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Old 10-16-2010, 08:37 AM   #616
LittleWan OP
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Day 29 continued...



















More waterfalls...








More dirt...









Waterfalls.









Dirt.








Wow, that cloud casts a HUGE shadow...








Woo hoo!








More Red Mountains! Just as pretty from this side.

























We were in heaven. Sigh.






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Old 10-16-2010, 09:46 AM   #617
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan

I think your 990 wants to visit the San Juans.
So that's what she was trying to tell me when she was running so tempermental in Utah last weekend.

The thought of riding Black Bear Pass makes me a little excited and anxious as well. (I'm scared...)
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:17 AM   #618
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253
(I'm scared...)
Ah, nothing to be scared of. There's no mud! Or deep sand!
At this point of the trail, everything was so beautiful, I forgot all about being nervous.
We were just enthralled by the amazing scenery.



Day 29 continued...


The hills were covered in wildflowers.































































Climbing...





















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Old 10-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #619
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Day 29 continued...


So, we almost rode right pass the sign for the top.
Matt had to turn around.
Didn’t get off the bike or anything, but at least we came to a complete stop for these pics!



































I guess we had just missed some heavy rain. We were getting a mix of clouds and sun, now. These photos capture the conditions pretty well.















Wow.
It’s so freaking incredible up here.
I love this photo so much, I just want to eat it up! nom, nom, nom....




Words are woefully inadequate, but this snapshot captures a perfect moment on one of the best days of riding we've ever had...
(music to go with it, below)




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Old 10-16-2010, 12:54 PM   #620
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I know you made it home, but did the rear brake cool off/become functional before heading down Black Bear?
I saw Enders report and that section looks like fun.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:16 PM   #621
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob
I know you made it home, but did the rear brake cool off/become functional before heading down Black Bear?
Yeah, pretty much. Not that I remember us checking or anything!
Black Bear is steep, but short - it was the long descents (Cinnamon, California, Corkscrew) that were giving us trouble.

Yep, Ender's report is pretty great. I'll be sending you guys over to Chris and Oliver later - they got much better photos of the steps than I did...




Day 29 continued...


We still had this part all to ourselves.






Marmots! Oh, how I love marmots. They’re like squirrels in fat suits.
We came across a bunch up here, but scared them all before I could get good photos.
Here’s a marmot butt, running away.




Oh. my. god.





































































Another gorgeous turquoise lake. Well, pond, really. But, damn - isn't it lovely?









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Old 10-16-2010, 03:35 PM   #622
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Great pics, I need to get out there some time.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:04 PM   #623
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Hi Al! Yes, put the San Juans on your list! Just watch your legs...


Day 29 continued...




So far, the ride had been a dream.
Black Bear Pass was nearly empty, the sky was clear (ish) and the sun was warm and bright.
The road was amazing - fun and scenic.
We were laughing and joking.
I asked Matt if I should be more nervous...
He said, “Nah. That guy, Mark T., said we could do it with no problems and he doesn’t even know us...”

Oh, yeah. That's right. Mark only saw us for, oh maybe, 5 minutes on Tin Cup...
Hmmm... Should we really be taking his advice??



Looking back the way we came...







This is such a great road!







Looking over at that pretty pond again.







I like the angles and lines in this photo...
















I think right about here, I was saying, "F**k, this is awesome! Black Bear is so much prettier than I expected..."





At this point, we really didn't know anything about Black Bear.
I remembered seeing it mentioned in Geek's thread about Colorado, but I couldn't recall anything about the pass itself.
Now that we were actually IN colorado, I had been trying to find good ride info on ADV (way to plan ahead! ).
Unfortunately, I was using that stupid Frankenslime netbook
and between the slow wifi connections and my impatience with PCs/dell/internet explorer, I didn't get very far.








All we really knew was that it was steep, had tight switchbacks and a high pucker factor.








Mark T. told us that it was spectacular, with some sheer cliff dropoffs and some rock steps.
At some point, the trail was going to become One Way only, with no turning back...








Okey dokey!








Somewhere around here (I'm not sure if this was before or after. Probably, after), there was a steep rocky section.
We bounced down it before I could get a photo. Crap! I suck at this.
Matt always threatens to replace me with a helmet cam...















I think I'm starting to see Telluride!





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Old 10-16-2010, 04:20 PM   #624
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Ohhhh, cliff hanger...


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Old 10-16-2010, 04:36 PM   #625
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Ohhhh, cliff hanger...


oh come on WANS ! the music, the pictures, more !
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:43 PM   #626
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan

Somewhere around here (I'm not sure if this was before or after. Probably, after), there was a steep rocky section.
We bounced down it before I could get a photo. Crap! I suck at this.
Matt always threatens to replace me with a helmet cam...


Hi Kelly! Awesome pictures!!! I think the "steep rocky section" you bounced over was where I fell really hard.

Trust me, you get way more pictures and better ones than a helmet cam! Especially since recently we haven't gotten anything good out of Chris' helmet cam!
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:25 PM   #627
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Haha, sorry Guys...


Hi larryboy - Not a cliffhanger so much as poor planning!
I realized if I re-cropped a couple of photos, they would show more of the road and not the view.

Oh good, ohgood is here!
Don't worry, we'll get down the Steps tonight!

Hey Oliver - oh, was that the spot?? Yep, it was pretty steep and rocky!
Did you get pics? I'll have to check. I'll be sending everyone over to you in the next post, I think.





Day 29 continued...



Okay, so now the pass is starting to get our attention!
That little step was just a "HELLO!"
























Looking back, over my shoulder...






















I think somewhere around here was the sign marking the One Way only point?
Vaguely remember seeing a sign, but of course I missed the shot...




I really like this photo, too.
Nothing special, but it was a fun spot in the trail.
We were getting really giddy with anticipation and I was super excited about the colors of the sky and the grass...
“OMG! Look how freaking pretty it is!! Matt! Oh, wait, keep driving, but it’s REALLY pretty!”

Haha, BigWan must get tired of the intercom at times like these...








We were on the other side of the mountain now, and were starting to get some funky lighting.
Sometimes bright and sunny, other times more overcast and dark...






And then we got to this. Jeep traffic jam. Son of a...
Grrr...







While we were waiting, I took a couple photos.
Here’s the crevice
off to the left of the road. It's hard to tell from this pic, but it drops way down there...






While I was looking down there, I noticed something else.
Hmmm. What’s that thing? It looks like a little wire noose...









It was hanging from this contraption overhead...





me: Matt, is that some kind of swing?
matt: I don’t know, Kel...
me: It looks like a swing.
matt: uh huh.
me: But who in the hell would swing on that?
matt: don’t know.
me: Huh. I can’t imagine swinging on that. Do you think anyone does?
matt: thinking to himself (please, god, let these freaking jeeps get out of the way before she says anything else about that stupid wire...)



Anyway, I did find out who in the hell would swing on that thing...

arkridergc and apostle2, that’s who! Go look at Gary and Dave on the swing
,while I go work on the next post...

(they have nice photos of the steps, too - and lots of other fun stuff in their great report)




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Old 10-16-2010, 09:56 PM   #628
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Day 29 continued...



Okay, so I didn’t do the best job with photos from this point on...
We were on the steps, but stuck behind a bunch of slow ass jeeps.
This was a steep section, but it’s hard to tell from this angle.
I guess I was too close.





They were really crawling, so we just sat here and let them get ahead of us.
In hindsight, this would have been a good time to get off the bike and take some better pictures, but instead we chatted and watched the jeeps.
Slacker!
Oliver (EnderTheX) and Chris (Child) did an outstanding job of documenting the steps.
Go take a look! I'll wait.


....................


Didn't they take some great photos? And they were so lucky - no jeeps!






Oh, I guess that's the top of the waterfall we’ll see later...
I was surprised to see so many pedestrians wandering around. What the hell?
Matt said some are jeep people, scouting the trail, and others are vultures, waiting for the carnage.







There’s Telluride, ahead of us, down in the valley.







Waiting for the jeeps...
these next 2 photos look exactly the same, except for the jeep with the black top.






Here he is further down.
I guess you can kind of see the angle he’s at...
It was pretty steep between that jeep and the white one, though it's hard to tell by looking at this.






Looking back at the steps behind us.
As always, they don’t appear that steep in the photo.
I’m sitting on the bike so I’m already pretty high, looking up at a funny angle.







It’s almost our turn!







Okay, so I'm sure you’re all dying to find out how we did! (Vultures! )

First, just a quick aside from the BigWan School of Riding
(tm)...

All you experienced riders know this already, but I thought it was interesting and it might be informative for the n00bs and non-riders in the group...

When Matt is trying to teach me to ride my TTR, one of his favorite lessons is how to go downhill.
I get freaked out going downhill by myself so, of course, he’s constantly sending me down stuff that I think is too steep, trying to get me used to it.
He always tells me, a downhill section is “just a flat road that happens to be tilting down. Ride it as such.”
What that means is, don’t try and ride it TOO slow.


He reminds me that I am not a trials master - I’m not good enough to go really, really slow (okay, not a good example of really, really slow - but, holy crap. That guy is amazing!)


Anyway, you need to have enough momentum to safely go downhill, just as you need enough momentum to make it up a steep hill.
The slower you go, the better a rider you have to be.

I understand momentum when I'm on a flat road, in the rocks or in sand, but downhill - not so much. Too scary!
It’s completely counterintuitive and it takes a lot of work for me to overcome the fear and feel okay about going faster downhill.
Anyway, BigWan tries hard to drum that wisdom into my head at every opportunity.
Yeah, yeah.
I still didn’t quite believe him...


Until today.


Matt rode the schoolbus down the steps and, much to the disappointment of the vultures clustered along the road, we didn’t have any trouble.
Not even a dab.
Whew.
Sigh.
I was relieved. Not enough faith in momentum, I guess.
It was so freaking steep, I could never have dreamed of doing this on my own. EVER! Maybe not even walking!

I admire any rider who has the guts to attempt Black Bear, on any bike!








Looking down at the trail below us.






Woo hoo!
Make momentum your favorite!

Or is it, Make stupid your favorite!




Now, it’s down around the corner and off to the waterfall for a victory photo.














I never would have thought of taking a photo at the waterfall, if it hadn’t been for all the jeeps.
Everyone of them stopped and took one, so we figured we had to.




LittleWan screwed with this post 10-17-2010 at 07:51 AM
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:46 AM   #629
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan

Anyway, you need to have enough momentum to safely go downhill, just as you need enough momentum to make it up a steep hill.
The slower you go, the better a rider you have to be.

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Old 10-17-2010, 07:55 AM   #630
LittleWan OP
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Day 29 continued...


While I was standing there (after the waterfall pic), I took some more photos, but totally missed the Big one.
D’oh.


Here's the view, without us.








Looking back at the waterfall, again.










I like the way the water continues down the side.









And, down the trail.









You can kind of see another waterfall section in the bottom right corner...








Better shot, here.









This whole area is so pretty. Just impressive in every direction...








Well, except maybe that old pile of rubble on the left...








looking down at the trail...








Hey, what's that house?








One last shot of Telluride...Those pools down there look neat. They're probably toxic.








Aww, crap. We caught up to the jeeps.
They don't leave much room, but we passed them anyway.
Unfortunately, the mirror got in the way of the shot, but that's where we passed this one. On that teeny sliver of road.









There were a bunch of jeeps on the switchbacks, but we picked them off, one by one. You guys are screwing up my photos!
Nice to have some clear road ahead of us now...






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