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I have some friends that did it. They didn't have fun.

Here's why:
1. They expected singletrack, didn't get much.
2. They didn't test ride their bikes enough with the weight of their travel gear. They had all their gear in backpacks and on those racks that attach to the seatpost. Weighed down, their bikes were so tail heavy they could barely keep the front wheel on the ground.
3. They under estimated the amount of time it would take to "clean up" the huts in the morning. There is actually a fairly long checklist of stuff you have to do before you can ride off.
4. They under estimated the effects of the altitude. You'll spend lots of time above 10000 feet They showed up from 700 feet and went straight into the mountains. They got headaches the first day that didn't go away.
5. They weren't mentally prepared for the daily rain showers.

In the end, it ended up feeling like a death march to them. In my estimation the things that beat them down were the evil handling bikes, and the expectation of riding stuff like the Hermosa Creek Trail and getting dirt roads.

Try not to repeat their mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input.

We are testing and planning for 2,4 & 5. I has hoping the trail has some single track, but we are planning to spend extra time in Moab when we are done.

Kevin
 

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another bozo on the bus
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just got back. great time!!! great weather just a bit hot, but you get used to it. they have alternate routes for several days in the huts. we rode single track almost every day. i think 2 days were fire roads through the desert which was great too. we purchased some lat 40 maps and found some single track the first day as well as some other routes. that was a hard one, riding the colorado trail from little molas lake to hut one. you climb to 13000' where we ran into some problems. also not much food packed. i would also suggest a GPS for reference, marking the huts each day before going out. most enjoyable cycling trip i have been on. already reserved for next year. also, should have everyone w/ computer on board. all points are refered to by milage and our computers varied as milage was concerned. will post pics when my bags return.
 

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Stradissimo said:
I have some friends that did it. They didn't have fun.

Here's why:
1. They expected singletrack, didn't get much.
2. They didn't test ride their bikes enough with the weight of their travel gear. They had all their gear in backpacks and on those racks that attach to the seatpost. Weighed down, their bikes were so tail heavy they could barely keep the front wheel on the ground.
3. They under estimated the amount of time it would take to "clean up" the huts in the morning. There is actually a fairly long checklist of stuff you have to do before you can ride off.
4. They under estimated the effects of the altitude. You'll spend lots of time above 10000 feet They showed up from 700 feet and went straight into the mountains. They got headaches the first day that didn't go away.
5. They weren't mentally prepared for the daily rain showers.

In the end, it ended up feeling like a death march to them. In my estimation the things that beat them down were the evil handling bikes, and the expectation of riding stuff like the Hermosa Creek Trail and getting dirt roads.

Try not to repeat their mistakes.
there is plenty of single track to ride out there, one must do his own research and compare maps to make everything work. a GPS also helps in this matter.

we rode every morning overloaded to prepare for the trip, tested bags on the bike, on the back to be sure we would be comfortable for a week of riding w/ gear. i put penny jars in my camelback for extra weight. a guy had the post rack and he didnt have much fun on the single track.

if everyone on the trip pitches in to clean up, you can be done in an hour. it would be like leaving your house for a ride. do your dishes, sweep and lock up. its not that big a deal.

altitude got us on day 1 pretty bad. we came from dc (below sea level) and acclimated pretty well. we all felt pretty good on day 2. drink plenty of water.

we got lucky with weather. only showers on day 6 which was welcomed seeing as most of the time riding the temp was in the triple digits.

the days are long, but the views are spectacular. i went into it with the idea that it would be kind of a touring trip on fireroads and the single track alternates we found off-set that nicely. the trip was as challenging and fun as we made it. sure, people got salty along the way, but the overall good vibe of our group of 6 would soon infect the negatudes. take time to enjoy the solitude and realize that you are lucky be one of few who takes the opportunity to see this part of the world.
one thing that got us down, was that you could go a couple days without having a source of water to wash in. makes it hard to get into bad when your legs are covered with dust. there is water at the huts, but that is for drinking only. resist temptation to wash w/ it. those huts dont get stocked everyday and there could be serious trouble if a group got to a hut and no water was there.
 

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washedup said:
one thing that got us down, was that you could go a couple days without having a source of water to wash in. makes it hard to get into bad when your legs are covered with dust. there is water at the huts, but that is for drinking only. resist temptation to wash w/ it. those huts dont get stocked everyday and there could be serious trouble if a group got to a hut and no water was there.
What about a water filter? Aren't there any stream crossings along the way?
 

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rippling over canyons said:
What about a water filter? Aren't there any stream crossings along the way?
on some days there are stream crossings, but on others there are not. i carried 100 oz of water a day and was fine. just pre hydrate before leaving in the mornings and conserve during the day. i liked my set up with 80oz on the back and a water bottle. i would casually drink from my pack, but i knew that when that was empty, i really needed to be careful how i drank. some guys in our group used iodine tablets. one guy had a filter, but it malfunctioned.
 

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Me 'n the Gal did the Telluride version 4 years ago with 6 friends. The crappers were still wooden platforms on garbage cans, some of the sleeping bags smelled more like cadaver bags, ate alot of Spam, found beer in nearly every hut. Gateway, CO was gateway to hell (dirty hut, really hot), but had great little cafe.

What we did right: Used Old Man Mountain racks w/ panniers on Superlights (so mo betta than packs, allowed the carrying of a flask of Glennfiddich Cask Strength, made the bikes rail on downhill s/t), took personal size SunShowers (filled at creeks, left on rack to heat), used Stan's in tires (not one flat for us two); did I mention the single malt? oh yeah, got engaged.
[the rest of the crew used packs and complained of sore shoulders/backs and lack of extra stuff. luckily they did not develop a taste for good Scotch]

What we did wrong/change next time: will bring our own lightweight bags and pillows. Less repair stuff and distribute more evenly between riders. bring an extra sunshower for the beggars. more Scotch.

All in all a great trip in spite of some less considerate riders ahead of us who left huts/equipment dirty (it only took us about 45 minutes to leave the hut very clean). Had a blast, found lots of s/t, and saw some awesome places!
Looking forward to Durango version next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
washedup said:
looks like the ones. i am not the one i possesion of them, but they look right. i can give you some info on the routes we took if you like.
That would be cool, but we aren't doing the trip until 2007. So, I don't have the info from Sanjuan Huts...

Kevin
 

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kbabin said:
That would be cool, but we aren't doing the trip until 2007. So, I don't have the info from Sanjuan Huts...

Kevin
they tow those huts out each winter so the location for some may change over the course of the next year. san juan huts provided us some alternate routes in the huts, but most of those were in case of rain or if you wanted to ride road for a day. i think we only did our own thing on day 1 and day 7. day 1 we took a shuttle to Little Molas Lake and hopped on the CT which dumped us out 2 miles (as the crow flies) from the first hut on a fire road. there we took a left on the fire road and followed that around to the right. a GPS is your friend here matching the que sheet up to our own routes. that ride i belive was around 35miles and we under estimasted the time needed and the effects of the altitude of day 1. bolam pass is at 13,000' if im not mistaken, and coming from below sealevel, we were not on top of our game. we got in around 10PM that night.

day 7, there are plenty of options for decending into moab. at geyser pass, we took a trail, whose name evades me at the moment to clark lake trail, which is rocky and steep, making it pretty technical with 35+ lbs on you back. this dropped down to ooah lake (sp) @ which point we followed the road down a mile or 2 to a big hike-a-bike on the left, which brought us up to warner lake. from there we caught a new trail a mile or 2 down the road which brought us to a new trail which will be on your lat 40 maps and dumps right into the kokopelli trail. we took the road into moab since we were short on water and food. the UPS and LPS are a great alternative to the road, but at this point you probably would have time unless you got an early start on the day.

hope that helps. we are going again next year, late august, early sept.
 

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Durango - Moab

If you are considering this ride, don't. Just do it. Thank me later. This trip is just incredible, every day feels like it has a weeks worth of experiences compressed into it. And the views... Pictures just don't do them justice.

The huts are well thought out and extremely well stocked. Plenty of food, beer (warm), wine, candy/energy bar and lots of variety. Sleeping bags were clean and the pads are 4" thick!

My recommendations:

Make sure you're in good shape. These are 30 mile days on dirt/rocks, sometimes over 11,000 feet, and sometimes on crappy jeep trails. 2 of the days are a grind, going up nearly all day.

Have a cyclocomputer - A very durable wired one. Believe it or not, some of the directions supplied by San Juan are ambiguous at best and some of the maps are totally useless. Accurate mileage is your best navigational cue in many cases.

Parts/tools - Extra tube, lots of patches (we had 6 flats total), extra spokes/nipples (broke one), chain links/pins, lots of chain lube, an extra tire (1 for the whole group), maybe a couple cables (one of each). Make sure your bike is in top condition before the trip. Bring all of the usual tools plus any tools necessary to replace a spoke _ i.e. cassette tools/disk tool (torx)/spoke tool.

Clothes - expect anything. I brought three jerseys (1 long-sleeved), two riding shorts (and 1 loose pair for the hut). Bring some good microfleece, raingear, wet weather gloves and booties for your shoes. It rained for us, day six from Paradox Valley up to Geyser Pass all day. Wet, muddy and cold from 5700' to 10,600'.

If you hydrate well in the morning you shouldn't need more that a 100 ounce Camelbak and a bottle of your favorite electrolyte solution. Powdered Gatorade was available at each hut. We never needed a filter but hey, iodine tabs are light, it couldn't hurt to pack a few. We passed three lakes during the trip, so there is plenty of opportunity to wash up too.

Warnings: 1. At the Wedding Bell hut you are near to a few abandoned uranium mines. Stay away from these mine shafts; they are still "hot". 2. On the trip into Paradox Valley there is a note for the "Preferred Alterative Route" in to the town of Bedrock. The "Preferred Alterative Route" takes you out 8 miles to a mesa cliff that requires you to climb down a precarious, boulder ridden, narrow, steep, cliff while carrying your bike - in cleats. We did it, but some people will get in serious trouble here. I wouldn't be surprised if someone hasn't been killed on this trail. If you are not a very strong climber (and crazy), take the standard route down to the highway. Cold beer at the General store in Bedrock BTW.

Do this trip.
 
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