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  1. #1
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    Bob & Chris' Grand Loop Adventure

    First, hat's off to the Grand Loop Racers that are finishing up on course as I write. Over the past two years, my friend, Bob, and I have been watching and dreaming about the GLR. We decided to make a slightly more casual ride out of it, enjoy the scenery, and support one another during the ride.

    Our plan was to start tonight around 5:00 p.m. However, since we have flexible schedules and the weather looks a little wet tomorrow morning, we plan to leave Denver Thursday in the A.M. and be riding by 1 or 2. Our goal is to finish sometime Monday.

    If and when we get cell phone reception, we値l be calling our friend Stefan to give updates so that our family and friends will know how we are doing. I plan to keep a detailed log and I知 going to take lots of pix. Sometime following the ride, I値l post a trip report for anyone interested.

    Cheers,
    Chris Piper

  2. #2
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    Pipes Final Bike Setup...

    Attached are 4 photos of what is hopefully my final bike setup for our trip. It's pretty heavy, but we're not racing either. Thanks to Stefan for loaning us his homemade bike lights, ultra light sleeping bag, pad, and bivy sack.

    IMG_3612_1.JPG

    IMG_3613_2.JPG

    IMG_3614_3.JPG

    IMG_3615_4.JPG

    Cheers,
    Chris

  3. #3
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    Good luck with your ride and good luck with the snow drifts
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  4. #4
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    The Other Rider

    Thanks Chris for starting this. Here's my set-up. pack+attached gear~40 lbs.
    Cheers!
    bp
    IMG_3783_edited.jpg

  5. #5
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    Good Luck! Not to be negative, but man, I'd be a little worried about a seatpost rack. Hope it doesn't cause you any problems!

  6. #6
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    Hey Guys-

    Have a blast out there--it is an awesome adventure and challenging route.

    Perfect weekend weather looks to be starting late Thursday night or Friday morning. Raining most of the day in GJ today and s'posed to continue through the night and into tomorrow. If I were me (and I am...) I'd be looking at a Friday AM start to let things in the desert dry out sufficiently.

    Happy trails,

    MC

  7. #7
    Time to go farther
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    Just to add to mike's note, we were out there touring the Koko 10 days ago and go shut down for a while we we cleaned up this. Have SO much fun but try to avoid the mud eh? it will make your trip much better.
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  8. #8
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    Steady rain in GJ all through the night. At this point (10AM Thurs) I wouldn't consider attempting to hit the trail before sunrise Friday.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pivvay
    Just to add to mike's note, we were out there touring the Koko 10 days ago and go shut down for a while we we cleaned up this. .


  10. #10
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    Abort!

    Well, we gave it a go....Started Thursday at about 2:30 and once we got on the Koko we noticed the huge t-storm that had blossomed over the Grand Valley; it was not a good harbinger of things to come. Rain started at around 5:15 and did not let up until nearly 7:00 pm. Long enough for the trail to become virtually impassable! The pics above are spot on. Our bikes soon were caked with 15 lbs of the goopy stuff and hike a bike was a chore at best. It was almost humorous at times, but also a bit sobering. We made it to Salt Creek (!) by dusk, made camp, disassembled our bikes and washed everything in the creek. Chris' front brake was toast. Mine worked but was questionable. So that coupled with a lack of progress and our timetable for getting home made continuing a shaky proposition. We woke up to thick fog on Friday morning and pulled the plug. The trail out on Mary's was still pretty goopy. Mike, you got it right... Friday would have been the day to start. We learned a lot and we'll be back!

    We rode the Dewey to Rose Garden section of Koko on Saturday, which was beautiful. Cootonwood Canyon had water at 11 AM, but was dry four hours later! We found a pool to filter from, but our filter stopped working. Was the rain and mud a blessing in disguise???

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pivvay
    Just to add to mike's note, we were out there touring the Koko 10 days ago and go shut down for a while we we cleaned up this. Have SO much fun but try to avoid the mud eh? it will make your trip much better.
    Oh my! We had the same problems!!! I have almost identical photos of our bikes. We hit a small steady rainstorm in the afternoon of our first day. It hit us on Mary's Loop about 4 miles before Salt Creek. After mostly hike-a-bike to Salt Creek my front disc brake pads were down to the metal. Ick!
    Last edited by pipes; 06-10-2008 at 01:24 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Steady rain in GJ all through the night. At this point (10AM Thurs) I wouldn't consider attempting to hit the trail before sunrise Friday.
    Indeed! You were sooo right. It cost us out attempt. But we made the best of it and still had fun. I'll post more later.

    Chris

  13. #13
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    Photos from Day 1 - Thursday, Prologue and Mary's Loop on the Koko...

    IMG_3623_1.JPG
    Chris & Bob (left to right) at the very start - ready for anything...

    IMG_3641_4.JPG
    After hiking only 2 or 3 miles in the mud and about 1.5 miles from Salt Creek.

    IMG_3642_5.JPG
    The rain has stopped but the mud keeps coming...

    IMG_3643_6.JPG
    Look, it's the all new WTB Mud Wheel - literally made from mud.

    IMG_3645_8.JPG
    You could make pottery with this clay, and I'm sure the Indians did.

    I had two sets of new brake pads in my tool box, contemplated bringing them and then left them behind to shave weight. Bob had extra sets too and just forgot to bring them. It's funny how hindsight can be so obvious. We had the right rain cloths, bivvy sacs, dry bags, etc. But why didn't we bring brake pads, especially since I've had this trouble in Moab rain twice before? Those extra pads couldn't have weighed more than 15 or 20 grams each and I wouldn't have even noticed the extra weight. Next year I'm bringing some pads...

    Chris

  14. #14
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    Day 2, Friday - after camping on an old railroad grade next to Salt Creek.

    IMG_3650_1.JPG
    Chris making coffee in the morning.

    IMG_3652_3.JPG
    Bob's pedal - I think?

    IMG_3654_4.JPG
    Chris' front brake pads.

    IMG_3659_2.JPG
    Bob checking his cell phone - no less than 5 bars - so much for getting "out there."

    IMG_3664_5.JPG
    A little lizard friend to chase us back into Grand Junction.

    Despite a good bike wash in Salt Creek and no rain the previous night, the mud was still fierce on the way back to Grand Junction. It was a little depressing heading back and surprisingly it made a difference in my attitude which translated into poor performance on a meager 28 mile spin back to the car.

    Chris

  15. #15
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    Day 3 - Saturday - a long out-n-back up Kokopelli from Dewy Bridge.

    Since our big adventure was over due to lack of time off to finish, we drove from GJ down to Dewy Bridge for a long ride just for fun.

    We were told we could find water at Cottonwood Canyon/Creek. So we loaded up with water at the car and set out for a good 7 hour ride. I started with 200 oz. When we got to Cottonwood Creek, we still had plenty of water and decided we'd fill up on the way back. Here is what the creek looked like when we crossed it on our way out, about 1 gallon per minute...

    IMG_3689_1.JPG

    We planned our ride partly based on time, and partly on how much water we had to get us back to Cottonwood Creek. I downed the last of my water about 10 minutes from the creek on the way back. Then, we got to the creek and NOW it looked like this...

    IMG_3791_2.JPG

    Didn't matter, even though we found a small pool of water down stream of the trail crossing, my filter clogged after about 10 oz. No worries, the clouds came in along with a cool breeze and we zipped on back to the parking lot. Note to self, get new filter cartridge prior to big adventure. [we did have tablets but I was feelin' like a lizard and did without]

    Cheers,
    Chris

  16. #16
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    Fun photos from our Saturday ride.

    Here are the best of the best photos from our Saturday ride...

    IMG_3690_1.JPG
    Not sure if these are authentic or fake. There were signs of late 1900's human carvings, but these two looked pretty good. My dad is going to email these to an archeology friend who specializes in this stuff and see what he says. There was lots of arrowhead material at the base of this wall leading me to believe these are authentic.

    IMG_3693_2.JPG
    Another.

    IMG_3733_3.JPG
    The benefit of rain in the desert are the desert flowers...

    IMG_3736_4.JPG
    More flowers...

    IMG_3750_5_1.JPG
    Another lizard friend.

    IMG_3754_b_6_1.jpg
    Posing for the camera!

    Cheers,
    Chris

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipes
    Here are the best of the best photos from our Saturday ride...
    Cheers,
    Chris
    Nice pics, it's almost always good to be riding in the desert, even when things don't go as planned, sounds like you guys made the best of it..............
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  18. #18
    Just go ride!
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    Great photos, Chris! That mud is just amazing stuff - in a bad way.

    Did you find out if the carvings were real? Where did you see them?
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -TJ

  19. #19
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    Stefan-
    Petroglyphs are in Cottonwood canyon. I barely noticed them from about 125 ft away and we hiked over to verify that I wasn't seeing things. We had just stopped to have a bite and I mentioned that I liked to inspect canyon walls with desert varnish on the off chance I would see something, then lo-and-behold, there they were!

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