Post about trip before leaving: “Heading out on my CO dual-sport adventure”
Well I got back Sunday night around 7PM after doing 877 miles around CO. Unfortunately this adventure is going to cost me close to $3K. The bike slid out once in loose sand when going around a tight corner, I was only doing a few miles an hour so it wasn’t much of a crash. But it was enough to damage one of luggage bags on the bike. Then when going over Tincup Pass the other luggage bag hit a large rock outcropping when going down a steep part which then caused me to drop the bike again, this was the toughest section of the ride. Given that the bike weighted 410lbs dry + me (160lbs) + 3 luggage bag (hard plastic and maybe 50lbs each) that’s over 700lbs which made it very hard to control when going downhill, the near street tires didn’t help at all either. This damaged the other luggage bag, front crash guards, and scuffed up the paint some. The 3rd, “trunk” bag, one broke off on its own, the plastic brackets gave way from the vibrations of the dirt road and rocks I guess. Well each of these bags cost $400 + $150 for the busted brackets. So the rental place is charging me the max damage deposit of $1,500 and the bike cost $740 for a total of ~$2,300. FUCK! For that amount I could have purchased a bike and resold it and still come out ahead.
Minus the huge amount of money this trip cost (close to $2,800, including hotels, repairs in Crested Butte, and flat tire repair in Craig) it was still a good, not great trip. My riding buddies were two brothers, one of which I worked with at a past company for several years. The whole trip it felt like we were in a rush to get to our destination, which we were to some degree since each day we got in between 6-7PM. Both of their bikes also had much more aggressive tires on them then my rental, I had gotten advice on tires from someone at the local ATV\bike shop and it turned out to be bad. So they were able to keep their speed up much more in the turns, since we were doing dirt back roads most of the time there were a lot of loose turns, it fell back in the turns but was able to catch up in straightaways. So this caused me to have to push the limits of the bike/tires and my skills to keep up. We also rarely stopped for pictures and stayed in hotels each night, @$100+/night. By the time I met the guys on Wednesday they had already ridden ~2,000 miles and had camped most nights. So I can understand why they were over camping, it also rained VERY hard one day in CO, and were ready to just get the trip over with. The one day we got really wet we got rained, hailed, and snowed on; so I nice warm bed was really welcome that night.
The best thing about the trip is that I got to see a lot more of CO and realized I MUST get out on my street bike more often. I was also refreshed with my love for the Crested Butte area, which we rode though. The bike I rented was great on the hard packed dirt and asphalt and was a lot of fun when on those surfaces. I would have much rather done the trip at a much more leisurely pace and just camped when it was time to stop for the evening. The whole trip was beautiful but the best areas were in NW CO with Tincup Pass (12,154) have the top views; I’ve been up their camping multiple times in the past. The other passes we went over were Kebler (9,980), Buffalo (10,300), and Cameron (10,276). The towns we rode though were: Trinidad, La Veta, Gardner, Silver Cliff, Cotopaxi, Salida, Tincup, Crested Butte, Rifle, Meeker, Craig, Baggs WY, Steamboat Springs, & Longmont. I have lots of pictures from the other guys and some of my own I need to go though. Once I do I’ll add a link here.