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  1. #1
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    35th Annual Pearl Pass Tour 2011 on a 1978 Cooks Bros and a Pre-War Schwinn Excelsior

    Holy cow. That was a ride and a half. Klunkers Rock!

    I had wanted to do the Pearl Pass Tour since I picked up my Cooks Bros back in March this year (see here). I couldn't get any friends to commit though so I'd sort of given up and figured I would have to do it either later in the year or next year. But on Tuesday last week, my buddy Austin called me and asked how my bike was coming along. I had ordered some parts the week before and they had JUST arrived Tuesday evening. I told him I had a bare frame and some parts that MIGHT work. Neither of us were sure what we would do, but both of us started building bikes Tuesday evening (the ride was scheduled for Saturday). Austin's ride was a pre-war schwinn excelsior complete with a Morrow- 1 speed-skiptooth-coaster brake hub.

    We both "finished" the bikes Thursday evening and we made arrangement to stay in gunnison late friday night then continue to crested butte on Sat morning to meet up at the MTB Hall of Fame... With no time to test ride the bikes, it was sure to be an interesting ride.

    We weren't quite ready when the group started riding so we left a little later (after Don Cook circled back around and asked if we were riding with them). He gave us some istructions and a map and we were on our way fully knowing we would be WELL behind the rest of the group the entire way.

    (borrowed from DoubleCentury (kashi?))

    That's me in the green jacket and Austin in the denim vest with white walls.

    We each had backpacks full of tools, water, food, lights, and spare clothes that weighed around 25-30lbs each. We were ready for a long haul.

    We started riding around 9:30 am toward Brush Creek Road. Don had had to circle back around while leaving town with us and soon caught up with us again on the dirt road. All three of us road together for a mile or so, then Don rocketed off.

    The dirt road was pretty rideable for quite a while, then we had to slow down for a few spots since Austin had two speed; sit and stand. We wanted to ride together for safety reasons.


    The road



    My steed






    Mud Bath!



    Smooth Road!



    Going...



    going...



    Gone!



    High campsite.



    Steep Climb



    That's crested butte resport in the center. We started on the OTHER side of that mountain.



    Pond near the false summit



    little bit further...



    Giant SNOWBALLS!



    HELL YES!!!



    We got a motorcyclist to take our photo.



    The original motorcycle bars on my Cooks.

    PearlPass2011 :: MVI_3458.mp4 video by subadrew99 - Photobucket
    quick video of Austin coming down the first part of the downhill (foul language).



    I kept having to reverse the seatpost on the ride due to it bending. Going to get a solid aluminum replacement.



    How do you make this shot prettier?




    Duh!



    Austin decided he needed to suddenly get more aerodynamic while going down some bumpy road. It was hilarious to watch, but he saved it =).



    pretty pond near the top on the campsite road.




    We made it to the paved road at 7:15/7. We had some lights in our packs and strapped them on after a quick little whiskey celebration.

    Rode into downtown Aspen a little after 8pm and rode by the bar to see if anyone was there. They all were, but we needed to make sure we had a room to stay in so we checked in, then came back. When we returned, everyone had already left =(. A beer or two later and we both called it a night ourselves. It was a LONG day.

    Since we're not THAT hardcore, we took the shuttle back from Aspen the next day.



    In front of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame museum the next day.



    The ride was my first time riding a rigid mountain bike since the early 90's. It was Austin's first time mountain biking at all! Both our training regimes were riding cruiser bikes and drinking beer , but we made it!

    Plans if we do it again are to get a group of klunker riders from Denver and go up Friday morning and camp and the original campsite. Then we'll meet up with the riders who start on Sat morning and ride down with them (or at least try to).
    Last edited by SubaDrew; 09-12-2011 at 04:06 PM.
    1978 Cooks Bros cruiser/klunker
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  2. #2
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    Way to go guys! I was wondering if you guys had made it or not.

    I'm so glad you came here to post your adventure!

    And yeah, a start on Friday makes a lot of sense and would put you guys in the mix on Saturday. Talk about re-creating the two-day classic!

  3. #3
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubaDrew View Post
    The ride was my first time riding a rigid mountain bike since the early 90's. It was Austin first time mountain biking at all! Both our training regimes were riding cruiser bikes and drinking beer , but we made it!
    haha! That's awesome. Get Austin a helmet he doesn't have to haul next time! Love your story and pics.

  4. #4
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    I don't know, riding this epic ride on a singlespeed, 40lb cruiser, on your very first mountain bike ride ever... not to take a thing away from DC, but I think we may have got that eclipse rumpfy mentioned.

    Super cool story. Looks like a great ride. So this is an annual event still?

  5. #5
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    Sweet ride! Thanks for the report. Great pix and story!

  6. #6
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed View Post
    I don't know, riding this epic ride on a singlespeed, 40lb cruiser, on your very first mountain bike ride ever.
    Seriously. He was wearing jeans too. Big balls on him.

  7. #7
    Desert Rat
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    Nice - good job guys.
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  8. #8
    illuminaughty
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    great story, great pictures, great big thanx for sharing.

  9. #9
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    Aloha, great post. I did Pearl Pass so many years ago. It's still so fresh in my mind, we hired a local girl to drive our van around to Aspen and shuttle us back to CB. What an experience!! Great ride, I'll do it again some time. Thanks for posting.

  10. #10
    Klunker Kev`
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    Great Adventure! Truly fitting to the spirit of this "tour"!

  11. #11
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    Great post- thanks for sharing! What's the story on your Cooks? Has it always been geared or did you set it up that way? The reason I ask is I have one that is very similar and it originally started life in Durango.

    Anyway- what a great way to spend the weekend. How many other people were riding vintage rigs?

  12. #12
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    Nice work man! Great pics, great story and cool adventure! Thanks for sharing.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERK26 View Post
    Great Adventure! Truly fitting to the spirit of this "tour"!
    Totally. Not too different from the early tours.

  14. #14
    artistic...
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    what a blast.

  15. #15
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    I think your "rep"power will go up. Cool for sure
    blah, blah, blah..........

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubaDrew View Post
    Both our training regimes were riding cruiser bikes and drinking beer , but we made it!

    Wasn't that the training regime for most of the original ride participants from the earliest of rides?

    That ride sounds like a lot of fun (and hard work).
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  17. #17
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
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    Damn, some serious bad-asses on this forum! I am impressed to say the least, and very humbled.

    Regarding the seatpost Subadrew, I put either a wooden dowl or steel rod inside my post just after it gets slightly bent, then its done flexing any further. Those crazy 22mm posts!
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    Wasn't that the training regime for most of the original ride participants from the earliest of rides?

    That ride sounds like a lot of fun (and hard work).

    Exactly. We wanted to stay in the spirit or the ride ...

    I already ordered some 7/8" aluminum rod stock from ebay to make a new seatpost. I think I'm going to ride the bike on some "smoother" trails around Denver once it gets here.

    We expected a lot more mechanicals on the ride. The only two I had were the seatpost bending, and my non-drive crank bolt came loose. Since we didn't have a 14mm socket to tighten the bolt, we got some axle spacers and stuck them under the bolt, then tightened as tight as possible with a crescent wrench. Worked great! Austin only had the handlebars vibrate loose and a little bit of chain stretch that was cleared up by pulling the wheel back.

    We had more than enough food and just the right amount of water for the ride. If/when we do it again though, we'll bring a water filter and just refill some small camelbacks at the stream crossings. Our packs were pretty cumbersome with all the food/water/tools we had.
    1978 Cooks Bros cruiser/klunker
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  19. #19
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    Cool Schwinn forks! What cool guy did you get those from?
    Wanted:Nothing. I have too much.

  20. #20
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    You guys inspire me!!!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottyMTB View Post
    Cool Schwinn forks! What cool guy did you get those from?
    hahaha!!! you found me!

    Big thanks to scott for hooking me up with the fork. The bike came with a Kos fork, but the axles didn't fit that fork and I didn't want to drill it. The schwinn fork is 10oz heavier, but it fit so I tossed it on instead of the Kos at the last second (got the fork from scott on tuesday). Was a little concerned for some of the ride cause I heard the schwinn forks aren't very sturdy, but it held!
    1978 Cooks Bros cruiser/klunker
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  22. #22
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    whoops!
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  23. #23
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    Poster pic for the forum:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 35th Annual Pearl Pass Tour 2011 on a 1978 Cooks Bros and a Pre-War Schwinn Excelsior-img_3441s.jpg  


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed View Post
    I don't know, riding this epic ride on a singlespeed, 40lb cruiser, on your very first mountain bike ride ever... not to take a thing away from DC, but I think we may have got that eclipse rumpfy mentioned.

    Super cool story. Looks like a great ride. So this is an annual event still?


    Haha! Ya sorry DC, your efforts just weren't good enough.


    Still, DC and these two guys get major props for taking on and finishing this event with the selected bikes. Way impressive.
    -eric-

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  25. #25
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    Did the Pearl Pass clunker tour 1981-1986, have not had the opportunity to return since. Many good times and good memories of those rides. Nothing but baby-head boulders above the tree line. Nothing quite like pushing your bike on rocky trails at 12,000+ feet above sea level!

    -WileyDog
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Poster pic for the forum:
    Yep. Great photo.

    So, is the downhill into Aspen fun or more survival?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed View Post
    Yep. Great photo.

    So, is the downhill into Aspen fun or more survival?


    um... yes
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  28. #28
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    Most of the downhill was possible on a rigid, but slow going. I took some extra precautions because we were decending very late in the day and there wasn't going to be much help if anything back happened. There were sections that I think I would have walked even on my DH bike though.
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  29. #29
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    Thanks for your story!

    I was part of a group that rode from Aspen to Crested Butte over Pearl for 20 years starting in the early 1980's. We were called 'Moons Over Pearl" because of the habit of mooning the camera for the summit shot.

    In the early years, we all had rigid bikes. Then along came the elastomer forks, and finally fully suspended 5" travel bikes.

    I don't think the scree fields got that much easier, but you didn't get so beat up.

    We rode over Pearl one day and back over Schofield the next. In later years, we added a day in CB to ride some of the great trails over there.

    While it's true that there are better ways to get from Aspen to Crested Butte than Pearl Pass, it's place in mountain bike history makes it a pilgrimage of sorts.

    Thanks for keeping the history alive.

    jummo

  30. #30
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Got pics jummo?!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jummo View Post
    Thanks for your story!

    We were called 'Moons Over Pearl" because of the habit of mooning the camera for the summit shot.
    jummo

    Girlonbike quote:

    "Got pics jummo?!"

    Pervert..

  32. #32
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    Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Got pics jummo?!
    OK, but remember, you asked for it...pervert.


    jummo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 35th Annual Pearl Pass Tour 2011 on a 1978 Cooks Bros and a Pre-War Schwinn Excelsior-ashcroft.jpg  

    35th Annual Pearl Pass Tour 2011 on a 1978 Cooks Bros and a Pre-War Schwinn Excelsior-mooners.jpg  


  33. #33
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    you both were inspirational! i'm looking forward to camping with you next year. way to go!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by den haag View Post
    you both were inspirational! i'm looking forward to camping with you next year. way to go!
    I think there needs to be a klunker gathering and campout there next year for the event.

  35. #35
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    Just got off the phone with Austin. He's doing it again this year and I'm joining him with my klunker as well. We're, leaving Friday morning and we'll see you on the pass on Saturday for a group photo.

  36. #36
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    I'm racing in nebraska tues and wed that week so not sure I can take the entire week off =(.
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