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Old 07-31-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
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The East Coast Wrecking Crew rides the Rockies

What Did we do-
We spent six days on the trail (July 16th to 22nd) and racked up around 1000 miles on dirt roads in Colorado. Our track went from Colorado Springs to Salida, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Lake City, Silverton, Telluride, Ouray and then back to Colorado Springs. We also spent a couple of days near Colorado Springs playing on the trails.

A few rough trip details:
Total number of registered crashes - ~10
Total MRE’s consumed – 4.8 (we didn’t eat the 2000 calorie power bar)
Average valley temp – 96 degrees, mountaintop temp 88 degrees
Bike issues – 8
Number of pancakes we consumed - ~50
Miles ridden - ~ 1000
Miles driven - ~ 3600 (Hauling the bikes back and forth)
Injuries – 3 (If you count Johns ribs, hip and pride)

How did it start?
After reading some ride reports, I had this vision of riding through the mountains of Colorado. I mentioned this to some of the guys that I have ridden with and a few of them were interested in going too. We started with six guys but only four made the trip. So we started putting a plan together. It boiled down to what to take, where to go, and how to get there. Do we use our own bikes or rent them, if we used our own bikes should we ship them or haul them out there. Do we stay in hotels or camp on the trail? What do we eat, what about gas and water? What route do we take? Lots of questions!

One goal that I had for this trip was to have my son ride with me but I had a couple of problems. When I came up with this crazy idea back in 2010 he was still 15 years old and couldn’t get a license yet. You need to be 16 in Virginia to get a learners permit but fortunately his birthday is in January. Then around August or September the motor failed in my old KTM 400exc that I had given him. I couldn’t justify putting the money into it for repairs, so I needed to find another bike for him. I had picked up a WR250R for myself and although it wasn’t a KTM it is great bike for this type of ride, so I kept an eye out for another one. I finally found one and picked it up in December (Guess what he got for Christmas). In March I took him to get his motorcycle learners permit. So now it was just a matter of getting everything together and organized.

For the ride we decided to camp on the trail and find a hotel around the halfway point. That would save some money, keep us from having to stay on a schedule and we could get a shower and maybe wash some clothes at the hotel. We also figured it would be better to have our own bikes and gear than renting some bikes in Colorado and trying to mount our gear on them. Bob had a trailer big enough for all the bikes and I volunteered my truck for hauling duties. Bob and John volunteered to haul everything out to Colorado and back. Thanks Guys!!!

We made a list of stuff to bring that included way more crap than we really needed but I still loaded it all onto my bike anyway. I also worked on putting together a track through Colorado. Rick aka Ramz who lives in Colorado helped us out with part of the track and has a great website with lots of info on riding in Colorado http://www.rickramsey.net . I highly recommend checking out his web site if you plan to go to Colorado. Thanks Rick!!!

RimBenty screwed with this post 08-01-2011 at 11:33 AM Reason: typo
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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On to the ride-
So it all started on Saturday July 10, 2011. We all met at Johns house to load the bikes and gear into Bobs trailer and my truck. They were going to leave for Colorado mid week and then pick my son and I up from the airport Friday evening. After everything was loaded I handed over the keys to my Suburban.

We loaded a total of five bikes in the trailer two WR250Rs, a DRZ400, a KTM 450exc and a KTM 950 Adventure. Bob is planning to move to California and brought his 950 Adventure to leave in Colorado Springs. He plans to fly to Colorado Springs and then ride the bike to California. Not a bad idea!

Just a note: Bob is an unofficial member of the East Coast Wrecking Crew, only because nobody has actually seen him wreck.





John and Bob hauled the bikes about 1800 miles out to Colorado Springs. They said when they went through Kansas the temperature was about 103. I really appreciate them taking the time to do this so I didn’t miss as much time at work.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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We arrived in Colorado Springs on Friday evening and on the way from the airport to our camp we picked up some tacos from a family in a trailer on the side of the road. John had to order since we don’t speak Spanish. My son and I each had a pork and a tongue taco (Yeah you read that right tongue!). They were actually pretty good or maybe I was really hungry. I didn’t get a picture but they looked like shredded beef.



We had planned to stay near camp on Saturday in order to give ourselves a chance to get used to the altitude and to have a look around. I had a slight headache the first couple of days which I assume was due to the altitude. We also had some bike issues to sort out.
Johns bike (DRZ400) was having problems with surging at high speeds, he was having the same problem back home too. We did some searching and found a post on the internet from someone with the same problem. John has a four gallon desert tank and apparently the fuel line can get kinked where it bends at the fuel petcock. He put a hose clamp on the bend to keep hose open and problem solved. He also adjusted the compression on the forks to stiffen them up a little.
Bobs bike (KTM 450) was having problems with the jetting. Bob and John both jetted their bikes for the altitude before leaving but both of them were a little off. For reference our houses are around 150 ft above sea level our base camp was at about 6500 ft and the highest point we reached was close to 13,000ft. The WR250Rs ran pretty good at all elevations, we just had to shift gears more often than the bigger bikes in order to keep the RPMs up where the motor will make some power.

On Saturday we figured on going to the top of Pikes Peak but when we saw the line of cars we skipped it and went up to the North Divide OHV area to play in the dirt. We followed trail 717 which was mostly an ATV trail. It had some fun sections but some whooped out sections too. Two things happened here.

First, John’s front wheel slipped over a berm and he took a pretty good hit and had to sit down for a little bit. He landed on his side and injured his ribs, which would haunt him for the rest of the trip. He also injured his hip but it didn’t turn black-n-blue or swell up until they were hauling the bikes back home after the trip, kind of weird.

Second, we lost Bob for a little while. Turns out he was talking to some local guys doing trail maintenance about his jetting. When we caught up with him he decided to head back early and sort out the jetting issue because his bike was running like crap.

Here’s a video of us having some fun on the trails. Bob heads back to fix his bike while we play in the dirt some more. John overshoots a turn (He had injured his ribs earlier), it looks like a common occurrence at that particular turn. I crash at the end where I hit a root just right to push the front wheel out from under me. (Sorry but the sound is crappy, you'll want to mute the sound)



On the way back to camp from the OHV area we had some BBQ at “The Smokin’ Q” on Hwy 24 in Divide Colorado. Great food, the BBQ beans were really good.



Back at camp everyone went over their bikes and worked on getting everything ready for the ride. We had to get the trailer ready because we were leaving it at the campground while we were gone. Bob had picked up some jets and put them in he also changed the needle setting. Then he took the bike back up to the HOV area for “testing purposes”. For dinner we went to Carlos Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant on Hwy 24 in Woodland Park, I thought it was pretty good but everyone else just gave it an ok.



Then we stopped at WallyWorld for some last minute things. The Wal-Mart’s back home are standard block buildings they tried to make this one look kind of like a log cabin. (Sorry not into pictures of WallyWorld)

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Old 08-02-2011, 04:37 AM   #4
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This is going to be good..a Dad and his son do Colorado.....hard to beat...
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:35 PM   #5
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Thanks, I really enjoyed having my son along for the ride.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:01 PM   #6
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Sunday morning we had the all you can eat pancakes and sausage breakfast at the campground store. Then we loaded all of our gear onto the bikes, stored the trailer on the lot and headed west.We started on Old Stage rd. which connects to Gold Camp rd and takes you to Victor.



You go through a neighborhood to get to Old Stage rd. which is kind of steep and twisty in parts. Gold Camp rd. is more level you can see where they cut through rock and built up the road, you can tell it’s a railroad bed.

First half of video is Old Stage rd second half is Gold Camp rd.
(The sound on these videos is pretty bad, you'll want to mute your sound)



Gold Camp rd. is an old railroad bed that was used to transport gold from the mines. It winds around the mountains and has several tunnels, some closed. When you use Old Stage road you bypass all but one tunnel.



After going through the tunnel we found out that Bob had a flat tire. He found a pretty good sized nail in it.








John had called Rick (aka Ramz) who had helped us with part of our route and he caught up with us a
little after we went through the tunnel and then rode with us back to Salida. Sorry I didn’t have the video running or get a picture.



When we got to Victor they were having a parade so we stuck around to check it out. It definitely had a hometown feel, I would recommend checking out if you’re in the area next year. They had a tractor pull and other stuff going on too.




These guys couldn’t get the gokart started and just pushed it along. They were laughing and sure looked like they were having fun though.



I think this guy was advertising a grass cutting service. He must have been good because he had the ribbons to prove it.



They even had dancing girls


This video actually has good sound!




Everyone in the parade handed out candy and some handed out tooth brushes. John saved the candy and gave most of it to a kid when we were in Sargents. Along with a tooth brush too. (His Grandpa gave the ok)



This guy was handing out popsicles and having a blast. Grinning the whole time.
(Thats Rick and I standing in the shade by the tree)



After the parade we had some lunch in the Gold Camp Bakery




RimBenty screwed with this post 08-05-2011 at 02:47 AM Reason: Clarification
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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After the fun and food in Victor we needed to get some gas before heading to Salida. The local gas station is on the other side of Cripple Creek from Victor. Cripple Creek is gambling town so if you want to try your luck, stop in and support the local community.



After gassing up we rode back through town and took Shelf rd. which would take us to Red Canyon Park. Shelf road was fairly warm and there are some steep drops offs next to the road but the scenery made up for it.



We also passed these guys. I didn’t notice the guy in the river when I went by but he was in the video. Apparently we caught him off guard and when he ducked for cover, he must have slipped or something because his buddy was laughing at him. The other guys were talking about him when we stopped.



[
Shelf road turned into pavement and then went south for a couple of miles to Red Rock Canyon. This place was fairly warm too and it’s pretty obvious how it got its name.




While in the park Bob had a problem with his bike. The vent for the gas tank was clogged and it kept the fuel from reaching the carb. It was an easy fix once figuring out the problem.



After leaving Red Rock Canyon we kept working our way west and went through some open country and the Free Range Lands. This has wide dirt roads with sweeping turns. I found myself looking for an extra gear going through here.



We got back into the mountains as we came up to the outskirts of Salida.



Rick showed us downtown Salida and gave us some history of the area and tenderfoot hill. The rain cloud in the video was eventually going to catch up to us.



Here we are hanging out downtown with Rick.


We headed to Poncha Springs and picked up some gas, ice and beer before heading to Marshall Pass. The rain chased us out of Poncha Springs. Rick showed us a trail to Marshall Pass instead of the original route that we had. A rocky uphill climb through a beautiful forest. My favorite trail on the trip so far. Rick rode up the trail with us for a while before wishing us a safe trip and heading back home. Thanks again Rick, it was a pleasure riding with you.




I had to stop to mount my helment cam so I could get some video of the trail. Since my son hadn’t seen me behind him for a while he was sandbagging waiting for me to catch up. We were riding into the sunset as we reached the summit and found the campsite that Rick had recommended was vacant. It was a long day and everyone was ready for a break.





Mount Ouray.


Here we were screwing around with the camera after dark.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:29 PM   #8
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Great ride report so far!

Thanks to Greg and his months of planning for this trip. I certainly learned a lot and had a blast - save for the rib injury. Camping on the Continental Divide (pic above) was really cool - our first night out of base camp and the first night in the woods. While we did see a brown bear that day, we had no bear visits at night, although I"m pretty sure we were all very cognizant of the possibility...
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:28 AM   #9
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Sunrise at Marshall Pass

In the morning I broke out the JetBoil and we had coffee with some maple & brown sugar oatmeal with walnuts mixed it. My favorite breakfast when on the trail. Instead of breaking camp, we stored our gear in the tents and did some exploring without the extra weight on our bikes.



Now the thing about Bob is if there is any single track in the area or a KTM, Husky or a Husaberg nearby he can find it. He put his radar on and we got to ride some sweet single track on the side of a mountain.
Someone has been doing a lot of work to keep this trail open, notice all the trees on the ground next to the trail. Whoever you are thanks, we really enjoyed it.
(You’ll want to mute the sound on these videos)


We needed to move on so we got the bikes turned around to head back to camp and Brandon got hung up on a rock.




We stopped in Sargents for gas and water. This is where John gave the candy (and toothbrush) to the little kid. John asked him if he could count to 25 and he said “yeah”. So they started counting candy and when he got to six he paused then looked at John and said, “where was I?” John looked at him grabbed a couple pieces of candy and just gave him the whole bag. Yeah, that was one happy kid.



We left Sargents and Headed to Pitkin.
John took this heading up the valley from Sargents. You can see the dirt road in the distance.


On the climb to Black Sage Pass my rear tire slid out and I went down in typical East Cost Wrecking Crew style. No damage but my wrist was sore for a little while. Sorry no pics, I wasn’t in the mood. Here’s a short video of the road.


Black Sage pass is a pretty easy pass but one of few that I got everyone to pose for a picture at.


After the water crossing at South Quartz creek Bob realized his camera was missing. We waited while he ran back to look for it. Fortunately a couple guys on ATVs had found it.

Here we are hanging out by the creek.


Brandon used the water to cool off and I snapped his picture.



When we got to Pitkin we had lunch at this Café and then headed for Cumberland Pass.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:07 PM   #10
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The road to Cumberland Pass is a well maintained dirt road with great views and a several easy switchbacks to the top.

At the top of the pass we explored some of the trails and found one leading to the top of Napoleon Mountain. As usual Bob goes right up but as I get to the bottom of the hill I see that the wrecking crew is having problems. So I waited to see how they did before joining them. Napoleon Mt.is in the background of this picture.


At the beginning of this clip is Brandon he had a little trouble on the hill but he eventually made his way to the top. John made a second run at it but didn’t quite make it. I had found an alternate route on my GPS so John and I decided to try our luck there. Bob was taking pictures and enjoying the show as we made it to the top.


Napoleon Mt. is about 12,500 feet above sea level. Here’s a 360 degree view I did with the helmet cam.


The view is spectacular and here we are taking it all in.


Bob


John


Brandon


The wrecking crew


A parting view



We left Napoleon Mtn. and followed the trail along the ridge and then down to reconnect with our original route. After passing through Tincup we were caught in a rain storm. We put on our rain gear and got ahead of the rain before reaching the Taylor Park Trading Post.


The weather didn’t look very promising and it’s no fun setting up a tent in the rain so we decided to setup camp early before the rain caught up with us. So we headed north and found nice a spot off of Italian Creek road to weather the storm.


We had a nice view from our camp.



John was getting close to nature
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:13 PM   #11
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Greg,
Thanks for taking the time to post this ride report, some really great video you shot.

Bob
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:05 AM   #12
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Hey guys I'll try to finish this up over the next week.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:21 AM   #13
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It was Tuesday July 19th and we broke camp and continued down Italian Creek rd.




John was having a problem with his bike it was cutting out on him when he let off the throttle. To try and figure out what was wrong with it John and Bob swapped bikes. Bob went ahead of us to find a spot to work on John’s bike. John eventually found that a vacuum line had come off the carb. Another easy fix once you find out what it is.

Brandon and I got past a real muddy uphill section and waited for John.


Here’s where we waited for John. Not a bad place to hang out.


We were waiting for awhile and contemplating having to go back and look for him. I wasn’t looking forward to going back through the mud to find him and decided it would be easier if I removed the gear from my bike but he eventually showed up. He got stuck in a big mud hole and some guys on ATVs had winched him out.



Then we went up American Flag Mountain Getting to the top of this was easier than Napoleon Mountain.

Here’s the wrecking crew working their way up to top.


Brandon and John at the flag.


Greg headed to the top


A couple of marmots were checking us out


Another great view from the top of American Flag Mountain




We continued on to Crested Butte and followed Reno rd.
In typical wrecking crew fashion I had a little trouble with some mud on lower Reno rd.


If you don’t know there are two sections to Reno road, an upper and a lower section. My tracks showed us taking the upper road but we actually went on the lower rd. We didn’t know it at the time but that was a good thing, the bad thing is when we reconnected to our track we went back over upper Reno rd. Upper Reno road is the mother of all rocky roads, I’m not talking about softball or baby head sized rocks, these rocks are the size of coolers, chairs and grandmas china cabinet.

Did we turn around? No, the wrecking crew doesn’t back down from a challenge. Yeah, we’re not too bright.

All of us except Bob walked our bike across and yes, Bob was the only one that made it across without falling over too.









Things could have been worse – That Blue blob is a car about a quarter of the way down the rock slide. I hope it was empty when it went over


We eventually made it to Crested Butte and had some food at The Last Steep Bar and Grill.



A guy actually rode this bike around town




We asked our waiter and he recommended the local hostel as a place to stay. If you’re in Crested Butte with four or more people I highly recommend staying there.

The only picture I had of the hostel was our bikes in the parking lot.


The crew wanted to check out the town but I was tired. I stayed at the hostel and went to bed while the rest of the crew terrorized the neighborhood. They went to a bar that had a pedaling competition. One of them will have to tell that story.

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Old 08-13-2011, 06:52 AM   #14
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Thats what Im talking about!!! Great stuff guy's!
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:42 AM   #15
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Crested Butte

ah....Crested Butte....A really awesome place with a great vibe and lots of young people. When we first pulled into town, we stopped at the gas station and while we were gassing up, a 30-40ish guy pulls in on a mountain bike with a string of little kids on bikes behind him (he was taking them for an offroad ride). Anyway, he was the President of the Crested Butte Off Road Riding Association and he went out of his way to welcome us to CB and gave us the idea for the lunch place. He was so friendly that I knew we were gonna love the town.

Now, about the late night "biker bar". Brandon, Bob and I went out for pizza and beer and ended up at this indoor/outdoor bar in the middle of town - lot's of outdoorsey twenty somethings, and an outdoor stage with two single speed road bikes on trainers. They had a big video screen and all night, they'd have bike races (1 mile distance I think) with two riders killing themselves for about 2 minutes. I really liked the guy in flip flops, jeans and with a cigarette hanging from his mouth while pedalling upwards of thirty miles an hour !?! Girls and guys competed and we had side bets on every race - it was a memorable blast - sorry but no pics :(
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