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Old 08-19-2014, 03:39 PM   #1
jglow OP
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Utalorado 2014 – The Over-Ambitious Loop (3 Wr250R’s vs. a KTM 500XCW)



Last year I had great luck using some of the UTBDR (Utah Backcountry Discovery Route) and linking it together with tons of other OHV trails, Forest Roads, BLM Roads, etc… to build my own pretty sweet loop around Utah (Ride Report Here Ultimate Utah Adventure Route – The UTBDR and a Whole Lot More).





The route had a great mix of challenging trails and faster (easier) transit sections. This year, the hope was to create a similar style of ride, but start in Colorado, do some crisscrossing into Utah, and ultimately loop back to our starting point in Colorado. The route for this year would of course hit the popular stuff like the mountain passes (Cinnamon, Engineer, Ophir, Black Bear, Etc…) , but I was also hoping to work in some lesser traveled OHV trails, and even some Motorcycle Single Track Trail .


The finished drawn route ended up being right at 1600 miles, and I was able to get the mix of trails/forest roads/etc… that I was looking for while building the route. We would have 8 days to complete the route. Of course not everything went as planned, but we will get into that later…





4 of us went on this ride:


Terry (jtmajors)





Lawson (kirbykajin_sr)





Richard (motokirby)





and Myself - Jordan (jglow)





3 of us rode WR250R’s and Terry was on a KTM 500XCW





So climb aboard, as I get this Ride Report up and running. Tons of video, and plenty of pics to sort through . I will do my best to keep it coming, but I won’t promise anything greater than a glacial pace .


In the meantime, here is a little teaser video from the trip .







jordan
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:44 PM   #2
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In first! O wait I was there! Ready to do it again!
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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Looks good so far!
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:55 PM   #4
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YEEAHHHH BOY!!!!!
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:11 PM   #5
jtmajors
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Thanks for putting this together! You are awesome.
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jtmajors screwed with this post 08-20-2014 at 12:09 PM
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:21 PM   #6
LittleWan
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Woo!
Utalorado - one of my favorite places!

I recognized a lot of the stuff in the teaser video, this should be good...


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Old 08-19-2014, 06:25 PM   #7
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Great vid!!! Lookin' forward to this one!
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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Thanks again Jordan for putting this together. I love re-living the trip through your perspective!
Let the adventure continue!!
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:22 AM   #9
advmoto66
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Ride On!!! Looking forward to seeing how your trip went.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:44 PM   #10
jglow OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan View Post
Woo!
Utalorado - one of my favorite places!

I recognized a lot of the stuff in the teaser video, this should be good...



I can only hope that this Ride Report is Oso-good, or Wan-tastic, or maybe you can at least make it your favorite? (if you've never read a Bigwan/Littlewan RR, then this has made zero sense to you .




Processing some pics and vid for day one... Hope to have it up in a bit.




Jordan



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Old 08-21-2014, 04:37 AM   #11
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To give y'all an idea of what areas of the mythical land of Utalorado that we are riding in, see the below pic :




Routing for the trip this year was a challenge. I used bits and pieces of the TAT through some of Colorado and Utah, and that part was easy. I had the maps, and tracks from riding it a few years earlier. The challenge was locating and drawing gps tracks for the OHV and MC Single Track I was wanting to include. The kind of stuff that you can't find on Trail Damage or Stay the Trail. Also, the goal is to find challenging trails, but still do-able... That is all very relative to personal skill, so asking the question to locals about "how difficult" a particular trail is really doesn’t help too much. And the question is probably better phrased as, "how difficult would it be on a not dirt bike with a bunch of camping gear ?"

But, I drew the route up over the Winter and early Spring, so I had plenty of time to research by pestering locals for intel and scouring over MVUM maps and trying to remember the myriad districts of NF and BLM lands that were in my target area.

One thing I did find this year was the ability to overlay National Forest MVUM maps in Google Earth...





Maybe the ability to overlay maps in Google Earth isn't the coolest thing you've ever seen, but it's pretty high on my list. It’s a pretty great resource for creating an actual track to follow .




As far as bike preparation went this year…. The WR’s have been through this kind of ride several times, and were pretty much ready to go. Fresh oil, air filter, and tires were about all they needed. One thing I did do differently this year though was ditching the Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebags for a Giant Loop Coyote.


I love the Wolfman Bags, but I felt almost as wide as an ATV with them on. There were several times last year that I was dragging the bags on the side of friggin’ mountain, or large rocks, and not to mention the constant attack by Sage brush trying to rip the bags off of the ol’ girl. I knew some of the areas we were routed through this year were going to be even tighter, and I was worried I wouldn’t fit – literally.


Terry, on the other hand, was in full adventurization mode on his KTM 500XCW. This was extremely time consuming for him because he can not buy anything unless he gets a discount on it and free shipping. He added the Aceribis 5 gal tank, heated grips, 12V charging outlet, etc… He also went the Giant Loop option for luggage with the Coyote – that made all 4 of us.







This ride was going to be a good real life comparison between the WR250R and the KTM 500 - so much better than fighting on the forum about it . How would fuel mileage compare? Durability of the KTM? Exactly how much more would the KTM kill the WR at 12K elevation? How does the KTM 500 do as a lightweight adventure bike overall? We were all looking forward to the results .


So as the end of July rolled around, final modifications to the Route had been completed. Terry finally mounted that pretty new oversized tank, and we had all met up at Lawson’s house the weekend before the trip and loaded all the bikes on the trailer – ready to haul out after work on the following Wednesday.







Day 1 Coming up…..




Jordan
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Maybe the ability to overlay maps in Google Earth isn't the coolest thing you've ever seen, but it's pretty high on my list. It’s a pretty great resource for creating an actual track to follow .
That's a skill I would be Very interested in learning. Please elaborate at some point. Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:40 AM   #13
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In!
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:08 PM   #14
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Day 1 – La Veta, Colorado to Rio Grande N.F. (Below Del Norte, Colorado)



We headed out after work on a Wednesday with the end destination being La Veta, Colorado – our starting point for this ride.





The drive up from Dallas was relatively uneventful until some point outside of Amarillo, when Richard realized that he had forgotten his riding jacket at home. We used the combined forces of Samsung and Apple to determine that there was absolutely nothing we could do about it until at least Trinidad, Colorado, where there was a tiny glimmer of a possible cycle shop.

So at some point we stopped for the night in a quaint (run-down) motel in one of those little Texas towns that smells like manure, or oil, or both. You know the one? We were working hard to break Terry in. He’s not used to indulging in such crumby accommodations.


Unimpressed Terry:




Anyhow, bright and early on Thursday we were up and heading towards Colorado. Richard had located another option for Motorcycle gear (in the case that the shop in Trinidad didn't pan out) about an hour north of Trinidad, Colorado – in Pueblo. So when we came up to the cycle shop in Trinidad, and it looked like you’d have better luck sourcing a used brake cable for an 85’ Honda ATC110 Three-Wheeler, we headed back to the interstate and up to Pueblo. And not an hour or so later, Richard was the proud owner of a Roadgear jacket purchased from the basement of a house in Pueblo.

Behold the Tierra DelFuego Jacket:





Even with the extra running around trying to locate a jacket, we still made it to La Veta just past lunch time. The plan was to park the truck for the 8 days at the Circle the Wagon’s RV Park. These folks were very accommodating, and it was a nice secure place to leave the truck.



We get the bikes unloaded and do the last minute (or hour) adjustments and packing before heading into “town” to get fuel, water, and stuff.





On the short ride into town I noticed by front tire felt really lumpy. It got worse with speed, but I couldn't tell what was wrong – it was still holding air… I was ready to just deal with it so that we could just get moving and get on the trail, but thought I’d give it a quick once over under the shade of the closed gas station.





It was a pretty easy fix… Somehow the tube kept getting pinched between the bead of the tire and the wheel. A little deflation of the tube, persuasion by tire iron, and oversight by our eldest member of the group got us all fixed up.





Finally heading out of La Veta – The start of the Over-Ambitious Loop:





We had no real daily points, or towns we were trying to get to. I never really knew where we would end up each day – no matter how many times Terry would ask me. The (my) goal was just to get up early, ride all day, and stop when we are dead beat .





But, the use of simple division (probably utilizing the calculator on the iphone) let us know that we needed to be averaging around 200 miles a day .





But for today, I just wanted to try to at least get into the Sangre De Cristo Mtns, and find somewhere to camp. If we got further, great…





The start of the route was easy, with lots of fast gravel.





And we were eating up the miles quickly.





Before too long we were climbing up Medano Pass…





Which was a nice warm up…





With a little foreshadowing of what’s to come.





Coming down from Medano, we had some fun water crossings…





And little runs through Aspens…





And then out from behind a mountain,





Pops The Great Sand Dune.





Super Crazy to see in real life.











And really fun to get to it the way we did...





On the sand road.





Which was about 4 miles of fairly deep sand,





And it was a ton of fun… At least for 3 of us. Lawson hasn’t accompanied us on too many of our rides where we play in deep sand – but he was hanging in there.





Before we headed out of the Park, we took the obligatory group pic:





After the dune, you’ve got about 30 miles of super flat valley to cross before you hit the next range. So, with no place to camp, we pressed on towards what looked to be fairly threatening weather.





Hit a little dust storm action…





Before making it to Del Norte,





Where we called an audible , and went slightly off route to camp in the Rio Grande National Forest, South of where the rain was erupting.





Turned out to be a pretty nice spot, save for one old homeless hippy who was looking to bum a smoke of any kind . But he was friendly enough, and never pestered us any further after leaving empty handed .

Tomorrow would be the first full day on the trail, and what I had figured as probably the most difficult. 12 hours isn’t a ton of time to acclimate to elevations above 8,000 ft, but that’s no problem, right ?



Total Mileage Today: 130 Miles


Jordan
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:51 PM   #15
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Sweet, I'm in.
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