“Colorado, Mountains and SNOW?”
So, you’d think we paid our dues entering Colorado after riding through yesterday’s storm. But obviously Colorado has something else in mind for us, but more on that later. We got up this morning well rested and warmed up from our nearly freezing ride in the rain last night. We finally caught up with the 2 Brits riding KTM 500 Six Day models. These bikes are basically full race bikes with special suspensions, brakes, exhaust and every other custom part you can think of for a KTM. They’re pilots are a couple 20 something guys from England that clearly are expert riders with racing experience. Kind of a cool story, they’ve both lost a parent recently and are riding for the British Heart Foundation. They shipped their bikes to NYC and flew in. Rode to Tennessee from NYC to start the TAT, riding to Oregon, then down the coast of California to the tip of Baja, then back to LA to fly back to England
We grab breakfast and hit the trail around 9am. The weather was perfect! Sunny and brisk with not a cloud in the sky. We headed north out of Trinidad and then cut west over and through some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve seen in some time. While clipping along about 40mph, I just had just said to Rod on the coms…”I keep looking in the mirror thinking the Brit guys are….”, my thought was rudely interrupted by the sound of two KTM 500’s racing past us doing at least 60mph!! They waved as they powered past and did a standing powerslide around the upcoming corner like it wasn’t there. It was CRAZY as we watched them disappear over the next hill. We followed their roost marks for about 5 more miles when we came to a steep cattle guard that had an abrupt T intersection directly afterwards. As we crossed the cattle guard it was apparent that they had jumped it and the first rider ran straight off into the adjacent field, while the second rider just gassed it and did a HUGE powerslide around the 90 corner!! These guys are both talented and CRAZY. We saw their roost marks the rest of the day, but never caught them.
After riding up into an amazing National Forest with some decently difficult trails and breath taking views, we headed down the backside of the mountain headed for Westcliffe CO. Once again, Colorado had another surprise in store for us today. We saw the clouds coming from the west, so again we donned our rain gear. This time, we ran into SNOW! And at the worst possible moment when we were riding down a steep paved 2-lane with traffic behind us. Talk about pucker factor!! The snow had accumulated to the point of an inch or so and there were only the cars tire tracks that cut through the snow to the pavement. We stayed calm and held our lines, following the car tire tracks and got through it safely. We arrived in Westcliffe just as the rain/snow stopped and the sun broke through!
We’re going to sleep in tomorrow since we have a short ride (116 miles) to Sargents CO. Hopefully the temps will warm up and rain/snow hold off because we’d like to get back to camping. We have appointments Saturday morning in Gunnison CO at the KTM dealership to get new tires and oil service. Hoping to take a couple days to get rested up for the BIG passes over the Rockies!! Till tomorrow!