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  1. #1
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    Kokopelli's Trail in 4 days

    Rode the Kokopelli's Trail this past week in four days with my wife and son. Other than stashing water at 2 locations we did the route self-supported, using mostly Revelate goods to carry a very minimal kit. My son and I were on rigid 29ers with 3" tires and wide rims. My wife rode a carbon Blur. We brought light summer bags boosted with down sweaters, a sil-nylon tarp and skimpy pads, alcohol beer can stove, a water filter and just enough food! A total of 8 bike bottles supplemented our 3 100oz bladders.

    We had typical high desert fall weather with cold longish nights, sunny mild days and hardly any wind. Trails and roads were in super condition due to the unusual large rainfall in the last 4 weeks.

    The Kokopelli, for the uninitiated, is a collection of jeep spurs, dirt and paved roads plus a few sections of singletrack covering 140 miles from near Fruita, Colorado to Moab. The total elevation gain is around 16000' and the riding span everything from long smooth downhills to technical gnar. Even a bit of HAB. The terrain is equally varied as the route traverses riverside cliffs, barren badlands and high mountains aspen forests. A 4 day tour like this of the Kokopelli allows for sightseeing, fun-stops and slow mornings around around the campfire, all good stuff when cruising with the family. That said, with the shorter days of fall we actually rode past sunset almost every day. Our total saddle time was around 21 hours. Some folks race this route under 15 hrs total time!

    We rode the route from east to west and the descriptions below is based on this.

    The first 11 miles are almost exclusively single track and make up the most concentrated technical section. Especially Troy Built will likely get you off the bike, one way or another. The jeep roads on the Yellow Cat loop and the descent into Fisher valley are also challenging.

    Grub resupply along the route is not an option, even with detours. Water can be had at a number of seasonally dependent locations. The first one at mile 40 is the Westwater ranger station only about a mile off the route where an outdoor spigot usually is on. Next up is an ephemeral water course at around mile 90, then another even smaller trickle some 15 miles further. Both these are named Cottonwood Creek on the maps. The geographically odd Fisher Creek ditch is passed next and at 115 miles is a very dependable stream coming down from Bachelor Basin.

    Driving the paved roads paralleling the trail gives one the option to cache water at two very convenient spots: Rabbit Valley at mile 21, and Dewey Bridge slightly past the halfway point. With longer detours there's at least a couple more options in the dry first half.

    While there's some paved sections and often working ranches and views of the Interstate the trail felt very remote in many places. Here help or assistance could be slow in coming, should need arise. Cell reception is spotty, or nil for some carriers. Miles and miles of the so called jeep roads showed no sign of having had motorized traffic on them for a long time.

    The pics are from GoPro stills.










  2. #2
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    Bravo, Jan. I always look forward to run downs of your exploits...you know a good, fun adventure. Way to show how it's done!

    Mike

  3. #3
    Big wheels keep on rollin
    Reputation: senor_mikey's Avatar
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    looks like a fun trip... done right. How did the Knards do on the trip? I'm really thinking the Surly ECR will be my next bike.

  4. #4
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    Looks like a great time Jan. Thanks for sharing. I rode kokopelli 5 years ago, its a great trip! (We still pull your old fiberglass trillium trailer around from one adventure to the other).

  5. #5
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    Nice to see another Krampus on tour....
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  6. #6
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    Thanks all! The 29+ concept is incredibly versatile. I've always wanted the reliability of a rigid bike on rocky Southwest backcountry tours, but knew the bone rattling ride would beat me up. With 3" tires and the right air pressure this is no problem at all. Add to this the flotation on soft surfaces, increased traction when climbing technical terrain, less need to pick the right line in rock gardens and I'm sold. The weight penalty of a Surly with RH/Knards over a well spec'ed aluminum 29er hardtail is off course substantial (in my case 33lbs vs 25lbs), but on an ambling expedition it is worth it. I wouldn't, however, ride the Krampus if doing an endurance race.

  7. #7
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    a few more pics:










  8. #8
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    Did the Knard on a Rabbithole fit the rear on the On One Inbred without modification?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Did the Knard on a Rabbithole fit the rear on the On One Inbred without modification?
    Sorry if the original text was a little misleading. The Inbred has a KM fork, so no problem up front. In the rear we use a 2.4 X-King on the RH rim with ample clearance. But still not enough for the full monty.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan_nikolajsen View Post
    Sorry if the original text was a little misleading. The Inbred has a KM fork, so no problem up front. In the rear we use a 2.4 X-King on the RH rim with ample clearance. But still not enough for the full monty.

    Thanks for the clarification. I thought you might have discovered another Knard + RH compatible frame.

    That looks like a good setup with some extra traction and cushion up front.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  11. #11
    Fail again. Fail better.
    Reputation: Dusza's Avatar
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    Looks like some great family fun! Would love to see more pictures for this trip, or any other *cough*linkie-linkie*cough*
    Once again that OnOne looks great!
    Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads. -Dr Emmett Brown

  12. #12
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    Some buddies and I are kicking this around for next summer, but being lightweights, we're looking at a supported ride. Looks awesome.

  13. #13
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    Kokopelli's Trail in 4 days

    Thanks for the write-up! I run 2.4s on my steel 29er Inbred and Lurcher. Would like to migrate to the 29+ realm!

  14. #14
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    Just to put it out there, Matt Schiff nearly broke the record last saturday. Finishing in 12 hours and 20 minutes. Record is 12 hours 18 minutes.

  15. #15
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    Kokopelli's Trail in 4 days-1394151_10201552390365386_681073195_n.jpgKokopelli's Trail in 4 days-775612_10201604157099522_1249142082_o.jpgKokopelli's Trail in 4 days-1073687_10201644608310777_1905825104_o.jpg

    That's cool that you did it self supported. I was out on 10-10 to 10-14 with Hermosa Tours. We had heavy rains on Day 1 and had to skip the first day entirely. Day 2 was a mud/clay fest and we skipped large sections as they were unrideable. Days 3-4 I did solo as the other guys on the tour bailed, but the riding and scenery was truly Epic. Can't believe people are doing that in 12 hours though...

  16. #16
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    Reputation: veloborealis's Avatar
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    *You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to jan_nikolajsen again.

    Always enjoy your family trip reports, Jan. This is what cycling is all about - lifelong, multi-generational, sustainable fun and adventure!
    The older I get the better I was...

  17. #17
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    Kokopelli's Trail in 4 days

    Awesome trip!!! Thanks for sharing!!

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