Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yoshie at the Rampart Range Revival

Apparently quite the long running event, the RRR or Rampart Range Revival is set in the forested hills that border Rampart Range Road.  Rampart Range links CO67 and the town of Sedalia through portions of the Pikes National Forest, to the town of Woodland Park near Colorado Springs.

This forested area is a mecca for dirt bike riders from the Denver Metro Area and points beyond.  Easy access through Rampart Range Rd is provided to many campsites and nearby dirt bike trails.

I rode out today shortly before 8:00AM to meet with Dana, John and his wife Cookie and whomever was still around at the tail end of the event, the event spans four days you see.  I motored down CO 105, transiting through Parker and Castle Rock and eventually finding Mount Herman Road in Monument, Colorado.

The road quickly becomes a gravelly dirt road with many wasboarded sections to keep life interesting and put one's suspension to the test.  You climb up into the hills of the Pike National Forest on narrow gravel/dirt roads with many blind curves.  Keep a sharp eye out for 4x4s careening their way down the trail as you go up.

It was about 22 miles of this kind of terrain, with Yoshie pulling strongly in first and sometimes second gear when the road leveled out for a bit.  A bit on the warm side but with mostly overcast skies, it was not too hot for riding.

 A couple of the more interesting roadside rock formations 
along Rampart Range Road

Looks like a future road block to me....

I made it to the RRR site, located on Forest Rd 324, courtesy of a couple of paper signs they'd posted.  I parked Yoshie and was greeted by John S and his lovely wife Cookie, they'd brought along their white Ural Patrol sidecar rig and trailered a small Suzuki dirt bike for the festivities.

Spat's Patrol

Dana, another fellow Uralista who lives near Vail, CO was there as well and he'd brought along not only his tested Ural Patrol but also his almost unstoppable Rokon motorcycle:

 Dana's Rokon
Dana's winter ride

Sitting with Dana was this older gentleman by the name of Walt whom I next had the pleasure to meet.  He'd brought along his own 2003 Ural which as you can see, he's modified to avoid the "floating on snow" issue with the stock exhaust pipes.

The exhaust pipe had Aprilia stamped on it.

I spent the rest of the morning BS'ing with these folks, they'd tell me of past Revivals where some interesting activities had occurred.  Activities such as riding the dirt trails at night, and Dana being woken up and brought along because his motorcycle was the only one with a headlight!  Did I mention this festival occurs during the Full Moon, I guess it's bright enough to ride by at night!

Soon though, everyone finished packing up their stuff and we all departed together out of the camping area.  When we reached Rampart Range Rd again, I turned north and they went south towards Woodland Park.  

I had turned north so that I could finally say I'd ridden the length of Rampart Range Rd.  The other times I'd been on this road, I'd either been turned back due to snow or turned elsewhere and not continued all the way to the end.

The main portions of Rampart Range Rd are not bad at all, packed dirt and gravel with the occasional big hole or rut caused by running water on the road.  There were a couple of corners where you have to watch your speed or you'll slide right off the edge the small cliff.

The road is bordered on both sides by pine forests so the views of the surrounding areas were a bit hard to get at for pictures.

 The view from one of  the several parking spots right on the road

This pano shot should give you an idea of the twists and turns Rampart Range Rd 
offers to the rider.

I made it back onto pavement on CO67 where Rampart Range Rd ends and turned east towards Jarre Canyon and Sedalia.  Before going to Sedalia though, I decided to introduce Yoshie to one of my favorite nearby rock formations: Bee Rock.

 Bee Rock

I got home just fine after less than 120 miles of riding and about perhaps 4 hours of saddle time.  Nothing fell off of Yoshie and the chain appeared to be just right in terms of adjustment when I got her home.  The chain was covered in dust though so I cleaned it off and re-lubed it.

I'll be replacing the chain that came with the tug soon enough, thinking of going with type 530 chain and sprockets for their added durability.


SonjaM said...

Traveling at my favorite time of the day, early morning. Good for you. And there's Yoshie in the great wide open, and obviously performing well on her maiden voyage, eating dirt.

Chris Luhman said...

Looks like a fun time. I hope the third time is the charm for your sidecar luck!

bobskoot said...


I agree with you about the cooler weather . sometimes I wished I had a more dirt capable vehicle and the ability to use it

Riding the Wet Coast

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I'm delighted to see you are back on three wheels again in plenty of time to take advantage of the rest of the summer season.

This little rally looks like a fun time. The pictures of the rock formations were certainly strange, and neat. The Rokon, front-wheel-rear-wheel drive bike was interesting. I actually rode one years ago.

Neat blog... I hope you will be diligent in measuring the chain stress such as you are able. For the want of chain, a motorcycle was lost. I would never haveimagined it.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

SonjaM, thanks for visiting and commenting.

Chris....I hope so too.

Bobskoot, your wee should be ok on the kind of dirt trails I was on....still a heavy beast though.

Jack, the rokon riders were the only ones who made it even close to the top of Guanella Pass during this past Elephant Ride. And yes, I believe "anal" is the correct way to describe how carefully maintained the drive chain on this tug will be.....

bluekat said...

Gorgeous images of your ride. I like the looks of Rampart Range Road. Really interesting rock formations, but that leaning one would make me a little nervous. Still, if I ever get into off pavement riding, that would be just the sort of road I'd be interested in.

I haven't heard of Rokon motorcycles. That is one wicked looking bike.

Good to see Yoshie out on the open (dirt) road!