Enjoying God's creation (people and places) ........ and fulfilling our desire to conquer and explore.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

2009, 20th Anniversary Big Dog Ride

It was a very proud moment for me several months ago to receive my invitation to the Big Dog Ride. The BIG DOG RIDE is a "Invitational Ride". It is neither a race nor a rally. It is an annual gathering of a fraternity of Adventure Bike aficionados, that mutually appreciate riding their motorcycles with like minded philosophers in the best environment for on and off-road riding in the world, the Rocky Mountains of North America.

Leaving Colorado Springs, I rode my Adventure Bike over to Buena Vista, Colorado... our base camp.

There is a reason it is called the toughest "big bike" ride on the planet, as we go places that 500lb bikes probably shouldn't go.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

West Fest 2009 - Day #4

(Scroll down to Day #1 and work your way up. Click on pics to get an enlarged view.)

The morning of day four found us breaking camp and packing up for the ride home. Joining us on the ride home is another riding friend, Kyle.

Just about loaded up.

Leaving the Arkansas River Valley.

Riding into Falcon.

West Fest 2009 - Day #3

Day three at West Fest was much anticipated. This would be our biggest ride of the ADV Rally to total abot 175 miles with close to 140 miles of dirt riding to very hard high mountain trails. We would also conquer Tin Cup Pass, the toughest I have riden to date on my big Adventure Bike. The day would also feature a visit to Crested Butte for lunch and an attempt to climb all the way up Flag Mountain, unsuccessful on our big bikes. It was a great day of riding, 9am to just after 6pm.

Our morning started with a hearty pancake and bacon breakfast at the campground.

Leaving Buena Vista, we rode up the highway to Cottonwood Pass.

Looking down from Cottonwood Pass to the east, a pic of Bryce and Tyler.

Riding the dirt road hair-pin curves down the west side of Cottonwood.

After about an hour of riding west, we finally arrived at the area where we experienced a lot of great trail riding. This is all south of Flag Mountain.

The location where our quest to climb Flag Mountain ended. The road just got too rough for many of our big bikes.

Bryce, Tyler and Marcus, looking over Crested Butte. We spent about 90 minutes in CB for lunch and an attempt to liquid weld my shift lever back together, which I broken earlier in the day.

Leaving CB, we rode down the highway and up the canyon to Taylor Reservoir.

Riding further up the dirt roads, we finally arrived at Tin Cup for a rest before tackling Tin Cup Pass.

Heading up Tin Cup Pass, we found lots and lots of cattle at 11k-12k feet elevation, feasting on the high mountain grasses.

At about 11k feet, we arrived at the roughest part of the ride over TC Pass. Looking down the trail at Tyler. Off in the background, Marcus is practicing the splits.

Looking up the trail at Bryce.

The whole riding group, after achieving Tin Cup Pass.

The boys and I at the top of Tin Cup.

Once back at camp, we enjoyed the fun and festivities of a group dinner, door prize drawings (Tyler won a T-Shirt) and the infamous "De-Noob'ing" ceremony. Here you can see that Marcus and Tyler have already been "grilled" and now Bryce is getting his turn.

West Fest 2009 - Day #2

Late on Thursday evening, Marcus arrived from Albuquerque. He drove his pickup with the KLR in the back and made it in about 6 hours. Our morning started off with some breakfast burritos, cooked up in my camping pans. From there, we geared up and headed for BV for a fill-up and dash to the 4-Mile area for some double track riding.

Gett'in ready to go!

Unfortunately, we didn't get far until our first challenge. Marcus' KLR died and Greg's Tiger got a flat, both within a quarter mile of one another. The tire was fixed quickly, but the KLR stayed sick. We got it restarted and for the next two hours, Marcus was able to ride on and off, but we finally gave up around lunch and headed to a bike shop. Over lunch the bike was rejetted for 9k feet elevation and after that, it ran like a champ! Little lesson here..... if you purchase a bike on the coast and then ride it to 10k feet elevation, assume you will have trouble.

The trail riding resumed and numerous water crossings added some spice.

Once the bike shop rejetted Marcus' KLR, we headed back to the 4-Mile area for a couple more hours of riding before we needed to retire to the campground.

In our Adventuring, we stumbled across this log cabin at about 10k feet in elevation. Hmmmm... must have made for some interesting winters back in the late 1800's! It was a great place to rest and relax for a bit.

The trail riding continued. 4-Mile is some of the best I have ever experienced.

Once the day ended, we rolled into camp with a nice view of a rainbow.

West Fest 2009 - Day #1

In 2008, I stumbled across some information about an Adventure Motorcycle Rally in the Western US call ADV West Fest. I decided I had to do it. That long weekend in 2008 in Lake City, Colorado changed my life in terms of motorcycle riding and the fun involved with like-minded riders. I made a commitment that this would be my focus in terms of riding bikes and I would be returning.

2009 found the Colorado Lane's with three bikes and the ability for the boys to join me for WF09 in Buena Vista, Colorado. I signed us up! Matter of fact, I recruited hard for friends and family to join us. In the end, a couple of friends from the front range signed up, as well as a friend from Amarillo and my nephew from Albuquerque.

Terry from Amarillo, the boys and I are packed up and headed out.

Our first stop was at Ute Pass, about an hour from the house.

A good portion of the three hour trip to Buena Vista, involve some riding in the rain. No worries... a little rain never stops an Adventure Rider.

Arriving at base camp, we promptly set up our home for the next three days. I brought the big tent, as there would be five of us piling in.

The first night we enjoyed each others company and the boys dove into some cards. We hit the hay early, as we had a hard day of riding coming up.