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Colorado and beyond – COBDR 2019

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Colorado and beyond – COBDR 2019



With all the hub bub about Colorado this year – thought I’d see some of it for myself 

An unpredictable work schedule and a life full of unknowns, when the opportunity presents itself you have to seize the moment 

I built up the EXC-F 500 this year with high hopes of tackling either the IDBDR or the COBDR 

As the summer is & was slowly creeping past, I needed to find the window to escape and ride 

Life was kind enough to grant me 7 full days to escape - about 2 weeks shy of what would have been ideal 

With all that said a brief gathering of all the adventure necessities and a slight twist in plans (adding a passenger to the back) so I threw the Mosko bags on and decided to ride the mighty 1090R


I’ve only done one BDR before with LB and that scarred me slightly :unsure: it’s been a long time since I dealt with conditions like that and I was starting to have flash backs of some of the possible extremes ahead.

Considered riding from Jamul but the brand-new tires and 775 miles of 120 degree desert heat convinced us otherwise, departed around noon with a quick stop at Freddys,  arriving in Cortez a little after midnight, found a place to crash for a few hours – so all good there

--- OK here we go





Sunset rest area





Day #01 = 123 miles


Breakfast in Cortez, – parked truck & trailer a little further up in the Dolores NF,  set the waypoint and off we went..


Looked down at the trailer and saw my right front seal was leaking pretty good, ok awesome…

As a flurry of thoughts moved around in my head, what should I do…?

Ignorance is bliss, throw a leg over and made believe I just didn’t see that….


Started rolling around 12:00pm with no pre run on the bike with all the additional weight – the first mile was a WTF moment..

Wow this feels a little weird and kind of heavy, all I could think about was some of the unknown gnar gnar ahead, few miles later (right on cue) the monsoonal rains kicked in and made for a nice muddy and slippery BDR welcome – ok cool let’s see how all this gear works

Taking it slow and starting to acclimate to the trail – things were in motion and feeling fairly stable

The first few vistas started to surface, and wow things started to make a lot more sense 


















With a brief stop in Telluride and a little fuel for the bike & body, we decided to keep rolling and tackle Ophir before sunset, sounded like a good idea at the time.

On the way up I started to remember all those YouTube videos of big bikes struggling up the pass, well there I was Big Bike, 2 up and big rocks, the pictures really don’t do any justice... maybe two thirds the way up the bike was getting really hot and I was getting a little concerned I might have allowed my mind to override my ability, then a dude came rolling by on a husky 2 stroke weaving his way up through the madness effortlessly with a quick look like “yeah sucks for you” braap braap – that really hurt…












Few deep breaths and a confident twist of the throttle the 1090 started climbed like a bucking bronco, at the pass there was a 4X4 welcoming committee and paparazzi…

It definitely felt like an accomplishment slightly relieved and full of adrenalin we rolled right through and parked about a mile or so down the other side and cracked that Modelo I had waiting in the tank bag 









Made it to Ironton just at dark with enough time to set up camp and muster up some energy to head into Ouray for dinner just in time before the kitchen shut down – and there it was, a nice big steak in front of me – ok this is working 



With a wonderful night sleeping in the rain the trip had officially begun 
















Day #02 to follow

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Nice ride for this time of the year. Rope: That what I where thinking. I carry 20-30 Yard 1/4" with me to.

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Day #02 = 217 miles


Waking up still thinking about Ophir, thought maybe an easy day would be a smart decision and it was. A nice casual 100 mile cruise around the hills with great weather was a nice way to roll into day two. Riding through Lake City and camped about 15 miles past Pitkin































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That is fantastic Rigger, as that is how it is done.... gotta window of opportunity, take it!   Not only great Colorado pics, especially of pieces of the BDR, but great pics of the knot strategies of "rigging" up a campsite - :)  



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Day #03 = 220 miles


Was a wild day started off as per usual trying to get over Cumberland
























Then Cottonwood pass (not aware it was closed) and being paved, about 30 miles in I see the “road closed” sign hmmmmm ok so I look over to the right there’s another trail..

looks like it runs parallel and or at least get me past the closed part – classic rookie move 


The trail was pretty awesome until it wasn’t, it whittled down to a rocky stream bed with a some really tough sections, again no justice in the pics…

at this point I was pretty committed to maintaining my direction.









When we finally made it out to the road there was no closure sign so I’m thinking hey this worked out pretty well, but soon realized we jumped out in a unique spot where they hadn’t put any closure signs at that trail intersection 

Ok getting ready to beg for forgiveness we continued up what was a full-on road paving construction site 

When I rounded the bend and saw all the workers looking at me like WTF I knew I better have a good forgiveness story – and I did…

The first guy was not to happy and started to reprimand me pretty good and told me to go back the way I came…I said hey man there’s no way (for safety reasons) partially true. 

Pretty much my 3 options were continuing over which was a definite NO – pay the 750$ fine not my first option or head back down in full apologetic mode...

Ended up following a support vehicle down to Taylor Park Reservoir with a quick handshake and a wave goodbye we were on our way -

all the way around through Gunnison, Salida and finally up to Buena Vista  

Good times 















Love the endless double track, could have rode that for 100 miles.....






I felt bad they were pretty startled from such a distance, felt like I disrupted the universe - pretty amazing site though



Fueled up the bike & body and kept on trucking, set up camp just south of Leadville, 

No wood to be found at this spot - so I took a quick ride to see what I could find - Thats when I met the coolest guy tucked in doing a little fishing had a quick chat and said I was on the hunt for some firewood, he insisted I take one of his bundles and 2 ice cold Sierra Pale Ales to boot - amazing what you can find in the middle of nowhere













With a few stars out I tried to sneak a night in without the rain fly - that worked pretty good until about 0300 - woke up to a pretty good down pour and was in such a deep sleep...

Luckily it was right outside and all ready to go just in case - 





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Day #04 = 220 miles

Ok cool now I can officially post in the 4 days or more section of SDAR :dance2:

Through the beautiful mountains & Leadville, Gypsum, McCoy up into Steamboat Springs, all good stuff...
















Up and over Hagerman Pass was pretty fun and technical

Caught up to a few guys riding bikes with BMW on the side..? Hmmm never heard before, but they looked fairly adventurous :D

There was a bunch of them as I wiggled my way up past a few,  we got to the rocky technical climb and they ALL stopped abruptly and looked at their GPS's to confirm they were on the right track 

As I did as well, though with everything we've been through I eyed this up as a no brainer - cracked the throttle and gave them a friendly KTM 2UP good luck wave 


Classic moment 












Made it to Steamboat Springs and figured it was a good time to shack up in a hotel and clean up a little and get a good meal



Felt like I was hanging at Lazy Harrys with Crawford minus the abundant alcohol 

Another amazing day - and well needed good nights sleep 





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Day #05 = 457 miles


Woke up in SBS and headed norte for the final segment of the COBDR with a quick stop at a local Moto for some chain lube




In contrast it was pretty smooth compared to what was behind us, hit the end of the trail took a swig of water and started riding south again via the COBDR and CDT back to SBS feeling good and another sense of accomplishment. 

The Three Forks Ranch up there is some pretty awesome digs..


















No shortage of monsoonal clouds to keep you on edge 












A little snack before the storm and what a storm it was..




For most, it would be a nice time to soak it in and enjoy the fruits of labor, unfortunately I didn’t have time to soak anything in other than more miles.

Heading south the mind was reflecting on the adventurous days of riding and being extremely content everything worked out ok and safely




The mind is a funny thing, I started to feel this void, the feeling like I left a stone unturned and realized at that point I couldn’t leave Colorado without riding the short segment from Ironton  to Lake City up and over Cinnamon, Hurricane and Corkscrew passes

Logistically it made sense to get to Lake city and do it in reverse 


457 miles later 200 miles in the torrential rain, rolled into a campsite about 15 miles past Lake City

It was midnight, dark, cold and raining really hard – nothing new I guess

Set up a primitive camp, took a swig of some tequila and hunkered down for a few hours..







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Day #06 = 151 miles - with minimal pictures aka: survival mode 


Bounced up at 0600 in a slight panic “what the heck was I thinking” regardless of my decision it was a difficult route back to Dolores in these conditions. The precipitation and flash flood warnings had me on edge and yet once again, doubting my decision making with my best poker face on,  the rains eventually slowed down a little and that was our cue to wrap up camp asap and get moving while it’s still early.

Dangling onto the last little bit of confidence I had, wondering if I was being adventurous or just stupid – yeah the jury is still out

FYI - Cinnamon had just opened the day before from the mudslide closure 


OK up and over the passes and needless to say it was soooooo worth it & SO BEAUTIFUL 






















wow we made it.........




Though the nap-less adventure was about to take a turn, priding myself for keeping the rubber down for so many miles and technical sections…. 

It was a gnarly tight and steep switchback (nothing new) but this time a jeep, who I thought was holding his ground above me decided to head down a little further and nestle himself on the outside of the turn.

My gut told me to wave him on, but the effort he made to give us room appeared to be sufficient, but it wasn’t. - should have waved him on....


Way to tight of a turn but ok here we go…and well there we went.

I stalled the bike in the crux of the climb on a rock step up and it shut me down instantly..

It happened really really fast, I don’t think I panicked but in hind sight I could have handled it better.

With a subconscious handful of clutch and front brake we shot backwards so fast realizing this wasn’t the intended direction, I let the clutch out and the back tire locked, and the bike shot straight up 90* 

Now sliding down on a reverse wheelie (wish I had that on video) and then came crashing down to the side.

Yeah good times…

Fortunately, everything and everyone was alright the only thing that was bruised was my ego and my knee a little    

The dude jumped out of the jeep and apologized straight away – all good 

What’s done is done, but hey maybe you can help me pick this high sided 700 lb machine up

That kind of work at 12,000’ is very humbling, lots of huffing and puffing going on. 

Funny how most people don’t realize how heavy those bikes can be, it was the classic  “ok you got it for a sec”   “yeah I got it…wait no I don’t” 


There was a brief 4x4 back up with lots of support and laughs, and then there was the one gentleman who felt the need to express his feelings about how I shouldn’t be riding a bike like that up there, and if I had a hard time on this turn I would never make it all the way through – following up with  “what are you crazy, I would never do anything like that”  the last thing I wanted on the mountain was a verbal altercation though at this point I had limited patients for this guy and had to shut him down in the nicest condescending way possible, I think maybe a little east coast surfaced for a moment…but all good


Fired up the trusty machine, gave a big thank you wave to the 4x4ers and ripped it up the rest of the mountain far from effortlessly but none the less I’m sure it looked impressive.

Cruising right along again soaking in the high tundra was pretty awesome as to be expected  









Going down Corkscrew was a challenge as it was steep, really muddy & slippery but soon before you know it, you’re descending into the trees and my fear of being stuck up there descended as well 






Crazy how destructive the mudslides and avalanches can be - a true force of nature...








Whamo there we were at the intersection of dirt and 550 – now we’re talking :dance2:

Decided to head up through Ouray, Ridgway, Placerville, Telluride, Rico into Dolores and back to the truck and prepare for the 775 mile ride home through the desert to Jamul 



I guess the mud is a dead give away :(




All mounted up and ready to roll....



It was a long day to say the least, waking up outside of Lake City and resting my head in Jamul made for a 900 mile 21 hour day, home at 0300 and up and running for work at 0700 – yup good times 


All in all, another pretty awesome adventure on a motorcycle, it really is an amazing passion we adventure riders have.

Feeling really fortunate to be able to do and see such beautiful terrain – 


So, in summary a very safe and successful adventure not to mention the whole time I had a very willing and adventurous trusting passenger – my first 2 up ride on the adventure bike proved to be an amazing challenge…might have set the bar a bit high this year almost a bit scared of what I will get myself into in 2020


Hope you enjoyed – still close my eyes at night and see myself wandering through the forest

I've got a bunch of video from the back seat that's pretty good - I'll try and upload 






Until next time....


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So jealous.Thats what I bought my 1090 for. 

Should be ready to go next year. 

Congrats on a great vacation 

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< Looks to the sky, rain pouring down, lighting dramatic, right fist raised in rage, screaming at the sky >

"With nonspecifichigherpower as my witness, I shall never take another picture on a ride again! I've been shamed, shamed, I tell you! I'm going to smash all my cameras and will live without jpegs forever!"


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I did it last year on my V-strom (yeah I know) and it was awesome but I couldn't imagine doing it 2 up, Props to you and good report

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Bro, I admired you before reading this. Now you are my hero. I'm not so sure the passenger was real though....no pics...no info....hum... :heh:...and day 5....I can't believe she went along with that...

What a great adventure. Awesome pics of course. Awesome spirit to take on some of those challenges riding with a passenger but no other bikes. And **** that loud mouth in the jeep. He's lucky LB wasn't there to back you.







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This road closure can kill you, I did this on my last trip around CA last month. The road worker chased me with there shovels back out of the construction and there only dug the trench for the Fiber cable. 15 mile detour ended up on a dead end farm, and the farmer guided me to the right way. Did it Kill me, NO, god adventure.  Nice ride for you.

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Can't Image why you would any problem in the rocks.


This Meadow two track reminds me of the route north-east of Salida


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Spectacular Dan! All that in seven days? Wow! Double wow! An incredible adventure ever etched in your soul. Good job! 

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Two up.  Freakin' awesome!  The few dirt'ish rides I have done with the GF/now wifey two up were really challenging.  You did stuff two up most guys would balk at riding solo.  

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