The plan for the most epic ride of Summer ’17: 5 guys on Dual Sports tackling a 10-day scenic tour from Colorado Springs through the San Juan Mountains, into the deserts of Utah to Moab and back.
When: July 15th – 23rd, 2017
This trip had been in the back of my mind for about 2 years now. I got my first taste of the area during a 2-week cross country tide that took place in July 2016. My dad and I left from Nashville, TN and went to California and back in 14 days. 2 major stops during that trip were Moab, Utah and Silverton, Colorado. There were a couple of problems, though, the first being that when you have to go clear across the country and back in 2 weeks there isn’t a lot of time to stop and explore (although we did build some of that into our itinerary). The second: I was on a Super Tenere and my dad was on a 1200GS. Not the best bikes to hit the gnarly sections – especially when fully loaded, you’ve been riding all day, and you’re extra winded because the elevation is taking its toll.
The solution? We had to come back. And bring the 250’s!
The Beginning Stages
As I started to run through the best way to get the bikes out West (and as much as I’d love to ride there!) time constraints, and wanting to make this trip as low-budget as possible, we settled on using a truck and trailer to head directly to Colorado Springs where we would spend the night in a hotel and take off on the bikes the next day. Once we got that figured out, it was time to start putting the route together. (I will make a how to post running through more detailed steps of putting together a trip of this magnitude).
After visiting the websites for the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route and the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route and digesting as much information as possible from ADVRider I started to piece together the key parts of the ride. What I did next was take the GPX files from both BDR routes and uploaded them to Google’s Map Maker. I could then start adjusting the route, adding fuel stops, campsites, and other POIs as necessary. You can view the Google Map I created of the route here. I’m a pretty big fan of the Google Maps interface and ease of use but it should be noted that if you’re using a Garmin product creating a map in Google Maps is an extra step. Most of the icons won’t transfer over correctly into Garmin’s BaseCamp software so you’ll have some tweaking to do. Still though, I prefer making the map in Google first, exporting the data, and then importing it into BaseCamp once I’m ready to finalize the GPX file and send it to my device (or forward it to friends).
Putting the Plan Together
After getting the route sorted and confirming all of the must-see sites it was time to set the schedule. This will be different for everyone as you’ll have to know your tolerance for spending a day on the bike, how many stops you’ll need for gas and rest, and what your average pace will be. Take these things into consideration and come up with a tentative schedule. Leave yourself some room with additional route options if needed. This will be helpful if you need to make up time for any reason.
Must See Sites:
Have any recommendations? Things to avoid? Amazing camp sites? Let us know in the comments below!
Stay tuned for the full ride report following this trip!