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Thread: End of May BB1500 from Eureka MO to Utah for WSB races.

  1. #1
    Eschew Obfuscation Steve Jones's Avatar
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    End of May BB1500 from Eureka MO to Utah for WSB races.

    Folks:

    I've planned a BB1500, leaving from Eureka MO at 11AM Tuesday May 26th, with a destination of Spanish Fork UT - a little south of Salt Lake City. I'll be carrying on from there another 80 miles to Tooele for the WSB races.

    I extend a heavily caveat'd invitation for anyone else headed that way to join me. But this is going to be a very tight ride with little slack.

    The caveats:

    -limited rest (should be able to catch 6 hours sleep at Canon City CO)
    -a fair amount of night riding
    -a great deal of remote rural 2-lane riding, some twisty
    -a complicated route that will not be a gimme for certification (I'll be adding my SPOT log as supplement)
    -the weatherman can make me change my mind

    The BB1500 will actually end in Spanish Fork UT, about 80 miles shy of Tooele... hopefully by 10PM Mountain time, so someone who planned on lodging in SLC can just peel off at SLC and won't need to go all the way to Tooele.

    The route (which you can see here: http://************/bb1500Tooele) is basically Hwy 50 from Eureka MO to Green River UT, with some notable diversions around Canon City CO and around Black Canyon of the Gunisson National Park. We'll be crossing the Royal Gorge Bridge, and riding all the paved parts of the Black Canyon NP then north into Mesa country. After Green River it's 50 to 6 to Hwy 15 at Spanish Fork. Then on to Tooele for me anyway.

    Why all the diversions? That's my style of IBA ride.

    If anyone is interested, contact me and I can go over the plan in more detail so we can be sure you want to do this.

  2. #2
    Twisties are your friend NoBull's Avatar
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    Re: End of May BB1500 from Eureka MO to Utah for WSB races.

    Thats very ambitious, Hwy 50 across Kansas is kind of slow going. The Gorge is cool , however you do understand you cant drive thru. Its a ride over and turn around and come back. The Black Canyon is really cool, but worthy of spending a little time there. Wont your departure time have you in these areas in the middle of the night? Have fun and enjoy. Good luck
    A good travelor is not intent on arriving.

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  3. #3
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    Re: End of May BB1500 from Eureka MO to Utah for WSB races.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoBull View Post
    Thats very ambitious, Hwy 50 across Kansas is kind of slow going. The Gorge is cool , however you do understand you cant drive thru. Its a ride over and turn around and come back. The Black Canyon is really cool, but worthy of spending a little time there. Wont your departure time have you in these areas in the middle of the night? Have fun and enjoy. Good luck
    Turned out I made it by a few minutes. I think. The paperwork looks good to me anyway... though I am leaning on my SPOT log a good bit.

    50 in KS wasn't too bad, except for the rain. Though that was better than the snow and hail I hit in Colorado.

    Riding across the bridge was pretty cool... they even refund $7 of your $24 entry fee if you leave the "park" within 1 hour of buying the entry. So I entered the park through the north gate, crossed the bridge, got my $7 back at the south gate, and carried on back to Hwy50. Kind of a neat goaty road on the south side.

    Black Canyon was fantastic, as was that whole part of Colorado. Really put a grin on my face.

    I'll try to get a ride report up sometime soon. My pictures were almost all bad, due to operator error, oh well.

  4. #4
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    Re: End of May BB1500 from Eureka MO to Utah for WSB races.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Jones View Post
    I'll try to get a ride report up sometime soon.
    What, 3 years isn't soon?

    The BB1500 got certified in August 2009.

    It wasn't real special... but there were some fun bits.

    Jane and I had decided to take a few days riding some twisty roads back home from the World Superbike races in Utah Memorial day weekend (2009) ... which meant I needed to get the bike out there. She was going to fly out.

    I wasn't of a mind to waste a lot of time getting out there so I tried to put together a BBG1500. I couldn't find a way to make it work without slabbing it... which sounded awful. So I settled on a BB1500 using mostly Hwy 50, but with some fun bits thrown in. [Note: If I had it to do over again, between Rosebud MO and Hutchinson KS I'd take (the southern half of this loop instead of the northern). Slower, but more scenic - especially in the Missouri portion.]

    I wanted to enjoy the best bits in daylight, which meant I needed to cross the Royal Gorge Bridge (one of my detours) right when it opened at 10AM. So, I worked backwards to compute a departure time that would leave me the most rest time in Canon City CO while making the 1500 mile mark attainable within hopefully less than 36 hours. I felt the route was doable so long as no major unforeseen obstacles arose, but it might have been a little tight.


    Eureka MO, along Highway 50. Waiting for 11AM to roll around before I fill up and start the clock.


    The forecast was for a lot of rain the first day. I was ready for it.

    At 11 AM I cruised out of the Quick Trip in Eureka MO, and headed west along Hwy 50 into what the weatherman suggested might be a pretty rainy day.


    Hwy 50 throough Gerald MO, where the clouds were just starting to make good on their threat. Later it rained too hard to mess with the camera.


    50 takes you through a lot of towns, yet there are plenty of empty stretches between them. The real entertainment is after you clear the plains, but I didn't get bored.


    Tipton MO. I'd like to know the story behind that water tower.

    The rain was off and on, but a few miles east of Hutchison KS, it really opened up. Rained so hard you couldn't really see, and the wind was nasty. That only lasted about 20 minutes... which is good because I couldn't have continued in it for long.


    This is where my camera started to boot up in macro mode, which cost me nearly all my photos and explains why we get such a nice crisp view of the bugs on my windshield but a fuzzy horizon.

    Those western Kansas towns roll up the sidewalks after dark, so it was good that I had planned and researched my fuel stops ahead of time. Make a mistake there and you might get to enjoy an extra night in the Sunflower state.

    I rolled through the rest of KS and through Pueblo CO. In Canon City CO about 1:30 mountain time, I grabbed a room, and after a great sleep was back on the road.

    Here is where the first fun bit of my route was added. Skyline Drive is perched atop a tall, narrow ridge that separates the west side of Canon City from Hwy 50. I've ridden it a couple of times before. It's a short 1-way goat trail sort of loop, just over a couple of miles, but it gives spectacular views. I just love it.

    Then I was back onto 50 briefly, when I took my second detour. I had long wanted to ride across the Royal Gorge Bridge - over the Arkansas River. It's a private bridge inside an amusement park that opens at 10AM. You have to pay to get in, but they give you some back if you leave within a certain period of time. I went right through, checking out their little zoo (skip this!) on the way through. The road on the far side of the bridge back to 50 is narrow and goaty. I love those kind of roads.


    Sadly, this was the least bad of the pictures I took while crossing Royal Gorge Bridge

    Then I was back on 50, enjoying the Rocky Mountains through Colorado. The road was great, the traffic fine, and the scenery, especially up towards Monarch Pass, was wonderful.


    More of Hwy 50 in Colorado. Again, sorry about the focus.

    Now, here is where I took my final and most radical detour...

    Rather than sticking with 50 through Montrose, I went up into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which is FANTASTIC both for riding and looking. I rode the entire paved portion of the park, all the way down to the river and then to the dam, and exited back the way I came, down to Hwy 50. But then I backtracked to where 92 hits it at the Morrow Point Reservoir, and took 92 and 65 all the way to I-70.


    There were some fantastic views and wonderful roads on 92. This is not far after I peeled away from 50 to take 92/65 to I-70, a few miles upriver from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, where not ONE of my pictures came out. Boo.

    I don't know what else to say but YEE-HAW! The entire ride from the reservoir to the park to 92/65 and to I-70, over 200 miles, was non-stop fantastic stuff. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. What a total blast. Traffic was light at I was running a little behind schedule, which made it all the more fun

    Here's a look at that bit:


    Click on the map image if you want to see the whole route in Google Maps (google maps made me strip out the interior roads at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, because they are seasonal).

    One interesting thing... heading north on 65 out of the greater Colby/Cedaredge metroplex up into the "grand mesa" area, the road tops out just under 11,000 feet. From a distance, it looked like rain clouds awaited me at the top, but I decided to tough it out - assuming the weather would be brief.

    Dummy. By the time I was soaked I realized I needed to stop and put on the rain gear, I guuess to help me hold in all that hard-won moisture.

    Before I managed to get pulled over, the rain turned to hail. Ouch. Then... ***? Is that... no it can't be... OMG it is.

    Snow. On May 27th, it was snowing on me. Wasn't sticking on the road though.

    I finally found a safe spot to pull over and put on the rain gear.

    Funny thing, while I was doing that 3 full blown choppers piloted with dudes in full pirate regalia, each with a suitably slutty gal on the back, came roaring up and into a gravel trailhead parking lot at which I had stopped. Not one of those 6 souls was wearing anything REMOTELY appropriate for rain, hail or snow, and even from a distance I clearly detected that the estrogen laced half of the parade was NOT pleased with this turn of events.

    I could also tell from the way these fellas handled their chopped bikes in the gravel, that they were not posers. People that really know how to ride those things almost attain the illusion of grace. They really knew how to ride them.

    Amusing as that was, I hopped back on, crested the summit and plummeted down the north face of the mesa - which lost half its altitude in 20 miles. In 20 minutes I had gone from snowing to 80 degrees and sunny. This time the rain gear came off for good. Some really neat roads and views the rest of the way to I-70.

    The rest of the ride was uneventful. I-70 to Utah-192 to 6 to I-15 south of Provo. I was a little nervous about deer on the 192/6 part... entering it about sundown and riding most of it in the dark. But there was no drama. Out the other side and on I-15 north, at the 36 hour mark I'd made the 1537 miles mentioned on the cert. Another hour and a half and I arrived at the Kirk Hotel in Tooele, where the manager signed my end witness form.

    What a strange hotel... the locals looked at me like I was nuts when I said where I was staying. It is a neat old building with some, um, interesting characters managing it. They won't let the postman into the building to deliver mail because they don't trust the federal government. I needed something mailed to me and I had to have it mailed general delivery to the post office. LOL!

    One funny epilogue. The next morning I rode to the SLC airport to pick up my wife. She was waiting on the curb when I cruised up, with a couple of old ladies waiting nearby. I hopped off, opened the sidebags, handed Jane a helmet, riding jacket and gloves. She used my Bestem sidebag liners as luggage. I popped them into my sidebags while she slipped on her gear, and we were off. I don't think it took 2 minutes. Jane's curbmates stared at us as if we were from Mars.

    Oh, and Ben Spies kicks butt.
    Last edited by Steve Jones; 01-24-2015 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Changed the map link because google maps can't display routes over seasonal roads during the time of year they are closed.

  5. #5
    fnmag's Avatar
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    Re: End of May BB1500 from Eureka MO to Utah for WSB races.

    Good report and pics. Worth the wait.
    Jim

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    "Uncle Larry" VFR's Avatar
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    Re: End of May BB1500 from Eureka MO to Utah for WSB races.

    That is a nice section of road on your map. I rode the 92 down from Hotchkiss to Blue Mesa a couple of years ago. Went past Black Canyon several times on the 50 & this year went inside. Really beautiful from top to bottom. Did the 50 this year from Canon City to Montrose. Always a nice ride on that road.
    Larry

    If it ain't fun, I don't do it...
    No worries,this parachute opens every time.....

  7. #7
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    Re: End of May BB1500 from Eureka MO to Utah for WSB races.

    Quote Originally Posted by VFR View Post
    Went past Black Canyon several times on the 50 & this year went inside. Really beautiful from top to bottom. Did the 50 this year from Canon City to Montrose. Always a nice ride on that road.
    It was the second time I'd ridden the Black Canyon. Here are some pics from an earlier trip:


    Skyline Drive at Canon City


    Another of Skyline Drive at Canon City


    Black Canyon "Painted Wall"


    More Black Canyon


    See the road?


    Heading down to the river

    If I ever get back out there it will be with a decent camera and a day to play in the canyon. It's really spectacular.

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