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A wander around COBDR and CO.


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After taking a year off of roaming around in the Summer in the Rockies, I opted to do so on a newly acquired T7.


I grabbed these maps and set no agenda:



I parked my truck near Montrose, CO, (after playing on a 525 near Taylor Reservoir) and pulled out the T7 to wander around on the COBDR and some tarmac roads.


I didn't have the chance to pack the bike while at home, so it was a mish mash of strapping things on the bike at the last moment from a box filled with quick grabs from the garage.....and when I was a thousand miles from home.... on the trip (silly plan :).  I also had been riding on a 525, so merging the gear from 1 bike to both bikes also demonstrated some disfunctionality! Also contributing to the poor prep was that I had gotten a plethora of parts for the bike from Poland and England, etc... in the last couple weeks, so had yet to figure that out!  Regardless.......  The bike ran FANTASTIC!


The Peonia to Carbondale hiway was beautiful:



I wandered up to Aspen and then backtracked to Basalt to start the BDR on the Alternate route given the fire in Sylvan.  The Alternate route was great!



I liked every after-market product I installed!!   It is interesting that as a newbie....  you could innocently buy your single first accessory, and because of that purchase, there are restrictions and parameters you have to figure out to have some compatibility for future purchases!!  I bought the Tusk tail rack, and then the adv spec side racks to specifically protect my paint for my rackless luggage (maybe not rackless after all)- haha.


My XL Enduristan Blizzard bags looked to have the same shape and size as the ADV spec racks....  almost  🙂

They were great!


(Also, Yamaha center stand, Camel finger clutch pull easy, oxford heat grips, barkbusters, double take mirrors, Camel anti-wobble odometer bars, rally seat (but hasn't showed up yet), Heed uppers, alt-rider headlight shield)


My biggest change for my next ride would be to be better prepared in my packing so I didn't look like the "grapes of wrath" truck going down the hiway  :) , but even with that funkyness, the bike rode super. 


In the left Enduristan pannier was only a sleeping bag and mini pillow.


In the right pannier was a stove, pots, food, water purifier, bowl, cup.


In the bag immediately behind me, strategically set at a height that allowed me to rest my backpack/hydration pack on it to reduce any weight on my shoulders, was tools, tubes, air compressor, and some mini emergency accessories (the heaviest bag at 19 lbs because of tools)


In the tail bag strapped on top of the left pannier, used like a tank bag (but I don't like tank bags), was toiletries, chargers, snacks, etc...


In the yellow bag on top of right pannier was rain gear for easy quick access, and an insulating jacket if it got below 50 degrees (only did once).  In fact, purposefully, I did not wear my Klim  Gortex jacket as I thought it would be too warm/hot, so I used a mesh jacket the entire time except for a few thundershowers when I quickly slipped on the gortex shell over the mesh jacket for an hour or 2. It was the right choice!


The Blizzard bags had lots of places to attach straps for extra stuff, so that was great!


In the big red Monster bag was my tent, sleeping pad, camp chair and misc clothes when camping (18 lbs., so tried to slide it up over seat a bit to keep total weight off tail rack )


Strapped on top of the big red bag was 2 gas tanks, and a Bike cover (I find that I feel like less folks see the strapped on bags and bike when covered in random towns and keeps Bozos from wanting to sit on the bike when along the sidewalk unattended, does make me miss hard panniers, but I wanted to go soft luggage on this bike).


Also on top of monster red bag is an easy quick access cable lock that I use to thread through my helmet, one pant leg, and one arm sleeve of jacket when bike is unattended while I grab a bite to eat). 


My newly installed PUIG windshield was truly incredible!  ( I have a vstrom and won the wind battle with 7-9 extra purchases/decisions, but this bike only needed one.  The original stock screen had the wind force hit me forcefully on my upper lip. Frankly, it was horrible as I couldn't even partially open a face shield as the wind force would close it once going about 45 mph, and the mixed air was so violent that no pair of glasses would even stay still on the bridge of my nose!  But this new Puig was about ~4" taller. If you would have seen the massive bug splatters at the top of that screen, you would realized how much protection it gave, and over 95% of the thousand+ miles I rode, it was with the face shield up with only prescription glasses on, and almost no bug hits nor glasses movements.  I did use the drop down sun shield occasionally to cut glare and have a bit more protection, but that was also to have good wind flow and cool down as that Shoei GT was a road helmet and a bit warm for adventure riding.  I am gonna shop for a new helmet soon. (By the way, this wind story and fairing info: I have the stock seat, am 6-1 and buy 34 inseam jeans - I liked the set-up I have for 3 mph or 95 mph.).


Back to the ride......


At the end of the BDR, I met a couple fellas on Suzuki 650's who had a left a fella back in Gypsum with his triumph and a burned out clutch, so they were going to turn around and head back on the BDR. 




Regardless, that wasn't my goal given that I was on a bike that seemed to enjoy tarmac at 80+ mph. 


I am a bit shocked that given how many COBDR stories I have read, nobody really talks about good routes for the return after a BDR.  Sure, there are the long painful drones of riding the knobs back to the start point, but for the COBDR, if on a big adventure bike, I found a great option!


At the end of the BDR, in the late evening, I turned North-East on the Hiway 70 in Wyoming. For almost 45 minutes, I did not catch a car, nor pass a car, as I rode at a vey high rate of speed up and over another spectacular pass through absolutely fantastic winding curves towards Medicine Bow. It was a spectacular ride as I cruised into the Encampment/Riverside towns. It was just about dark, so I considered a dive into the trees to pirate camp. But I saw a cozy clean RV park and thought about a campsite (Often the RV parks are not into tent campers, but at Lazy Acres, a super kind fella walked up to me and asked me if I needed help.  I asked if he could be so kind as to allow me to use a small patch of grass and he smiled and said, "Of course"  :)  So for $12, I was offered a nice soft grass patch and a picnic table. Showers too! Jack pot - what a lucky dude!  




The next morning I cruised up to the 130 to go through Medicine Bow, Nice:



A drop down to the prairies to Laramie, then a lousy dangerous road to Fort Collins where wackos tried to pass unsafely.  It was hot and crowded in Fort Collins, and the Rocky Mountain National Park offered a window of time to enter if registered, so instead, I took the 14 back up into the High Country.  It is a nice road, and then I used the Gould-Rand dirt Cut-over.  Super nice to have the road to myself  🙂  and some moose not far away:



A cruise on the Hiway 40 to the Interstate 7, with some pretty good pace up and through Eisenhower tunnel, and then over to Leadville.  I really like Hagerman Pass to get back to Basalt, but I also think that Independence pass from the East is one of my favorite, so I opted for the Twin Lakes entry point:



The spot just under the Pass is also a nice place to reflect on the beauty of that route:



I then took the (82) back to Carbondale and the Peonia hiway (133), as it was so dang nice.


A bit hot headed to Delta and Montrose, but all good  🙂 


It was a super loop and I look forward to doing it again!


Safe Travels to you all. Mac.  

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Yes, thanks for the report and pictures.  Time well wasted.

Much appreciated.

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I appreciate the thoroughness of your report - bike setup, gear, route and general feedback.

Good pictures too!

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Nice pics! Saw some of the same scenery this past weekend. You didn't have to deal with wildfire smoke, which made your pics much better than mine. Good show!

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Great write up and what a nice place to ride....glad your enjoying the T7,  I would say it was the perfect bike for the trip 😀 Cheers,  Steve 

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What a nice little write up of your journey and pictures were really good.  Looks like you had a great time with the T7.  Cheers

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