revealed that I had punctured the side wall. Erik was ahead of me and as I was checking the tire over I could hear him coming back towards me. We decided he would run ahead and see if one of the guys running around on dirtbikes might come get me with a trailer.
Here's where it gets dirty; While I was sitting around waiting for him to return, I was dosing off. Just then, the two girls on the 4-wheelers came back up the hill. Although they weren't wearing helmets or any other protective gear, I can assure you, they had ATGATT if you know what I mean. When they saw me limping around injured they coaxed me to relax on one of their 4-wheelers. Then, while one of the beauties was massaging my bruised thigh, the other lovely lady was pulling out my tire iron. Suddenly I heard a motorcycle approaching, and I woke up to find Erik back already. Damn it.
He said, "Problem solved!"
The dirtbike guys were a local club and lived nearby. One of the guys had a tube and if Erik met him in 30-40 minutes, he would give it to him in Angel Fire. So I limped the bike down the hill to a level spot and started pulling the wheel off. I got one of the beads broken but the other side was kicking my ass. Enter the Ural Patrol Patrol.


Even though they weren't the hotties on the ATV's that I had dreamed about moments before, they helped me out and hung around until I could ride away. When Erik came around the corner, we could hear him laugh at the sight of the Patrol assisting me. One of the group even offered me a tube that he was going to use to patch up a flat that he had replaced with his spare earlier. Really cool people to be sure.

We made it back to the rally just in time to catch dinner. We partied in typical rally fashion. (notice the salute)



The band, The Great Blue Whales, have rocked The Bavarian Mountain Weekend for over a decade, ever since the rally was new. I heard that Howard was even limping up to the dance floor.


I left on Sunday with the intent of riding straight home. A few friends, two on sidecar rigs, said they would keep an eye out for me, in case the tube blew out of the sidewall of the tire.
We stopped at a little lake and took a short break and then I ran off, riding home with the peace of mind of knowing that they were behind me if things went bad.


Thankfully, the tire held up on my slow ride home.


Another ride safely in the record books.


Oh yeah. As far as Erik and Howard? I'll let Erik's emai- that he sent to a friend that was thinking of riding down with us but didn't make it- sum things up.

What a weekend.

Friday: On a road aptly named "Blowout Pass", SW of Del Norte, Howard
falls down (twice) with the bike landing on his leg in the same spot
both times. He is in pain, but can walk and ride ok. We assure him if
he can walk on it it is probably just bruised. We proceed to Sipapu
and he rides home yesterday, when he finally get it x-rayed, to
discover he has a displaced fracture of the tibula (can you say broken
leg?) which needs surgery and probably a plate to pull it back together.

Saturday: Jeff and I go for a "gravel road" ride to Angel Fire. Erik
decides to take a more "challenging" route. Somehow we get up this 3-4
mile gnarly rocky steep loose climb. (Jeff is on his 1150GS with
Tourances. That boy can ride!) On a dead level stretch with no rocks,
Jeff dumps his bike after hitting a small mud puddle. Thinking we were
doing 'easy' roads, he has foolishly left his system cases on the
bike. One of which now has a broken mount. Jeff has a bruise but is
otherwise ok. Later Jeff gets a flat on his front tire. Closer
inspection reveals a broken sidewall. Thankfully we are a mile from
the road and near the local dirt bikers, one of whom has a tube. Two
hours later we get the bike back on the road and get back to Sipapu in
time for dinner. We left at about 10:30 and rode about 30 miles of
dirt and 60 miles of pavement, returning at 6:00 pm.....

Yesterday: Now alone, as Jeff and Howard have wisely decided to limp
home on a direct route, I am 1 mile from the pavement, my last dirt of
the day, after a 60 mile jaunt up through Platoro and Summitville
(good dirt roads and great scenery.) I am riding too fast when a truck
comes around a corner and spooks me. I get sideways on my now worn out
TKC's and launch off the road at 35 mph.
Wham, bam, no thank you maam. I hit a rock with my head and the bike
lands on me. By some miracle, I am ok with bruises and bangs, and the
bike is still rideable, albeit with considerable cosmetic damage,
including all of the right side bodywork being scratched or broken. My
ego is the worst bruise! The accident was totally avoidable, I just
panicked when the bike got sideways and grabbed brakes. Worst of all
is that we rode some very technical stuff and I crash on a dirt freeway.

Probably good you stayed home!

We did have some great riding, incredible weather, and fun otherwise!

Erik






Thanks for looking.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:07 AM   #14
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Very good...
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRAsH



This guy? What a Dick.
Oh Rochester

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