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Old 03-12-2010, 11:31 PM   #121
Geek OP
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So remember my suggestion about sunscreen when up high?

Do as I say not as I do

I spent today sledding up at 11,000 or so feet and I'm sunburned like a freakin' lobster.

It was worth it though



...the weather is supposed to be crap here Sunday. I'll get to working on the pass reviews.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:47 PM   #122
SteveRed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geek
Don't worry Tim... I'll find a photo or two of your bike laying on its side to include in this ride report
(Thinc2 owned the Yellow DRZ you see in the Red Cone photo.. he used to kindly let me borrow it when I didn't have a bike a few years back )

SteveRed: Great to meet you too mate. Us bald brothers need to stick together. If you, Ned and myself end up in a bar together we're going to scare the locals Enjoy your Autumn cuz winter is coming!


edit: Here you go Tim.. there is some nice footage of us taking really good care of your bike in this video


For those wondering.. this is the Middle Fork of Swan Creek.
Needless to say I won't be recommending it for big bikes or for 2 up



Ah too bad Geek.. Winter riding in Australia is when we get out into the desert and compete. Our winter is like riding in Baja or southern California in your winter. It is also the dry season for up North so that is when we race the Australian Safari and or ride to the cape (Cape York).

So...
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:03 AM   #123
jimmy73
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Geek, along with the trail info and ratings, will you also be mentioning which trails/passes require plates and which ones just need an OHV sticker?
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:49 AM   #124
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Jimmy: I will try to but the vast majority require license plates. I'm not really reviewing any single track.

I never much pay attention because all of my bikes are plated... its very easy to get bikes plated in Colorado (although it did get harder last year). I have many friends who have plated 2-stroke dirt bikes
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:23 AM   #125
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Geek - for the first week (2 week trip) where would you suggest riding for aclimazation before heading over to the San Juans? Thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 03-13-2010, 02:33 PM   #126
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There are a LOT of passes in Colorado. How many? I dunno.. but enough to keep any visitor busy for a very long time.

Some of the passes are more famous than others (you've heard of Black Bear, Independence, Mosquito, etc) and it is usually for good reason. If I were visiting and wanting to see the most stunning stuff, the famous passes would likely be my choice because they are popular for a reason

In this thread:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...s+google+earth

Mac posted a link to a download of a KMZ file that you can open in Google Earth. If you have Google Earth I highly recommend you try this file out. It has a very detailed mapping of various Pass locations that you can zoom in on and check out. Although all are not listed, most of the famous ones are. If you are going to be in a specific part of Colorado you might find this useful to locate a local good ride.


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Old 03-13-2010, 03:02 PM   #127
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Thanks Geek

We here in Western KS don't accept eastern Colorado either. Thanks for the great RR and photos. I try to make it out to Colorado several weeks each summer and fall.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:14 PM   #128
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Please note: I'm going to pick a pass randomly to start with - Mosquito Pass.
I'm going to be editing this specific post several times over the next couple of days as I come up with a "format" for the pass's information that I like, then I'll move on to adding more passes.

Some passes I will have lots of photos of. Others, not so much. Mosquito is one that I have a lot of photos of.


Mosquito Pass

Mosquito is one of the very few passes that gets you up and over 13,000 feet! 13,185 ft to be exact.

Mosquito Pass is an event of its own. I've gone over Mosquito in a little more than an hour (using it to get from A to B) but I would recommend you plan on spending a half day "experiencing" Mosquito.

Mosquito's location in Colorado (it runs between Alma and Leadville and can be traveled either direction):

Click for full size image: http://topgeek.smugmug.com/Adventure...33_97YPo-O.jpg

and here is a zoom in on the actual mountain range Mosquito goes up and over:

Click here for full size image: http://topgeek.smugmug.com/Adventure...80_RYQG8-O.jpg

Mosquito is NOT an easy pass.
For automobiles it is recommend 4WD only.
The west side of the pass (Leadville) has some steep climbs that are loose.
The east side of the pass (Alma) has one really bad "baby head" field that is challenge for big bikes.

>>>>insert "rating" here as per rating system<<<<< (to be edited).

I've visited Mosquito by myself and also in a large group. In that large group many riders turned back due to the difficulty.

The first time I rode Mosquito was with Woodsman and it was dusk and pouring rain. Not recommended. We got lost several times (navigation is an issue up there.. there are many dead end spurs that lead you to mines).



A group of us on top of Mosquito at the famous "Stage Coach" pass sign


Near the top the surface is "better packed" and not as steep.. which is good because you are at 13,000 feet and there is not a lot of oxygen!


Ere109 took this photo of me looking back toward Leadville (west) from near the top of Mosquito. The road below is the initial dirt road that you ride. If you have *any* problems riding the flat section of this dirt road (coming to Mosquito from Leadville) then you should turn back before you get to the steep climb/loose sections.


Here is Laura (big LV) coming over the scree section headed down the east side toward Alma. (Watch out for that giant fly on the lense Laura! )


Invisible Dave (er.. StmbtDave) and Shearboy cresting the top of Mosquito. You can see the surface type.


Hondo coming across the scree field. You can judge for yourself if you find loose rocks of this type challenging.


A couple of bikes in our group this day were dropped on this section.. team work is great for spotting/helping less experienced riders through the tough stuff.


dropping down the East Side of Mosquito Pass - back at tree line. Mosquito Pass literally goes up over that ridge behind us!


If you are on lighter/more dirt worthy bike, Mosquito is no big deal and you can relax and enjoy the views


Let me try making another map:

Here are the things to watch out for on Mosquito....
From the west navigation is pretty easy (once you find the proper route out of Leadville).. but there is one mine you'll pass through that is a bit confusing (though the routes all come back together after they fork for the most part).
if coming from the West and you hit the steep loose switchbacks and have trouble, turn back.
if coming from the East the first big problem will be navigation (I recommend having a really detailed map or GPS tracks) when you hit the scree field, if you make it up no problem the rest will be easy.

Full size map: http://topgeek.smugmug.com/Adventure...63_LY3j9-O.jpg


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Old 03-13-2010, 04:40 PM   #129
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Predicament Part 3


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Old 03-13-2010, 04:45 PM   #130
halflife
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awesome job, Geek! You are to be commended.

For us flatlanders w carb'd thumpers, could you address any common adjustments - I'm not sure my KLR would run at 13K'.

Thanks again for your hard work.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:59 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geek
I need to side track a moment about the air getting thinner...

ALTITUDE = THIN AIR = Potential Problems!


Why is it important?

If you have never been up high, you need to know one basic rule:
There is no freakin air up there.

At 14,000 feet there is as little as 40% of the atmosphere left above you!

The higher you go:
Your bike will run worse.
Your brain will run worse.
Your body will run worse.

If you come to Colorado from someplace like Dallas (430 ft) or Atlanta (1000 ft) or Milwaukee (617 ft), you are going to find the air noticeably thinner in Denver and the Front Range cities at 5000 feet. You will have less energy.. you'll feel "drained".

8000 feet is considered the beginning of HIGH Altitude.
12,000 feet is considered the beginning of VERY HIGH Altitude.
14,000 feet is considered an extreme altitude.

Once you get above say 8000 feet it will start having a real physical impact on your movement. You might find you lose your breath even walking up a slight slope, you might not.. depending on your level of fitness.

When you get above 10,000 feet you really start to feel it. Tree line in Colorado is anywhere from 10,500 feet to 12,000 feet (north to south). What does that mean? It means there is not enough oxygen above that altitude for ANY trees to survive



The thing I remember about riding up Mt Evans were the bicyclists
I passed on the way up and who summited an hour or so after I did. How they do that?
What would really like to do is bring my telescope along and spend the nite
up there.

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Old 03-13-2010, 05:14 PM   #132
lefty15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigdog
The thing I remember about riding up Mt Evans were the bicyclists
I passed on the way up and who summited an hour or so after I did. How they do that?
What would really like to do is bring my telescope along and spend the nite
up there.

Those assclown bicyclists do that by making the lives of those of us who live along the route to Mt. Evans miserable by riding in road hogging packs from sunup to sundown every weekend.

In all seriousness: if you are going to do the paved passes, be very aware of bad behavior by all kinds of vehicles. Center lines are just a suggestion to a lot of folks out sight seeing. I've had people stop in the middle of the road in front of me, hop out to snap a few pictures, and then mosey on back to their cage with their treasured images. A hundred yards further along, they wonder what those pull outs are for. Even though I live along on of those passes, I only ride during the week when the masses of morons aren't out and about. Summer is high season for senselessness up here--altitude acclimated or not.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #133
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Yes before going up the road to Mt Evans I went down OMG Road. People stopping on that road would have been a real problem! I was in first gear all the way on my ST1100. As it was I saw no one else going down and maybe three or four cars going up.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty15
Those assclown bicyclists do that by making the lives of those of us who live along the route to Mt. Evans miserable by riding in road hogging packs from sunup to sundown every weekend.

In all seriousness: if you are going to do the paved passes, be very aware of bad behavior by all kinds of vehicles. Center lines are just a suggestion to a lot of folks out sight seeing. I've had people stop in the middle of the road in front of me, hop out to snap a few pictures, and then mosey on back to their cage with their treasured images. A hundred yards further along, they wonder what those pull outs are for. Even though I live along on of those passes, I only ride during the week when the masses of morons aren't out and about. Summer is high season for senselessness up here--altitude acclimated or not.
When I pedalled Mt. Evans, I rode alone and stayed on my side of the road. I guess I am the exception. Bicycles have as much right to be on the road as motos and cars.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:14 AM   #135
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Geek - you got some quality stuff to explore out there. One day I'll stop being so greedy and get out for the summer. You ever play tour guide?

I did want to know what the avg or typical fuel range need are? My Lc4e has the small tank so only 100 or so miles per fill up, perhaps a bit less in the dirt.

Thanks for giving this flatlander something to dream about.

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