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  1. #1
    Yappy little dog!
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    Kokopelli Revisited - Pic City

    I first road the Kokopelli trail in May, 2004. At that time I was living in the east coast, finally slimmed down, and looking for a long supported mountain bike vacation. Kokopelli seemed to be just the right ticket. It was a great ride and an experience that left me with visions of Colorado.



    Fast forward to now and I"m living the mountain bike experience in Colorado.Usually when we plan a get-away for mountain biking it's a day trip or a hub trip. In other words stay in comfort at a destination and branch out onto trails from there.

    Bikerpelli, is a tour group that has been providing supported Kokopelli trips for over seven years. Though not the original tour group I used, I had been contacted shortly after my original videos appeared on the Internet by Alex, one of the co-owners. He had asked over the next few years if I would video his trip. I never really thought about it until I moved to Colorado and this year I decided to give it another go.

    Bikerpelli is a little different though. Instead of five days, you have three days to complete the trail. Though it is supported with lunch and dinner sag stops, you are on your own out on the trail. There are no guides, but there are 90 others with you.

    So, the thought of doing 140 miles on a mountain bike in just three days definately played on my mind. I just didn't think I was one of those guys who would ever have the fitness for that. Plus carrying a little extra weight of the camera, batteries, and my usual overpacking of crap I don't need adds to the slowness factor. Needless to say, I agreed and there we were on May 8 in Fruita, ready to go.

    I'm not going to focus too much on the differences of the five day trip that I originally did. I'll only mentioned that this trip involved Fruita loops which were new to me and sections of the Kokopelli that the 2004 tour thought were too boring and left out. We did start from the same area with Mary's loop.















    We did a staggered start with the hammerheads going first. In retrospect, I don't think this was a good idea, because it left the people who were slower riders over thirty minutes behind. If anything, the slower riders need a head start so we don't get into camp too late.



    I was worried that I'd be a little slow and not find some people to buddy up with. No the case. There were a good group of varying abilities and I quickly found people I would see often on the trail.





    Quite a few stopped at the entrance to Horsethief Bench. I was actually surprised to find out we were going to be doing it, but that's a good thing. I would have walked it anyway.



    When I told some of the out-of-towners about it, they had to see it for themselves.



    I wouldn't doubt that there were some in the first or second group that did it as an alternate route,

    We traveled on, hitting Mary's, Lions, and Troy Built. All great fun singletrack.







    It's hard to knock a trail with these kind of views.







    I ended up riding with a guy named Matt from Atlanta. He was using a helmet cam as well and it made for some good conversation on some of the longer rides. However, there was no time for that on the tech stuff!





    The day progressed on, with the many ups and downs on the singletrack. As we approached the train crossing before the hike-a-bike, things became a little scary.





    The heavens broke loose and we were with with thunder, lightening, hail, and rain. This all starts right after crossing the creek and train tracks on the way up. What lies ahead is a 1/4 mile (though it seemed a lot longer too me) of rutted, rocky, fall line singletrack that on a good day is a hike for most. To put it mildly, rain and Fruita soil don't mix well. Within minutes the mud began to swallow us. Four to five inches caked onto the bikes and shoes Think about pushing a bike that now weighs 50 pounds from mud that cures like concrete and shoes that felt like what Jimmy Hoffa must have been wearing. The tires would stop moving because the mud would cake in the triangle and fork. You couldn't lift it because it weighed three times as much. It was the longest 1/4 mile climb I have ever had.

    Of course, as soon as we reach the top the weather changes.







    Then it's all gravel road to the sag stop at Rabbit Valley. Of course the mud was now velcro. Every rock was picked up and flown into our faces on the fast ride down.







    Another fourteen miles lay ahead with a 1/2 mile climb/push onto a high plateau where we camped the night. Thirty siz miles the first day lead us to dinner and bed.









    The climb to camp.





    Finally!



    I did manage to find the spot where I took the picture on my "About Me" page after my first trip out here.

    Last edited by schnauzers; 05-13-2008 at 09:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Yappy little dog!
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    Kokopelli Revisited - Pic City - Day 2

    Day two rolls around with breakfast and long miles ahead. This part basically follows the train tracks through the Cisco desert. Essentially a long flat dirt road that goes on and on. Hint: Your iPod works great here.





    Feels like being in the desert on a horse with no name.





    Eventually, you reach the river again (unless you make a wrong turn and visit ma and pa Kettle at the General Store in Cisco. I've done it (not unintentionally and not this time). Bring money. You better buy something. They basically sell three things. Toothpaste, Ice Cream, and full strength Coors (Cisco is in Utah).







    The ride along the river is fun with the return of some singletrack and rocks.

    So, the goal is to keep riding for a month of Sundays until you reach Dewey Bridge (or what's left of it). As an option, you have the honor of doing Yellow Jacket Canyon to add some additional miles and climbing. Um, no thank you. 36+ miles is enough (and that's just the first leg before lunch).



    The last four miles riding on rt. 128 had taken their toll on me. I was spent by the time I reached the bridge and there was still another 12 miles to go with seven of those uphill. It would have been 17 if you wanted to start from the bridge. Dewey is a nasty climb for a short bit of tech fun on Rose Garden Hill into Fisher Valley. It's usually suggested to skip it and I would have preferred a longer steady climb up the scenic Onion Creek. It was already pushing 3:30 and the next shuttle passed the five mile rubble crawl was not due to leave until 4:00. Given my already beat state of mine and not wanting to get into camp or be stuck on the trail in the dark, I opted to forgo the 12 miles and sag it all the way.

    Now, I know what your saying. Kind of lame. Well, I wasn't alone and given the time it took, conditions when arriving, and destructed condition of Rose Garden due to four wheelers that Matt (who had decided to ride it) informed me of, I made the right decision.

    A pasta with meat sauce dinner and some sleep!

    It poured steadily all night. I thought my tent would wash down the road, but I guess it pays to spend a little more on good equipment. The amazing thing was when I woke up the next morning everything was dry as a bone.




  3. #3
    Yappy little dog!
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    Kokopelli Revisited - Pic City - Day 3

    The next morning gave two options to the group. The shorter miles big climb up the LaSalles and down Porcupine, or the longer miles scenic route down Onion Creen and 128. Yup, I wimped out again along with 1/2 the group and went down Onion Creek. Now don't think this was a walk in the park either. Thirty two miles on a mountain bike is still thirty two miles. Let me tell you, 2.5" tires don't move very well on blacktop. I think I only clocked 26 MPH and that was going downhill. M ost of the time it was 9 - 12 MPH. The higher speed was when you were in a pace line. It did offer the ability to take a few photos. Did I miss anything? Yes. The LaSalles are a beautiful mountain range, but I've seen them before and it's not like I don't get to ride in the mountains. Porcupine would have been fun, but again there is always the opportunity to ride Moab. The ride into Moab was picturesque to say the least.











































    So 32 miles to Moab Valley RV and a cabin plus a sore butt!

    The video will take a little time to produce as it is more of a commercial for Bikerpelli, whom I must say is a fantastic outfit. Top notch staff and commitment to the ride. It was a pleasure to ride and work (shooting the footage) for them. A big thanks to Alex for inviting me on the trip. It was a push to the limit of my endurance, but i don't regret it for a second. Maybe that's why both of his trips sell out within hours. Check out www.bikerpelli.com if you are interested in an affordable trip along the Kokopelli Trail.

  4. #4
    Shattering Glass
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    How did the helmet cam work on the shuttle?

  5. #5
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dash
    How did the helmet cam work on the shuttle?
    PERFECTLY!

    Because I gave it to another rider.

  6. #6
    skillz to pay billz
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    sweet no , I'm totally ripping this image for my desktop!


  7. #7
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    sweet no , I'm totally ripping this image for my desktop!


    Feel free. Use the full size though at www.schnauzers.ws/kokomill.jpg

    I only put the copyright because I found one of my photos in a bike rag a couple of years ago.

  8. #8
    skillz to pay billz
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    just messin with ya

  9. #9
    Shattering Glass
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    Funny thing about copyrights, I emailed my pictures of a Wyoming trip to Alex and he used them on his vedawoo trip pictures homepage. No recognition but who cares, their just pictures.

  10. #10
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dash
    Funny thing about copyrights, I emailed my pictures of a Wyoming trip to Alex and he used them on his vedawoo trip pictures homepage. No recognition but who cares, their just pictures.
    I don't mind if anyone wants to use them. In fact, I'll send them the full res shots. I just think it's nice to ask first. Alex asked me for the first vids I did of Kokopelli, and he still has them running on his Website.

  11. #11
    brg
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    I wish I known that was you on the trip - so i could have told you how annoying your pimping of your band is in person.

    And for the record- for my volunteer activities i'll never have need for your band. I have plenty of other options i'd rather pursue.

  12. #12
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by brg
    I wish I known that was you on the trip - so i could have told you how annoying your pimping of your band is in person.

    And for the record- for my volunteer activities i'll never have need for your band. I have plenty of other options i'd rather pursue.
    Nice to meet you too.

    Sheesh. There were three people with cams on the trip. Why didn't you come up an introduce yourself? You know I shoot video. Maybe it's easier to remain an anonymous *****. And here I thought that everyone was particularly social on the trip.

  13. #13
    brg
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    Nice to meet you too.

    Sheesh. There were three people with cams on the trip. Why didn't you come up an introduce yourself? You know I shoot video. Maybe it's easier to remain an anonymous *****. And here I thought that everyone was particularly social on the trip.
    ahhh...i did talk to you.

    green hardtail, 4'10", long hair, red sidis. but I didn't know it was you. If I had I would've have mentioned what I just posted here to you in person.

    have a good day and please don't send me any more PMs.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brg
    ahhh...i did talk to you.

    green hardtail, 4'10", long hair, red sidis. but I didn't know it was you. If I had I would've have mentioned what I just posted here to you in person.

    have a good day and please don't send me any more PMs.

    Are you giving out ice for those burns!!!

  15. #15
    Rolling
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    Schnauzers, did you happen to meet a guy Michael (posts as sdsantacruzer)? Riding an Intense. He showed up with a guy named Rob.

  16. #16
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    Schnauzers, did you happen to meet a guy Michael (posts as sdsantacruzer)? Riding an Intense. He showed up with a guy named Rob.
    I'm never good with names and there were 90 people on the trip. Only a handful of people come to mind because they were the ones who were as slow as me. With a group that big, you tend to end up in small riding bunches. I don't remember the bike, which is how I tend to remember other riders. Something tells me that if you know them, they are not slow ,

    If they were there, there's a good chance they'll show up on the off bike video I shot.

  17. #17
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    Hey Schnauzers,

    I was on that trip too. Nice shots of the trail. You did miss out though going down Onion Creek instead of taking the hell climb out of Fisher Valley. Three hours of downhill is definitely worth it! Looking forward to seeing the video.

  18. #18
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsantilli28
    Hey Schnauzers,

    I was on that trip too. Nice shots of the trail. You did miss out though going down Onion Creek instead of taking the hell climb out of Fisher Valley. Three hours of downhill is definitely worth it! Looking forward to seeing the video.
    I did the hell climb on my first Kokopelli trip. Yes, Porcupine is probably worth the climb but you can do that anytime in Moab with a shuttle. Most people don't do Onion Creek, and although you don't get the technical downhill it is a beautiful ride.

  19. #19
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    Very nice, your photos are well done.
    A bunch of us Durango folks were on the first week, with plenty of Monkey Butt. We were very happy with Alex and crew and thought 3 days was perfect .. well the guys anyway. The ladies think 4-5 days would be better.
    It looks like you had similar weather, not too hot with a little moisture to pack down the sand. That seems perfect to me.

    As an aside, several of us are very happy with the increased fitness we feel this early in the season after riding 150 miles in 3 days. We don''t usually do a trip that big this early, but after recovering and stretching out the legs, damn, we are all riding strong ... for May.
    Hope you feel the same.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

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